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Ages ago I used to package software on Windows using InstallShield AdminStudio. I used it for building customized installers for company applications from existing app installers. I'd like to do some of the same for some Ubuntu systems and would like to know what options are available, if any.

In a nutshell, here's what I want to do:

  1. Do something to set a breakpoint or other system snapshot location.
  2. Install an application, customize some config files, maybe install a plugin or some data, icons, scripts, etc.
  3. Tell the system that I'm done making changes and have it build a tarball or dpkg based on the changes I've made.

Are there any apps/packages that will do this, or anything that will at help with automating at least part of the process?

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I think you'll find it easier to read and work through the Ubuntu Packaging Guide, and to use the high-level tools in there to describe the changes you want to make.

The problem with the approach you describe is that it would be really hard for the system to tell the meaning of your changes. If you edit a file in etc, how do you want that to mesh with other changes that different programs make? The dpkg infrastructure have standard tools to make things fit in well together.

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