The GENDIST Toolkit

What it is

With the increasing success of Linux, the ratio of distributions per user has droped considerably below one. GENDIST is a tool to change this ;-) With GENDIST, you can easily create your own special distribution.

Of course, it is not targeted at the creation of large, multi-purpose distributions. There are enough of these around. It's main aim is to help in the creation of special-purpose mini-distributions.

A mini-distribution typically consists of a kernel and a root-filesystem, both packed together on one or a few floppies. Nowadays, the (bootable) CD-ROM also is a valid media for these distributions.

GENDIST creates a makefile-based build-system for your distribution. It helps you to automate the following three tasks:

Another use of GENDIST is to maintain change-root environments.

GENDIST creates a hierarchy of makefiles with a number of standard targets. You only have to plugin your kernel and your "packages" (i.e. the software you want to put on the root-filesystem). Since GENDIST uses makefiles, it is no problem to integrate software created from source.

GENDIST is similar to BYLD, but it is makefile-based and modular, therefore it is much easier to create your distribution from source. Also, it supports more media-types and is more flexible.

The following media are currently supported:


The current stable version is gendist-1.6.0.tar.bz2 (about 104 KB). You either need the bunzip2-utility to unpack the archive, or a current version of GNU tar. In the latter case, you can use a command like

tar -xvjf gendist-1.6.0.tar.bz2
to untar the archive.

Be sure to download the archive in binary mode. The md5 checksum is:

cfe8aa5a55d7777f1634d587c7c5aa55  gendist-1.6.0.tar.bz2


Important recent changes:

For a complete list of changes, see the files NEWS and ChangeLog in the distribution.

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Bernhard Bablok (mail @