Mar 18, 2012

Emdebian Grip 2.0

The Grip flavor of Emdebian project allows to create thinner Debian root file systems. I've created one that includes apt, vim-tiny, net-tools, iputils-ping, and isc-dhcp-client. Later I've added grub and Kernel 2.6.32-5-686. The total size of this Emdebian is about 66MB, which is 3.5 times smaller than the usual 230 MB required for regular Debian root file system.

Want to test it? I've created a 128MB bootable image file for x86 architecture. You will need at least 48MB of RAM to this image work. You can download it here. For testing use USB pen drive and a personal computer that allows booting from USB. The procedure:
1 - After downloading, uncompress using gzip:
# gzip -d peters-emdebian.img.gz

2 - Copy the image do destination pen drive using dd. Be careful to use correct destination as dd will overwrite it. Replace "X" with the correct drive letter. All data on destination storage will be lost.
# dd if=peters-emdebian.img of=/dev/sdX bs=8k

3 - Boot! Using the storage you've created. Don't tell anyone but the root password is: 3dp

You can use $ df -h and $ cat /proc/meminfo to check the resource consumption of this Emdebian install.

Generating the Emdebian root filesystem from a Debian Squeeze box is easy. Making a bootable image require a little bit more work but also works fine. To generate the rootfs, download this file and:
# multistrap -d grip-squeeze -f grip-squeeze.conf

The Emdebian root filesystem will be saved at the folder grip-squeeze.

More at Emdebian Grip web site.


Anonymous said...

Dear Peter,
your post is very interessant.
How do you set the root password?
you have post the multistrap conf file, is it possible to see the script you used?

Peter said...


For changing the root password, first create the Emdebian root as described on the post:

$ multistrap -d grip-squeeze -f grip-squeeze.conf


# chroot grip-squeeze
# passwd
# exit

I have not used any script. I have used mustistrap tool, copy Kernel/initrd files and installed Grub. The Kernel and Grub thing was made by hand.


mickael said...


very interesting post.
Can you explain, how to make a bootable image after doing multistrap ?


Peter Senna Tschudin said...

Hi Mickael,

I do not remember exactly what I did but I think I have added the image as a second disk in a Debian virtual machine and run grub-install/install-grub on the added disk. But I found one reference that may help you: