[SoaS] Using SoaS Blueberry to emulate OLPC F11 builds

Sebastian Dziallas sebastian at when.com
Tue Feb 9 16:53:39 EST 2010

Martin Langhoff wrote:
> (I am not sub'd to the soas list -- can a kind admin whitelist me?)

Your e-mail seems to have made it through to the archives, so you should 
be good. :)

> Hi OLPC, SoaS folks,
> we have a deployment that wants to use SoaS for early teacher training
> before they have (enough) XOs in their hands.

Cool, glad to hear this!

> Besides the obvious indications that they pre-test the hw they'll run
> it on, and the "shut down SoaS carefully" recommendation, I drafted a
> plan for them to make Blueberry more like OLPC's F11:

Mhm, I'm not entirely sure I understand why this would be needed.

>       - Take a XO (1 or 1.5) running the OLPC F11 image, get the
> package list with `rpm -qa | sort>  todos-los-paquetes.lista`
>       - Get a box of USB sticks -- all same make, model&  size.
>       - On one of the USB sticks, create a SoaS with a generous overlay.
>       - Start up SoaS on a machine with internet connection
>       - Get the package list on SoaS with the same command
>       - Compare the 2 lists, and on the SoaS side install anything that
> is missing (using yum)  Skip the kernel package.

The major issue you'll run into here is that the XO images contain a 
number of non-Fedora repositories. So attempting to install the packages 
these repos provide will just fail on SoaS, unless you add them manually.

Also, some of the packages might affect how SoaS works on "normal" 
machines (thinking of olpc-utils here).

>       - Restart the machine with SoaS to check that now you have the
> "swtich to gnome" option in the control panel, and the option to
> return to Sugar on the Gnome desktop. (Will this Just Work, or did we
> hardcode /home/olpc or the olpc uid?...)

I think the olpc-switch-desktop package in Fedora should do the trick. 
However, I heard some time ago (might be wrong, though) that it was 
dependent on olpc-dm, which is in the olpc-utils package and contains 
the hardcoded olpc username.

>       - Once the SoaS works as expected, restart it, switch to a VT,
> and as the root user delete /home/liveuser/.sugar and then use the
> command  `halt` to shut down the system.

This is certainly a good step to do. I'm not so sure about SSH keys and 
stuff, which might be another thing you don't necessarily want to copy 
all over.

>       - Duplicate that exact SoaS disk using the dd command on any Linux machine

Yeah... well, I'd advise to try a line like this on a modified and 
rebuilt image: livecd-iso-to-disk --overlay-size-mb xxx /dev/sr0 /dev/sdc1

> Will this work? Is it easy to tell liveusb creator to add a few rpms...?

It might work. But it could very well break. I'm still curious about the 
reasoning behind adding all these olpc-* packages. Instead, you might 
want to consider just adding the @gnome-desktop group and the 
olpc-switch-desktop package to the SoaS kickstart file and spin a 
rebuild (after some minor modifications), which you could reasonably 
well put on the keys, too.

I guess it's really about time to think about how to make the 
customization process easier.


> cheers,
> m

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