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I need to create a small custom live system (for teaching a programming class). What would be the best way to do it?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

You can use Remastersys to build an Ubuntu or Debian distro of your own. For a fast live cd, I would install XUbuntu into a virtualbox vm and install the necessary programs and set it up to your liking. Then you can run remastersys backup and burn the resulting ISO to CDs for your students.

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Wouldn't Xubuntu with additional software be too big to fit on a CD? – hmp Aug 18 '09 at 14:16
Basic xubuntu ~617 megs cd-r ~700 megs. Besides an IDE and compilers I'm not sure how much more one would need for a programming class. Live DVD may be necessary. – Gren Aug 18 '09 at 15:34
What applications do you need? – Gren Aug 18 '09 at 15:36

If you want to build your own distribution, Try Linux From Scratch (LFS). It is a project that provides you with step-by-step instructions for building your own custom Linux system, entirely from source code.

There are a lot of lightweight linux distributions available. Most of these can boot from LiveCD.

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This website is a list of all the Live CD distros with a ranking given by the users

I suggest you go with XUbuntu for programming purposes

If you are looking to use it for server tests try open SUSE

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How about Morphix? - includes a page on "Building a new LiveCD in two commands"!

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You might want to take a look at TKLPatch, a simple (but powerful) appliance customization mechanism.

Source code:

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