LinuxHappy's Weblog

Failures and Successes of Linux-based Development

Success: Custom Debian etch iso

Posted by linuxhappy on February 13, 2008

I was in a pinch to get a custom Debian iso, and came across a pretty awesome website that allowed me to do exactly what I wanted:

Get a debian 4.0 netinst ISO with emacs and cvs preloaded.. That way, I can load this ISO on a whole BOADLOAD of computers, and not have to worry if each one of those machines has done a “apt-get update && apt-get install emacs cvs”

The how-to can be found here:

The directions are a little bit confusing (to me) because, all of the commands reference “sid”, a previous release of debian. Though running on a Debian 4.0 netinst installation, and following all the directions on that webpage, seemed to yield exactly what I wanted: Debian 4.0 (etch) + emacs + cvs preloaded bootable ISO!

There was one place where I screwed up.. On the instruction:

for p in list of packages you want installed ; do echo $p >> profiles/NAME.packages ; done 

I did the following (WRONG WAY):

for p in "emacs cvs" ; do echo $p >> profiles/NAME.packages ; done 

The script barfs because emacs and cvs the are on the same line in the file NAME.packages.

Using the following should work (CORRECT WAY):

for p in emacs cvs ; do echo $p >> profiles/NAME.packages ; done 

3 Responses to “Success: Custom Debian etch iso”

  1. debianize said


    ist ist possible to see the syntax of name.packages file. I find no examples.

  2. linuxhappy said


    When you run the script:

    for p in emacs cvs ; do echo $p >> profiles/NAME.packages ; done

    it generates a file called NAME.packages inside a folder called profiles. (if the folder does not exist, you should probably create it — mkdir profiles). So upon running the script, you can cat out the file:

    debian:~/testfolder# cat profiles/NAME.packages


  3. Thanks for some info on this site! A quick tip: “Sid” is always the current unstable branch.

    Etch – Stable – Debain 4.0
    Lenny – Testing – Debian 5.0 (to be released as Stable very soon)
    Sid – Unstable – packages get vetted for quality here before moving to Testing
    Experimental – packages that need some attention before they’ll even make it to Sid.

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