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[Fedora-livecd-list] LiveCD for Red Hat High



Hi,

I thought I'd share this with the list, since it is based on your fine
work.

Last week, we held the second annual Red Hat High here in Raleigh.  I
helped with the software side of things, and used the livecd tools to do
it.

If you haven't heard about RHH, here are some articles:

http://www.redhatmagazine.com/2007/07/09/red-hat-high-2007-getting-started/
http://www.redhatmagazine.com/2007/07/13/red-hat-high-update/
http://www.blendernation.com/2007/07/16/red-hat-high-2007/

In a nutshell, it's a technology camp for incoming high school freshmen,
using all open source software.

For the classrooms, we used lab space donated by NCSU.  However, a
couple of the labs were being used for NCSU classes during the week of
the camp, so we couldn't just format the drives and install Fedora.  Our
solution was to use a live cd.  I based the live cd .ks file off of the
example ones provided in livecd-tools.  We added some packages, made
some changes to the %post script, and ended up with a very workable
Fedora 7 system.  Here's the .iso and .ks file if you're curious:

http://people.redhat.com/rnorwood/rhh-livecd/

We used USB keys for persistent storage.  If I'd had more time, I
would've liked to either:

o Make a live USB key with persistent storage.  Probably make it so that
the fedora user's homedir would be mounted rw off of the USB stick, and
thus persist between boots.

o Figure out some sort of network storage mechanism.  We looked at
gmailfs, but couldn't get it to work in time.

For some of the other labs, where we were allowed to format the drives,
I modified the livecd .ks file (mostly removed parts of the %post and
added partitioning options), and made a kickstart iso to use that file.
This worked perfectly.  With some %include magic, I could've minimized
the duplication between the two .ks files.

I did run into a few technical glitches - one lab had systems with a
very incompatible ATI video chipset that system-config-display would not
configure properly automatically.  A bit of manual tweaking produced an
xorg.conf file that would boot the machine into an acceptable
resolution.  I took that file and produced a livecd which replaced the
default xorg.conf with the tweaked one in the %post section.  Some of
the machine's bioses were not configured to allow booting from cdrom,
but the NCSU lab folks were helpful there.

Anyway, many thanks to the livecd folks, and I hope you enjoyed the
success story.

-RN

-- 
Robin Norwood
Red Hat, Inc.

"The Sage does nothing, yet nothing remains undone."
-Lao Tzu, Te Tao Ching


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