debirf (DEBian on Initial Ram Filesystem) is a set of tools designed to create and prepare a kernel and initial ram filesystem that can run a full-blown Debian environment entirely from RAM.
The kernel and initramfs pair created by debirf can be used for a myriad of purposes, from quick-and-easy system repair to diskless thin clients. The kernel and initrd can be placed in your system boot partition, burnt to read-only media, or supplied by a netboot server.
The debirf tools use a module architecture which allows you to customize debirf for any possible purpose by specifying what components are included in the generated image.
Install debirf in Debian
#apt-get install debirf
$ mkdir ~/debirf
$ cd ~/debirf
$ tar xzf /usr/share/doc/debirf/example-profiles/xkiosk.tgz
$ debirf make xkiosk
Have a look at debirf//debirf.conf. There you will find some possibility of customization e.g. mirror and distro (Lenny, Sid) Also of interest would be debirf//modules.
If you're booted to Lenny you should automatically get the default Lenny kernel. I was booted into sidux and decided to use the sidux kernel so I utilised the -k switch.
debirf make -k /var/cache/apt/archives/linux-image-2.6.28-0.slh.10-sidux-686_2.6.28-10_i386.deb xkiosk
Now debirf will proceed to bootstrap Debian and build an initrd.
debirf: modules complete.
debirf: creating debirf initrd (‘nested')...
debirf: creating rootfs.cgz...
debirf: creating wrapper cgz...
debirf: debirf initrd created.
debirf: kernel: xkiosk/vmlinuz-2.6.28-0.slh.10-sidux-686
debirf: initrd: xkiosk/debirf-xkiosk_lenny_2.6.28-0.slh.10-sidux-686.cgz
Now you just add it to menu.lst
title Debirf w/ sidux kernel
kernel /home/admin/debirf/xkiosk/vmlinuz-2.6.28-0.slh.10-sidux-686 vga=791
There is no root in this menu.lst entry as it is unnecessary.
There is no root password on the minimal build.
You will be prompted for a root password on the xkiosk build.
Set password for debirf-xkiosk superuser:
Enter new UNIX password:
Retype new UNIX password:
That's it. Reboot your debian system