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New Calculate Linux 10.9

After almost half a year of work, I am pleased to present to you a new version of the Calculate Linux Desktop 10.9 distribution. Work really done a lot, because The changes affected the basis of the system - the installer included in the updated Calculate 2.2 utilities. About what constitutes a new installer and what prospects open up for future versions I want to describe in this article.

A bit of history

The first version of the program was born on April 12, 2006. It was a utility written in Perl to install the stage4 image of the Calculate Linux distribution kit distributed in the archive. Unlike the original gentoo stage3, in addition to the package composition, stage4 was also distinguished by the presence of kernel sources. In turn, the installer occupying about 20 MB stored additional themes, fonts and everything else that was not in portage at that time.

It took about two years, the capabilities of the calculate utility grew, it could not only install the system, but also assemble it, create a bootable ISO image, install the system on a USB flash drive, configure ldap, samba, etc. To solve a number of structural problems, a new project was opened - Calculate 2. New utilities were already written on python, programs starting with 'cl-' were used to perform various operations. Utilities were divided into three packages - calculate-server, calculate-client and calculate-lib. They only implemented server setup (various services with authorization via LDAP) and clients for working with the server (user session setup, authentication).
It's time to rewrite the installer. The basis was a new library calculate-lib 2.2, which combines advanced features for managing templates. Templates are files with which you can change program settings. Unlike ordinary configs, they consist only of parameters whose values ​​need to be changed. With the help of Calculate 2 utilities, templates are converted into XML format along with the program's configuration file and merged with it. It is really convenient, because eliminates the need to remember what and where you once changed.

New Installer

Externally, the command has changed; instead of calculate, cl-install is now used. Many installation options have been added, which have come to replace changes in the values ​​of variables from the command line. Variables are used to substitute values ​​into template files. As a rule, variables are calculated dynamically and can use the values ​​of other variables for calculation. Changing variables, you can control the program.
The options are largely compatible with the previous installer, for example, you can install the system by running:
cl-install -d /dev/sda2
either and in an extended version:
cl-install -d /dev/sda2::reiserfs -d /dev/sda1:/boot:ext2

If you look deeper, for its work, cl-install uses the calculate-lib library, using the common template parser. So all the options for managing the settings are now available in the new installer. For convenience, the templates of all utilities are moved to the calculate-templates package, which expands the settings to the / usr / share / calculate / templates directory. The general directory contains settings for all the packages responsible for setting up the system, the user's desktop, the server, the preparation of an ISO image, etc. In addition to this directory, there is / var / calculate / templates, used for user templates, as well as / var / calculate / remote / templates, located on the network drive, to create templates for managing all desktops. Finally, templates can be used directly in the / etc directory by copying the name of the configuration file and adding the .clt extension.

In addition to the templates, the new installer now fully controls the process of updating packages. Using the capabilities of bashrc, which is located in the Calculate overlay and is available locally in the /var/lib/layman/calculate/profiles/calculate/profile.bashrc file. As you know, in the Gentoo system one of the weak points is the process of updating packages. Packages may not be assembled in case of errors by dependencies, default settings may accidentally overwrite configured files. If we coped with the first problem in the Calculate Linux 10.0 version, creating desktop profiles and transferring them to the overlay, then the remote kdm config, when updating the package, spoiled the lives of many. Integrating with the emerge package manager, bashrc runs the configuration utilities cl-install, cl-desktop, cl-client. You can write your templates for packages, they will be used when installing the latest.

Future plans

The new installer with Calculate 2.2 utilities opens up previously unavailable features. Again, you can pay attention to the Calculate Linux Scratch distribution, which in the basic distribution has the necessary minimum number of packages and settings for the desktop. As applications are installed, programs will be configured. By the way, the settings of graphic applications are applied directly during installation of packages for users working in the system. Having collected all the settings from calculate-templates, you can build your system in a fairly short time, packing it either on a USB flash drive or on a CD for later installation whether at home, away, at the company or at school.

Next up are the server utilities. Here you have to split the calculate-server utility into separate components: calculate-ldap, calculate-samba, calculate-ftp, calculate-dns, calculate-jabber, etc. Again, for the modular packages, the Calculate Server Scratch distribution kit will be most appropriate, on the basis of which you can build almost any solution.

Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/105816/

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