I started playing around with the Debian "live-package" package, to see if I could use that to create a Debian-on-initramfs image.

servo:0:~> apt-cache show live-package 
Description: utility to build Debian Live systems
 make-live is a utility to build Debian Live systems. It takes a Debian mirror
 as an input and outputs a live system image (ISO image for CDs and DVDs, or
 tarball for netboot). make-live is still in the early stage of development, but
 has basic functionality and can be run successfully.
  Homepage: <>

By default, make-live will create either an iso, or a netboot image that uses an nfs root. It's a very nice tool. If you specify a net image, it creates a tftpboot directory, fully populated with everything you need. It still uses an nfs root, though, which is a bummer.

However, there are some people that are trying to extend the functionality to boot purely in ram, without nfs:

I created an image with make-live and the following variables:

LIVE_BOOTAPPEND="console=tty0 console=ttyS0,115200n8"

Booting with the PXE boot options suggested in the link above:

  kernel vmlinuz
  append initrd=initrd.gz boot=casper frominitrd

but without modifying anything in the initrd.gz, will not fully boot, but it will drop you into a limited shell (although with readline). I couldn't coak it to boot from there. I suspect some pivot_root type thing needs to happen.

If I could figure out how to just mount the created initrd.gz, I could just apply the patch and see if it works.

sudo sh -c "(cd debian-live/binary/casper && echo filesystem.squashfs | cpio --create -H newc ) | gzip >> debian-live/tftpboot/initrd.gz"
Last modified 11 years ago Last modified on Mar 13, 2007, 3:50:25 AM