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Re: Getting started guide

On Fri, 29 Feb 2008 15:32:55 +0000
David Goodenough <david.goodenough@btconnect.com> wrote:

> Hi,
> I have a bunch of boards running versions of Debian that I stripped of all the
> obvious unneeded files (like documentation).  They are i386 boards

You don't need most of the Emdebian support for i386 - you just need
widespread support for DEB_BUILD_OPTIONS="nodocs". I would suggest that
you seek to find such support by filing bugs asking for support for
nodocs against relevant Debian packages as that will help you and help

> a target CF size of about 64MB will do me fine - my old system achieved 80MB 
> and I made little effort to remove unneeded base packages.
The main change you need to get Debian down to that level is to remove
perl, remove coreutils and implement busybox. The patches already in
emsource will help you along that road.

> Well I came across emdebian, and I thought that is much more what I want, and
> much closer to what I need and also closer to what I know.
> So looked for documentations, and found some bits and pieces in the Wiki, but
> what I need to get started (and could not find) was a simple howto which takes
> me from installing the tools, selecting the packages that I want beyond the 
> basic set, downloading them and building them, and then building the 
> target "disk" image installing all the packages that I have build.  Does such 
> a HowTo exist anywhere?

In short, no. The principle reason is that you want *native* rebuilds
not cross builds and Emdebian concentrates on cross builds.

Installing the tools is a case of build-essential. No tools are needed
for native rebuilds.

Selecting the packages is entirely down to your chosen configuration,
the only practical consideration for your needs is to remove the
"Essential: yes" tag from debian/control wherever it appears during
each rebuild.

Only you know what packages you will need beyond the basic set.

Building the packages, after your modifications, is simply a case of
using 'dpkg-buildpackage' or 'debuild'. Don't complicate things by
trying to use cross-building tools.

Creating the filesystem image is a simple case of using debootstrap.

None of this is particularly related to cross building so feel free to
start a new section of the Wiki, tag it as CategoryEmdebian and
describe how you get on.

Emdebian is a very small group and nobody is currently looking at
native builds, there simply isn't time. I concentrate on ARM with a
particular emphasis on balloon3 and iPAQ. Others concentrate on Nokia
and MIPS targets.

There are various improvements needed across Debian that are required
for such deployments and which will also benefit native builds but
nobody is actively developing those because nobody currently has the
time or inclination to do so.

i.e. If you want this, Emdebian can and will support you but you will
have to do the majority of the work yourself and that includes working
out how to get things started. Naturally, we would appreciate it if
those efforts are then documented so that others are able to learn from
your experience.

> If not I will try to write it as I go along, and contribute it back. 

Please do.

> To that 
> end when I try to use emsource I get all kind of messages about not finding
> the source files 

I need to know the precise messages. emsource, like the rest of
emdebian-tools is reasonably verbose and you can always get a lot more
information by adding more --verbose options. Wherever possible, I have
tried to allow all emdebian-tools scripts to explain exactly what is
going on.

> The error messages say that it can not find the dsc, tar and diff files for 
> nano on that mirror.  But looking at the mirror directly through a browser
> the relevant files are there (and with the right version).  

Those would be errors from apt, not from emsource. emsource does not
interface with the mirror directly, it only calls apt-get source.


Neil Williams

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