19 November 2011

Installing modified or third-party packages in a debian live image.

First let me tell you that apt-cache policy spits out that I'm using:
live-build: Installed: 2.0.12+20111008.143807~60squeeze+1 from

I am not very happy with the new Gnome3 desktop in testing and I wanted to build an stable Xfce image to get used to that desktop environment. My config was quite simple, suited for testing:

chals@odd:~/sandbox/kiwi$ lb config -b usb-hdd -a i386 -k 686 --packages-lists xfce-desktop 
--packages "amsn xchat filezilla vlc network-manager" --bootappend-live "persistent noprompt
keyboard-layouts=es hostname=kiwi username=chals timezone=Europe/Madrid" --syslinux-timeout 5

I wanted to include a really useful utility: nautilus-dropbox but it is non-free (now available in squeeze-backports)

I thought that dropping the desired .deb packages in config/chroot_local-packages wouldn't be enough to satisfy all possible dependencies and dropbox has a bunch of them. At first it does not seem to make much sense installing a nautilus integration extension, however it is a "suggest" and not a "depend". The application is perfectly integrated in the Xfce environment

Now the story goes that I was greatly surprised when I discovered that including modified or third-party packages in your build was such an easy thing to do.

First of all I tried with a simple live-manual-txt file and lemurae (an ubuntu package from launchpad

The following NEW packages will be installed:

Much to my surprise apt resolved lemurae's dependencies:

Get:1 squeeze/main python-eggtrayicon i386 2.25.3-7 [36.5 kB]
Get:2 squeeze/main python-gtkmozembed i386 2.25.3-7 [79.0 kB] 


So I went for the "real" thing and you know what? It works fine, it downloads the proprietary dropbox daemon and installs it. When the image is finally built you are done. dd to a usb stick and enjoy.