I spend a lot of time with Rocky on RPi. This week, I installed a pair of 8s (8.4 and 8.5 then upgraded them to 8.7) and the current version of 9. It’s no big deal to download the iso and burn it with Balena. I keep watching distros come and go in the Raspberry Pi Imager. A new one came out this week and I searched with baited breath to see Rocky. Sigh, disappointed again.
The products are wonderfully complete and stable so I imagine that it would be beneficial (and not too challenging) for both Rocky/CIQ and RPi Trading to get together to include R8 and R9 in the distros available on the imager.
I will gladly volunteer my meager services in such a project (certainly not needed but. . .)
The Raspberry Pi Imager is their Balena-like, iso burner. The original package was just like win32write - download an ISO then use the imager to burn it to an SD card. Over time, it has grown features - it can download hosted .ISOs automatically and burn them. If they are RPiOS, there is a sub-menu in the burner that enables preconfiguring Wi-Fi settings, enable SSH, set account name, password, localization, etc.
They provide selection options for other distros that are available for the Pi - several flavors of Ubuntu (server, desktop, etc.), special purpose distros and more.
Available for Win, Linux & Mac
Check it out here:
The point of my original post is to get Rocky for RPi into their selection list.
I have posted a request with their RPi Imager github dev site. I have included the following title and comments:
OS Request: Add Rocky Linux Images #565
I posed this issue on the Rocky dev forum this week. No one has taken up the mantle to pursue requesting that Rocky images be included in the Raspberry Pi Imager. The Sr. Dev (Skip Grube) asked “anyone” to reach out so I took up the challenge.
I don’t speak officially on behalf of Rocky/CIQ but I am a starting contact.
I’m making “headway” but I’m at a stuck point. I’m not a dev or a coder. I took this project to get the process launched. What I have learned is that a json file must be created and submitted for inclusion in the imager. There are examples of said json file but they are beyond my comprehension. Anyone willing to jump in and help me/work with me/take over from me?
Here is the detail for the json created for the same request for Parrot OS that we’re making here:
"name": "Parrot Security",
"description": "Parrot Security (ParrotOS, Parrot) is a Free and Open source GNU/Linux distribution based on Debian Stable designed for security experts, developers and privacy aware people.",
Here’s the url of the git request and replies on their process:
Below is the json file found at the Parrot github site called in the 5th line of the json file referened above. It constitutes all of the variants that they want included in the RPi imger. Looks fairly simple to create to reflect the distros on the Rocky site.
Note - the RPi imager wants .img or xy compressed versions. The current Rocky images are .iso. Renaming them (rename copies, of course) would work but will take a little more space at the host site.
Okay, here’s the full json with all of Parrot’s distros for us to use as a template:
Sigh - I have a new git account and can’t post more than two links. My full jason has a pile of links so I can’t post it. You can see it yourself at
The raspberry pi images for Rocky are not in an ISO, they are compressed images as seen here for Rocky Linux 9. There is also an 8 one.
The rasperry pi imager likely pulls prebuilt images (like our own) and plasters them to an sdcard or otherwise. I’ve not used it, so I can’t be certain. But when I look through json’s of what the imager supports, they’re pointing to compressed images, which tells me those are already prebuilt.
There is a massive difference between an ISO that is upwards of 8+ GB’s that is meant to boot up and install to a hard disk to a rasperry pi image that is a 0.5GB that is prebuilt and ready to be used.
So far, every reply that you have made to me about this project is to be critical or to point out that I’m wrong. I have corrected the trivial reference to CIQ to RESF in your first critique. This second critique comes with a claim that doesn’t seem to be accurate and includes your disclaimer of
The rasperry pi imager likely pulls prebuilt images (like our own) and plasters them to an sdcard or otherwise. I’ve not used it, so I can’t be certain.
You don’t know, you have no experience with it but you speculate authoritatively.
As noted, the images that the current Raspberry Pi Imager points to are compressed .img files (.img.xy).
Rather than criticize and speculate, if you actually know something about this, please respond to my request for assistance. There are things that will have to be done and updated - create and store compressed .img files, host the appropriate .json files, post SHA values and update these things whenever a flavor is updated.
The downloads for the raspberry pi images are in the alternative images section: Alternative Images | Rocky Linux - It’s not clear at the get-go, so I understand that it can be confusing.
So far, every reply that you have made to me about this project is to be critical or to point out that I’m wrong. I have corrected the trivial reference to CIQ to RESF in your first critique.
This wasn’t a critique actually. This was to clear up who manages/develops Rocky Linux. This happens often enough in other scenarios that we have to correct it when it comes up.
You don’t know, you have no experience with it but you speculate authoritatively.
My speculation was based on prior experience of preparing a raspberry pi to run something, as well as watching others in the community and interactions in SIG/AltArch. I’ve never used official imagers, just dd or the likes of xzcat. The readme provided by SIG/AltArch briefly talks about it too. Though the alternative images page doesn’t link directly to it, but it is found alongside the images on our mirror.
Rather than criticize and speculate, if you actually know something about this, please respond to my request for assistance
I am trying to help where I reasonably can. I’ve provided links to the compressed images and links to where they can be downloaded. I also looked at the json link you provided as an example and made an educated guess that the raspberry pi imager takes compressed images and plasters them to an sdcard, similar to dd or xzcat.
Nothing above is helpful. As noted previously, I am not a coder and am in over my head from the coding portion of this project. I’m not getting any real support from Rocky insider devs (required for this project). My role was to start and orchestrate the progress but there’s no participants t orchestrate. While this will likely burn a bridge that I am building in other areas of CIQ, it is apparent from this lack of internal or external support that Rocky is not seriously interested in pursuing this line so I am dropping my efforts in swimming this upstream process.
Louis has been answering your questions and providing feedback. I sorry you feel you are not receiving support, but tagging Greg here is really uncalled for, as is being argumentative and dismissing our project member’s knowledge and experience.
Please consider that we are volunteers working on this project, and are giving best effort support to help people who wish to work on projects like the one you are suggesting. I do think that inclusion in this project would be a good thing for Rocky, and so I welcome the addition of this, however there is a way in which things like this get done–and it’s not usually by belittling the people who work on the core parts of the project itself.
That being said, I think arguing over this is a waste of time and energy, and we should instead focus on what this topic is actually about.
Regarding this project overall - it seems like there are just a couple pieces that we need to figure out here, and I appreciate your effort in figuring out these details. From what I can tell, Raspberry Pi hosts some json file which contains references to other project’s images which can be installed from the installer.
It’s still not clear to me on the RPI side what we need to supply to them, but the schema for listing what images we have published seems well enough defined that we can put in some tickets to investigate how we might integrate this into our toolkit and generate this JSON file when we add/update images on the CDN.
For next steps, let’s figure out that this JSON might look like for our images, and then it can be tested locally using the --repo parameter for the Pi Installer tool to point to a locally hosted copy of the JSON which describes our images. From there, we can create tickets to track adding this into the toolkit and get them scheduled/prioritized with our other tasks.
@nazunalika twice posted links, first directly to the images themselves and again when he replied and mentioned the Alternative Images page. It seems you missed this twice as this is what you have been seeking I believe yes?
I apologize for my rant, earlier. Many thanks to @nazunalika and @iwalker. Your efforts are fantastic. I was frustrated because I am out of my element. I, too, have been working on .json blobs and will compare them to the commits made by @nazunalika. I appreciate everyone’s efforts. Hopefully we can get the Rocky images incorporated into the imager sooner than later. Success in this arena should raise Rocky’s presence in a lot of eyes. I have communicated with the dev at Parrot Sec who is working on the same project. He is getting no feedback from the RPi folks and believes that he has appropriate jsons created. I’ll keep plugging away and if there is something that can be assigned to me (I’m great at menial tasks - grin), don’t hesitate.
@nazunalika Hello, Louis. I’m brand-spanking new with Git (signed up for a course and everything - grin). If I understand this right, the next thing to do is to provide your work product to the Raspberry Pi Imager developer git? Can I get a couple of minutes of your time to learn the specific steps (or anyone else) and I’ll be happy to post it over there.