[CentOS] Custom CentOS iso's

Johnny Hughes johnny at centos.org
Thu Jul 17 10:24:51 UTC 2008

Tracy R Reed wrote:
> I have a consulting client who has a Linux based storage appliance which 
> is based on Fedora Core 2. I'll pause here while you laugh...
> They need to upgrade to something more easily supported and CentOS is 
> the chosen distro. They have the source RPM's for their old system 
> stored in CVS and have a very weird/complicated build system to turn it 
> all into an iso which I am still figuring out. They version control 
> their source rpm's but don't really use CVS version numbers to number 
> their distros. Instead they build an iso and name/number that and then 
> have to keep the iso around forever.
> I want to go through their CVS, pick out the stuff we want to port to 
> CentOS and trash the rest. And keep it all version controlled at the 
> same time. The current thinking is that we want to get off of CVS and 
> move to Mercurial.
> Given the above and that we want to customize our CentOS build what is 
> the best way to do that? I am thinking we would like to work with the 
> source rpm's. Putting binaries under version control which can just be 
> built from the source seems silly. If we put the source rpm's and any 
> associated build scripts in version control then given any particular 
> repository version number we should be able to reproduce any installable 
> ISO we created in the past.
> I am imagining that we will have a huge source tree of exploded SRPMS 
> and we will go through the old CVS and evaluate all of the 
> customizations they made and whichever are worthy can be hacked into the 
> SRPMS, RPM's get built out of these, and an ISO gets built out of the 
> RPM's.

We install the SRPMS and move all the tar files out of SVN and into a 
directory, keeping all the patches and text files in SVN.  We put the 
tarballs in a webdav directory (in a subdirectory under SRPM name)

> Does all of this sound feasible?


> Does CentOS already have tools for automating a complete iso build from 
> an SRPM repository?

No ... we maintain a package tree, and build the ISO from that.

For CentOS-5, building an ISO uses the anaconda runtime and the 
buildinstall command.  Here is documentation on the buildinstall command:


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