In the spirit of the Linux community, Red Hat Software has made available their Linux distributions for several platforms on their FTP site. These are all available from the top distribution directory.
The toplevel directory for RedHat Linux release 6.1 ( pub/redhat/redhat-6.1) contains distributions for the different platforms, and a directory containing updates and corrections to program packages that have been published since the release.
SRPMS/ alpha/ i386/ sparc/ iso/
In this document, we use the i386 distribution as an example. The procedure given in this document is likely to work on all platforms supported by Red Hat (Alpha, SPARC, ppc, etc.), but we have only tested it on the i386 platform (the authors would be most interested in additional information). The root of the i386 directory looks like this:
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 18391 Mar 19 1999 COPYING -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 3409 Sep 26 01:12 README -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1908 Sep 25 18:20 RPM-GPG-KEY drwxr-xr-x 5 root root 4096 Oct 26 09:01 RedHat/ -rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 538 Sep 26 04:16 autorun -rwxr--r-- 1 root root 2048 Sep 30 20:00 boot.cat drwxr-xr-x 7 root root 4096 Oct 26 09:01 doc/ drwxr-xr-x 6 root root 4096 Oct 26 09:01 dosutils/ drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 Oct 26 09:01 images/ -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 391123 Jan 5 09:05 ls-lR -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 51786 Jan 5 09:05 ls-lR.gz drwxr-xr-x 4 root root 4096 Oct 26 09:01 misc/
doc directory contains an abundance of information. Most importantly, the RedHat installation manual can be found in HTML format in the directory doc/rhmanual/manual/. Next, there is a number of FAQs, and finally, the entire collection of HOWTOs and mini-HOWTOs.
images directory contains boot floppy images that must be copied to a diskette. In the most recent distribution (6.1), there are two disk images available. The boot image is called
boot.img, which is required when installation is performed directly from a CD-ROM. If installation from a local hard disk, NFS mounted disk or FTP is required, the supplementary disk image
supp.img might be needed. See section Installing from the CD and references therein for details.
misc directory contains source and executables of a number of programs needed for the installation. Finally, the
iso directory contains iso9660 images just like the one you we about to make.
The most important part of the directory tree is rooted in the
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 28672 Oct 26 09:01 RPMS drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 Oct 26 09:01 base -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 0 Jan 19 1999 i386 drwxr-xr-x 6 root root 4096 Oct 26 09:01 instimage
RPMS directory contains the major part of the Red Hat distribution consisting of a set of RPM (Redhat Package Manager) files. An RPM package typically contains binary executables, along with relevant configuration files and documentation. See the section RPM packages for more information.
base directory holds different book-keeping files needed during the installation process, e.g. the
comps file, which defines the components (groups of packages) used during the "Choose packages to install" phase. See section The comps file for more information on this file, and how to use it. Another important file in the
base directory is the
hdlist file containing most of the header fields from all the RPMs in the
This means that all the interdependencies among RPM packages can be determined just by reading
hdlist without having to read all the RPM packages which is quite convenient especially during FTP installs.
Another use of
hdlist is mapping package names to file name, eg.
perl-5.004-6.i386.rpm. This means that if you want to incorporate updates from RedHat (see section Incorporating the updates) or add your own packages to the
RPMS directory, you need to update
hdlist. This is descriped later in Generating a new hdlist file.
instimage directory contains a bare-bones live file system with a number of programs and shared libraries needed during the installation procedure.
/pub/redhat/updates directory has updates for all releases of RedHat's distribution since version 3.0.3. This is the place to find software packages that have been uppdated for some reason or other. You should especially be aware of security updates. These are publicised on RedHat's errata page whenever a fix is available. The most important files found in the
updates directory are:
drwxrwxr-x 8 ftpuser ftpusers 8192 Aug 18 08:05 5.1/ drwxrwxr-x 9 ftpuser ftpusers 8192 Sep 18 08:07 5.2/ drwxrwxr-x 9 ftpuser ftpusers 8192 Jan 7 23:09 6.0/ drwxrwxr-x 9 ftpuser ftpusers 8192 Jan 7 23:09 6.1/ lrwxrwxrwx 1 ftpuser ftpusers 3 Aug 25 13:14 current -> 6.1/
The structure of each of these directories is similar to that described in section The top level directory