Build Manjaro ISOs with buildiso

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Prerequisites

Before we began. You need Kernel linux44 or newer.

It is recommend to download the latest version of Manjaro Distribution.


Install manjaro-tools-iso

To get started you need to download the following packages.

  • manjaro-tools-base
  • manjaro-tools-iso
  • manjaro-efi-shell
  • manjaro-isolinux


Install manjaro-iso-profiles

You will also need to download manjaro-iso-profiles from Package Manager.

There are three manjaro-iso-profiles packages to choose.

  • manjaro-iso-profiles-official
  • manjaro-iso-profiles-minimal
  • manjaro-iso-profiles-community


You can choose any profiles you want.

We're going to choose manjaro-iso-profiles-official along with XFCE to help you understand what you need to do.


We do not recommend downloading profiles from GitHub. It may not work for you while building. But, if it does work for you. That's fine.


Name your own Manjaro Distribution

Open Thunar Root and go to this file

/usr/share/manjaro-tools/isolinux/gfxboot.cfg

Find product=Manjaro Linux and change from Manjaro Linux to whatever you want to name it.

Example:

; Sections are read in the order given in base::layout, with section 'base'
; implicitly added at the end. If a config value is given more than once,
; the first entry wins.
;
; If a screen resolution can't be set, 640x480 is used as fallback (and
; section '640x480' added to the layout list).
;
; Setting livecd=1 implicitly adds section 'live' to the layout list.
;
; Color values: 24 bit RGB (e.g. 0xff0000 = red).
;

[base]
; theme name
theme=artwork-gfxboot
; product name
product=NAME YOUR MANJARO DISTRIBUTION HERE
; other sections to read
layout=800x600,live,install
; sound volume (0..100)
volume=70
; menu background transparency (0..255)
menu.transparency=0x0
; default font
font.normal=16x16.fnt
; main menu font
font.large=16x16.fnt
; max. visible main menu items
mainmenu.entries=8
; minimal main menu selection bar width
mainmenu.bar.minwidth=300
; main menu selection bar transparency (0..255)
mainmenu.bar.transparency=0
; main menu colors
mainmenu.bar.color=0xffffff
mainmenu.normal.fg=0xffffff
mainmenu.selected.fg=0x000000
; boot option colors
bootopt.label.fg=0xffffff
bootopt.text.fg=0xffffff
; progress bar color
progress.bar.color=0x295202
; menu colors
menu.normal.bg=0xd8deed
menu.normal.fg=0x000000
menu.normal.alt.fg=0x606060
menu.selected.bg=0x6c6c6c
menu.selected.fg=0xffffff
; window colors
window.bg=0xd8deed
window.fg=0x000000
window.title.bg=0x217b05
window.title.fg=0xffffff
window.title.error.bg=0xc00000
; help system colors
help.link.fg=0x0000a0
help.link.selected.fg=0xffffff
help.link.selected.bg=0x0000a0
help.highlight.fg=0x009000
; panel colors
panel.fg=0xffffff
panel.title.fg=0xffffff
panel.f-key.fg=0xffe050
; default keymap (e.g. de-latin1-nodeadkeys or cz-lat2-us)
keymap=
; replace underscores ('_') with space in menu entries
_2space=1

[800x600]
; screen size
screen.size=800,600
; background image
background=back800x600.jpg
; upper left corner, if x = -1, center horizontally
mainmenu.pos=-1,240
; boot option input field position
bootopt.pos=263,480

[640x480]
; screen size
screen.size=640,480
; background image
background=back640x480.jpg
; upper left corner, if x = -1, center horizontally
mainmenu.pos=-1,170
; boot option input field position
bootopt.pos=263,380

[live]
; show welcome animation
welcome=1
; set livecd flag
livecd=1
; main menu items where user can't add boot options
nobootoptions=hdt,memtest
; move down one menu entry the first time an F-key is used
autodown=0
; F-key assignments, see install section for doc
; serial line setup (up to four lines)
; format: port,baud,dev
;   - port: 0-3: first four BIOS serial lines (COM1-COM4); >=4: I/O port (0x3f8)
;   - baud: baud rate (e.g. 115200); 0 = autodetect (considers baud rates >= 9600)
;   - dev: linux device name (e.g. ttyS0)
; - all lines are set up with 8 bits, no parity, 1 stop bit
; - if the bootloader also has a serial line setup, the port is
;   automatically used
serial.line0=0,0,ttyS0
serial.line1=1,0,ttyS1
serial.line2=
serial.line3=
key.F2=lang
key.F3=video
key.F4=kernelopts
key.F5=
key.F6=
key.F7=
key.F8=
key.F11=
key.F12=
; show keymap menu as submenu in lang dialog
keymap.submenu=1
; add 'keytable' option with current keymap
addopt.keytable=1
; add 'lang' option with current locale
addopt.lang=1
; add 'layout' option with current keyboad layout
addopt.layout=1


ISO profile

ISO profile overview

Open Thunar Root and go to this directory.

/usr/share/manjaro-tools/iso-profiles/official/xfce/

Let's take a closer look at the XFCE profile folder (marked above):

xfce-overlay
mkinitcpio.conf -> ../shared/mkinitcpio.conf
root-overlay -> ../shared/root-overlay/
live-overlay -> ../shared/live-overlay/
Packages-Root -> ../shared/Packages-Root
Packages-Live -> ../shared/Packages-Live
Packages-Xfce
Packages-Mhwd -> ../shared/Packages-Mhwd
profile.conf
  • xfce-overlay: After every successful installation of your ISO (XFCE) the files and folders in here will get copied over.
  • mkinitcpio.conf holds the information of all needed kernel modules.
  • root-overlay: Similar to xfce-overlay, but it contains files and folders important to all Manjaro installations and LiveCDs.
  • live-overlay: Similar to xfce-overlay. Files and folders in here will only get copied over to the LiveCD of your ISO.
  • Packages-Root: This file contains base packages important to all Manjaro installations and LiveCDs.
  • Packages-Live: This file contains packages, which will only get installed on the LiveCD.
  • Packages-Xfce: This file contains packages specific to your ISO (XFCE) installation. All packages will also get installed on LiveCDs.
  • Packages-Mhwd: This file contains Mhwd packages important to all Manjaro installations and LiveCDs.
  • profile.conf contains basic settings for your ISO installation and LiveCD.

As you have probably noticed, most files and folders are only symlinks to the shared ISO profile. It is good practice to never change files or folders in the shared ISO profile. If you ever want to change them, first copy them to your ISO profile folder and delete the symlink.

All folders and files specific to your ISO (in this example XFCE) are marked. You can change them to your liking.


Modifying an ISO profile

The most common places to tweak and customize an ISO profile are the 3 folders marked above: xfce-overlay, profile.conf, Packages-Xfce:


xfce-overlay

The xfce-overlay folder looks like this (hidden files are not shown):

└── etc
    ├── lightdm
    │   └── lightdm-gtk-greeter.conf
    └── samba
        └── smb.conf

Go to this directory.

/usr/share/manjaro-tools/iso-profiles/official/xfce/xfce-overlay/etc/

Then create skel folder. This is where you can clone everything you see on your Desktop Screen to ISO.


After the XFCE ISO has been successfully installed all files and folder in xfce-overlay folder get copied over to the installed system. This includes settings/config files but also themes and backgrounds/pictures.

All files and folder in here will get copied to the home folder. Most hidden files and their structure in manjaro-tools-iso-profiles/xfce/xfce-overlay/etc/skel/ should be already familiar to you, because your home folder looks very similar.


Clone Custom Wallpaper Desktop

To clone your Custom Wallpaper Desktop. Open a New File Manager and go to this file.

/home/<username>/.config/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml/xfce4-desktop.xml

Change all image directories to where your Custom Wallpaper was located at.

/usr/share/backgrounds/<YOUR IMAGE HERE>

Example

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

<channel name="xfce4-desktop" version="1.0">
  <property name="backdrop" type="empty">
    <property name="screen0" type="empty">
      <property name="monitor0" type="empty">
        <property name="image-path" type="string" value="/usr/share/backgrounds/<YOUR IMAGE HERE>"/>
        <property name="last-image" type="string" value="/usr/share/backgrounds/<YOUR IMAGE HERE>"/>
        <property name="last-single-image" type="string" value="/usr/share/backgrounds/<YOUR IMAGE HERE>"/>
        <property name="image-style" type="int" value="5"/>
      </property>
      <property name="monitorVGA-0" type="empty">
        <property name="workspace0" type="empty">
          <property name="color-style" type="int" value="0"/>
          <property name="image-style" type="int" value="5"/>
          <property name="last-image" type="string" value="/usr/share/backgrounds/<YOUR IMAGE HERE>"/>
        </property>
        <property name="workspace1" type="empty">
          <property name="color-style" type="int" value="0"/>
          <property name="image-style" type="int" value="5"/>
          <property name="last-image" type="string" value="/usr/share/backgrounds/<YOUR IMAGE HERE>"/>
        </property>
      </property>
    </property>
  </property>
  <property name="desktop-icons" type="empty">
    <property name="style" type="int" value="2"/>
    <property name="file-icons" type="empty">
      <property name="show-removable" type="bool" value="true"/>
    </property>
    <property name="icon-size" type="uint" value="32"/>
  </property>
</channel>

Go to this directory in Thunar Root.

/usr/share/manjaro-tools/iso-profiles/official/xfce/xfce-overlay/

Then create usr/share/backgrounds and place your Custom Wallpaper at this directory.

/usr/share/manjaro-tools/iso-profiles/official/xfce/xfce-overlay/usr/share/backgrounds/


profile.conf

##########################################
###### use this file in the profile ######
##########################################

# use multilib packages; x86_64 only
# multilib="true"

displaymanager="lightdm"

# Set to false to disable autologin in the livecd
# autologin="true"

# nonfree xorg drivers
# nonfree_xorg="true"

# use plymouth; initcpio hook
# plymouth_boot="true"

# use pxe boot; initcpio hook
# pxe_boot="true"

################ install ################

# unset defaults to given value
# efi_boot_loader="grub"

# set uefi partition size
# efi_part_size=32M

# unset defaults to given value
# plymouth_theme=manjaro-elegant

# unset defaults to given values
# names must match systemd service names
start_systemd=('avahi-daemon' 'bluetooth' 'cronie' 'ModemManager' 'NetworkManager' 'org.cups.cupsd' 'tlp' 'tlp-sleep')
disable_systemd=('pacman-init')

# unset defaults to given values,
# names must match openrc service names
# start_openrc=('acpid' 'bluetooth' 'cgmanager' 'consolekit' 'cronie' 'cupsd' 'dbus' 'syslog-ng' 'NetworkManager')
# disable_openrc=('pacman-init')

################# livecd #################

# unset defaults to given value
# hostname="manjaro"

# unset defaults to given value
# username="manjaro"

# unset defaults to given value
# password="manjaro"

# unset defaults to given values
# addgroups="video,audio,power,disk,storage,optical,network,lp,scanner,wheel"

# unset defaults to given values
# names must match systemd service names
# services in start_systemd array don't need to be listed here
# start_systemd_live=('manjaro-live' 'mhwd-live' 'pacman-init')

# unset defaults to given values,
# names must match openrc service names
# services in start_openrc array don't need to be listed here
# start_openrc_live=('manjaro-live' 'mhwd-live' 'pacman-init')

This config file contains setting options. All default settings are commented. If you want to change them, uncomment them (remove the # symbol in front) and change it.

The following settings are noteworthy:

  • initsys= lets you choose between systemd and OpenRC. This setting is associated with the >systemd and >openrc flags in your package lists.
  • multilib= setting belongs to the >multilib flag in your package lists. multilib will install basic 32bit libraries on 64bit systems. This increases compatibility for 32bit applications on 64bit systems.
  • displaymanager= sets the display / login manager your system uses. You need to list your display manager in your package list, too.
  • nonfree_xorg= refers to proprietary graphics drivers.
  • plymouth_boot= lets you activate Plymouth (the graphics displayed during boot). Do not forget the playmouth package in your package list.
  • pxe_boot= activates PXE boot on your system.
  • kernel= lets you set the installed kernel. Do not include any kernels in your package list! This setting is all you need.
  • start_systemd= let's you set systemd services, which get started on the installed system and on the livecd. A similar setting is available for OpenRC.


Packages-Xfce

######################################################
### THIS FILE WILL INCLUDE shared/Packages-Desktop ###
######################################################

## XFCE Main Packages
ffmpegthumbnailer
gconf # fix qt-theme
gnome-keyring # fix wlan segfault
gufw # firewall
accountsservice
lightdm-gtk-greeter
lightdm-gtk-greeter-settings
light-locker
manjaro-settings-manager
menulibre
mugshot
network-manager-applet
networkmanager-openconnect
networkmanager-openvpn
networkmanager-pptp
networkmanager-vpnc
orage
#plank
poppler-glib
thunar-archive-plugin
thunar-media-tags-plugin
xcursor-simpleandsoft
xcursor-vanilla-dmz-aa
xcursor-menda
xfce4
libgsf       # support ODF and
libopenraw   # RAW thumbnailing
#xscreensaver
git
openssh

## XFCE Extra Packages
xfce4-artwork
xfce4-battery-plugin
xfce4-clipman-plugin
xfce4-cpufreq-plugin
xfce4-cpugraph-plugin
#xfce4-datetime-plugin
xfce4-dict
xfce4-diskperf-plugin
xfce4-fsguard-plugin
xfce4-genmon-plugin
xfce4-mailwatch-plugin
xfce4-mount-plugin
xfce4-mpc-plugin
xfce4-netload-plugin
xfce4-notes-plugin
xfce4-notifyd
xfce4-screenshooter
xfce4-sensors-plugin
xfce4-smartbookmark-plugin
xfce4-systemload-plugin
xfce4-taskmanager
xfce4-time-out-plugin
xfce4-timer-plugin
xfce4-verve-plugin
xfce4-wavelan-plugin
xfce4-weather-plugin
xfce4-whiskermenu-plugin
xfce4-xkb-plugin

## Applications
catfish # needed for desktop search
engrampa-thunar-plugin
firefox-gtk2
galculator-gtk2
gimp
gksu
gnome-vfs
gparted
guayadeque
gvfs
gvfs-afc
gvfs-gphoto2
gvfs-mtp
gvfs-smb
hexchat
manjaro-welcome
#midori
mlocate
mousepad
#parole
pidgin
#evince
#raktpdf
qpdfview
qpdfview-djvu-plugin
qpdfview-ps-plugin
thunderbird
viewnior
vlc
xfburn
#xnoise
yelp
open-fuse-iso
p7zip
xorg-xkill

## Network
netctl
networkmanager
networkmanager-dispatcher-ntpd
openresolv
blueman
#samba
#thunar-shares-plugin-manjaro

## Artwork
menda-circle-icon-theme
faenza-green-icon-theme
gtk-theme-ceti
menda-themes
menda-themes-dark
gnome-themes-standard
manjaro-artwork
xfce-theme-greenbird
plymouth-theme-manjaro-elegant
xfce4-weather-plugin-menda-circle-icons

## Packages for Sound and Audio
gst-libav
gst-plugins-bad
gst-plugins-base
gst-plugins-good
gst-plugins-ugly
gstreamer0.10-bad-plugins
gstreamer0.10-base-plugins
gstreamer0.10-good-plugins
gstreamer0.10-ugly-plugins
flashplugin
libdvdcss
manjaro-alsa
manjaro-pulse
pavucontrol
pa-applet
pulseaudio-bluetooth
pulseaudio-ctl
pulseaudio-zeroconf

## Package management
pamac

## Games
steam-manjaro

## Fonts
#adobe-source-sans-pro-fonts
cantarell-fonts

## Java
jre8-openjdk
jre8-openjdk-headless
icedtea-web

## Printing
manjaro-printer

## Office
#abiword
#gnumeric
libreoffice-still

## AUR Access
autoconf
automake
binutils
bison
fakeroot
flex
gcc
>multilib gcc-multilib
libtool
m4
make
patch
subversion
yaourt

## Documentation
manjaro-documentation

manjaro-xfce-settings
manjaro-backgrounds

This file contains a list of packages, which will get installed on your installed ISO (XFCE) and the LiveCD. This is a package list with Xfce specific packages (and packages you like to add to your custom Manjaro ISO) of multiple package lists in your ISO profile. The other package lists are more generic.

You can add or remove package names from this list as you like. You do not need to worry about dependencies when adding package names, just make sure the package name is spelled correctly and the package is available in the Manjaro repositories.

# marks a comment. The rest of the line after the # symbol gets ignored.

>i686 is a flag and marks a package, which will only get installed on the 32bit version of your ISO (XFCE).

>x86_64 marks a package, which will only get installed on the 64bit version of your ISO (XFCE).


Adding AUR packages

If you want to add AUR packages to your ISO, you need to create a online repository and add it to the right pacman-XXXXX.conf file in /usr/share/manjaro-tools/

Buildiso with AUR packages: Using buildpkg

manjaro-tools.conf

manjaro-tools.conf is the central configuration file for all tools part of manjaro-tools. Only edit the general and the "buildiso" part to not exceed the scope of this tutorial. If you are not sure what and how to edit it, do not edit it. You can always use arguments with the buildiso command later.

By default, the systemwide config file is installed in

/etc/manjaro-tools/manjaro-tools.conf

Additionally, a userconfig manjaro-tools.conf file can be placed in your home directory here:

~/.config/manjaro-tools/manjaro-tools.conf

If the userconfig is present, manjaro-tools/buildiso will load the userconfig values, however, if variables have been set in the systemwide config file, these values take precedence over the userconfig. Best practice is to leave the systemwide file untouched. By default it is commented and shows just initialization values done in code.


Build your ISO

Open Terminal and enter this command to Root Terminal.

su

Navigate to manjaro-tools folder:

cd /usr/share/manjaro-tools/


Build your ISO with the following command:

buildiso -p xfce

You need to specify the name of your ISO profile after the -p argument. In this case, it is xfce.

If the build process fails with an error, start it again.

Attention: The build process needs at least 10 minutes to complete or much longer when you are using HDDs, slow CPUs, or large ISOs.


When the build process finishes successfully, the ISO file and the package list will appear in this folder:

/var/cache/manjaro-tools/iso/


Example:

You can use arguments with the buildiso command for more build options:

buildiso -p xfce -a i686 -b stable
  • -a let's you build for other architectures. Here, it builds a 32bit ISO image on a 64bit host system. You can also set this in your manjaro-tools.conf file.
  • -b let's you specify the branch. You can also set this in your manjaro-tools.conf file.

You can find other examples of builds using different arguments for buildiso here.


Cleaning your hard drive

After a successful or failed build, you can get rid of most data (the "raw" ISO with all downloaded packages) by deleting this folder:

sudo rm -r /var/lib/manjaro-tools/buildiso/xfce/


To clean your system of packages files of packages not installed on your system (this includes all the package files downloaded for your custom ISO):

paccache -ruk0


You can also manually look into

/var/cache/manjaro-tools/

and delete folders or files to your liking. If you want to delete all ISO images, package lists, and cached Xorg packages do:

sudo rm -r /var/cache/manjaro-tools/


Please remember that all these packages and files are saved for your convenience. If you clean your system like suggested above, you have to download all packages and build all images again the next time you want to build your own Manjaro ISO.


Further Reading

There is a dedicated forum subsection about Manjaro-Tools and buildiso:


Here are some more tutorials of manjaro-tools and buildiso:


It is also possible to ask questions on IRC:

  • Server: irc.freenode.net
  • Channel: #manjaro