I have just created live ubuntu usb using Unetbootin and an ISO of Ubuntu 11.10.

Everything works fine but I miss skype. Can I add skype to the ISO somehow? Not to download it and install on usb after I boot from the usb? I want to have the iso ready for next usb.


Actually, I missed the point of your question. You want Skype installed on the USB from the get-go. My other answer pertains to installing Skype after Ubuntu installation to a hard drive.

Really, the only way to go about doing what you asked is to either remaster the filesystem.squashfs or install it into casper-rw. But, either will require being in a Linux system (even the LiveCD, but will require several gigs of RAM to work with). You might be able to do it in Cygwin, but it will require knowledge of how to acquire and install Ubuntu source code.

Creating a casper-rw is the same as intalling it after booting the Live USB with persistance, but that's not what you want.

If you're looking to have it installed in the main filesystem, here's what you'll need to do:

sudo unsquashfs /cdrom/casper/filesystem.squashfs
sudo mount --bind /dev squashfs-root
sudo mount -t proc none squashfs-root/proc
sudo mount -t sysfs none squashfs-root/sys
sudo mount -t devpts none squashfs-root/dev/pts
sudo cp /etc/resolv.conf squashfs-root/etc
sudo chroot squashfs-root
# export HOME=/root
# export LC_ALL=C
# dbus-uuidgen > /var/lib/dbus/machine-id
# dkpg-divert --local --rename --add /sbin/initctl
# ln -s /bin/true /sbin/initctl
# wget http://download.skype.com/linux/skype-ubuntu_2.2.0.35-1_i386.deb
# dpkg -i skype-ubuntu_2.2.0.35-1_i386.deb
# rm skype-ubuntu_2.2.0.35-1_i386.deb
# wget http://download.skype.com/linux/skype-ubuntu_2.2.0.35-1_amd64.deb
# dpkg -i skype-ubuntu_2.2.0.35-1_amd64.deb
# rm skype-ubuntu_2.2.0.35-1_i386.deb
# rm /etc/resolv.conf
# rm /var/lib/dbus/machine-id
# rm /sbin/initctl
# dpkg-divert --rename --remove /sbin/initctl
# exit
sudo umount squashfs-root/dev/pts
sudo umount squashfs-root/dev
sudo umount squashfs-root/proc
sudo umount squashfs-root/sys
sudo mksquashfs squashfs-root /cdrom/caser/filesystem.squashfs

All the above are if you're running from the LiveUSB, the only difference from Cygwin is the paths to your USB (referred to as /cdrom from the LiveUSB). Also, you'll have to compile squashfs-tools from inside cygwin. The source can be downloaded from packages.ubuntu.com/oneiric/squashfs-tools.

All-in-all, as you can see it's much easier to just install it once running the LiveUSB (if you stalled with a persistence file, you'll only have to install it once and you're set). If you want help on how to make a persistence file, I can show you that as well.

  • 1
    Also, if you want to always have Skype pre-installed when making a LiveUSB, you'll have to add the filesystem.squashfs (from the code block which was copied back to /casper/filesystem.squashfs on the USB iteself) to the Ubuntu ISO using a program like MagicISO or PowerISO – Chuck R Mar 6 '12 at 6:43

This is untested, but can give you a nudge in the right direction. What you'll probably want to do is use a preseed file to run a command after install to add the Skype pacakge.

So, you'd add the Skype package onto the disk, then change the /preseed/ubuntu.seed file to something like this:

# Enable extras.ubuntu.com.
d-i    apt-setup/extras    boolean true
# Install the Ubuntu desktop.
tasksel    tasksel/first    multiselect ubuntu-desktop
d-i    preseed/late_command    cp /cdrom/skype-i386.deb /target
d-i    preseed/late_command    chroot /target dpkg -i /skype-i386.deb
d-i    preseed/late_command    rm /target/skype-i386.deb
# On live DVDs, don't spend huge amounts of time removing substantial
# application packages pulled in by language packs. Given that we clearly
# have the space to include them on the DVD, they're useful and we might as
# well keep them installed.
ubiquity    ubiquity/keep-installed string icedtea6-plugin openoffice.org

That should do it I believe. What it does it after installation, it will specifically install Skype into the system by running some manual command post-install but before restart.

  • How can I do this from Windows? I don't have ubuntu installed... – Radek Mar 5 '12 at 23:35

Currently, Cubic is used to create a bootable ISO, Skype can be added to this image. Note that Microsoft has mandated that Skype is only now available for 64-bit systems.

Follow the instructions here to install Cubic and prepare a .iso image for customisation: https://www.ostechnix.com/create-custom-ubuntu-live-cd-image/

Proceed as far as "Once the file system extracted, you will be landed to chroot environment automatically."

Now download the Skype skypeforlinux-64.deb file into your normal environment from here: https://www.skype.com/en/get-skype/

Drag the file into the "chroot environment" window (with # prompt) shown in the Cubic instructions, press Copy, which will copy the Skype .deb file into the image creation area. You will not need 'sudo' with commands in this window.

Then install it using:

# dpkg -i skypeforlinux-64.deb

and then update it (required to make it work !)

# apt-get install --only-upgrade skypeforlinux

You can check whether it's installed with

# apt list --installed

To make Skype appear on the desktop of the running Live CD, use an existing skypeforlinux.desktop file (or create your own) and place it in the chroot /usr/share/applications. Then set its permissions "a+x" .

Now finish generating your image, burning to DVD as required, or transfer to USB.

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