Reduced ISO Size and Improved Build Safety

I was able to reduce the generated livecd ISO image from its eyesore of 8GB down to just under 2GB, putting the ISO size for the Dark Horse Linux livecd on par with other distributions.

You can grab the latest image here.

The issue was ultimately an overzealousness to make the image “provable” from a security perspective. The debuginfo in the compiled binaries of the system, particularly the kernel modules and shared libraries, accounted for about 6GB of the storage. Stripping that debuginfo consisted of almost all of the size reduction. 75% size reduction is really quite worth it.

This version also has some repaired filepaths, as well as additional safety in the scripts that generate the image.

You’ll probably see in the git logs that there are a bunch of fairly recent additions of set -u in the bash executables that Rex is kicking off. This tells bash to treat any reference to an unset variable as an error and exit immediately. That way if you do the admittedly dumb rm -Rf ${unset_path}/${also_unset_path}, bash will refuse to execute that line and fail the project run of rex due to a non-zero exit code. Obviously this is a stop-gap measure until I can do a full cycle focused on code safety rewrites.

Next is (besides some more clean up on the pyrois codebase) the introduction of RPM and presumably DNF, followed by some formation of what an installer ISO will look like.

It would potentially be a turning point for this project as it could be the point at which the distro moves from source based to precompiled binary package based, depending on how much infrastructure gets introduced during the RPM and DNF build/research work.

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