Building Linux from scratch, well.....sort of.
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Thread: Building Linux from scratch, well.....sort of.

  1. #1
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    Building Linux from scratch, well.....sort of.

    Just a quick question/opinion.

    I'm looking to build my own linux distro...well sort of. Here is what I want to do. I currently have Slackware 9.1 installed on my laptop, once I have it trimmed down to just the packages I want and my software installed, I'd like to make an image sort of. Basically take that OS and burn it onto a CD(s) so I could take it to another machine or if I flatline my laptop i could just install these CDs and my system with just the right packages that I want, none of that other crap that gets installed.

    I want to do the same with my snort sensors, so basically i can take a box, put these cds in and viola....a snort sensor.

    my question is this. Would it be better to use something like LFS or would it just be easier to use an imaging application, like norton ghost (not sure if that supports ext2fs, but you get my drift.)

    I'm complete n00b when it comes to something like this....i figured i'd ask the pros
    t.e.k.n.o.

  2. #2
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    My suggestion would be to use an imaging application a la Norton Ghost. Ghost doesn't care about the filesystem you're backing up. It just makes a bitwise copy and compresses it.

    I use ghost personally and wipe out my system every month or so when I've got nothing better to do. I started this about 2 months ago and voila...

    I shall walk through the shadow of the valley of the Internet,
    But I shall fear no evil, for Ghost is with me.
    Government is like fire - a handy servant, but a dangerous master - George Washington
    Government is not reason, it is not eloquence - it is force. - George Washington.

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  3. #3
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    Well you should be able to get all the packages installed into a build root directory on your host, then "tar" up the entire filesystem, and have an installer untar it on to the target root directory.

    That would certainly work.

    Building a distro is very time consuming. I would suggest you build each package into its own root directory on your host system, then have a script which combines them into a target root staging area, then tar & gzip. That's the easiest way certainly.

    Slarty

  4. #4
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    Originally posted here by Striek
    My suggestion would be to use an imaging application a la Norton Ghost. Ghost doesn't care about the filesystem you're backing up. It just makes a bitwise copy and compresses it.

    I use ghost personally and wipe out my system every month or so when I've got nothing better to do. I started this about 2 months ago and voila...

    I shall walk through the shadow of the valley of the Internet,
    But I shall fear no evil, for Ghost is with me.
    i've actually been thinking about doing something like that....

    I want to take all my machines and imaging them, so every other month or so i can flatline and reinstall everything, but it takes too damn long to install the OS then all my apps and whatnot. I wish I could just put it all on CD and just pop it in the box and boot it....I just need to get around to doing that

    In regards to the Linux thing tho....I'm a little confused about when slarty says
    Well you should be able to get all the packages installed into a build root directory on your host.....
    do you mean install the OS as i want the image to be, then just tar it up? or do I install the OS and then build a directory that will be my 'build root directory'?

    sorry to sound stupid here

    thanks in advance for the help.
    t.e.k.n.o.

  5. #5
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    I think what you're wanting to do is to install Slackware with a minumum of packages that you use and then image that installation. When most people speak of making a new distribution, they mean installing just the kernel and necessary support files and then adding packages to the source directories to be compiled by the installer at install time. Most distros come with precompiled packages on the ISO files.

    If you simply want to clone a system over several computers or make a backup, then the former is definitely the way to go. This is what I do, so I'm not afraid to fubar my computer when I try new stuff out. I can just reghost. When my roommate's comp fell victim to a power surge, I popped in the ghost CD's and voila! 30 minutes later a whole system was on it.

    Are you trying to build a whole new system from the kernel up, or just clone a system across multiple boxes?
    Government is like fire - a handy servant, but a dangerous master - George Washington
    Government is not reason, it is not eloquence - it is force. - George Washington.

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  6. #6
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    yeah I think imaging the drive seems the most logical to me.

    What I'm trying to accomplish is a little bit of both. I want a custom install of slack for example. Install just what I need, update what needs updating and then image it. Sounds like a perfect job for ghost.

    In terms of what I want to do with it and snort is basically, build a snort sensor and lock it down. Image that drive, so I can take a machine, add the necessary pieces, pop in the cd and viola...a snort sensor ready to go.

    I think if I was to build one from kernel up...i'd be reinventing the wheel, when all I need is a duplicate image of an already installed OS with what packages i want. I'm just trying to bypass the installation process, and install just want I need.

    definately ghost looks like the best option, atm.

    thanks again guys!
    t.e.k.n.o.

  7. #7
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    No problem, glad I could help.
    Government is like fire - a handy servant, but a dangerous master - George Washington
    Government is not reason, it is not eloquence - it is force. - George Washington.

    Join the UnError community!

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