Remastering Knoppix

Written for CSLUG 20050216

Remastering Knoppix is ... I hesitate to say "easy," because it's a complex process, but if you have a good familiarity with Linux you won't find it too difficult. It's time consuming and it requires a big chunk of hard drive space, about 5 Gb. You'll need a good familiarity with Debian's administrative tools.

There are other directions on how to do this on the web. I'm not suggesting these are any better, but I've put these together for my own use because the other ones I've found had what I considered a lot of extraneous information. So ... This is one of those Linux things: you have more choices than you know what to do with, and you have to figure out which one is best for you. See the Bibliography for the sources I worked from.

One thing to understand is that the Knoppix CD stores most of what's important in a compressed filesystem, a single file. If you look at the files on the CD, you'll find the file /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX is several hundred megabytes: that's your filesystem. It gets uncompressed when the CD is in use. We need to unpack and copy this, modify it, and repack it. Each of these steps takes a while - give yourself several hours to make even basic package modifications. There are also important peripheral files that need to be copied - it's not just about the compressed file. The other files are needed to start a basic OS to be able to handle the compressed file system. So here's the process.

by giles