Instant-Grid Remastering Guide

Submitted by tkalman on Fri, 16/12/2005 - 13:31.

Instant-Grid Remastering Guide

Instant-Grid based on a Live-Linux distribution called Knoppix. So if you would like to make your own changes in a released Instant-Grid version you should remaster it. Because of Knoppix-roots it's the same as remastering a Knoppix CD-distribution. This is a poor remastering guide with my suggestions for Instant-Grid which works in most cases. If you have some problems (chroot, Knoppix-based problems, etc) feel free to find a better Knoppix remastering guide and use that solutions.


You need a linux environment for remastering an Instant-Grid release.

    Hardware requirements:
  • RAM + SWAP: at least 1 GB of FREE RAM+Swap total
  • Disk: at least 3 GB free on a Linux filesystem
If you have special environment for remastering, please check this Remastering HOWTO!

Preparing the filesystem for remastering

All commands below are run as root.

  • Boot from the Instant-Grid CD
  • Find a subdirectory you will use to copy the extracted Instant-Grid (Knoppix) filesystem. Here I will use /instant_grid. I'm using a directory mounted from a NFS server: mount -t nfs NFSSERVER:/shared/directory /instant_grid. Of course you can mount a local harddisk partition instead of a remote repository.
  • Create a subdirectory for the original Instant-Grid source:
    	root# mkdir -p /instant_grid/source/KNOPPIX
  • Create a subdirectory for your remastered Instant-Grid CD:
    	root# mkdir -p /instant_grid/master/KNOPPIX
  • Copy all the /KNOPPIX files to the source directory:
    	root# cp -a /KNOPPIX/* /instant_grid/source/KNOPPIX
  • Copy all the /cdrom/boot files to the master CD directory (needed to build the ISO later):
    	cp -a /cdrom/boot /instant_grid/master/boot

Directory layout for remastering

For remastering KNOPPIX after the previous steps you should have a directory structure like this:

		|-- source
		|	|
		|	`-- KNOPPIX
		|		|
		|		|-- bin
		|		|-- boot
		|		|-- .
		|		|-- .
		|		|-- .
		|		`-- var
		`-- master
			|-- KNOPPIX
			|	|
			|	|-- KNOPPIX (compressed image)
			|	`--
			`-- boot
					|-- boot.msg
					|-- .
					|-- .
					|-- .
					`-- minirt.gz

Making changes

You can make your changes using a chroot environment. (In chroot the / is actually /instant_grid/source/KNOPPIX)
Remember that anything you do or create in the chrooted environment will get into your remastered Instant-Grid CD. If you make any changes, don't forget to undo the unwanted things before remastering.

  • "chroot" into the copied source Instant-Grid environment:
    	chroot /instant_grid/source/KNOPPIX
  • When testing X-based programs on your local X environment, you will have to use:
    	export DISPLAY=localhost:0.0
  • Make your own changes (remove or install applications, add users, change default settings, etc)
  • After testing everything you should clean up before creating the new image.
  • Clean up everything that you don't want to have inside the image (tmp, .history files, etc)
  • If you mounted anything, unmount them now - very important!
  • Type exit or Press CTRL+D to leave the chroot environment.

Creating a new ISO

At this point everything is prepared for creating the final image.
We use this script for creating a new image from the uncompressed sources. Feel free to rewrite it:

If you like knowing what you are actually doing, here are the main commands for the image creating:

  • During the first step an ISO 9660 filesystem is created. This is a compressed filesystem (cloop driver will use it). The cloop utilities must be installed on the computer that you use for remastering. (Cloop utilities will create and read cloop image files). The command which creats this compressed cloop image:
    	mkisofs -R -U \
    		-V "Instant-Grid (KNOPPIX)" \
    		-publisher "Instant-Grid [] (based on KNOPPIX [])" \
    		-hide-rr-moved -cache-inodes  -no-bak -pad /instant_grid/source/KNOPPIX \
    		| nice -5 create_compressed_fs - 65536 \
    		> /instant_grid/master/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX;
  • Creating the final Instant-Grid CD image:
    	mkisofs -pad -l -r -J -v \
    		-V "Instant-Grid" \
    		-no-emul-boot \
    		-boot-load-size 4 \
    		-boot-info-table \
    		-b boot/isolinux/isolinux.bin \
    		-c boot/isolinux/ \
    		-hide-rr-moved \
    		-o /instant_grid/instant-grid.0.2.2-nightly-built.iso \
  • Your own customised image is located here: /instant_grid/instant-grid.0.2.2-nightly-built.iso
  • Burn it or test it inside a virtual machine environment (qemu, vmware, etc)


There are many-many useful Knoppix Remastering guides on the web. Feel free to find a better one: