Opened 7 years ago

Closed 3 years ago

#7576 closed enhancement (wontfix)

Debian Live build tool for torouter

Reported by: ficus Owned by: ioerror
Priority: Medium Milestone:
Component: Archived/Torouter Version:
Severity: Normal Keywords: torouter
Cc: irl Actual Points:
Parent ID: #20747 Points:
Reviewer: Sponsor:


This is a ticket for feedback/discussion.

I wrote an experimental torouter image builder using Debian Live
(; specifically the live-build tool). It currently generates
debian wheezy Live SD card images that boot on the DreamPlug (after a u-boot
upgrade and configuration) from either a compressed read-only squashfs
filesystem or a read-only ext3 filesystem. This was motivated out of
frustration with the freedom-maker build scripts.

A few kernel mangling steps are hardware-dependent, but otherwise the entire
build system should be able to generate images for any debian supported
architecture. NB: debian armel binaries run on the Raspberry Pi, but with
reduced performance. It might be possible to point live-build at the raspberian
apt repositories to build more efficient raspberian images.

The old torouter build process uses the freedom-maker tool (from FreedomBox) to
generate a debian image for the DreamPlug hardware, then (automatically) uses
the torouter-prep package to install torouter-specific customizations. The
Debian Live system could also accept a torouter-prep package for torouter
configuration, but it currently does not.

An example image and readmes are online here; this image has lots of known bugs
and leaky problems, and is intended only a demonstration of functionality:



Some thoughts on using Debian Live images:

  • the live-build configuration system is extensive, documented, modular, and scriptable, especially compared to freedom-maker
  • "normal" (eg, with a read/write rootfs and minimal first-boot reconfiguration) images should be buildable with the live-build tool
  • live-build tool has some bugs and documentation holes w/r/t armel and non-squashfs builds
  • helper scripts for live-build exist to automate weekly image builds and on-demand image builds with configuration (eg, web interface to a build cluster)
  • persistence (including optional encrypted persistence) should work with little additional configuration
  • TAILS uses live-build with heavy customization

See also ticket #6824 w/r/t upgrade and release process.

Child Tickets

Change History (3)

comment:1 Changed 4 years ago by irl

Severity: Normal

live-build is currently orphaned in Debian. I'm working on the new tool that will be used by the Debian CD team for the production of the official Debian Live images and from discussions with the Tails folk at 32c3 they also like the sound of the new approach live-wrapper will be using.

It is essentially using vmdebootstrap, using Ansible to configure the root filesystem image, to produce a squashfs image. This image is wrapped as an ISO and then has bootloaders added to it. If you skip the live-wrapper step you can also get SD card images for embedded machines, hard drive images, etc. and there is support for ARM platforms in the tool.

comment:2 Changed 4 years ago by irl

Cc: irl added

comment:3 Changed 3 years ago by irl

Parent ID: #20747
Resolution: wontfix
Status: newclosed

Heh, 13 months ago me was ambitious. I didn't get anywhere near that far. As Torouter is no longer an active project, producing a live image for it doesn't make much sense. Closing as no longer relevant. See also #20747.

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