Experiments with Debian Live

Published on: 2008-1-30

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Experiments with Debian Live


Debian Live scripts help us create 100% "official" Debian systems as "Live CD's" . This is the procedure involved if you want to create one yourself: First, you need to have a working Debian system. Follow the instructions given here and install cdebootstrap and the live helper (lh) scripts. Create a new folder, say, debian-live; change into that folder and type: lh_config This command will complete in a moment; you have to then execute: lh_build This is the script which pulls down the base Debian system (just the bare essentials - no stuff like X) from the net and creates the Live CD; once the script ends, you will see a file `binary.iso' which you can burn to a CD/DVD. Some statistics: On my AMD sempron system, the lh_build script took 134 minutes to complete (256Kbps DataOne connection). The resulting `binary.iso' is 87Mb in size. It booted in just 30 seconds (had to do a Ctrl-C when DHCP requests started) and consumed 60Mb of memory. Not bad! The scripts are flexible - you can do a lot of customization - check this out Problems: I tried to `cache' the .deb files as per the instructions given here. It didn't work as expected .... have to try again!

Mikael P

Thu Jan 31 16:30:04 2008

Interresting article, although I have figured most out earlier. I will try cdebootstrap instead of debootstrap though. I am trying to make a 486 USB image based on Sid, but it fails, probably due to linux-image-2.6-486 depending on a 2.6.22 package that no longer exists in the archive. Does anyone know how I can tell the live scripts to use the current 2.6 package, I think it's 2.6.23-1-486? Thanks!


Wed Mar 5 13:12:52 2008

Give apt-cacher a try. It's saved me a lot of bandwidth.


Wed Mar 5 13:31:38 2008

and Mikael, do you just need an "aptitude update" ?

Daniel Baumann

Mon Aug 25 23:04:56 2008

Hi, just a small correction: you don't need to have a Debian system running, all you need is a posix comatible shell (bash, dash, posh, zsh work well), and cdebootstrap or debootstrap. For cdebootstrap, there is a static binary which you can run on any distribution, for debootstrap you also only need a shell.