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procount
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Configuring a NOOBS installation - download

Sat Apr 26, 2014 11:41 pm

I think NOOBS is great. A nice easy way to install your O.S. of choice - even better after it included my suggestion to install multiple O.S.s. But one issue I had with it was that every time I reinstalled an O.S., whether it's because I wanted to use a new NOOBS release or just start afresh, it started off at the default configuration again. So I then had to spend some time setting it up for wifi and networking etc.

Creating a fully customised O.S. version for NOOBS seemed a little over the top and probably a little complicated for the average beginner who maybe just wants a few customisations, so I wondered if I could automate it simply. The result is Noobsconfig.

Noobsconfig customises the installation process of an O.S. distro using NOOBS by copying some specified files to the o.s. after it is installed but before it reboots into the selected o.s. In this way it is easy to overwrite some configuration files, add some startup scripts or change some profiles etc. For example, it can be used to configure WIFI settings so that a compatible wifi dongle will work straight away.

Noobsconfig is released on github with full documentation and some examples of how it can be used in Raspbian.
https://github.com/procount/noobsconfig/
It should also work in the other distros, so if anyone more experienced in those distros would like to contribute some examples, please feel free to do so.

@meltwater has helped contribute to this project with some useful suggestions and testing. I have also included his direct-networking scripts that previously weren't possible to use with NOOBS, but now are, thanks to noobsconfig.

I hope someone finds this useful.
- ProCount.
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ame
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Re: Configuring a NOOBS installation - download

Sun Apr 27, 2014 2:40 am

I don't know why people bother with Noobs. The easiest way to install my OS of choice is to simply choose my OS and download it. The last one I did was Raspbian, yesterday: download, unzip, copy to SD card, done!

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rpdom
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Re: Configuring a NOOBS installation - download

Sun Apr 27, 2014 7:15 am

ame wrote:I don't know why people bother with Noobs. The easiest way to install my OS of choice is to simply choose my OS and download it. The last one I did was Raspbian, yesterday: download, unzip, copy to SD card, done!
It's the "copy to SD card" bit that was causing problems with Windows users. Also allowing multiple OSen on a single card is an advantage.

Personally I stick with downloading the OS and using dd to write it. If I want multiple OSen I will put them on separate cards, so less chance of corrupting the whole lot with a mistypoed command.

However, I can see the advantages of NOOBS for many users.

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DeeJay
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Re: Configuring a NOOBS installation - download

Sun Apr 27, 2014 11:22 am

ame wrote:download, unzip, copy to SD card, done!
Fail!

Because you know what has to be done to get the .img files onto the SD card. So do I.

But I suggest that to a Windows or MacOS user with no other computing/IT experience copy means something like Cut'nPaste, or Drag'nDrop or RightClick and choose Copy_To. And none of those will work.

Anyway, this has nothing to do with ProCount's ideas for pre-configuring an OS for WiFi access.
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ame
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Re: Configuring a NOOBS installation - download

Mon Apr 28, 2014 3:21 am

DeeJay wrote:
ame wrote:download, unzip, copy to SD card, done!
Fail!

Because you know what has to be done to get the .img files onto the SD card. So do I.
Au contraire. The only reason I know what has to be done is because I followed the simple instructions provided.
But I suggest that to a Windows or MacOS user with no other computing/IT experience copy means something like Cut'nPaste, or Drag'nDrop or RightClick and choose Copy_To. And none of those will work.
In the documentation[1] the verb 'write' is used. I used 'copy' in my message because I know you understand. I suppose some Mac users might get a quill and ink-well ready when they see the word 'write', but that's English for you.

[1]http://www.raspberrypi.org/documentatio ... /README.md

skullbucks.in
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Re: Configuring a NOOBS installation - download

Mon Apr 28, 2014 3:59 am

best way to install noobs... format ur sd card with with any formatting tool mot simply right click and format.. format with format tools after that use windiskimage software to copy your os to sd card

mikerr
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Re: Configuring a NOOBS installation - download

Wed Jun 04, 2014 11:12 am

So this runs at noobs install time, not every boot ?

Just wondering in the presetting wifi settings angle.
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MrEngman
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Re: Configuring a NOOBS installation - download

Wed Jun 04, 2014 11:26 am

skullbucks.in wrote:best way to install noobs... format ur sd card with with any formatting tool mot simply right click and format.. format with format tools after that use windiskimage software to copy your os to sd card
You DO NOT install NOOBS using winDiskImager.

Format the SD card with SD formatter with option Format Size Adjustment set to ON. Then just unzip the files from the NOOBS zip file to the SD card. Then the SD card should show two directories and 9 files when viewed in Windows Explorer and be ready to use in your Pi.



MrEngman
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procount
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Re: Configuring a NOOBS installation - download

Wed Jun 04, 2014 11:37 am

@mikerr
That's right. It's a one-time customisation that happens when you install the distro from NOOBS.

If you want, you can use NOOBSCONFIG to install an rc.local script that runs each time Raspbian boots, but NOOBSCONFIG itself is all about customising the INSTALLATION of a distro so it installs extra things after the main OS has been installed to its various partitions.

There is a quickstart guide (zeroconf_wifi.md) that explains how you can very simply setup your wifi so it works as soon as NOOBS has installed Raspbian and it reboots. I think it could be quite powerful.

One of the main use cases I address is to:
1) Install the plain vanilla Raspbian from NOOBS onto the PI.
2) Make customisations so Raspbian works how you want.
3) Capture the customisations, so the next time you install Raspbian, either from the same or a later version of NOOBS, the customisations can be applied again.
I also provided some scripts to help newbies create the customisations.

These captured customisations could be copied to other "virgin" NOOBS cards, so the same customisations could be applied each time Raspbian is installed (or recovered).
I envisioned this would be good in a (temporary?) class type environment where you want many SD cards all customised the same, with a recovery option to the same customisation again if anything went wrong with the rootfs thereafter. (Although I think Andrew Mulholland's LTSP project would be an alternative/ better solution if it is a more permanent classroom environment).
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Gbaman
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Re: Configuring a NOOBS installation - download

Sat Jun 07, 2014 5:46 pm

Thanks for the shoutout there Procount for Raspi-LTSP.
If the classroom environment didn't have a network (the main reason classrooms wouldn't switch to Raspi-LTSP) then I would normally say that creating their own image might be smart. You can easily load your own images into NOOBs. Can simply set up an image on one pi, create a clone of the card and drop it into noobs. The proper way to do this is create an image with Spindle, then it is not actually booted yet.

One thing I would say though is this method does not work well if the foundation release a new image of course, unless you script the auto generating of images.
Of course though, only a few images are released every year so not much of a problem. This is where your setup may shine, but of course installing software for example via the script still needs them all connected to a network.

Will say though, the project is looking cool and will have to play about with it when I get a sec.

Raspi-LTSP - https://github.com/gbaman/RaspberryPi-LTSP
Spindle - https://github.com/asb/spindle
Lead developer of PiNet, a free and opensource centralised user accounts and file storage system for Raspberry Pi classrooms used in over 200 schools across the world.
http://pinet.org.uk

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procount
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Re: Configuring a NOOBS installation - download

Sat Jun 07, 2014 6:25 pm

Cheers @Gbaman, You're welcome.
I think it is a case of "horses for courses": noobsconfig solves 1 problem, Ltsp another, and there are other solutions for other issues. People just need to choose the one that suits them best, which may be several at different times for different needs.
I think creating their own image might be a bit beyond anyone who is new to linux, although I agree it would be best if they want to include additional packages etc in their image.
I am interested in using spindle but not found enough documentation or courage to try it yet!
PINN - NOOBS with the extras... https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=63&t=142574

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procount
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Re: Configuring a NOOBS installation - download

Wed Jun 25, 2014 4:53 pm

@Gbaman - (having trouble contacting you) Would it be possible to host your LTSP server itself on a Raspberry Pi? Obviously performance would be reduced, but for a small system <5 clients, maybe this would still be acceptable with an external USB hard disk for the storage?
Would the server run on Raspbian, or would it still need Debian Wheezy? I guess it might take a while to run the setup scripts on the Pi server, so could an image be created externally and then transferred to the Pi server for hosting, if this was a problem?
Cheers,
ProCount
PINN - NOOBS with the extras... https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=63&t=142574

Gbaman
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Re: Configuring a NOOBS installation - download

Fri Jul 04, 2014 2:12 pm

Raspi-LTSP does not currently support being run off a Raspberry Pi. The Raspberry Pi only has a 100mbit/s ethernet port, this is way too slow for any decent number of clients (2+) so I have not invested any time in getting it working on a Raspberry Pi.
It may perhaps work on a Pi, but last I checked it didn't.
Normal desktop or laptop machines work much better for the job, even if they are old due to the fact that they nearly always have a gigabit (1000mbit/s) network port.
Lead developer of PiNet, a free and opensource centralised user accounts and file storage system for Raspberry Pi classrooms used in over 200 schools across the world.
http://pinet.org.uk

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