Live Systems Manual

Managing a configuration

Managing a configuration

This chapter explains how to manage a live configuration from initial creation, through successive revisions and successive releases of both the live-build software and the live image itself.

Dealing with configuration changes

Live configurations rarely are perfect on the first try. It may be fine to pass lb config options from the command-line to perform a single build, but it is more typical to revise those options and build again until you are satisfied. To support these changes, you will need auto scripts which ensure your configuration is kept in a consistent state.

Why use auto scripts? What do they do?

The lb config command stores the options you pass to it in config/* files along with many other options set to default values. If you run lb config again, it will not reset any option that was defaulted based on your initial options. So, for example, if you run lb config again with a new value for --binary-images, any dependent options that were defaulted for the old image type may no longer work with the new ones. Nor are these files intended to be read or edited. They store values for over a hundred options, so nobody, let alone yourself, will be able to see in these which options you actually specified. And finally, if you run lb config, then upgrade live-build and it happens to rename an option, config/* would still contain variables named after the old option that are no longer valid.

For all these reasons, auto/* scripts will make your life easier. They are simple wrappers to the lb config, lb build and lb clean commands that are designed to help you manage your configuration. The auto/config script stores your lb config command with all desired options, the auto/clean script removes the files containing configuration variable values, and the auto/build script keeps a build.log of each build. Each of these scripts is run automatically every time you run the corresponding lb command. By using these scripts, your configuration is easier to read and is kept internally consistent from one revision to the next. Also, it will be much easier for you identify and fix options which need to change when you upgrade live-build after reading the updated documentation.

Use example auto scripts

For your convenience, live-build comes with example auto shell scripts to copy and edit. Start a new, default configuration, then copy the examples into it:

 $ mkdir mylive && cd mylive && lb config
 $ mkdir auto
 $ cp /usr/share/doc/live-build/examples/auto/* auto/  

Edit auto/config, adding any options as you see fit. For instance:

 lb config noauto \
     --architectures i386 \
     --linux-flavours 686-pae \
     --binary-images hdd \
     --mirror-bootstrap http://ftp.ch.debian.org/debian/ \
     --mirror-binary http://ftp.ch.debian.org/debian/ \

Now, each time you use lb config, auto/config will reset the configuration based on these options. When you want to make changes to them, edit the options in this file instead of passing them to lb config. When you use lb clean, auto/clean will clean up the config/* files along with any other build products. And finally, when you use lb build, a log of the build will be written by auto/build in build.log.

Note: A special noauto parameter is used here to suppress another call to auto/config, thereby preventing infinite recursion. Make sure you don't accidentally remove it when making edits. Also, take care to ensure when you split the lb config command across multiple lines for readability, as shown in the example above, that you don't forget the backslash (\) at the end of each line that continues to the next.

Clone a configuration published via Git

Use the lb config --config option to clone a Git repository that contains a live system configuration. If you would like to base your configuration on one maintained by the ${project}, look at http://live-systems.org/gitweb/ for the repository named live-images in the category Packages. This repository contains the configurations for the live systems prebuilt images.

For example, to build a standard image, use the live-images repository as follows:

 $ mkdir live-images && cd live-images
 $ lb config --config git://live-systems.org/git/live-images.git
 $ cd images/standard  

Edit auto/config and any other things you need in the config tree to suit your needs. For example, the unofficial non-free prebuilt images are made by simply adding --archive-areas “main contrib non-free”.

You may optionally define a shortcut in your Git configuration by adding the following to your ${HOME}/.gitconfig:

 [url "git://live-systems.org/git/"]
         insteadOf = lso:  

This enables you to use lso: anywhere you need to specify the address of a live-systems.org git repository. If you also drop the optional .git suffix, starting a new image using this configuration is as easy as:

 $ lb config --config lso:live-images  

Cloning the entire live-images repository pulls the configurations used for several images. If you feel like building a different image after you have finished with the first one, change to another directory and again and optionally, make any changes to suit your needs.

In any case, remember that every time you will have to build the image as superuser: lb build

License: This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program. If not, see http://www.gnu.org/licenses/.

The complete text of the GNU General Public License can be found in /usr/share/common-licenses/GPL-3 file.

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