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Re: Integrate Knoppix in Debian (was: Re: Debian Enterprise?)

On Tue, Nov 25, 2003 at 08:39:16AM +0100, Javier Fern?ndez-Sanguino Pe?a wrote:
> > Is there a process for making these CDs from nothing more than debs
> > downloaded from debian.org?
> I know at least of one such process and its the one used at metadistros 
> (metadistros.hispalinux.es). The tool in this case is called 'calzador'. 

Is there any code that goes with that? I saw the wiki, but not knowing any
Spanish, didn't really get much from it.

> IIRC it basicly depends on having a chroot environment set with the OS 
> image you want to burn and it adds that together with  the bootup stuff.

> > Obviously it's non-trivial, but it should be possible to have debootstrap
> > (or a similar tool) construct bootable Knoppix-esque CDs without any
> > user-interaction IMO.

I'm envisaging something like:

	mkdir sarge-chroot
	debootstrap --include knoppix,calzador sarge sarge-chroot
		# setup a chroot environment with knoppix and calzador tools
	chroot sarge-chroot /usr/sbin/knoppix install-pkgs
		# install and configure the standard "knoppix" patches
	calzador setup-for-readonly sarge-chroot
		# reconfigure /etc so chroot can be booted on a readonly
		# root
	mkisofs -b /usr/lib/calzador/boot_image -o myknoppix.iso sarge-chroot
		# create an bootable isofs image
	cdrecord ...
		# then burn it to a CD

Being able to automatically install a useful system with lots of gnome
and kde and whatever other stuff without having to spend hours in dselect
or aptitude or answering questions or doing other configuration stuff
has obvious benefits, as does being able to easily convert an existing
system into something you can burn to a CD.

Also obvious, though, is that both those steps are hard: working out
a good set of packages to install, and configuring them usefully is
non-trivial; as is making Debian work with a read-only root.

(While the hypothetical /usr/sbin/knoppix and /usr/sbin/tasksel both
solve similar problems they're not quite the same -- /usr/sbin/knoppix
needs to select _and_ configure all the packages you want, tasksel just
selects them. debconf might not be enough either -- /usr/sbin/knoppix
might need to actually modify various files in /etc, too)


Anthony Towns <aj@humbug.org.au> <http://azure.humbug.org.au/~aj/>
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