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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. Your kernel must also support either aufs or overlayfs or both. AUFS is recommended for more flexibility, but if your distro does not support it, overlayfs will work too.

  • 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 Those may be outdated but will work.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 plan to boot your Live Kit from USB device, you may wish to add the following boot parameter to the end of APPEND section in syslinux.cfg: perch This parameter activates persistent changes

  • If you have tmpfs mounted on /tmp during building your Live Kit ISO, make sure you have enough RAM since LiveKit will store lots of data in /tmp. 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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