DragonFly users List (threaded) for 2008-01
DragonFly BSD
DragonFly users List (threaded) for 2008-01
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Re: How to rebuild LiveCD

From: Dave Hayes <dave@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2008 17:59:26 -0800

Sascha Wildner <saw@online.de> writes:
> Haidut wrote:
>> The DFLY "release" process I think is geared towards creating an
>> "installation" live CD. It will boot but won't be a ready-to run GUI
>> environment just like your HDD deployment but rather a live CD from
>> which you can install the applications you chose to include when
>> creating this custom "release" CD.
> I'm with Matt on this one. If someone does such a thing, please 
> integrate it into the nrelease framework. Something like "make gui 
> release" or so.
. ..
> 2) Adjusting to the current CD setup where most available disk space is 
> read only. A real effort would probably include laying out filesystems 
> differently.

I'm very interested in efforts along these lines myself. I've gone
through some issues with CD creation. I do have something somewhat like
what you are all talking about, but for a different purpose. I've hacked
together a CD that Dragonfly "runs directly on". Really, it mounts an
MFS root, and then copies from or maps the CD onto that. I have a
methodology for caching frequently used binaries into the memory
filesystem, but my goal was not to lay out filesystems any more
differently than I had to and I'm not sure it's even necessary. 

My CD is primarily for running servers (especially firewalls) where you
really want some solid rootkit/rogue SA protection and/or you want to
upgrade many multiple servers all as a single unit. I doubt it would be
very good for desktop use. (That doesn't mean I'm not interested in
desktop dragonfly CDs, I'd love to see an effort for that and would even
help where I could.)

As a related point, I really want to contribute this server CD back, but
I'm concerned it's not good enough for the standards that many of you
have for these things; it's really not clean yet according to my own
standards. The issues I see at the moment are:

* I had to modify /etc/rc and insert a small shell script into the
  startup process. 

* I've hacked the installer quite a bit (even found a bug) in ways
  I doubt very much are compatable with the direction the installer is
  going. (I just wrote my extra code in C, for example).

* It's not clear how supported an MFS root filesystem is. 

* Trying to get pkgsrc packages on it proved to be extremely 
  problmatic. It was easier just to make an anonymous read-only 
  FTP archive of pre-built packages and populate that from a 
  development box. The other issue with this is that packages are 
  faster moving targets than Dragonfly is (even with the HAMMER hacking).
  In fact I'm really not sure it is possible to have applications
  that BSD users won't be upgrading as soon as they get them anyway.
  Just consider the rash of Firefox upgrades a while ago as an example.

* The process for making one of these CDs is in a bourne shell script and
  -not- in the /usr/src/nrelease/Makefile. It does use "make" whereever
  possible to stay compatable with what goes on in development. However,
  I am not a Makefile guru, just a humble power user. You need to be a 
  guru to deal with BSD Makefiles these days, and I am very leary of
  changing that Makefile when I'm not a guru and when I don't have (or
  really want) commit access. 

That last point is really my show stopper. I'd love to work on the
current /usr/src/nrelease/Makefile system, but there's no clear and
comprehensive documentation that I have found that would aid me in
making changes that would be acceptable to the community. I've been
told it doesn't exist. Maybe I'm confused? 

> I also think it should be a live DVD then. But it depends on the 
> packages you'd want on it, of course.

This would be great, but can DFly boot off a DVD? I've never tried 
to write an ISO on one...
Dave Hayes - Consultant - Altadena CA, USA - dave@jetcafe.org 
>>> The opinions expressed above are entirely my own <<<

A cat and a dog were fighting. A man asked them what they
were doing.
They said: "The winner will decide which of us is a rat." 
"You are both wrong," said the man.  So they set upon him
and put him to flight.

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