Roll Your Own Ubuntu With Reconstructor

When I reinstall Ubuntu, I spend the greater part of an hour reconfiguring everything the way I like it.

In particular, setting up Firefox just the way I like it takes about half that time, the rest is just little tweaks here and there. I’ve gotten pretty good over the years at configuring Firefox, including importing bookmarks, installing plugins, saving passwords, and more.

It would be safe to say that I’m a Firefox configuration god. I have no idea how many times I’ve reinstalled various operating systems since I started using Firefox, but a good bet would be something on the order of 60 times. I’ve got a bad case of operating system ADD. I write reviews on various operating systems, and add those two together and you end up with a ton of time wasted reinstalling to a base system.

A program called Reconstructor fixes the problem of needing to reconfigure everything after reinstalling.

It guides you easily through creating your own ISO and burning it to disc. The functionality is eerily similar to nLite, a program that does pretty much the exact same thing for Windows.

Here are some screenshots of the program in action to enjoy:

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After running through the easy to use GUI to copy the LiveCD over to the hard drive and create a local copy, I found my Mozilla profile folder in ~/.mozilla and copied it into ~/reconstructor/root/etc/skel to completely skip setting up Firefox whenever I install from my custom created CD. Reconstructor is pretty damn spiffy if I do say so myself.

If you can’t get enough reading material, check out Shane’s blog over at Hackosis. It’s another Linux blog that has captivated my attention for about the same amount of time it takes to reconfigure Firefox, when I should be doing something else.