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Re: OSCAR and debian

Benoit des Ligneris <benoit@des.ligneris.net> writes:

> I'm an OSCAR developper (working on support for diskless clusters)
> and I started using debian a few month ago.
> I would like to know if some people would be interested in porting OSCAR
> to debian ?
> This not an easy task because all packages are distributed in the
> rpm file format. I'm not (yet) familar with the .deb packaging system and I
> just did some tests with the alien program to convert some rpm files
> (with and without success ;-).
> Anyway, here is a list of problems that can be splitted easily between
> different people :
> 1) installation on the master node : 
>     - rpm prerequisite -> deb prereq       [easy]
>     - convert all OSCAR rpm -> deb package [???]
>     - scripts : minor modification         [easy]
>         ( OSCAR is support multi-distro already...)

Have you tried installing the rpm using Debian's alien package (which
translates an rpm file to a deb)?

My experience with alien has been quite good -- every rpm I've needed
to install has translated successfully and worked when installed.  [In
some cases Debian was actually less sensitive than RH, accepting
translated rpms from different RedHat versions.  YMMV.]

> 2) image building :
>     This is certainly the hardest part.
>     - system installation suite (sisuite.org) is doing all the hard job
>       to build a complete system from a rpm list. I think that FAI is
>       already doing this ?
>     - image customization : this done automatically (when installing an
>       image) and it will certainly require some work for the network
>       interface part that is very different from distro to distro.

SystemImager is already available as a deb from www.systemimager.org,
as well as being part of OSCAR.  So imaging might work correctly even
though some of the OSCAR bits originally came from rpms rather than

Configuration of the base OS is different between Debian and RedHat,
so that's definitely a possible sticking point.  But most parts of
OSCAR should configure in a similar fashion under both RH and Debian.
[Eg, things like PBS and Maui work the same regardless of which OS
they are running under.]

A suggestion:  You might try a test install of OSCAR under Debian and
see if it is as hard as you think.  I've found Debian is fairly good
at coping with non-native packages installed via alien, so there's a
distinct possibility that many things would ``just work''.


/*  Dale Southard Jr.  dsouth@llnl.gov  925-422-1463 fax 422-9429  */
/*  Computer Scientist, Advanced Simulation and Computing Program  */
/*  L-073,  Lawrence Livermore National Lab,  Livermore CA  94551  */

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