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Announcing: FreeBSD Custom Build ISO available

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Thanks: 26
Messages: 37

Not sure if this is the best section of the forum to announce this, but it is surely relevant to installing. I've already sent this to the -questions list.

My latest little project is building custom
FreeBSD install discs (DVD sized for desktops, CD sized for servers) with the latest release and updated packages.

I have been experimenting lately with 'make release' and ports'
building using ports-mgmt/tinderbox. I am using a dedicated system forbuilding the base system and packages. The purpose of this experiment (besides the educational value of it) is to allow me to build FreeBSD discs with custom and up to date packages. These will in turn reduce significantly the amount of time required to install new systems (esp.
desktops which need hundred of packages).

Glen Barber, also a frequent of the -questions list, has once again offered (as with the openoffice packages) lots of his webspace and bandwidth,allowing me to host the images so others can also benefit from this work. At this time, the first image is already uploaded and you can obtain it from this directory:


This is just short of 1GB and contains the following:

- FreeBSD 7.2-RELEASE base system (standard bootable / installable disc)
- Selection of custom packages that can be installed either during installation via sysinstall or at a later time (again using sysinstall or pkg_add etc).

Here is a short list of packages contained in this: abiword, aspell, bash, bluefish, cdrtools, dvd+rw-tools, firefox3, gimp, gnash, evince, gnumeric, gnupg1, inkscape, pkg_rmleaves, portaudit, portupgrade, rar, unrar, zip, unzip, sudo, ristretto, samba3, thunderbird, wbar, xfce4, some xfce4 plugins, xfburn, xorg, linux_base-fc4

Many other useful packages are also included as dependencies of the ones listed above. This iso does not contain openoffice (to keep the size smaller) and multimedia apps (to avoid licensing problems).

Future versions of the builds may have broader / different selection of packages, depending on the feedback received by the community.

Installation is no different than an official FreeBSD CD, other than when you reach the package selection screen, you will be shown the custom set of packages. The ports tree included in the CD is the one used to actually build the packages. A tarball with the options used is also uploaded at the same location (not all packages where built with the default options).

When you finish downloading, I recommend checking the integrity of the file using the MD5 or SHA256 file that are also present in the download directory. An 'asc' gpg signature file is also present and can be used to verify the authenticity of the download. This is particularly important if you obtain the iso file from means other than the download link supplied here. It is signed with my key (id: 6E0FB494).

Obviously I can built many different images (only 32bit for the moment though), like i.e. a GNOME or KDE4 version. I started up with XFCE since this is not provided by default in the official isos. I also intend to track the FreeBSD 7.2-RELEASE security branch for the base system.

Feedback, ideas, requests, criticism are all welcome. Please contact me via email or reply to this thread.


Discuss here: http://forums.freebsd.org/showthread.php?t=3980
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