I'm running the daily Ubuntu image (Yakkety Yak) and I would like to build my own Ubuntu image (alternate right now but instructions for a live image also help) while adding a few PPAs. There are several guides on the Ubuntu Community Help wiki, but they all seem to be outdated. I've also attempted to read Ubuntu's and Debian's code for doing this, but I'm not seeing exactly how they are used.

How do I do this without installing the ancient Trusty Tahr?

  • Ubuntu never comes inbuilt with such softwares u need to install them!
    – minigeek
    Oct 1, 2016 at 3:49

2 Answers 2


Use Respin which is a current fork of Remastersys Packages and [source code] 3 is available for Ubuntu 14.04 through 16.04 versions of Ubuntu. Now that Yakkety is frozen I would expect a package for that to be available soon as well.

The below is the process I used to install respin in Xenial (16.04)

Respin depends on xresprobe and isolinux neither is available in the repositories so we will have to add a couple of PPA'S, update the package list, and install them.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:sergiomejia666/respin
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:sergiomejia666/xresprobe
sudo apt install xresprobe
sudo apt install respin

Further research indicates that we also need isolinux

sudo apt install isolinux

I decided to go with the live system (the script provides other options as well, but the live system with installer seemed more useful to me) respin without any parameters will provide the following output:

   sudo respin backup   (to make a livecd/dvd backup of your system)
   sudo respin backup custom.iso
                        (to make a livecd/dvd backup and call the iso custom.iso)
   sudo respin clean    (to clean up temporary files of respin)
   sudo respin dist     (to make a distributable livecd/dvd of your system)
   sudo respin dist cdfs
                        (to make a distributable livecd/dvd filesystem only)
   sudo respin dist iso custom.iso
                        (to make a distributable iso named custom.iso but only
                         if the cdfs is already present)
   cdfs and iso options should only be used if you wish to modify something on the
   cd before the iso is created.  An example of this would be to modify the isolinux
   portion of the livecd/dvd

Next we need to setup our respin

sudo respin dist cdfs (to make a distributable livecd/dvd filesystem) which we will use to create a custom ISO

This will be a fairly time consuming process (ETA dependent on hardware)

At this point we can modify the isolinux portion of the if the live media to our liking.

And now for the creation of the ISO

sudo respin dist iso custom.iso


As my 16.04 system has a number of additions/modifications and several VM's the resulting image is quite large.

Making custom.iso a hybrid iso
isohybrid: Warning: more than 1024 cylinders: 2547
isohybrid: Not all BIOSes will be able to boot this device
Creating custom.iso.md5 in /home/respin/respin
/home/respin/respin/custom.iso which is 2.5G in size is ready to be burned or tested in a virtual machine.

Launch Startup disk Creator and select your custom.iso file and target location.(I used a 4GB Flash drive)

the custom.iso file will be found in the /home/respin/respin directory.

The resulting image works as expected. The stopper for Yakkety is that as of this wrinting, I can't find an installation candidate for xresprobe Perhaps you could build from source or wait. Personally I've found that most developers seem to focus on LTS versions. This makes sense to me as it doesn't seem very efficient to expend a great deal of effort on a 9 month release.

EDIT: The latest published respin deb package for Ubuntu can be found here.

  • Just FYI: your first link links to a repo with just 2 text files, the second got caught in my ABP blocklist and your EDIT at bottom links to a 404.
    – Frank N
    Oct 29, 2020 at 9:11
  • 1
    @FrankNocke Are you still using Ubuntu 16.04 which this answer was originally written for? I think you'll find that the first link despite being from over 4 years ago links to a page which includes a link to follow to gitlab.com/remastersys/LinuxRespin as far as your ABP blocklist is concerned you might try gitlab.com/remastersys instead. You might also consider writing a more current answer. Cheers!
    – Elder Geek
    Oct 29, 2020 at 13:58

Using Systembackup

One can backup and make live iso files with Systemback utility, you can install it from its PPA and it works the same as remastersys (no longer maintained), i think. ubuntu 14.04 needs an extra package called unionfs-fuse too. It can also create live usb images. You can add your user files in iso which can then be installed on other machines, but other machines may have different graphics etc so make sure you have not uninstalled preinstalled xorg video packages. So all you need is add ppa and install

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nemh/systemback
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install systemback unionfs-fuse

After creating iso file, creating live usb and booting from it on same machine or different machine, you will find systemback installed.

enter image description here Systemback

Using remastersys

(I am not sure if it is supported yet today or not)

 sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kranich/remastersys
 sudo apt-get update

Follow on guide gui instructions.(best to make iso copy of ur current system)

Using Ubuntu Builder

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:f-muriana/ubuntu-builder
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install ubuntu-builder

Follow gui instructions.

Using Pinguybuilder

Download .deb file from here and use dpkg or gedbi to install it .It is new type of remastersys.

  • just created my 6.8 gb .sblive file using Systemback..can make it bootable
    – minigeek
    Oct 1, 2016 at 18:17
  • I'm not sure this answers my question. I specifically noted the fact that the instructions out there were outdated, and it seems that the methods you provide are the same methods that I've seen online. I would like to use the same tooling that Ubuntu or Debian uses or the same methods at least, not some software that may or may not work on Yakkety. I'm willing to accept this answer if you have tested this on Yakkety building an image from the archive providing no manual intervention from me. That's what I wanted. Oct 1, 2016 at 23:28
  • @Simon Quingley it is an ppa! External project!Not from launchpad...and yakkety is 16.10 ubuntu..just follow instructions for systemback application instructions and create .sblive file which can be madhe bootable... remember ubuntu asks for min 6gb space ..this doesn't create.iso it creates 6gb+ file .sblive..just go for it.. yesterday only i tried it coz i also wanted to keep my backup safe... and remember whenever u install it..keep partition on another system same.i.e 70gb unallocated here should be 70gb unallocated there...try it bro :) and let me know..i dont want -1 for my experience :(
    – minigeek
    Oct 2, 2016 at 4:40
  • Yakkety is nothing different than other version..except it is in short term support version...systemback ppa installs on all over existing ubuntu flavours ! I did it on 16.04 and deepin (debian) and 14.04
    – minigeek
    Oct 2, 2016 at 4:44
  • I tested systembackup on Yaketty using Live system create and then convert to ISO. used dd to put ISO on flash drive. The Live system booted as expected but unexpectedly retained the original account(s). Installation attempt booted to a grub prompt.
    – Elder Geek
    Oct 4, 2016 at 13:29

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