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howto make your custom live-cd/usb suggestions

Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 16:47
by fenius
After installing this wonderfull distro and using it as my default os for quite a while, I was thinking about making a custom live cd or live usb with all the changes I made like packages I installed/removed, look and feel and so on.

then I read on distrowatch Weekly, Issue 228, about the PCFluxboxOS project ... 12#waiting "PCFluxboxOS is a light-weight, PCLinuxOS-based distribution with Fluxbox as the window manager" which seems to be really interesting. I realized you can have a bleeding edge light-weight distribution!

I know there is the SL3.4 mini edition... which I use as my default desktop os beacuse I actually consider it as a mid-weight distro and I also know that SL is focused on making a distribution full of every package you need for every kind of hardware... and I appreciate that.... it's really usefull!
But MY DREAM is a light-weight genoo-based distro, hardware recognition capable (so it's better if SL-based), from where to start building your own customized "perfect desktop" for your needs which you can bring with you around the world in a small minicd or, even better, on usb pendrive (something around 200-400MB). I don't care too much about having kde or gnome replaced by a more minimalistic window manager like fluxbox or xfce... I like the way they work and prefer to stay minimal.

I know that the price for memory is going down every day... but I also think that both memory and money can be used in a more productive way :)
I also know that in SL you can choose what you want to install into your hard disk... but I'm also a curoius person and, as I'm studying computer engineering, I would like to learn more about the process of creating your own live cd/usb... and I think it can be usefull to others too... that's why I've opened this new topic.

I think, as the open source philosophy teaches us, that sharing your knowledge with others is the best way to make things work better... and, as it works with love matters, if you give love, in a generous way, of course, you will also get love back. Don't ever forget it.

Here is what i found about the topic.. and it's seems interesting! ... or_newbies ... om_scratch ... SB#Purpose

Thank you in advance for your future hints and suggestions :wink:

[EDIT]Another interesting project:

Re: howto make your custom live-cd/usb suggestions

Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 20:51
by totedati
why you think only about a tinny custom live cd & usb!? why not a full custom dvd sized distro!? my last usb pendrive has 8 GiB! almost all my customized hdd sabayon linux can fit here!

is my hope also, to find a way to do that ... to move ALL my sabayon linux distro completely to this usb pendisk ... i am in the learning process ;-)))

Re: howto make your custom live-cd/usb suggestions

Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 20:54
by WarraWarra
I posted a while back several links regarding usb / mini cd or live cd links / info that can be used as well not sure if they are still floating around in the forums here.

What you can do is maybe look at "mpentoo"
gentoo based using enlightenment and then take that at it's 208mb about and mod it to your liking by say adding overlays of sabayon to it + remove / add a few programs then once ready and stable trim away /usr/src/* and portage tree + temp files and other uneeded stuff + possibly use ulibc or something like this the micro one to save space + dump as much as you need into the kernel at boot instead of having the files be in part in the kernel + /lib/..... something as well. Will have to do a bit of research about this.
This trimming software should be in portage tree and or needs to be installed will see if I can find that link again, should be in wiki likely or posted here in the forums.

Also try to build it using the embedded options to save space and get a bit more performance out of it.
/ect/make.conf -> Make sure to use -O2 and not -Os as -Os leads to bugs or so I have read not sure here see gentoo forums , using -j* with the correct numbers + this should be i686 already from a stable old kernel should make live fairly easyer for you.

Might be able to build it inside redhat type or gentoo and then chroot into it to make live easier , works like a charm the last time I tried + have a alternative grub menu listing to boot from this of the same SL install partitions except say maybe "/home/funky armadillo" will then be root for the testing modded mini one you are building instead of just /
For booting if you end up with /etc/conf.d/rc set the parallel to yes or on to speed up booting if there.

Once this is all done syslinux + iso + make a cd and use it or something along this lines will have to check this against a few guides.

You could also using the new iso you made before burning it -> loop mount it from the normal grub menu same as happens on the SL live cd /dvd's to see if it works and how it behaves.

Hope something here helps.

Re: howto make your custom live-cd/usb suggestions

Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 21:07
by WarraWarra

Re: howto make your custom live-cd/usb suggestions

Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 23:43
by fenius
totedati wrote:why you think only about a tinny custom live cd & usb!?
well... becuase I prefer to build up my system rather than strip it down... I think it's better and the way I want my computer to be can vary depending on which box I install it (Desktop or Laptop, wireless or not, dhcp or static ip, graphics and design studio, multimedia studio, development studio, office, games, windows related stuff or not, etc...).
I like to have different customization for different situations instead of a BIG operating system full of everything... so full of stuff that sometimes I find programs I never used, that I didn't even know they were there... and that's not usefull at all for me, because I know exactly what program I need to do what I need to do... and if not, I prefer to discover this new program by reading about it and then installing it myself only if I think it's worth it!

The most important thing is that the live cd and its harware recognition tool is going to WORK... no black screens, never!...every mouse and every keyboard must work as well as every mother board!
This is the crucial issue!!!

gentoo-based, harware recognition, simplicity... this is why I like SabayonLinux ...efficiency! ...too many programs != efficiency.
totedati wrote: i am in the learning process
Yes, me too and I hope we can join our efforts here in this forum :D

WarraWarra thanks a lot for your suggestions and all the links! I'm gonna look at everyone of them... I just would like to have more time to spend on this topic... I know it's going to be a long path to follow.
...pentoo... seems interesting! :)

Another interesting link

Re: howto make your custom live-cd/usb suggestions

Posted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 16:29
by DontPanic
I just ran across this year-old discussion of converting the SabayonLinux miniCD edition to a usb thumb drive.

Live USB image

Re: howto make your custom live-cd/usb suggestions

Posted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 0:57
by fenius
Yes, I had a usb live system for a while... it was nice! (I also translated the "howto" in italian for the italian-only guys)

After going through loads of stuff I went for the whole LinuxFromScratch book and I must say it was a really good thing!
You learn a lot about how things work "behind the scenes" ...I think it's the best way deeping in a linux system... it's definitely worth it.

But going back to the Live cd/dvd topic I must say as i wrote in the Sabayon 3.5 Feature requests/ideas:
I think it would be a good idea to develop some kind of script to remaster SabayonLinux as you wish.
Ubuntu, PCLinuxOS and other distros (Debian, Fedora, etc..) have this feature and I think it's a really interesting one.

Some links: ... ra-livecd/ ... &Itemid=89

we must come out with something like this... so we have the most complete distro ever ...source compiling (portage)...binary installing (Spritz)... make-your-own remastering... what else??? :wink: