[clug] DIY live CD kit?

Alex Satrapa grail at goldweb.com.au
Tue Mar 20 00:37:04 GMT 2007

I have this crazy idea of building a live CD distribution to hand to  
people complaining[1] about getting up and running with Ruby on Rails  
(substitute Ruby on Rails with application of choice).

What I'd like to be able to do is:
1) Set up a system which contains stuff shipped with the distribution  
(or available as managed packages) where possible
2) Add stuff which doesn't come as "stock" from the package  
management system (eg: Package X might only be available in the  
experimental/unstable release)
3) "Clone" the image onto CD.

The options I've found are:
1) Intellibuild[2], which seems to pretty much require all software  
to be installed through Debian packages, and gives you some scope for  
tweaks by programming Python scripts (ie: installing the latest  
version of Ruby, Rails and a few gem packages will involve Python  
programming effort).
2) Linux-Live[3], which seems to be just right.
3) Roll my own from scratch[4]: probably a nice companion to "Linux  
from Scratch"[5].
4) Rework a Knoppix CD - which is pretty much a DIY version of (1).
5) Use "bootcdwrite" which was a package in Debian at some point in  

Ultimately I'd like the system to boot with a pretty graphical splash  
screen (I get bored watching the hundreds of lines of init scripts  
reporting that they're doing what they're supposed to be doing, and  
would I please enjoy my trip through this door), and present the user  
with a KDE or Gnome desktop that is customised to test-driven  
development using Ruby on Rails.

Is there a "live CD" preparation package that you've used (and would  
recommend) that I have missed? It would have to be able to prepare a  
boot CD based on the contents of the hard drive, since I will have to  
add packages that aren't included in eg: Debian stable.


[1] Zed Shaw, for example, hates Debian's handling of Ruby and Rails  
- http://lists.rubyonrails.org/pipermail/rails/2006-May/037763.html

[2] Intellibuild, apparently based on Debian: http://ibuild.livecd.net/

[3] Linux-Live, creates an image of your HD: http://www.linux-live.org/

[4] "Creating a Complete Distribution on CD", http:// 

[5] http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/

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