VM Quest

Quick question!

Is it possible to create a VM preinstall everything in the distro, then make an ISO out of it and then install directly on hardware?

How?

yes. its absolutely possible
varies by distro, on debian it would involve some real complex bash scripts, debootstrap, and a bit of EFI magic to sort out the bootloader.
i think some editions of the Debian installer might natively support such a form of automation.
ive never had a need for such a thing so i cant make you a full guide, but i’d be interested to find out what solution(s) you come up with or find.

now, if you want to perfectly clone an existing setup, as opposed to trying to recreate it, you could try using DD to make an image of the installation and then just using a live session or something to DD the image onto the physical hardware. the downsides to this are that you have to ensure the cloned image is compatible with the physical hardware. whereas automating an installer comes closer to doing that for you.

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I will then try to look into it, I’m using Windows now, and If I make a VM with say Manjaro or EndeavourOS I would need to kind of move over a lot of things, and recreate some streaming stuff, and it’s easier to have a functioning environment to do that in, since SLOBS doesn’t work in linux yet, that’s the one that I need to fix the most with, also move fonts and files and preinstall things and see so that it works etc. That’s why I was thinking of this, I want to have linux as my main driver and windows basically only for games that I can’t play fully on linux. I’m about to set up some stuff at home, so that I can use that instead of dropbox etc. but enough about that.

If it’s possible, then I’m going to start looking for a guide of sorts. I just don’t know which VM I should use, VMware is probably the one that is closest to having the needed features.

howtoforge has a great tutorial on it Which is semi beginner firendly.

But if you encounter issues or have question on how to translate said tutorial to something like virtualbox. just hit the community up in this thread. We love to help.

EDIT: you can make you life alot easier (if you don’t need dual-booting) by disabling uefi and using legacy boot.

If you need dual booting, you are in for a ride. EFI booting is a b*tch
especially if you installed (in vm) on bios.

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The Debian installer supports this out of the box.
https://wiki.debian.org/DebianInstaller

You will basically need to use PreSeed to automate the installer and then roll it onto your custom made ISO.

You can also do this with DebianLive now, but I have not used it for that purpose.

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