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voncloft
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:48 pm    Post subject: Making my own Live CD Reply with quote

I don't know how to phrase this - and apparently google doesn't know what I'm trying to get at either.

What I want to do:
I want to turn my current Gentoo Box into a Live Cd - and when I boot it up I want to run it like an "Ubuntu" Graphical Installer.

Where I select the drive, give the configurations I want to make.conf, samba, etc.

Hit Install - the Graphical Interface does all the work I want - and when I take it out, Gentoo is on the new PC.

Can anyone lead me in the right direction - I know Gentoo is hardset on rolling out a distro that does this - so I am modding it myself (Which is legal under the GNU license).
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djentoo
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Making my own Live CD Reply with quote

voncloft wrote:
I don't know how to phrase this - and apparently google doesn't know what I'm trying to get at either.

What I want to do:
I want to turn my current Gentoo Box into a Live Cd - and when I boot it up I want to run it like an "Ubuntu" Graphical Installer.

Where I select the drive, give the configurations I want to make.conf, samba, etc.

Hit Install - the Graphical Interface does all the work I want - and when I take it out, Gentoo is on the new PC.

Can anyone lead me in the right direction - I know Gentoo is hardset on rolling out a distro that does this - so I am modding it myself (Which is legal under the GNU license).


It sounds like you want to make a gentoo-based distro of Linux. The way live CDs work is they run a system entirely on RAM. I think you would have to write a program to compile a GUI for this specific purpose, and then you would have to configure the source for a live CD to initialize that program.

It is possible to make an image of your current system and port it to another system, but you would have to recompile the kernel (and likely other software) for the hardware of the system. In this case, a GUI is highly impractical.
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voncloft
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am trying to grasp how Install Gui's are created (deep end in the pool so to speak) and how to create a live cd as well.

I install Gentoo occasionally from time to time on my PC - it just "craps out" and I have to reinstall from scratch - and am tired of googling on my phone "mkfs.ext4 blah blah blah" - I'd rather just have the GUI do all the work of what the steps listed on the gentoo website says to do via install.
Would simply just like to make a backup of my system - make it GUI friendly to check I want x,y,z....click next, next, install - etc.

I was "thinking" I could program the GUI - I do have some experience in writing in c, c++ in the past.

I was thinking of writing the program installer in my linux host, "back up" my host - create it as a live cd, and go from there.

Only problem is I have no idea where I start.
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djentoo
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

voncloft wrote:
I am trying to grasp how Install Gui's are created (deep end in the pool so to speak) and how to create a live cd as well.

I install Gentoo occasionally from time to time on my PC - it just "craps out" and I have to reinstall from scratch - and am tired of googling on my phone "mkfs.ext4 blah blah blah" - I'd rather just have the GUI do all the work of what the steps listed on the gentoo website says to do via install.
Would simply just like to make a backup of my system - make it GUI friendly to check I want x,y,z....click next, next, install - etc.

I was "thinking" I could program the GUI - I do have some experience in writing in c, c++ in the past.

I was thinking of writing the program installer in my linux host, "back up" my host - create it as a live cd, and go from there.

Only problem is I have no idea where I start.


This isn't answering your questions directly (but I too would like to learn more about how GUIs work):

I haven't been working with Gentoo very long (in fact, I am still working to get my first gentoo sys up), but I know a little bit about GNU/Linux... and from what I understand, you should be able to fix the problems you are having without reinstalling from scratch since gentoo is source-based. The filesystems should still be there. It would probably be more worth your while to learn how to read system logs, identify what the problem areas are, fix them, and recompile. I think this is the whole point of gentoo... people can learn how to manage their system without having to reinstall everything (unless the whole thing corrupts due to fatal mistakes made at compile time).

I think a graphical DE would be pointless with live CD for Gentoo... most of the tools used are command-based and it's a lot quicker... there is no way around it if you don't want to learn basic commands for parted and other programs. One way to make the installation more convenient would be to open another virtual shell (alt+f2) and use links to access the gentoo installation manual, and you can switch back and forth (alt+f1 for the original shell) for reference.

EDIT: you could look at the source from a live CD of a distro with a graphical interface to learn more about how to do this. I also have some experience and knowledge about programming C++, but I think it would be too much work to write that program, at least compared to learning to properly maintain a system with compiling source. That's probably why no gentoo user with programming experience has bothered to make a graphical interface...
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voncloft
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks - I think I will just "hack" a distro that does this and just have it do gentoo commands.

Probably sabayon - I will just "modify" there installer to my needs.
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John R. Graham
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

voncloft wrote:
I am trying to grasp how Install Gui's are created (deep end in the pool so to speak) and how to create a live cd as well.

I install Gentoo occasionally from time to time on my PC - it just "craps out" and I have to reinstall from scratch - and am tired of googling on my phone "mkfs.ext4 blah blah blah" - I'd rather just have the GUI do all the work of what the steps listed on the gentoo website says to do via install.
Would simply just like to make a backup of my system - make it GUI friendly to check I want x,y,z....click next, next, install - etc.

I was "thinking" I could program the GUI - I do have some experience in writing in c, c++ in the past.

I was thinking of writing the program installer in my linux host, "back up" my host - create it as a live cd, and go from there.

Only problem is I have no idea where I start.

Hi voncloft,

You have a little bit of a chicken & egg problem here. If you knew enough about installing Gentoo to write an installer, your installations almost certainly wouldn't "just crap out", and then you wouldn't feel the need to write a installer. I have an installation that is now over 12 years old that has never crapped out. Well, actually, maybe I should say it's never been in an egregiously unrepairable state. But, still.

Learning to install and maintain Gentoo it kind of like learning to drive a stick shift: you get lots of grinding noises at first but over time there's less and less of that. ;)

- John
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voncloft
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sometimes hard drives fail, other times commands are executed wrong...long story short sh*t happens - if anything its a learning experience.
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Proinsias
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't used them but have seen a few gentoo install scripts around the fourm.

Thinking it might be easier to just boot up systemrescuecd and run a, modified, install script.

This sort of thing: https://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-1068954.html

For hard drive fails and wrongly executed commands, backups are useful.
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nokilli
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unless you're severely limited on disk space, backups are what you want to be doing.

If you use genkernel it can set you up with LVM which means you can create many volumes on a single disk and any can be tasked to serve as root.

Which means, once you get a system going, a simple script lets you copy it over to a new volume, and then you start booting using that as root. And so on. When you screw things up, you just reboot and use the previous root volume.

And having this kind of safety net lets you try out new things with a lot more confidence and that's when Gentoo really starts to shine.
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

voncloft,

There have been several Gentoo graphical installers in the past. They have all fallen into disrepair because that's not a good way to install Gentoo.
It robs you of the learning experience you need to undergo to maintain your Gentoo.

Gentoo minimal Live CDs as made by the catalyst program. You can emerge that.
Its driven by scripts, so you can automate the process and select packages to be included.
I think the LiveDVD is made the same way ... but with a different list of included packages.

Google will tum up some hits if you google Gentoo graphical installer, or Gentoo reference system.

If you do find an installer and want to try it, do it in the safety of a virtual machine. The last one was reported to eat partition tables from time to time.

What do you really want to achieve?
There are lots of ways to speed up a Gentoo install. (cross) distcc and BINHOST spring to mind, there are others too.
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voncloft
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To all the nay sayers of "You lose learning experience of Gentoo" - not trying to be rude, tone of voice tends to get lost via text....But,

I disagree - yes Gentoo is for the command line in the start - but I have never learned:

1) How Graphical user installs are created from the ground up. I always take them for granted.

2) How to "Roll your own Distro"

And for the naysers that say "You can't do x with a linux distro created from command line" - EVERY linux distro, heck every OS - starts from the command line and up. Sabayon (A Gentoo Derivative) figured it out.

Don't get me wrong Gentoo has been a great OS and I will continue to use it for my own needs - I just want to learn "HOW" a distro is created, make it "universal" and frankly I think it would be a good learning experience to critique my c, c++ skills for the "Installer" window.

I will use a virtual OS to figure this out so I can at least do snapshots of "oops" moments and go from there.

Mini rant: Why is it everytime I ask "How is x done" I am always met with peoples opionions I never asked for. It is the equivalent of going to a car shop and asking "I want a car that gets from point a to point b" and the dealer is saying "No...no you want a Truck much more universal".
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cboldt
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In response to your mini rant, it is typical for an initial post to express WHAT wants to be done, but not WHY. So, to use your metaphor, while a car might be what you think you want - to get from here to there - the better answer changes if you are also trying to get half a ton of bricks or same sheets of plywood from here to there, too.

So, people infer from an initial post WHY the poster wants this new tool, and the inference is wrong. Maybe you are just trying to do this for curiosity, and don't care if the installed version has enough room, so advice about "cramped space" carries no weight.

There are also times when a response flat out misunderstood the initial request. I'm very guilty of this, just flawed reading comprehension from time to time, and answer a question I made up in my own mind. Even though not responsive to the question in your mind, most responses are made in good faith. Just ignore the ones that don't take you where you want to go, or how you want to get there.

As for automating an install, the first step in my mind would be to figure out the steps the installer must take, regardless of the implementing facility. I'd try to figure the sequence of questions and command line invocations - then translate that to a GUI, or interactive script, or ncurses implementation. The Gentoo handbook is a good way to build that initial sequence of steps.

Edit to add some other thoughts: SysRescueCD is a good place to learn about making a CD/DVD bootable, jumping to a startup script and so on. The SysRescueCD website also describes how to modify the compressed set of programs and data. Both of those might be useful education as you build your Gentoo-Live. At the outset, you'll want to consider the range of machines you might use this on; and whether or not you want to be able to automate "taking a snapshot" of your "master system" and making a bootable DVD. Some parameters affect compile flags on the bootable/runnable DVD, and certainly affect the choice of kernel - which must accommodate the range of hardware the DVD will boot from.

Do you want the fresh install to be of compiled packages, or do you intend to have them built on the target machine?


Last edited by cboldt on Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
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voncloft
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for your understanding - I have no need to move heavy objects :P

All kidding aside - I tend to be misread on alot of forums as rude - thats why I put the disclaimer on, I am just trying to learn...I learn by doing, and I know Gentoo is not built for this type of install - I just figure as a mini learn project (which is what linux is) the project being (gui coding that installs) ......then whats the harm as long as it is not the host os.

But Yes I have plenty of space to spare, my plan is to get the steps needed, have the gui programmed to run those scripts (will make it custom like do I want a stock samba file or edit before install, the make.conf spec's....etc) and test it out on a virtual os/test bench PC
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cboldt
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also from the initial post, it's hard to tell what your stumbling block is - what gaps you have in understanding - so advice is apt to be scattered all over the map. It's the nature of conversation - I'm not being critical, just tying to be analytical.

Your project has many possible permutations, which also tends to multiply the range of responses.
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cboldt
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At some point as your project evolves, you'll also end up defining "universal." Is this to work on everything from PPC to AMD to Intel to ARM; EFI and non-EFI; and a host of other hardware/firmware? Probably not, to be sure. Just generally speaking, the more precise your inquiry, the more likely a response is to be on point. You have an exact picture in your mind of what you want to do - the rest of us don't!

You'll also have to decide if the target machine has network access, or if ALL the material has to be on the DVD. "Does all the things for an install" is a highly variable sequence of events.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

voncloft,

Every time you install Gentoo from the stage3, you build an OS from the ground up.
Gentoo is a set of tools you use to to design and build your very own distro.

If that's a surprise, think about what Gentoo is. Its really only portage and the ebuild repository. Everything else is $UPSTREAM.
Using Gentoo, you put together your own distro that is different from all (most) other Gentoos.

Lets take three examples ...
a) the Gentoo minimal CD.
b) System Rescue CD
c) the Gentoo DVD.
I was going to include the stage3 but that's not bootable, so its not really a distro in its own right.
Anyway, the point is that they are all Gentoo.

What your installer needs to do varies with the amount of customisation you want to do.
Will your install pre build binaries, like the binary distros do?
Will you provide some hand holding in the GUI to configure /etc/portage, (there be dragons) then build everything on the install target?

Raking about in my gander box, I still have livecd-i686-installer-2006.0.iso, which is an 11 year old Gentoo Installer.
On its own, it will get you up and running but there wan a packages CD of binary packages to go with it, which I don't have.
I can probably host it if you want to play.
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Mr. T.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

voncloft wrote:
I am trying to grasp how Install Gui's are created (deep end in the pool so to speak) and how to create a live cd as well.

I install Gentoo occasionally from time to time on my PC - it just "craps out" and I have to reinstall from scratch - and am tired of googling on my phone "mkfs.ext4 blah blah blah" - I'd rather just have the GUI do all the work of what the steps listed on the gentoo website says to do via install. [...]


You may be interested by existing installation scripts or existing installers. These installers (shortcut) may be unsuitable for your needs ; you may need to adapt them.

You can browse free software repositories ("GNU/Linux") to get the source code of these "installers". I used distrowatch.com to find GNU/linux distributions with an installer.

voncloft wrote:
[...] when I boot it up I want to run it like an "Ubuntu" Graphical Installer. [...]


For example, I've got the source code of the Ubuntu installer named Ubiquity.

Code:
larry $ pwd
/home/larry/installers/
larry $ emerge -aqv dev-vcs/bzr
larry $ bzr branch lp:ubiquity


N.B: There are a lot of installers for GNU/Linux. You have to "find" the most "suitable".
N.B: Calamares is presented as the universal installer framework (included in Portage).
N.B: I am also interested by installers (look at the topic "bash menu to select disk for formatting?" and more precisely my post).

See also: The Gentoo Reference System project page. Warning: the GRS utilities are experimental and used and to automate the deployment of predefined (or identical) Gentoo systems.

helecho.
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