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This page describes the 1.1 version of the minimal environment based on Etch version of Debian distribution for AMD64/EM64T machines. It intends to explain how this environment was built and how to use it with Kadeploy. This page is inspired from Etch-x64-base-1.0


Identification sheet


Kernel version 2.6.18-6-amd64 from Debian for amd64/em64t


  • Remote console: enabled on ttyS0 at 34800 bps
  • Services: ldap:no, nfs:no
  • Accounts: root:grid5000, g5k:grid5000




Here are explanations on how the system was installed and tuned.


Motd is updated :

cat > /etc/motd.tail <<EOF
Etch-x64-base-1.1 (image based on Debian version Etch for AMD64/EM64T)
Maintained by Cyril Constantin <>
Valid on Dell {PE1855, PE1950}, HP {DL140G3, DL145G2, DL385G2}, 
      IBM {e325, e326, e326m}, Sun {V20z, X2200 M2, X4100},
      Altix Xe 310
 * Text: Vim, XEmacs, JED, nano, JOE
 * Script: Perl, Python, Ruby
 (Type "dpkg -l" to see complete installed package list)
 * i386 shared libraries are available
 * SSH has X11 forwarding enabled
 * Max open files: 8192
 * TCP bandwidth: for 1Gbs
 More details:


Sources.list is updated :

cat > /etc/apt/sources.list <<EOF
deb etch main contrib non-free
deb etch/updates main contrib
deb sid main

Installed packages are upgraded to their last release:

apt-get update
apt-get upgrade
apt-get dist-upgrade

It correct automatically the openssl vulnerability.

Adding packages

The nscd package is added to resolve the bug #1336 [1].

apt-get install nscd
cat > /etc/nscd.conf <<EOF
enable-cache            passwd          yes
positive-time-to-live   passwd          600
negative-time-to-live   passwd          20
suggested-size          passwd          211
check-files             passwd          no
persistent              passwd          no
shared                  passwd          yes
enable-cache            group           yes
positive-time-to-live   group           3600
negative-time-to-live   group           60
suggested-size          group           211
check-files             group           no
persistent              group           no
shared                  group           yes
enable-cache            hosts           yes
positive-time-to-live   hosts           3600
negative-time-to-live   hosts           20
suggested-size          hosts           211
check-files             hosts           no
persistent              hosts           no
shared                  hosts           yes


To not be impacted by the bug #1404 [2], tgz-g5k is upgraded.


New myrinet drivers are available.

cd /usr/local/src/
tar xvfz mx_1.2.5.tar.gz
cd mx-1.2.5
./configure --prefix=/usr/local --enable-64b --enable-10g --enable-2g
make install

Kernel has been updated (to the same version) so e1000 module should be regenerated.

cd /usr/local/src/e1000-
make install


Finally, the date of the release is updated.

date > /root/release


Creating image's archive

Now, a valid minimal environment has been build. Its corresponding image file has to be generated. At this point, the environment contains configuration files that depends of the site which installs it. These files must be excluded from image archive to stay as neutral as possible.

System archive creation and retrieving is now an easy task:

tgz-g5k cconstantin@frontale:images/etch-x64-base-1.1.tgz

Creating postinstall's archive

Postinstall archive is the etch-x64-base-1.0 postinstall.

Recording environment

Recording environment can be done from a description file. So we create etch-x64-base-1.1.dsc:

name = etch-x64-base-1.1
description =
author =
filebase = file:///grid5000/images/etch-x64-base-1.1.tgz
filesite = file:///grid5000/postinstalls/etch-x64-base-1.0-post.tgz
size = 1000
initrdpath = /boot/initrd.img-2.6.18-6-amd64
kernelpath = /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.18-6-amd64
fdisktype = 83
filesystem = ext2

With karecordenv, the new environment can be known by Kadeploy:

karecordenv -fe etch-x64-base-1.1.dsc
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