Build Tools


"Ubuntu’s Minimal ISO gives users an extremely flexible system for building customised Ubuntu systems. It installs a basic CLI environment, to which additional packages can be added. This requires a certain depth of familiarity with the required packages and dependencies.

Perfectminimal is an attempt to automate the process of using the Miminal ISO so that it can be used more easily."

Novo Builder

"Welcome to Novo Builder, a Debian GNU/Linux tool for creating your own up to date Ubuntu variants customised to include the programs, themes and customised settings that you want.

No more spending months learning all the tricks involved with this often required process, no more juggling ways to work around bugs and problems, just click, edit and build your very own OS in under one hour (depending on your Internet speeds).

Novo is so simple that a general Linux user will produce results on their very first try, but it's also powerful enough that advanced hackers are able to make it preform tasks in the way they want with full control of the end results.

One of the best features of Novo is how simple it is to share what you create so other can use your ideas in their own projects, your also not limited to how many Projects Novo can store, so if you want to have a large collection of pre-sets that you can run, it's only a matter of picking the one you want to work on or build from the pre-sets list at the top of Novo.

Novo is able to build OS for i386 and amd64 (if your host OS is amd64) and is able to customise which Repositories you use to build from and which packages you include. After you have built your Base OS you can continue to customise it and even run it in a Nested window as the full desktop of your Built OS."


"Archiso is a small set of bash scripts that is capable of building fully functional Arch Linux based live CD/DVD and USB images. It is a very generic tool, so it could potentially be used to generate anything from rescue systems, to install disks, to special interest live CD/DVD/USB systems, and who knows what else. Simply put, if it involves Arch on a shiny coaster, it can do it. The heart and soul of Archiso is mkarchiso. All of its options are documented in its usage output, so its direct usage wont be covered here. Instead, this wiki article will act as a guide for rolling your own live mediums in no time!

Due to recent changes, Archiso will now automatically create ISO images that are also USB images! Separate CD/USB targets are therefore no longer necessary."

Debian Live Studio

"Welcome to Debian Live Studio!

* Build your own Debian Live with just a few mouse clicks
* Choice of CD, DVD or USB image media types
* Build and download image from anywhere
* 100% free software"
$ git clone git://

Customize an Ubuntu Live CD / USB

"The default ubuntu live CD is nice: it can boot fast, detect the hardware correctly, etc. But I always dreamed of customizing it (eg. add medibuntu support, etc.). The script offers a simple approach to do just this: we start with a working live CD ISO image, change its contents, and create a new live CD image. [...]

This script allows to customize an Ubuntu live CD in 3 simple steps:

1. extract the contents of an ubuntu CD ISO image to your hard drive
2. chroot to the working area containing the extracted CD contents. This allows to do all the /etc configs, aptitude purge/install, etc. to prepare the future ISO image
3. generate a new ISO image containing the (hopefully modified) working area you just prepared"

Portable Linux

"The bootable USB live Linux creator. Live USB drives -- pen, thumb, SD, MMC or even phones with USB Mass Storage support -- created with this tool let you use the empty disk space on Windows, Linux and Mac, remember the changes you make across reboots, and boot other operating systems. No other tool comes close."

Sugar Creation Kit

"Complete DVD containing all the resources required to create all 3 versions of Sugar-on-a-Stick without requiring Internet access." 4.3GB


"Buildrom is a tool that can construct a coreboot image (comprising the coreboot loader and payload) from scratch.

Starting from a configuration file, it will download and build all the code necessary to construct the final binary."

Moblin Image Creator 2

"Moblin Image Creator 2 (MIC2) is a tool for creating and manipulating Moblin images. MIC2 is a series of utilities that create customized images and provides an easy-to-use development environment for the Moblin distribution. MIC2 is NOT based on MIC 1.0 and is a completely new tool primarily based on Fedora LIVE CD tools and other open source projects

Currently MIC2 is command line only. A GUI version is underway and still in the early stages of development.

MIC2 supports the following features:

* MIC2 has three major utilities
o moblin-image-creator for image creation
o moblin-image-convertoer for image transformation
o moblin-chroot for generating chroot environment from image and vice vera
* MIC2 supports major Linux distributions and can be used on at least the following distributions:
o Fedora (Fedora 9 and above)
o Opensuse (> OpenSUSE 10.3)
o Ubuntu (Ubuntu 8.10. MIC2 is not supported on Ubuntu 8.04 due to incompatible yum versions)
* Supports various types of images:
o Live CD
o Live USB
o Loop images
o KVM images
o VMDK (Vmware)
* Uses the kickstart configuration format for image configuration. Using this simple format, you can specify which software repositories to use, and which packages to install and configure the system, using basic built-in and Moblin specific system configuration directives."


"debirf is a system that will create diskless, all-in-ram images (kernel and initramfs) that boot entirely into ram and leave the user in a fully functional Debian system.

debirf has a module architecture that allows users to easily customize the images that they build, using simple shell scripts, to do basically anything the Debian can do. Some included examples "profiles" are:

* minimal: very minimal system with no extras
* rescue: includes a full complement of system repair utilities, including mdadm, lvm2, testdisk, foremost, etc
* xkiosk: run a simple clean GUI web browser for public-access web browsing

Debirf is made publicly available under the GNU General Public License."


"FUSBi, the Free USB Installer, downloads free GNU/Linux Distributions for you and creates bootable USB images.

FUSBi supports automated installation of of all the FSF-endorsed Free Software GNU/Linux Distributions, such as gNewSense, UTUTO, Dynebolic, Musix GNU+Linux, BLAG and GNUstep. You can also use it with your local image files.

FUSBi is a Free Software itself and is licensed under GNU General Public License version 3 or later."


"grml officially supports booting from usb-stick with all grml flavours. [...]

Prepare system

* Get the grml iso
* Mount the iso loopback (e.g. mount -o loop grml_small_0.4.iso /mnt/grml-iso)
* Make FAT16 filesystem on the usbstick (e.g. mkfs.vfat -F 16 -v /dev/sda1)
* Mount the usbstick (e.g. mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/external1)
* Copy everything to the usbstick (e.g. cp -r /mnt/grml-iso/* /mnt/external1).
* Move all files from /mnt/external1/boot/isolinux/ (mv /mnt/external1/boot/isolinux/* /mnt/external1) and the files linux26 and the minirt.gz (since grml1.1: initrd.gz!) from the directory named like the grml-flavour (/boot/grml, /boot/grmlmedium, /boot/grml64,...) to root of usb-stick
* Umount the usbstick and the grml-iso
* Run syslinux on the usbstick (e.g. syslinux /dev/sda1)
* Check if the usbstick has an valid mbr, else dd if=mbr.bin of=/dev/sda (mbr.bin is in the syslinux package, usually installed in /usr/lib/syslinux/mbr.bin)
* may need to set the bootable flag using parted (or fdisk)"

Image Creator

"This tool is a YaST user interface for the KIWI imaging tool. It is aimed to provide easy way to configure your image configurations, suitable for kiwi. Once you create such configuration with YaST, you can save it and later build an image from it manually with kiwi, or you can run kiwi directly from the YaST module. It is possible to create new configuration from scratch, as well as importing existing one and modify its settings.

YaST Image Creator is part of yast2-product-creator package."


"A tool for building complete Linux filesystem images

Rootstrap was originally written to provide a facility for building filesystems for use with User-mode Linux, but can be useful in other applications as well.

It uses a modular set of shell scripts to create the filesystem image, install a base system, and customize it for a particular application. Currently, it only builds Debian systems, but the architecture is such that other base systems could be used instead.

Use of rootstrap does not require root access, or special privileges of any kind. This is because it builds the filesystem inside a User-mode Linux system running under an unprivileged uid.

Filesystem creation with rootstrap is quick and painless. With a local mirror and a single command, a fresh Debian filesystem can be created in about 3 minutes on relatively modest hardware."


"a little python script, live-xmaker.

Live-xmaker is a command line front-end to live-helper, inspired by morphix-mmaker[4][5] (written by Alex de Landgraaf). This allows all the configurations for a liveCD build to be specified in one XML file. [...]

I plan to update live-xmaker with all the possible options available via live-helper [...]

This script is licensed under the GNU GPL v2 or later."

Feedback is very welcome. I have also cc'ed the morphix-developers mailing list as it may pique the interest of follow morphers."


"The Crocodile project aims to cross-compile Debian from scratch by using Scratchbox. Currently the essential packages of the Sarge distribution can be built for the ARM (little-endian) architecture. Support for the MIPS (big-endian) and CRIS architectures is under development."


"Relax and Recover (abbreviated ReaR) is a highly modular disaster recovery framework for GNU/Linux based systems, but can be easily extended to other UNIX alike systems. The disaster recovery information (and maybe the backups) can be stored on the network, USB devices and DVD/CD-R. The result is bootable rescue system that can be booted via PXE, DVD/CD and USB media.

The rear project is a spin-off of two existing projects:

* OpenVPN Gateway Builder (OGB) of Schlomo Schapiro, and
* Make CD-ROM Recovery (mkCDrec) of Gratien D'haese

We had the idea to take the best of both worlds. The modular concept of OGB and the disaster recovery part of mkCDrec. We are proud that we were able to release rear v1.0 with a few weeks of coding. That was only possible due to strict modular design and seperating duties within the design and coding.

We can only hope that we can/may inspire other developers to jump on our disaster recovery project and help us to improve and deliver new plug-ins.

Now, one and a half years later, we are proud to release rear 1.6 amongst the knowledge that Relax & Recover is used by a growing community of end-users and contributors.

Purpose and Key Features

* Focus on Disaster Recovery, not backup
* Modular concept easy to extend with new features
* For Linux and other Unix-like operations systems
* No external dependancies - use only standard software supplied with the distribution
* Linux: kernel > 2.6 supported (no kernel 2.2/2.4 support !)
* User friendly - minimal output, use log file for error messages and details
* Designed with enterprise environments and security issues in mind

The aim is to make rear as least demanding as possible, it will require only the applications neccessary to fulfill the job rear is configured for. All other applications will be copied to the rescue system if they are present.


rear is licensed under the GNU General Public License"

Moblin Image Creator

"Moblin Image Creator is a tool aimed at making life easier for the mobile and embedded developer. The tool is designed to be extremely flexible with platform-specific knowledge isolated to a platform definition. Initial focus is on a new class of devices known as Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs), but the design of Moblin Image Creator is not MID-specific and talk is already underway to add new platform definitions to build consumer electronics stacks, such as TV set-top boxes.

Note: Previously, "Moblin Image Creator" was called "Project Builder", so you may see references to the old name in the documentation and source code.

There are three fundamental features that Moblin Image Creator provides:

* creating a platform-specific build-environment, or "project"
* creating a platform-specific target file-system
* providing user selectable "feature sets" (or fsets) to install bundles of packages that provide some high-level functionality

For more details on projects, targets, fsets, and images, click here."


"SystemImager is software which automates Linux installs, software distribution, and production deployment.

SystemImager makes it easy to do automated installs (clones), software distribution, content or data distribution, configuration changes, and operating system updates to your network of Linux machines. You can even update from one Linux release version to another!

It can also be used to ensure safe production deployments. By saving your current production image before updating to your new production image, you have a highly reliable contingency mechanism. If the new production enviroment is found to be flawed, simply roll-back to the last production image with a simple update command!

Some typical environments include: Internet server farms, database server farms, high performance clusters, computer labs, and corporate desktop environments."


"The liveusb-creator is a cross-platform tool for easily installing live operating systems on to USB flash drives.


* Supports downloading various Fedora releases, including Fedora 9!
* Persistent overlay creation (only works with Fedora 9 right now). This lets you to allocate extra space on your USB stick, allowing you to save files and make modifications to your live operating system that will persist after you reboot. This essentially lets you carry your own personalized Fedora with you at all times
* SHA1 checksum verification of known releases, to ensure that you've downloaded the correct bits"


"OpenEmbedded is a full-featured development environment allowing users to target a wide variety of devices. Supporting multiple build, release paths and configurations, OpenEmbedded extends the capabilities of your build and release engineers. OpenEmbedded uses compilation and configuration caching at most levels to increase developer productivity. [...]

OpenEmbedded is a tool which allows developers to create a fully usable Linux base for various embedded systems. It has been designed to be able to handle different hardware architectures, support multiple releases for those architectures, and utilize tools for speeding up the process of recreating the base after changes have been made. Currently it can run on any Linux distribution, and plans are in place to allow it to work under Windows.

OpenEmbedded is the successor of the great OpenZaurus project. Basically OpenEmbedded is a build system that can generate (cross-compile) Software packages for embedded targets. This may include Bootloader, Linux and Applications. It started as a dream and BrainStorming, on how this could be done, and it's already used in real life."


"The purpose of 'zdisk' is to put a kernel of your choice and a rescue system on one 1.44mb"


"Generates a compact boot floppy with kernel, libraries an additional utilities you choose. A useful pre-generated floppy image with editor, filesystem utilites and so on is included. This is an ELF upgrade version. Users and ftp sites should keep CatRescue 1.00 for a.out systems.

Keywords: rescue, recovery, floppy, ELF"


"HackyRemaster is a script for remastering Puppy. It is not automated like AlienX's script, and it is not like Puppy Unleashed.

What this does is sets up an entire filesystem that you can go into and edit to your heart's content. It puts that filesystem inside a partition image (like pup001) so it can be saved on the harddrive even if you don't have linux partitions.

The script automates setting it up and putting it back togeather. It includes HackyPupBeGone, which makes removing the built in stuff easier. It also has a built in burning script that is mostly like Barry's BurnISO2CD script, but it also supports blanking CDRWs."


"debimg is an alternative to debian-cd, written in Python and released under the terms of the GNU General Public License, version 3 or (at your option) any later version."

"I got the original idea for these scripts from the article

which referenced now unavailable site/script at

I did secure the copy of the "script" by using archived copies of the site, and while I liked the idea much, it consisted of distros that had little interest for me. Also it required the lot of manual work, as the main level "script" was just a wrapper for mkisofs(1)."


"Unidistro aims to be a tool to easy create and maintain a linux distribution based on debian or ubuntu."

livecd Projects in Launchpad

Projects found matching “livecd”


"This is a small build system for the live filesystem included on Ubuntu desktop CDs."


"grml-live - build framework based on FAI for generating a grml and Debian based Linux Live system (CD/ISO) [...]

grml-live provides the build system for creating a grml and Debian based Linux Live-CD. The build system is based on FAI (Fully Automatic Installation). grml-live uses the "fai dirinstall" feature to generate a chroot system based on the class concept of FAI (see later sections for further details) and provides the framework to be able to generate a full-featured ISO. It does not use all the FAI features by default though and you don't have to know FAI to be able to use it.

The use of FAI gives you the flexibility to choose the packages you would like to include on your very own Linux Live-CD without having to deal with all the details of a build process."

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