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Re: Debian or Embedbian on a powerful 64-bit system

On Fri, 15 Jun 2012 18:16:26 -0700
shawn <shawnlandden@gmail.com> wrote:

> > Looking to custom build a debian distribution for an embedded system.
> > Well the embedded system is actually quite powerful with the following
> > specs:
> > 
> > But none of them provide a straight forward way to build a rootfs that I
> > can drop off in a hard drive and boot. grml-debootstrap seems to have
> > that ability but is too grml specific.

This is a typical way to create an embedded system, so embedded tools
will be much more suitable than most general installers.

> The number of things you need to change after a bootstrap is set, the
> ones I can think
> off the top of my head:
> 1. set hostname in /etc/hosts
> 2. set up disks in /etc/fstab
> 3. set up networking /etc/networking/interfaces
> 4. set up /etc/apt/sources.list
> 5. install packages, like a desktop environment, etc
> 6. install a bootloader (grub2)
> 6. anything else app specific

Then use multistrap which solves all those problems, even the
addition of a bootloader can be handled.

Depending on how your bootloader needs to be installed, you could
script the configscript with multistrap to simply copy the grub Debian
package into the rootfs (without installing it) and only install it at
first boot. (Hint: create a script in /etc/init.d/ with LSB headers, use
update-rc.d to put the symlinks in place for /etc/rcS.d/ and let the
script delete itself when it is done.)

So, overall, multistrap can do all of this for you but the more you do
with it, the more you'll need to read up on the manpage/wiki and test
the process locally.

balloonboard are doing a very similar process - the rootfs there goes
onto an embedded board but the "build-rootfs-and-move-to-device-later"
model is what you are seeking, so use the same tools.

> > Is emdebian a good choice? Not in terms of size, but more in terms of
> > the tools necessary to build and deploy?
> No, emdebian is basically just a reduced form of Debian, for low space
> environments. 

Emdebian is the perfect choice - not in terms of size but exactly in
terms of the tools necessary to build and deploy. Precisely what Uttam
described as his requirements.

Many of the tools used to create Emdebian are still suitable for other
not-quite-standard ways of installing Debian-based systems.


Neil Williams

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