[Koha] Current, Simple-to-install, Installed LiveCDs/LiveDVDs are okay ( was Re: Avoid LiveCDs/LiveDVDs)

Mark Tompsett mtompset at hotmail.com
Sat Oct 6 22:41:27 NZDT 2012


As you can see, I tried to rephrase what I meant as a more positive subject 

On 6 October 2012 18:54, clint.deckard <clint.deckard at frontiers.co.nz> 
> I believe Live CDs have a valuable place in allowing non-technical people
> the opportunity to try Koha.

If it installs easily to a hard drive and let's them have a packages-based, 
fully functional Koha on a single machine without continuing to rely on the 
CD/DVD, that is a good thing for non-technical people with a production 
environment. Though, you may end up doing a Desktop GUI type install, just 
so that single instance can run its own graphical browser for the simplicity 
of the end-user.

Chris Cormack wrote:
> ... it is vitally important the CDs are kept up to
> date, and links to old ones removed.

This was one of the major reasons why I was saying Live CDs/DVDs should be 
avoided. They go out of date quickly, and the person generating it stops 
producing more current versions. This leads to problems like the following.

Chris Cormack wrote:
> We just had someone in #koha on irc who has just in installed
> from a live cd. That version is over 2 years old and has
> known security issues.

Additionally, there was a 3.2.5 Live CD/DVD that was still being used 
recently. After others contacted the author, since they are no longer 
supporting it, they graciously removed their sourceforge version of it, and 
I removed references to it on the wiki.

Chris Cormack wrote:
> I think this is what Mark was trying to say, perhaps the thread should
> be, old and way out of date LiveCD should be avoided.

In part yes, the other part was people continued to use them in production. 
And though people have differing opinions on this point, given the amount of 
data that even a small library has (it's at least a weeks worth of data 
entry for a non-touch typist), it makes no sense to me, and others I have 
talked with, to be running a production system like that. And backing up 
data is like putting a bandage on a bad solution, in my opinion.

However, being able to install off a Live CD/DVD would mean they could then 
share the Live CD/DVD with someone else ( sharing means caring ;) ) and 
merely do a "sudo apt-get update; sudo apt-get upgrade" to update their Koha 
installation on a forward basis. And it would just work fine. And backing up 
would be a good thing to do for a good solution.

Vimal mentioned that having a specific Koha server for production is cost 
prohibitive. The question I have is what software would a library with such 
funding limits be running other than Koha (which handles library 
functionality perfectly well)? And do not equivalents exist in Linux? For 
example, LibreOffice for MS-Office. If there are linux equivalents, then I 
see no reason to not install the Live CD/DVD on one computer. Of course, 
this question is beyond the scope of Koha, so I don't expect answers here.

Chris Cormack wrote:
> I'm glad to see someone is going to be maintaining them.

Vimal's Live CD/DVDs are still being maintained, and he is making efforts to 
catch up and keep up. I applaud his efforts in this regard. I hope I didn't 
presume too much in adding your name, Vimal, to 

> Doing 2 LiveCD releases every month is a reasonable amount
> of work so I applaud them for wanting to.

I agree monthly would be perfect, but even every 6 months (in line with the 
new releases 3.10.0, 3.12.0, etc.) would be sufficient (not perfect, but 
sufficient). This is particularly so, if they install it to a hard drive and 
do the "sudo apt-get update;sudo apt-get upgrade" to keep it current. The 
current stable Live CDs/DVDs could come with a warning "Sorry this CD/DVD is 
more than a year old, please contact <insert contact information> for a more 
recent version" built in triggered past a certain date. The previous stable 
Live CDs/DVDs could have a similar message, but for only 6 months. Because 
if the Live CD/DVD is released when it is current stable, 6 months from now 
it is previous stable, and one year from now it is out dated.

Sadly, I was pondering current stable vs. old stable, and both the current 
stable release and the previous stable releases would have to be created, 
because the repository for the previous stable version is different than the 
repository for the current stable. This means technically, that a Live 
CD/DVD of both current and previous stable versions every six months (when a 
new release is done) is the bare minimum requirement. Though, current and 
previous stable releases on a monthly basis are probably best.

Hopefully this clarifies everything from my perspective. :)

Mark Tompsett 

More information about the Koha mailing list