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Questions about building a Debian Custom Disk


As work in progress toward building the Debian Creative Arts Custom
Distribution, my son and I have studying the docs and have tried to work
through the Wiki tutorial. But a number of issues have stumped us:

As primary documentation we've been studying:

a) -- http://wiki.debian.org/CustomDebian
b) -- http://wiki.debian.org/DebianCustomCD
c) -- http://wiki.debian.org/Simple-CDD
d) --
e) -- examples files in cdd-dev
f) -- cdd-common files
g) -- http://wiki.debian.org/DebianInstaller
h) -- Martin Krafft's The Debian System: Concepts and Techniques

1) The documentation pulls us in divergent directions; has left us quite

There seem to be several methods for building CDDS: e.g. b,c,e.

-- in the above documentation, what should we study most carefully?
-- are there any documentation sources that we're over-looking?
-- are the documentation sources accurate and up-to-date?
-- how should we select the most appropriate method?
-- What are the differences between the methods?
-- What are the relative benefits of one method over another, etc.

2) The documentation seems to address very high-level concepts and (some)
very low-level how-to concepts, but give us very little understanding of
what we're doing or why and the appropriate sequence.

As we undertand it, there are three major steps:

a) Build the debian-installer and move it to an appropriate directory
b) Configure debian-cd
c) Generate the CD

Our confusion starts once we get past this superficial level; e.g....

3) How do we specify which packages to install?

-- do we have to specify every single package down through the base
system, or just the packages that we want to show up in the menus?

Our understanding is that we need to build meta-packages. But

-- where do we start? How do we do this?

cdd-dev provides a directory and file template but we can't find (or maybe
just don't understand) documentation of how to use these templates.

-- Are these the meta packages?
-- What do we need to do before we create the templates?
-- What do we do after we've created them?

4) We'd really like to build from etch. But most of the docs seem to
address Sarge. Is it premature to build from etch? What are the

I hope our ignorance is not off-putting. We really want to understand how
to do this and are willing to work at it. If nothing else, I hope our
naive questions will help clarify and improve the documentation.

We look forward to your guidance.

Many thanks,

Lloyd R. Prentice

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