HOWTO: Install Ubuntu under /compat/linux


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This howto describes how to install Ubuntu 10.04 under /compat/linux. The goal is to get libreoffice working. But other stuff, like firefox will work to.

You will need 700MB of free disk space for the iso image and at least 2.2GB for the /compat/linux directory. Some familiarity with a .deb based Linux will also be required.

Also, i'm not sure if this will work with 8.2 or if you will need a more recent version.

First, we will need an Ubuntu iso image for i368, preferably version 10.04. I tried this previously with a beta of 10.04. But with the beta apt-get kept failing on me. If you don't have an iso (the file should be named ubuntu-11.04-desktop-i386.iso), the following snippet should download it for you:
MIRROR=`curl -D /dev/stdout -s | \
    grep 'Location:' | sed 's/..$//' | awk '{print $2}'`
echo will fetch from $MIRROR

While that is downloading, make sure you have Linux binary compatibility enabled and install the sysutils/squashfs-tools port.

Once you have the iso, mount it and extract the squashfs filesystem contained in it and brand the binaries:
setenv X `mdconfig -f ./ubuntu-11.04-desktop-i386.iso`
mkdir -p /mnt/ubuntu_cd
mount -t cd9660 /dev/$X /mnt/ubuntu_cd
cd /compat/
unsquashfs -d linux /mnt/ubuntu_cd/casper/filesystem.squashfs
cd linux
brandelf -t linux bin/* sbin/* usr/bin/* usr/sbin/* usr/local/bin/* usr/local/sbin/*

(I also ended up deleting the /compat/linux/dev folder to silence apt-get. But i think that is not really required).

Now is a good time to mount linprocfs and linsysfs. You may also want to copy your /etc/resolv.conf to /compat/linux/etc and edit /compat/linux/etc/apt/sources.list to your liking (e.g. enable "universe" and "multiverse"). To install or update packages, first do:

chroot linux /bin/bash

and install packages, e.g.:

apt-get install gtk2-engines-oxygen libreoffice

Since we installed something, rebrand the binaries again. Now you will have to edit /compat/linux/usr/bin/libreoffice. It is a shell script that tries to start libreoffice from /usr/lib/libreoffice/program/soffice. Prefix that with /compat/linux. It also appears to be necessary to create an entry for your user id in /compat/linux/etc/passwd. I copied mine from /etc/passwd. Now cross fingers and run:


And thats it! You should now have a working libreoffice!