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Old 08-10-2009, 03:58 AM   #1
hellmet
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Create installer disk(not Live-cd) from existing system.


Hello,

I'm working on a project - creating a customized, minimal debian distribution for installation on HP T5530 thin-clients that have only 512MB Flash disk and 228MB RAM. I installed debian on one thin-client using the NetInstallation disk of Lenny. I have been able to limit the size of the installed system to 450MB with Xorg, firefox(not iceweasel), ssh, feh and rdesktop with OpenBox combined with LXpanel and
iDesk forming the GUI. The entire exercise would be complete after tweaking the installation to restrict unnecessary tinkering by users.

Now comes the main question:

-----------
Is there a way I can now convert this installed system into an
installation disk with a text-based installer?
In other words, I'd like to keep all the software I installed removed
and configured during the entire process, and must also include the
customized config files and user permissions. Then create a text-based installer cd that can be used to install this custom OS on other systems.
-----------

Why Text-based :
- These Thin-clients cannot handle a Live-cd based install
- I would be creating a customized preseed for quick installation on many systems.

Resources on the internet mostly talk about creating a live-cd from installed systems (Remastersys), and I haven't managed to get something out of google search over the past few days, and hence this post. I'd really appreciate it if you could direct me to appropriate resources on the web or any documentation or even your own experience. I've really been learning a lot and I'm more than ready for further learning.

Thanks for reading, and have a good day/night!
 
Old 08-10-2009, 10:36 AM   #2
pljvaldez
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If they are all the same systems, is there any reason not to just take a complete image (i.e. just dd the existing system onto other flash cards)? Oh, probably the "quick installation on many systems", huh... Maybe a Clonezilla server system?

Otherwise, the only thing I've used is dpkg --get-selections and dpkg --set-selections to install a similar package set. Of course, that doesn't help with the config files or anything like that.

Last edited by pljvaldez; 08-10-2009 at 10:39 AM.
 
Old 08-10-2009, 11:23 PM   #3
j1alu
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you might check if creating an installable live copy of your system with live-helper works for you.gnudude has posted a short how-to at forums.debian. as its pretty short i just repeat it instead of posting the link:
Code:
su 
apt-get install live-helper
mkdir live
cd live
lh_config --bootstrap copy --debian-installer live
lh_build
the last command will take a while.
take care the system aint too big.
when booting choose to install instead of booting into live-mode.

Last edited by j1alu; 08-10-2009 at 11:33 PM.
 
Old 08-11-2009, 01:48 AM   #4
hellmet
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@pljvaldez: Thanks for reminding me about 'dd'. I think one way out would be to use debian-installer to partition the hard disk and then run a script that dds the image onto the created partition. Will try.
@j1alu : I appreciate your reply. I think that would work, but I'm not sure if the installer would need gnome libraries to load the installer? I will surely look into this too.
 
Old 08-11-2009, 02:05 AM   #5
j1alu
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neither
Quote:
apt-cache show debian-installer
nor a short search:
http://packages.debian.org/lenny/debian-installer
gave me any results on dependencies.
heres the package-side for live-helper:
http://packages.debian.org/lenny/live-helper
(on the other hand: whats wrong with adding some gnome-libs?)
greetings
 
Old 08-11-2009, 03:02 AM   #6
hellmet
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How many are 'some' ? A couple of MB would be alright. The 512MB is a major constraint, and I would not want to bloat up the system. Anyway, since there seem to be no deps, I should shut up and start the actual work.
I shall be trying live-helper out today, and will surely let you know. Thanks a ton!

Last edited by hellmet; 08-11-2009 at 03:06 AM.
 
Old 08-11-2009, 05:54 AM   #7
mushroomboy
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This makes me want to make a DVD of my current system, it's only 2.5G installed and has everything I need at the moment (maybe 3-4 if I get openoffice and some other toos up)
 
Old 08-11-2009, 06:40 AM   #8
j1alu
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just one thing:
the above command will copy the complete system, that is also all data;swap etc.

when using it with a working OS-system, the result might become huge.

to the OP and his purpose i`d propose creating a separate partition, running a fresh install, configuring the system and after that running the lh_config-command to create the copy.

If you want a copy of your working system, you could try moving all the private data
on a separate partition, running the the copy with live-helper and then moving the private data back ( i dont know if one would be able putting the result on a dvd, as i only put it on a cd).

i think you could also put it on a stick:
Code:
lh_congig -b usb-hdd --bootstrap --debian-installer live
lh_build
dd if=debian.img of=$USBDRV
while debian.img must be replaced with the *.img result of lh_build.
(you got a nice live-cd or live-usb and a backup :-) )

or you could try chrooting into /, the partition its mounted on should be big enough
(i`d go for 3 times as big as the original). Well: you`d need a debian-live-cd with live-helper or a second installation for that.
 
Old 08-12-2009, 12:07 PM   #9
caffemisto
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look up remastersys

Made a Live DVD plus installer from my current laptop install. came in handy because I'm always breaking my laptop config. Of course, it's only as good as the last time you ran the program to create the DVD, but still very handy though.

I used a DVD-RW so I can reuse the DVD in the future.
 
Old 09-08-2009, 06:31 AM   #10
hellmet
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@j1alu : I'm done with the project. Thanks a lot to you! I've credited you in my project report.
 
Old 09-08-2009, 11:08 AM   #11
frenchn00b
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j1alu View Post
you might check if creating an installable live copy of your system with live-helper works for you.gnudude has posted a short how-to at forums.debian. as its pretty short i just repeat it instead of posting the link:
Code:
su 
apt-get install live-helper
mkdir live
cd live
lh_config --bootstrap copy --debian-installer live
lh_build
the last command will take a while.
take care the system aint too big.
when booting choose to install instead of booting into live-mode.
well I have a harddrive mount under /mnt of 1 Tera byte, and it copies it in to the lh_build.
Can we exclude this folder somehow?
 
Old 09-08-2009, 11:53 AM   #12
j1alu
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frenchnoob:
the only way i know of is to unmount it. if i run it i move my music-collection and .Virtualbox from home to the external backup disk. best way to do it is directly after installation and configuring. running an apt-get clean and all that before running lh_config is a good idea too.its merely a workaround to prevent configuring again and again after a new installation.
if you get to know more about it (a way to exclude parts from being written), please let me know.

hellmet:
i only passed some info, but am happy that it did work for you. the one who did the hard part was gnudude in this howto:
http://forums.debian.net/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=38870
i didnt link to it as it was short enough to type it here.
 
  


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