Amharic and upgrade from 9.04

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Robert Ševčík (Robajz)

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Jan 31, 2012, 12:27:56 PM1/31/12
to Rory McCann, a...@camara.ie, Demisse...@camara.ie, camara...@googlegroups.com
Dear friends,

We've been breaking our heads with Amharic in Ubuntu for some time. Recently, we discovered a simple way forward using ibus input method with the ibus-m17n package. This does not work on 9.04. To my surprise, I learned this is still a version mostly used in schools even though it's far beyond it's End Of Life (Dead in other words).

I'd like to figure out a way to upgrade existing installations to 10.04.3 - last release of LTS Ubuntu Lucid Lynx where we can apply Amharic easily. This would kill two flies with one slap :D Missing Amharic and unsupported software installation. If we cannot upgrade the systems, we'll need to figure out how to deliver new version with the necessary Camara mods and default SW.

I have downloaded the alternate installation CD of Ubuntu 10.04.3 for i386 and will get to experiment soon. 

Please let me know if you have any hints.
Kind regards, Robert.

Paul O'Rourke

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Jan 31, 2012, 2:46:54 PM1/31/12
to robert...@gmail.com, Rory McCann, a...@camara.ie, Demisse...@camara.ie, camara...@googlegroups.com, fr...@camara.ie, j...@camara.ie
Hi Robert,

For at least the last year and a half we've been talking about upgrading the existing Ubuntu 9.04 build to 10.04.

The biggest issues we have revolve around the (now very seriously) outdated Camara edu pack material - particularly Wikipedia.

At the moment in the Dublin workshop I have a build being tested.  It has Amharic language support as downloaded from the standard repositories but for all I know this could be gibberish!

Some technical notes:
The existing 9.04 install is based on a preseeded / scripted installation,is fully automated and will work on very very old hardware (as low as Pentium 3 with 384MB RAM). But it's very slow to install (one or two hours), must be installed from a network server or single optical disk, and is a complete nightmare to develop.

The 10.04 installation I've built is based around remastersys, which is much easier to develop around and is more flexible.  I don't know if a Pentium 4 with 512MB RAM will be sufficient: this is something that has to be tested.  My own testing showed that installing the remastersys build is relatively slow (45 to 90 minutes) and puts a lot of strain on the network.

So what I've done is put the remastersys build on to a small virtual machine (18GB hard drive and 2GB RAM) and cloned it with clonezilla.  There's a pxe insance of clonezilla on the workshop server that users can use to put the image on to a target machine.  We were already using clonezilla for processing Windows machines.  The install process takes about 10 to 15 minutes or so.  Before making a clone image you should delete the 70-persistent-net-rules file from /etc/undev/rules.d directory, and I usually do 'sudo touch /forcefsck' to make sure the hard drive gets checked after restore. I've placed a copy of this image in my webspace if you want to look at it, but please bear in mind that it's about 8GB in size and is NOT approved for release.

Before you ask, if you want to be installing Windows for schools you will have to contact Microsoft       Africa in Nairobi Kenya.

Kind Regards,

Paul

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Robert Ševčík

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Feb 12, 2012, 3:26:51 AM2/12/12
to Paul O'Rourke, Kamal, Rory McCann, a...@camara.ie, Demisse...@camara.ie, camara...@googlegroups.com, fr...@camara.ie, j...@camara.ie, Shakeel Padamsey
Hello,

Thanks again for your support.

@Kamal
did you try the procedure described here? ... link

We tried, but that is no longer supported since both 9.04 and 9.10 are beyond EOL. There's a debian way of doing an upgrade - using old release repositories and replacing repository names with new ones (jaunty for karmic) and doing a regular update. I'd like to test this path when I get a chance. I expect troubles especially for the volume of apps installed... we'll see.

@Paul
At the moment in the Dublin workshop I have a build being tested.

I'm really looking forward to that. Shak told me it should be coming any time... I hope we can also use it for upgrades but if not we'll be working out a backup-install-restore scenario. 

It has Amharic language support as downloaded from the standard repositories but for all I know this could be gibberish!

We've verified in the hub, that 1) installing ibus-m17n 2) choosing ibus as the input method in language support and 3) adding Amharic/Sera in the Keyboard input preferences / ibus preferences 4) starting ibus-daemon -d automatically ... does the job. Local volunteers are happy with the result. Would this be different from the stuff in the prepared distribution?

The 10.04 installation I've built is based around remastersys [...] So what I've done is put the remastersys build on to a small virtual machine (18GB hard drive and 2GB RAM) and cloned it with clonezilla

I'm eager to play with this wonder :) I hope we'll have time to experiment in the hub and come up with a straightforward process ready for the schools. I think this is the one Shak told me about, correct me if I'm wrong.

... if you want to be installing Windows ...
 
Personally, I'm not quite interested :D but if there's demand, we should I guess. Getting the required licenses will not be my job I think. What I'd like to work out in that case is a dual boot installation with shared documents - somehow, you know what I mean :) Or perhaps a networked lab with Multipoint server?

Let me know...
Kind regards
Robert

Sent from a mud house!
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