MontanaLinux Remix: The Bug Fairy Pays a Visit

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I've been building a Fedora Remix for some time now. If I remember correctly I started around Fedora 9 and have continued to build them with each new release. I'm on Fedora 13 now. I usually rebuild the remix every time a new set of updates comes out. So far I had rebuilt the i686 and the x86_64 remix 46 times each... and then someone reported some problems with the last couple of builds. I didn't notice because I had been on vacation and was doing the rebuilds remotely without testing the final product. I figured if it built ok, it was probably ok... because I hadn't previously had any problems with any builds.

Turns out that while I was on vacation there were a few updates that broke two things:

  1. The iso won't boot on KVM
  2. The installer crashes when selecting storage

Then there was another bug in some other package that would cause the iso not to even build sometimes. So the situation was... if it builds (it might not), and if it boots (it won't on KVM), then the installer will crash. Oh fun.

Fixes are available but...

They have everything fixed in the Fedora 14 devel branch... but will they back-port those fixes to Fedora 13 and Fedora 12? There seems to be some resistance. One developer said that to fix the Fedora 13 installer (anaconda) it would require them to rebuild the Fedora 13 install media, send them through QA, and then re-release them. That makes no sense... they can fix anaconda without having to re-release install media.

Getting it working again

I finally got it working again. I had to make my own updates repo and use previous versions of udev, NetworkManager, and dbus-glib. I also used an updated livecd-tools (that package that includes livecd-creator) from Fedora 13 Updates Testing so I would allow me not to run into the iso build bug... and also build Fedora 14 if I wanted.

I sure hope the developers get the fixes back ported for us Remix and Respin builders... otherwise we are dead in the water if we want to include the updates in our spins.

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What is the remix that you work on? Do you release iso images of your remix and kickstart files? What is the focus for your remix? I would love for you to join me on Fusion Linux Fedora Remix.


Scott Dowdle's picture

MontanaLinux Fedora Remix

I call it "MontanaLinux" but it is mostly for personal use. I don't really publish publicly but I do share the URL whenever someone requests it.

There isn't much special about it... as it is all stock packages from Fedora and RPM Fusion... with Flash added (I was approved to redistribute by Adobe). I do some minor changes with custom syslinux/grub boot screens and a few other "hotdog" generic logo changes... but I haven't gotten fancy enough to build any custom .rpm packages. I mostly hacked the build kickstart so replace the image files during the build process which is really the brute force way to do it rather than the elegant way.

My package set is pretty sloppy and I try to keep it just under 2GB so it'll fit on a 2GB USB thumbdrive. I include KDE and GNOME as well as all of the other desktop environments / managers like XFCE, LXDE, etc. The 64-bit version includes everything needed for KVM / virt-manager. I want to get rid of some stuff to make room for Google Chrome and Opera but I haven't dug through the package list yet.

I'm certainly aware of your remix and applaud your goals. Perhaps in the not too distant future I'll find some time to participate but right now I'm not sure how I could be of help.

Scott Dowdle's picture

More updates I can't use

Yesterday there were a number of updates and some of them depend on the latest udev... so I've had to discard those and go with earlier releases of those as well. They include device-mapper*, lvm2*, and udisk*.

As more and more updates are released, this work around become more precarious.

I emailed Jared Smith, the Fedora Project Leader, just to make sure he is aware of the problem. I also did some additional posting to the bug reports and there appears to be some interest in getting the root of the problem fixed. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

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