Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-packaging (111 mails)

< Previous Next >
[opensuse-packaging] Image based installation
  • From: Stephan Kulow <coolo@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 9 Apr 2008 21:05:15 +0200
  • Message-id: <200804092105.15528.coolo@xxxxxxx>

There were some concerns what's behind "Image based installation"
that you may hear related to Alpha3+, so I would like to explain
shortly what it means and how it may affect bug reports you see.

The whole story is a bit longer, but basically Lukas Ocilka, Steffen
Winterfeld and me had mexican dinner in Prague downtown - and it turned
out to be a productive meeting :)

The idea was: installing a live system is about twice as fast as an rpm
based install and there has to be a way to use that fact for a "normal"
DVD. So we decided it has to be simple to install a basic system from
tar and then treat the installed system as if we would do an update.

Jiri Srain and Lukas prototyped that system within yast during hackweek II
and I spent all easter trying to get a working imaging solution. So that's
what we use now in Alpha3+ - and saving roughly 50% installation time compared
to 10.3 (

This is done by the package openSUSE-images. It takes 4 lists of packages
(patterns enhanced_base, x11, gnome and kde for the very architecture) and
installs them with zypper in a chroot. After that it splits out the meta data
and the common parts and generates compressed tar files that end up on the

Yast will see a description file on what pattern selection, what set of tar
files to unpack and will do so. This takes a fraction of the time it would
take with rpm, still after that you have a correctly installed system. The
only difference noticed so far is the install time in rpm header (which is
frozen at the time openSUSE-images built).

So how does this affect you as packager? If your package is not in the default
patterns: not at all. If it is, there are special rules your package has to
follow not to break this optimization.

Most importantly: %post scripts should not create host specific configurations
that can't be updated later. This rule already applies as we provide live CDs,
so no change. But important to remember. Other than that? I can't think of
any, but the method is pretty new and I'm not sure it was tried before.

If you have further questions, feel free to contact me.

Greetings, Stephan
To unsubscribe, e-mail: opensuse-packaging+unsubscribe@xxxxxxxxxxxx
For additional commands, e-mail: opensuse-packaging+help@xxxxxxxxxxxx

< Previous Next >