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

John Watlington wad at laptop.org
Mon May 7 17:46:46 EDT 2007

On Apr 23, 2007, at 3:23 PM, Holger Levsen wrote:

> Hi,
> this is the first in a short series of mails about the servers and  
> their
> software.
> 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.

We will target Fedora 7 for the school server from the start (well,  
aside from
the machines we need to ship in the next few days.)

> 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)  
> (To have a fast machine running fedora7 for creating livecds - my  
> VMs are too
> slow for that ;) >2hours vs <1h.

Please go ahead.

> 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
> have.)

Can you be more specific ?   I can't find a debian package called apt- 
If all we need is a specific perl module from CPAN, that is easy to  
pull in.


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