I need to build a custom Debian-based distribution to be easily and quickly installable on multiple machines. How can I build a distribution like this and package it so I can either

  1. Install it via a bootable USB drive
  2. Flash it onto the hard disk of the machines so no install will be necessary.

I'd like to start with the smallest distro necessary, so I'm using the business-card edition (which sits at about 40MB). I have a few packages I'd like to install on it, a few configuration file changes, and a few scripts. How can I package the complete picture into an installable distribution?

  • 2
    Take a look at FAI – Gilles Aug 1 '11 at 22:43
  • Thanks, I just saw that in your other comment on the previous question. It helps a lot. – Naftuli Kay Aug 1 '11 at 22:45

I've used preseed files in the past.

This way you can skip all the installer steps and install some extra packages.


You can try simplecdd

I used it a lot of time ago but seems to be what you need

Just follow the howto


How about Ubuntu Customization Kit + How To Install Ubuntu from USBStick

  • It needs to be really lightweight, any way to base it off of Debian, as in not-Ubuntu? – Naftuli Kay Aug 1 '11 at 21:26

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