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Re: System installation from a USB stick

From: Adam Pribyl
Subject: Re: System installation from a USB stick
Date: Wed, 16 Jul 2014 09:14:41 +0200 (CEST)
User-agent: Alpine 2.00 (DEB 1167 2008-08-23)

On Mon, 30 Jun 2014, Ludovic Courtès wrote:


I’ve uploaded a USB installation image for x86_64 for testing:
 SHA1: d36e70d25b81b734fa9558a5446fabb96489ec3b
 (100 MiB)

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.

dhclient can't create /var/db/dhclient.leases (not fatal)

 2. Partition, format etc. the target drive; the image includes Parted,
    fdisk, and e2fsprogs.

There is no mkfs.extX, how to format a partition and is it needed? (I used old one already formated.)

 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))

        (host-name "foo")
        (timezone "Europe/Paris")
        (locale "en_US.UTF-8")
        (bootloader (grub-configuration (device "/dev/sdX")))
          (list (file-system
                  (device "/dev/sdX1")
                  (mount-point "/")
                  (type "ext4")))))

C-x C-c save yes

  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.

Still, I would very much like feedback about actual attempts to use
that, about the general procedure, or anything else.

This is more a user feedback: After first start it tries to load "Old configuration" in a grub menu by default, that ends in a guile console ("old" tries to boot from USB right?). Switching to linux-libre in Grub boots, but then requests for a group passwords start to appear with PAM auth error message. User is asked for way too many group passwords. I do not understand why. This repeats on every boot...

IMHO: The number of error and warning messages like from udev or whatever (locales not installed) during boot should go down before making this a public release.

The image was built with

 guix system disk-image gnu/system/install.scm --image-size=800MiB

as of commit 1ddbd9f.


Otherwise thanks for this achievemnt, the installation is really strightforward.


Adam Pribyl

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