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

Anthony Towns <aj@azure.humbug.org.au> writes:

> On Tue, Nov 25, 2003 at 08:39:16AM +0100, Javier Fern?ndez-Sanguino Pe?a wrote:
> > > 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

This remains to be done.

> 	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

This becomes:
debix --from-dir sarge-chroot myknoppix.iso

Which internally does (simplified):

mkdir myknoppix
cp kernel initrd bootloader myknoppix
genext2fs -x myknoppix/debix.img -d sarge-chroot
mkisofs -o myknoppix.iso myknoppix

The beauty of using device mapper (which operates on the block device
level) is that its transparent to the system.

> 	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.

Debian only has a very few things left that need to be changed for a
read-only root. All software should be changed to allow for linking
files or dirs into a ramdisk or to a kernel file (/etc/mtab ->
/proc/mounts). If you know of any that can't cope a link to a
writeable place let me know and file a bug.

Also with debix you don't have a read-only root unless you want to.

> (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)
> Cheers,
> aj

Idealy debconf should be enough or a wraper package should be
available. Using only policy conform debs is my goal for a knopix
integration. Too many people have come into irc and complained that
updating knoppix to debian/sid broke everything. If knoppix actually
were part of debian that would be very bad.


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