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How To Customize RPMs List In Mandriva 2009.1

Guest Joe Thielen

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Guest Joe Thielen

I would like to know how to cut down on the size of the Mandriva 2009.1 install DVD for my agency. I'm using the DVD download version because this has worked great in the past. The problem is, in order to avoid future issues, I typically choose the "install to hard drive" option, and this takes awhile. Then, I also tell the system to install everything... again, in order to avoid future issues (missing RPMs, dependency issues that I just don't want to deal with, etc...).


I've downloaded the 2009.1 RC1 .ISO file and am trying to find my way around. I've been using Mandrake since 7.0 or so. But I've never attempted to customize the install process. I just spent an hour or so in the i586/media/main and i586/media/contrib directories and made a huge list of stuff I don't need. I know that I can un-check some of this stuff from the main install menu, but I'm looking to automate this process, so I can just tell my people when they are installing to check everything and not have to worry about it.


In addition, there are a few RPMs that I'd like to add to the installer. Things that I know I need (especially devel-oriented) and are never there. Plus some custom things for my specific agency. I usually end up creating a 2nd CD with these files, but I'd love to have just ONE master DVD with everything on it.


I've perused some documents around the web, but I think that I saw starting with Mandriva 2009.0 that it has a new installer? And the old instructions were... complicated... I'm looking for a very simple way to remove a bunch of the RPMs that I don't need, regenerate the .ISO, and go.


Many thanks in advance for any help here, I'm banging my head against the wall.


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I believe the Mandriva installer can work of a list of what RPMs to install -- if I recall correctly there is a step near the end of the installation process that asks you to save your selection in a file. This obviously would only address "how to only get those Mandriva packages I need".


Another avenue I see (but have no experience with) is to build a live DVD yourself, after you have added your own customisation.

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Guest Joe Thielen

I ended up stumbling my way through it and figured it out.


I could have sought out a smaller distro, but I've been using Mandriva for many years now and I wanted to stick with it since it's always been there for me and I think it's a wonderful product. I simply want to add/subtract some things that would make my life easier as an IT admin for a larger number of computers...


I will add a more detailed answer later, but the short answer, for anyone finding this in the future, is this:


- Make a copy of the contents of the ISO into a temp directory.

- In i586/media/main of the temp directory, I copied all the stuff I wanted to add, then removed the stuff I wanted to remove.

- I did the same for the i586/media/contrib dir.

- Next, from the i586/media dir, run the genhdlist program:

genhdlist --list --md5sum main

- i.e., "main" being for the "main" directory. It will create several files, move these to i586/media/main/media_info dir.

- Repeat the above process for the "contrib" directory, then move the new files to the i586/media/contrib/media_info dir.


This will get the new stuff on the DVD. However, in order to actually get this stuff to install by default you have to dive into the i586/media/media_info dir.

Two two files to be concerned about are "compssUsers.pl" and "rpmsrate". I don't have enough time to dive into these, but basically my understanding is that "compssUsers.pl" is directly tied to the "Package Group Selection" which is shown to the user during the install of Mandriva Linux. There are a bunch of categories (i.e., "CAT_"...). These categories then come into play in the "rpmsrate" file.


In the "rpmsrate" file there are the categories as headers (and in other places as conditionals) and then rpm files (only using the package name, not version or anything). In front of each set of rpm files is a number. The numbers "5" and "4" get installed by default if that category is chosen. So, I simply added a bunch of my RPMs as "5" for a category I knew would get selected ("CAT_X", for example).


This is a VERY rough idea of what I did, and I'm still testing, but I think I've got it. I would very much like to post a more detailed answer as soon as I get the bugs worked out, as most of the posted info I've searched through is either old or does not necessarily apply to MDV2009.1, since I think a lot of things changed with MDV2009.0.


Anyhow, FYI...

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Very useful post, if you could update this post once you have finished your testing this could go in the 'tips and tricks' section of this forum and surely be of much help to others wanting to do the same!

Edited by tux99
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