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Remastering a Custom Knoppix Distribution, Part 1

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Ever wanted your own bootable CD? Something personalized for your users and complete with all of your own Linux-based software and configuration? You may have heard of Knoppix, a free Linux bootable CD, but in this article, Matt Lesko will show you how to modify Knoppix to include exactly the software you want and need. From rescue discs to demo software, a custom copy of Knoppix could be exactly what you are looking for.
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You've probably heard of Knoppix, a bootable CD-ROM that provides an entire working copy of Linux and assorted programs, and requires nothing more than a computer with a CD-ROM drive and sufficient RAM. You're also probably aware of the multitudes of specialized varieties of Knoppix, from those dedicated to GIS software to forensic analysis tools. This article isn't meant to be an exhaustive survey of uses for Knoppix or its derivatives—rather, it is meant to give you some useful instructions for how to create your own custom-fitted Knoppix distribution. I assume that you have prior experience with Knoppix, and Linux administration in general.

Methods and Reasons

There are many reasons to want to build your own distribution of Knoppix. By doing so, you could have privately-written software distributed in a complete environment, create a reduced toolset for your specific needs (saving valuable space), or explore and release a particular focus (adding to the growing list of pre-fabricated specialized options). An extensive list of options is available at http://www.frozentech.com/content/livecd.php.

Knoppix is a collaborative effort and many of these versions derive from Klaus Knopper's original. Yours should be no exception. Rather than starting from scratch, I suggest that you follow their lead and start with a distribution that already has most of the functionality you want. In some cases, this may mean the original Knoppix CD, which is available at http://www.knopper.net/knoppix/index-en.html. For demonstration purposes, this article will look at customization based off the original Knoppix, version 3.8

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