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I need a way to customize my system automatically either at install time or right after.

Example (system just finished installing):

  • Install a custom list of packages (e.g. gimp, inkscape, certain plugins)
  • Uninstall others (e.g. evolution)
  • Set certain options (e.g. +ntp)
  • Replace standard config with custom config (e.g. /etc/sshd/*)

I'm talking about an automatic way to do that.

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I would advise you to make a shell script.

basically you will enter all the commands you would normally use to accomplish these tasks in a file. You copy this on the pc right after installation and execute it. there is lot's of good tutorials out there there are lots of bash tutorials out there but here are a few suggestions to get you started.


sudo apt-get remove evolution

sudo apt-get install gimp inkscape flashplugin-installer

cp myconfigfile /etc/sshd/

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You could write a package that does those things.

  • Have your package depend on a list of package (e.g. gimp, inkscape, certain plugins)
  • Have your package conflict with others (e.g. evolution), but be careful here. You have to think of why those are installed in the first place, they may be required of some reason.
  • What options you want to set is unclear, but if it would be meaningful setting them would belong to a startup script. Then you should probably put them in a startup script under /etc/init.d.
  • Use postinst and dpkg-divert to replace config files.
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