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


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.

  • 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. 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_24.html



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


How about Morphix? http://www.morphix.org/ - includes a page on "Building a new LiveCD in two commands"!


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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