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Linux Live Kit

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Linux Live Kit

Use this set of scripts to turn your existing preinstalled Linux distribution into a Live Kit (formely known as Live CD). Make sure to extract and use it on a posix-compatible filesystem, since it creates some (sym)links and such.


  • Store Linux Live kit in a directory which is not going to be included in your live distro, else it would be copied to it. Best practice is to make a directory such as /a and put these scripts there. Be warned, if you put it to /tmp, some distros may erase it on reboot.

  • Before you start building your Kit, edit the file ./config Most importantly change the LIVEKITNAME variable.

  • Make sure your kernel is in /boot/vmlinuz or change the path in ./config Your kernel must support squashfs and aufs. Debian Jessie's kernel does.

  • You may also wish to replace boot graphics in ./bootfiles/bootlogo.png (one options is to modify and run the ./tools/bootlogo.update script) and reorganize isolinux.cfg to fit your needs (when editing the file, keep all paths in /boot/, it will be rellocated during LiveKit creation)

  • Linux Live Kit comes with precompiled static binaries in ./initramfs directory. Those may be outdated but will work. You may replace them by your own statically linked binaries, if you know how to compile them.

  • If you plan to boot your Live Kit from CD, you need to recompile syslinux.bin else it won't be able to boot your Live Kit from directory LIVEKITNAME. There is a script prepared for you which will handle all of that. Simply go to directory ./tools/ and run isolinux.bin.update ... it will update ./bootfiles/isolinux.bin automatically by downloading isolinux sources, patching them using your actual LIVEKITNAME and recompiling. This step is not needed if you plan to boot from USB only.

  • If you have tmpfs mounted on /tmp, make sure you have enough RAM since LiveKit will store lots of data there. If you are low on RAM, make sure /tmp is a regular on-disk directory.

  • When done, run the ./build script to create your Live Kit

    • it will create ISO and TAR files for you in /tmp
    • make sure you have enough free space in /tmp to handle it
  • If you want to use the Live Kit on a USB you have to either

    • use Windows to execute the bootinst.bat file in the $NAME/boot folder
    • or use Linux to execute the shellscript in the $NAME/boot folder.
  • You will need the following packages to be installed:

    • squashfs-tools
    • genisoimage or mkisofs
    • zip

Author: Tomas M.

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