Man­ual re­mas­ter­ing

Linux Format - - HOTTEST DISTROS -

While the scripts cov­ered in this fea­ture sim­plify the process of con­vert­ing a Linux in­stal­la­tion into a Live dis­tributable medium, it’s pretty sim­ple to step through the process man­u­ally. The ad­van­tage of this ap­proach is that you can cus­tomise any dis­tri­bu­tion ir­re­spec­tive of the one run­ning on the host. So for ex­am­ple, you can use this to cre­ate a cus­tomised Ubuntu-based dis­tro us­ing a Fe­dora in­stal­la­tion.

Be­fore you get started, you’ll need the squashfs-tools pack­age to com­press the filesys­tem of your cus­tom dis­tro as well as the

genisoim­age pack­age to roll your dis­tro into an ISO image. Both of these are usu­ally avail­able in the of­fi­cial repos­i­to­ries of most dis­tri­bu­tions. Next, grab the ISO image of the dis­tro you wish to cus­tomise and loop­back mount it. Then ex­tract its con­tents into a folder. Use the un­squashfs com­mand (part of the squashfs-tools ) to ex­tract the com­pressed filesys­tem. For Ubuntu-based dis­tros like Mint this is the filesys­tem.squashfs file un­der the casper direc­tory. For Fe­dora it’s squashfs.img un­der the LiveOS direc­tory.

Af­ter un­com­press­ing the filesys­tem, ch­root into it. Pre­par­ing the ch­root en­vi­ron­ment needs to be done care­fully. Once in­side the un­com­pressed filesys­tem you can use the dis­tro’s pack­age man­age­ment sys­tem to add and re­move pack­ages and also mod­ify any con­fig­u­ra­tion file. Then re­move any temp files be­fore ex­it­ing the ch­root en­vi­ron­ment. Now all you need to do is re­gen­er­ate the man­i­fest, com­press the filesys­tem and roll it into an ISO image.

Use JLiveCD to pre­pare the ch­root en­vi­ron­ment and cre­ate cus­tom De­bian, Ubuntu and Arch-based dis­tros.

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