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Re: Customising Debian install

On Thu, 05 May 2011 18:12:47 +0100, Andrew Wood wrote:

> Whats the best way to go about making a custom installation of Debian
> which I can then install onto multiple machines without having to go
> through and manually add extra packages and remove certain default
> packges from each machine?

I'm only aware about the preseeding¹ option, like Boyd pointed out, but 
still not played in deep with it so what I do is installing a small set 
of packages at install time (for servers I only select the "base" pattern 
and for workstations the "desktop" one) and then manually trigger the 

> For certain things like removing OpenOffice and replacing it with
> LibreOffice this approach works but is time consuming.  For other
> packages it just results in disaster, for example  Ive tried removing
> the empathy package and have inadvertently removed the entire OS.

How is that? Empathy is just an IM client, it should be easily 
removable :-?
> How come the packages have dependencies like this, surely removing an IM
> client shouldnt also trigger removal of everything else.

Yep, that's not normal. 

> As an example, Id like to remove things like Iceweasal and Epiphany so
> that theyre not installed by default but include our own custom Firefox
> .deb
> Likewise Id like to do away with Empathy and Tomboy.
> Surely theres a way to automate this and then build my own iso images so
> i dont have to customise each PC after installation?

I would perform all of those operations (install/uninstall) once the 
system has been installed. Then, if there are any weird interdependencies 
between packages that lead you to remove the core ones, just report it.




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