Highly versatile tool to develop & manage deployments

Registered by Omega on 2007-09-07

The following URL and the use cases found on it cover a bit about what I'm
talking about, although I will elaborate some more:
https://wiki.ubuntu.com/EmbeddedUbuntu

It would be interesting if I could be presented with an interface where I
get to decide how much of a complete Ubuntu system, and what platform &
deployment method I want it to target is generated.

Upon completing the process, my system obtains and/or cross-compiles
everything needed into an image that can then be used to install or copy
directly for the system to boot off of (depending on platform), or even have my system host as a netbootable image.
(Maybe in cases of PDAs or more peculiar booting situations, it could
eventually have the capacity to deploy as well?)

Further examples:

In the case of wanting to create multiple identical desktop images I could
create a CD that would install a customized system by:
o Select all the core components required (anything from init all the way up
to open office)
o Include any custom .deb packages I have developed.
o Specify update repositories (especially for x86, maybe for others?) that
will be configured after the image CD finishes an install.
o Specify network domain and just about any other configuration (web, ssh,
yaddy yadda) available.
o Click "Generate install CD" and use that CD to install the machines I wish
to have running my OS.

I think the second step is really where all the custom fancy stuff would
happen as it is largely your own developments that will necessitate the
customized platform. The beauty of using existing repositories is that the
systems could still benefit from regular Ubuntu updates (x86, x86_64
especially) of common libraries & programs that are used.

So far, I see that the mobile & embedded project has focused a lot on mobile tablet-style
PCs, but it would be neat to see it also live up to it's "embedded"
offerings. I also see that there are a lot of network admins who would benefit from the ability to spin up new systems with ease.
Either way, this idea would benefit both the mobile and the desktop communities with consistent way to produce tight system images.

Just a summary for a quick-glance:

o On supported platforms (x86, x86_64), generated systems can benefit from ubuntu's regular updates
o Can generate for any platform (via cross-compliation or ubuntu's repositories)
o Can generate for multiple deployment scenarios
     - Netboot
     - Installation CD
     - Deployed to a custom device (PDA, etc...)
     - Removable flash memory
o Can pre-configure the system or any element of the system generating the installations
o Can configure any local infrastructure or generate the configurations needed for programs
     - In a netboot scenario, some netboot daemons will have to be installed and configured
     - In a scenario where you might host your own packages for updates, maybe set that up?

I can elaborate my "concept" further by responding to any questions people
have.

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