Making a Live CD ISO from current PureOS setup


I am trying to make a lice CD ISO of my current PureOS setup on my librem 15.

I have been looking at Remastersys to do this, however, I found this post suggesting that it cab messy to install on Debian 10. I am running PureOS Byzantium with kernel 5.10.0-9 which I believe is based on Debian 10.
I found some alternatives such as Customizer as well as Penguin’s Eggs which is all in italian.
Has anyone got any suggestion on how to create a live ISO CD of the current system?

Would it be easier for you to just install PureOS to your USB drive?

that’s what I am already doing, but it is the default ISO one can download from the server. What I want to do is create an ISO with my setup (LAMP stack, DB files, and other apps).

What you’re actually doing is burning the live iso to a USB drive and booting it. I’m asking if installing the operating system to a second USB drive would work for you…

It would work, but how would I maintain the 2 installations in sync?

If I’m understanding correctly, you want two installations of one operating system on two separate drives, for example an internal disk drive and an external USB drive, and you want to keep them in sync with one another?

I want a live USB of my current setup as a backup

And for it to sync every month or however long?

In either case it sounds like you want Clonezilla.

sure once a month is enough. I would probably run it manually.

ya, that’s something I have been toying with.

The Disks utility also have the option to clone a partition. So I have been looking at that too.

Do you use Clonezilla for your backups?

Sorry, Christmas happened.

No, I don’t, but I only have one machine per OS.

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At least taking your current apps (packages) selection (actually every single one, yet those that still use PureOS Amber should not expect that every single one will be accepted into PureOS Byzantium, not 100% but very close to what was installed before) with you should be relatively easy process (linked to my previous post, please note that starting with sudo su if executing any of those commands is necessary… although this might be wrong advice if related to usual Librem 5 setup, but for your purpose will do without myself rewriting them to include sudo), first step to be done by saving produced .list file to some external digital data media. Restoring currently installed packages with xargs -a … would be second step, after brand new installation, as @Kyle_Rankin kindly already explained in his thread related post(s), including his related article: “Librem 5 Backup and Restore”:

P.S. Even if not helping much with my post, I’ve enjoyed using of remastersys package several times and therefore still remember that it was discontinued in April, 2013.

@vrata, hopefully this one: covers some of your expectations.

I can understand why you might want to do that but imagine that it is a real ISO i.e. read-only medium. How is that going to work with a database? Are you accessing the database read-only i.e. strictly as reference information? Or do you need to create some fake writable storage e.g. ram disk?

Or do you not really care to do this on CD and an ISO on USB drive would be OK? (where you could have some real but temporary writable storage)

I’m sure this is doable - either option - but you will really need to get on top of the internals.

Is your intention that you could go ahead and install from the booted ISO or only that you need to boot the ISO and run it.

An ISO is quite different as compared with cloning or imaging your real installed root drive. Which is best for you depends on what you are actually trying to achieve.

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oh very nice indeed. I will give this a try :slight_smile:

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sure, am aware I would not be able to use it on the live bootup. I am really looking at it as a backup restore point. I have had to re-install my librem about 4 ot 5 times since I first got it and everytime from scratch and then re-installing all the apps, configurations, setup DBs, websites and so on…which is time consuming.

Doing an ISO snaptshop and being able to boot from a USB flash drive to reinstall to my previous stable setup would be a real time saver.

indeed, I tried rsync, but it requires the same partition setup on my disk, something I didn’t manage to achieve with my disk upgrade.

will go through that too. Thanks for the link and info

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You might want to have a look at NixOS:

In NixOS the entire OS configuration is declared in /etc/nixos/configuration.nix

At re-install you just restore that file (and your data), rebuild, and have all your applications and configuration back as before in about 15 minutes.

The options that can be declared in configuration.nix:

For example, gnome:

services = {
    xserver = {
        enable =  true;
        desktopManager.gnome.enable =  true;
        displayManager.gdm.enable =  true;

or caddy:

    caddy = {
        enable =  true;
        email = "<mailaddress>";
        virtualHosts."<domain>" = {
            serverAliases = [ "www.<domain>" "<subdomain>.<domain>" ];
            extraConfig = ''
                root * /srv/www/
        virtualHosts."<another-domain>" = {
            extraConfig = ''
                reverse_proxy [<ipv6-address>]:80
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OK, that’s fair.

A lot of people would do a vanilla live boot (any distro that works, any version that works, any optional software installed or not installed) and then use dd to make a snapshot and, when the need arises, to restore the snapshot.

There are a few downsides with that

  • takes longer than it ought to if the disk is relatively empty
  • must be done offline (requires downtime to make the snapshot)
  • not really compatible with any kind of incremental / delta approach

but upsides too

  • relatively constant time to make snapshot (predictable)
  • works for all partition setups, file system types including any encrypted file systems
  • highly reliable at re-establishing an exact earlier snapshot state
  • simple and works