[CentOS] Creating an alternitive install CD for CentOS 5.2 (w/ patched mkinitrd)

Sun Mar 8 19:45:46 UTC 2009
Robert Heller <heller at deepsoft.com>

At Sun, 8 Mar 2009 08:47:50 -0400 CentOS mailing list <centos at centos.org> wrote:

> On Sat, Mar 7, 2009 at 2:34 PM, Robert Heller <heller at deepsoft.com> wrote:
>  .....
> > I was unsure of the specific options above -- After installing revisor
> > and poked around in the source code and found what I needed, but my test
> > install failed -- it complained that there was a problem with mkinitrd --
> > could not open it or find it -- guessing I need to rebuild the repro
> > database.
> >
> >
> >>
> >> ... reboot, lather, rinse and repeat .... :-) :=)
> >>
> >> You may find "re-generating" the CentOS CDs/DVD quite easy at
> >> times and very frustrating and complex at others ......
> >
> > Yeah, it appears so.  I just hope I don't have to rebuild all 6 CDs,
> > since I don't have the DVD nor do I have a DVD-R drive either, so doing
> > things with a single DVD is not an option.
> >
> Last time I added a DVD burner to my Build system, it cost $29 (USD) and
> this was for a very good, reliable unit.  Not worth my time and immense
> hassle to do otherwise ....
> As for ...
> > could not open it or find it -- guessing I need to rebuild the repro
> > database.
> What about:
> >> First of all, if you replace an RPM, you'll need to do createrepro.
> What isn't clear?? As "need to" means **MUST**.... <hmmmm>.
> Why did you even make an attempt without the createrepro command??
> Two to three minutes of your time wasn't worth it (but taking our time
> is, of course) :-):-) ...

I did not even know about the createrepro command!

> While I believe your bug reports, I install CentOS on RAID + LVM
> everyday without any problems, private kernel patches, etc. -- as a
> counter-example.

Did you *specificly* install CentOS 5.2 (as opposed to 5.1 or 4.7?  Do
you want the URLs of of the CentOS 5.2 & RHEL 5.2 bug reports?  Did you
install onto bare partitions and then migrate to RAID and/or LVM later? 
Note this is *software RAID*, not hardware RAID.

> Now, let's see if we understand the situation clearly:
>    1.  This is a "one-time" conversion (will "throw the CD away when done") ...
>    2.  You're migrating a system from Ubuntu to CentOS (e.g., a different
>         version / patch level of LVM + RAID) and *hope* to keep data
>         consistency and reliability ...
>    3.  You have a backup of this precious data, yes / no??  If no, eegaddss....
>    4.  So, why not just do a wipe + fresh install and reload the data???

I want the option of falling back to the existing (working) Ubuntu
system, in case there are problems with the CentOS setup.  Right now,
this is for a small (and relatively impoverished) small town library. 
The original setup (done by someone else who does not have the time,
etc. to deal with it) uses LTSP and diskless thin clients.  While this
works, there are some performance issues.  Because the LTSP uses the
'PC's as pretty much bare X Terminals, this means all of the real 'work'
is done on the server itself.  With several people working, often kids
and teens playing Flash games and maybe one or two people using Open
Office, the server litterally runs out of RAM and starts swapping, which
slows everything down.  I want to set up a slighter thicker clients
using NFS mounted file systems in hopes that this will work better.

There is a backup process in place, but it has not been working lately,
since there seems to be a problem with sshd on the external server. 
Even if it was working it might be problematical to restore it anyway
because of the rather funcky internet connection we have (HughesNet
satelite dishes -- nothing better is available here in the wilds of
Western Mass).

The main reason for moving from Ubuntu to CentOS is that I am much
more familar / confortable with RedHat flavored systems.  Ubuntu seems
to have more 'magical' things going on, which I could not figure out.  I
think Ubuntu tries to be overly 'helpful', which might be nice for some
users and probably makes more sense for home desktop users, but was just
frustating for someone trying to do some 'outside of the box' things.

> Now how much time have you spent on this "project" so far??  I believe
> the above would be done 2 to 3x times over by now ....
> Plus, you've found out that it is a lot more than "just a mkisofs command
> with a few arguments" (and that you have to follow instructions precisely
> or things just don't WORK(tm)).
> Hmmmm....
>    -rak-
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Robert Heller             -- 978-544-6933
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