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Creating your own filesystems

Creating your own UML root filesystems is an alternative to downloading them from this site, either because none of these are what you want, or they are too large to comfortably grab.

This page decribes and links to a set of projects which provide UML filesystem builders of various types. They all require media for the distribution that you are going to use.

mkrootfs UML Builder gBootRoot rootstrap
Most suitable for people wanting to build multiple filesystems Beginners Beginners/Developers Debian users
Needs root/sudo Yes No No No
Command line Yes Yes Yes Yes
Graphical No Yes Yes No
Sets up networking Yes Yes No * No
Sets up X Yes Yes No * No
This is a script that I originally wrote in order in create filesystems from a particular version of RH media. It has since been taken over by Bill Stearns, who has generalized and improved it greatly. It can build bootable UML filesystems from a wide variety of RH-based distributions. It has been used to produce essentially all of the RH-based filesystems available from this site.

It is available here (and also see ). Grab mkrootfs, functions, and mkswapfs, and run mkrootfs. It prompts you for the information you need and is reasonably self-explanatory.

gBootRoot is a fairly general GTK-based app for creating UML root filesystems, plus filesystems and boot disks for physical machines.

It also uses UML in order to evade permissions problems with loopback mounting filesystems so they can be populated.

* Its IDE design allows boot and root creation methods to be added via plugins, and some methods may be further enhanced via add-ons. Because of this mechanism additional user-friendly features for filesystems like the automation of X or Networking exist for some root methods.

UML Builder
umlbuilder is a nice step-by-step UML filesystem builder. It comes in command-line and GUI variants. Not only does it let you create a filesystem, it sets up an rc script that runs UML with the configuration that you specified and lets you control it from the host.
This is a new tool by Matt Zimmerman for producing Debian UML filesystem images. It is a work in progress, so some of the 'no's in the table will change at some point. It's designed to produce Debian images quickly with one command. It has a simple config file and looks to be fairly easy to extend.
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