Building a custom live CD with Fedora’s livecd-creator



Fedora 7 comes with new tools for creating custom live CDs and custom .iso files. We’ll show you how to get started with Fedora's new command-line tool, livecd-creator.

The traditional technique for building a Live CD is to enter a series of commands that create directories to represent the file systems on the finished CD. Then you can manually install the files you need in the appropriate directories, manipulate them as necessary, and assemble the directories into an .iso file, and the .iso is burned onto a CD or DVD. This procedure is often error prone, and if you find you need to make some minor revisions three months down theroad, you must repeat the process.

One solution to the repetition is to write scripts that assemble the files and build the CD. Homegrown scripts, however, add additional complications. Fedora’s new command-line tool, livecd-creator, offers an alternative approach. Live-cd-creator lets you assemble a Live CD using a few simple commands, and you can even use a kickstart .ks configuration file to specifies the contents of the finished CD. Fedora 7 also comes with a GUI-based tool, Revisor (Figure 1), for creating custom .isos and Live CDs, and other similar utilities – such as openSUSE’s Kiwi – are available. This article focuses on how to build a custom LiveCD with livecd-creator.