I have asked this question once before, but if someone would be so kind, I would really appreciate a little more in depth info or a point in the right direction.
Here is my current situation. I use Mint 5, Gnome version. It is literally the best operating system I have ever used. Stuff that use to give me literally weeks of problems like wifi, laptop sound, compiz with multiple monitors etc on other distros, works perfectly with Mint 5. In fact Mint 5 converted my from KDE to Gnome. I love everything about Gnome now. Mint 5 team, you are doing a great job, and Gnome was certainly the way to go with this distro. Anyways I installed Mint 5 on all my computers. This includes one server (a desktop serving 6 500GB drives over NFS network, a security system, multiple monitors, a homemade projector and other things) 2 desktop terminals and two laptops. Now I like my linux systems a certain way in look and feel and I also require extra package installation for technical reasons, and of course have configurations to do. I have to do the same procedure on each computer and it takes about an hour each time. There must be a way for me to alter a Mint 5 iso so it includes the packages I need (like removing samba and installing NFS, installing avant window manager) and corresponds to my look and feel as well as my preferences. I really need something like this since, if I have to reinstall a system for whatever reason or buy a new desktop I have to go through the same song and dance again. The server only has a few extra changes that set it apart from the desktop and laptop computers. Otherwise its identical. Here is a list of the changes I make every time I install Mint on a system.
install the glossy P theme
install the Oxygen green refit icon theme
make my panel transparent and set it to the top. resize it to 42 size.
Resize my icons in the Mint menu
Edit my Mint menu too add shortcuts, and remove others.
Change my firefox icon to something more flashy.
Set new desktop backgrounds.
Import a whole slew of desktop backgrounds.
Install avant window manager and set its settings.
Add 15 shortcuts to Avant Window Manager
reset my compiz preferences
remove all samba packages
install NFS packages. (On the server I have to edit the exports file)
Create some new folders to set as Mount Points for networked drives, then use the chown command to change them to more friendly permissions.
edit my fstab to include the networked drives from the server ie: the videos drive is mount through NFS in my fstab.
Install extra open office packages
Install my fonts once again
Setup the Open Office spell checker
Install the Nvidia restricted driver or ATI restricted driver. (This last one I know would be tough since half my PCs are nvidia, the other half ATI, so mkaing a generic Mint install disk, I could not have the driver preinstalled.)
Alter my Xorg.conf to handle multiple monitors on the server.
Now trust me, doing all this on 4+ computers is extremely tedious each time. Is there a way for me to alter my Mint 5 disk so that all, some or most of these changes are already done for me, so I can get down to work, without having to stall the same icon theme for the 5th time, or edit my fstab yet AGAIN, or install the same packages I always do? It would really really save me some time, and Id like to know if it can be done, and if so, how. Can someone please either help me out with how to do this or point me in the direction of a guide or program I can use to achieve this goal? If not an ISO is there a way to save these settings and packages to a file and restore them on a newly installed system?
Now obviously, this is for Mint 5. When Mint 6 comes out, I will alter that iso (obviously NOT for redistribution as linux mint or even otherwise, just for personal use) as well so I can have my personalized version available and save myself a bunch of work.
Please help me out,