|Version 25 (modified by dkg, 6 years ago) (diff)|
The goal of this project is to create a RIP-style kernel and initramfs that leaves the user in a functional Debian system.
We have succeeded in creating a very minimal Debian system that loads entirely into ram. At the moment, it relies on a kernel patch that Kent Robotti (RIP developer) is using to allow for overmounting a tmpfs on the initial initrd. The patch appears to have been initially authored by Chris Wedgwood. Hopefully we can either get something working without the patched kernel, or get the patch into the Debian mainline.
The benefit of the this patched kernel method, though, is that it's "stupid simple". The initrd is nothing more than a gzip'd cpio (initramfs) of the desired filesystem, with a couple of simple tweaks. The initial executed script just /sbin/init. We feel that this is really how it should be. No crazy init gymnastics to get a root filesystem mounted. The initrd is the root filesystem.
Debirf is made publicly available under the GNU General Public License.
We want to make it easy to build alternate debirf images to different targets. Some example target ideas are:
:minimal ;just run a simple base debian install, with root access over the serial line :diskrescue ;install a full complement of system repair utilities, including mdadm, lvm2, testdisk, foremost, etc :kiosk ;run a simple clean GUI interface for public-access web browsing
at the moment, stock debirf installs require the host machine to have ~256MB of RAM. We'd like to make at least some of the debirf images capable of running in much less than that. installing a custom kernel could cut that down completely (at the cost of specializing the image to specific hardware), as could pruning all but your preferred locale/language, and much of the documentation. Systems with no documentation suck, but if you've got an embedded target (for example) there may be no other options.
Debirf is also available from the cmrg apt repository. Add the following to your /etc/apt/sources.list:
deb http://cmrg.fifthhorseman.net/debian unstable debirf deb-src http://cmrg.fifthhorseman.net/debian unstable debirf
dkg is also posting debirf.cgz initramfs files and patched kernels for various architectures up on his site: