Saturday, June 26, 2004

LINUX: Free software tool automates Mandrake Linux

Free software tool automates Mandrake Linux: "Jun. 25, 2004

Nexedi.org has published an article introducing 'umibuilder,' an interesting free software tool that can be used to update Linux packages. The tool is perhaps most useful for automating security updates of systems using Mandrake Linux. Because it downloads the latest versions of RPMs from the Internet, Umibuilder can also be used to automate security updates of Mandrake systems, according to the article.

Earlier this month, Nexedi and Mandrakesoft announced a strategy to deliver a Linux desktop with zero transition costs. With Rentalinux Desktop Linux Server (DLS) the companies are providing a solution to deploy Mandrakelinux free of any upfront investment, and with minimal disruption. According to Nexedi, rentalinux requires no software installation and no changes to existing hardware or networks.

DLS combines server hardware rental, software setup, custom configuration, support, and maintenance service in a single package.

The umibuilder software tools also benefit developers and 'allows rapid creation of [shrink] wrapped GNU/Linux solutions which can then be distributed on flash memory or on live CD.'

Umibuilder favors Mandrake Linux because it uses urpmi and other Mandrake tools, according to the article. However, users of other distros can set up a chroot environment in which to experiment with Umibuilder.

Umibuilder is configured by creating simple text files that specify the RPM packages which the target embedded system should contain, and the unneeded files from those RPMs that should be deleted.

Another text file, called an 'Umigumi,' describes the hardware target in terms of what modules should be loaded at boot time, and other considerations. Umibuilder users share Umigumis for a range of hardware devices, including the OpenBrick and the Sumicom barebones machines.

Once the needed text files have been set up, Umibuilder automates the process of downloading all the required RPMs, stripping away unneeded files, and creating a CompactFlash or live CD image that will boot on a target hardware.

For more details, read the full article at Nexedi.org.


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