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Re: PXE Booting Grip

Emdebian Grip is neither lower power nor quicker booting than standard
Debian for the same package selection.

The files removed in Grip processing do not typically get loaded in the
equivalent Debian boot process, with the possible exception of

The packages are smaller but the binaries which get executed have
precisely the same resource requirements as the identical binaries you
get from Debian. You can compare the checksums of everything
in /usr/bin on Emdebian Grip with the same versions from Debian - all
will match. Grip has no functional changes compared to Debian - that is
the entire point of Grip. Resource requirements are dictated by the
functional behaviour of the binary, the only difference is the tiny
amount of effort of loading (absent) translations.

Thanks for the info Neil. I was meaning to say lower power (as in the device is) and quicker because I presumed grip would not have the same level of extraneous guff installed by default, rather than that grip makes it so, but thanks for the extra info. Makes sense, I just thought that grip wouldn't install lots of stuff that default wheezy would. Ah well, every day is a school day.
A minimal XFCE GUI multistrap installation from sid-grip comes out at
231Mb. If you want swap (not advisable on flash) or if you want to have
any data at all, you will struggle. At that rate, even an apt-get
dist-upgrade would fail with ENOSPACE.

Oh. That's a bit disappointing, but not too bad. My default wheezy on USB (admittedly with no X) is about 450MB. Was still expecting to have to do some work, but was hoping that a minimum Grip would get me close. Am not worried about swap (the clients have 1GB RAM), I'll push all of /tmp into RAM too and use NFS for any persistent data store, so this may work out OK.
There is no kernel in that selection, nor grub. A standard Debian
kernel for x86 will easily swallow all your remaining space
will fail with
the tiny amount of storage available. Only multistrap will get you
anywhere close and that cannot be done over PXE. Even then, I doubt you
will be able to fit a kernel into the space.
> * Is it possible to use PXE and debian-installer to install Emdebian??

Yes, if there is more space available. Minimum would likely be 1Gb, 2Gb
to be comfortable with an X-based installation.

I'm starting to see a trend here :)

So it looks like the pitiful amount of disk will seriously hamper the installation of *any* debian system on this box. Shame, but fair enough.

I'll have a rethink. I used to use NFS, PXE and netboot to do something similar at a project I was on a few years back with embedded x86 kit. Maybe I can dig out some notes and see what I can come up with. The hosts have 1GB RAM and I'll use NFS for any persistent storage, so may just turn them totally diskless instead.

Thanks for your help


Dan Hawker

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