[Marketing] [SoaS] installation fear, was Re: Governance & Trademark in the Wiki

Douglas McClendon dmc.sugar at filteredperception.org
Tue Oct 20 17:37:24 EDT 2009

Carlo Falciola wrote:
> Sean, Martin, Recently I started playing with VirtualBox in order to
> get a "standard" SOAS usb bootable key to boot into an "empty" VM in
> VirtualBox. This is different from a livecd in sense you get
> persisten updates and your stik could always be booted in other
> systems... VirtualBox supports, at least in Linux & Windows the
> feature to define virtual bootable disk that belongs to a USB stick.
> So now I've a generic VM that when started by VB look for an USB
> Bootable Stick attached to a running windows machine and start it 
> Till' now it works for me with Strawberry & the latest Soas2.iso.
> I actually followed  instructions I found on the web (there shoud be
> a message to sugar-devel list about it)
> The solution is definitely not ready for primetime, and should be
> tested a lot, but right now is it possible to: 1. Manually install
> VirtualBox 2. Get the VirtualMachine (containing the "special Virtual
> Disk") 3. Stich the Strawberry in the running host 4. start the VM 5.
> Enjoy your Sugar Stick (with persistent storage in the stick,
> networks, (dunno about audio, but it should work either)!
> I think some of those steps could be simplyfied...

Yeah, I'm looking for pushbutton simple...

> Latest note : I'm not shure that a "Portable" VirtualBox it's  doable
> because VB creates virtual net interface I'm not shure that ccould be
> done on the fly.

Hmm.  See, this is specifically what I've always absolutely _loved_
about qemu (under linux at least).  I.e. you get all the networking a
basic user needs, without having to install any kernel modules, drivers,
or having to have root/admin privileges _in any way_.

And it really makes sense, as the virtualizer is just an app that is a
standard tcpip application.  (there are all kinds of other options for
alternate network functionality that does use special drivers, but the
default which would be plenty for soas users, doesn't need that fancy

I guess my long term hope would be to see what I described- particularly
with this level of non-intrusiveness/simplicity.  Not having used VB
(more than maybe once or twice long ago), I am not surprised that it may
be as you suspect, i.e. using the installer to do all kinds of deep
magic with windows, installing drivers using admin privs etc.

But I hope others can see my vision of a portable installation on
something like the current soas livecd iso (and then in stick form),
which doesn't need an installer, because it is just a normal application
not requiring any administrative privileges or driver install.  (or 
registry settings, etc...)

Maybe one of these days I'll find out if qemu on windows managed to
translate that benefit from the linux side to the windows side.

But the real low hanging fruit was the rest of my post, which for all I
know is already on the relevant todo lists.

I did spend time last night digging into the liveusb-creator code.
PyQt, not pygtk, but basically the same effect.  I was very sad to
discover that the windows bits need to be built on a windows system.
That is very lame, but I suppose tolerable for the moment.  I may see if
I can't add it to my own fedora derivative as an installed/portable
version on-iso/usb, along with the feature of when run as such, not
needing an iso (instead using the on-iso/usb it was run from).


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