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I want to take my current, up-to-date Ubuntu OS on my laptop, put it on a cdrom or dvd, and boot diskless from the cdrom or dvd, saving any data I accumulate to USB memory stick.

Is there a way to deconstruct the Ubuntu Live cdroms and add in the current .deb files to do this?

Perhaps a ram disk in memory to install into?

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In general, the answer is yes, and depending on what you know about building a live system or even a bootable CD you can call it "horribly complex" or "pretty easy".

The issue is that the liveCD / CD installer must be usable on just any piece of hardware. It needs to check the hardware, recognize it, and select the appropriate drivers, and then produce the apropriate configuration files for your system to boot up. Therefore this liveCD system cannot be simply the image of your running system, where this has already happened during installation.

There are several tools in debian / Ubuntu systems that allow you to create such CD images. What one does is to create a folder, and within that folder make a complete, customized Ubuntu install, including, for example, any additional packages, specific config files etc.

A detailed guide can be found here.

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Have a look on RemasterSys . It can backup your system as ISO

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