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#1 2020-11-15 01:35:11

alysher
Member
Registered: 2017-07-31
Posts: 25

[SOLVED]UPDATABLE archiso medium.

*if this is posted in an incorrect place please move
**this is a post asking for help with a project that im unsure how to communicate correctly, so please forgive any imprecise or obscure language

Let me first state that ive checked the archiso wiki page so i know what and how it works, however this is something slightly different:

What i want to do is take my usb install medium and install arch on it so that it acts like an archiso install medium every time i boot it, with the ability to update it with out having to either rebuild or download a new image to be written to my medium.

I have some very personal reasons as to why i want to do this, and I'd like to explore options, however if its not possible then I will let it go.

list of things ive tried so far:

pacman -Suy on a running Archiso system(ya, i know, still has to be said that i tried it, though)

expanding the sqashfs filesystem onto a freshly formated medium, arch-chroot into said system, rebuilt pacman keyring db and package db so that a pacman works correctly -- this worked for one boot, then it started acting like a normal system.

from what i have been able to understand about the archiso process, its not actually possible to update its system due to the nature of squashfs(if im wrong about this please correct me)

Last edited by alysher (2020-11-17 02:51:32)


I started learning linux under Debian, and this is what I hope for every time I interact with the awesome Arch community.

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#2 2020-11-15 01:46:33

mpan
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Registered: 2012-08-01
Posts: 600
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Re: [SOLVED]UPDATABLE archiso medium.

What you are asking for is simply installing Arch on USB, which is the same as normal installation.


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#3 2020-11-15 02:33:03

djgera
Developer
From: Buenos Aires - Argentina
Registered: 2008-12-24
Posts: 720
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Re: [SOLVED]UPDATABLE archiso medium.

use persistent options from archiso

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#4 2020-11-15 02:58:30

alysher
Member
Registered: 2017-07-31
Posts: 25

Re: [SOLVED]UPDATABLE archiso medium.

mpan wrote:

What you are asking for is simply installing Arch on USB, which is the same as normal installation.

not exactly.....i could do so, however im having to recreate the wheel as a noob so to speak. not only would i have to recreate how it was installed, i would have to retrieve current config files and figure out how to get it to "act" like it was being expanded from a squashfs.

djjera wrote:

use persistent options from archiso

this still doesnt solve the issue of the squashfs file being updated(which would be nice if it did) persistance only allows temporary updates. im looking for a permanent option.


I started learning linux under Debian, and this is what I hope for every time I interact with the awesome Arch community.

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#5 2020-11-15 04:19:42

Trilby
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Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 24,627
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Re: [SOLVED]UPDATABLE archiso medium.

alysher wrote:

... figure out how to get it to "act" like it was being expanded from a squashfs.

What do you mean?  How does it "act" when expanding from squashfs?  Why would you want it to act like that?


"UNIX is simple and coherent..." - Dennis Ritchie, "GNU's Not UNIX" -  Richard Stallman

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#6 2020-11-15 04:31:21

alysher
Member
Registered: 2017-07-31
Posts: 25

Re: [SOLVED]UPDATABLE archiso medium.

Trilby wrote:
alysher wrote:

... figure out how to get it to "act" like it was being expanded from a squashfs.

What do you mean?  How does it "act" when expanding from squashfs?  Why would you want it to act like that?

when archiso mounts its rootfs[the squashfs image] several directories start empty and are populated every time you boot the system. im very unaware of what files/folders these are and am also unsure of how to remove them before the system shuts down, or never actually have them written to disc at all...

as for why, when it comes to a removable bootable medium, id much rather repopulate per boot since i never know if im going to be on the same machine


I started learning linux under Debian, and this is what I hope for every time I interact with the awesome Arch community.

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#7 2020-11-15 04:42:12

Trilby
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Posts: 24,627
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Re: [SOLVED]UPDATABLE archiso medium.

None of that makes any sense.  There is no need to repopulate and remove directories if you just install to the usb as advised.  Repopulating from a squashfs also has absolutely nothing to do with being on the same or different hardware.

As for saying you want to prevent something from being written to disk, that makes even less sense as this is completely at odds with your stated primary goal of having an updateable system.  You want the updates written to disk, right?


"UNIX is simple and coherent..." - Dennis Ritchie, "GNU's Not UNIX" -  Richard Stallman

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#8 2020-11-15 06:05:37

alysher
Member
Registered: 2017-07-31
Posts: 25

Re: [SOLVED]UPDATABLE archiso medium.

Trilby wrote:

None of that makes any sense.  There is no need to repopulate and remove directories if you just install to the usb as advised.  Repopulating from a squashfs also has absolutely nothing to do with being on the same or different hardware.

As for saying you want to prevent something from being written to disk, that makes even less sense as this is completely at odds with your stated primary goal of having an updateable system.  You want the updates written to disk, right?

im looking to maintain portability on top of that. if i just install to a usb medium, add the required packages and configure the system, then the medium is ment for THAT system. i may want to update/add/remove packages, but i also want to be able to switch to a different pc and NOT have issues with hardware. which is what has been happening. my current medium has internet issues since i keep switching machines on it.

Last edited by alysher (2020-11-15 06:06:39)


I started learning linux under Debian, and this is what I hope for every time I interact with the awesome Arch community.

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#9 2020-11-15 10:12:28

laurent85
Member
Registered: 2018-01-28
Posts: 9

Re: [SOLVED]UPDATABLE archiso medium.

See archuseriso.
Provides profiles for building iso images and tools for creating bootable  usb drives with persistence.
https://github.com/laurent85v/archuseriso
https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/archuseriso

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#10 2020-11-15 10:51:38

GaKu999
Member
From: US/Eastern
Registered: 2020-06-21
Posts: 510

Re: [SOLVED]UPDATABLE archiso medium.

Any reason in particular this wiki page was ignored?
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/In … ble_medium

I'm currently doing just that.
It is so simple that one should not make oneself life harder using isos or squashfs, just a live USB ready like any other storage with Arch in it.

That's the got thing about Arch&Linux, it doesn't care about where is the data stored, as long it's readable.

...

Only thing to do is to install microcodes for both amd & intel, and maybe extra video drivers to be ready for any sort of hardware.
Maybe even more for other kinds of pains.

Another is to be ready for both BIOS&UEFI with hybrid boot: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Mu … T/MBR_boot
So far GRUB2 does the job very well.

And very important, fallback EFI path, /EFI/BOOT/BOOTX64.EFI, otherwise how you plan to boot under UEFI? wink
(grub-install has --removable, available on x86_64-efi target)

Everything is just matter of practice of course, there are certain specifics about having Arch living inside an USB key.
And a lot of reading. wink


My reposSome snippets

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#11 2020-11-15 14:10:26

Trilby
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Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 24,627
Website

Re: [SOLVED]UPDATABLE archiso medium.

alysher wrote:

if i just install to a usb medium, add the required packages and configure the system, then the medium is ment for THAT system.

No, that's simply not true.

There is no magic in the archiso that makes it more portable than a persistent install.  None.  The archiso is just a list of packages (and some configs) packed into an iso.  If you install the same set of packages and the same configs and DO NOT pack it into an iso, it will be updatable and be just as portable as the iso.  Nothing about the compression into the iso makes it magically more portable.

What do you think you would do / install that would make the usb-installed system work only on the hardware it was installed on?

But unless you change your approach I'm done here.  You are asking for help and you keep refusing to accept any suggestion - you seem to have concluded that what you want is impossible yet you want help acheiving it.  It's not impossible - it's quite easy.  Many of us have done it many times.  But you don't want to accept input.  If you are going to refuse to accept input, then don't ask for it.

Last edited by Trilby (2020-11-15 14:15:27)


"UNIX is simple and coherent..." - Dennis Ritchie, "GNU's Not UNIX" -  Richard Stallman

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#12 2020-11-16 07:14:25

alysher
Member
Registered: 2017-07-31
Posts: 25

Re: [SOLVED]UPDATABLE archiso medium.

Trilby wrote:
alysher wrote:

if i just install to a usb medium, add the required packages and configure the system, then the medium is ment for THAT system.

No, that's simply not true.

There is no magic in the archiso that makes it more portable than a persistent install.  None.  The archiso is just a list of packages (and some configs) packed into an iso.  If you install the same set of packages and the same configs and DO NOT pack it into an iso, it will be updatable and be just as portable as the iso.  Nothing about the compression into the iso makes it magically more portable.

What do you think you would do / install that would make the usb-installed system work only on the hardware it was installed on?

But unless you change your approach I'm done here.  You are asking for help and you keep refusing to accept any suggestion - you seem to have concluded that what you want is impossible yet you want help acheiving it.  It's not impossible - it's quite easy.  Many of us have done it many times.  But you don't want to accept input.  If you are going to refuse to accept input, then don't ask for it.

my apologies, i very much wasnt thinking as i wrote that. the things i have tried in the past with the squashfs from archiso has done this, not sure how or why but my current live medium wont swap machines. what im really looking for is a live medium that *looks and acts* like archiso with out having to write any image file to my live medium. I bolded that question because i wasnt sure what you are asking and would like some clarification. as for changing my approach, wish granted. next time please be mindfull that telling me off in the statement after made me feel like you think you are better then me. if you think this, then why?

GaKu999 wrote:

Any reason in particular this wiki page was ignored?
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/In … ble_medium

I'm currently doing just that.
It is so simple that one should not make oneself life harder using isos or squashfs, just a live USB ready like any other storage with Arch in it.

That's the got thing about Arch&Linux, it doesn't care about where is the data stored, as long it's readable.

this is what i want, and i have tried it(my apologies, it escaped my mind) and at the time i had a package mismatch of sorts. im going to be trying again with this, but what about the "installation_script" on archiso? how does one get that, and what else is different besides that?

@laurent85
i did look at and into archuseriso. no offence intended, but the way it looks to work(correct me if im wrong) is it still has to write the ENTIRE squashfs for each update.


I started learning linux under Debian, and this is what I hope for every time I interact with the awesome Arch community.

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#13 2020-11-16 09:23:37

GaKu999
Member
From: US/Eastern
Registered: 2020-06-21
Posts: 510

Re: [SOLVED]UPDATABLE archiso medium.

alysher wrote:

this is what i want, and i have tried it(my apologies, it escaped my mind) and at the time i had a package mismatch of sorts. im going to be trying again with this, but what about the "installation_script" on archiso? how does one get that, and what else is different besides that?.

What? I don't get what you are talking about. (It has been that long? o_O)

Just install into an USB like any other HDD/SSD, but use fallback paths for UEFI, maybe hybrid boot for BIOS.
Anything you do on your system, do it on the USB.

In fact, you can follow the same installation guide you used for your system, just change certain steps, for example, don't bother with swap.

Later you can focus on making things volatile (like the journal), so the USB doesn't wear (idk if it's that wearing, but I did, just in case.)


My reposSome snippets

Heisenberg might have been here.

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#14 2020-11-16 10:20:43

alysher
Member
Registered: 2017-07-31
Posts: 25

Re: [SOLVED]UPDATABLE archiso medium.

GaKu999 wrote:

What? I don't get what you are talking about. (It has been that long? o_O)

its specificaly the configuration files from archiso that i want to duplicate, and the current config files include a script that launches lynx to https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Installation_guide. thats my "installation_script"


just have to figure out how to copy the configs onto the system from the repo,....without the rest of the repo on top of.


I started learning linux under Debian, and this is what I hope for every time I interact with the awesome Arch community.

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#15 2020-11-16 10:39:25

GaKu999
Member
From: US/Eastern
Registered: 2020-06-21
Posts: 510

Re: [SOLVED]UPDATABLE archiso medium.

Well, you already know that, and it haves nothing to do with the title of the thread nor the initial intention.
And really, a live USB can have a working WM, I have one, I can just launch sway and open a browser...
Not that you are going to install Arch everywhere with a live USB, otherwise, why have a live USB? Just use archiso!

This is starting to look like an XY problem...

Last edited by GaKu999 (2020-11-16 10:43:00)


My reposSome snippets

Heisenberg might have been here.

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#16 2020-11-16 10:56:42

alysher
Member
Registered: 2017-07-31
Posts: 25

Re: [SOLVED]UPDATABLE archiso medium.

Ya, I've got a solution for the original problem. Thanks for all your help everyone!


I started learning linux under Debian, and this is what I hope for every time I interact with the awesome Arch community.

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#17 2020-11-16 11:51:58

laurent85
Member
Registered: 2018-01-28
Posts: 9

Re: [SOLVED]UPDATABLE archiso medium.

alysher wrote:

i did look at and into archuseriso. no offence intended, but the way it looks to work(correct me if im wrong) is it still has to write the ENTIRE squashfs for each update.

No, updates are stored to the persistent partition which is mounted as an overlay. See Overlay filesystem https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Overlay_filesystem

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#18 2020-11-16 13:40:53

Trilby
Inspector Parrot
Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 24,627
Website

Re: [SOLVED]UPDATABLE archiso medium.

alysher wrote:

... not sure how or why but my current live medium wont swap machines

Neither are we - but that is a good question to ask here.  Post information about what you have done, and we can help.  It is very easy to make a usb install run just fine on various hardware, but there could be things you might install that would prevent this.  The archiso contains packages that will help in run on diverse hardware, and avoids packages that would prevent it from doing so.  But my central point is that this has nothing to do with it being in a squashfs iso - it simply that good packages and config files were chosen.  That's why this has just been one big X-Y question: you want a portable usb install, and you incorrectly assumed that squashfs would acheive this when it really has absolutely nothing to do with it.

The list of packages installed on the iso are publicly listed: install those (and nothing else) on your usb system.  The configs are also publicly available.  Copy any of those you want onto the usb system.  But other than that, it's the same as installing anywhere else: follow the installation guide.

Last edited by Trilby (2020-11-16 13:41:51)


"UNIX is simple and coherent..." - Dennis Ritchie, "GNU's Not UNIX" -  Richard Stallman

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#19 2020-11-17 01:30:23

alysher
Member
Registered: 2017-07-31
Posts: 25

Re: [SOLVED]UPDATABLE archiso medium.

Trilby wrote:
alysher wrote:

... not sure how or why but my current live medium wont swap machines

Neither are we - but that is a good question to ask here.  Post information about what you have done, and we can help.  It is very easy to make a usb install run just fine on various hardware, but there could be things you might install that would prevent this.  The archiso contains packages that will help in run on diverse hardware, and avoids packages that would prevent it from doing so.  But my central point is that this has nothing to do with it being in a squashfs iso - it simply that good packages and config files were chosen.  That's why this has just been one big X-Y question: you want a portable usb install, and you incorrectly assumed that squashfs would achieve this when it really has absolutely nothing to do with it.

The list of packages installed on the iso are publicly listed: install those (and nothing else) on your usb system.  The configs are also publicly available.  Copy any of those you want onto the usb system.  But other than that, it's the same as installing anywhere else: follow the installation guide.

so somehow i wasn't clear on something. until recently i didn't even know that this was even out there. all i knew about was the iso file from the download page.

i was under the mistaken assumption that the config files were either closed source(so much of life is atm) or as a package to be installed with pacman.

however its all good. pulling the repo and striping it of files i don't need is much better then writing and image to a medium every time(probably faster too!) Now im working out how to get the configs on my medium without to many disk writes.

Last edited by alysher (2020-11-17 01:38:03)


I started learning linux under Debian, and this is what I hope for every time I interact with the awesome Arch community.

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