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#1 2007-04-10 00:49:00

rbrownclown
Member
Registered: 2006-12-29
Posts: 125

Making System into .ISO

Here's a question of a different variety.  I spend enough time configuring Arch to my liking where I don't want to do it all again if I mess something up, or if an update breaks something.  I want to put my existing system in an .iso, and use that .iso to put it back when I need.  Is this even possible?  If so, can someone give me some detailed instructions?

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#2 2007-04-10 00:59:07

Misfit138
Misfit Emeritus
From: USA
Registered: 2006-11-27
Posts: 4,170

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#3 2007-04-10 01:47:03

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

Re: Making System into .ISO

Take a good look at Larch which should provide the .iso you seek as well as a LiveCD/DVD and a bonus flash drive...maybe an installer as well.

You will find it in USER CONTRIBUTIONS.


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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#4 2007-04-10 03:04:55

rbrownclown
Member
Registered: 2006-12-29
Posts: 125

Re: Making System into .ISO

Misfit - that's a great article.  I subscribe to CPU, so I can access the entire article.  Thanks!

lilsirecho - larch looks great.  One question, though.  If I use it to build an environment, can I easily move it to replace my current installation if something goes wrong?

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#5 2007-04-10 03:39:29

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

Re: Making System into .ISO

I have not installed via Larch but the mechanism is part of the LiveCD/DVD.  I have made several cd and dvd versions and also prepared a flash device which will boot from USB-HDD.

Larch also provides for copy-to-ram.

The CD/DVD will load the system you provide and can be larger than CD 700MB limits when using DVD media.  It cannot be upgraded except during a given boot-up; however, if one uses USB flash, the upgrades can be retained therein and be reloaded after the next boot-up.  Also, if one has rewriteable media rom devices for multi-session, this  feature is also provided with the Larch scripts.

I use flash devices to retain upgrade data which I install with pacman.  When items are installed via pacman, they are r/w because the aufs is employed to install them in an overlay.  Thus any package originally loaded as r/o can be upgraded to r/w

One can utilize the flash device to load all upgrades or only those desired for the activity to be pursued.  Then they can be removed via pacman if desired.  This is desireable when running in copy-to-ram in order to maintain ram use to useable limits...memory management by the user.

This use of USB flash makes the Larch very versatile especially if operating in ram although I understand that Larch does very well when booted from flash (systems with USB-HDD boot) and operated from flash.

Running in flash will end up in a crash when the flash is degenerated enough, it has a lifetime.  I have expectastions that hafnium chips may extend the lifetime by a factor of ten for flash devices.

I have my system with 3GB ram that can run 24/7 in ram...it has one drawback, my mobo doesn't have USB-HDD boot so I have to keep the CDROM available in the machine.  Everything else is USB capable.

I digressed from the question you posed in order to outline the full picture provided by Larch such that you can determine whether it meets your need.

Best of arch to you!


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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#6 2007-04-10 05:35:33

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

Re: Making System into .ISO

The most flexible approach might be to keep a record of all the configuration tweaks you make, preferably in the form of a script which will run through them automatically. Then, when you do a new installation you could just run the script on top of it.

Alternatively, as lilsirecho says, the ability to install a preconfigured Arch system was one of the design aims of larch. Through it's profile mechanism you can design your own system together with tweaks. This would also (more or less) require that you keep a record of your tweaks so that you can put them in the profile.

I have also written a couple of scripts for making a 'recovery disk' for a system. It is based on a simple larch profile and saving an existing system to squashfs files. It can do a complete restoration of a system including, if desired, partitioning. It is not (yet) fully automatic, though not far off, but it will at present probably only be useful to someone who is happy with (basic) bash scripting, because the partitions etc. can only be changed by tweaking the script. Anyway, if anyone is interested I can send them the scripts.

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#7 2007-04-10 07:41:08

lucke
Member
From: Poland
Registered: 2004-11-30
Posts: 4,018

Re: Making System into .ISO

Just tar your root partition or if you insist on .iso, use dd.

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