If you've always wanted to create your own Linux distribution (distro), like I have, now you can by using a tool that was originally developed to create Virtual Appliances. SUSE Studio (still currently in alpha) is a web-based tool that helps you create Linux Virtual Appliances and complete bootable distros on CD/DVDs or USB drives.
Starting in early 2009, you can sign up for the beta version but to see the power of this tool now, you can pick up the January 2009 copy of Linux Pro Magazine complete with screenshots and a full description of its features.
You begin with a basic Linux installation based on OpenSUSE but you have lots of options to install all kinds of software and applications to make the ultimate Desktop, a cool Server system, or your very own branded Virtual Appliance.
How long does it take to build your very own Linux distribution?
About 20 minutes from login to download.
How large your distribution is depends on how many packages you install on it. If you're a minimalist, you can get away with under 600MB but if you get caught up in the process for a full-blown Desktop with KDE or GNOME, you could exceed 3GB.
Have lots of Blank DVD-Rs handy.
Not to worry, there is a Testdrive option that allows you to boot and use your new distro before you download it so that you don't waste valuable download time or blank media.
Keep an eye out for the public beta and stay tuned here for more info about building and using your own Linux distro with SUSE Studio and other tools.
Would you like to build your own Linux distro or have you already? Use the comments section to let me know.