Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Black Lab Image Creator and the GPL

Somebody asked me recently.  Why did we rebrand remastersys as Black Lab Image Creator.  We rebranded it because Fragadelic who produced Remastersys asked us to rebrand it.  He did not want Remastersys to continue in any way shape or form in terms of branding.

Recently someone has said we are unethical, that by rebranding and redistributing Remastersys that we are committing fraud and some of the more feverish sponsors of the FSF are donating, acquiring the code  and then filing complaints with PayPal to get their donations back.  Personally, thats defrauding us.  But I want to clear up some misconceptions on our supposed illegal distribution of GPL code.

We do not charge you for the software.  When you make your $50.00 USD donation you are helping to support this project.  Because it is a project.  When you donate one time, you continue to get updates from us for the life of the project.  We do not "charge" per release.  The GNU GPL does not say that I have to give you the software free of charge.  It says I must provide the source code to those I distribute the software to.  We do that.  All the way.  There have been many distributions who have taken it inhouse and rebrand it, and create facilities to roll their own distributions and thats fine.  Its your source code to do that with.  Richard Stallman himself, used to sell copies of Emacs for 150.00 USD on Floppy when he first got started.

We enhance, maintain and keep Black Lab Imager up to date with current Ubuntu releases.  We have always done that and we have never misrepresented our work or our "ethics" to anyone.  For those of you more feverish FSF supporters who dont like the fact we ask for a $50.00 USD donation for GPL code.  You are more than welcome to go back to Fragadelic and ask him for the original Remastersys source code.  He charges $50.00 USD for it and its untested and unmaintained on newer releases of Ubuntu.

We provide this software on our honor.  There are no activation schemes, there is nothing "protective" in nature to force you guys to "purchase" this software.  You are making a contribution on your honor to help us maintain and enhance this software.  Like many free software projects we require donations and contributions to keep working on it.  If this becomes unmaintainable we will be forced to discontinue it and then everyone is stuck without the facilities to roll your own distribution.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Black Lab Image Creator 1.5 Released

We have finished work on Black Lab Image Creator and we have wrapped up support for another Ubuntu variant.  This release supports Ubuntu 14.04 and Ubuntu 14.10 along with the following variants:

Kubuntu 14.04

We have not tested with Lubuntu.  This release is available now and we have made the following fixes.

1.  did a massive code cleanup from the remastersys source code so alot of the legacy remastersys stuff has been cleaned.

2.  Your backup remasters can be installed via TimeShift system restore facility as well as a LiveCD or LiveUSB

3.  Backup Remasters can be installed via Clonezilla, if you are creating your own distribution you must install via USB or LiveDVD

4.  Distribution Remaster partitions can be in XFS or EXT4, we are still working on BTRFS.  If you are doing a backup remaster you can use BTRFS

5.  Cleaned up the man file

6.  Black Lab Image Creator is still supporting 32 bit.  Even though we dropped 32bit support in Black Lab Linux, http://www.pc-opensystems.com, we are still supporting 32 bit with this tool

Known issues:

1. MIR technical preview ISO's cannot be remastered.  We are working on this and hopefully will be getting some feedback from Canonical on what we need to work on.

2.  Distribution Remasters cannot be accomplished on a BTRFS filesystem.  We are still working on this issue.

3.  12.04 is no longer supported because of the changes that were brought forth by 14.04 and 14.10.  If you need 12.04 support contact us at support@pc-opensystems.com and we can get you a working copy of 12.04 supported Black Lab Image Creator.

4.  Secure Boot is not supported as of yet, we are working on this for 1.6, which will work with Ubuntu 15.04

What we are working on

1.  ARM support Projected Delivery June 2015
2.  POWER support Projected Delivery April or May 2015
3.  GUI Interface

If you ordered a subscription of Black Lab Image Creator we will be shipping your copy to you via your PayPal e-mail address.

If you need a copy of Black Lab Image Creator 1.5 you can make a donation of $50.00 USD via PayPal and we will send you an installable binary .deb file as well as the full source code for Black Lab Image Creator and you get all further updates for FREE.  Please note in your PayPal Donation that you wish to receive Black Lab Image Creator.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Black Lab Image Creator 1.5

Black Lab Image Creator 1.5 will be released Oct 15, 2014.  This will include full support for Ubuntu 14.10 as well as Linux Mint 17.  Now I want to respond to a lad named cactusneedle who wrote a comment about us taking this project a donation required project.

The Linux and Open Source philosophy does not require us to make our project free as in beer, it requires us to make the source code available.  We do this with every donation that we receive.  You get a copy of the sources and an install file and we offer support for this piece of software like we do for Black Lab Enterprise Desktop.

Users who donate $50.00 USD, one TIME, get free upgrades for the life of the project.  We think thats fair.  Now, when Frag quit producing remastersys he quit because of the problem we were having which was funding.  We are keeping this project alive and ARE NOT giving up on it.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Black Lab Image Creator 1.4 Released

Using feedback from a few of our users we have introduced many new fixes.

1.  Initial Ubuntu 14.10 support
2.  Requirement asking for lightdm has been fixed
3.  automatic cleanup of the APT cache during the remaster
4.  Black Lab splash screen

You can acquire the  installation .deb and source code by donating $50.00 USD

We would like to thank  Dr. Saleem Khan Marwat for his contributions for remastering Kubuntu 14.04

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Black Lab Image Creator Project public offering pulled offline

Black Lab Image Creator 1.4 will not be making a public release. As of today, we are rolling Black Lab Image Creator into our Enterprise Linux offerings.   Why are we doing this?  Lack of public contributions.  This project has garnered 0 external developers, even with the source code available.  That was very important to us and why we released the source code.  It garnered 0 in public donations and at this point even the Kickstarter has been a failure with no backers and no activity.  So without funding and without public contribution, the best thing for us is to pull this tool internally and it will continue to be enhanced for Ubuntu-GNOME and Xubuntu which comprise the base of our own Linux distribution.

Anyone who wants the source code along with the binary distribution can donate to help support the project for $50.00 USD using the Donate button and we will send you a copy of the binary installer and source code.  Once your payment clears I will send it to you.  We will continue to make announcements regarding our progress on this site.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Black Lab Image Creator 1.3 released

Today we are pleased to announce the release of Black Lab Image Creator 1.3, with this release we have fixed the following issues.

1.  Ubuntu 14.04 support is complete
2.  Mint 17  support is complete
3.  kernel wont sync issue - This is due to the filesystem being btrfs during the compilation

4. Deb package now provided

With this newest release you can now build Unity and KDE desktops, here are some issues that need to be addressed and before you file any bug reports please follow these know issues.

- The build system must have an ext4 filesystem.  The default btrfs filesystem that Ubuntu uses WILL NOT WORK.  You can install your image on any filesystem you wish but the build system MUST BE EXT4.  One of our contributors is working on btrfs support but we have no arrival date as of yet.

- If you get a command not found when running blacklabimager you must run the following commands

sudo chmod a+x /usr/bin/BlackLabImager
sudo chmod a+x /usr/bin/BlackLabImager-skelcopy

- If you get a home directory size error you must bring the size down below 4 gigs.  This is a left over issue from  remastersys.

- Your image presents you with a login screen:  Leave the user name as is and click on login, no password is necessary

To download Black Lab Image Creator visit our sourceforge page where the .deb and source files are available

Download Black Lab Image Creator

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Kickstarter launched

We have started a project on Kickstarter to help fund development of Black Lab Image Creator.  With the funding we plan to continue to develop Black Lab Image Creator and hopefully get some of the bugs fixed that currently plague us.