Per Erik Strandberg /cv /kurser /blog

I am trying to make my own gnu/linux distro, the progress will be reported here.

My goal is to base it on the server edition of Ubuntu Distro. By starting there I will have a clean command line interface to start with.

I want my distro to:

  1. Be focused on a Command Line Interface instead of on a Graphical User Interface
  2. Be suitable for programmers that do not want to spend days installing libs to get support for programming language XYZ, or compiler ABC.
  3. Fit on one CD, meaning that the iso-file should be smaller than 700 MB.
  4. Have all the good things that Debian and Ubuntu Distro has:
    • Easy installation
    • Good security by default (and not 'root' as root-password)
    • Install cleanly and work friendly with a previous Windows installation on the hard drive.
  5. Be free as in freedom of speach. (Or come in two versions: one free as in beer and one free as in freedom of speech.)

These are the steps I assume I have to take to get there:

Step 1: Installing Ubuntu 7.10 Server Edition

To get some room on my harddrive I need to defragment it - it is really slow to do so in Windows :(

To reproduce this step follow this link [1] and download the server edition of Ubuntu. Burn it on a CD and install it.

Step 1.1: Installing it on a virtual machine

I just found a great tutorial so that I do not have to spend an entire machine on getting there - nice.
[2] [swedish only]

Of course I ran into trouble, perhaps this helps: [3]
In short:

apt-get update
apt-get install linux-386
apt-get remove linux-server

After step 1 I have something like this:

Step 2: Knowing what packages you have installed

This tutorial ([4]) shows a simple way to list packages that are installed on your debian-based system. The secret is this oneliner:

dpkg --get-selections | grep -v deinstall > mybuntu.txt

This little line creates a file called mybuntu.txt with a list of installed packages.

To later use this list (to restore your system perhaps) follow this little instruction:

    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
    dpkg --set-selections < mybuntu.txt
    sudo dselect

The first two lines updates the system. The third sets the packages from the file and the fourth starts a dselect session. Quote: "Type I and allow dselect to install of the the packages ... type Q and hit the ENTER key to exit ... Now youre a lot closer to where you were before."

Step 3: Make a Ubuntu-based distro

By following this tutorial you should be able to create a distro iso-file that is identical to the system you currently have: [5] I have not yet tried it but I intend to master this procedure as a first step towards creating my own linux distro.

Follow the instructions in the tutorial to reproduce this step.

Problem: I had problems following the above tutorial with Ubuntu Jeos - I'll try with a regular ubuntu.

Step 4: installing it

I made my own custom distro based on Xubuntu Distro. I use OpenBox instead of most Xfce things. But I am unable to install it; all ways I can think of require the root password and live Ubuntu has none :(

After reading at the remastersys forums (find links here [6]) I think it's hard to do this so I'll first try something different and let's see what happens .

See also Ubuntu Distro