Note: This is a post from The Major’s Conquests v1.0. The original post date was May 2, 2011.
As promised so many times on Twitter, I along with the rest of the ThinkTux team is proud to present Tux Spins, a Fedora 14 LiveCD creator with a twist…This site creates custom images with software that you select packaged in without having to install afterwards (good for CD users).
The problem we tried to tackle with this project was a simple one. We wanted to allow people to have the programs they want on their Operating System prior to install. This would save much needed time in getting things done as the software that you needed or wanted is already on the OS and eliminates you having to install it later on.
An example of this would be a professor who runs a programming competition would normally have to install Fedora on 10 laptops and then go back and install C++ compilers, Java, and NetBeans on each of the systems individually. This would normally take hours. What we have done is give that professor the ability to have those packages and others pre-installed and just install the OS on each system.
This is also helpful for those who want a to use a computer without worrying about leaving any traces behind and having their favorite programs to use such as Thunderbird, Firefox, and SSH.
We even threw in Apache webserver to allow for a portable website, possibly for quick testing.
What the site does is create the Fedora images based off of what you have submitted in the form. The PHP then takes the code and creates to files a kickstart file and a Bash script file which will be used to create the image. The server has two script files that run on a scheduler. One will list the PHP-created script file(s) in a text file. The other reads the text file and runs the scripts in the order listed and removes them before the scheduler comes back to read them again.
Once the images have been completed, the user is emailed to let them know that the image file has been created and is ready for download.
Due to a initial hard disk storage constraint, we were afraid that we weren’t able to keep images on the server for very long before we had to delete them. Luckily, right before release, we received a larger hard disk drive and were able to keep the images that were being created by the users for later redownloading.
Also, thanks to this, we will be turning it into a yum repository and Tux Spin image repository with the ability for users to be able to log in and redownload their spins and choosing whether to allow others to download it too.
This project has taken 4 months to complete from initial thought to final release. Please stay tuned for more information as I’m hoping that we can continue to grow this project and make it more useful not only for the Linux community, but for everyone as we spread Linux to the masses.