Deployment Platform/XO reference distribution

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Summary

This is one of the possible reference implementations of Deployment Platform based solutions. The goal is creating a Sugar based downstream distribution to run on OLPC XO laptops by end-users. The created reference implementation is intended to be a template for final deployment distributions.

Overview

The task is to create an XO image capable of further support.

The image will be composed using the olpc-os-builder utility and will be populated with the following content:

System packages

Packages will be installed from the following sources:

Initial Sugar Activities

Deployment Platform based solutions are based on Sugar Network, which makes all Sugar Activities accessible from a local school server or an Internet located one. Nonetheless, it is useful to have some first-time activities already included with the image.
Activities will be downloaded from the Sugar Network and placed in the ~/Activities directory in the image.

Deployment configuration

This is how final systems will be initially configured and supported afterwards. All deployment configuration is placed in a meta package in the deployment repository. This meta package contains dependencies and configuration files for all other packages needing to be installed on final systems. Further, if there is a need to change the configuration on already installed systems, the meta package will be updated and spread among users.

Start new implementation

These are step-by-step instructions on how to create a new deployment distribution based on this reference implementation.

Deployment repository

Make sure that the Fedora repository is accessible from the building host and end-users. If you are looking for a building and hosting environment, try packages.sugarlabs.org, which is an instance of Open Build Service.

If you are using packages.sugarlabs.org, create a new project, and add the Fedora 14 repository from the Sweets Distribution project your implementation is based on. For example, there is reference project based on SweetsDistribution:Factory repositories.

Deployment package

Use the reference package as a template. Copy its source and tune it for local needs. Look for comments to gain a better understanding.

The reference package is structured as follows:

  • etc/
    These files will be copied as-is. Place here all configuration files you need to support afterwards.
  • post.d/*.sh
    These files will be executed right after installing package. Place here routines that can't be represented by configuration files.
  • image/
    olpc-os-builder files to create XO images.
  • Makefile
    Handy makefile to create sources tarball.
  • deployment.spec
    RPM spec file to create package.

This is the only package that will be installed implicitly after including the sweets olpc-os-builder module. Thus, add to the deployment.spec all dependencies that final systems will require. Note that there is no need in installing Sugar Activities or their dependencies; these routines will be handled automatically after setting the offline_activities option in the olpc-os-builder configuration file.

Put sources in the new git project and commit them.

To create a package tarball, call the command

make dist

If you are using packages.sugarlabs.org, call the osc utility to upload newly created sources tarball and spec file to OBS.

Create images

First of all, attach the proper Sweets Distribution repository, and install the olpc-os-builder package from there. This package is different from upstream; it contains additional modules (see image/*.ini files for details).

Then, go to the image/ directory and call one the the following commands to create images:

olpc-os-builder --additional-defaults common.ini xo-1.ini
olpc-os-builder --additional-defaults common.ini xo-1.5.ini

Consult olpc-os-builder's home page for more information.

Post-install support

Post installation support is all about updating packages in the deployment repository, e.g., update the configuration in the deployment package. Then, using one of the deployment scenarios, distribute the package updates among users.

Try a reference implementation

To try a reference implementation on an XO laptop, download one of the prebuilt images and proceed with the instructions below to flash it. Note that images were built using a recent development version of the software. So, images might be used to easily test recent changes.

Reference XO images might not be up-to-date (since there are not intended to be used as-is by deployments), so, run full system update right after flashing to make sure that system is recent:

sudo yum update

XO-1

  • First, ensure that your laptop is unlocked.
  • Download os.img and os.crc files to the root directory of a USB stick or SD card.
  • Drop to the Open Firmware "ok" prompt by pressing Esc.svg (Esc) repeatedly during boot.
  • Type the command: copy-nand u:\os.img for a USB stick or copy-nand sd:\os.img for a SD card followed by Key enter.jpg (enter).
  • Wait for the display to fill in with color and the "ok" prompt to return
  • Type the command reboot followed by Key enter.jpg (enter)
  • The XO will reboot, finish writing, reboot itself, and take you to the naming and color choice process
  • During the reboots, keep the charger connected to allow Open Firmware to self-update.

XO-1.5

  • First, ensure that your laptop is unlocked.
  • Download os.zd to the root directory of a USB stick
  • Drop to the Open Firmware "ok" prompt by pressing Esc.svg (Esc) repeatedly during boot
  • Type the command: fs-update u:\os.zd followed by Key enter.jpg (enter)
  • Wait for the display to fill in with color and the "ok" prompt to return
  • Type the command reboot followed by Key enter.jpg (enter)
  • The XO will reboot and take you to the naming and color choice process.

Downstreams

Here is a list of solutions based on this reference implementation:

Resources