Using grml to build a stacked Debian Live system
Debian Live supports mutli-layerd stacked squashfs file systems, but so
far not a tools that I know of can build such stacked squashfs Live
If it bothers you as well, then the good news is that there is now a
practical way to build stacked Debian Live systems. Please check out
Having updated the wiki for over 16 revisions, I think it is now good for
the general public. Please try it out and give me some feedbacks.
Quote from the wiki, Advantages of Stacked Live systems:
"If grml is build on top of grml-medium, which is build on top of grml-
small, then putting all 3 flavor on the same USB would not cost you more
than one CD space, whereas currently it almost needs two.
Another great advantage is that, I never need to remaster my live system
any more just for my own customization -- putting my extra stuff in is
just as simple as putting in several modules. My live-usb always contains
the latest tools/docs of my own, without going through the live system
remastering process. I had about 7 layered modules that I build for slax
and I just put them on top of grml. It works perfectly.
Further, with stacked live system, you can, for the first time, load grml-
small into ram (or grml-medium depending on your ram size), and leave the
rest on USB/CD.
Most importantly, it’ll be much faster. Suppose your stacked live system
is layered like the following:
1. All console tools
2. Xorg + lightweight window manager + essential X tools like gparted
3. Heavy weight desktop system (Gnome/Kde)
4. Occasionally used applications (KOffice/Latex)
If you limit your self to only certain tasks (say console-only hacks),
then you only need a limited number of modules to be loaded; all other
modules are not loaded on start up. hence it will start faster, use less
ram, and cause applications to run faster. Moreover your CD drive will
only seek in a small area (instead of all across the whole CD). You don’t
even need to load it to ram if the loaded modules can be fully cached by
the kernel. This significantly improves the speed. On the other hand, you
can enjoy the full fledged desktop applications if you want to, from the
very same CD.
Furthermore, from the practical point of view, it might not be that easy
to get everything straight out when you first try grml-live. So it is
better to start small at first. My first layer is only about 100M big, so
it is much faster to build than going for the whole 700M CD, considering
you need to run it over and over to get it perfect. If you have
successful gained a solid ground, you can then go one step further.
Having such stacked framework enable you try each step individually, if
you screw it, you don’t need to start all over again."
Please check the rest out at
Tong (remove underscore(s) to reply)