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If you are looking to customize your Linux distribution, we show you three graphical front ends for creating bootable ISO images.

Specialized Linux distributions exist for virtually any imaginable use case. However, much like the typical all-rounders for daily use, these distributions often come with many superfluous applications. These apps consume disk space and – if they happen to run in the background – CPU resources as well. Some users want a lean basic system without additional software, which they can customize with the programs they actually need. This article looks at graphical front ends that give users a DIY Linux image quickly without too much overhead.

Strategies

Customizable Linux distributions are usually based on a conventional ISO image. Ideally, the image will already contain a graphical user interface or offer a simple approach to installing a graphical desktop at the prompt. You also need an integrated package manager. A customizable system image often comes with a choice of multiple kernel versions. Standard applications like LibreOffice, Firefox, Gimp, or VLC may be missing, but they can be installed via the package manager if necessary. To be able to use a system like this on several computers later, you need the ability to create ISO images of the system by deploying a handy tool, one that is easy to use and not just for Linux gurus.

Approach

There are two approaches to generating a custom ISO image of a distribution. The first approach involves working with a live system. You first install and run the desired distribution on your computer and remove all unwanted applications. To this trunk system, you then add all the applications you actually need for your individual Linux system. Then, using a tool for generating ISO images gleaned from the running system, you create an image into which you bundle the entire running system, including the newly installed additional applications.

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