pilgrim livecd work

David Zeuthen davidz at redhat.com
Wed Sep 20 05:51:28 UTC 2006


I've spend a little bit of time adapting the OLPC build system to be
able to spit out Fedora livecd's. First some background on what we do in

 o OLPC is an OS built on Core but also includes bits from Extras and
   a dedicated OLPC repository

 o Rather than using an installer, we deliver the OS in two ways

   - for USB sticks we provide an image that can be copied onto the
     whole disk. This image includes a partition table, boot loader
     and so forth. This image is also used for qemu.

   - For installation to the OLPC hardware, we provide a JFFS2 file
     system image that can be put on the flash using nandwrite from

 o The build system must be easy for downstream to use for creating
   a derived build of the upstream OLPC distribution. The thinking here
   is that OLPC customers (which are governments, countries) are
   able to very easily tweak the package selection, provide alternative
   packages and change how the system is configured.

 o (for more info on OLPC development, see http://dev.laptop.org )

As such, the goals are pretty similar to Live CD: Assemble an OS and put
it on bootable media. So I spent a few days a few weekends ago to do
exactly that; the how's, why's etc. are here


Specifically, I've made it a goal to make live cd's built with this
infrastructure possible to install to hard disks such as to provide a
nice user experience: you download the livecd and if you like it, you
simply press the "Install" icon on the desktop and the OS is installed
in a matter of minutes. No need to go through anaconda here. The
README.fedora file linked to above contains some pretty specific
information of what we need here. With some hard work perhaps we can
make this happen for FC7.

Another important goal is that it should be easy to create derived CD's.
So if you are into the whole Java and Fedora things, maybe you want to
easily create a Fedora Eclipse livecd. You know, to show off to your
friends. I've included an example here, fedora-eclipse


note how fedora-eclipse is derived from fedora-gnome 


which in turn is derived from fedora-base


and also that fedora-desktop 


is derived from fedora-base. Ie. we have

   |                         |
 fedora-eclipse       fedora-desktop

There is nothing to prevent us from having

               |                                              |
         fedora-gnome                                    fedora-kde
               |                                              |
  +------------+------------+----------------+---...         ....
  |                         |                |
fedora-eclipse       fedora-desktop      fedora-music

in the future. For example, it's not far fetched, I think, to have
people from the tools group in Red Hat maintain the fedora-eclipse live
cd bits (in fact, I'm not even sure if that image builds any more, it
did some weeks ago. But y'all get the point, yes?)

The very nice thing is that downstream, for example fedora-eclipse and
fedora-eclipse-kde, would benefit from general improvements in
fedora-gnome and fedora-kde. The barrier to entry is pretty low, just
look at the simplicity of of the current fedora-eclipse and
fedora-desktop stream definition files.

Anyway, enough talk, it's getting late and I'm too old to miss sleep
these days :-) - Here's a screenshot of the fedora-desktop livecd


and here is an ISO, weighing 618MB, of fedora-desktop


Have fun,

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