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[Qemu-discuss] Call for help on minimal QEMU binary compiles

From: Mike Levin
Subject: [Qemu-discuss] Call for help on minimal QEMU binary compiles
Date: Thu, 5 Nov 2015 15:49:25 -0500

Hi people on the QEMU noguru list. I'm actually looking for gurus, but I though I'd start here before reaching out to developers in order to start getting myself involved in the QEMU mailing list community as politely as I can.

Short story:

I'm looking for a qemu customizing and compiling guru on each major x86 OS platform: Windows, Mac and Linux.
This is for updating the qemu binaries that accompany a Tiny Core Linux-targeting project of mine on Github called Levinux.
I've tried many times to do this on my own, with varying degrees of success. Each platform has its own unique challenges.

And the long story:

The purpose of Levinux is to make available a ready-to-run lightweight text-only version of Linux running on QEMU on the desktop of every x86 operating system that QEMU supports (Mac, Windows, other Linuxes), mostly for educational use. Specifically, I want to make it easy to introduce newbs to the *nix server or embedded world, where you won't necessarily have a desktop. So, it's all based around terminal and the curses interface for using Python, vim and git.

I use QEMU because it's FOSS and doesn't require an install or even admin rights, and can be modified from the host machine at startup with scripts transmitted down through tftp on startup. The download is a mere 20MB based on old versions of QEMU pointed-to from qemu.org, and decompresses to only about a 60MB software footprint (storage, not RAM) for a fully running Python/Flask application running on localhost:8888.

But the problem is that these old compiled binaries of QEMU are getting more and more brittle with each OS upgrade (Windows 10, El Capitan, etc.). The dependencies for QEMU are becoming heavy-weight, with some of the modern binaries in excess of 60MB alone--times-three OSes starts to violate the lightweight mission of my remix. I don't know how to trim-down and customize the QEMU conifg file to the bare-minimum needed for the text-only version of Tiny Core Linux (core.gz inside Core-..*.iso), and related issues.

After serving as a Linux learning platform, my vision for Levinux is a sort of Noah's Arc for your programming code, thinking of and treating any particular server as easily reset to initial state (like the embedded world) and disposable and interchangeable with similar servers, be they real or virtual. Deployment techniques that use Unix scripts or packages like Fabric take care of provisioning new servers.

Anyway, that's it. If this project is of interest to you and you think you can help with the compile processes, please reach out to me. If you know someone who this may be a perfect match for their interests, consider forwarding this to them.

I'm on no particular time-frame. This is just the casual desire to make my Github project a bit less brittle and more timeless.

Thanks for your time.

Mike Levin

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