Ubuntu – Customized distro+persistence to ISO, how to make it work


We have a distro, Lubuntu 16.04, which we want to pack with a concrete SW, ToolboX (util/deb/toolbox_1.0-1.deb will install Geany, LaTeX packages, GNU Octave, etc., some extra 1.2GB, overall). Now, we have a functional installation and want to produce a persistent live version out of it, so that users (children, mostly without Linux knowledge) can easily burn a USB stick and start using it, keeping track of WIFI password and local files.

First thing I've tried is to produce an ISO with systemback, which works nicely after been copied (dd) to an USB stick. Problem is that systemback won't add persistence. Following these instructions, I've tried to add persistence to the stick, but it fails for some reason (it works well with an original Lubuntu ISO, but doesn't work for the ISO generated by systemback). Even if it would, this produces the stick itself, but the goal is to have an ISO that, when copied, provides a persistent version of the customized distro.

What are the alternatives out there to end up with this ISO?

Best Answer

The following approach will work:

An alternative method to distribute your system would be to backup the casper-rw partition with your tweaks, and to restore it into 'standard' persistent live systems (made by mkusb but without tweaks).

Backup and restore of persistent overlay data

I downloaded the iso file made with Systemback. mkusb complained, that it was not an Ubuntu family or Debian iso file. But with the setting usb-pack-efi mkusb created a persistent live drive. So the solution was easier than I could imagine :-)