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      APC Magazine June 2004 - Debian DVD's

     

    This page contains limited information on the Debian 3.0 r2 Binary and Source DVD's custom created by Linuxathome.net for APC Magazine June 2004 Issue. The Binary DVD was compiled for release on the front cover of the June 2004 issue as requested and organised by Lachlan Grant of APC Magazine, and the Source DVD is available upon request from APC Magazine (at a small cost in order to pay for the replication of the DVD's).

     

      General Information

     

    The DVD's were created using the Debian 3.0r2 i386 Binary and Source CDs (7 CD iso sets for each of the two) downloaded from the Netspace FTP server, each ISO was extracted using Daemon Tools and then manually merged in order to create a single DVD iso files. The ISO files themselves were created using MKISOFS.

    The i386 binaries were selected because this was seen to be the most common and popular architecture for APC Magazine readers and subscribers.

    Memtest86 v3.0 was also added to the Binary DVD to provide a similar facility for system memory testing to that provided by Red Hat Linux distributions etc. When the Binary DVD boots, simply type "memtest" at the prompt to run Memtest86.

    Apart from the addition of Memtest86, no other major changes were made to the distribution (besides the modification of the readme and md5sum files). Thus the installation procedure and all related items work in the same way as they would from CD-ROM, only of course, you don't need to change the disc every couple of minutes during the install in order to get your system up and running with Debian 3.0 r2. (You must remember, that since this is created from the CD ISO's, that the installation procedure still comments on CD's etc, just ignore these and continue using the single DVD for everything you will need).

    The main reason for the creation of these DVD's are that no official stable DVD iso image has been released.

    I would like to say thank you to Lachlan Grant and my friend Jarrod Spiga both from APC Magazine for selecting me to create these DVD ISO's for APC Magazine's June 2004 Issue, it was a great privilege to be able to contribute back to the Linux community and the experience / challenge of creating the Debian DVD's was great.

    Once the issue has finished its circulation, and of course if permitted by APC Magazine, I will try and make the DVD ISO's available for download (most likely using BitTorrent to distribute the bandwidth),

    Binary DVD ISO md5sum: x8sdf75e879g58sd6f0sd ./debian-woody-30r2-i386-binary-dvd.iso
    Source DVD ISO md5sum: x8as9sasdfdf9dfs8sdf98 ./debian-woody-30r2-source-dvd.iso

    If you would like a custom Linux CD / DVD created for your magazine, company or personal usage, you can contact me by emailing mayhem (at) linuxathome.net

     

      Making Debian Binary DVD Mini HOW-TO

     

    Below are the instructions for the process I used to create the Debian DVD ISO's, this is as a guide for those who are looking at doing similar things:

    1. Download the required ISO files from your local FTP (I used my ISP's FTP as it was free quota on my Internet account, which helped as it was over 8GB of downloads in total), or the original CDs if you have the CD media.

    2. Combine the files from the ISO's / CD's into a directory on your system (combining the appropriate package directory's etc as required). This is where the main trouble is, you have to make sure that you have all the required files and in the required directories.

    In order to get my Debian 3.0 r2 ("Woody") i386 Binary DVD to work flawlessly, I had to completely scrap the "dists" directory and download the latest complete directory from the Netspace FTP, once I worked this out it was smooth sailing (Mind you this was at least 15-20 ISO compiles later, oh well).

    3. Modify any files you want (e.g. Edit readme files, add package updates and add boot images etc).

    4. Recreate the appropriate md5sums files for the discs you are creating (e.g. I used MD5 Summer as unfortunately I developed these DVD's on my Windows XP machine, as it was the only one available in the limited time I had available). This is a good idea especially if you are distributing the ISO, that way when people burn it they can check the files on the DVD to make sure non are corrupt.

    5. Create the ISO, to do this use MKISOFS, you can download it from just about anywhere (do a Google search). This is the command I used to create the ISO

    mkisofs -o debian-woody-30r2-i386-binary-dvd.iso -b isolinux/isolinux.bin -c isolinux/boot.cat -no-emul-boot -boot-load-size 4 -boot-info-table -R -m TRANS.TBL -J -T

    Well not the complete command, I added other information like preparer, publisher, volume id etc (But I am not giving all my secrets away here, so you will just have to read up on the options of MKISOFS).

    6. Burn the ISO using your favourite burning application (e.g. cdrecord for Linux or Nero for Windows).

    7. Test the ISO from boot to the end of the install to make sure it all works as planned. If not then go back to steps 2/3 and work out where the problem lies. This is where the greatest amount of time is needed, so it might help to use a program such as VMWare to emulate a test machine to speed the test process up as much as possible.

    So there you go, takes a bit of playing around, but in the end its pretty straight forward. If you wanted to create your own custom CDs the method would be fairly similar to the above steps.

    If you have any questions or comments, please email mayhem (at) linuxathome.net

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