Gosse
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Disk image repository

Thu Feb 26, 2015 9:51 am

Are there locations (repositories) for ready to use disk images?

For me a lot of fun comes from the functional use of the PI and I get less pleasure out of configuring linux. Some of you will find this odd but yes it exists. And when I see the production and selling numbers of the PI I can't imagine I am the only one.

Therefore I'm looking for a place where I can find ready to use preconfigured disk images for specific functional purposes.
Does anybody of you know of such a repository? And yes I 've found the http://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/ site. ;-)

I think the existence of a repository like this could make the product more useful for a wider audience. And if they exist it would be nice if you could find them more easily.

Besides posting the addresses (if they exist) please do not hesitate to post your pro and contra replies as long as they are constructive.

Thanks

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DougieLawson
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Re: Disk image repository

Thu Feb 26, 2015 10:54 am

Sorry, you're not making any sense.

http://raspberrypi.org/downloads IS the definitive repository for the SDCard images and stuff needed to run your A/B/B+/A+ and 2B with their supported software/firmware. There's archived stuff on http://downloads.raspberrypi.org
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Jednorozec
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Re: Disk image repository

Thu Feb 26, 2015 11:01 am

I think the the OP wants a disk image that contains the app for "the thing that floats my boat" so that he doesn't have to go through the horror of having to learn how to install it himself.
The most important leg of a three legged stool is the one that's missing.
It's called thinking. Why don't you try it sometime?

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scidata
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Re: Disk image repository

Thu Feb 26, 2015 4:52 pm

Gosse wrote:I think the existence of a repository like this could make the product more useful for a wider audience. And if they exist it would be nice if you could find them more easily.
I once thought as you do, young Padawan. However, mastering the way of APT will set you free. Pervasive learning of the Linux console was one of the original purposes of the pi.
"Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is" - Isaac Asimov

mikerr
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Re: Disk image repository

Thu Feb 26, 2015 5:21 pm

http://piimagehub.com/ might be what you want.

..but you'll gain more from starting with raspbian and configuring it all yourself (even from a guide)
Android app - Raspi Card Imager - download and image SD cards - No PC required !

Gosse
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Re: Disk image repository

Sun Mar 01, 2015 11:47 am

mikerr wrote:http://piimagehub.com/ might be what you want.

..but you'll gain more from starting with raspbian and configuring it all yourself (even from a guide)
Thank you mikerr,

You gave exactly the answer I was looking for.

And thanks to the other posters for giving answers that I expected to receive. I’ve been earning my money as an engineer for about 20 year now. But every time I try to get information from a forum like this one people try to make you feel like a beginner. Thanks for that.

But understand you do not contribute to the success of this excellent project/product.

To you guys I like to explain that a lot of people still keep buying ready to use furniture after IKEA started to selling boxes with “build your own furniture”. Both are possible to coexist.

And I think mikerr proved my case the PI is not a project for tech guys only.

summersab
Posts: 19
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Re: Disk image repository

Thu Mar 17, 2016 6:42 pm

I'm going to be a jerk and necro-bump because this thread precisely describes what I've been searching for.

The RPi project is four years old, and given the huge traction and popularity, it completely surprises me that there is no repository of "ready-made" images out there. I understand some of the previous responses - you learn a lot by DOING. However, you also gain a lot of curious novice users by making things easier to get started. I cut my teeth on Linux back with Ubuntu Dapper Drake, and having a system that was functional from the get-go let me explore and tinker at my own pace. Now, I'm not afraid to compile packages from source and run Tiny Core as a daily driver, but I never would have gotten to where I am now if I had started with a steep learning curve.

Let's take https://www.TurnkeyLinux.org/ as an example (and a great one, at that). They provide over 100 ready-to-go special purpose distros aimed at making the lives of sysadmins easier. Sure, I could build those platforms from scratch, but it's incredibly convenient to have images that are pre-configured, incredibly lightweight, cross-platform, and all available on a single webpage instead of having to hunt down images and tutorials posted on various forums. This is a world of rapid-deployment, and being able to explore new technologies with a RPi without spending hours (or days) building things from scratch just seems logical.

I'd really like to see the https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads page host or link to more community-driven images. Perhaps the Foundation could partner with the folks at Turnkey Linux to use the TKLDev platform as a means for simplifying the creation and generation of new flavors/spins. By doing so, this would not only draw more new users to the RPi but would be a huge boon for advanced users who want to massively deploy images or just tinker with a new technology.

Heater
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Re: Disk image repository

Thu Mar 17, 2016 7:08 pm

What worries me about this kind of idea is security.

For example. I could put up a server and invite people to contribute whatever nice OS configurations they have built for whatever tasks they do.

You could then browse my collection then download and install anything that looks fitting for you.

Great. Very convenient.

Now, how on Earth do you know who I am and whether I can be trusted? How do you know who all the image contributors are and if they can be trusted?

How can you be sure what you end up running on your machine is not malicious spyware or whatever?

Personally I would never use such a service.

I have put my trust in the folks at the Raspi Foundation. So I use their Raspbian images. I also trust that if anything weird was slipped in there the community would notice it and start screaming soon enough.

I also use things like node.js from https://nodejs.org. Or react.js from Facebook, similar trust considerations apply.

So, if you can suggest how to address that issue, and who will do all the work, pay the rent and take the responsibility, then we can revisit the suggestion.

Perhaps you would like to step up and take on the task of running such a service. After all, in the open source world "they" is "we".

Also recall the mission of the Raspberry Pi Foundation is educational. To this end they include such education software as they feel is needed in Raspbian. Making life easier for people with other purposes is not really in the plans.

stderr
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Re: Disk image repository

Thu Mar 17, 2016 7:17 pm

summersab wrote:I'm going to be a jerk and necro-bump because this thread precisely describes what I've been searching for.
The RPi project is four years old, and given the huge traction and popularity, it completely surprises me that there is no repository of "ready-made" images out there.
I think the Fedora project calls these "spins". But even they aren't really totally configured solutions. I've long thought that is exactly where to go though because so many people need something but why should they have to also build it?
This is a world of rapid-deployment, and being able to explore new technologies with a RPi without spending hours (or days) building things from scratch just seems logical.
You don't have to go that far back in Linux to the days when people argued for not providing any binaries at all, just build it yourself, they'd say. If you din't wanna, they'll say you were just a nobody nØØb.

summersab
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Re: Disk image repository

Thu Mar 17, 2016 7:40 pm

To address the issue of security and how to host images like this, I'll point back to the Turnkey Linux project. Perhaps that is actually a good place to start and even collaborate with them. Check out the description of the TKLDev platform:
https://github.com/turnkeylinux-apps/tk ... aster/docs

First off, they are Debian-based (just like NOOBS and Raspbian). Second, their images are defined by small scripts and overlays, and building an image is as easy as using git and running a few commands. Third, I think I'd trust pre-defined scripts and images created collaboratively over random instructions from a forum. What if the DIY guide skipped crucial steps in their instructions to secure the image? Lastly, having a central repository makes it far more likely for build instructions, scripts, and images to be updated regularly to ensure that things don't go stale or be abandoned.

I suppose I'm just aiming for some organization and simplicity. Having random threads, scattered documentation, and no tracking or change logs for community-built images is just a mess. Centralizing these artifacts and simplifying the process of both development and use will foster growth.

Jeremy Davis
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Re: Disk image repository

Fri Mar 18, 2016 4:38 am

Firstly, thanks for the suggestion summersab! :D

We (as in TurnKey - I'm one of the core team) could definitely help in this regard; although we don't yet have an RPi port (currently we only support amd64). I did start work on it some time ago but I ended up having to redirect my attention to higher priority (for us) matters. I really want to get back to it but I'm not sure when that will happen...

summersab has summed us up pretty well and essentially once we have an RPi port and modify TKLDev to support building RPi images then we can build all of our current library for RPi no problems. Some of them may not perform that well on the low spec hardware (I'm thinking particularly Ruby apps like GitLab and Canvas which are very resource hungry), but perhaps the RPi community might be able to help us make them work better? Or perhaps we could just exclude them from RPi builds?

We are more than happy to accept new appliance build code so long as it confirms to our requirements/standards. Appliance code contributions are a great thing for us as it increases our library (and we would build them for amd64 too). So there would be plenty of room for the community to be involved.

Even if we didn't include specific community supplied appliances in our library; there would be nothing stopping people from sharing their build code (on GitHub or similar). Then individuals could build custom images themselves using TKLDev (from the source on GitHub). All of our tools are open source and public (again on GitHub). So even if we didn't officially provide them, there would still be the transparency that would (hopefully) alleviate Heater's (legitimate) security concerns. Whilst we are nowhere near as popular as RPi; I'd like to think that with literally millions of downloads over the last 8 years we have a pretty good reputation on security to uphold!

@Heater - To further respond to the points you raised; we "pay the rent" already and have a comprehensive global mirror network (for image distribution). Adding an additional build format to our current batch builds (~100 appliances in 9 different build formats) is relatively insignificant. We already take responsibility for our images and would continue to do so.

The only point that I can't properly answer is "who will do the work". At this point I am not in a position to take this on (but I would really love to!) Once TKLDev supports RPi and we have a version of Core (our base appliance) that runs reliably on RPi then we would happily take on the rest of the work to get as many of our existing appliances built and publicly available. As we develop new appliances we would automatically batch build them for RPi too. And as I suggested above, anyone from the community that wanted to contribute new appliances could (and would be welcome).

@summersab & @stderr if you (and/or anyone else) is interested in discussing this further then perhaps it might be better to move that discussion to our forums? summersab has already started a thread - which is what bought me here. I won't be able to be directly involved at this point, but am happy to give as much support and mentoring as I can.

Heater
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Re: Disk image repository

Fri Mar 18, 2016 5:10 am

Jeremy Davis,

Thanks for the reply. TurnKey looks very impressive. It certainly be interested in having Turnkey appliances available for the Pi.

You sound like the sort of chap I could trust :)

Pithagoros
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Re: Disk image repository

Fri Mar 18, 2016 5:26 am

Just to follow up the problem of security, it was only a few weeks ago that the official Linux mint distribution (x86) was compromised and somebody managed to replace the download image iOS with one containing malware.

Jeremy Davis
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Re: Disk image repository

Fri Mar 18, 2016 5:59 am

@Heater - you are most welcome! :)

@Pithagoros - yes that's a very good point. But the reality is that in that case it was the lack of education and user vigilance that was the primary issue (although having their website hacked and a dodgy image uploaded would be very embarrassing). We can not completely eliminate that sort of possibility but we can minimise the risk.

For our 8 year existence we have provided a similar method of authenticity checking to what Mint recently started using (perhaps ironically not that long before the hack). It works really well, but only when users use it! I am assuming that at least some Mint users do use it as the infected ISO was discovered and removed pretty quickly. Essentially we provide a GPG signed .sig file along with our images. It contains hashes of the image. So the process would go like this:

- download image
- download sig
- check sig is really signed by us
- check hash of image matches hash in signed sig file

This obviously doesn't eliminate security concerns (and reality is that most people don't check) but we think it's pretty good. GPG keys are pretty secure. In our case, only one of the TurnKey founders has the private TurnKey key and it is kept safely offline and only used for image and package signing. So long as producers provide a similar option of authenticity checking and users are vigilant (and check authenticity) the chances of malware affected open source images causing you harm are minimal.

summersab
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Re: Disk image repository

Sat Mar 19, 2016 3:25 am

Wow, I almost feel like I've made a difference of sorts in the FOSS world. I think it might be best to keep this on the RPi forums for the moment. The Turnkey team already has interest, but now we need to get some RPi developers involved.

Here's what Jeremy posted on the Turnkey forum:
I like your thinking and we'd love to do it... Actually building RPi images (and/or supporting ARM in general) has been on our todo list for some time. I even started work on it last year but hit a wall as I was not able to get my initial image to boot on a Pi (I kept getting stuck on the "rainbow" screen). I got called away to work on the v14.0 release; which then flowed into the v14.1 release. I've nearly finished with that but there are other priorities which demand my attention before I will get a chance to get back to it. So unfortunately it is mothballed and I have never had time to try to work out what my issue might have been.
So I am willing. In fact I'm more than willing; I'm keen! But I have no idea when I might get some time to get back to this...

If you have an interest and would like to have a play yourself, then all of the components required should be on GitHub. Although it may require building RPi compatible packages for the TurnKey custom software (which could turn into a bit of a chicken and egg type scenario).

I also dumped all my notes and code snippets in a repo in my github. It's a horrible mess (and TBH a little embarrassing) but I didn't want my experience to go completely to waste.
https://github.com/JedMeister/playing-with-rpi

I imagine that without quite a bit of background experience and knowledge of TurnKey the learning curve will be very steep. Some of the software that we use internally is on GitHub but not well documented. There may also be some missing ingredients (due to the curse of knowledge) but I don't think so.

If you (or anyone) wants to try and push this ahead I will provide as much support as I can.
I'm willing to help where I can, but I'm no RPi guru. I know my Debian and have used Turnkey quite a few times, though.

Jeremy Davis
Posts: 43
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2014 12:55 am

Re: Disk image repository

Wed Mar 23, 2016 12:35 am

Great work summersab! :)

I've just had a quick look over stuff and TBH I am not sure how far someone will get without me taking some time out to explain things a little. My code snippets are a mess and at the point I wrote a lot of it, I didn't know TKLDev and the TurnKey toolchain as well as I do now. So what I've done may not be that good... I have a much better grasp on TKLDev now that I have worked with it as release manager for both our v14.0 release and the upcoming v14.1 release.

Possibly the first point to explain, was that I was looking to include QEMU in TKLDev so that we could build the RPi port within a non-native (i.e. ARM) chroot. We will also need to make changes to the TKLDev buildcode as currently by default it will build an ISO. All our other build formats unpack the ISO and build from that. Obviously we would need to take a different route building a Raspbian based image.

Fundamental things to do once the dev environment is working is to create a TurnKey Raspbian bootstrap (as the OS basis) and buildroot (to build the custom TKL packages).

I won't bother going into further detail at this point, but if anyone would like to do some more digging/playing/etc then please do not hesitate to ask (either here or over on the TKL forums).

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