I want to create several bootable Ubuntu 20.04 USB's with a bunch of programs installed. I want to automate this process, and not install plain Ubuntu and have to do the changes manually. I have a Docker image that is created by taking the default docker Ubuntu 20.04 image and making the desired changes. I thought I could use this Docker image to create the bootable USB. A quora thread, linked below, seems to suggest I am making a conceptual error.

So my question is: How do I create an image with preinstalled programs and custom settings? Can I use this Docker image, or am I wrong in thinking it is useful? If I am wrong, how do I create such an USB?

Quora thread: https://www.quora.com/How-can-I-generate-a-bootable-iso-from-a-Docker-image

Similar to Is there a way to make a bootable Linux live USB disk from a Linux docker container?.

  • 1
    I prefer to just install and then run my configuration scripts. It seems easier to create a script and use it than modify ISO. I started simple with adding programs, then added some edits to grub, creating folders, linking data, and changing some settings. Now have about 90% of configuration in scripts.
    – oldfred
    Apr 18, 2021 at 18:43

1 Answer 1


You might be interested in this blog post https://iximiuz.com/en/posts/from-docker-container-to-bootable-linux-disk-image/ and this project https://github.com/iximiuz/docker-to-linux

He describes how to install kernel and systemd init system into a docker image, extract it as tar archive and then build a VM image out of it. I haven't tried it, but it seems it should get you almost all the way to a bootable image.

  • You should outline the steps here in case the link/page goes away.
    – number9
    Aug 5, 2021 at 14:05

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