Learning to cry for fun and profit

Tuesday, 6 June 2006

I saw on Planet Debian that Enrico Zini had some trouble using xen-tools:

Installing the base system.   This will take a while!

Copying files from host to image.
Finished
Something went wrong with the debootstrap installation
Aborting

This basically means that the invocation of debootstrap failed to leave the system with a /bin/ls present – meaning it failed for some reason.

My immediate mad debugging skillz suggest retrying with either

-verbose, or -cache=no. The first will hopefully show the problem, the second will most likely fix the problem.

I’ve seen this a few times, but haven’t updated the code to check for it. When creating a new Xen instance of, say 4gb, we copy all the packages from the host systems /var/cache/apt/archives so that debootstrap doesn’t redownload things and use up bandidth.

If these cached files are >4gb then the new image is 100% full and debootstrap won’t run successfully!

In related news I’m currently working on a system called image-server – this is a distributed xen-create-image script.

The idea is that you have a central host which is responsible for creating Xen images of Debian, RedHat, Gentoo, and serving them to clients.

This isn’t much use for a home user, but as a hosting company wanting to provide Xen instances of semi-arbitary Linux distributions it should come in handy.

In other news I want to work on modularising the Xen tools scripts and moving them onto xen-tools.org.

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