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So, I am making a customized Arch Linux iso as an installer for my distribution. I've looked at another Arch distro called ArchLabs, and their installer size is 750 M. My ISO ends up generating at over 1000 M. The thing is, my package list is a slimmed down version of the ArchLabs list, so shouldn't it be smaller? My airootfs is smaller too, but I can't seem to figure this out. Heres the link to the ArchLabs repo, and here's the link to my repo. (My ISO's build files are under installer-iso.)

Here is the link to my ISO, its package list, extracted airootsfs, and extracted iso. Direct link to the iso file here.

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  • Couldn't find your ISO. – Gerard H. Pille Dec 11 '20 at 18:14
  • Sorry about that, it isn't in the git repo, just the files to build it. It's too large to upload, so I'll upload it to Google drive and link it here. – Kirna Dec 11 '20 at 18:45
  • drive.google.com/drive/folders/… That folder has the full iso, extracted iso, extracted airootsfs, all installed packages and dependencies, and only the packages that I individually specified sans their dependencies. – Kirna Dec 11 '20 at 18:52
  • Can you share the file and add the link to your question? – Gerard H. Pille Dec 11 '20 at 19:08
  • Whoops sorry, it was a folder that didn't have a clear name. It's now in the "ISO" folder, and should be viewable by anyone with the link. – Kirna Dec 11 '20 at 19:11
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The airootfs.sfs squashfs is 1.4Gb when mounted. 600Mb goes to /usr/lib/firmware. That is impressive.

I had to mount your iso to extract the airootfs.sfs. I mounted it on /mnt/loop:

/dev/loop1         1036620   1036620           0 100% /mnt/loop

I cd'd to /mnt/loop and ran a "du"

ghp-amdphIIX4B:/mnt/loop
# du -s .
784455  .

I created a new.iso from /mnt/loop:

ghp-amdphIIX4B:/mnt/loop
# mkisofs -o /tmp/new.iso  .
...
 99.38% done, estimate finish Sat Dec 12 00:02:59 2020
Total translation table size: 0
Total rockridge attributes bytes: 0
Total directory bytes: 30720
Path table size(bytes): 208
Max brk space used 23000
392431 extents written (766 MB)

# ls -l /tmp/new.iso
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 803698688 12 dec 00:02 /tmp/new.iso

200Mb smaller???

And that's because I didn't see your iso als contains a 245Mb EFI System:

# fdisk -l  /tmp/arch.iso
Disk /tmp/arch.iso: 1012.32 MiB, 1061498880 bytes, 2073240 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disklabel type: gpt
Disk identifier: 30323032-3231-4131-B130-303932393038

Device           Start     End Sectors  Size Type
/tmp/arch.iso1      64 1570815 1570752  767M Linux filesystem
/tmp/arch.iso2 1570816 2072575  501760  245M EFI System
/tmp/arch.iso3 2072576 2073175     600  300K Microsoft basic data

My EFI partition boots Linux and Windows, and is less than 25Mb. Using ReFind, it boots the kernels it finds in the appropriate partitions. No need for 250Mb of

# ls -al /mnt/loop2/arch/boot/x86_64/
total 246092
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root     4096 Dec 11 14:29 .
drwxr-xr-x 3 root root     4096 Dec 11 14:29 ..
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 81423440 Dec 11 14:29 initramfs-linux-ae-fallback.img
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 81423440 Dec 11 14:29 initramfs-linux-ae-tkg-pds.img
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 81423440 Dec 11 14:29 initramfs-linux-ae.img
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root  7713600 Dec 11 14:29 vmlinuz-linux-ae
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  • Yeah it seems as if linux-firmware is taking up a lot of space but I can't figure out why. I also encountered it being a lot tinier when decompressed, so that's probably why its tinier when you make a new iso. It is strange. I don't even see why it should be large, because it's just networking components and a basic terminal. – Kirna Dec 14 '20 at 0:56
  • I've checked and the linux-firmware package from Arch is indeed huuuuge. Can you check if something's missing after decompression? – Gerard H. Pille Dec 14 '20 at 2:29
  • If this is the case, how would I get rid of this EFI partition? It's auto added by archiso, and I don't know how to remove it. I've considered using ReFind on my iso's before, but as far as I could tell archiso doesn't support it. – Kirna Dec 16 '20 at 0:16
  • I'd try to install archlinux.org/packages/extra/any/refind into the iso's ESP. – Gerard H. Pille Dec 16 '20 at 1:47
  • Sorry, am a newb at this, what do you mean by installing it into the iso's ESP? I've tried installing the package before and running the install command in the customize_airootfs.sh, but the command threw an error. Is there another way to do this? – Kirna Dec 17 '20 at 0:45

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