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Re: Live System images and Pure Blends

Hello Stefan,

On 24/07/2022 13:02, Stefan Kropp wrote:
I have been started to look into live system generation
(live-build), Be honest, I have never been used a Debian Live CD.
Few days/weeks back I looked into the live CD which are provided
by Debian (live-wrapper).

Your timing is rather unfortunate. At the moment there are no recent (i.e. bookworm/sid) live images being generated and the snapshot server that I use to generate them was shut down during DebConf22.

However, yesterday I updated the script to generate live-build-based images such that can be run without a snapshot server.

See the recently updated Wiki page (https://wiki.debian.org/ReproducibleInstalls/LiveImages) in the section 'Building'

I also think, it is very important to provide live-systems also
for the next releases.

I'm working on that, but it needs more time.

I have been looked into:

  * debian-live-11.4.0-amd64-standard.iso (1,1G / 800 packages)
  * debian-live-11.4.0-amd64-xfce.iso (2,5G / 2270 packages)
  * debian-live-11.4.0-amd64-gnome.iso (2,7G / 2572 packages)

The live-build sid-based GNOME image is now 3.2GB / 2540 packages
You could download a recent GNOME live image from openQA:

The tests that running are at: https://openqa.debian.net/tests/overview?distri=debian&version=sid&build=20220711T170000Z_sid&groupid=14

I'm wondering if we should refine those images. Maybe the Debian
Project and the users can benefit from it.

These images use the meta-package 'live-task-XXXX' to select which packages belong to each desktop. E.g live-task-gnome depends on task-gnome-desktop. Any adjustment can take place in these meta-packages.

One of the live images is called "standard". What does standard
means? What can the user do with the "standard" image?

The standard image does not contain a graphical desktop. It could have been called 'text' as well.

I looked into xfce and gnome. The gnome image also includes few games,
evolution and thunderbird. xfce doesn't have a mailclient at all.

You might want to report a bug against live-task-xfce or task-xfce-desktop to add a mail client.

I think one person at the BoF said, it's not necessary to build a
image for every desktop manager. Personally, I agree.

For the record, that was Mrfai.
While my time is still limited, I will also (have to) focus on a few images at first.

I asked myself:

  * Who will use the live system?
  * Why will somebody use the live system?
  * When should we provide a Debian Pure Blend?

Who will use the live system? Everybody!
Why will somebody use the live system? Everything!

It may helpful we the project defines some images with a scope.
Maybe something like this,..

# Rescue Disk Image

An image for a live system to rescues a broken system. It may
have a set of useful tool, but may not have a X-Server. Powerful
editor, maybe also gnu compilers and manpages and screen / tmux.

This is not just a 'small' Rescue Disk Image this will be a real
powerful Debian system (without X).

I don't want to discourage you, but there are already several Debian-derivatives that do a good job. Also the Debian-installer (from the boot menu) has some rescue capability (not tried by me yet)

# Calamares-Installer

Live System to provide the Calamares-Installer. The live system
can be used to install Debian with Calamares.
(I haven't used it - I can not give much feedback, yet)

The Calamares installer is targeted at a broader audience.
At the moment there is no automated test yet in openQA.


The use case is: "Let's try Debian and see what it is". The
result: "It's awesome!" To achieve this result, we need to have a
good set of pre-installed applications.

Now, pure blends come in. I think the goal of the pure blends is
exactly what we need for Desktop / Office / Junior / Med / ...
The 'experts' (blends team) knows which packages are required /
helpful / working.


One idea would be to provide packages like


Those packages will include a well defined structure to build the
live-system images via live-build.


You can use a 'Tasks' meta package for that.

Personally, I think it would be much better to provide "soon" the
possible to access to the pure blends, instead to "wait" a long
time until we are able to find a nice solution for a hierarchical
selection. Sure, if somebody is able to provide a solution, it's

You can file an ITP for the 'task-debian-junior' metapackage.

We should also work on a README.html / pdf file as a first
"Welcome" and guide new users where they can get more help. Links
to pre-installed documentation, Debian Wiki pages, Debian Local

I have created a small example of a Debian Desktop live system.

The 'Welcome to Debian' is a separate topic. I'll respond later.

With kind regards,
Roland Clobus

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