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My brother makes the noises for the talkies

16 July 2007 21:50

I now have a working system for creating minimal installations of Fedora Core (6), and CentOS (4.5 & 5).

I've updated xen-tools to make use of this, via --install-method=rinse - and now I can create new Xen guests :)

There were several false starts:

Have a static list of .rpm names + versions

This is precisely what rpmstrap does, and it is a broken approach. I'm happy to have a static list of packages, but restricting the packages to specific versions is fragile and broken.

Use Yum
yum is used by many RPM based distributions, but unfortunately each distro uses slightly different versions to the one in Debian - so whilst I could run:

mkdir /tmp/fc6
yum -c /tmp/yum.conf --installroot /tmp/fc6 install yum

This results in a system which cannot be updated:

chroot /tmp/fc6 /usr/bin/yum update
[errors about yum database formats]

I suspect this is because the versions of the Berkeley database are different .. but I'm not sure.

Parse Dependencies

This would be a neat approach, however it is difficult. Too difficult.

Abandoned after several fruitless hours.


I cheated in the end.

  • Download a list of packages which are known to be required to produce a working yum, and unpack them.
  • Copy those downloaded packages into the yum cache tree.
  • Run yum install yum - to make the local Yum + RPM database match what we fetched manually
    • Unfortunately "rpm rebuilddb" couldn't do that for us.

Worst case? I download each package twice. Once for the initial download, and once again when the Yum process runs. I can live with that.

I'll talk about something else next time. Promise.

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