Create a custom Linux distribution online

February 01, 2006
In the process of installing different Linux distributions, I have realized that none of the Linux distributions install every software that I want and in all cases, they install many unneeded software too thus taking up excess disk space. Of course I leave out 'Linux from Scratch' project and 'Gentoo' from what I have said above but installing these two are beyond the scope of neophytes in Linux.

Wouldn't it be nice if we could pick and choose which software to be included in a Linux distribution and once we commit our choice, an ISO image of the Linux distribution was created on the fly and made available for download ?

Well then, you have just got your wish. A website called instalinux aims to provide just that. On their site, you first decide your choice of Linux distribution and then pick and choose the software that need to be bundled with it, all from the confines of a web interface. Once you have finished, you are presented with an ISO image of the distribution of your choice for download, containing just the software you have selected. You can choose from Fedora, Debian, Suse and Ubuntu Linux.

This site is worth a try for people who have low bandwidth Internet connection or those who are looking to re-master their favorite Linux distribution.


  • Ben Helps

    All I can say is Wow!
    I'm testing it out as I type (though prolly won't go through with download for now), but what a brilliant concept. I'd hate to see the hardware required behind it though, if it gets popular.

    .. Oh, now I see. You still (presumably) have to specify individual package selection when installing, for CD or inet download. Bummer, I'd hoped you'd select all packages you want, on the site, and then it would build an ISO only containing those packages.

    Oh well, still a cool idea.

  • jon kivinen

    Pretty good idea, just...

    I'm waiting for a way to make my own live CD this way... and where I can pick software.

  • Weird!
    This has been possible FOR AGES.
    Debian minimum install + any of the dpkg / apt based tools.

  • @ schledermann

    They are not the same. I agree on what you said but it is different from what that site is offering. There you pick and choose the software that is to be bundled with the ISO image and the ISO image is made available for download and created on the fly. More over you have a choice of distributions.

  • Chris

    A bit of clarification...

    The image you create is a network install image that pulls the packages you select from a public mirror. So the file you download is 30MB or less. The load on the server actually isn't too bad - all of the load goes to public mirrors that are built to handle it.

    This is basically just a front end to Kickstart (for Fedora), AutoYAST (for SuSE) and Preseed (for Debian and Ubuntu).

    Glad you guys are trying it out though. Drop me a line ( if you have any feedback.

  • I wish to find out a way to make a customized installation cd without needing internet connection, I relize that I may need to use LAN server to get some files