Kernel update, the Debian way

So far, liveng is a Secure Boot compliant and persistent live operating system, capable of kernel update on a ISO9660 system partition.

We must now package all the code previously given programmatically “by hand” into a couple of Debian (.deb) packages. While users who simply need to improve a standard Debian live can follow all the previously described steps “by hand” at every kernel release (i.e. on every linux-image-architecture package release), if you want to create a liveng-derived operating system, you will need to host liveng kernel-update related packages in your package repository.

On a Debian system, any linux-image-architecture-version update is started by an update of the meta package linux-image-architecture (for example: linux-image-amd64 on x64 machines), which depends on the real linux-image-architecture-version package, so updating linux-image-architecture will download and install linux-image-architecture-version.

Instead of relying on the linux-image-architecture meta-package for a kernel update, as distribution maintainers we need to install and update the linux-image-liveng-architecture meta-package, which:

  • depends on the linux-image-liveng-common package, which installs the script;
  • depends (or pre-depends) on the real liveng kernel package (linux-image-liveng-architecture-version).

linux-image-liveng-architecture-version must have a postinst file which mimes what previously done:

  • triggers the initrd rebuild;
  • calls the script with the correct kernel-version parameter. will then locate the second system partition and rewrite it with the new files, using xorriso.

At the end of the day, linux-image-liveng-architecture-version is exactly like a standard linux-image-architecture-version but adds a special postinst file.

We are not going to give further explanations, bacause of course distributions’ maintainers already well know how to create and manage Debian packages and a package repository.