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#1 2006-02-24 17:23:31

gradgrind
Member
From: Germany
Registered: 2005-10-06
Posts: 921

live Arch CD construction kit (larch)

Hi everyone, I've just put up my latest attempt at a live CD construction kit at http://www.fsphost.com/gradgrind/index.html. It's only had very limited testing, but I hope it might be useful to someone or other. There's quite a lot of documentation with it.
I also hope the website is ok - it's one of those free ones ....!

WELL, it seems to be not ideal. As of 16th July 2006 larch is looking for a new home! Sorry for any inconvenience.

The current site is http://four.fsphost.com/gradgrind/

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#2 2006-02-24 18:35:56

smoon
Member
Registered: 2005-08-22
Posts: 468
Website

Re: live Arch CD construction kit (larch)

gradgrind wrote:

Hi everyone, I've just put up my latest attempt at a live CD construction kit at http://www.fsphost.com/gradgrind/index.html. It's only had very limited testing, but I hope it might be useful to someone or other. There's quite a lot of documentation with it.
I also hope the website is ok - it's one of those free ones ....!

Wow, nice! Maybe I'll give it a try this weekend. Btw., the links does not work  if I click it, copy&paste however works fine

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#3 2006-02-24 19:14:42

gradgrind
Member
From: Germany
Registered: 2005-10-06
Posts: 921

Re: live Arch CD construction kit (larch)

I suspect any such strangeness with the website is due to its nature as a 'free host'. Also with the download - it really is a *.tar.gz file, but when I put it there with that ending, the download didn't work ...

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#4 2006-02-24 19:20:10

paranoos
Member
From: thornhill.on.ca
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 442

Re: live Arch CD construction kit (larch)

the link has a . at the end, that's why it won't work.

tongue

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#5 2006-02-24 20:26:58

gradgrind
Member
From: Germany
Registered: 2005-10-06
Posts: 921

Re: live Arch CD construction kit (larch)

I tried editing it, but the url didn't want to come at all this time. Just cut and paste it!

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#6 2006-02-24 20:53:49

Mr Green
Forum Fellow
From: U.K.
Registered: 2003-12-21
Posts: 5,770

Re: live Arch CD construction kit (larch)

Have you tried Archie ? (mkliveiso)

/me reads more about larch

http://www.fsphost.com/gradgrind


Mr Green

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#7 2006-02-24 21:09:11

iphitus
Forum Fellow
From: Melbourne, Australia
Registered: 2004-10-09
Posts: 4,927

Re: live Arch CD construction kit (larch)

Please, take a look into Archie, its a complete and tested Arch based liveCD maker.

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#8 2006-02-24 21:10:11

gradgrind
Member
From: Germany
Registered: 2005-10-06
Posts: 921

Re: live Arch CD construction kit (larch)

Yes, Mr. Green, but not recently. I should have another go.
I think there are differences in emphasis, but mainly I remember that the last time I tried, it was not quite as easy as it should have been, and that I would have liked more description of what was going on in 'mkliveiso' ...

And thanks for the redone link!

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#9 2006-02-24 21:24:09

Dusty
Schwag Merchant
From: Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
Registered: 2004-01-18
Posts: 5,986
Website

Re: live Arch CD construction kit (larch)

I think the biggest problem with Archie is lack of documentation. :-) Its primarily considered a live-CD by the community, but it does provide simple scripts for creating your own live CD as well.

Dusty

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#10 2006-02-24 21:50:29

Mr Green
Forum Fellow
From: U.K.
Registered: 2003-12-21
Posts: 5,770

Re: live Arch CD construction kit (larch)

Archie Live CD its a start


Mr Green

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#11 2006-03-06 19:35:35

gradgrind
Member
From: Germany
Registered: 2005-10-06
Posts: 921

Re: live Arch CD construction kit (larch)

I have just released an updated larch. On my hardware it works quite acceptably. The new installer also successfully managed a completely up-to-date multi-partition Arch Linux install on my laptop.

Get it from www.fsphost.com/gradgrind

To the Archie promoters:
    I did try Archie again, following the few instructions I could find. I added the required repository to my pacman.conf, as instructed, and installed the Archie scripts. On my first machine it wanted me to remove my kernel etc. because of a clash with bootsplash. Being an archck kernel this would have satisfied the unionfs requirement of Archie, but you can't win them all! I found another Arch I had installed somewhere without the bootsplash problem and tried on that. Of course now I had to get a unionfs module built, but that apparently went OK.
I had a freshly installed Arch system to try the mkliveiso script on, though I wasn't sure what the requirements were - as these are apparently not stated anywhere (I used my mkarch script to prepare it). Then I ran mkliveiso. It churned around for a bit, returned a few incomprehensible error messages about weird files not found, and stopped without producing anything.
    I would really like to appreciate Archie's benefits, but I wanted something that would produce a live CD with my package selection on it and a script to install this cleanly to hard disk. Maybe Archie can do this, but following the minimal documentation didn't work for me.


My larch scripts do not require any extra repositories (except community for the archck stuff, until that gets put into extra), they do not require the build system to have unionfs support, I do not have to install anything special to run my build scripts. Indeed they should run on any linux system, it wouldn't need to be Arch if you use pacman.static. You don't even need a separate partition for building the custom system (so long as you have enough free space). I certainly haven't done as much work as the Archie people have on some areas of live CD design and I can't do tests on anything other than the rather boring hardware I have here, but I would urge you to look at some of my ideas and see if they might not be useful. I can build, quickly and with no great effort, an up-to-the-minute, standard Arch system which runs from CD, with a script to install this (without the live-system tweaks) to hard disk. Maybe Archie can do this too, please let us know how!
I'm sure larch has plenty of bugs and features which could be implemented much better, but I have to say I don't get the impression Archie is really ready for prime time yet and maybe some of the ideas in larch could help.

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#12 2006-03-07 05:09:38

WillySilly
Member
From: Martinez, CA
Registered: 2005-01-14
Posts: 268
Website

Re: live Arch CD construction kit (larch)

When booting the cd it hangs when creating the fstab, have you ran into this problem before?


<Shadowhand> wizzomafizzo, sorry, i meant "soul mate" ... err, "better self" err "best friend with boobs"

<dadexter> I am not gonna become a fscking signature

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#13 2006-03-07 07:26:51

gradgrind
Member
From: Germany
Registered: 2005-10-06
Posts: 921

Re: live Arch CD construction kit (larch)

No, up to now I've had no problems with fstab, but as I warn, I only have a very limited selection of hardware to test it on - boring old IDE stuff.
Do you have something different here? Please let me know.
The code which sets up fstab at boot time is basically the same as that in SLAX (I used that as the starting point) - have you tried SLAX, and if so, did that work?
If you want to play around with it, the interesting function is probably activate_fstab() in in the liblxlive file (in the mklive/initrd/ directory of the scripts). The only bit that I imagine could hang is where it tries to mount or unmount the partitions it has found (mount_device ... unmount ...).
It should also be possible to test this in your normal system:

make a test directory somewhere
copy in liblxlive
cd to this directory
Become root (su)
Then do:
. liblxlive
activate_fstab test

This should create subdirectories in test containing the generated /etc/fstab and the corresponding mount-points in /mnt

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#14 2006-03-10 04:02:02

shadowhand
Member
From: MN, USA
Registered: 2004-02-19
Posts: 1,142
Website

Re: live Arch CD construction kit (larch)

I just made a mirror of this, seeing as it's hosted on a free site: http://projects.os-zen.net/larch/larch.tar.gz
(Some DNS changes might make this take a day or so to spawn)

smile Thanks for the scripts, and contact me if you need a permanent place to host.


·¬»· i am shadowhand, powered by webfaction

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#15 2006-03-10 07:56:08

gradgrind
Member
From: Germany
Registered: 2005-10-06
Posts: 921

Re: live Arch CD construction kit (larch)

Great, Shadowhand! The free site was just a quick-and-easy solution.
It may be best for larch to somehow merge with Archie, if the aims are not too different. I'm quite open to suggestions and cooperation - and in general opposed to duplication of effort. I'll even try not to insist my way is better ...

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#16 2006-03-10 20:40:41

WillySilly
Member
From: Martinez, CA
Registered: 2005-01-14
Posts: 268
Website

Re: live Arch CD construction kit (larch)

My livecd works great, it just didnt  boot on my server. Which is weird because theres nothing fancy about it, plain IDE system. Anywho I got someone wanting to switch to Arch because of my livecd.  8)


<Shadowhand> wizzomafizzo, sorry, i meant "soul mate" ... err, "better self" err "best friend with boobs"

<dadexter> I am not gonna become a fscking signature

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#17 2006-03-15 10:35:28

gradgrind
Member
From: Germany
Registered: 2005-10-06
Posts: 921

Re: live Arch CD construction kit (larch)

I've just posted a mini-update of larch, version 0.3, incorporating the latest udev tweaks in initscripts-0.7.1-23. My first test boot, with udev 087-1, was a little bit faster, but I wouldn't want to make any sweeping statements ...

Get it here:
http://www.fsphost.com/gradgrind/larch_download.html

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#18 2006-05-09 12:25:23

Vins
Member
From: Italy
Registered: 2005-12-14
Posts: 67

Re: live Arch CD construction kit (larch)

gradgrind wrote:

Hi everyone, I've just put up my latest attempt at a live CD construction kit at http://www.fsphost.com/gradgrind/index.html. It's only had very limited testing, but I hope it might be useful to someone or other. There's quite a lot of documentation with it.
I also hope the website is ok - it's one of those free ones ....!

Great project!

I could successfully build a live CD with a 2.6 kernel.

Thanks!

ViNS

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#19 2006-05-09 18:43:28

gradgrind
Member
From: Germany
Registered: 2005-10-06
Posts: 921

Re: live Arch CD construction kit (larch)

I'm glad you like it!

I would like to add a couple of updates, but at the moment I am a bit stuck. The latest udev (I guess in conjunction with unionfs) seems to introduce an unacceptably long delay while booting, and I haven't yet found a satisfying way around this ...

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#20 2006-05-12 10:24:53

Sigi
Member
From: Thurgau, Switzerland
Registered: 2005-09-22
Posts: 1,121

Re: live Arch CD construction kit (larch)

I haven't built a Live CD yet but I'm very interested in doing so. Can't wait to see your "I got around the udev issue"-post.

Cheers Sigi


Dammit, haven't been here in a while. Still rocking Arch. smile

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#21 2006-05-28 20:47:42

gradgrind
Member
From: Germany
Registered: 2005-10-06
Posts: 921

Re: live Arch CD construction kit (larch)

Hi folks!

Here is my "I got around the udev issue"-post.

Just to let you know, I've put up a sparkling new version of larch at www.fsphost.com/gradgrind

If anyone's looking for a custom live CD kit, this could be what you're looking for.

I've changed the way it uses unionfs, and (in case you're interested) it's also possible to run it without unionfs. It boots quicker than before, and I hope I've simplified it's use a bit.

The installer has been tweaked a bit and it can now do an ftp install of the latest, greatest packages (as well as the straight installation of the CD content).

As always, any feedback is welcome.

Share and Enjoy!

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#22 2006-05-28 23:21:45

z4ziggy
Member
From: Israel
Registered: 2004-03-29
Posts: 573
Website

Re: live Arch CD construction kit (larch)

would be nice to know what u changed on lshwd. ill appreciate if u can send me the changes.

and kudos on latest larch wink

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#23 2006-05-29 05:17:58

gradgrind
Member
From: Germany
Registered: 2005-10-06
Posts: 921

Re: live Arch CD construction kit (larch)

@z4ziggy:

My lshwd fix has been in the bugtracker since March, including code.

See http://bugs.archlinux.org/task/4055

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#24 2006-05-31 03:44:27

lilsirecho
Veteran
Registered: 2003-10-24
Posts: 5,000

Re: live Arch CD construction kit (larch)

Nice to see the LiveCD called "larch" and intend trying it soon.

Wonder if there is a limiting factor in this effort which prevents making a LiveDVD with 9GB of uncompressed progs?  Most certainly the amount of memory might be excessive for the full 9GB but a lesser use of the DVD capacity could be of an advantage.

Would the read speed of DVD provide a speed-up in the boot?

Knoppix has a full DVD which uses two modes of "cloop" to accomplish the feat.

Something similar possible with an arch DVD? Two modes with 2GB per mode of compressed data.

Think big!!!  Like Mt. Everest...because its there!


Sign of the times: Navajo blanket..made in China
Hard work does not kill people but why risk it: Charlie Mccarthy
A man is not complete until he is married..then..he is finished.
When ALL is lost, what can be found? Even bytes get lonely for a little bit!     X-ray confirms Iam spineless!

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#25 2006-05-31 05:01:31

gradgrind
Member
From: Germany
Registered: 2005-10-06
Posts: 921

Re: live Arch CD construction kit (larch)

@lilsirecho:
Why don't you try it out?
I'm not sure that I, personally, would find such a 'monster' useful (so far I have only used live CDs for rescue and installation purposes), but if for some reason a larger snapshot of Arch was wanted, that could be the way to go.
I think squashfs should scale fairly well, but that would need to be tested. A certain amount of splitting should also be no great problem, e.g. squashing /usr, /opt and the rest separately (though at the moment I am quite pleased with the simplicity of my design).
As to boot speed, that is also something that would need testing. My latest larch CD takes between 90 and 130 seconds on my machines (depending on hardware) to boot into KDE. For my purposes this is acceptable.

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