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grml-live – framework for building a live system

[Gnaaaaa, sorry Planet Debian for sending a german article to you a few hours ago. I just chose the wrong category for the article. I removed the tag already and the article disappeared from Planet Debian right now; so if you don't know what I'm talking about just don't care. ;-) To the german readers: it's just the same article as my previous one, but this time in english. :-)]

grml-live is a framework which lets you build a grml/Debian based Linux Live-CD with one single command. grml-live is based on FAI (Fully Automatic Installation) and uses its class based concept:

Screenshot: grml-live

In this example I built a full grml-ISO. All I did was setting the Debian-Mirror in /etc/grml/grml-live.conf to my local one (to save traffic and time) and invoking the following command:

# grml-live -t /grml/grml-live -c GRMLBASE,GRML_FULL,LATEX_CLEANUP,I386 -s sid

About 50 minutes later I have a grml-ISO inside grml_isos at directory /grml/grml-live/ (-t …). It was built using the classes (-c …) GRMLBASE (all the core, essential stuff), GRML_FULL (software selection like official grml provides), LATEX_CLEANUP (clean up some very big LaTeX directories) and I386 (x86-specific packages like kernel). Debian unstable/sid was used as the suite (-s). And that’s it.

You want a smaller grml-version using Debian/stable? No problem, let’s do it in shared memory (being very fast, and with enough RAM and mountoptions rw,suid,dev no problem at all):

Screenshot grml-live: the beginning

A ‘grml-live -t /dev/shm -c GRMLBASE,I386 -s etch’ and not even 5(!) minutes later I’ve my 135MB small grml:

Screenshot grml-live: done

So using grml-live you can build your own, customized Linux Live-CD without having to deal with remastering in detail. Via creating a new class (or just editing an existing one) its easy to include the software you would like to get.

So, will the official grml-ISOs become obsolet? No, definitely not. The goal of grml-live is to give the grml-team a buildsystem providing exactly what we need. It should give us the possibility to concentrate on the important and interesting tasks, like: testing, bugfixing, implementing new features, working on the kernel, quality assurance, documentation,…

grml-live should work on every Debian based system. If you want to give it a try just grab the Debian package from grml’s repository. The source is available (as usual) via mercurial.

Find more details on the grml-live-webpage. If you have any further questions that aren’t answered by the docs yet, have feature requests, bugreports or patches: please let me know.

One Response to “grml-live – framework for building a live system”

  1. bartman Says:

    Wow… that’s cool. Thanks for blogging about it.