Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am interested in setting up a boot DVD, a DVD from which I can boot, containing a kernel which is compatible with Ubuntu.

Is this a reasonable thing to attempt? Is there a command I can use which will generate such a DVD?

share|improve this question
Making a custom iso is time consuming and requires a bit of reading, but if you can tell us what are you wanting to do exactly we can give better advice. Depending on your customizations you can use remastersys or my preference, for large modifications, is the debian live scripts (they work fine in ubuntu). – bodhi.zazen Dec 9 '11 at 1:43
I just want to boot ubuntu but obtaining the kernel from the DVD. The other files come from the hard disk. Do you need any more info? – user36410 Dec 9 '11 at 2:01
Do you know how to make a bootable DVD (if all you need is a kernel you could use a flash drive or CD as the iso is going to be much smaller then a 4 Gb DVD). – bodhi.zazen Dec 9 '11 at 2:06
This is what I am asking, what ubuntu command to use to make a bootable DVD – user36410 Dec 9 '11 at 2:17
up vote 0 down vote accepted

It is "trivial" to do this.

1) Install the necessary packages

sudo apt-get install syslinux genisoimage

2) Make a working directory

mkdir -p DVD/isolinux

3) Move your kernel, initramfs, and isolinux.bin to the working directory

cp /boot/vmlinuz-your-kernel DVD/isolinux
cp /boot/initramfs-your-initramfs.img DVD/isolinux
cp /usr/lib/syslinux/isolinux.bin DVD/isolinux/

4) Create (write) a isolinux.cfg file, save it at DVD/isolinux/isolinux.cfg

LABEL live
menu label ^Ubuntu kernel , boot hard drive
kernel /isolinux/vmlinuz-your-kernel
INITRD /isolinux/initramfs-your-initramfs.img
append  root=/dev/your_root_partition ro quiet splash --

5) Make the iso

cd DVD
sudo mkisofs -r -V "Live-DVD" -cache-inodes -J -l -b isolinux/isolinux.bin -c isolinux/ -no-emul-boot -boot-load-size 4 -boot-info-table -o ../ubuntu-dvd.iso .
cd ..

6) Burn the DVD, although it will fit on a flash drive or CD easily.

For additional information see

The arch wiki page has great information on syslinux, and some splash and menu options I did not cover.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.