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Re: Plan for a release!

From: Mathieu Othacehe
Subject: Re: Plan for a release!
Date: Mon, 23 Mar 2020 15:05:47 +0100
User-agent: mu4e 1.2.0; emacs 26.3


> Yes: you need to have ‘installation-os-for-gui-tests’ (or preferably a
> variant thereof) include all the services/packages needed for the target
> config.
> In the manual installation tests we use ‘define-os-with-source’ to both
> embed the target OS and its references in the installation image *and*
> have the source of the target OS available in /etc/target-config.scm in
> the installation image.

Ok! I'm testing with an installation image containing all desktop
environments. This represents 1200 store items (image around 6GiB).

The disk-image creation takes 2h45 on a powerful machine (with
KVM). I've seen your insights on this topic here:

--8<---------------cut here---------------start------------->8---
>   I'd like to propose an alternative mechanism which would be faster and
>   not involving virtual machines. Maybe producing the disk-image in a
>   container?

Unfortunately, I don’t think that’s possible.  The reason we resort to
VMs is that the Linux kernel doesn’t allow you, for instance, to mount a
file system without being root.  So doing things like running Parted,
mounting a file system, and populating it typically requires root
privileges.  (In some cases, there are tools like mksquashfs that can do
that from user-space, but it’s very ad-hoc.)
--8<---------------cut here---------------end--------------->8---

It makes sense and after some digging, I cannot propose something
better (nix is using the same mechanism). However, I feel very
frustrated by this disk-image thing, loosing a lot of time and
computation time for some copies.

> It’d be IMO clearer, although technically equivalent, to make it:
>   (or (marionette-eval exp marionette)
>       (throw 'marionette-eval-failure 'exp))
> Perhaps you don’t even need to catch it.

You are right :) I pushed this patch throwing exception as suggested.



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