This manual serves as a single access point to all documentation related to the Debian Live project and in particular applies to the software produced by the project for the Debian 7.0 "wheezy" release. An up-to-date version can always be found at ‹http://live.debian.net/›
While live-manual is primarily focused on helping you build a live system and not on end-user topics, an end-user may find some useful information in these sections: The Basics covers downloading prebuilt images and preparing images to be booted from media or the network, either using the web builder or running live-build directly on your system. Customizing run time behaviours describes some options that may be specified at the boot prompt, such as selecting a keyboard layout and locale, and using persistence.
Some of the commands mentioned in the text must be executed with superuser privileges which can be obtained by becoming the root user via su or by using sudo. To distinguish between commands which may be executed by an unprivileged user and those requiring superuser privileges, commands are prepended by $ or # respectively. This symbol is not a part of the command.
While we believe that everything in this manual is important to at least some of our users, we realize it is a lot of material to cover and that you may wish to experience early success using the software before delving into the details. Therefore, we suggest reading in the following order.
First, read this chapter, About this manual, from the beginning and ending with the Terms section. Next, skip to the three tutorials at the front of the Examples section designed to teach you image building and customization basics. Read Using the examples first, followed by Tutorial 1: A default image, Tutorial 2: A web browser utility and finally Tutorial 3: A personalized image. By the end of these tutorials, you will have a taste of what can be done with Debian Live.
We encourage you to return to more in-depth study of the manual, perhaps next reading The basics, skimming or skipping Building a netboot image, and finishing by reading the Customization overview and the chapters that follow it. By this point, we hope you are thoroughly excited by what can be done with Debian Live and motivated to read the rest of the manual, cover-to-cover.
A list of authors (in alphabetical order):
This manual is intended as a community project and all proposals for improvements and contributions are extremely welcome. Please see the section Contributing to the project for detailed information on how to fetch the commit key and make good commits.
In order to make changes to the English manual you have to edit the right files in manual/en/ but prior to the submission of your contribution, please preview your work. To preview the live-manual, ensure the packages needed for building it are installed by executing:
# apt-get install make po4a ruby ruby-nokogiri sisu-complete texlive-generic-recommended
You may build the live-manual from the top level directory of your Git checkout by executing:
$ make build
Since it takes a while to build the manual in all supported languages, you may find it convenient when proofing to build for only one language, e.g. by executing:
$ make build LANGUAGES=en
It is also possible to build by document type, e.g:
$ make build FORMATS=pdf
Or combine both, e.g:
$ make build LANGUAGES=de FORMATS=html
After revising your work and making sure that everything is fine, do not use make commit unless you are updating translations in the commit, and in that case, do not mix changes to the English manual and translations in the same commit, but use separate commits for each. See the Translation section for more details.
To start a translation for a new language, follow these steps:
After running make commit you will see some text scroll by. These are basically informative messages about the processing status and also some hints about what can be done in order to improve live-manual. Unless you see a fatal error, you usually can proceed and submit your contribution.
live-manual comes with two utilities that can greatly help translators to find untranslated and changed strings. The first one is "make translate". It launches an script that tells you in detail how many untranslated strings there are in each po file. The second one, the "make fixfuzzy" target, only acts upon changed strings but it helps you to find and fix them one by one.
Keep in mind that even though these utilities might be really helpful to do translation work on the command line, the use of an specialized tool like poedit is the recommended way to do the task. It is also a good idea to read the Debian localization (l10n) documentation and, specifically to live-manual, the Guidelines for translators.
Note: You can use make clean to clean your git tree before pushing. This step is not compulsory thanks to the .gitignore file but it is a good practice to avoid committing files involuntarily.