Create custom UM 18.04 ISO

Hello everyone,

I would like to create a custom UM 18.04 ISO with Timeshift and my WiFi driver (I have a Broadcom chip, so I need the proprietary driver) already installed. That way when I boot up this custom live iso environment - my WiFi works automatically and Timeshift is available in the application launcher. I'm currently using a Linux Mint live usb to restore my system snapshots which is far from ideal.

I have searched for a solution but all the respin/remix apps I have seen are either too old, unmaintained or not very new user friendly.

Any suggestions regarding any respin/remix apps or any other way to make this custom iso are very welcome :slight_smile:

This may not be exactly what you are looking for but it was an easy fix for my situation. I have a Broadcom chip also.

I made several persistent live USBs that allowed me to have the traditional menu and a working wifi. These persistent USBs were made using UNetbootin and I initially made them with 2048 Mb storage. Later I remade the 18.04 stick using the newly released MATE 18.04.2 ISO and with 8192 Mb storage.

See - Edit livecd iso to have traditional menu for visuals. Files and a gtk setting were obtained from data4 and mate 18.04 partitions. Files in ~/bin were edited to allow working on the persistent USB.

I updated this last USB drive, the updates were few. I installed firmware-b43-installer, dconf-editor, conky-all and synaptic. I used MATE Tweak to change the panel to Traditional and get the old Application, Places and System menu back. Moved firefox to panel center and added mate terminal, gksudo and conky toggle shortcuts next to the menu. I copied .config/gtk-3.0/gtk.css to the persistent drive which shrank the distance the tray icons took up. I added a shut down button, but the displayed time was (I guess) zulu time instead of local due to being a live USB.

Good luck nemo.

Thanks for info @mdooley. This is what I tried to do at first. I created a live usb with 3gb of persistent storage. I then installed the proprietary Broadcom driver, change the layout to mutiny and installed Timeshift. I then shutdown the live usb. I thought that these new session parameters would be saved, as I have persistence on the usb. Unfortunately, this wasn't the case. When I booted into the live usb again, all my changes were lost.

So what do I need to do to make sure the changes I made are saved properly on the live usb?

Thanks for your help & insight!

How did you create your persistent live USB? I used UNetbootin which I had to open as a superuser.

I did the exact same thing. In the box for persistence I entered 3000 (it's in mb). That's why I'm scratching my head. Why isn't it working like it did for you when I did the exact same thing? It's really strange!

Here are some screenshots relevant to my persistent USB -

and also this -

Does your persistent live USB look similar?

If you do this (create a persistent live USB) again, instead of specifying a number like 3000, just increase the number from the drop down until it will go no higher. That way, the rest of the USB will be available for persistence.

And also, you can boot to the live USB and check that broadcom was saved and then try to install Timeshift the second or third time around. Just a suggestion...

Edit: You might also try installing MATE 18.04 on a 16Gb USB drive. I did this earlier and found it pretty nice. See below for a screen shot of Gparted -

It probably needs a bit of updating which I'll do in a moment.

2nd Edit: It was pretty out of date. From 18.01 to 18.03 took about 50 minutes. See updated Gparted below -

Good luck nemo.

Thanks for all the information and for all your help! My usb setup looks similar to your screenshots. The casper-rw file is present on the usb and it's now 10.1 GB according to Caja. Unfortunately, still none of my settings are being saved on the live usb (panel layout, Broadcom driver, Timeshift etc). I downloaded a copy of the Timeshift deb into the downloads folder on the live usb to see if it would keep a copy for next time. No luck - once I boot into the live usb again - the file was no longer there. There must be a problem with my usb or something even weirder.

I'll tag Martin in this comment to see if he has any ideas. Martin - can you help me out? @Wimpy

OK, I've done what I can. You might consider posting screenshots of your own.

Edit: I use pkexec /usr/bin/unetbootin to start Unetbootin in superuser mode. I also use a freshly formatted fat32 USB flash drive to install the live cd on. If trying to use Unetbootin without pkexec, this message occurs -


Ignore this and use pkexec instead.

I reformatted the USB stick with Gparted instead of disks to see if this makes a difference. No change. Still can't save any settings on the live usb. Created a dummy test file in the downloads folder to see if it saves. It didn't. It could be a permissions issue and hopefully Martin can shed some light on the situation. Here are the screenshots:

Thanks again for all your help @mdooley

My Unetbootin works flawlessly and for some reason yours doesn't. A faulty USB drive is a remote possibility that if it were me I'd want to rule out.

You did get your Unetbootin from the ppa correct? And you do use pkexec to launch it, correct? And I understand that you use a freshly formatted fat32 flash drive also?

Perhaps you should try mkusb to create your next persistent live cd/usb. There are several explanations on how to use it - just use a search engine.

Good luck nemo.

Thanks for taking the time to help me troubleshoot my problem @mdooley I'll answer your questions first and then I'll go on my small rant :slight_smile:

I installed Unetbootin from the ppa. I start the app by selecting it's icon in the application launcher. A window pops up which asks me to enter my password. I enter my password and press enter and the app starts. I have formatted the usb several times with disks and gparted.

Here's the essence of the problem. Unetbootin is a straightforward app with a simple and user friendly layout. It has no settings whatsoever. Theoretical it should create live usbs with persistence just as flawlessly on my system as it does on yours. Yet, it doesn't. Yes, it's not in the repos, so it hasn't been tested extensively with UM or plain vanilla Ubuntu - but it's so straightforward that this doesn't make a difference. It's a more sophisticated version of the usb creator app. For a new user, it gives UM/Linux that classic windows "plug'n'pray" & "just reinstall it a 5th time and maybe it will work" feel for no reason at all. I'm a huge fan of UM that's why I'm writing this.

I spent enough of my time getting this to work - so I'll go back to what I was doing before. I'll use the LM live usb if I need to restore system snapshots and the UM live usb if I need to nuke & pave. My plan was to repurpose this LM live usb for something else - so now I'll need to go buy another one - thank God they're cheap now :slight_smile: