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9.3.2. Building Live Images with Different Desktop Environments‌‌

The build.sh live-build wrapper that we provide is responsible for setting up the config direc- tory that live-build expects to find. It can put in place different configurations depending on its --variant option.

The wrapper creates the config directory by combining files from kali-config/common and kali-config/variant-X, where X is the name of a variant given with the --variant parameter. When the option is not explicitly given, it uses default as the name of the variant.

The kali-config directory contains directories for the most common desktop environments:

e17 for Enlightenment;

gnome for GNOME;

i3wm for the corresponding window manager;

kde for KDE;

lxde for LXDE;

mate for the Mate Desktop Environment;

xfce for XFCE.

The light variant is a bit special; it is based on XFCE8 and is used to generate the official “light” ISO images that contain a reduced set of applications.

You can easily create a Kali live image using KDE as desktop environment with this single com- mand:

# ./build.sh --variant kde --verbose

# ./build.sh --variant kde --verbose

This concept of variant allows for some high-level pre-defined customizations but if you take the time to read through the Debian Live System Manual9, you will discover many other ways to cus- tomize the images, just by changing the content of the appropriate sub-directory of kali-config. The following sections will provide some examples.

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