Register your Account

Sign Up with us and enjoy!

A password will be e-mailed to you.

Give the Gift of a Custom Linux Distro

Posted December 23, 2010 in

For all of you hackers and geeks who need a last-minute christmas present, we have just the thing for you. It’s a homemade gift, which shows that you care, but you don’t need to be crafty in the traditional sense. Total cost of materials is around 10 cents, or free if you happen to have some blank CD-R’s laying around.

Yes, in case you haven’t guessed by the title, we’re talking about giving away a custom linux distro.

You Nix Custom Linux Distro

Family members, friends, and co-workers might, at first, give you some strange looks when they take a look at a CD-R with “YOU-NIX” written on one side with a sharpie. This is where you explain that you made a “custom operating system” just for them.

How do they try it out? Simple. I recommend that you build your custom operating systems as live-cd’s, similar to Knoppix . That way, people can boot nearly any computer off of the cd, and it won’t harm whatever is already on the computer. It’s a great way for people to try out their operating system whenever they want.

Before Cam.ly, I helped to make a web service that makes creating your own linux distro easy: Suse Studio. There is also Fedora Revisor, Debian / Ubuntu Remastersys, or Instalinux.

Suse Studio Robot

One of the great things about Suse Studio is that is makes personalizing the look of your distro really easy. I simply upload some photos of freinds and click “build”, and it automatically generates a custom bootsplash image for me.

Unfortunately, Suse Studio still seems to be requiring invites. You could request an invite, but if it doesn’t come in time, feel free to use this basic 140MB Tux-in-a-Santa-hat themed distro as a starter. Then, you can use ISO Master to modify the branding or whatever else you want.

You could try to edit the ISO directly by first mounting it with a command like:

mount -t iso9660 -o loop disk1.iso /mnt/disk

However, it will mount in read only mode. Since you’re trying to make a bootable image, you will need to make sure that if you copy the contents off, and try to burn them again, you will need to make your new iso bootable. That is why using ISO master is probably an easier solution.

If you really want a custom-branded distro, and can’t get a Suse Studio invite in time, leave a comment below with a link to a graphic, and I’ll try to make you a branded distro with Suse Studio before Christmas Eve.

Happy Holidays from the Cam.ly Team!
Santa Tux

Discussion

2 Comments

Trackbacks

  1. Happy Holidays from LUG@SJSU!! | lug-sjsu.org
  2. Tweets that mention Give the Gift of a Custom Linux Distro | Wireless IP Security Cameras | Cam.ly Blog -- Topsy.com

Leave a Response

If you have a question or comment, or just need to get in touch, please use the form below.