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Re: Emdebian Grip is available - and 25% smaller.

Neil Williams wrote:
> I've just converted my Acer Aspire1 (i386) - running XFCE - from Debian
> Lenny to Emdebian Grip:
> 607 upgraded, 1 newly installed, 2 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
> Need to get 184MB of archives.
> After this operation, 278MB disk space will be freed.
> Yes, update 600 packages and have nearly 300Mb more free space - that's
> a 400Kb space saving *per package*, on average. Gaining 90Mb more free
> space than the total size of the download is nice too.
> Comparison *after* using 'sudo apt-get clean' to remove downloaded
> archives:
> Debian Lenny:
> /dev/sda1             7.1G  1.2G  5.6G  17% /
> Emdebian Grip (unstable)
> /dev/sda1             7.1G  919M  5.8G  14% /
> I make that about 25% smaller and not all packages installed on the
> machine have been "gripped" - (about 100 remain, many of which I
> should probably remove anyway).
> Method:
> http://www.emdebian.org/grip/index.html
> Add the Grip source to /etc/apt/sources.list.d/
> deb http://buildd.emdebian.org/grip/ unstable main
> $ sudo apt-get update
> $ sudo apt-get install grip-config
> This is a very important stage - Emdebian Grip is still in development
> and with the Lenny freeze, a few wrappers and helpers are needed to
> allow smooth migrations between Debian and Emdebian - grip-config is
> Architecture:all and contains the relevant scripts. (grip-config is
> Priority: required so debootstrap picks it up by default.) grip-config
> also includes the same key as the emdebian-archive-keyring package used
> by all Emdebian repositories.
> Only after grip-config is installed should you use:
> $ sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
> Note that this is a complete replacement, including libc6, apt,
> coreutils, dpkg and (on i386) the stock kernel. As such, it can take a
> while to complete the installation once the download is complete. (As
> ever, if the kernel is updated, ensure you reboot before you next
> suspend to disk - even the "gripping" changes may confuse grub when
> deciding whether to use the suspended image.)
> A few packages are currently behind Debian Sid (notably ncurses) and
> I'm working on the scripts to enable full update automation.
> One other problem is that /usr/share/locale/locale.alias has also
> disappeared which compromises localisation support right now but that's
> fairly easy to fix.
> Note that this test install *adds* the Emdebian Grip repository to the
> existing Debian sources and relies on the em[0-9] version suffix to
> implement the upgrade - packages that are behind Debian get left at the
> Debian versions, you can also use normal pinning.
> $ apt-cache policy
> Package files:
>  100 /var/lib/dpkg/status
>      release a=now
>  500 http://buildd.emdebian.org unstable/main Packages
>      release v=0.1,o=Debian,a=sid,l=EmdebianGrip,c=main
>      origin buildd.emdebian.org
>  500 http://ftp.uk.debian.org sid/main Packages
>      release o=Debian,a=unstable,l=Debian,c=main
>      origin ftp.uk.debian.org
> Pinned packages:
> I've done some testing with debootstrap and a chroot works too - it
> should be possible to ally these packages with the normal Debian
> installer because there is no point "gripping" udebs that are already
> v.small and the packages that actually get installed are dictated by
> your choice of mirror. debian-live should be gaining support for
> Emdebian Grip in due course.
> If someone fancies trying a test installation by choosing
> http://buildd.emdebian.org/grip as their mirror in d-i, let me know.
> ;-)
> (Installing Grip is likely to result in further size gains as the Grip
> repository data does not support Recommends, so you don't have to try
> and get d-i to not use recommended packages).
> Emdebian Grip (unstable) is now available for 7 architectures:
> i386, amd64, arm, armel, mips, mipsel and powerpc.
> (amd64 is my debugging arch, that's the only reason it is listed)
> Please report any and all bugs to the buildd.emdebian.org
> pseudo-package in the Debian BTS.
> If you want more packages added, set up a Debian machine or chroot with
> all the packages you need (and only the ones you need) and send the
> complete output of 'dpkg --get-selections' to this list.
> Alternatively, file RFP bugs against buildd.emdebian.org at wishlist
> severity.
> To see the current list of packages, use the search support:
> http://www.emdebian.org/grip/search.php
> Headline packages:
> coreutils, perl, python, apt, dpkg, grip-config, XFCE, debhelper, make,
> devscripts, sylpheed, iceweasel, drivel, xchat-gnome, gpe-tetris,
> totem-gstreamer, liferea, thunar, evince, seahorse, gthumb, libsqlite3,
> pilot-link, python-gnome2, lua, tcl, gcc-4.3, libmysqlclient15off. (All
> these are installed in that 919Mb above.)
> Currently, very few -dev packages exist in Grip - I need to know which
> ones are needed and whether to just use the Debian packages unchanged.
> (If you've space to build packages, you probably don't care if the -dev
> packages are not gripped.) I'll make the emdebian-grip package available
> on Grip itself in due course so that new and bespoke packages can also
> be "gripped". (If you ask for cross-building support on Grip you are
> officially insane.)
> I'm migrating the current packages to Emdebian Grip testing soon and
> I'll be making a release of Emdebian Grip 1.0 (based on Debian 5.0
> "Lenny") as well as Emdebian Crush 1.0 (based on Debian 5.0 "Lenny"),
> alongside the main Lenny release.
> Finally, note that Grip is binary compatible with Debian - indeed, the
> binaries themselves are untouched - but bugs that appear in Emdebian
> Grip must only be filed against the buildd.emdebian.org pseudo-package.
> Right now, reportbug is not part of Emdebian Grip because I need a way
> of telling reportbug to only use the pseudo-package.
> The main usability improvements will come in the development of
> Emdebian 2.0 (based on Debian 6.0 "Squeeze") - please consider Emdebian
> 1.0 as a "developer release", think back to what things were like with
> Slackware 1.0 or Debian buzz, rex or bo.
> P.S. there is no concept of a release-critical bug in Emdebian Grip, at
> least not yet - the 1.0 release will happen as soon as Grip testing is
> in sync with the released Lenny (no matter what). Please do not file any
> bugs against buildd.emdebian.org with higher severity than important,
> it will just annoy people trying to fix RC bugs in Lenny. Please also
> do not file bugs against Debian packages based on problems in Emdebian
> Grip, that will also annoy (and confuse) Debian maintainers.

Neil you are great, thank you for all this hard work.

I think I will also do a fresh debootstrap with Grip, debootstrap is my
favorite way to install fresh Debian installs, and I can do this blind
folded :-p

When will there be a "stable" version? Please let us all know, I would
like to be one of the first to be able to release a production
computer/device based on emdebian and do my share of testing and
spreading awareness about emdebian.

BTW can you make it at Fossdem 2009 in Brussels in February and maybe
give us all a nice speech like last year, it is important to keep
reminding the Debian developers that they also need to thing of small
devices, tdebs and sensible dependencies with packaging.

Again, thanks for the hard work!

Best regards,


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