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Mon, 17 Jun 2013

Build your personalized Debian Live with 3 simple commands

Buried in the huge manual of creating a Debian Live are 3 gems of commands which can just get anyone up and running in creating their own customized version of a bootable CD/DVD/USB/HDD.

In 3 simple commands (and a little patience while it downloads and does its magic) only we can create a debian live CD/DVD/USB/HDD Bootable Image with all our choice of software and customizations persisted via persistence

#apt-get install live-build
#mkdir tutorial1 ; cd tutorial1 ; lb config
#lb build 2>&1 | tee build.log

What this will give us is a live bootable version of the current stable release of Debian.As of today it is version 7.0 aka "wheezy".So after this when you boot the iso image you will be able to get a complete working command-line version of wheezy. The developers have done a fabulous job in making this very easy.For anyone who has tried to customize other Live CD's etc can appreciate the simplicity and the clean implementation of Debian Live.

Here is a video(11 mins,127MB) showing the whole process. If your packages are already downloaded then it literally takes less then 5 minutes to create your custom version of Debian Live.

Some optional tips

  • If you are going to do multiple builds of Debian Live(most likely you will) then I highly recommend installing apt-cacher or any mirroring tools as that will reduce the load on Debian mirrors and make your builds faster as well.
  • Pls also consider , adding your local mirrors in /etc/live/build.conf as documented here
  • For this example please be sure to have atleast 1.9 GB of free disk space
  • The easiest way to test your ISO image is using QEMU as described in the manual