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Bug#489392: ITP: marionnet -- A virtual network laboratory and simulation tool


Please excuse me for my delay, I was on vacation.

About Marionnet, packaging is in progress but not quite finished
yet. I'm working with the upstream authors, and we still need to
solve some issues before to providing Debian compliant packages.

Currently we are providing (non-official, of course) Debian packages
for what's now the old-stable version of marionnet but the packages
aren't completely clean. The Lintian report still contains some
warnings and one error.

Those package are available on our repository at:
deb http://www.marionnet.org/download/debian/ unstable main
deb-src http://www.marionnet.org/download/debian/ unstable main

We're now working on a new version of Marionnet which fixes several
bugs or imperfections, and even if we are pretty close to a releasable
version some things deserve to be looked at; that's the reason why
I'm currently working more on the code than on packaging.

The issues which we need to solve are:

- Marionnet internals are being cleaned up and at least partially

- The internationalization support is not completely finished, but
 we want to include it in the new packaged version; a French-only
 interface would severely restrict the public

- marionnet now uses VDE2 (Virtual Distributed Ethernet); at the
 beginning vde2 was patched by us, and my package provided a patched
 version of it (marionnet-vde2); the patch is not necessary any
 longer, as our modifications have been integrated by VDE's upstream
 author (and packages are available in Lenny) so the new version
 of Marionnet just uses it

- marionnet uses UML (user-mode-linux); we need a little patch to the
 UML kernel which still needs to be ported from 2.6.18 to a more
 recent version of Linux

- I'm finishing two new, very compact filesystems for virtual
 computers and virtual routers; they provide many client/server tools
 but are just about 100Mb for the computer and 35Mb for the router.
 The problem about how we can distribute them is not solved yet.

The patched versions of the UML kernel and the filesystems are somewhat
problematic, as they are considered just "data" for what concerns Marionnet;
Marionnet is intended to be used by students and beginners in general,
which can't be expected to be expert in the GNU/Linux system nor in
debian tools -- using deboostrap and chroot or modifying a filesystem
image to make it usable from Marionnet would definitely be out of their

Marionnet cannot work without UML kernels and filesystems, and
I don't know if I can just supply them as packaged files (like we're
currenty doing for our unofficial packages); what a clean packaging
scheme would look like is not really clear yet, and any suggestion
is welcome

Jonathan Roudiere

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