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INTRO
-----
livemedia-creator uses Anaconda, kickstart and Lorax to create bootable media
that use the same install path as a normal system install. It can be used to
make live isos, bootable (partitioned) disk images and filesystem images for
use with virtualization.

The general idea is to use virt-install to install into a disk image and then
use the disk image to create the bootable media.

livemedia-creator --help will describe all of the options available. At the
minimum you need:

--make-iso to create a final bootable .iso
--iso to specify the Anaconda install media to use with virt-install
--ks is the kickstart to use to install the system

To use livemedia-creator with virt-install you will need to install the
following packages, as well as have libvirtd setup correctly.
  virt-install
  libvirt-python

If you are going to be using Anaconda directly, with --no-virt mode, make sure
you have the anaconda package installed.


QUICKSTART
----------
sudo livemedia-creator --make-iso \
--iso=/extra/iso/Fedora-18-x86_64-netinst.iso --ks=./docs/fedora-livemedia.ks

If you are using the lorax git repo you can run it like so:

sudo PATH=./src/sbin/:$PATH PYTHONPATH=./src/ ./src/sbin/livemedia-creator \
--make-iso --iso=/extra/iso/Fedora-18-x86_64-netinst.iso \
--ks=./docs/fedora-livemedia.ks --lorax-templates=./share/

If you want to watch the install you can pass '--vnc vnc' and use a vnc
client to connect to localhost:0

This is usually a good idea when testing changes to the kickstart. It tries
to monitor the logs for fatal errors, but may not catch everything.


HOW IT WORKS
------------
There are 2 stages, the install stage which produces a disk or filesystem
image as its output, and the boot media creation which uses the image as
its input. Normally you would have it run both stages, but it is possible
to have it stop after the install stage, using --image-only, or to have it
skip the install stage and use a previously created disk image by passing
--disk-image or --fs-image

When creating an iso virt-install boots using the passed Anaconda installer iso
and installs the system based on the kickstart. The %post section of the
kickstart is used to customize the installed system in the same way that
current spin-kickstarts do.

livemedia-creator monitors the install process for problems by watching the
install logs. They are written to the current directory or to the base
directory specified by the --logfile command. You can also monitor the install
by passing --vnc vnc and using a vnc client. This is recommended when first
modifying a kickstart, since there are still places where Anaconda may get
stuck without the log monitor catching it.

The output from this process is a partitioned disk image. kpartx can be used
to mount and examine it when there is a problem with the install. It can also
be booted using kvm.

When creating an iso the disk image's / partition is copied into a formatted
disk image which is then used as the input to lorax for creation of the final
media.

The final image is created by lorax, using the templates in /usr/share/lorax/
or the directory specified by --lorax-templates

Currently the standard lorax templates are used to make a bootable iso, but
it should be possible to modify them to output other results. They are
written using the Mako template system which is very flexible.


KICKSTARTS
----------
The docs/ directory includes two example kickstarts, one to create a live desktop
iso using GNOME, and the other to create a minimal disk image. When creating your
own kickstarts you should start with the minimal example, it includes several
needed packages that are not always included by dependencies.

Or you can use existing spin kickstarts to create live media with a few
changes. Here are the steps I used to convert the Fedora XFCE spin.

1. Flatten the xfce kickstart using ksflatten
2. Add zerombr so you don't get the disk init dialog
3. Add clearpart --all
4. Add swap partition
5. bootloader target
6. Add shutdown to the kickstart
7. Add network --bootproto=dhcp --activate to activate the network
   This works for F16 builds but for F15 and before you need to pass
   something on the cmdline that activate the network, like sshd.

livemedia-creator --kernel-args="sshd"

8. Add a root password

rootpw rootme
network --bootproto=dhcp --activate
zerombr
clearpart --all
bootloader --location=mbr
part swap --size=512
shutdown

9. In the livesys script section of the %post remove the root password. This
   really depends on how the spin wants to work. You could add the live user
   that you create to the %wheel group so that sudo works if you wanted to.

passwd -d root > /dev/null

10. Remove /etc/fstab in %post, dracut handles mounting the rootfs

cat /dev/null > /dev/fstab

    Do this only for live iso's, the filesystem will be mounted read only if
    there is no /etc/fstab

11. Don't delete initramfs files from /boot in %post
12. Have dracut-config-generic, grub-efi, memtest86+ and syslinux in the package
    list.
13. Omit dracut-config-rescue from the package list "-dracut-config-rescue"

One drawback to using virt-install is that it pulls the packages from
the repo each time you run it. To speed things up you either need a local
mirror of the packages, or you can use a caching proxy. When using a proxy
you pass it to livemedia-creator like so:

--proxy=http://proxy.yourdomain.com:3128

You also need to use a specific mirror instead of mirrormanager so that the
packages will get cached, so your kickstart url would look like:

url --url="http://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/fedora/linux/development/17/x86_64/os/"

You can also add an update repo, but don't name it updates. Add --proxy to
it as well.


ANACONDA IMAGE INSTALL
----------------------
You can create images without using virt-install by passing --no-virt on the
cmdline. This will use Anaconda's directory install feature to handle the install.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind when doing this:

1. It will be most reliable when building images for the same release that the
   host is running. Because Anaconda has expectations about the system it is
   running under you may encounter strange bugs if you try to build newer or
   older releases.

2. Make sure selinux is set to permissive or disabled. It won't install
   correctly with selinux set to enforcing yet.

3. It may totally trash your host. So far I haven't had this happen, but the
   possibility exists that a bug in Anaconda could result in it operating on
   real devices. I recommend running it in a virt or on a system that you can
   afford to lose all data from.

The logs from anaconda will be placed in an ./anaconda/ directory in either
the current directory or in the directory used for --logfile

Example cmdline:

sudo livemedia-creator --make-iso --no-virt --ks=./fedora-livemedia.ks


AMI IMAGES
----------
Amazon EC2 images can be created by using the --make-ami switch and an appropriate
kickstart file. All of the work to customize the image is handled by the kickstart.
The example currently included was modified from the cloud-kickstarts version so
that it would work with livemedia-creator.

Example cmdline:
sudo livemedia-creator --make-ami --iso=/path/to/boot.iso --ks=./docs/fedora-livemedia-ec2.ks

This will produce an ami-root.img file in the working directory.

At this time I have not tested the image with EC2. Feedback would be welcome.


APPLIANCE CREATION
------------------
livemedia-creator can now replace appliance-tools by using the --make-appliance
switch. This will create the partitioned disk image and an XML file that can be
used with virt-image to setup a virtual system.

The XML is generated using the Mako template from
/usr/share/lorax/appliance/libvirt.xml You can use a different template by
passing --app-template <template path>

Documentation on the Mako template system can be found here:
http://docs.makotemplates.org/en/latest/index.html

The name of the final output XML is appliance.xml, this can be changed with
--app-file <file path>

The following variables are passed to the template:
disks           A list of disk_info about each disk.
                Each entry has the following attributes:
    name           base name of the disk image file
    format         "raw"
    checksum_type  "sha256"
    checksum       sha256 checksum of the disk image
name            Name of appliance, from --app-name argument
arch            Architecture
memory          Memory in KB (from --ram)
vcpus           from --vcpus
networks        list of networks from the kickstart or []
title           from --title
project         from --project
releasever      from --releasever

The created image can be imported into libvirt using:

virt-image appliance.xml

You can also create qcow2 appliance images using --qcow2, for example:
sudo livemedia-creator --make-appliance --iso=/path/to/boot.iso --ks=./docs/fedora-minimal.ks \
--qcow2 --app-file=minimal-test.xml --image-name=minimal-test.img


FILESYSTEM IMAGE CREATION
-------------------------
livemedia-creator can be used to create un-partitined filesystem images using the
--make-fsimage option. As of version 21.8 this works with both virt-install and no-virt. Previously
it was only available with --no-virt.

Kickstarts should have a single / partition with no extra mountpoints.

livemedia-creator --make-fsimage --iso=/path/to/boot.iso --ks=./docs/fedora-minimal.ks

You can name the output image with --image-name and set a label on the filesystem with --fs-label


TAR FILE CREATION
-----------------
The --make-tar command can be used to create a tar of the root filesystem. By
default it is compressed using xz, but this can be changed using the
--compression and --compress-arg options. This option works with both virt and
--no-virt install methods.

As with --make-fsimage the kickstart should be limited to a single / partition.

eg.

livemedia-creator --make-tar --iso=/path/to/boot.iso --ks=./docs/fedora-minimal.ks \
--image-name=fedora-root.tar.xz


DEBUGGING PROBLEMS
------------------
Cleaning up an aborted (ctrl-c) virt-install run (as root):
virsh list to show the name of the virt
virsh destroy <name>
virsh undefine <name>
umount /tmp/tmpXXXX
rm -rf /tmp/tmpXXXX
rm /tmp/diskXXXXX

The logs from the virt-install run are stored in virt-install.log,
logs from livemedia-creator are in livemedia.log and program.log

You can add --image-only to skip the .iso creation and examine the resulting
disk image. Or you can pass --keep-image to keep it around after lorax is
run.

Cleaning up aborted --no-virt installs can sometimes be accomplished by running
the anaconda-cleanup script. As of f18 anaconda is multi-threaded and it can
sometimes become stuck and refuse to exit. When this happens you can usually
clean up by first killing the anaconda process then running anaconda-cleanup.


HACKING
-------
Development on this will take place as part of the lorax project, and on the
anaconda-devel-list mailing list.

Feedback, enhancements and bugs are welcome.
You can use http://bugzilla.redhat.com to report bugs.