tisdag 4 september 2012

How to remaster/respin Linux Mint ISO images

 How to remaster/respin Linux Mint ISO images

This tutorial describes how to remaster Linux Mint ISO images and modify their content.

Decompress the ISO

  • Install the package "mintconstructor" from the repositories
  • Open a terminal
  • Type sudo /usr/lib/linuxmint/mintConstructor/mintConstructor.py
  • In the mintconstructor window that opens:
    • In the "Directory" field, choose a directory for the ISO (use a new directory with nothing in it for this)
    • Make sure to select the "New project" radio option
    • Click the browse button on the right of the "ISO file" field and point it to your ISO file
    • Click "Next" and then "Yes" to confirm.

Modify the content of the ISO

All modifications are done via the mintconstructor chroot terminal. To access the content of the ISO and modify it, click on the "Open a chroot terminal" button.
In this chroot terminal, you can type commands, install and remove packages and this will have a direct impact on the ISO, its content and the content of the system which installs itself from the ISO to the Hard drive during the installation.
Once you're finished making modifications, make sure to clean up with the following commands:
  • aptitude purge ~c
  • aptitude unmarkauto ~M
  • apt-get clean; rm -rf /var/cache/debconf/*.dat-old; rm -rf /var/lib/aptitude/*.old; rm -rf /var/lib/dpkg/*-old; rm -rf /var/cache/apt/*.bin; updatedb
  • history -c
  • rm /root/.bash_history
  • rm /root/.nano_history
  • history -c

Rebuild a new ISO

  • Close the chroot terminal
  • Click Next
  • Give your ISO a description (which will be embedded as the name of the CD or USB stick onto which the ISO is burnt)
  • Click Next

Tags: remaster respin linux mint
Created: 3 months ago.
Last edited: 3 months ago.
Reviewed: 3 months ago by vincentv.
Read 0 times.

2 weeks ago

Once you get into the chroot term, I've found the following command to be very useful:

dpkg --get-selections | less

(helps you to know what's on the iso already)
1 month ago

Thx. This howto works fine with Maya 64 Bit Cinnamon.

1 month ago

I ran into some problems. I got to change the packages according to my needs, and when i got to the part of making the livecd, it finished according to the gui, but there was no .iso file.

After chekcing the terminal window in wich i lounched the command, i could see this error:

Building ISO...
genisoimage: Volume ID string too long
Making Hybrid ISO...
isohybrid: could not open file `/var/cache/livecd/dev-20120718-1041.iso': No such file or directory
Build Complete...

The software didn't find the iso either when converting to hybrid.

I found the command in the mintConstructor.py for generating the image: and i ran it in the terminal, with all the parameters.

sudo genisoimage -o ./livecd.iso -b isolinux/isolinux.bin -c isolinux/boot.cat -no-emul-boot -boot-load-size 4 -boot-info-table -V "LiveCD" -cache-inodes -r -J -l ./remaster/

It gave an error of the locale utf8, but finished fine, and the livecd is working.

Any thoughts on why the mintConstructor.py is not creating the image?
1 month ago

On the positive side, if you are good with apptitude and know what packages are non-essential to get a working instance of Mint installed, then you can use these instructions to build a Mint boot CD. Removing removing packages such as Java, Mono, LibreOffice, and Gimp left my .iso file still larger than 800 MB, so the "etc" that needs to be removed needs to be defined. But I may have botched the apptitude update, since there were many components still flagged as "suggested" after I marked the parent with "-" to remove.

So, what is documented here is well written and correct, but requires expertise that will likely be beyond many, especially those new to Linux.
1 month ago

It would be really useful if someone would create an apptitude script that will remove nonessential packages and get the .iso file size down to 700 MB so it will fit on a CD. I spent a whole day with multiple attempts to build install media for my Dad's old laptop that wouldn't boot to DVD. I did not know how to use apptitude and the learning curve for that is more than a few minutes. I was glad to see that apptitude was giving error messages with strong warnings not to remove essential components, but even heeding these, I still managed to build a CD that was small enough, but would not install Mint.

I'm fairly computer literate but just didn't have time to figure it all out while on a vacation visit. Ended up having to leave my Dad's old laptop running unsupported Ubuntu 10.4. Wasn't going to saddle him with Unity.
1 month ago

No...you should have full Mint13 cinnamon version installation once you add back 4 missing things - LibreOffice, GIMP, VLC and Samba.  
2 months ago

Great, vjoshi - if not only because the 'full' iso is way too small to waste a DVD on!
BTW, that's not the codec-less version, or is it?
2 months ago

Thanks Clem, it worked perfectly (did not need last 3 steps in modify section). For those who could not get it to work or found the steps confusing, I have Linux Mint 13's cinnamon 64-bit CD ISO available for download at http://dl.dropbox.com/u/18296139/Mint13CinCD-NoOffice_GIMP_VLC_Samba.iso - as name suggests, without LibreOffice, GIMP, VLC and Samba. You can get these back by "sudo apt-get install libreoffice gimp vlc samba" after you try LiveCD and install Mint to your hard disk from it.  
3 months ago

Clem when I click Open a chroot terminal button I go straight to building the new ISO without any changes. I start in a clean Dir and nothing goes there. Everything ends up in /root/remaster. Am I missing some Python dependencies? I should also mention I am running 64-bit LMDE and loving it.  
3 months ago

The installer on the OEM version is different from the live cd versions. How can I transform a KDE, or XFC live CD into an OEM version that will use the OEM installer (like where IS the package for the installer?) and have it finish up the job so that once a system is installed and customized it will run though the end user setup dialog on the very next boot?

I have been "recycling" old Windoze computers by installing Ubuntu or Mint on them and giving them away on "freecycle". I use the OEM type installer so the first time that the end user boots the computer they have the same experience that any new computer buyer has on power on.
3 months ago

There isn't a .dmg file, but you can install it onto a USB drive using a utility like unetootin.
3 months ago

Hi, This is my first time here and I am still trying to figure out how to install Mint 13 MATE. I last used Linux around in 1995, when I simply used it while freelancing for a couple of industry book publishers in Boston. Linux sure has changed since then! While I am excited about Linux, there are so many sites, and so many different options, Ubuntu, Debian, Mint, and on and on.

I have been trying to simply download the 32bit Maya 13 MATE edition, but for some reason I am not able to burn the iso file to a DVD. However, I have a feeling it's my Apple Mac Mini DVD that isn't working.

That said, is there any other way to download the 32 bit Maya 13 MATE version?

The instructions you provide are generous, but I'm not even sure I would be able to use my Terminal shell to decompress the iso as you mention, however, I might be able to do that, but the "make sure to clean up instructions" are rather complicated. Do I need to enter each of those lines as a separate line?

I wonder if there is another way to download a Mac version (10.6.8) like a .dmg file, or a torrent file that I can actually launch and install from my Mac? Appreciate the help from anyone out there.

3 months ago

I posted a torrent with a CD version in the forums. http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=103449 Use at your own risk. I used it on one of my old system and seems to be working OK so far, in fact that machine is the machine seeding the torrent. Good luck. Hope it helps someone.  
3 months ago

I'm having trouble pulling this off. I'm not much of an expert when it comes to commands. Basically, I want to make an ISO that doesn't have libreoffice and/or Gimp or whatever would be necessary to get the ISO under 700 mb to do a CD boot because I don't have a DVD burner. What commands would I use to remove them?

Or even better, can someone connect me to a download where someone has already done this? I'm very happy with Linux Mint but I think it would be nice if there was always a smaller ISO available for a CD burn. I understand the justification for DVD only, but if all it takes is removing a couple programs to get it small enough, it would be nice if there was a link to download it along with the DVD ISOs.

Keep up the good work! I love Linux mint and I'm excited to upgrade to another LTS version (I've been on Linux mint 9 since it came out).
3 months ago

This is quite interesting. I am assuming that it would be possible to do this with ISO on HD partition > USB stick > boot Mint live > do the remastering on the original file on the HD > create CD-sized file > burn it.
Thing is, I am not interested in wiping my installation (which is Fedora at the moment), but I would be interested in creating a Mint CD.
3 months ago

Awesome!!! I asked about a CD iso when the release candidate came out. Thanks for getting back to me and for this tutorial. I never knew it this tool even existed.

For future reference, would this work on the Debian editions as well? I'm assuming it should, right?
3 months ago

@dalcde: That's how they're made. And yes, it will be installable.  
3 months ago

wow, thanks!  
3 months ago

Just one more question - will the iso be installable?  
3 months ago

Is this how the official Mint releases are made or are they made in a more "professional" way?  
3 months ago

Also, since mintconstructor 3.1.0, the tool contains a command called "mint-remaster-iso" which can be used to automatically transform an ISO into a non-codec ISO.

In the future this command should also let you transform an ISO into an OEM ISO, or localize an ISO in a different language (as of now, these two features don't work well though).
3 months ago

Thank's Clem.  
3 months ago

I didn't know there was such a package. Thanks clem for this!  

Other tutorials from clem

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