Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Tribblix - minimal plus pkgsrc

The latest update (0m20.5) of Tribblix is now available for download.

This one comes relatively quickly after its predecessor, but includes the eager fpu and ldt fixes.

The visible change this time is that there's a minimal ISO available. At just over 200M, it's about a fifth of the size of the regular ISO.

The only difference between the regular and minimal ISO is in what extra packages are dropped on the ISO. If you aren't going to add overlays at install, then the minimal ISO is much better.

The use cases for the minimal ISO are the obvious minimal server installs (including cloud-based), but also if you decide to use pkgsrc for your software rather than Tribblix native packages.

Tribblix is all about choice and flexibility, so if you want to use pkgsrc, go right ahead. You'll get a broader choice of software, certainly. In some areas you'll get newer versions than I provide, in some areas Tribblix will update more aggressively.

One thing I have noticed, though, is that if you want to use pkgsrc, do so exclusively. Mixing and matching native packages and pkgsrc really doesn't work.

With that in mind, the minimal ISO makes a great base for pkgsrc. To make it even easier, the pkgsrc bootstrap is available on the ISO itself. So if you want to install Tribblix with pkgsrc, just invoke the installer like so:

./live_install.sh -B c1t0d0 pkgsrc

Then, as root

export PATH=/opt/local/bin:$PATH

and you're all set to install packages from pkgsrc.

To get the X server and basics:

pkgin install modular-xorg

To install a graphical desktop, such as Xfce - there are many others, of course:

pkgin install xfce4

And then, as a regular user

export PATH=/opt/local/bin:$PATH
startxfce4

And, lo and behold, you should have a functional basic Xfce desktop running.

Friday, June 01, 2018

Tribblix - creating zones from images

One of the things I've done with Tribblix is try and hide some of the complexity around managing zones - rather than having to mess around with zonecfg and zoneadm and all that, just have one simple command that creates a zone correctly.

Tribblix also has the capability to drop an alternative illumos distribution into a zone - so called alien zones.

The OmniTribblix variant has LX zones, so you can run Linux in a zone.

Up to now, you've had to manually download the appropriate image, save it somewhere, and then install the zone from that image.

Wouldn't it be much easier to have Tribblix do that for you? Well, as of the m20.4 release, it can!

So, for example, OmniOS have images as zfs send streams available for download - the .zfs.bz2 files. So you can now build an OmniOS zone on Tribblix like so:

zap create-zone -z omnios -t alien -i 10.0.2.26 -I omnios:r151026

That's it.

And, if you're running OmniTribblix you could create an Ubuntu zone like so:

zap create-zone -z ubuntu -t lx -x 10.0.2.27 -I ubuntu

or, if you want Alpine (and this is really quick)

zap create-zone -z alpine -t lx -x 10.0.2.28 -I proxmox:alpine

The images are downloaded and cached, so creating subsequent zones will be much quicker.

It's a proof of concept at this point, and needs fleshing out a bit more to make it even more friendly, but it shows that it's possible and useful.