I am wanting to pre-integrate a lot of packages (like the MATE Desktop, certain versions of Apache2, a couple of games, etc.) into my installation media so they show up as choices to install on a new machine. Is there away to get all of these additional packages downloaded then integrated into my install media without having to download them all one at a time?
If your installation media has only the NET iso burned to it, it will be nice and small, because you downloaded nothing you don’t need. Then when you boot, you’ll have access to everything you want, and will download nothing you don’t. This should take less time overall than building a custom installation media and then using it.
If you support a very large network and many machines, you can also consider the standard distro-agnostic solutions like Puppet and Chef.
For a smaller shop like what I usually work with,
I create install scripts which are run after standard installations.
So, for instance in your situation a standard DVD or NET install might be done with minimal instruction like “Select the Generic Desktop and Enter your own Username/Password, everything else should be default”
Then, the person would run a script that does everything after initial installation that installs everything else including adding the Mate Desktop, any applications and apply configuration settings. The script can be made unattended or with minimal interaction.
This approach isn’t “zero administration” but it’s less complex than AutoYaST and can usually be made to work on all versions of openSUSE with minimal or no modifications… and also becomes a nice Disaster Recovery option.
If you like the idea of building generic install and setup scripts, I’ve written a number of Wiki articles about useful commands and posted some examples.
Thanks for the reply thee. I’ll look at these as options. What I’m after is integrating the desired add-on packages directly into the initial installation thus I have a “master installation” of sorts thus I can prepare the machine/VM with it’s specific options offline (no network required) and then ship it. Or I can ship a blank machine and the end customer can just use the initial YaST install to configure their own options as some of my customers will be isolating their machines from the public internet so shipping a master install media and letting them choose what to install at their end point is the most optimal.