[Server-devel] status quo & future directions: system installation (from live-cd) and upgrades (with fai)

Holger Levsen holger at layer-acht.org
Mon Apr 23 15:23:43 EDT 2007


this is the first in a short series of mails about the servers and their 

I tried to create fedora6 live-cds with livecd-creator, but this has been 
mostly without good success. I could build a very basic cd, but couldnt make 
the desktop task to build. (But I got to know fedora, yum, yum repositories a 
bit in this process.)

livecd-creator needs python2.5, which fedora6 doesnt have. xs-dev and xs-test 
run fedora6. My VMs here are quite slow. 

If we want fedora6-livecds as installation-cds, I suggest to use pilgrim, 
which is used for the XO images too. (We decided that I investigate 
livecd-creator, as its the successor of pilgrim and used for the official 
fedora7 livecds as well.)

I would rather suggest to drop the idea of fedora6 on the (mass installed) 
servers though: fedora7 is scheduled to be released in a month 
(http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Releases/7) and should be stable enough to 
development the application installation and setup upon.

If we go this road, I propose that I'll build a fedora7 installation cd and 
that we use it (and the below described updates with fai) to reinstall 
xs-test with fedora7 (incl. the server applications, see next mail) ASAP.
(To have a fast machine running fedora7 for creating livecds - my VMs are too 
slow for that ;) >2hours vs <1h.

John (wad), what do you think?

(Installing python2.5 on fc6 would be another option, but I prefer clean 
approaches :)

For the rest, installing the applications and configuring them, I have good 
results: FAI softupdates work nativly on fedora systems now, so we can 
install the base systems (gnome desktops) with the livecd installation 
method, which in the end uses a hook to install the fai rpm, which then 
executes a fai softupdate (which accesses a fai configdir git repositoy), 
which results in the system fully setup. 

Then we can update/upgrade those servers regulary with fai & cron. (With the 
logs sent to a central server. And proper "in-house" testing of those updates 
in a test infrastructure...)

I have this working and the fai code is in my people branch in fai's svn. 

fai-branch svn:  svn://svn.debian.org/svn/fai/people/h01ger/softupdate-git-rpm
FAI_CONFIG_SRC: git://dev.laptop.org/projects/fai-config

(The second holds the fai configuration hierarchy for the installation and 
configuration with fai.)

Minor detail: There is one proper fix needed in my fai branch, which I so far 
only workarounded locally. (install_packages needs apt-perl libraries, which 
are not available as rpms. The workaround is, either to install rpms made 
from debs with alien, or to comment out those lines of code. I prefer a 
proper fix which needs a bit more perl skills in module handling than I 

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