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Making respins with custom configs and files



Hey List,

I've come out of my coding ban (till finals are over) to work on a
small side project.  It's a tool that lets you pick a set of files
from a running system, they could be anything, config files, random
non-free fonts installed to /usr/share/fonts/, grub splash screens,
etc..., and lets you make an RPM out of them.  Since some of these
files might clash with other packages, it doesn't install them
directly to the root, but hidden away in /usr/share.  There is a
second tool that then deploys these lumps of files.  It solves the
following use cases:

Scenario 1
Tim is a power user.  He has a system heavily configured, with a
custom set of packages, from five repos, and all sorts of other things
he found on online on deviantart.  He wants to make a respin of his
computer using Revisor, so he can pop a CD in the brand new machine,
use it to install Fedora, and be up and running in under 30 minutes.
Since a large number of files that are not in his /home partition are
just as important still require time setting up, he would rather tell
Revisor where to look, and have it copy all these files automatically.
 He's also given a package full of files that he could drop into a
private repo if he ever finds the time to set one up.

Scenario 2
Kim is a computer science student.  She's been given an assignment
that involves a complicated build and runtime environment.  In her
proprietary-software centric school, ensuring that her code will
compile and run cleanly when she submits it for a grade is a huge
chore.  She would rather give the professors a Live CD saying 'run
this', that drops them into a stripped down Gnome environment, with a
terminal, and all her programs sitting on the desktop.  She gets an A,
and her professor starts considering incorporating Linux into the
curriculum for its ease of use.

Scenario 3
Jim is a technician for Megacorp and is configuring a bunch of
machines.  He knows how to make RPMs, but it is a lengthy process
since he is not familiar with it.  He has a set of files he wants to
include with every system he configures, that include corporate
branding on every spot available.  The list of files is large, but the
only thing he needs to do is copy them to specific places.  He would
rather just give  a command a list of files that spits out a spec file
and a tarball that he can add to an automated system.  The packages
will then be deployed the next time he schedules an update.


Right now, I have two working scripts.  There are a couple of minor
bugs, and I have some SELinux questions.  Is this something people
want to see in Fedora 9?  Would it be useful to the revisor/respin
crowd?  Or am I completely off the mark here, and someone has a better
idea?

Cheers,
Yaakov


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