[Grml] Mobile GRML

Mark or2uvma02 at sneakemail.com
Fri Nov 18 22:58:23 CET 2005


GRML is very nice work, my new favorite distro.  I'm not a heavy
sysadmin; but GRML almost matches some needs here.  Since you ask for
feedback and wishes...mine relates to grml2hd and the user scenario.

The grml-small release is great for USB flash sticks.  Thank you for
providing that.

Consider another scenario with grml-big.  Think of a "mobile Linux
desktop" on this type of device,


These drives have lots of room for less money than flash, without
lifespan problems.  They sell around US$120 and get cheaper all the
time.  They allow a mobile user to carry his entire desktop and data
between home, work, school, friends, hotel.  Let other people carry
laptops around, you can boot them too.

GRML doesn't load down heavy stuff in advance, which I like.  After GRML
installs, I can add GNOME or KDE per user requests.

So, I ran grml2hd to a drive and rebooted...but got a kernel panic.  No
SCSI, I guess.  Next I followed verbatim FAQ instructions, to test the
FAQ.  Nothing worked.

grml2hd makes the same assumption of all installers:  if the OS is going
to hard disk, it can ditch drivers and keep only the running system. 
For example even yaird boasts of doing "a better job of deciding which
modules are needed for your system, so it produces smaller images." 
Culling is evil for the mobile scenario.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but...

Ideally a mobile user boots like the CD-ROM (same ramdisk-based
autodetection?), but without compressed CD images, ISOLINUX, or loopback
tricks.  The mobile user just needs Debian with full hardware
auto-detection and all hardware modules.

I would prefer h/w autodetection even on IDE drives inside tower PC
cases.  That way I can swap boards, memory, ethernet, etc. without
breaking configs.  I can drop the IDE drive into a USB enclosure for
instant mobility.

A few other other ideas:

- the status line at bottom of screen shows date/time *twice* (?!?)

- show IP on the status line (w/ flag for DHCP or static)

- grml2hd could offer multi-partition features, e.g. a separate boot

- grml2hd could set up secure partitions --
http://mareichelt.de/pub/texts.cryptoloop.php -- optional choice for all
top-levels /home /var and such, except /boot

- grml2hd's X question for the mobile scenario is puzzling; yes the user
needs X, but not for a specific PC

- grml-big won't fit on CD-RW media or older (650 MB) CD-R; would be
nice to fit on CD-RW, could trim a little to fit

Thanks...GRML is super and I like it.


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