Boot time shell script on USB

Jerry Vonau jvonau at
Thu Mar 28 00:11:53 EDT 2013

On Wed, 2013-03-27 at 17:51 +1000, T Gillett wrote:
> Hi All
> I am seeking some advice as a novice in the XO space.
> I would like to run a shell script (to do some configuration changes
> and install some additional packages) when an XO is started with a USB
> memory stick installed with the script on board.
> The idea is that users in the field can be given a USB stick
> containing the latest release which they can instal in the normal
> manner, then at a subsequent boot up, the script on the USB will run
> and configure the XO to just the way we want it.
> The idea is that this will provide a simple way to do upgrades and
> reconfiguration in the field.
> At present we have to ask users to start up a terminal session and run
> the script from the command line.
> This works just fine to set up the XO, but we would like to remove the
> need for the terminal session for obvious reasons.
> My question is whether there is a simple way to do this already built
> in to the system.
> I am aware of the recent discussion around using the Forth file at
> start up, but I don't think that will work for what I want as the
> operating system needs to be up to do the package installs etc that we
> want.
> Any suggestions appreciated.

Well I brought this up awhile ago[1], I hacked up dracut-modules-olpc,
where the customization key's initrd code runs it's magic, to add some
of that that functionality. There was some resistance so I've gone it
alone. I've refined the code since to add the ability to run scripts
also[2]. Let me know if your interested, should work on i386 up to
12.1.0 haven't tested on 13.1(need to compile). On a side note if
anybody knows why I can't see what going on after the initrd loads on
ARM I'd be thankful for any pointers. 



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