[Grml] Mobile GRML
mika at grml.org
Fri Nov 18 23:49:54 CET 2005
* Mark <or2uvma02 at sneakemail.com> [20051118 22:58]:
> GRML is very nice work, my new favorite distro. I'm not a heavy
> sysadmin; but GRML almost matches some needs here. Since you ask for
> feedback and wishes...mine relates to grml2hd and the user scenario.
> The grml-small release is great for USB flash sticks. Thank you for
> providing that.
> Consider another scenario with grml-big. Think of a "mobile Linux
> desktop" on this type of device,
> These drives have lots of room for less money than flash, without
> lifespan problems. They sell around US$120 and get cheaper all the
> time. They allow a mobile user to carry his entire desktop and data
> between home, work, school, friends, hotel. Let other people carry
> laptops around, you can boot them too.
> GRML doesn't load down heavy stuff in advance, which I like. After GRML
> installs, I can add GNOME or KDE per user requests.
> So, I ran grml2hd to a drive and rebooted...but got a kernel panic. No
> SCSI, I guess. Next I followed verbatim FAQ instructions, to test the
> FAQ. Nothing worked.
Kernel panic sounds like access to root-partition is not possible.
Usually this happens on /dev/sd* devices (so USB as well), but I'm
currently working on initrd-support for grml2hd (works already,
needs just some more tests before going public within the next few
days). So this issue should be fixed with upcoming release.
> grml2hd makes the same assumption of all installers: if the OS is
> going to hard disk, it can ditch drivers and keep only the running
> system. For example even yaird boasts of doing "a better job of
> deciding which modules are needed for your system, so it produces
> smaller images." Culling is evil for the mobile scenario.
> Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but...
Yes, that's wrong. ;)
Basically you get all the hardware recognition even on your harddisk
installation (if you don't deactivate it via grml-autoconfig).
Feature! :) Only the original initrd (the one used on the live-ISO)
I plan to support initird via yaird within grml2hd (that's what
works so far in my current develrelease), but I'm observing
http://wiki.debian.org/InitrdReplacementOptions to stay as far as
possible on the debian way of life.
> Ideally a mobile user boots like the CD-ROM (same ramdisk-based
> autodetection?), but without compressed CD images, ISOLINUX, or loopback
> tricks. The mobile user just needs Debian with full hardware
> auto-detection and all hardware modules.
> I would prefer h/w autodetection even on IDE drives inside tower PC
> cases. That way I can swap boards, memory, ethernet, etc. without
> breaking configs.
Well, this works already. :)
> I can drop the IDE drive into a USB enclosure for instant
Ok, that's the initrd-problem. ;-) But what I'd like to prevent is
to invent "Yet Another Initrd Generator". ;-)
To be more verbose:
If yaird once supports booting from USB device, firewire and so on I
don't see any arguments against using yaird within grml2hd. As soon
as access to the root-device is possible, hardware detection is
possible and done via grml-autoconfig. *If* yaird won't support
booting from usb, firewire,... I'll investigate some time into an
initrd mechanism which provides the flexibility of grml's initrd.
(Basically I'd rewrite grml's initrd.)
Conclusio: The mechanism for accessing the USB device (as you would
like to use it) through initrd will be possible with grml in an
upcoming version. It's just a matter of time how development of
initramfs-tools and yaird at Debian is going on. Stay tuned. :)
> A few other other ideas:
> - the status line at bottom of screen shows date/time *twice* (?!?)
'cause I like it that way. ;)
> - show IP on the status line (w/ flag for DHCP or static)
Hmmm, I'll think about it. (Whether it's possible to implement it
> - grml2hd could offer multi-partition features, e.g. a separate boot
It's on our todolist, we are not yet sure how we will implement it.
Basically it's just lack of time... And in the meanwhile: grml's
target audience should know how to edit fstab entries. ;)
> - grml2hd could set up secure partitions --
> http://mareichelt.de/pub/texts.cryptoloop.php -- optional choice for all
> top-levels /home /var and such, except /boot
Support for cryptsetup-luks enabled partition might follow in an
upcoming release. (See http://wiki.grml.org/doku.php?id=todo for our
> - grml2hd's X question for the mobile scenario is puzzling; yes the user
> needs X, but not for a specific PC
Well, just rerun grml-x on the "new" computer as user root:
grml-x -force -nostart
The integration of grml-x within grml2hd just ensures that the user
can start X on hard disk installation without root permissions, even
if he hasn't used X yet.
> - grml-big won't fit on CD-RW media or older (650 MB) CD-R; would be
> nice to fit on CD-RW, could trim a little to fit
It's not true for CD-RW medias, I'm burning grml on 700MB CD-RWs. ;-)
Trimming the ISO is absolutely no option, it's already an awful
hard job to keep all the package wishes within 700MB. ;-(
> Thanks...GRML is super and I like it.
Great to hear. :) Thanks for your feedback!
http://grml.org/ # Linux for texttool-users and sysadmins
http://wiki.grml.org/ # share your knowledge
http://grml.supersized.org/ # the grml development weblog
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