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An ocaml livecd
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Date: 2008-01-08 (14:58)
From: Adrien <camaradetux@g...>
Subject: An ocaml livecd

Some time ago there was a discussion about the usefulness of an ocaml livecd.
There is already Demolinux or Juppix but they both contain a lot of
data (.iso weigh about 700MB) and Demolinux is really aging.

So here is a test version for a new one.
The goal of the livecd is not to have java, eclipse or apache, it is
to provide a comfortable environment for ocaml but also general usage
while consuming few resources. Hopefully it is easy to plug-in modules
in the root filesystem whenever one wants (see ). This modular approach is
important as it reduces space usage (both on the cd and in memory)
while keeping all the functionnalities.

The base is slackware-current with linux-live scripts (1) and slax's
kernel (2) as a mysterious problem prevents me from using my owns.
The build process is pretty easy and reproductible by anybody within
two hours. Feel free to ask if you want the small scripts I've written
: one creates an iso from a subset of slackware-current, the other one
removes some files and move some others in order to create modules for
C development [headers and gcc data] and documentation.

(1) :
(2) : taken from slax6rc7 iso along with modules,

The result is a 147MB iso file with a graphical environment which can
run on computers with 128MB of RAM. Right now this livecd features
xfce, ocaml-3.10.1-rc1, ledit, ocamlfind, gvim (vi is elvis though),
mousepad, gmplayer, pcmanfm (file-manager), emelfm (same), Thunar
(same). It also features fftw2 which I wanted for myself and I'll be
happy to include any other module one could want (I've forgotten
lablgtk2 for example).

Basic usage/advice is :
- upon boot, use <TAB> to edit the command-line and use vga=0x315 for
800x600 console display, vga=0x317 for 1024x768 and vga=0x31A for
- log in as root (the filesystem is read-only), there is currently no password.
- use the startx command for the gui (vesa 1024x768 by default, works
for geforce go 7600, geforce 7600gt, radeon x300) and if you have a
weird terminal, quit xfce, run xorgsetup and use a higher color depth.
You may run xorgsetup anytime display is problematic in fact.
- ocaml with ledit and unix.cma is the yellow helmet on the left

There are already todo and fixme lists:
fixme, most being immediate to fix:
 * higher  default resolution for boot
 * debug off for pcmanfm (its inotify debug is a real flood)
 * /etc/group, I'm not sure of the proper syntax
 * include the development and documentation modules (ocaml
documentation is not concerned, it is always there)
 * lablgtk
 * wput
 * network which is available but not activated by default.

 * emacs with tuareg is absent but only because I don't personnaly use
and can't make it properly (I've already found the friend I'm going to
work on this ;) )
 * ndiswrapper with stripped driverpacks ( ) to support
some wifi cards (as my bcm43xx for instance)
 * drocaml but I would like to make it lighter otherwise it will have
troubles running
 * cameleon2 which surprinsingly doesn't compile on my computer
 * improved bootscreen (but don't be afraid, there'll be no ugly gfx ;) )
 * copy2ram (copy data from cd or usb key to ram to improve performance)

The iso file can be downloaded at and yes I really had no
idea for the name. ;p
Any feedback is highly appreciated.

PS: Am I allowed to redistribute the oreilly book in pdf format ?
What about the ocaml pdf by inria ?


Adrien Nader