LiveCD HowTo

Alexander E. Patrakov patrakov at
Tue Dec 13 21:58:09 PST 2005

Jeremy Huntwork wrote:

>For the best end results, we might want to consider a collaberative work
>on this. We could add a section to trunk (or a separate directory at the
>top-level) specifically for this undertaking.
Suggested plan:

1) Describe the main differences between a typical LiveCD and a regular 

a) Target hardware is unknown
b) Even the root device name is unknown
c) The CD is read-only, and some scratch space is needed
d) The CD size is limited to 700 MB
e) The user should still be able to quickly configure everything he needs

2) For each problem, describe the method to solve it:

a) hotplug, udev, blacklist, ability to unload modules, X 
autoconfiguration via detect-video.hotplug. Maybe mention the upcoming 
(i.e. relevant for 2.6.15-rc5-mm1, but not for 2.6.15 yet) problem of 
alternative drivers for IDE disks: "via82cxxx" vs "pata_via".

b) describe the initramfs, mention both klibc-based and C-based variants.

c) mention all three known approaches:

* the 6.0 way of not leaving the initramfs, drawbacks: must make sure 
that the user will never want to change anything in /usr, e.g. aliases 
for old bitmap fonts or fluxbox theme.
* unionfs, mention bugs
* dm, show both the equivalent shell script and the C API.

d) squashfs, zisofs, cloop

e) choice of applications: ban of the old core X font protocol, man vs 
man-db, dialog-based configurators, etc.

Alexander E. Patrakov

More information about the livecd mailing list