[Arm-dev] Disk Image Creation Suggestions

Richard W.M. Jones rjones at redhat.com
Wed Oct 5 11:13:35 UTC 2016

On Mon, Oct 03, 2016 at 02:22:04PM -0400, Christopher Covington wrote:
> Hi,
> I'm running Anaconda regularly and I plan on continuing to do so, but
> there are certain circumstances where I'd like to lock down all the
> package versions and provision many similar systems as quickly as
> possible. So I'm looking for an automated and reliable mechanism for
> generating disk images for use on "bare metal" or physical (not
> virtualized) installs. The images will probably be copied to SATA*.
> How are the disk images currently generated? Does Jim manually launch
> an install with the documented [1] kickstart file and then move the
> storage medium to another machine and run dd? Or is it more automated?
> 1. http://mirror.centos.org/altarch/7/isos/aarch64/ReadMe.txt
> Looking through the archives I see Richard announcing virt-builder and
> virt-install availability for AArch64. It looks very useful for this
> sort of task. Are there any reasons to not use its output on a
> non-virtualized, physical instance? ("V2P"?)

Yes, you can provision baremetal machines using virt-builder.  I have
done this and it works just fine.

Plug in the SATA disk, and simply do:

  virt-builder --arch aarch64 centos-7.2 -o /dev/sdX

Note that you will probably need to use same arch for the
provisioning(? host? whatever the terminology is) machine as for the
target, otherwise useful options like --install won't work.


> Then there's livemedia-creator [2]. Would it be best to use that to
> wrap the virt-install invocation?
> 2. http://lorax.readthedocs.io/en/latest/livemedia-creator.html
> If anyone has experience and guidance with the above tools or
> alternatives, especially on AArch64, it would be appreciated. The
> documentation looks very good for these tools but some aspects
> like authoring kickstart files which are compatible with
> lorax/livemedia-creator seem particularly tricky.
> Thanks,
> Cov
> * Not essential, but having the option to do some kind of read-only
> Network Block Device (NBD) root filesystem which many systems could
> share, with a local, writeable, essentially throw-away overlay might
> be handy.
> -- 
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> Technologies, Inc. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. is a member of the Code
> Aurora Forum, a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project.
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Richard Jones, Virtualization Group, Red Hat http://people.redhat.com/~rjones
Read my programming and virtualization blog: http://rwmj.wordpress.com
virt-builder quickly builds VMs from scratch

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