A simple and hopefully usable FreeBSD live CD

Lars Engels lars.engels at 0x20.net
Mon Aug 23 09:33:40 UTC 2010

Quoting Ed Schouten <ed at 80386.nl>:

> Hello all,
> A couple of major releases ago, we had a FreeBSD disc1.iso which also
> included the livefs. Nowadays the livefs comes on a separate disc. This
> livefs disc has a couple of issues in my opinion:
> - The livefs disc does not feature any installsets, which means if your
>   system has 1 CD-ROM drive, you have to resort to network connectivity
>   to obtain the installsets to perform a manual install.
> - The livefs installation places everything in /dist and does some odd
>   tricks to get the basic things working, which means that any tool that
>   assumes a specific pathname doesn't work anymore. I remember the GEOM
>   tools were once broken because of this. You also have to add symlinks
>   here and there to make something as simple as scp(1) work, because the
>   ssh(1) binary is in the wrong place.
> I think I already mentioned it on some of the lists, but I've spent some
> time creating a better FreeBSD live CD (or at least I tried to).
> Basically the CD is just a stock FreeBSD installation (base + manpages +
> kernel) with a small mfsroot between the boot process to let it use
> unionfs and tmpfs before calling into /sbin/init.
> You can just run adduser, dhclient and fire up a SSH daemon. It's
> exactly the same as an installation of FreeBSD on a harddisk, with the
> only exception that any changes don't survive a reboot. It also has a
> copy of all the installsets, which means you can do installations and
> recoveries.
> I've attached a copy of the script I use to generate the CD. Just make
> sure you have FreeBSD-9.0-CURRENT-201008-amd64-disc1.iso placed in the
> same directory as the script and that you have an up-to-date HEAD source
> tree in /usr/src, with a GENERIC kernel already built. You also need to
> have cdrtools installed. After that, you should be able to run gencd.sh
> as root (needed for retaining file permissions), which should generate a
> FreeBSD-9.0-CURRENT-201008-amd64-ed.iso.
> Right now it still requires the source tree, because the fixes for tmpfs
> needed to make it all work aren't in the 201008 snapshot. By the time
> 201009 is released, the script can easily be modified to use the kernel
> binaries.
> I'm sending this email for two different reasons:
> 1. Be sure to give the CD a try and share your experiences. Does it
>    work? Does it crash? Is it usable for you? If not, why not?
> 2. Would a CD like this be a good addition to the provided install
>    media? Does it actually solve shortcomings of the existing media?
> If people think it's a nice CD to work with, I could consider
> integrating it into release(7). Thanks!
> --
>  Ed Schouten <ed at 80386.nl>
>  WWW: http://80386.nl/

Hi Ed,

could you please upload the resulting ISO so that people who don't  
want to create it themselves can test your CD?



Lars Engels
E-Mail: lars.engels at 0x20.net
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