CD Boot instead of boot-floppies....
The TelemetryBox has given up using boot-floppies as tne
installation software. We needed a 2.4.X kernel and it seems that the
boot-floppies package will never be able to cope with that. Moreover
essential features like autodetection are problematic with a 2.2.X kernel.
We have now build a bootable CD based on isolinux (contained in the
syslinux package). The CD boots with an initrd containing mass media
drivers. It detects the CD and then mounts the CD as the root partition
(using a tmpfs partition for storing changing files). A fully functional
system comes up.
The installation is a simple dialog script running in that environment.
Since the whole distro is already up in RAM/CDrom all tools can be used
and the process is very simple.
To generate the CD contents debootstrap is used to build a debian root
file system. Then packages are installed into the root using chroot.
Packages can be configured at this point with a default configuration. As
a result the user does not have to answer an endless stream of questions
during install. Then a /isolinux directory is generated with a special
initrd to bring the system up.
The directory can then be burned on CD and is bootable.
If you want to try it out there is a CD image at
The iso brings up a complete Debian distro with the newest KDE,
everything preconfigured. It is very easy to use and install.
Packages for this are available via apt-get from
deb http://telemetrybox.org/tbox woody tbox
Package installs a /isolinux directory with necessary
stuff to make a CD bootable. Install this into the chroot environment. The
source is useful for those wanting to tinker around with it. This contains
all the essential scripts that might need customization if you want to use
it for debian. tbox-cd uses mklibs.sh and busybox to build a minimal
script to build a bootable ISO image from a debian root tree.
Builds a debian root tree from a package list (using debootstrap
and apt-get). Not very well tested yet.
Boot menu with dialog allowing
A. boot from CD into RAM
B. install from CD to HD
C. Driver loading
E. busybox init
F, Rescue boot a HD installation
Console menu (after system has come up) with:
A. some instructions
B. X configuration
C. KDE on /off
D. Single user mode
E. install (if booted from CD)
The iso image is still transferring to telemetrybox.org now. Might take
another 2 1/2 hr to complete.