Does a Linux live-cd exist which has all the following out of the box?

Line by line PHP debugging via the PHP IDE (xDebug)

If yes, please could you let me know what it's called?

3 Answers 3


You can use live-build system to build iso or usb image, with various sets of packages on board.

Example of shell command:

lb config noauto \
        --apt aptitude \
        --bootappend-live toram \
        --security "true" \
        --apt-secure "true" \
        --linux-flavours clean \
        --binary-images iso-hybrid \
        --bootloader grub \

lb build --verbose

That way, you'll got iso-hybrid live cd with boot to ram option. However, live build in stage called "hard development", so any option may become inactive or break.

E.g. with fast looks, I have found that options --packages and --package-lists doesn't active in my Ubuntu 13.04 lb (Version: 3.0~a57-1ubuntu6.). Documentation too changes very fast, you shall got actual one for your distributive.

Use something like:

--packages php5-xdebug,apache2 \

To insert part of LAMP, or full LAMP to the iso.


You can generate any such iso on-line on the site: http://live.debian.net/

  • Not sure how this can work, because to get xDebug to work, some post installation customisation is required. Sep 28, 2013 at 17:36
  • You can configure iso by hooks, read live-build how-to. However, live.debian.net doesn't support many features what you can get by your self. Sep 28, 2013 at 17:56

Turnkey Linux sounds like something that meets your list of requirements. Specifically you'll want to take a look at the Web Development versions. There's 2 types, Framework and Stack.

Also you might want to look through the livecdlist.com list. It's dated but still has several distros listed that are active and thriving. Don't let the dates scare you off, they just haven't kept them up to date.


There do seem to be some LAMP live CD's around, but the "xDebug" requirement is pretty specialized.

Since xDebug is open source and can be compiled from such, here's a possibility:

  1. Choose a LAMP live CD you like and boot it on a system with an empty, writable ext partition you can mount -- something on a USB stick would be perfect, it probably does not need to be more than 100 MB, depending on how much space xDebug needs -- then mount that partition somewhere. The live CD image you choose should be one that doesn't quite fill an entire CD, because you are going to enlarge it slightly to make room for xDebug (by the same ~50-100 MB).

  2. The live CD /usr/local probably contains nothing, or a small hierarchy (bin, lib, share, etc.) with nothing in the sub directories. Copy whatever's there into a directory on your mounted partition. If /usr/local doesn't exist, or is empty, don't worry about it.

  3. Unmount your partition then re-mount it on /usr/local.

  4. Build and install xDebug to /usr/local. Test to see if it works. Subsequent steps can be done from the liveCD or a regular system, but you need access to two things: the partition with the usr/local stuff in it, and an .iso image of the liveCD.

  5. Get the size of the stuff in the usr/local partition with du -h, and then use parted or gparted to enlarge the original .iso of the live LAMP CD by that amount plus some wiggle room.

  6. Mount the .iso: mount lampCD.iso /mnt/iso -- /mnt/iso could be anywhere that's convenient.

  7. Copy the "usr/local" xDebug stuff from the USB (or whatever) partition into /mnt/iso/usr/local.

  8. Unmount the .iso (umount /mnt/iso).

Guess what? That .iso file now contains the stuff you copied into it while it was mounted. That means if you burn a new CD with the .iso, it'll be the original live CD with xDebug installed on it.

There are a couple of potential gotchas. The first is that /usr/local may not be in $PATH, but that is easy to fix. Of course, you probably want to make that part of the live CD's configuration, so however you do it, do it to the mounted .iso filesystem when you copy xDebug over. The second is pretty similar: xDebug requires you to tweak php.ini. I'm not a big php user, but presuming that's a system wide tweak, you probably also want to do this to the mounted image so that it becomes part of the live CD.

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