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Entries tagged rinse

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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But you better not kill the groove

21 July 2007 21:50

The rinse tool has been sucking up a bit of my time recently, but happily it now installs:

  • Centos 4 & 5.
  • Fedora Core 4, 5 & 6.

(Debian package for Etch available here. Could be worth uploading to Sid? I'm tempted to do it myself .. at the very least it provides an alternative to rpmstrap and it shouldn't require constant updates... Yay? Nay?)

Each of the seven supported distributions may be installed as either "i386" or "amd64" flavours.

The current CVS version of xen-tools can use rinse as an installation method, so I can now create Xen guests of RPM-based distributions with a single command and a few minutes of patience.

Nothing else exciting is happening right now. My partner is still away in the United States. (Counting fiddler crabs in the Florida Everglades!) Still it isn't all bad - she promised to bring me back a Nintendo DS - and the pictures seem to suggest she's having a fine time. Argh! Pirates!

The only other thing I'm doing right now is working on the alternative dating site. That seems to be picking up steam in two geographical clusters. So I'm now spending a fair bit of time pimping, promoting and advertising specifically in the Edinburgh & London areas.

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It brings on many changes, and I can take or leave it as I please

15 November 2007 21:50

On Tuesday I released a new version of rinse which now supports Fedora Core 8.

On Wednesday I rebuilt xen-unstable several times, and reported a vaguely security relevant issue against the Exaile music player. I flagged that as important, but I'm not really sure how important it should be. True it works. True it requires DNS takeover, or similar, to become a practical attack, but .. serious or not?

Today I'm wondering about "hiding" messages in debian/changelog files. Each changelog entry includes the time & date of the new revision. I tend to pick the last two digits of the timestamp pretty much as random. (ie. the hours and minutes are always correct, but the seconds is a random value).

Given two digits which may be manipulated in the range 0-59 I'm sure a few small messages could be inserted into a package. But the effort would be high. (Hmmm timezone offset too?)

And that concludes todays entry.

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