[SoaS] [Sugar-devel] SOAS 2 problems

Bernie Innocenti bernie at codewiz.org
Wed Jan 27 07:16:19 EST 2010

On Tue, 2010-01-26 at 21:21 -0700, Douglas McClendon wrote:
> > No more, no less... The very same stuff you have on your hard drive.
> > Perhaps I'm not good at making this point very clear, because people
> > keep asking me to do QA/testing and even write new code :-)
> Documentation is code too.

I agree with you, this is just a matter of user documentation.

> Step 1) Write your installation/deployment documentation
> Step 2) if Step 1 involves complicated manual steps instead of a simple 
> 'pushbutton' design, then an installer application needs to be written

Indeed, I started by documenting my clumsy manual procedure in the post
"Direct Soas".

Then, I've been seeking consensus before also updating the documentation
in the wiki to cull the part where it tells users to use
livecd-iso-to-disk and propose something else.

> Depending on how your installer works, you may need installer logic 
> inside the distro.  I.e. maybe an initscript that detects a fresh 
> installation somehow (a bit from the installer application, or an 
> assumption), and then does on online resizefs of the rootfs.

Sounds interesting: the ext[234] resize can even proceed in the
background, while the system keeps booting normally.

This could be done by a normal initscript, without even messing with
initrd. On flash media, there wouldn't be any head trashing while the
filesystem primes the empty space.

> Then, sit back and offer that as a well documented alternate 
> installation method for SoaS, much as zyx-liveinstaller already is.
> You do see how zyx-liveinstaller provides a deployment solution, that 
> utilizes the traditional livecd (or traditional liveusb) as a golden 
> unmodifiable installation media, then installs in a way that is 100% in 
> line with your desired end-goal.  Right?  you do see that don't you?. 
> I.e. after running zyx-liveinstaller, the user has a traditional 
> non-squash, non-dmsnapshot rootfs installed on their stick?  I mean, 
> you're clearly intelligent, and I can't honestly believe that you dont 
> get that zyx-liveinstaller *already* does, _exactly_ what you are 
> talking about.

Now I do see it. Admittedly, when I started this thread, I had no idea
that zyx-liveinstaller even existed :-)

Yes, this could indeed be the simplest solution: tell users to create a
read-only installation media by burning the ISO. Since Fedora 12, the
live ISO image also contains a bootable MBR, so users can just dd it to
a master USB stick:


Users would then boot this media and run zyx-liveinstaller to create one
or more production SoaS sticks.

Peter's proposal to use liveinst may be equally valid. Both tools are in
Fedora and both produce more or less the same end result. The UI,
however, varies considerably. I have no strong opinions about which one
works best for us.

> And if your installation/deployment method is as great and awesome as 
> you say it is, then it becomes the popular road going forward.
> So go, write the code, even if the code is really documentation for an 
> alternate installation method.
> But don't pretend that you are revealing some effortless truth that we 
> are all blind to.

I hope I didn't sound excessively pretentious in trying to explain
myself clearly. Actually, I think I spent most words describing the
current livecd perversion. My idea is indeed as trivial as it sounds,
which is why I'm so confident that it will work better :-)

   // Bernie Innocenti - http://codewiz.org/
 \X/  Sugar Labs       - http://sugarlabs.org/

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