[Grml] User feedback from Whonix creator

adrelanos adrelanos at riseup.net
Thu Feb 7 12:49:28 CET 2013


> What are your reasons using Grml instead of other Live CDs?

I am the creator of Whonix, which is an anonymous operating system based
on Tor. A Debian derivative, run by most people inside Virtual Box.
grml-debootstrap is used to create the .img files with the operating
system packages. It's amazing and much more convenient than using
debootstrap manually, creating a vm image manually, not to speak about
installing grub inside a vm image.


source code:

> What are you missing from Grml?

How can I change the path for /etc/debootstrap/etc/apt/sources.list to
/home/user/something? If that's not possible yet, I am missing that
command line option.

Running scripts inside the image doesn't work reliable to me. I mean,
there are no bugs, it works, creating the image with many packages takes
too long and I tend to have small mistakes in my scripts and if I want
to debug my chroot script, I really can't afford recreating the whole
image. It takes too long.

So I created half of the stuff myself, which I am missing in
grml-debootstrap, but unfortunately paths are hardcoded for Whonix.

* (un)mount the image.

Could look like this:

grml-debootstrap --mount /path/to/vm.img --to /tmp/mounted

And then "cd /tmp/mounted" and look arround in the image, perhaps change
a few things. After being done:

grml-debootstrap --unmount /tmp/mounted

* Run scripts inside the image without re-creating the image.

Mouting an image, chrooting the image, running a script inside the
image, unchrooting and unmounting.

Could look like this:

grml-debootstrap --mount /path/to/vm.img --run /path/to/script.sh

* Mount the image interactively.

Could look like this:

grml-debootstrap --interactive /path/to/vm.img

grml-debootstrap could mount the image, chroot into it, open a bash
shell and upon exit the bash shell, unchroot and unmount.

Also mounting user defined files/folders inside chroot would be necessary.

* support for .vdi and .vmdk image creation

* maybe a bit far fetched: creation of Virtual Box, Qubes OS etc.
virtual machine description files, .ova format, which can be deployed
and imported into Virtualizers

* Ubuntu support (or can it be already build from Debian?)

* built in support for using apt-cacher-ng to speed up re-creating of images

* a tool for installing "normal" Debian on an encrypted (USB) harddisk

- Ask for which hdd to use.
- Focus on external hdds.
- Format the hdd.
- Partition the hdd. (Personally prefer a single partition and not using
extra swap partition, but a swap file instead.)
- Encrypt everything, but boot, including swap using cryptsetup/dm-crypt.
- Install a "normal" (fully persistent) Debian to USB using
debootstrap/chroot. ("Normal" as in if you used a Debian installer CD to
install to hdd.)
- Allow to mount/chroot the encrypted hdd if the password is given, so
extra files can be copied and extra scripts can be applied.

Thanks for creating and maintaining grml.


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