Purpose: Recently I came across this excellent Graphical LiveCD creation tool in Debian – “Live Magic“. Believe it or not you can create a bootable Live image that can boot from a CD-ROM, USB hard drives and even from Network (a NFS image) within few minutes. Moreover you can select a Graphical Environment option – GDM, KDE, Xfce, etc. Also you can create a Debian Rescue CD with this tool. Truly it is a magical tool. If you are a person who creates LiveCDs on a regular basis, I can bet that you will fall in love with this tool.

In this example, I will show you how to create a standard Xfce LiveCD ISO image using packages from Lenny repository. So let’s get started.

Note: Strictly speaking this tool is more than a LiveCD creation tool as it can create Live USB and Network images also. But since the term LiveCD is so popular I am calling it as a LiveCD creation tool.

Step 1: Install the Live-Magic package

From your Debian Lenny system, give the following command:

# apt-get install live-magic

Step 2: Launch the Program

# live-magic

Step 3: Welcome Screen

Live Magic Welcome Screen

Live Magic Welcome Screen

Click “Forward”.

Step 4: Choose Image Type

Select image type

Select image type

Here you can choose the type of graphical environment that you would like on your LiveCD image. Alternatively you can also decide to create a Debian rescue image.

Click “Forward”.

Step 4: Select Debian Distribution

Select Debian Distribution

Select Debian Distribution

Since Lenny is stable now, it is best to select Lenny.

Note: In the above screen it says “Lenny” as “Testing”. I think it’s just updated in the GUI screen – a cosmetic bug, I suppose.

Click “Forward”.

Step 5:  Select media type

Select media type

Select media type

This is the most interesting part. You can either select to create a LiveCD ISO image or you can also choose to create a USB bootable image. If this is not enough, you can choose to create a netboot NFS image.

Click “Forward”.

Step 6:  Choose Mirror for downloading

Choose Mirror for download

Choose Mirror for download

Select the mirror that is closest to you. Alternatively, if you have a local mirror in your network, you can enter it’s address also like:

http://192.168.0.1:9999/debian

Click “Forward”.

Step 7:  Select the architecture – i386 or amd64

Select Architecture of LiveCD

Select Architecture of LiveCD

Select the appropriate architecture for your target hardware – on which you would like to boot from the image.

Click “Forward”.

Step 8: Select to integrate Debian Installer or not

Select to Integrate Installer

Select to Integrate Installer

I have not tried this option but it seems that if you select to integrate the installer than you will end up with a Standard Debian Installer image along with an option to boot as a LiveCD also.

Click “Forward”.

Step 9: Select locate and keyboard layout

Locales and Keyboard layout

Locales and Keyboard layout

Click “Forward”.

Step 10: Select destination for the image

Select destination for image

Select destination for image

Click “Forward”.

Step 11: Ready to build

Create Live Image

Create Live Image

Click “Apply”.

After this you should see the following image as Debian tries to create a Live Image.

Generating Debian Live System

Generating Debian Live System

Depending on your Internet connection and system speed, it may take from anywhere between 15 minutes to several hours to prepare the final image. Go and grab a cup of tea/coffee.

Finally, when the process is done you can go to your destination folder that you selected in Step 10 and you will find your Live image in there.

Enjoy Live Imaging!

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