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Thread: Questions on How to Build Alternate Install ISO

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Questions on How to Build Alternate Install ISO

    As part of a project, I need to be able to rebuild the Ubuntu alternate install ISO due to some of the requirements of the packages that need to be installed on the system. I've found the common pages about how to add packages to the alternate install discs (InstallCDCustomization), which I have managed to get to work, but it is becoming increasingly apparent that I may need to do more to the install image.

    Because of this, what I really would like to find is documentation on how the alternate install image is created. Based on the research I've done, it appears to be based on the Ubuntu variant of the "debian-installer" package (instructions for building under Debian are here, and are roughly equivalent for Ubuntu after fetching the "debian-installer" source package), and... then I can't seem to find anything useful. I assume the process is similar to that of building a Debian install disc (instructions here), but I'm not entirely sure where the packages are pulled from, etc.

    If anyone has any knowledge on this subject, even vague pointers would be appreciated, as I seem to have run into a blank wall of a lack of information. Thanks in advance!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Ashtabula County, Ohio

    Re: Questions on How to Build Alternate Install ISO

    At this point I'd suggest looking at simple-cdd and considering the e-mail archive here:

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007

    Re: Questions on How to Build Alternate Install ISO

    Duplicating all that work to reconstruct the Ubuntu Alternate Image seems unusual.

    Have you looked into a preseed file? Adding that to an install media is much easier than reconfiguring (and updating) it. Preseed files are used in most specialty (like UbuntuStudio) and OEM installers.

    Another oft-overlooked tool is AptUrl, a handy way of installing from a web page. Useful when a whole class or group needs to install packages but you don't have admin access to all the systems.

    My understanding (from a couple years ago) is that the Alternate CD consists of three elements:
    1) The isolinux bootloader, linux kernel, and menus (compiled into initrd)
    2) The debian installer with Ubuntu customization file
    3) The packages, most of which are right out of the 'main' repository

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Re: Questions on How to Build Alternate Install ISO

    I completely agree with the thoughts.

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