Housekeeping #3573

drop parabolaiso and replace with archiso

Megver83 - 2 months ago - . Updated about 2 months ago.

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parabolaiso, our downstream fork of archiso, is no longer needed. In the past, archiso used to have a script to build each ISO edition. This was a mess and its devs replaced this method with, which contains the ISO metadata and centralized the building process in mkarchiso.

In the actual state of archiso, we could directly use it with our custom ISO profile definitions to install our packages and our branding. Plus, there are no freedom nor technical issues AFAIK, like before, were the script downloaded pre-built binaries of EFI Shell, for example; or support for OpenRC had to added to mkparabolaiso. Nowadays parabolaiso is basically the same as archiso, but with our custom profiles, dual ISO support, removed support for the (optional) proprietary microcode images (from the blacklisted *-ucode packages, so not a big deal, just like with mkinitcpio, in Parabola they would never be installed) and armv7 cross-build support.

I just tested a build of Parabola baseline ISO with archiso and went flawlessly. However, if we do drop parabolaiso in favor of archiso, we should update the grub package to include sbat.csv and the en@quot locale, which are the only problems I've found so far when building an ISO with grub bootloader (see the source).

One "disadvantage" I see in this would be the loss of the ability to directly build armv7h rootfs from x86, since parabolaiso uses qemu-arm-static for this, like libretools. However, we could workaround this by building from an armv7h chroot. I'm sure a script can be written for this, if there isn't already one.



Updated by Megver83 2 months ago

Few updates from things I just noticed:

  • The latest grub update packages sbat.csv
  • Our grub misses usr/share/locale/en@quot/LC_MESSAGES/ since we don't run

Updated by Megver83 2 months ago

lukeshu, I see that you've been maintaining grub, would it be possible to enable if there isn't any argument against its use


Updated by bill-auger about 2 months ago

i just installed it - off-hand this is what i see:

  • has no support for making nonsystemd ISOs
  • its pacman.conf does not support the [libre] repo
  • the ISO hostname is 'archiso'

i did not check this: but i suspect that it also supports only x86_64 in it's current form

also, the boot menu will show:

Arch Linux install medium
Boot the Arch Linux install medium on BIOS.
It allows you to install Arch Linux or perform system maintenance.

the default archiso profiles are literally suggesting to install and boot arch - so at the very least, we would need to provide a parabola-specific profile in another package; but the default arch config, even if it is disabled by default, may be in conflict with the FSDG if it is in the package at all

at best, without forking, we could make 'archiso' useless - without the parabola configs installed, that would be it's default state; because parabola would not have some of the package in it's package list (eg: 'linux') - as we could not make the package depend on the parabola configs without blacklisting it; i think it is dubious to take the arch package as-is

megver and i discussed this on IRC; and we decided to continue blacklisting 'archiso'; but to fork the VCS, customize/re-brand the build configs, and start back-porting the features that we have accumulated over the years - we also decided to stop packaging 'parabolaiso' - both programs can run from VCS; so neither really need to be packaged - that makes these decisions somewhat easier

eli asked me years ago to offer my features to arch - he said that the arch maintainer is eager to entertain patches from other pacman-based distros, even if arch itself has no use for those features - the first thing would be to make it re-branding-friendly - eg: the README states explicitly that it is is only intended to run on an arch system (parabolaiso also does); so it could get the distro name and hostname from os-release PRETTY_NAME and ID, and have a config over-ride for those who want to use names other than the host's

ideally, we can offer the changes to arch and they would be accepted; but the most that gets us is that we would not need to maintain the fork - we would still need to maintain the parabola build configs though

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