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Re: [Fedora-livecd-list] pilgrim livecd work

On Wed, 2006-09-20 at 10:41 -0500, Jasper Hartline wrote:
> David Zeuthen wrote:
> >(adding back fedora-desktop-list as that Cc: field mysteriously
> >vanished.)

Doing this again. Please don't munge the To: or Cc: headers. Thanks.

> >So, you know, I'd hate to replace < 100 lines of code by depending on
> >anaconda, which, I might add, is designed to do far more than the
> >relatively straightforward task of doing live cd's. I'm not even sure it
> >makes sense to carry around code in anaconda to facilitate live cd
> >installs but I'll leave that judgement call to the Anaconda developers.
> >  
> >
> Ok. Good luck partitioning a disk in any sort of way with Yum.

Well, I take it that you are aware that cd media is not normally
partitioned (it is for bizarre things like Apple Mac OS X install CD's
using Apple Partition Map; but that is totally not relevant for a Fedora
Live CD on any architecture we want to support). 

So I assume you are talking about creating Live USB images, e.g. an
image people can dd(1) to the USB key e.g.

 # dd if=some-image.img of=/dev/sdb

where /dev/sdb is the block device for your USB stick.

First, pilgrim supports this (partitioning is not hard), it was the
first installation target since that is what we use for OLPC; see


for details. 

Second, a Fedora system on a USB stick / hard disk is useful.. Heck,
this can be done today with the pilgrim system by simple changes to
streams.d/fedora-base.stream in the pilgrim source tree (just define a
new variant, liveusb, where PILGRIM_FS_liveusb=ext3). The reason I
haven't done this is just lack of time. And motivation.

The lack of motivation has to do with the fact that I'm not sure how
useful it is since ext3 basically is pretty wasteful and have no
compression [1]. To have any kind of useful system you'd need a 2GB or
bigger stick. Second, I think once we get the "install to hard disk"
feature done people can just install the OS to a USB stick / hard disk
from the livecd and be done with it. That will also ensure that we fix
up the UUID of the file system and other stuff.

We can easily add variants for "usb stick" builds until we have the
"install to hard disk" feature. But I'd rather that we worked on the
latter, that feature is so much more important for Fedora as gdk so
eloquently points out.

We could also add a new hack to use squashfs / ext3 / dm-snapshot hacks
to the live USB image where the overlay lives in a file on a different
partition of the USB stick. That way we'd have a semi-useful system that
would fit on a 512MB stick. Again, not sure how useful live USB is, I'd
rather focus on getting the "install to hard disk" feature done and just
tell people to install to a USB stick / harddisk if they want a portable
Fedora OS.


[1] : though I did read something about "compressed block devices" being
added to Linux. Dunno where that is going.

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