How to Make your own Linux Distro from Debian

Making your own Linux distribution can be a challenging and rewarding experience. In this article, we will guide you through the process of creating your own Linux distribution from Debian, one of the most popular and widely-used distributions available.

Before we get started, it’s important to note that creating your own Linux distribution requires a solid understanding of Linux and its various components. It’s also important to have a clear idea of what you want your distribution to achieve and what features you want to include.

With that said, here is the step-by-step guide for how to make your own Linux distro from Debian!

Step 1: Choose Your Base

The first step in creating your own Linux distribution is to choose a base distribution to work from. In this case, we will be using Debian as our base.

Debian is a popular and well-supported distribution that is widely used as the foundation for many other Linux distributions. It’s also known for its stability, reliability, and wide range of software packages.

To begin, you will need to download the Debian ISO image from the official Debian website. Once you have downloaded the image, you will need to burn it to a DVD or USB drive.

Step 2: Install the Base System

Once you have your Debian ISO image burned to a DVD or USB drive, you can begin the installation process. Boot your computer from the installation media, and follow the prompts to install the base system.

During the installation process, you will be prompted to select the software packages that you want to install. You can choose to install a minimal system or a more complete system with additional packages.

Once the installation process is complete, you will have a basic Debian system up and running.

Step 3: Customize Your System

Now that you have a basic Debian system installed, it’s time to start customizing it to meet your specific needs.

One of the easiest ways to customize your Debian system is to use the apt package manager to install additional software packages. You can use the apt command to search for and install packages from the Debian repositories.

For example, to install the Apache web server, you can run the following command:

sudo apt install apache2

You can also use the apt command to remove packages that you no longer need:

sudo apt remove package_name

In addition to using the apt package manager, you can also customize your Debian system by modifying system files, installing custom software, and configuring system settings.

Step 4: Create Your Own Package Repository

One of the most powerful features of Debian is its package management system. With the help of the dpkg and apt package managers, you can easily install, upgrade, and remove software packages.

To create your own Linux distribution, you can create your own package repository containing the software packages that you want to include in your distribution.

  1. First, create a directory for your package repository:
sudo mkdir /srv/myrepo
  1. Copy the .deb files of the packages you want to include in your repository to the new directory:
sudo cp package1.deb package2.deb /srv/myrepo/
  1. Use the dpkg-scanpackages command to generate a Packages file containing information about your packages:
cd /srv/myrepo
sudo dpkg-scanpackages . /dev/null | gzip -9c > Packages.gz
  1. Use the apt-ftparchive command to create a repository index file:
sudo apt-get install apt-ftparchive
sudo apt-ftparchive packages . > Release
  1. Sign the Release file with your GPG key:
sudo apt-get install gnupg
gpg --default-key "Your Key ID" --output Release.gpg -ba Release
  1. Finally, add your package repository to the list of repositories that apt will search when installing or upgrading packages:
sudo sh -c 'echo "deb file:/srv/myrepo ./" >> /etc/apt/sources.list'
sudo apt-get update

After completing these steps, your package repository will be ready to use. You can install or upgrade the packages in your repository using the apt-get command. For example:

sudo apt-get install package1

Once you have created your package repository, you can use the apt-add-repository command to add it to the list of repositories that apt will search when installing or upgrading packages.

Step 5: Test Your Distribution

Once you have customized your Debian system and created your own package repository, it’s time to test your distribution to make sure that everything is working properly.

One of the best ways to test your distribution is to create a virtual machine using a tool like VirtualBox. You can then install your distribution on the virtual machine and test it in a safe and isolated environment.


Creating your own Linux distribution can be a rewarding and challenging experience. With the help of Debian as your base distribution, you can create a custom distribution that meets your specific needs and includes the software packages that you