LinuxFest Northwest 2012

Bellingham, WA April 28th & 29th

Platinum Sponsors

Custom Live Linux

This presentation was intended for people who want to share Linux with novice comptuer users on a LiveUSB drive which includes additional software and drivers.   I went over my project of polishing a Kubuntu(11.10) Live USB thumb drive system, for distribution to my family and friends. 

  • Brief demos of using compressed file systems (----, squashfs; [and unionfs])
  • Adjust application and desktop settings.
  • Change bootloader and startup-script settings for userfriendliness.
  • Why I chose Kubuntu, and, and where other options might be appropriate,
  •        Knoppix without remastering.
  •        SuseStudio
  •        Simply using persistance file (Knoppix and Kubuntu)

Stuff I dropped:

  • Setup chroot for installing and modifying system  ... I did, however, talk about  mount --bind, so that is chroot related)
  • For knoppix without remastering, you simply pass it "cheatcodes" or actually load it, and save files to the persistance file
  • -cloop-  was a bit complicated for me to set up.
  • demo of unionfs (thankfully the slides had some syntax)

Important stuff that I added

  • Ubuntu Customization toolKit  (uck)  uck-gui 
  • a note that I have scripts that I have init scripts run scripts from the outside editable VFAT partition... However I should have talked more about them.    I also have an outside script that runs when kde loads.  So you can do a lot of cool customization without reloading the content.  This is one of my cooler innovations.

Stuff I should have added:

  • uck-gui  saves and extracts it's files in ~/tmp
  • it will create a file called livecd.iso
  • It will overwrite that file if you run it again, so you need to copy it out of there if you intend to use it.
  • it does save the apt-cache, so even though it reextracts the livecd over and overagain, it does not need to redownload updates.
  • DO NOT UPDATE YOUR LIBC if you want restricted drivers to work (for broadcom wireless)
  • I commented out a bunch of /etc/apt/sources.list (actually moved it to sources.list.saveme) because it will try to install the new versions of broadcom driver from there, instead of get the one that is already present on the usb drive.
  • I created onliveusb-boot and onlineusb-shutdown  in the init.d and enabled them to run the editable scripts.
  •    Thanks to the Ubuntu Customization toolKit!!



You will need a kubuntu 11.10 cd or dvd iso image from:  (12.04 is not supported by uck-gui yet,  I hope to help him getting it working, but I am not much more than a novice myself)



customized iso available here: 

(uploading it totaly messed up my internet connection for over an hour, and...

you may need the usb overlay files to use the out-side customizeable scripts:


copy the files to their respective folders at the appropraite time,

the root folder is for when you are using uck, and you will need to copy it in...

steps I used (should have scripted)


Kubuntu is based on Debian; and KDE is my favorite desktop.  It has some great features, but it is unusable with default settings.    I turned off bling, set up applets, organized menus and configured input methods.     Extra drivers and codecs are also expected to just work.  I then put it on a bootable 4GB thumb drive.

Thanks for comming!

alpeterson at googles popular mail service

206 334 5925

CALL ME if you want any help using this project, or have ideas.



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