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Utilities automate Debian filesystem creation

Aug 19, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Longtime embedded Linux developer Behan Webster has released a collection of utilities for developers assembling root filesystems from Debian packages and compiled applications. The “Embedded Linux Build System” (elbs) utilities can be used to quickly assemble NFS-mounted or flash-based filesystems that support native development, as well as apt-getting Debian binaries.

Webster posted notice of the tools on the new “Linux-embedded” list created as a result of Linux gaining an embedded maintainer.

The elbs utilities work with any architecture supported by Debian or Debian-based projects. The centerpiece is an elbs-rootfs utility that can quickly install a first-stage debootstrap directory using any dist/mirror, and then adjust it to boot natively so developers can run second-stage debootstrap scripts.

“The idea is to get a rootfs up and working quickly via nfs (or a flash drive), which allows you to install any debian package and/or to do native development,” Webster explains in his post.

The current version does not “make your final rootfs fit on a small flash partition,” he adds. In addition, the utility must be run as root, he explains, so it can set file permissions and ownerships.

Webster allows that elbs is similar to Emdebian's emsandbox, which is defined as a “native chroot tool for Emdebian testing.” Webster says he was unaware of emsandbox when he developed elbs, and that elbs differs in that it uses “vanilla Debian packages rather than special Emdebian packages.”


Elbs is available now for free download, here, with help text said to be available here. The utility is also available for Debian/Ubuntu users here, for both deb sid and deb hardy main, says Webster. The original post, and a number of comments, are available on the Linux-embedded list, here

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