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Live Systems Handbuch


3. Installation

3.1 Requirements

Building live system images has very few system requirements:

Note that using Debian or a Debian-derived distribution is not required - live-build will run on almost any distribution with the above requirements.

3.2 Installing live-build

You can install live-build in a number of different ways:

If you are using Debian, the recommended way is to install live-build via the Debian repository.

3.2.1 From the Debian repository

Simply install live-build like any other package:

# apt-get install live-build

3.2.2 From source

live-build is developed using the Git version control system. On Debian based systems, this is provided by the git package. To check out the latest code, execute:

$ git clone git://

You can build and install your own Debian package by executing:

$ cd live-build
$ dpkg-buildpackage -b -uc -us
$ cd ..

Now install whichever of the freshly built .deb files you were interested in, e.g.

# dpkg -i live-build_3.0-1_all.deb

You can also install live-build directly to your system by executing:

# make install

and uninstall it with:

# make uninstall

3.2.3 From 'snapshots'

If you do not wish to build or install live-build from source, you can use snapshots. These are built automatically from the latest version in Git and are available on ‹›.

3.3 Installing live-boot and live-config

Note: You do not need to install live-boot or live-config on your system to create customized live systems. However, doing so will do no harm and is useful for reference purposes. If you only want the documentation, you may now install the live-boot-doc and live-config-doc packages separately.

3.3.1 From the Debian repository

Both live-boot and live-config are available from the Debian repository as per Installing live-build.

3.3.2 From source

To use the latest source from git, you can follow the process below. Please ensure you are familiar with the terms mentioned in Terms.

$ git clone git://
$ git clone git://

Consult the live-boot and live-config man pages for details on customizing if that is your reason for building these packages from source.

You must build either on your target distribution or in a chroot containing your target platform: this means if your target is jessie then you should build against jessie.

Use a personal builder such as pbuilder or sbuild if you need to build live-boot for a target distribution that differs from your build system. For example, for jessie live images, build live-boot in a jessie chroot. If your target distribution happens to match your build system distribution, you may build directly on the build system using dpkg-buildpackage (provided by the dpkg-dev package):

$ cd live-boot
$ dpkg-buildpackage -b -uc -us
$ cd ../live-config
$ dpkg-buildpackage -b -uc -us

As live-boot and live-config are installed by live-build system, installing the packages in the host system is not sufficient: you should treat the generated .deb files like any other custom packages. Since your purpose for building from source is likely to test new things over the short term before the official release, follow Installing modified or third-party packages to temporarily include the relevant files in your configuration. In particular, notice that both packages are divided into a generic part, a documentation part and one or more back-ends. Include the generic part, only one back-end matching your configuration, and optionally the documentation. Assuming you are building a live image in the current directory and have generated all .deb files for a single version of both packages in the directory above, these bash commands would copy all of the relevant packages including default back-ends:

$ cp ../live-boot{_,-initramfs-tools,-doc}*.deb  config/packages.chroot/
$ cp ../live-config{_,-sysvinit,-doc}*.deb  config/packages.chroot/

3.3.3 From 'snapshots'

You can let live-build automatically use the latest snapshots of live-boot and live-config by configuring the package repository on as a third-party repository in your live-build configuration directory.

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