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Old 08-27-2016, 04:38 PM   #1
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Talking Creating a custom distro.

Hey everyone,

So I am a newbie to Linux, tried all the popular distros and currently loving Peppermint OS. I am having so much fun with Linux that I am trying to create my own distro. I looked into SUSE studio but I can't fully customize that. Looked into Linux From Scratch, but that seems way too complex for a Linux noobie. Looked into a few other options, and all the ones I saw seem to assume you already know things about the Linux Kernel and command line. Now I do know programming, and I'm sure that may help, but can anyone steer me into a good way to create a distro, that can fully customize, and I don't need to be a kernal expert?

Thanks so much guys !
Old 08-27-2016, 04:50 PM   #2
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Maybe this is good for a start?
Old 08-28-2016, 03:54 AM   #3
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Distribution: any&all, in VBox; Ol'UnixCLI; NO GUI resources
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Hi! My NON/anti-GUI learning, from boot to init (only)

Hi! *WELCOME*! I 'empathize' with your goal/interests. (I'm a semi-Newbie & Unix OldTimer)
I had some great success with NuTyX (in VirtualBox [on my poor ol' XP netbook & slow inet])
I stripped /boot way down to just a few files so that I fully understood...
And then put /boot on a separate drive [.vdi] that isn't even mounted, lol.
(my grub.cfg is just a few simple/trivial lines & i386pc has only a dozen files!)
All this helped a lot in learning the depths of grub. I have only about 70 'pkgs', so I can keep re-installing [experimenting] ultra fast, esp. cuz it doesn't rebuild initrd. (&no GUI)
initrd is the next thing I might study/play-with in-depth. Then maybe build a custom kernel. has a recent 4.4 kernel (/proc/config.gz has the kernel options)

I'd suggest a bit of skim-reading LFS, and lots&LOTS of crafty web searches ;-)

Best wishes! Enjoy! (p.s. notice "Similar Threads" at bottom of this page! Cool LQ feature!)

Last edited by Jjanel; 08-28-2016 at 05:33 AM.
Old 08-28-2016, 08:45 AM   #4
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I'm not sure you can "fully" customize without modifying the kernel but you should probably give more details on what exactly you want to customize. It might be that you simply want to remaster an installed system that has specific software you want. There was remastersys for Ubuntu or Debian which would do that. It has since been dis-continued but Systemback does pretty much the same thing and should be in the repositories for the various Ubuntu derivatives.
Old 10-10-2017, 06:03 PM   #5
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@yancek Either creating a distro from an already installed system would be fine, or if there would be a way do use the terminal to install a desktop environment and packages onto an iso would be good too.

I have seen some tools that just make an iso based on your current machine, but those seem to be just to make a backup of your system. I want to create my own custom distro that I can distribute online to other users and maybe even have a community based around, something like Peppermint OS Linux for example,someone to be able to use a flash drive to mount the iso and then it would go to the option for the user to install the distro, not just boot into a desktop.

Can anyone suggest a lesser-known option that can help me achieve a good way to create and distribute my own Linux distro?
Old 10-10-2017, 07:01 PM   #6
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Both Systemback and Pinguy Builder create an iso of an installed system with any changes you want/make. I think Systemback has the installer included but if it doesn't, you can easily install the Ubiquity installer used by the Ubuntu derivatives like Peppermint before running Systemback or Pinguy.

Systemback has a backup option as well as an option to create an iso to use to install, not sure about Both create the iso file which you can then burn to a DVD/CD, put on a flash drive or boot the iso from Grub2.
Old 10-13-2017, 08:14 PM   #7
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For Debian/Ubuntu-based you'll need to learn debootstrap and chroot. Basically you need a kernel and init system first to get to a text console then you can install a display manager, Xorg and finally your desktop environment of choice.

If the target is a different architecture (like ARM64) you'll also need qemu... not the full virtual machine, just the user-mode emulation.

mk-sbuild automates a lot of the process, i.e. mk-sbuild --arch arm64 zesty
Old 10-14-2017, 04:10 AM   #8
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You can put whatever you want on an install DVD by using the debian-cd package. After you have the install DVD complete with everything you want, dump it to a hard drive, replace all the debian artwork with your own, and make the iso again.


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