It's possible to create a custom bootable ISO by following the procedure below.

Install the artools group (3 packages) and iso-profiles:

 pacman -S artools iso-profiles

Use the following to generate ~/artools-workspace:

 buildiso -p <profile> -q

Currently, <profile> can be either base (default) or lxqt. Copy /etc/artools/artools.conf to ~/.config/artools

Copy the the /usr/share/artools/iso-profiles folder to ~/artools-workspace/

Modify the copied folder and file to customise the ISO. Inside base and lxqt there are live-overlay and desktop-overlay subfolders; The contents of the former are overlaid on the live session and of the latter on the installed system. Test the output:

 buildiso -p <profile> -q

If all goes well, create the ISO (with logging enabled).

 buildiso -p <profile> -l

This will create the ISO in ~/artools-workspace/iso, which you can either burn to CD/DVD using your favourite program or dd it to USB (etcher found in AUR works well for USB sticks).

If you used the -l switch your log files are found in /var/log/artools

To install the ISO without fetching updates during installation, set netinstall = no from the initial grub menu (this is the default from artools 0.9.5 onwards

Boot to your selected desktop and start calamares.

Advanced switch usage

If you wish to alter the filesytem prior to ISO completion. Use the -x switch

  buildiso -p lxqt -xl

/snip/

 ==> WARNING: Continue compress: buildiso -p lxqt -zc ..

Some example edits:

Change the default time zone

 sudo sed -i 's|def_timezone="UTC"|def_timezone="America/Denver"|' artools/buildiso/lxqt/iso/boot/grub/defaults.cfg

Disable boot time checksum for .sfs files:

    sudo sed -i 's|checksum=y|checksum=n|' artools/buildiso/lxqt/iso/boot/grub/kernels.cfg

Once edits are completed, resume building the image:

 buildiso -p lxqt -zcl

Additional configuration options

Both, pacman.conf and makepkg.conf (for chroots) are loaded from

 /usr/share/artools/{makepkg,pacman-*}.conf

and can be overridden by dropping them in

 $HOME/.config/artools/

Add your custom repo to

 $HOME/.config/artools/pacman-default.conf 

-OR-

 $HOME/.config/artools/pacman-gremlins.conf

Troubleshooting

Signature from "Artix Buildbot <[email protected]>" is invalid You can try to either:

  • Run buildiso again
  • Clear pacman cache (pacman -Scc)
  • Or run
 sudo pacman -S artix-keyring
 sudo pacman-key --populate artix
 sudo pacman-key --lsign-key 78C9C713EAD7BEC69087447332E21894258C6105

to refresh the build ISO keys.