Tag Archives: debian

libguestfs 1.12.6 for Debian

Thanks to the tireless work of Hilko Bengen, libguestfs 1.12.6 is now available as an official Debian package.

Also, you can compile hivex on Mac OS X and Windows, thanks to Alex Nelson and Gillen Daniel respectively.

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virt-manager + libguestfs in Debian

Guido reports that virt-manager and libguestfs from Debian/unstable are able to properly inspect VMs, displaying icons and listing applications.

Thanks especially to Hilko Bengen, Cole Robinson, Guido Gunther, librarian, a small army of Fedora and Debian testers, and Red Hat for paying me and Cole to write this.

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Debian packages for libguestfs 1.12

Debian packages for libguestfs 1.12 are now available. You must read the README file before trying to use these.

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New libguestfs packages for Debian and Ubuntu

libguestfs 1.11.8 binary packages for Debian and for Ubuntu.

The separate insmod.static binary is no longer needed (thanks Hilko Bengen).


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libguestfs build — an open ended problem

librarian made a very true observation (Google translate) about libguestfs. It’s a Swiss army chainsaw, but it’s damn hard to build from source.

With RHEL and Fedora I’ve made it my aim that no one should need to build libguestfs from source, because we offer the highest quality packages with every feature compiled in. I also build Debian and Ubuntu packages when I can and until someone steps up to do that.

But why is libguestfs a difficult package to build?

The primary reason is that we package up, make an API for, and rigorously test, something like 200 different Linux packages. Essentially if you use (say) the guestfs_part_* API then in the background you’re using parted. If you’re using another API, you might be using e2fsck or resize2fs or lvm or grep or file or the kernel or any one of dozens of other programs. And to compound the problem, we don’t just “ship and forget”. We test these programs, and if they break, then we break. Our test suite has about 600 different tests and takes 2 hours to run.

And we test against Fedora Rawhide. The latest and buggiest.

Consequently we hit all the new bugs. Just today I hit a Linux 3.0 bug and another kernel/ftrace bug. Two weeks ago it was a bug in the file command, another bug in udev on Debian, and you can never exclude the possibility of stupidity by Ubuntu kernel maintainers.

It’s routine that I discover qemu, kernel and other bugs for the first time, because often a libguestfs build in Koji is the first build that boots up and runs the new software.

So what’s my point? It would be good if the Fedora kernel and qemu maintainers didn’t just push out a new package, but they tested that one can run inside the other. But while that would improve the situation for me, the real problem is that integrating software is hard, and it’s unfortunate that libguestfs has got into a situation where we are the first people to integrate and run Rawhide.

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Building libguestfs from source tarballs on Debian and Ubuntu

It is now possible to build libguestfs from the source tarballs on Debian and Ubuntu (into .deb packages which can be installed and managed by apt/aptitude). You will need libguestfs ≥ 1.11.6.

It’s not exactly obvious how, so this guide describes how to do it.

You’ll first need to install febootstrap 3.3, which you can either build from source in a similar way, or simpler you can install the binary package from here.

You will also need pretty recent Debian/Ubuntu. Suggested source repositories are here. In particular kernel ≥ 2.6.36 is absolutely required on the host. Earlier kernel versions than this won’t work.

Debian and Ubuntu do not supply /sbin/insmod.static. For the suggested workaround, read this.

You will also need to install several packages, but the first time you run the debuild command, it should tell you exactly what you are missing.

Grab the libguestfs source tarball ≥ 1.11.6 from the website, and unpack it:

$ zcat libguestfs-1.11.6.tar.gz | tar xf -
$ cd libguestfs-1.11.6

You can now run debuild with the right collection of options to build. The first time you do this, it will probably tell you that you need to install a bunch of build-time dependencies.

$ debuild -i -us -uc -b 2>&1 | tee /tmp/log

If it doesn’t work you’ll need to go back over the log file.

Once that works, in the parent directory (ie. above the build directory) you should find several .deb files:

$ cd ..
$ ls -l
$ ls -l
total 5280
-rw-r--r--  1 rjones rjones  347640 May 12 14:27 guestfish_1.11.6-1_amd64.deb
-rw-r--r--  1 rjones rjones  181368 May 12 14:27 guestmount_1.11.6-1_amd64.deb
-rw-r--r--  1 rjones rjones  941416 May 12 14:27 libguestfs0_1.11.6-1_amd64.deb
-rw-r--r--  1 rjones rjones 1235918 May 12 14:27 libguestfs0-dbg_1.11.6-1_amd64.deb
drwxr-xr-x 38 rjones rjones    4096 May 12 14:27 libguestfs-1.11.6
-rw-r--r--  1 rjones rjones  561346 May 12 14:28 libguestfs_1.11.6-1_amd64.build
-rw-r--r--  1 rjones rjones    3637 May 12 14:27 libguestfs_1.11.6-1_amd64.changes
-rw-r--r--  1 rjones rjones  408490 May 12 14:27 libguestfs-dev_1.11.6-1_amd64.deb
-rw-r--r--  1 rjones rjones  364450 May 12 14:27 libguestfs-doc_1.11.6-1_all.deb
-rw-r--r--  1 rjones rjones  454984 May 12 14:27 libguestfs-perl_1.11.6-1_amd64.deb
-rw-r--r--  1 rjones rjones  578720 May 12 14:27 libguestfs-tools_1.11.6-1_amd64.deb
-rw-r--r--  1 rjones rjones  262584 May 12 14:27 python-guestfs_1.11.6-1_amd64.deb

You can just install these using dpkg -i or however you would normally install .deb packages.

Finally make sure everything is working by running libguestfs-test-tool.

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libguestfs 1.9.6 packages for Debian and Ubuntu

Debian packages and Ubuntu packages. Note that 1.9.6 is a development version.

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