Tuesday Sep 11, 2007

BeleniX download is a really a torrent now!

Has anyone checked out ISOHUNT lately? BeleniX is on the front page. And can you imagine how many folks are downloading BeleniX? I almost fell out of my seat when I saw the numbers. 

3810 - seeds and 1821 leechers! Wow, that is the kind of numbers pirated blockbuster movies run into.

Monday Aug 27, 2007

BeleniX - LiveUSB - session/data persistence is here!

Anil just announced it. Pretty neat!


I've been working on adding session persistence on a BeleniX LiveUSB.
The framework is now quite complete and available for testing. Note
that it is still in alpha, but works as advertised on belenix 0.6 and

(To Install, boot into belenix LiveCD, untar the above to a temp dir, and
run the provided 'usbdump'

What does this mean to users?
-The LiveUSB has a Documents icon on the desktop (/root/Documents).
Anything saved to this location is saved on the USB, and will be
available upon reboot.

-The user can choose to record the keyboard type, desktop type, screen
resolution and network configuration data for a particular PC and have
them all automatically selected the next time the USB is booted on
that PC. Each PC can have it's own config so you can easily go from
GRUB to your favorite desktop and network setup without any user

-Additionally many settings made around the system are saved. Firefox
bookmarks and plugins, gaim accounts, thunderbird settings, and
settings of your favorite apps, new files created in custom folders,
etc. All of this is easily configurable by editing the 'profiler.list'

-the save back is implemented using lofi drivers. Once this is
modified to encrypted lofi, this will make for a cool encrypted
liveUSB stick that you can carry out


Download the 'usbdump' script and run it from the belenix LiveCD
environment and follow the onscreen steps. You now have a belenix USB

When you first boot a system, you will be asked the usual keyboard,
desktop and X11 setup config. Here are your options:

-If you are on a PC that you want to save the data changes and various
other settings, run 'session-shutdown' before powering off the PC at
the end of your session.
This will save your keyboard, desktop and X11 settings. You wont be
asked these the nest time you boot up on that particular system. All
the saved data will also be available.

-If you want to configure network on a system, and want it to be
persistent across reboots, run 'networksetup.sh' in a terminal on that
PC, and follow on screen steps. DHCP, DHCP-noNIS and Static IP are
currently supported.

-Everything in /root/Documents is saved and is available across
reboot. This folder can also be accessed using the 'Documents' icon on
the desktop.

-If you do not want to save any settings that you made in the current
session, just poweroff without session-shutdown

Known issues/limitations and near-future improvements
-Encryption! this is the high priority feature to be included to allow
for a secure usb stick along with ubiquitous computing. the change
needed would be to use xlofi instead of lofi.

-The scripts run and work on my machine. I've tried with 3 different
USBs (kingson 1gb, lexar 1gb and kingston 2gb). However, I expect
usbdump to not work on certain USBs. If you have one such, do contact
me so we can fix the issues.

-Currently only /root/Desktop is saved back (loop mounted to
/mnt/saveback/Documents) . This can be (quite easily) extended to
/opt/, /opt/csw and
others and we can add the ability to install apps from repositories
like blastwave).

-I have not tried networksetup.sh with wifi or PCs with more than 1
ethernet card. the script may require some modification.

-A better pseudo-PCID for x86 instead of te currently used ethernet MAC id.
Usbdump wont work on PCs without an ethernet device.

-This can also me modified to work with LiveCD, by saving back to the hard disk.

-Scripts need cleaning up/error handling.. if someone wants to work on
them, let me know and I'll push this up on the todo and also post the
helper scripts.

-I've left in a lot of 'set -x' in the scripts.. so you will see a lot
of stuff scroll on startup.

I'll write up a blog entry on all the behind the scenes tech stuff
soon and post it.

Once stable and more mature, these changes could go back into the
livemedia project (and Indiana?)

livemedia-discuss mailing list

Thursday Aug 16, 2007

BeleniX Video

Check out the latest BeleniX video on YouTube. Thanks Carlton!


Monday Aug 13, 2007

BOSUG hackathon #1 - Complete

A great effort by Shiv and Ananth! Special thanks to Madhu for his help with the logistics. And countless others who helped us run this event. Thanks guys!

Here is the summary by Shiv:

Here is a quick update, the event happened as planned and it was fun !

What we came out with : 35 specs for softwares listed at
http://www.opensolaris.org/os/project/bosug/news (the page also has
the specs that were created)

We were 9 of us, of which 5 were students.
Anil (student)
Indraneel (student)
Jayanthi (student)
Komala (student)
Ravishankar (student)

Except for Ananth and Myself who had some familiarity with the tool,
everybody else were first timers.

It was fantastic - be it the initial unexpected hiccups with
networking issues, setting up the environment or getting the first
spec file and each one of us earning our lunches !

Thanks to Laca for being online till 3am(his time) ! and also to
tomww(IRC name) for coming online !
To Kira for giving it a good shot at it (again at 3am her time)
To Madhu for the greate job of providing the infrastructure.
To Ananth for sharing the planning efforts. Apart from many things
thanks for managing the online IRC participation on #bosug.

And to all who participated for the wonderful weekend that we had....

best regards

PS: The attachment about porting details referred to in the below mail
is available at

Saturday Aug 11, 2007

BOSUG hackathan - today!

is going on right now! Thanks Shiv for pulling this off. I cant wait to see the count of spec files that we generate today.

Hi Group,

I hope all of you are set to get started...
Lets meet at 10am tomorrow (same place where tutorial was held).

We'll have some inputs to draw our work upon
1. Belenix sources that were used to build previous Belenix release
2. Some of the sources that we intend to port to OpenSolaris will be
available on the server
3. The spec file repository already has 520+ softwares for which spec
files are written. I have gone through all the patches for the same
and pooled the code corrections done. I am attaching the same for your
reference. This will be available tomorrow.

What you need to do:
1. In case you need VMware images to be put onto your laptop, it helps
to come early so that we can make space on your laptop and provide the
setup VMware environment on your system with the required network
2. If you have any favourity softwares that you want to port, either
get the sources or have the list of softwares so that the sources can
be downloaded during the event.

Kira Morrow (from US) & Ananth.A(from mumbai) had registered to
participate online. We will be using the #bosug IRC channel on
freenode.net for staying online. Incase of Kira, the hackathon starts
at midnight 00:00hrs US time! Kira drop me mail about the time during
which you will be online.
Kira/Ananth, I'll provide a suggested list of softwares that you may
build. The softwares will be chosen such that there are not too many
dependencies on other softwares. I'll send out the list a few hours
before the start of the event.

\*\*\* Lets gift ourselves with a fantastic session tomorrow... \*\*\*





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