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Old 01-04-2002, 11:47 AM   #1
Stephanie
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Custom Distro installer for LFS


A thought accorded to me the other day I would liek to share..

Would anyone like to design and then build a free distro (downloadable only) that would feature an installer (kinda like what big distros have), but will allow a user to create a custom kernel, making it easier to do a very base system.
 
Old 01-04-2002, 06:07 PM   #2
Aussie
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You need a kernel to make a kernel.....just like you need a linux install to do LFS. One of the reasons I like slack is because once you do a standard install you can recompile as much as you want with no problems, after I do that I back up my system to bootable CD's with mondo-rescue.
 
Old 01-04-2002, 06:37 PM   #3
CragStar
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Shadowhacker,

I believe that RecoilUK had the idea of a few LQ.org ppl who use LFS (namely Trick, TAZ, Recoil and myself) getting together to develop a LQ distro. This is the thread he suggested it on: http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...3314#post43314

Although this is a far off idea it may be worth while stating an interest in the idea. I would certainly back anything if there was enough interest.

If your interested let me know or get into contact with Recoil.

Cheers
 
Old 01-04-2002, 06:49 PM   #4
finegan
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I think what ShadowHacker is suggesting is just that, a distro that will install everything, including a base kernel, but the last stop on the install is to compile a new one... doable, but it would have to be pretty clean and small. Kernel compiles are by design not a newbie thing to do. I'm still at 1 to 1 the number of compiles I've had error out, and besides, you would basically just be adding another step onto Slackware unless there's something else you're suggesting that I'm not getting. Always a solid idea though...

Here was my recent one: with kids like LFS and LOAF getting so backdated as to be un-usable, what about a small distro: say < 100Megs or so, that will work as a recovery disk for nearly any platform: Mac, PC, Sparc, you name it. Make a kernel/architecture selector in the pre-run of its boot process, include the ftp, nfs, ssh, telnet clients necessary to export data off of the machine and fullfil the headache role of export the critical stuff/re-install the old OS. With NTFS + PCMCIA being a pain with the one-disk distro and the advent of every BIOS on the planet supporting boot-off-CD, it might be a nifty niche-filler that can only really be accomplished now by cracking open the box, yanking the drive, and slaving it off of a working machine. Also, have it create /var and /tmp in RAM disk so that the machine could run as a diskless workstation for a while as well. The 100Meg size I just thought would make for a quick burn-time for the current day average of about.... what? 10x CDRWs.

Sorry that was kinda off-topic:

Cheers,

Finegan
 
Old 01-05-2002, 01:27 AM   #5
Stephanie
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Every CD O/S loads a kernel up to do the install, so that should not be the problem. And scripts can be used to set preferences, so not to much work there. I really only see setting up partitions as a big issue, unless someones knows of a free graphical partition program as good, or better than MDK.

I just thought this would be neat because while it is true someone could download Linux free to use, getting it to work is another matter. Most people or businesses simply dont have time or resources to undertake such a venture. Plus, if hackers developed it on the internet, then no matter how many companies have problems or go under, an easy to install version of Linux will always be available.

Besides, a Linux From Scratch type install should not be that hard. If someone wanted to select that option, a program would simply load from CD and allow the user to add or delete options of the kernel, and when finished, compiles and installs it. I do not see a big problem with that.
 
Old 01-05-2002, 03:57 PM   #6
CragStar
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So is there a real interest in a Distro project? We would definately have to agree what the targets of the project are. Is it really viable?

Later
 
Old 01-05-2002, 11:31 PM   #7
Stephanie
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I was on the internet today, and found a few sites where some people have put together bootable CDROM versions of Linux by making snapshots of their files systems and changing a few scripts.

That tells me that it is possible to do this. What we need I think is to come up with a list of options that we would incorporate into the installer. Like, should the user be able to select an automatic type installation, or be specific, setup partitions, etc.

What other parametres were you thinking we need to setup Crag (can I call you that?)
 
Old 01-05-2002, 11:43 PM   #8
Aussie
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The major problem I can see with this is, what hardware do you support? There are so many different combinations out there that you'd almost have to create a distro to cater for all of them. However, this would be an eccelent soultion to deploy linux over a network of identical hardware, maybe with a set of scripts to enable building the system on a master box then installing accross a network from an image made from the master install.
 
Old 01-07-2002, 05:46 PM   #9
CragStar
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Quote:
Originally posted by shadowhacker
I was on the internet today, and found a few sites where some people have put together bootable CDROM versions of Linux by making snapshots of their files systems and changing a few scripts.

That tells me that it is possible to do this. What we need I think is to come up with a list of options that we would incorporate into the installer. Like, should the user be able to select an automatic type installation, or be specific, setup partitions, etc.

What other parametres were you thinking we need to setup Crag (can I call you that?)
Not a problem. What were the sites you were looking at, I would like to have look at them (as I don't really see a clear way to start anything at the mo!). As far as the options, we need to get together and list a set of realistic deliverables (big word! Uni does come in handy!)

Like Aussie states, the H/W could become a problem. Definately post 386 Architecture. I like the idea of a common image across the network, although I think we are looking at mostly stand alone comps. (are we?)

This looks like gaining momentum! On a side note I may note reply for some periods as my monitor has died and I am borrowing this monitor for tonite. Bloody things...
 
Old 01-09-2002, 02:41 PM   #10
Stephanie
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Hey Crag,

Here is that website for you. it gives a list of different sites that offer CD based Linux distros.

I was thinking that maybe we could make somehting like this, but add or change various scripts to do an install on an empty drive.

For instance, we could create our version of Linux, put it on CD-ROM, then simply add installation programs to it to make a distro.

That might seemt o simply... I dont really know how to program yet, so i am just throwing ideas out there. Anyone, please feel free to correct me if I am wrong or dont make any sense.
 
Old 01-09-2002, 05:19 PM   #11
isajera
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i can't shake this feeling that a lfs-distro is something of an oxymoron - lfs is supposed to get rid of all the glut that necessarily comes along with a distro.

what COULD be done is to have a cd that includes lotsa sources, a compiler, and a stock kernel (along with some kernel sources) that would make installing lfs relatively painless... more of a one-day project than a week/month long endeavor. that might be worth working on.
 
Old 01-10-2002, 10:04 AM   #12
CragStar
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Sorry, the link to the website appears to not be there.

isajera, your right about LFS, cus you need a distro already installed to create your own one. Not taking anything away from what they are going though.
 
Old 01-10-2002, 01:46 PM   #13
Stephanie
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Crag,

Sorry about that. The site is:

plug.twuug.org/articles/cddistro.html

Isa,

I like your idea, but I still think we should make it like a distro. This website leads to sites where people have created runable linux systems from CD, with no hard disk required.

What if we created on like this, then added your idea to the mix? Someone would pop our CD distro in, and from there could create a LFS system onto their HD? That way many graphical tools could be used for people who dont want to use the command console.

Plus, only a little bit of work would be needed to make it a full blown distro.

Last edited by Stephanie; 01-10-2002 at 01:54 PM.
 
Old 01-18-2002, 01:36 AM   #14
isajera
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shadow.... just found this link

www.gentoo.org

gentoo is apparently a small, very fast penguin. it's also a distro installer which creates everything from source - which is pretty much what this thread seems to be about, to me at least... actually, rifling throught the faq on the site, it's pretty much exactly what i had in mind up on my other post there.
 
Old 01-18-2002, 01:49 AM   #15
Aussie
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I'd like to try the gentoo source install over the net....except my stupid, incompetent, usless, nearsighted, greedy, monopolist cable isp uses a log-in client that they came up with themselves that incorperates a "heartbeat"....every five minutes they send a "are you still there" message to your computer and if the client dosn't answer they cut the connection (obviously intended to detect all the bue screened win boxes that they say are the only ones that their network supports)....so without being able to install the open source replacement I am unable to connect....bloody &$#@*&%^$#@!(*&^%$#^*%$@$^ isp....
 
  


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