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Re: [Gnumed-devel] Problems with Medica Knoppix CD

From: Tim Churches
Subject: Re: [Gnumed-devel] Problems with Medica Knoppix CD
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 2007 08:52:47 +1100
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20061207)

Karsten Hilbert wrote:
>> Incidently the ISO file took 
>> nearly 5 (five) hours to download despite my having what passes for 
>> broadband in Australia.
> Well, it *is* big. We can't do much about that. 

Knoppix includes a lot of applications, which is great for general
purpose use but not so good for the purposes of demonstrating a single
application like GNUmed. We've been working on a demo liveCD for NetEpi,
based on Ubuntu 6.10. By carefully stripping out things that aren't
necessary, the resulting liveCD ISO, with PostgreSQL and Python and
Firefox and other NetEpi dependencies installed, but still with the the
full Gnome desktop, is down to about 320MB, which is not as small as
we'd like but is better than the 600MB plus for things like Knoppix. It
may be possible to use Xubuntu as the base, which uses the more
lightweight Xfce GUI desktop instead of Gnome, and thus make it smaller
again. All this customisation and rebuilding of the liveCD ISO image is
done via a single shell script (which has lots of build environment
dependencies, but that is mostly a matter of apt-getting the
requirements on a Debian system to create the chrooted build environment
first). We'll be including this demo disc build script in the next
NetEpi release (Mozilla Public License) in the next few weeks, so there
is no reason why it couldn't be modified and used to create a slimmer,
Ubuntu-based GNUmed demo liveCD. The modified script would need to
retain its Mozilla license if you distributed it, but there is no
compatibilty problem there with GNUmed's GPL licensing, since it is just
a build script, not something that communicates with or links to GNUmed
ar runtime (not that that is a problem anyway if you read the GPL

Oh, we also have persistence working too (actually this is built-in tot
he Ubuntu liveCD, but a bit of extra fiddling was needed to get it
right). If the user unzip a file called casper-rw, which contains a
loopback ext3 filesystem, in the root directory of a USB memory stick,
and boots the demo liveCD and choses persistence mode, then all chnaged
data is stored on the USB stick - and this includes the PostgreSQL
database. Seems to work rather well. I wouldn't trust it for production
use, but great for demo purposes - you can enter data, close down, and
the reboot the demo liveCD with your USB stick inserted and bingo, all
your demo data is still there.

Tim C

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