Casper overriding live username and hostname settings

I had a few people complain about this problem. In a nutshell, when you decide to change the live username and hostname, casper does not recognize it.

This is caused by a commit made by the Ubuntu installer team: http://launchpadlibrarian.net/90252463/casper_1.297_1.298.diff.gz (mythbuntu did get changed to $FLAVOUR right after).  You can also see this reflected in /etc/casper.conf (sorry about the lack of empty lines, wordpress does not allow it):

# This file should go in /etc/casper.conf
# Supported variables are:
# USERNAME, USERFULLNAME, HOST, BUILD_SYSTEM, FLAVOUR
export USERNAME="ubuntu"
export USERFULLNAME="Live session user"
export HOST="ubuntu"
export BUILD_SYSTEM="Ubuntu"
# USERNAME and HOSTNAME as specified above won't be honoured and will be set to
# flavour string acquired at boot time, unless you set FLAVOUR to any
# non-empty string.
# export FLAVOUR="Ubuntu"

So what do you do about it? One way is to edit the /etc/casper.conf and just change $FLAVOUR to what you wish (and have username and the hostname the same), which I would recommend. But if you really need the username and the hostname different, you can edit /usr/share/initramfs-tools/scripts/casper, and remove this line: sed -i "s,USERNAME=.*,USERNAME=\"$FLAVOUR\",g; s,HOST=.*,HOST=\"$FLAVOUR\",g" /etc/casper.conf (do not copy and paste this into your text editors find function, as wordpress breaks the formatting of this line, so it looks different).

Anyways, reason why I brought this up now is because I’m actually at that stage of writing relinux 0.4! This means that I will have finished the untested code done pretty soon.

Some ideas we had

In the last few months, we were thinking about stopping relinux and starting a new project (we then cancelled the idea afterwards), but we had a few different ideas for the other project, so I’d like to share some of them with you.

  1. Web interface for collaboration. This would mean that the computer building the ISO was actually a server and sent SSH and VNC access to the website, where all the collaborators could work on the system. This, of course, has its downfalls, but I think it’s a good concept.
  2. As we were experimenting with more resource-hungry and heavyweight languages (Java and Ruby), we were thinking of using a different way of making the ISO. Instead of doing all of the configuration on the system who makes the ISO, we were thinking of having another machine do all of the work, generate a “custom weaver” (i.e. the tool that makes the ISO), and run that on the machine that generates the ISO. Again, this has its downfalls, and it will probably not land in relinux.
  3. Make all communications from the ISO generator to the interface (GUI or TUI) utilize sockets. This idea was killed pretty soon as it is totally overkill. We replaced this by using common variables that keep on getting changed by the threads.
  4. Threading. As I mentioned 2 posts ago, threading will be included in 0.4 (I hope even in the first alpha, but might be delayed).

If you have any ideas, let us know!

Timeline draft

I made a timeline for relinux in my head a long time ago, but for some reason I never got around to sharing it. So here it is:

  • 0.1: initial release + basic functions
  • 0.2: actual first release (with full functions)
  • 0.3: feature release
  • 0.4: rewrite the whole codebase
  • 0.5: port to other official distros (fedora, debian, gentoo, etc…)
  • 0.6: feature release (finish up features from 0.4)
  • 0.7: TBD
  • 0.8? 0.9?
  • 1.0: TBD, something awesome ūüėÄ

FAQ about relinux and it’s relation to remastersys

I had many people ask me questions about relinux and it’s relations with remastersys, so I decided to put in a little FAQ here. I hope this can answer some of your questions.

  • Q: Why did you fork remastersys in the first place?
    • A: First off, when I started developing relinux, remastersys’s last update was somewhere near the end of 2009 (with a repo change near the end of 2010), and it had many bugs in it. It was also because remastersys branded the system as a remastersys system (anyone who has used remastersys a lot could figure out which systems use it). And it was not very configurable.
      I talked to Tony (the author of remastersys) about the fact that the system was branded as a remastersys system, and he simply said that he had no sympathy for the people who wanted to make their system look like as if it had not been done with remastersys.
  • Q: Why didn’t you just help out remastersys?
    • A: We had different goals, and, as I wrote above, he wasn’t developing it, so I had no interest of reviving a dead project. Also, I didn’t like the “money” atmosphere of remastersys:

      “If you want access to support for remastersys dist mode you will need to become a special member. (…) To become a special member, just donate $50US (…) This will give you 1 year of access to the Priority Distribution Mode Support area (…) If you can only afford $25US then you will get 6 months of access to the dist mode support area”

      I don’t like this atmosphere, so I’d hate to encourage it, and work in it.

  • Q: I read that he said that you forked remastersys without saying it. Is this true?
    • A: Yes, it’s true. I never said I forked it. I said that it was based on remastersys. The difference between both? I have no idea.
  • Q: Does relinux follow the GPLv2 license of remastersys?
    • A: It technically didn’t (though the error was not intentional, neither was it huge, forgot to add that it was copylefted, but seriously, isn’t that redundant? Any GPL program is by definition copylefted), but this got fixed in 0.3a3. I am very sorry for not doing this sooner, it was a mistake on my part.

    Q: Are they competing projects?

    • A: No. They are similar, but very different in their code base, and in their goal.

New database of OSs using relinux!

I made a database to be filled of OSs using relinux. There is no obligation at all to add your OS to the database, but if you want to, please use the form here (notice that only the name of the OS is required. The rest is optional): https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?hl=en_US&formkey=dDBhdVR1SlZfOEJGMFpRdWtoQ2l5SFE6MQ#gid=0

To view the database, go here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Ah5eSXyQI815dDBhdVR1SlZfOEJGMFpRdWtoQ2l5SFE.

New website for relinux!

I decided to add a website for relinux, because the launchpad.net homepage for relinux can look a bit geeky, and it isn’t very easy to add a lot of information in it. Most of the posts here will be quite short, just keeping you up-to-date on the latest features of relinux.

So if anyone is wondering, here is the navigation for relinux:

  • Homepage:¬†https://launchpad.net/relinux
  • Website:¬†https://relinuxkit.wordpress.com
  • Latest BZR Code:¬†https://code.launchpad.net/relinux
  • Bugs:¬†https://bugs.launchpad.net/relinux
  • Latest features:¬†https://blueprints.launchpad.net/relinux
  • Translations:¬†https://translations.launchpad.net/relinux
  • Q/A and FAQ (like a forum):¬†https://answers.launchpad.net/relinux
Feel free to comment below for any ideas, questions, or comments.