Building a Meikian Live image

Meikian Live is developed with Debian GNU/Linux 8.x Jessie for x86 architecture, using DebianLive, its own live systems creator. It is possible to use other versions or architectures, even derived distributions, but in such cases it cannot be guaranteed that the following detailed process works or it may not be the same.

To generate a Meikian Live image from scratch, the following requeriment are needed.

Root access

The creation script needs to be executed with root privileges, either by su or sudo command.

Needed tools

A number of preinstalled tools are needed, for which the following command may be used:

user@meikian-dev:~$ sudo apt-get install apt-utils debootstrap dosfstools debian-keyring fakeroot genisoimage genext2fs gnu-fdisk loadlin mtd-utils parted squashfs-tools syslinux uuid-runtime win32-loader xorriso

It is also needed to have the 4.x branch of DebianLive toolset installed which is the currently available in Debian GNU/Linux 8.x Wheezy. For this, may also be used the command below:

user@meikian-dev:~$ sudo apt-get install live-build

Meikian Live repository on GitHub

A copy of Meikian Live repository content on GitHub is needed. This can be obtained in two different ways, by cloning the repository or by downloading the zip file with its content from GitHub webpage.

  • To clone the repository you need to have git installed. In case that is not available in the system, it can be installed with the following command:

    user@meikian-dev:~$ sudo apt-get install git

Next you need to create a directory to store and proceed to clone the repository content in it, for what the follollowing commands can be used:

user@meikian-dev:~$ mkdir my_meikian
user@meikian-dev:~$ git clone my_meikian
  • If the compressed file is downloaded from the repository instead, unzip program will be necessary. If it is not available in the system, it can be installed by running the following command:

    user@meikian-dev:~$ sudo apt-get install unzip

Then the previously downloaded zip file is decompressed and renamed to more easily work with it:

user@meikian-dev:~$ unzip
user@meikian-dev:~$ mv meikian-dev-development my_meikian

Modifying Meikian Live building script

Few parameters inside the distribution building script need to be modified to specify the path where the content of the Meikian Live repository has been copied.

Within the directory used to host the content of the repository is located the script, in which the lines 14 and 15 need to be edited to specify the corresponding paths.

The original content of these lines is:

## default values
  • HOME_DIR represents the path to the parent directory of the directory with the content of the repository
  • BUILD_DIR represents the full path to the directory with the content of the repository

As an example for the case of a use user having its home directory in /home/user and creates inside it a folder my_meikian for the Meikian Live repository data, the values that have to replace the originals are:

## default values

Applying patch to Live-Build 4.x

Within the Meikian Live repository in GitHub exists a directory named patches that contains a patch for the Live-Build 4.x branch needed to build images with more than two boot kernels.

Using the same scenario as in previous sections, the commands to be executed to apply the patch are as follows:

user@meikian-dev:~$ cd my_meikian/patches
user@meikian-dev:~/my_meikian$ sudo patch -p0 < live_build-4.x_binary_syslinux.patch

Creating Meikian Live iso

The distribution building script can generate various types of images for different purposes. The available types are:

  • iso image formated with ISO9660 standard intended for recording in DVD
  • iso-hybrid iso hybrid image allowing to be recorded in DVD or to be copied to a USB flash drive
  • usb-hdd image to be copied to a USB hard disk
  • tar generates a file that contains all the distribution filesystem

Once all the requirements specified in previous sections have been accomplished, you can proceed to create the Meikian Live image.


Factors to be considered:

  • The process can take from one to several hours depending on the resources of the computer that is used
  • At least 15GB of free space on the hard drive are needed
  • It is necessary that the computer has Internet connection during the process

The command for the distribution image building: <"type of image to be created">

Using the same scenario as in previous sections, the commands needed to generate a distribution image of the hybrid type are as follows:

user@meikian-dev:~$ cd my_meikian
user@meikian-dev:~/my_meikian$ sudo ./ iso-hybrid