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morten44 11-25-2008 07:18 PM

How to create a small Linux image (50mb) and install on Flash memory in thin client
 
Hi
We are a school that has been using syslinux and tftpd boot for some time. It loads directy to Windows Terminal Server as our educational programs are written in Windows. This is working great

However....
With Terminal Server there are issues with video, sound and skype.

I started to look for an image I could use.
I ran into Dam small linux. I liked the idea but need futher customizing.

Question:
Can I somehow customize DSL or any other image to include
Desktop
Firefox
Media Player
Trillian
Skype

Then burn it as a iso file and install on Flash Drive

Can anyone give me some idears what I can do or what software I need.

Is what I want possible ?

Regards
Morten

Peacedog 11-25-2008 07:46 PM

Hi morten44, Welcome to LQ. There is a description of a similar task here. That should get you pointed in the right direction.
Good luck.;-)

salter 11-25-2008 07:57 PM

One possibility is to create a partition in the size that the file ISO image should have, copy DSL onto it, modifying it, and than create the ISO image based on the contents of that partition.

You can use chroot to switch temporarily over to that test partition to check out how it works. Later on write a few version of your ISO image out to a rewritable CD for testing.

It would be a good idea to approach the DSL developer's mailing list for specific questions.

Customizing a distro can be very time-consuming, depending on your overall technical skills.

lakedude 11-25-2008 08:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by morten44 (Post 3354421)
Hi
We are a school that has been using syslinux and tftpd boot for some time. It loads directy to Windows Terminal Server as our educational programs are written in Windows. This is working great

However....
With Terminal Server there are issues with video, sound and skype.

I started to look for an image I could use.
I ran into Dam small linux. I liked the idea but need futher customizing.

Question:
Can I somehow customize DSL or any other image to include
Desktop
Firefox
Media Player
Trillian
Skype

Then burn it as a iso file and install on Flash Drive

Can anyone give me some idears what I can do or what software I need.

Is what I want possible ?

Regards
Morten

You can do exactly as you wish, except I doubt the result will be ~50MB when you are done adding all the extras. DSL is nearly 50MB by itself.

Puppy is fairly small and includes an easy way of re-mastering your very own "pup-let" to include extras that were not part of the original distro.

Puppy Unleashed is one way to re-master, this should get you started:

http://www.puppylinux.org/wiki/archi...ation/remaster

http://puppylinux.com/development/puppy-unleashed.htm

lakedude 11-25-2008 08:25 PM

Puppy uses JWM (Joe's Window Manager) for a desktop.
Firefox is a 8.8MB download.
Puppy comes with Gxine Media Player and codec.
Looks like you will need Wine to run Trillian on Linux?
Trillian is a 9MB download.
Wine runs around 23MB between Wine, Xorg and Cab extract.

Unfortunately the main Puppy forum www.murga-linux.com/puppy/ seems to be down and Skype is blocked from my location. The numbers listed above are download size not installed size. Installed size is likely to be much bigger.

Looks like you are going to weigh in at around ~150MB regardless. No way this is happening at ~50MB, near as I can see anyhow...

morten44 11-26-2008 03:15 AM

Hi
Thanks to all for your answers.
I have something to go on now :)

I can see I might not be able to get it all into 50mb.

I was just thinking that DSL was only 50MB and already included desktop and firefox, so by removing some of the other tools (office,picture editing) and adding a media player, skype and one compatible with messanger, i thought it might be possible, but I guess i am wrong.

I will have a look into all this documentation and get started :)

I am sure i will come back with some more "newbe" questions. lol

Thanks again all

Regards
Morten

lakedude 11-26-2008 04:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by morten44 (Post 3354899)
Hi
Thanks to all for your answers.
I have something to go on now :)

I can see I might not be able to get it all into 50mb.

I was just thinking that DSL was only 50MB and already included desktop and firefox, so by removing some of the other tools (office,picture editing) and adding a media player, skype and one compatible with messanger, i thought it might be possible, but I guess i am wrong.

I will have a look into all this documentation and get started :)

I am sure i will come back with some more "newbe" questions. lol

Thanks again all

Regards
Morten

Don't take my word for it! I'm an idiot. I didn't realize you could do without that other stuff. A stripped version of Puppy is something like 12MB (MicroMuppy).

The reason I mention Puppy is because Puppy has an actual "re-master CD ISO" function built in.

Murga-Linux came back online so I was able to do more investigation.

http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=36028

Good luck!

Why do you need it so small anyhow?

pinniped 11-26-2008 04:20 AM

I agree with Puppy rather than DSL; DSL would be too much work getting the GUI etc.

Just remember you need some tweaking of the init script(s) and fstab to ensure that the CompactFlash is not used for such things as temporary files and that the CF partition is mounted read-only. Otherwise after a few months of moderate use you'll find yourself replacing those cards frequently.

You haven't mentioned your TerminalServer issues with sound, skype, etc though. We have no idea if you can just add a few more scripts to the image on the TS or if booting from CF on each terminal would be the best thing (it means maintaining at least as many customized images as there are different terminals).

morten44 11-26-2008 04:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pinniped (Post 3354979)
I agree with Puppy rather than DSL; DSL would be too much work getting the GUI etc.

Just remember you need some tweaking of the init script(s) and fstab to ensure that the CompactFlash is not used for such things as temporary files and that the CF partition is mounted read-only. Otherwise after a few months of moderate use you'll find yourself replacing those cards frequently.

You haven't mentioned your TerminalServer issues with sound, skype, etc though. We have no idea if you can just add a few more scripts to the image on the TS or if booting from CF on each terminal would be the best thing (it means maintaining at least as many customized images as there are different terminals).

Hi.Sounds good. Its a new field for me so guess there are some learning to do :)

Regarding sound on Windows Terminal Server..
Its working fine with audio streaming to clients. The problem is Skype and windows 2003 terminal Server does not work. You can get the sounds streamed to the clients, but not the other way around (microphone)
We have many international students and that is the main reason why we need to find new solution using a small linux distro

Regards
Morten

lakedude 12-02-2008 07:02 PM

Since the last time I remastered a Puppy distro just to see how easy it was and:

It is VERY easy! A script walks you through the entire process. I did a remaster in about 20 minutes having no experience at all.

The new remastered version includes the browser "Opera", the browser "Firefox" and a nice picture viewer called "GQView".

The browsers work as if they were freshly installed, no bookmarks survived the remaster.

Anyhow I'm sure the process could be tweaked to suit your needs. I haven't tried to make a smaller remaster, only a larger one but I'm sure the process would be similar.


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