Home FAQ Pinguy Builder – Build your own, custom Ubuntu OS

Pinguy Builder – Build your own, custom Ubuntu OS

By sk

Pinguy Builder is a simple, yet useful application to backup or remix an installed Ubuntu operating system. It is the fork of Remastersys tool which is abandoned years ago. Pinguy Builder allows us either to easily backup the entire Ubuntu system or just create an installable ISO of the running system. Then, you can burn the ISO to any DVD or USB, and install that OS on any system. We can even include our own branding like logo, plymouth theme, bootmenu theme etc. Pinguy Builder is written by Pinguy OS developers, and and if freely available to use. At present, Pinguy Builder can only make backup or create a live ISO of Ubuntu operating system.

Install Pinguy Builder

Pinguy Builder is available in two versions. Pinguy Builder Version 3.x can be used in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and previous Ubuntu versions. Version 4.x will work on Ubuntu 15.04 and later.

In this brief tutorial, let us see how to install and use Pinguy Builder in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS beta desktop.

Pinguy Builder is currently hosted in Sourceforge website. Head over to the following URL and download the latest Pinguy Builder version.

First install Gdebi package. Gdebi will take care of all necessary dependencies while installing a software.

sudo apt-get install gdebi

Go to the download location, and then install Pinguy Builder as shown below.

sudo gdebi pinguybuilder_4.3-6_all-beta.deb

pinguy install


Once installed, launch Pinguy Builder either from Menu or Unity dash. If you can't find Pinguy Builder, just reboot the system, and then try again.

Pinguy builder1

You'll be asked to enter the administrative account password.

Pinguy builder2

At first launch, you'll see the following warning message that says you to close all other windows and unmount any network shares before running Pinguy Builder.

Then, Click Ok to continue.

Pinguy builder3

Here it is how Pinguy Builder default interface looks like.

Pinguy builder4

As you see in the above screen, there are three tabs in Pinguy Builder.

  1. Actions ;
  2. Settings ;
  3. Output.

The Actions tab contains nine options. Each option is pretty selp-explanatory. If you want to create backup of the running system including user data (Eg. Home directory), choose Backup option. If you just want to create a livecd or backup without user data, then choose Dist option. Both Backup and Dist options can run as a live session. “Dist” mode has no password to login. “Backup” mode uses the user name and password used to create the ISO. Also, you can include your own logo (typically 640x480 size), Boot menu picture, Plymouth theme etc.

The Settings tab contains the options such as the username (for Backup mode), livecd name, livecd filename, specify the location to save the ISO file etc. It also has options for what files to exclude while backup or creating livecd, and you can put your website name if you have any.

Pinguy builder5

The Output section displays the results while making backup or livecd.

Let us see how to create a livecd without user data. You can include your own logo, plymouth theme, bootmenu picture of your choice, also you can choose a name for the livecd from Settings section.

Once you chose all options, select Dist option from the Actions tab.

Click Ok to continue.

Pinguy builder6

Now, Pinguy builder will start to build your own customized Ubuntu distribution.

Please note that it will take a quite long time depending upon the configuration, and size of your files. Make sure you have enough space in the partition where you want to save the ISO or backup.

If didn't choose where to save the ISO, it will then be saved in /home/PinguyBuilder/ directory by default.

Once the process completed, you an burn the ISO to any DVD or USB drive, and start installing it on other systems.

You can view the progress in the Output section of the Pinguy Builder main interface.

Pinguy builder8


Pinguy Builder is a must have application for every Ubuntu users. Whether you want to create a distributable ISO or backup of your running Ubuntu system, then Pinguy Builder is pretty perfect. It has simple, and self-explanatory interface, so you don't need to be an experienced Linux user. Even an Intermediate user can easily build their custom Ubuntu distribution with Pinguy Builder. The only downside is, once you started to build, there is no way to stop, or resume it. All you have to do start all over again from the beginning. It is a big drawback, and needs to be addressed. Hope the developers might working on it. Apart from this issue, Pinguy Builder just worked fine out of the box as it advertised. Give it a try, you won't be disappointed.

Hope you will like this tutorial. I will be here soon with another interesting and useful article. Until then, stay tuned, and share this guide to social networks and support OSTechNix.

Thanks for stopping by.


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Nickfm DNt January 19, 2017 - 1:37 am

Hi, I have a problem, in ubuntu 16.04 when try to build a dist, appear in the terminal: rsync: send files failed to open “var/lib/lxcfs/cgroup/memory/system.slice/….. Permission denied (13) (several permission denied)
Some help!!! [email protected]

Юра Мудрий June 7, 2017 - 2:44 pm

Try run this software via root user.

Shawn Quin August 30, 2017 - 4:59 pm

Were you able to sort this out!?

Shawn Quin August 30, 2017 - 4:54 pm

Were you able to solve this!?

Tyrone Jones June 2, 2017 - 6:04 pm

It is difficult to use considering that Ubuntu ‘a minimum install size is 5GB while pinguy builder cannot build an image larger than 4.2 GB

Eric S August 23, 2017 - 12:00 pm

that is not how that works… at all. The install image is highly compressed. the 5GB size is how much free hard drive space is required to install. I’ve built an image from 600MB (rescue CD minimal ubuntu with antivirus) and it takes 3.5GB to install. All the way to to 3.2GB compressed ISO (damn near anything I thought someone might want to try in Linux include LibreOffice, WPS Office, VLC, Pinta, Gimp, Wine, Steam, and about 200 more packages) which took 10GB just to install.

jc December 12, 2018 - 8:27 pm

Hello should i just download all of the software i need then export the iso? it will automatically install it when i share it with my friends?

sjorge December 30, 2019 - 11:58 am

@ jc
U have to watch the 4 GB limit, if U use a DVD.
If U use a stick, something can written to the stick afterwards.
If U use a DVD, nothing can written to afterwards.
Have fun, have success, Happy New Year

John March 29, 2020 - 11:22 pm

Can Pinguy Builder create and save the ISO to Network Attached Storage?

sk March 30, 2020 - 10:39 am

Yes, it can!


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