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Say I have downloaded a CentOS live desktop CD. How would I include my own rpm packages, so that they get installed automatically as soon as I boot with the live CD or have it permanently install in my system?

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CentOS have great documentation on how to use Kickstart files in order to achieve what you want.

I don't see the point in copy/pasting that entire page, so I'll just link to it: https://projects.centos.org/trac/livecd/wiki/KickstartFile

The kickstart file can include some basic system configuration items, the package manifest and a script to be run at the end of the build process.

It falls under automated installations: http://www.centos.org/docs/5/html/5.1/Installation_Guide/ch-kickstart2.html

What are Kickstart Installations?

Many system administrators would prefer to use an automated installation method to install Red Hat Enterprise Linux on their machines. To answer this need, Red Hat created the kickstart installation method. Using kickstart, a system administrator can create a single file containing the answers to all the questions that would normally be asked during a typical installation.

Kickstart files can be kept on a single server system and read by individual computers during the installation. This installation method can support the use of a single kickstart file to install Red Hat Enterprise Linux on multiple machines, making it ideal for network and system administrators.

Kickstart provides a way for users to automate a Red Hat Enterprise Linux installation.

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Cool! will look into it. –  SSaikia_JtheRocker Jun 30 '12 at 13:33
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This works even better when net-booting. Hook up a central server that hands out images, and kickstart files. –  Steve Butler Jul 1 '12 at 8:44

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