Archive for October, 2012

Parsidora 17?! (or: ongoing problems in creating a Fedora 17 installation DVD spin/remix)

It has been long since Fedora 17 is released, and Parsidora 17 should have been already released. However, I wasn’t able to work on Parsidora when Fedora 17 was released. Later, we had problems with the systems we use to build Parsidora (which should have enough bandwidth and a good internet connection). Our initial plan was to run a Fedora 17 OS on oVirt and build Parsidora in it. However, Fedora 17 didn’t boot on the oVirt we had in a CentOS system. My friend tried to solve the problem and discussed with some relevant sources, but with no success. Finally, we gave up on using oVirt and reverted back to running Fedora 17 on KVM.

I started the work and created initial spins. At first, there was the space problem. The initial ISOs were about 6.5GiB which was much more than the size of a standard DVD. Looks like that Fedora itself is using more space on its installation DVD. After several attempts, and by removing some packages (specially Wesnoth) I was able to reach an acceptable size.

Now, it was the time to test the installation of our new ISO. My friend tested it on KVM and told me that it shows an exception in the early stages. I checked myself, and after some investigation I realized that this is a known bug, which is recently solved and I should update the lorax package of the host Fedora 17 OS.

I updated lorax and some other packages which could affect building a new installation media, and started the process again. When the ISO was ready, I tried to install it under KVM. Fortunately, the exception didn’t happen again, and I was able to proceed in anaconda and let it start the installation. It prepared for the installation and started to install the first package. CPU usage of the virtual machine reached 100% and… nothing else happened. I waited for a long time but it never installed the first package.

I decided to use the installer’s shell to gather some info, but it was not there! After searching in the Internet, I found that it is also a known problem which is solved in Fedora 18, but not for Fedora 17. Using the information given in the bug report, I was able to work around this problem too.

Unfortunately, I still don’t know why the installer is unable to start installing the packages. It might be a KVM only problem, or a general problem. My friend is going to test it on a real machine to see if it is a KVM only (or hardware specific) problem.

I hope that we can find a solution to this problem too. Creating Parsidora 17 has consumed more energy than expected, and its feature is still ambiguous.  While creating a Fedora spin a while after its final release has many advantages, it can be problematic in either building or installer because of some updates which could affect building the spin, or the installer environment (e.g. kernel and systemd).

Update: I forgot to mention the second crash in anaconda which was due to this bug, which is fixed for Fedora 18 but not Fedora 17. I worked around this bug by changing lorax configuration files so that it’ll install hostname package in the installer image.

Well, I just created a new spin with 3.5.6 kernel and latest updates, and the problem still persists. 😦

Hope that Parsidora 17 can see the light of the day! 😛