Re: RFC: cdlinux

From: Martin Schulze (
Date: Sat Apr 07 2001 - 11:33:23 CEST

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    zhaoway wrote:
    > Hi,
    > I think the following may be interesting to some of you, so here it
    > is. a humble littlt project. ;)
    > * cdlinux is supposed to be debian running on live! cdroms, but it
    > should be generic enough, and keep the code for its specific purposes
    > to the minimum. and it should be capable to be installed to harddisks,
    > and running there thereafter.
    > * cdlinux is also supposed to provide a easy chroot alike environment
    > for debian developers to build their packages for different releases,
    > aka testing/stable/unstable. This is not a problem for some of you
    > have spare computers and/or nice backup utilities. but to alot of
    > developers, building a chroot environment is difficult and tiresome,
    > and to some packages, to test them may be dangerous(?) OTOH, cdlinux
    > could provide a consistent platform to do package maintaining. at
    > least I hope so. ;)
    > * cdlinux may also be capable to provide some debian users fancier and
    > easier installation methods. the difficult point on providing fancier
    > and easier installation to our users is that the resources on the
    > install time is very limited. while this is always true for netinstall
    > and floppy install, it's not true for cdrom install. what if you have
    > a running system by hand Ie cdlinux, when you begin to install debian
    > from cdrom into harddisk? why keep packages as static .deb format on
    > cdrom instead of extract them into a runnable state if we're able to
    > do so? why do we want busybox if we could get a bash running in a
    > combination of read-only cdrom and read-write ramdisks? after all you
    > don't need to write to the bash executable, so it's perfect to put it
    > on the read-only cdrom. ;)
    > the above is the supposed benefits of cdlinux, the below is some
    > design docu. i welcome critics and suggestions. and oh, please! ;)
    > * cdlinux needs a version of linuxrc which is capable to get the cdrom
    > device and detect the cdlinux cdroms, (BTW, this linuxrc is largely
    > there, see, BTW^2, if we get enough developers
    > interested, i may request to move unto to save you from
    > registering on ;) and the linuxrc will just do that,
    > nothing more, and won't bother the users even one single dialog. it
    > shouldn't. we don't need a user interface in a crippled environment,
    > do we? ;)
    > ** I stolen the linuxrc from demolinux who in turn got that from a
    > early version of SuSE. credits ... ;)
    > * linuxrc will also setup a ramdisk as read-write root directory tree,
    > and setup mount individual fs trees out of cdrom, details in
    > discussion. i currently use a mixture of cramfs images and isofs
    > images, this certainly is a very bad idea, it prevent easy building of
    > cdlinux cdroms.
    > * a better solution is layered filesystem, Ie ramdisk on top of isofs,
    > to provide read-write transparency. this is certainly doable. ;)
    > * after the above, Ie linuxrc and probablly layered fs, here comes the
    > rescue of debconf. ;) we suppose packages would be runnable after 1.
    > extraction and optionally 2. ask user some questions through debconf.
    > in the senario of cdlinux, we will have step 1. done in prior. and
    > will keep step 2 deferred 'till users boot cdlinux. of cource this is
    > over simplification, but it illustrate the overall scene as 1. doable
    > 2. doable in a generic way. and 3. also a chance to improve debconf
    > performance in debian. ;)
    > * after this cdlinux would be runnable from live! cd. now we see how
    > the install to harddisk works? it's merely dpkg-repack|dpkg -i without
    > of the overhaed. and move the debconf answers to harddisk etc. ;)
    > Any ideas would be appreciated! Thanks!
    > --
    > ............... Debian Chinese Input Method
    > ............ NanJing GNU/Linux User Group
    > ........... Debian running on Live! CDs
    > ...................... XEmacs Screenshots
    > --
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