Debian Live Manual

About

1. About this manual

1.1 For the impatient
1.2 Terms
1.3 Authors
1.4 Contributing to this document
1.4.1 Applying changes
1.4.2 Translation

2. About the Debian Live Project

2.1 Motivation
2.1.1 What is wrong with current live systems
2.1.2 Why create our own live system?
2.2 Philosophy
2.2.1 Only unchanged packages from Debian "main"
2.2.2 No package configuration of the live system
2.3 Contact

User

3. Installation

3.1 Requirements
3.2 Installing live-build
3.2.1 From the Debian repository
3.2.2 From source
3.2.3 From 'snapshots'
3.3 Installing live-boot and live-config
3.3.1 From the Debian repository
3.3.2 From source
3.3.3 From 'snapshots'

4. The basics

4.1 What is a live system?
4.2 Downloading prebuilt images
4.3 Using the web live image builder
4.3.1 Web builder usage and caveats
4.4 First steps: building an ISO hybrid image
4.5 Using an ISO hybrid live image
4.5.1 Burning an ISO image to a physical medium
4.5.2 Copying an ISO hybrid image to a USB stick
4.5.3 Using the space left on a USB stick
4.5.4 Booting the live medium
4.6 Using a virtual machine for testing
4.6.1 Testing an ISO image with QEMU
4.6.2 Testing an ISO image with virtualbox
4.7 Building and using an HDD image
4.8 Building a netboot image
4.8.1 DHCP server
4.8.2 TFTP server
4.8.3 NFS server
4.8.4 Netboot testing HowTo
4.8.5 Qemu

5. Overview of tools

5.1 The live-build package
5.1.1 The lb config command
5.1.2 The lb build command
5.1.3 The lb clean command
5.2 The live-boot package
5.3 The live-config package

6. Managing a configuration

6.1 Dealing with configuration changes
6.1.1 Why use auto scripts? What do they do?
6.1.2 Use example auto scripts
6.2 Clone a configuration published via Git

7. Customization overview

7.1 Build time vs. boot time configuration
7.2 Stages of the build
7.3 Supplement lb config with files
7.4 Customization tasks

8. Customizing package installation

8.1 Package sources
8.1.1 Distribution, archive areas and mode
8.1.2 Distribution mirrors
8.1.3 Distribution mirrors used at build time
8.1.4 Distribution mirrors used at run time
8.1.5 Additional repositories
8.2 Choosing packages to install
8.2.1 Package lists
8.2.2 Using metapackages
8.2.3 Local package lists
8.2.4 Local binary package lists
8.2.5 Generated package lists
8.2.6 Using conditionals inside package lists
8.2.7 Desktop and language tasks
8.2.8 Kernel flavour and version
8.2.9 Custom kernels
8.3 Installing modified or third-party packages
8.3.1 Using packages.chroot to install custom packages
8.3.2 Using an APT repository to install custom packages
8.3.3 Custom packages and APT
8.4 Configuring APT at build time
8.4.1 Choosing apt or aptitude
8.4.2 Using a proxy with APT
8.4.3 Tweaking APT to save space
8.4.4 Passing options to apt or aptitude
8.4.5 APT pinning

9. Customizing contents

9.1 Includes
9.1.1 Live/chroot local includes
9.1.2 Binary local includes
9.2 Hooks
9.2.1 Live/chroot local hooks
9.2.2 Boot-time hooks
9.2.3 Binary local hooks
9.3 Preseeding Debconf questions

10. Customizing run time behaviours

10.1 Customizing the live user
10.2 Customizing locale and language
10.3 Persistence
10.3.1 The persistence.conf file
10.3.2 Using more than one persistence store

11. Customizing the binary image

11.1 Bootloader
11.2 ISO metadata

12. Customizing Debian Installer

12.1 Types of Debian Installer
12.2 Customizing Debian Installer by preseeding
12.3 Customizing Debian Installer content

Project

13. Contributing to the project

13.1 Making changes

14. Reporting bugs

14.1 Known issues
14.2 Rebuild from scratch
14.3 Use up-to-date packages
14.4 Collect information
14.5 Isolate the failing case if possible
14.6 Use the correct package to report the bug against
14.6.1 At build time while bootstrapping
14.6.2 At build time while installing packages
14.6.3 At boot time
14.6.4 At run time
14.7 Do the research
14.8 Where to report bugs

15. Coding Style

15.1 Compatibility
15.2 Indenting
15.3 Wrapping
15.4 Variables
15.5 Miscellaneous

16. Procedures

16.1 Major Releases
16.2 Point Releases
16.2.1 Last Point Release of a Debian Release
16.2.2 Point release announcement template

17. Git repositories

17.1 Handling multiple repositories

Examples

18. Examples

18.1 Using the examples
18.2 Tutorial 1: A default image
18.3 Tutorial 2: A web browser utility
18.4 Tutorial 3: A personalized image
18.4.1 First revision
18.4.2 Second revision
18.5 A VNC Kiosk Client
18.6 A base image for a 128MB USB key
18.7 A localized GNOME desktop and installer

Appendix

18.8 Guidelines for authors
18.8.1 Linguistic features
18.8.2 Procedures
18.9 Guidelines for translators
18.9.1 Translation hints

Debian Live Manual

Project

13. Contributing to the project

When submitting a contribution, please clearly identify its copyright holder and include the licensing statement. Note that to be accepted, the contribution must be licensed under the same license as the rest of the documents, namely, GPL version 3 or later.

Contributions to the project, such as translations and patches, are greatly welcome. Anyone can directly commit to the repositories, however, we ask you to send bigger changes to the mailing list to discuss them first. See the section Contact for more information.

The Debian Live Project uses Git as version control system and source code management. As explained in Git repositories there are two main development branches: debian and debian-next. Everybody can commit to the debian-next branches of the live-boot, live-build, live-config, live-images, live-manual and live-tools repositories.

However, there are certain restrictions. The server will reject:

  • Non fast-forward pushes.
  • Merge commits.
  • Adding or removing tags or branches.
  • Even though all commits might be revised, we ask you to use your common sense and make good commits with good commit messages.

  • Write commit messages that consist of complete, meaningful sentences in English, starting with a capital letter and ending with a full stop. Usually, these will start with the form "Fixing/Adding/Removing/Correcting/Translating/...".
  • Write good commit messages. The first line must be an accurate summary of the contents of the commit which will be included in the changelog. If you need to make some further explanations, write them below leaving a blank line after the first one and then another blank line after each paragraph. Lines of paragraphs should not exceed 80 characters in length.
  • Commit atomically, this is to say, do not mix unrelated things in the same commit. Make one different commit for each change you make.
  • 13.1 Making changes

    In order to push to the repositories, you must follow the following procedure. Here we use live-manual as an example so replace it with the name of the repository you want to work with. For detailed information on how to edit live-manual see Contributing to this document.

  • Fetch the public commit key:
  • $ mkdir -p ~/.ssh/keys
    $ wget http://live.debian.net/other/keys/git@live.debian.net -O ~/.ssh/keys/git@live.debian.net
    $ wget http://live.debian.net/other/keys/git@live.debian.net.pub -O ~/.ssh/keys/git@live.debian.net.pub
    $ chmod 0600 ~/.ssh/keys/git@live.debian.net*

  • Add the following section to your openssh-client config:
  • $ cat >> ~/.ssh/config << EOF
    Host live.debian.net
         Hostname live.debian.net
         User git
         IdentityFile ~/.ssh/keys/git@live.debian.net
    EOF

  • Check out a clone of live-manual through ssh:
  • $ git clone git@live.debian.net:/live-manual.git
    $ cd live-manual && git checkout debian-next

  • Make sure you have Git author and email set:
  •   $ git config user.name "John Doe"
      $ git config user.email john@example.org

    Important: Remember that you should commit any changes on the debian-next branch.

  • Make your changes. In this example you would first write a new section dealing with applying patches and then prepare to commit adding the files and writing your commit message like this:
  • $ git commit -a -m "Adding a section on applying patches."

  • Push the commit to the server:
  • $ git push