Server setup

Run time dependencies

  • bzr (to grab the branch)
  • pxz | xz-utils
  • python3, python3-gpgme | python, python-gpgme
  • e2fsprogs
  • android-tools-fsutils
  • abootimg
  • fakeroot
  • apache2

Test dependencies

  • python-tox
  • python-nose2, python3-nose2
  • python-mock, python3-mock
  • python-coverage, python3-coverage
  • libjs-jquery-hotkeys, libjs-jquery-isonscreen, libjs-jquery-tablesorter
  • pep8
  • pyflakes (includes executables for both Python 2 and 3)
  • both pxz and xz-utils (for 100% coverage)
  • cpio

Web server setup

sudo adduser $USER www-data
sudo chgrp www-data /var/www/
sudo chmod g+rwX /var/www/
sudo rm -f /var/www/html/index.html

Setting up the server itself

This assumes all the above was installed and done, that the code is running as an "ubuntu" user in its default home directory, on a server accessible at with a valid SSL certificate on port 443.

bzr branch lp:~ubuntu-system-image/ubuntu-system-image/server system-image
cd system-image
tox -e fast-py34,fast-py27

At this stage, you have the branch on your system, have generated some GPG keys (albeit test ones), and tested that the code works (at least the fast-path tests). Now it's time to generated the matching keyrings, but first you have to configure the system by creating "etc/config" containing:

base_path = /home/ubuntu/system-image/
channels = test
gpg_key_path = secret/gpg/keys/
gpg_keyring_path = secret/gpg/keyrings/
publish_path = /var/www/
state_path = state/
public_fqdn =
public_http_port = 80
public_https_port = 443

type = auto
versionbase = 1
fullcount = 15
files = ubuntu, device, custom-savilerow, keyring, version
file_ubuntu = remote-system-image;;trusty-proposed;ubuntu
file_device = remote-system-image;;trusty-proposed;device;keyring=archive-master
file_custom-savilerow = http;;name=custom-savilerow,monitor=
file_keyring = keyring;archive-master
file_version = version

You may want to look at config.example for all possible key values.

Relative paths, such as the gpg_key_path and gpg_keyring_path are relative to base_path.

The above defines a server accessible at, which listens for http on port 80 and for https on port 443, has one channel that's managed by the importer, that channel is configured to contain 5 tarballs:

  • ubuntu => Ubuntu root filesystem, imported as-is from

  • device => Device tarball, imported from and then repacked to swap the GPG keys

  • custom-savilerow => Imported from an http server (customization tarball)

  • keyring => Contains the GPG keys that override those from the ubuntu tarball

  • version => Contains the channel configuration and current build data

Now that the configuration is done, you can generate the keyrings.

cp -R tools/keys/* <base_path>/secret/gpg/keys/

Now we need to actually create the channels, add a device and publish the keyrings, for that, run "bin/si-shell" and do:

pub.create_device("test", "mako")
for keyring in ("archive-master", "image-master", "image-signing", "blacklist"):

Note: you might want to omit blacklist if you don't have one, since publish_keyring() will give you an error if there is no blacklist keyring (there usually isn't by default).

At this point, your server is ready, all you need to do now is generate images by running: bin/import-images -v


On the actual system-image server bin/copy-image is used to copy images between channels, set up aliases, etc. Since this is a local file system copy, and copy-image requires a source channel, you need to make a local mirror of a device/channel directory, and the related metadata files, on your local file system. One way you could do that is a recursive wget of but be prepared to devote tens of gigs of local disk space and saturate your network for a few days.

A better way is to use the grabber script which will mirror just enough locally to run copy-image. You need to have the system-image-common package (v3.0 or newer) installed, since grabber uses bits and pieces from the system-image client to do the work of resolving which files are needed for which device/channel pair. Thus, you'll also need Python 3.

Let's say you want to run the following copy-image command:

$ bin/copy-image -vvvv -p 6 ubuntu-touch/rc/bq-aquaris.en ubuntu-touch/ubuntu-rtm/14.09 krillin 23

You need to have the source channel (i.e. the first path argument) laid out locally. Let's say further that you're going to build all this in /tmp/si. Run the grabber like so:

$ cd /path/to/server/branch
$ bin/grabber -c ubuntu-touch/rc/bq-aquaris.en -d krillin /tmp/si

If you don't have system-image-common v3.0 or newer installed, do bzr branch lp:ubuntu-system-image and put the resulting directory on your $PYTHONPATH.

The grabber script will run for a while (but trust me, it's much faster than a full mirror!) and when it's done, you can now run copy-image after setting up your etc/config properly.

Oh yeah, what are those funky version-*.json files for? They're consumed by copy-image to produce the version-details in the channels.ini file.

ImageBasedUpgrades/ServerSetup (last edited 2015-05-14 21:03:16 by barry)