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#1 Re: News & Announcements » How you can help Devuan » 2017-09-14 06:15:16

To bridge the gap between package maintainers and users, maybe we could organize some kind of interest groups with maintainer(s) and more deeply interested users?  I think that would also be a way to more easily recruit new package managers. 
A concrete example: R has a rapidly growing plethora of packages. They may be downloaded and installed from within R, but that often implies extensive compilation.  So packages in wide use should be offered as native, like they to a wide extent are in Debian/Devuan.  So far, I don't have the time or the competence to take responsibility for any package, but I'd be happy to assist, and over time "upgrade" myself to maintainer level.

#2 Re: DIY » Devuan Frugal » 2017-09-13 17:34:16

After preparing a persistence file the standard Debian way, and adding a typical Debian-type persistence boot stanza

title Devuan 1.0.0  sda1 persistence sda8
      kernel (hd0,5)/boot/dev100/vmlinuz bootfrom=/dev/sda1 live-media-path=dev10/live boot=live persistence persistence-path=dev10_0p  username=devuan keyboard-layouts=no  nomce  tz=localtime
      initrd (hd0,5)/boot/dev100/initrd.img

I booted the system from grub boot menu in kvm. Worked perfectly at the first try, so now I have Devuan Jessie with persistence installed. Right now, I can't boot Devuan natively without sacrificing wifi connection on this computer, but I may copy the system to an older machine, It's just three directories with a few files: live-directory with squashfs image, perssitence directory and boot-files directory.

And now I can add an ASCII image in exactly the same way. Backing up the persistence file, it is always siimple to revert if testing under kvm shows that something has gone wrong.  And when a number of components have been successfully integrated, i repack ("remaster") the system to a new squashfs file, set up a new persisitent image and continue.

Not everything belongs naturally in a compressed image, however. Files already compressed, like Java jar files, don't shrink much on compression, if at all. They are better stored on their own partition, or on their own loop-mounted image, if we want to handle as few files as possible.

I find that it is still efficient to conform to the 4GB filesize of FAT32 for such files -  larger files /file collections belong on separate storage partitions, I routinely use one, mounted on /store.

#3 Re: DIY » Devuan Frugal » 2017-09-13 05:52:34

Can report that the first step of devuan for multi-boot went very smoothly.
I ceated a directory dev10 on /dev/sda1 (among other directories there are deb830, deb910, knx671_0 - you get it) and copied in the contents of the Devuan live directory.
Next, I created a directory dev100 on /dev/sda6, where legacy grub is installed, with all the boot-related files

-r--r--r-- 1 root root     2048 May 21 17:50
-r--r--r-- 1 root root   164096 May 21 17:45 hdt.c32
-r--r--r-- 1 root root 32720842 May 21 17:45 initrd.img
-r--r--r-- 1 root root    40960 May 21 17:45 isolinux.bin
-r--r--r-- 1 root root     1184 May 21 17:45 isolinux.cfg
-r--r--r-- 1 root root   116624 May 21 17:45 ldlinux.c32
-r--r--r-- 1 root root   182552 May 21 17:45 libcom32.c32
-r--r--r-- 1 root root    23480 May 21 17:45 libutil.c32
-r--r--r-- 1 root root    13459 Mar 31 16:45 splash.png
-r--r--r-- 1 root root    26188 May 21 17:45 vesamenu.c32
-r--r--r-- 1 root root  3128768 May 21 17:45 vmlinuz

The best practice for the kernel and initrd is, I think, to make vmlinuz and initrd.img symlinks to version-qualified file names.  This way, only those links have to be updated at system upgrades. The only reason I can't start checking out Devuan 1 as main working OS right away, is the 3.16 kernel.

Then I created a (first) boot stanza for Devuan in  boot/grub/menu.lst;

title Devuan 1.0.0  sda1 no persistence
kernel (hd0,5)/boot/dev100/vmlinuz bootfrom=/dev/sda1 live-media-path=dev10/live boot=live username=devuan keyboard-layouts=no  nomce  tz=localtime
initrd (hd0,5)/boot/dev100/initrd.img

(Running under Debian 9.1.0 as host, but the procedure would have been the same with other host OS). I just guessed I could use the same parameters as Debian live.
Testing with kvm:

sudo kvm /dev/sda -m 2046 &

And choosing Devuan from the boot menu - it worked at the first try, network and all, but the keyboard layout wasn't right.

Nest step, I will try to get persistence up and running. This is very promising, I think :-)

#4 Re: DIY » Devuan Frugal » 2017-09-12 10:38:25

I very much appreciate your posts on this!
I have used a setup from a similar, but far from identical, approach with Knoppix and Debian Live as my basic computer configuration for about 10 years, and I have no intention to change that. One important feature, is that it provides a very clean way to do multi-booting.

It involves compressed images and a persistent (loop-mounted) store - which may well reside on a Windows partition without initrd (minirt) tweaks-  basically two files plus kernel and initrd, in addition to volumes that are mounted as needed.  Changes to the compressed store is routinely handled by overlays in Knoppix, but I prefer to recreate ("remaster") the compressed file. It is not very hard or resource-demanding. The whole process took ca 10 min for a new 3.7G squashfs image for Debian 9.1.0 the other day, including things like darktable and dia, mysql and mariadb, octave, R and wxmaxima - and VMware Workstation 12.5.  I use the old legacy-grub for booting.

I would like to do this with Devuan too, and from your posts, it seems to be possible even without tweaking the initrd. (Such tweaking was occasionally done with Knoppix, for instance in order to use squashfs instead of cloop, or creating a pure 64 bit version as a hybrid of Knoppix and Debian.)

I'll try it out w/Devuan 1 and report the results.  I may also try with different kernels, as the stock 3.16 in practice does not work with latest VMware Workstation, and is very hard to get working with several newer pieces of hardware, like the Intel 3165 wireless.

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