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How to create an Installer For my GNU System

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Satissh S

I've been working on an Linux From Scratch OS for sometime now. It has been optimised for P4 i686 Processors and i'am already very fond of it.
It has all multimedia capabilities , player , browsers , Mailers etc., as well as a few development tools such as Eclipse, Netbeans, Anjuta, Mono and also several Runtime Environments and toolkits used for building your own software from source.
I dedicate it to this Digit OpenSource Community for motivating and Guiding me.
=> Is it possible to create an Ncurses based installer, that installs the Os as well as configures several settings such as network, partitioning, Configures X, Installs software binaries and bootloader?
=> I wan't to make the distro efficient as well as easy for the new linux user. Also i would wan't to upload it to somewhere so that the user can D/L and use it.
Thanks for all your co-operation and inputs..

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I have never tried anything beyond a simple LFS system, so I am really just talking out of the hat ;)

You could make all the software you compile into packages (maybe a simple tar.gz file), after this the installers job will simply be to install each package and run some other configuration.

The installer could be just an interactive script, instead of an ncurses program, like this -

echo 'IP Address: '
read $ipaddr
cat "address=$ipaddr" > /etc/network.conf

Good luck!


In the zone
That was grt evn I am trying to build LFS But not finding time..

But what abt the partition editor? if u want to make an installer?
Satissh S

Satissh S

Similarily, for every other config such as say, if i wan't to create an Xorg.conf file for the user, then lets say if i wan't the user to input his monitor's Vertical and Horizontal Refresh rates.

echo 'Enter Vertical Refresh Rate'
read $vrate
cat "VertRefresh=$vrate" > /etc/X11/xorg.conf

But how many scripts can i write? There are a hell a lot of config files to edit. Also Hardware Auto Detection is also a big problem.

Also how to configure the kernel for all the generic type of Hardwares? Wouldn't it become bulky?

Do distro configure the kernel based on each users hardware??

Also how about using Webmin as a system administration tool? It's easy and it directly edits the configuration files..

Thanks for the encouragement and inputs!! :p :D
Satissh S

Satissh S

First up the installer iso must be capable of booting into a live linux system detecting hardware, so that it can start the installer to install linux to harddrive.

@Naveen: I wan't use cfdisk. It's easy enuf for the linux newbie to use. But i want to write a script that starts it automagically also issues commands such as mke2fs (-j), mkreiserfs , mkswap etc, detecting the users partitioning setup and modifies the generic /etc/fstab automatically.


18 Till I Die............
Well satish I guess you are going too fast. You are trying to do too much with your distro at a single time on your own. Just work on things one by one experience will help you getting so much done in a jiffy. I guess sourceforge will be a good place to submit it once completed.


Wire muncher!
don't go too deep into kernel configuration. just provide a generic i386 (which will obviously work on all x86)...and a generic i686 kernel. let the user haf the option of installing one during installation. if they want specific configs let them configure and compile their own.

about the live linux installer, why don't u take a leaf out of any of the morphix books?


El mooooo
Please don't think that I am trying to deter you from making your own distro but I would certainly want to quote a few things.

There is no "HOWTO Create New Distributions" that I know of. That is good.
The most important step that you seem to have missed is to ask: "Why?"
.. Why create a new distribution? Why are the current crop of distributions inadequate to your task? ..

A few words of warning. My personal opinion is: the world does not wait for a new Linux distribution. The Linux community has no need of yet another distro. There are hundreds if not thousands. But there certainly is a Linux Project out there that needs your talent, your creativity. Find a project, get involved, contribute. And build your own LiveCD to learn a lot about this great Operating system. And use your own built to show your friends, your family, your colleagues what Linux can do.

What you need to ask yourself is that do you have enough time to maintain a whole distro? You might find a link and then develop one, but will you be able to maintain it? Will you be able to give updated packages of all the software that a user of your distro needs (and that too in time)? Will you be able to be on top of all the security flaws that are found in the applications provided by your distro and then patch them in time? If you think that you can do all that, then you should go ahead. I don't have any idea about installers but you can look at the following links for building your own customised Linux Live CDs.



left this forum longback
if you can hack debian new installer or anaconda based Fedora One to integrate with UR distro.


FooBar Guy
And is there any reason why you dont want to reuse Knoppix's autoconfiguratiuon script? Its the best installer thingie i know. These are two scripts residing on /etc/init.d/knoppix-autoconfig and /etc/init.d/knoppix-hd-autoconfig I'd managed to customise this script for use with Gnoware. Though Gnoware wasnt made from scratch.

Basically, what you do is run this autoconfig script from the Lilo on top of BusyBox. Then your shell script based installer copies all the file to the hard disk and reboots. And voila! you are in your newly installed OS.
Satissh S

Satissh S

Thanks for all the inputs, i'am very fond of my own distro and will work on an installer to it to make it available for every1. But my semester practicals is underway, so i'll work on it after 11th of this month. Thank all for your valuable suggestions and Ideas.
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