I still think a live CD that boots into a server installation environment would be a godsend for me, and perhaps for anyone else who might be interested in troubleshooting machines. This would be different (as far as I can see) from Rescubuntu, since I’m not interested so much in recovery tools as I am in loading a console-only environment, and working from there.
To that end, I’ve been plunking around with the Live CD Customization pages in the wiki, which are fairly straightforward and don’t require too much effort to decode. I know enough about chrooting and so forth to keep it from looking like black magic.
I built one image, but didn’t burn it to CD. If I reinstall Ubuntu soon, which I probably will, I’ll give it another go, and see what else I can come up with. Thus far, my short list for preinstalled applications includes build-essential, readahead, preload, debfoster, htop, elinks and a few other small additions — usually console programs like cplay or rtorrent.
The idea isn’t to build a live CD that has a mess of preinstalled doo-dads, like X or the entire Gnome suite or the Xubuntu desktop. I want a very basic, very lightweight console environment with strong hardware detection that will work on the oldest and lightest of computers. From there I can add anything I might want via aptitude.
I know grml is available, and I know it’s Debian-based, but I still want something that’s start-and-finish Ubuntu, that will give me the best idea of how a machine is working, and how it will perform with Ubuntu at its core.