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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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6 Answers 6

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
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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. http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/

There are a lot of lightweight linux distributions available. Most of these can boot from LiveCD. http://lightlinux.blogspot.com/2008/06/top-10-of-lightweight-linux%5F24.html

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http://www.livecdlist.com/frontpage?order=value%5F1&sort=desc

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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SUSE Studio, depending on how much time you have. You might have to wait for an invite -- took me 1 1/2 weeks to get mine. Otherwise, it's quite a neat system.

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How about Morphix? http://www.morphix.org/ - 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.

Documentation: http://www.turnkeylinux.org/docs/tklpatch
Source code: http://github.com/turnkeylinux/tklpatch

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