Make your own Ubuntu remix with Remastersys

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Note: This tutorial is extremely out of date. Not only are the screenshots from two years ago, but Remastersys itself has been discontinued. Apparently, there's a new project called relinux you may want to check out. I haven't tried it myself yet, though.

Whether you are trying to customize Ubuntu to demonstrate to a particular niche market, deploying a specialized installation on multiple machines (you can multicast with CloneZilla, but Remastersys may be a bit friendlier of an approach), or just creating your own live/installer CD for personal use; Remastersys makes it really easy to remaster Ubuntu so you can make your own remix.

First thing you have to do is install Ubuntu and customize it to exactly how you want it. That means installing and removing programs, tweaking user settings, etc. The only part that's a bit difficult is changing the GDM (login screen) settings. For some reason, Remastersys can't do this right now.

You could use it to create a special slimmed-down version of Ubuntu or some "ultimate" kind of Ubuntu that included everything but the kitchen sink!

Copy user settings

Press Alt-F2 to get a run dialogue and then paste in the command

gksudo nautilus
to get a root-privileged file manager open.

Enter your password to authenticate the session.

In your /home/username directory, make sure hidden files are showing (Control-H is the shortcut)

Then copy the appropriate settings directories to the /etc/skel directory.

Install Remastersys

Go to the Remastersys Ubuntu homepage and scroll to the bottom. You'll see a line for the Ubuntu repository. Highlight and copy that line.

Then go to System > Administration > Software Sources, add in a new source and paste the repository line in. Reload when prompted.

Now that the Remastersys repository has been added, go to Synaptic Package Manager and install Remastersys. I've included screenshots of the steps, but if you don't know how to install software in Ubuntu, you really should read this guide before continuing with the rest of this tutorial.

Using Remastersys

Go to System > Administration > Remastersys Backup to launch Remastersys.

After you get the little intro window, go to the Modify portion of the menu.

You'll be presented with a few things you can modify about you remastered Ubuntu .iso before actually creating it. Double-click on each item to change it.

When you're done, go back to the main menu.

Click on the Dist option to make the actual .iso and then click OK to start the process.

The entire build process should take 15 to 20 minutes, possibly a little longer, depending on your computer's specifications.

You can then find the remastered .iso and its md5 in the /home/remastersys/remastersys folder.

Last updated 10/13/11 07:51

If you have suggestions or corrections for these tutorials, please post in this Ubuntu Forums thread or leave a comment on my blog.

I will not give help to people posting in the above places. If you require technical support, start a support thread on the Ubuntu Forums. That is the appropriate place to ask for help.