Dear experts in Debian,

Pardon me for bothering you, but I have to turn to you for advice.

Recently, I've been struggling to customize a Debian (Bullseye) installer
ISO tarball.
My intention is to embed some features and a specific kernel(5.10.x) into
the ISO
tarball. Then, after deploying the debian system on a controller(amd64), I
could get
a workbench system booted with the specific kernel, and with the features I
being installed by default.

But after days painfull working, I still couldn't figure out how to let the
installer retrieve and unpack the deb file of the specific kernel.

I tried to hack into the file system of Debian ISO, and to collect a lot of
from technical blogs on the internet on the procedure of how a Debian
installer booted,
and to iminate mechanism in Debian ISO. But all failed.

What I did are below:

(1) to install feature in system as default
   I need the corresponding deb files, including the installing files and
   dependencies, I collected them under /var/cache/apt/ directory on a
machine who
   is connected to the internet, and on which the required features had
been installed.
   Then transfer them under their corresponding directories under
pool/main/, and
   modify the index files, including Packages and Release, as well as

   I set the "priority" field of all features to "standard".

   It seemed what I had done worked.

(2) to install a new kernel and make the system boot with it by default
   Coming up to this item, I have never felt I made a step forward, but
only stuck.

   I know, maybe I'm wrong, to achieve what I want, I need two images,
linux-image and
   initrd. To get linux-image, I built linux kernel with "make bindeb-pkg";
and to get
   initrd, I installed linux kernel with commands "make modules_install"
and "make install".

   With linux-image-xxx.deb, I transferred it under the directory
   and set index files and md5sum.txt.

   With vmlinuz, I used it to override the file named "vmlinuz" under

   With initrd.img-5.10.x, I compressed it with "gzip", and used it to
override the file named
   "initrd.gz" under install.amd/gtk/.

    At last, I recompressed the ISO source into an ISO file, and tried to
install it onto a
    virtual machine.

    Of course, I failed again. There is an error, "Initramfs unpacking
failed: no cpio magic".

I know actions taken to substitute for the default kernel are senseless,
but I have no idea about
where I should go.

If you could give some advice to help me embed a new kernel into the debian
destro ISO and make
the system boot with it by default, I will appreciate it from the bottom of
my heart.

Thanks for your time.


Qi Hou

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