SUSE Conversations


Guided Tour on Creating Appliances with SUSE Studio I



By: battala

June 9, 2009 2:44 pm

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SUSE Studio is a new, innovative web-based service to enable ISVs, developers and the community to quickly and easily “mass customize” Linux appliances.

It’s the first product to create Linux appliances very quickly in customized variants with lots of exciting features.

  1. Creating appliances
  2. Cloning appliances
  3. Remove/Deleting the built appliances

Creating the Appliances:

  • SUSE Studio makes it so users can create SUSE appliances very easily with customization.
  • SUSE Studio supports creating the appliances in the following formats:
    1. Disk Image (hard disk, USB Stick)
    2. Live CD/DVD (.iso)
    3. VMware Virtual Machine
    4. XEN Virtual Machine

When the user successfully logs into SUSE Studio, the main page will list the appliances created by the user.

The user can Modify”, “Clone”, or “Delete” appliances.

Creating the appliance involves 5 stages:

  1. Choose the base template and create a name for the appliance.
  2. Software Configuration (Add/Remove the software for the appliance).
  3. Configure the appliance (e.g. Network, storage and memory etc).
  4. Overlay the files in the appliance.
  5. Select the target format and build it.

1. Choose the base template

When “Create Appliance” is clicked, the next step is to choose which kind of appliance to create.

SUSE studio will direct you to a page where all the “BASE Templates” of SUSE Linux will be available.

The user can select to create appliances of openSUSE, SLED, or SLES with different GUI or Text only versions. Either 32-bit or 64-bit architecture can be created.

Give the name of the appliance in the “Name your appliance” box.

Click on “Create appliance”.

2. Software Configuration (Add/Remove the software for the appliance)

Now the customization of the appliance will start.

To configure what software is to be in the appliance, click on the “Software” tab.

Add Software Resources to create the appliance.

By default, it opens the repositories that are configured for the Base Templates.

Software sources:

In this section, it will show the current repositories used by the appliance to install the software.

Add repositories:

We can add our own repositories, with the option “Add Repositories”

Upload RPMs:

Users can upload specific RPM’s (user specific or any driver rpms) to use in creating the appliances with the feature “upload rpm”.

Click on the software patterns to add/remove the packages to be installed in the appliance.

NOTE: The added repositories will be available to all users.

NOTE: After every operation in adding or removing the software packages, there will be statistics generated on: “Used Space”, “Download size”, “Patterns selected”, “Packages Selected”, “Total packages”.

3. Configuration

In the Configuration section the user can configure the following properties of an appliance.

  1. General
  2. Personalize.
  3. Startup
  4. Server
  5. Desktop
  6. Storage & memory
  7. Scripts.

In the “General” section:

  • Default locale
  • Default time zone
  • Network configurations (DHCP or static etc)
  • Firewall configurations (open or close SSH port and HTTP ports)
  • and finally users and groups configuration can be done

Personalize Section:

In the tab, the user can change the logo’s and background images. Users are allowed to upload personalized logos and backgrounds, or they can use the available default logos and backgrounds.

Startup:

In the Startup tab, the runlevel (1, 2, 3, 5) configuration and the End User License Agreement (EULA) can be configured.

In the EULA, the user can enter his own EULA agreements. When your appliance boots for the first time, the user must agree to any and all EULAs.

Server:

In the server tab, the user can configure the “MySQL” Database. Uploading a MySQL Dump file, or adding users to the DB.

Desktop:

In this tab, the “Automatic desktop user log in” and Autostart desktop programs can be configured.

Storage & Memory:

In this tab, the RAM size (in MB), Virtual Disk size (GB), and Swap partition (in MB) can be configured.

Scripts:

The user is allowed to write scripts that can run at the end of “build” and “whenever the appliance boots”.

4. Overlay the files in the appliance

In this section you can optionally add custom files to your appliance. Files added here will be copied into the appliance after packages are installed.

Files can be uploaded from the local computer or from any valid http or ftp source.

5. Build

Now we are in the final stage of creating the appliance.

Select the required format:

  • (Disk Image (hard disk, USB Stick)
  • Live CD/DVD (.iso)
  • VMware Virtual Machine
  • XEN Virtual Machine)

and click BUILD.

The build process time depends on the number of applications.

NOTE: Builds older than seven days may be deleted to free up space on our servers — but don’t worry; you can rebuild them at any time.

After the build is done successfully, we can do a test drive on the created appliance:

  • “Test Drive”
  • “View the files”
  • “Download the appliance”

Test Drive:

View Files:

Conclusion

SUSE Studio is a user friendly product to create appliances.

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Categories: Appliances, SUSE Studio, Technical Solutions

Disclaimer: As with everything else at SUSE Conversations, this content is definitely not supported by SUSE (so don't even think of calling Support if you try something and it blows up).  It was contributed by a community member and is published "as is." It seems to have worked for at least one person, and might work for you. But please be sure to test, test, test before you do anything drastic with it.

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