Talk:How to create and use a Live CD

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Contents

Introduction

This page explains how to make a custom-content Live CD or DVD on Fedora-based systems including derived distributions such as RHEL, CentOS and others.

If you simply want to burn a pre-made ISO to a disc, visit http://fedoraproject.org/en/get-fedora to download a LiveCD or LiveDVD, then see the install guide or burning how-to for further instructions.

See the project wiki for more details. Discussion of this project takes places at http://admin.fedoraproject.org/mailman/listinfo/livecd.

Instructions

The basic workflow for creating a remix is:

  1. Create a kickstart file that specifies the packages you want installed on your remix, along with special settings you want to tweak.
  2. Run that kickstart file through livecd-creator, which will pull in the packages and compose an .iso, which you can then burn to CD.

...that's it! We will walk you through these steps below.

Install the necessary software

To create a live image, the livecd-creator tool is used. Super user privileges are needed. The tool is more or less self-documenting, use the --help option to see options.

The livecd-creator tool is part of the livecd-tools package. If it is not installed on your system, add it with:

su -c 'yum install livecd-tools spin-kickstarts'

If you are interested in localized live cd files, install also l10n-kickstarts.

su -c 'yum install l10n-kickstarts'

Choose a kickstart file as a base for your remix

Kickstart files are configuration files. They contain settings for tools, such as:

You can see examples of kickstart files in the spin-kickstart repository. These are the kickstart files for the spins displayed at http://spins.fedoraproject.org.

Since we are creating a LiveCD, we want a kickstart file for livecd-creator. Chances are good that an existing LiveCD kickstart already contains most of the things we need, like a graphical dekstop environment, drivers, and the ability to make live images persistent (for installation on a liveUSB rather than a liveCD). Therefore, in order to avoid reinventing the wheel, we're going to start by picking an existing kickstart for a LiveCD to base our remix's kickstart from.

There are currently two kickstart files that provide the main configuration to setup the live images. Pick one of these two:

  • fedora-live-base.ks: The file used for most composes. If you don't know where to start, this is a good default choice.
  • fedora-live-mini.ks: A trimmed-down edition of the first file, mostly used by the Mini SIG for size-sensitive purposes. If space-saving is a primary concern, choose this one.

Set up your environment

Now we'll set up the place you'll be building your remix's image file in. We assume you're running a recent version of Fedora.

First, make a 'remix' folder in your home directory.

cd
mkdir remix
cd remix

Now, download the kickstart files for the Fedora Spins:

su -c ‘yum install fedora-kickstarts’

Set SELinux in permissive mode.

su -c ‘setenforce 0’

Copy the kickstart file you've chosen to the current directory.

cp /usr/share/spin-kickstarts/fedora-live-base.ks .

or 

 cp  /usr/share/spin-kickstarts/fedora-live-mini.ks .
 

(depending on the one you've chosen).

Create a kickstart file

  1. Create an empty text document in the editor of your choice.
  2. Import the base kickstart file you chose above:

%include fedora-live-base.ks

  1. Create the package manifest section and add your favorite packages:

%packages foo baz bar %end

  1. Congrats -- you're done!

Build the image

You'll need the livecd-creator tool. Go and install it as root:

  • yum install livecd-creator

The build process will take some time, as well as space and bandwidth.

Adjust the image

ZOMG it's too big! How to cut stuff. See #Release management for more notes. (make that section)

Distribute the image

Now you have an .iso. What do you do with it?

Resources

Parts of this page were based on Rahul Sundaram's article Roll Out A Fedora Remix.