Fedora Desktop on XO

Peter Robinson pbrobinson at gmail.com
Tue Jan 6 21:42:00 EST 2009

>> Does pilgrim (Puritan?) use "kickstart" like files?
> Nope.
>> If not, why do we not create builds using what seems to be fedora's
>> standard build system?
> The short answer is that there has never been consensus among the people
> dealing with OLPC's builds that anaconda was the right tool for the job.

I think also that alot of the automated tools that are now used to
build the various Fedora stuff (mock / koji / livecd-tools /
appliance-tools) wouldn't have been around when OLPC was first looking
for a build system

> The longer answer involves a lot of politics which I'm /really/ not
> interested in stirring up but which are unavoidable if you want to
> really understand how things came to be the way that they are. In order
> to navigate this quandary, I'm going to offer you a series of
> thought-questions which, I hope, will lead you to your own answer to
> your question.

No argument there.

> (If you want, you can ask me tomorrow for my answers to them but you
> should try to construct your own answers first.)
> Hope this helps,
> Michael
> ---------
> a) Requirements.
>   1. What do you think a build system for OLPC and for XOs needs to do?

Simplistically build a working bootable OLPC system, but to do that it
is required to deal with the boot system, filesystems, storage,
security, signing etc of all of the above.

>   2. What explorations have been made in the area of XO-related build
>      systems?

I think the major differences between a standard Fedora system and an
OLPC system WRT a build system is the underlying stuff like the boot
(lack of BIOS, security etc), the filesystems used, and OLPC security
related stuff.

>   3. What lists of requirements (or audiences) do each of these
>      explorations seem to be trying to satisfy?

a lot of them, and a mostly moving target as the project matures and
so do the tools around it.

> b) History & Incumbency of Pilgrim.
>   1. Why did davidz write pilgrim?

At a guess because the likes of livecd-tools and appliance-tools
either didn't exist or were mature enough to meet the needs of OLPC at
the time they were required.

>   2. Why did pilgrim not use anaconda?

Didn't meet the current requirements of OLPC at the time. Probably a
number of other reasons to do with politics and various other related
issues with the size/complexity of it because it handles everything
from a server to a netbook running on a platform of i386 right through
PPC and IA-64 from a small amount of RAM to terabytes and everything
else most of which isn't an issue to OLPC which runs on essentially a
single piece of hardware.

>   3. Why did davidz later write livecd-tools using anaconda?
>   4. What do you have to do in order to get OLPC to use a different
>      build system?

A lot of work and testing for regressions.

> c) People & Politics

Not even going to try to answer these ones but no doubt they change
with time and what is relevant now has probably changed someone since
the beginning.


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