Max (spevack) wrote,

red hat summit -- fedora unity, custom spins of fedora, etc.

So I'm sitting here in the first big Fedora talk at the Red Hat Summit. Jon Steffan. Bob Jensen, and Jesse Keating talking about how to build custom versions of Fedora.

The tools that they used? Pungi, LiveCD Creator, and Revisor.

In my opinion, the ability to generate customized versions of Fedora is one of the most important pieces of Fedora 7.

Here's my "live notes" from the talk:

There are probably about 75 people in the room for the session.

Bob Jensen is kicking things off. Bob is the founder and chairman of the Fedora Unity Project. What is Fedora Unity? Users, contributors, and other professionals that use Fedora who are working together to improve various parts of the distribution. Ultimately, they try to push as much of the work that they do back into the upstream Fedora Project as they can.

What are some of the websites that Fedora Unity has built?
+ -- main website
+ -- helping people with fedora HOWTOs, etc
+ -- helping people with fedora on laptops, for example
+ -- helping people with fedora on 64 bit machines specifically

The Fedora Unity project started providing re-spins of Fedora Core 5 and Fedora Core 6 -- they would take the original ISO and all of the updates, rebuild anaconda, and produce a fully updated ISO of Fedora. So by downloading one of their ISOs, a user was able to simulate installation of one of the GOLD releases of Fedora, but avoid the large "yum update" that would inevitably follow, with a month or two's worth of updates.

Popularity grew over time, as did contributor base and strength of tools. In addition to doing respins, Fedora Unity started doing LiveCDs and LiveDVDs as well.

The next big thing that happened for Fedora Unity was the release of Pungi (the distribution compose tool that Fedora uses and that is 100% free software) and the LiveCD creator (the same thing, but for building Live CDs).

Bob hands the reins over to Jesse Keating.

Jesse is talking about his own history, and is giving the basic description of Pungi, as well as the history of various compose tools and the need to have an open sourced build system and compose tool. He's also talking about a variety of the challenges that we ran into with Pungi's development, particularly some of the dependency resolving issues.

Bob Jensen is up again now.

Fedora re-spins have paved the way for the idea of custom versions of Fedora.

Why should only the Fedora Project be able to build an ISO?
Why should only Fedora Unity build the respins?

Why not just give ANYONE the ability to build a Fedora spin any time they want? And allow them to do it using a nice GUI?

And that's where Revisor comes in.

They hand over to Jonathan Steffan.

Revisor is an application built on top of pungi and live cd creator (and yum), that allows, as Jonathan puts it, "someone's mother" to build their own version of Fedora. The tools is designed to take a package set, resolve its dependencies, and build an ISO.

Jon's now showing a video (screencast) of Revisor in action.

It's a simple GUI that allows people to select repositories and choose packages that they want to include in their package manifest. It can load in a kickstart file which is uses as a basis for the package manifest, or you can create your own from scratch. Then you can use an interface similar to Pirut to modify your package set as you like.

A few clicks of "forward" through the wizard, and your ISO is building. It comes out the other end, and you're all set.

A GUI tool, built by the Fedora community and expanding on already-existing Fedora Project code, that allows a simple wizard-like interface to build your own version of Fedora.

Great stuff.
Tags: redhat
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