Debian Serial Live Cd

I’m installing a trio of new systems at home to host some house infrastructure, and I’m using the opportunity to learn KVM. That’s it’s own set of fun, but my pressing need was for a Debian Live CD which doesn’t rely on a PC console, but rather can use a serial console.

The Debian Live Tools take quite a bit of effort to wrap my head around, and my first attempt, building a Live CD just following the manual, did not work. I was able to get it to use a serial console just fine, but the Live CD user was just not created, and I could not figure out why. I decided to start with the ‘Standard’ Image and slowly adapt it, one step at a time:

  1. Moving to Bookworm
  2. Adding extra software I typically want (debootstrap, the interface bonding and vlan tools, zfs-linux packages, and a handful of others)
  3. Getting isolinux, initrd, and the kernel to use the first serial port as console (systemd helpfully starts getty for me if the appropriate thing is in the kernel command line)

It took a while, but you can find it on GitHub