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task #7372: Provide a way to do a real DDL installation

Submitted by:  Jean-Michel Philippe <jmphilippe>
Submitted on:  Sun 03 Apr 2011 08:39:29 PM UTC  
Should Start On: Thu 02 Jun 2011 10:00:00 PM UTCShould be Finished on: Fri 02 Sep 2011 10:00:00 PM UTC
Category: SystemPriority: 5 - Normal
Status: In ProgressPrivacy: Public
Percent Complete: 10%Assigned to: Jean-Michel Philippe <jmphilippe>
Open/Closed: OpenEffort: 10.00

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Mon 11 Apr 2011 09:45:47 PM UTC, comment #6:

Maybe we could also use Ubiquity from Ubuntu:


But its source code is much more complicated.

Jean-Michel Philippe <jmphilippe>
Project AdministratorIn charge of this item.
Sat 09 Apr 2011 12:00:51 PM UTC, comment #5:

Detailed and updated operations are now on our dev's blog:


Jean-Michel Philippe <jmphilippe>
Project AdministratorIn charge of this item.
Fri 08 Apr 2011 11:29:56 AM UTC, comment #4:

I forgot to note that there were error messages in the console at the end of the installation process. The system was complaining about “busy” devices while trying to unmount /TARGET and /TARGET/home. Strangely unmounting them manually worked without any problem. Maybe something in wrong in the unmounting process?

Jean-Michel Philippe <jmphilippe>
Project AdministratorIn charge of this item.
Thu 07 Apr 2011 08:48:11 PM UTC, comment #3:

This works! On a real computer I had a fresh and clean DDL install on HD. It is now booting in 40s instead of 120s from CD. I installed the system with 3 partitions: root, home and swap. The root system needs 1.9 GB so you have to setup at least a 2.5 GB root partition. Of course if you want to add software or don't want a separated home partition (bad idea), make it larger!

Finally please note that there are few details to be corrected:

  • at boot GRUB is complaining about a missing splash image
  • network may not work because the file “/etc/network/interfaces” is appended with another network conf at each boot (which causes inconsistencies).
  • boot is hanging tens of seconds when network is not connected because of the persistent conf in “/etc/network/interfaces” (DHCP)

The first point can be solved by editing “/boot/grub/menu.lst” and adding “boot” between the double slash (//) in the line speaking of splash. Note that the Remastersys splash image is not childish at all. Prefer installing the package “grub-splasimages-doudoulinux” instead! (and replace the file in “/boot/grub/splash.xpm.gz”)

The second one can be solved by removing the for loop of the 3rd block of code in “/etc/rc.local”.

The last one cannot be simply solved. You need to remove the file “/etc/network/interfaces” at each boot and restore “/etc/rc.local” in fact! Maybe by adding a small cleaning service run in early boot (there may already be a cleaning service at boot that can be slightly modified). Or maybe just change “auto” into “allow-hotplug” in “/etc/network/interfaces”.

Jean-Michel Philippe <jmphilippe>
Project AdministratorIn charge of this item.
Thu 07 Apr 2011 07:10:34 PM UTC, comment #2:

There are small mistakes in the code. We need to add a flag to install remastersys otherwise the non signed package is refused:

apt-get install --assume-yes --force-yes remastersys

Reloading DansGuardian is not enough, restart it instead:


Finally there won't be a Gtk GUI as root, you have to use “sudo” in the normal user session:

sudo remastersys-installer gui

Jean-Michel Philippe <jmphilippe>
Project AdministratorIn charge of this item.
Wed 06 Apr 2011 09:23:36 PM UTC, comment #1:

Richard proposed to look at Remastersys:


They have packaged a shell script to install a Live system on disk. The package is providing the command “remastersys-installer” which is said to install the Live system.

To test it, we need to type several code lines as root:



# register remastersys repository
echo 'deb http://www.geekconnection.org/remastersys/repository debian/' >> $SOURCESLIST

# fix bug DansGuardian blocking deb's files
# see: https://gna.org/bugs/index.php?18003
echo '\.deb$' >> $DANSREGEXPEXCEPT

# install remastersys
apt-get update
apt-get install --assume-yes remastersys

# call installer
remastersys-installer gui


The script is first installing missing packages, then asking questions, proposing to repartition the disk, and finally installing the Live system.

Note that tests in VirtualBox did not succeed but I'm not sure that my disk was large enough (2 GB only) and I'm half confident with VirtualBox for this kind of operation. Please report tests on a real machine if you have the opportunity to do this.

Jean-Michel Philippe <jmphilippe>
Project AdministratorIn charge of this item.
Sun 03 Apr 2011 08:39:29 PM UTC, original submission:

Currently the DDL installer just copies onto disk the Live system as is. While this is very practical for us and is bringing interesting features to users (rock-solid read-only system), this also has drawbacks:

  • the system is still compressed and slows down startup on old computers
  • you can not remove software
  • upgrading software creates a duplicate version of each software
  • some boot parameters cannot be changed

Although not all users may be annoyed by these drawbacks, it would be interesting to address these cases. The best option seems to use the Live installer mode “live” which just unpacks the live system onto HD. A quick look at Debian installer packages shows that it cannot be installed easily afterwards. And putting it on the CD is wasting at least 30 MB. Further investigations are then needed.

An alternative solution would be to do the job by ourselves in a script:

1. format the target partition(s) (several GB required)
2. unpack the live system onto HD
3. install syslinux onto HD if no bootloader is present

Of course this requires lots of tests, more than the previous solution a priori, and we would not allow repartitioning.

Jean-Michel Philippe <jmphilippe>
Project AdministratorIn charge of this item.


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    Follow 4 latest changes.

    Date Changed By Updated Field Previous Value => Replaced By
    Thu 07 Apr 2011 08:48:11 PM UTCjmphilippePercent Complete0%=>10%
    Wed 06 Apr 2011 09:23:36 PM UTCjmphilippeStatusNone=>In Progress
      Assigned toNone=>jmphilippe
    Sun 03 Apr 2011 08:39:29 PM UTCjmphilippeCarbon-Copy-=>Added -unavailable-
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