How to make a custom ISO image

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The easiest way is to use script alpine-make-vm-image.

Live Disk Setup with APKOVL

Once you have customized your custom ISO, you can now setup the live environment to operate outside of the standard installer as follows:

  • Generate an APKOVL file with lbu, lbu ci
  • Alpine ISO requires the OVL Volume to be hosted on a web server. Put the APKOVL file on a webserver and identify the url.
  • Uncomment the APKOVL line in the alpine flavor of your choice and set it to the address of your ovl volume.


  • Any packages you add to /etc/apk/world of your lbu will automatically be installed onto the live system image.
  • If you don't have a web server you can run busybox's httpd temporarily - busybox httpd -p
  • In general, lbu will only handle files in /etc, to customize this further, you need to add additional files.
  • If you want to make a customized installer, you need to create .default_boot_services which will cause mkinitfs to create the defaults for the live image.

Testing your ISO image

Qemu is useful for a quick test of your created ISO image.