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Re: System installation from a USB stick

From: Alex Sassmannshausen
Subject: Re: System installation from a USB stick
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2014 16:27:58 +0200
User-agent: mu4e; emacs 24.3.1


I finally got my hands on a 64bit machine and was able to try out the
installation image.

It worked smoothly up until network configuration (different hardware) —
it was pretty exciting whilst it lasted :-)

Now holding out hope for David's i686 installation image report in order
to build on that experience on more available hardware.

Kudos for all your hard work Ludo (and all other contributors). This is
starting to get very real!

Best wishes,


Ludovic Courtès writes:

> Hello!
> I’ve uploaded a USB installation image for x86_64 for testing:
>   SHA1: d36e70d25b81b734fa9558a5446fabb96489ec3b
>   (100 MiB)
> It works like this:
>   1. Run ‘xz -d gnu-usb-install-20140629.x86_64.xz’.
>   2. Copy it as is to a USB stick that of 1GiB or more:
>        dd if=gnu-usb-install-20140629.x86_64 of=/dev/sdX
>      where sdX is the device corresponding to the USB stick.
> Then you can boot on the USB stick.  There’s a bit of documentation on
> tty2, but it lacks what follows.  ;-)
> To install the system, you would:
>   1. Configure the network, by running ‘dhclient eth0’ for instance.
>      Normally udev automatically loads device drivers (e.g., my laptop
>      uses e1000e for Ethernet), but since it’s a small config kernel, it
>      may miss drivers for your system, in which case you’re screwed.
>   2. Partition, format etc. the target drive; the image includes Parted,
>      fdisk, and e2fsprogs.
>   3. Write an OS configuration file, say, config.scm (the image only has
>      GNU Zile as the editor.)  A minimal config looks like this:
>        (use-modules (gnu) (gnu system grub))
>        (operating-system
>          (host-name "foo")
>          (timezone "Europe/Paris")
>          (locale "en_US.UTF-8")
>          (bootloader (grub-configuration (device "/dev/sdX")))
>          (file-systems
>            (list (file-system
>                    (device "/dev/sdX1")
>                    (mount-point "/")
>                    (type "ext4")))))
>    4. Mount the target root file system as /mnt, say.
>    5. Run ‘guix system init config.scm /mnt’ (add ‘--no-grub’ if you
>       don’t want to install GRUB.)
>    6. Unmount /mnt, reboot, and cross fingers.
> There are various limitations, so be indulgent.  Notably, the kernel has
> few drivers.  The image is insanely big due to
> <>.  Swap partitions, dm-crypt’d devices aren’t
> supported yet.
> Still, I would very much like feedback about actual attempts to use
> that, about the general procedure, or anything else.
> The image was built with
>   guix system disk-image gnu/system/install.scm --image-size=800MiB
> as of commit 1ddbd9f.
> Ludo’.

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