Having just been through the creation of a fully 64-bits version of Knoppix, including remastering, I am thinking about simple solutions for creating this kind of derivatives. What to do with an upcoming Knoppix 6.6, for example? According to Klaus, it will still be hybrid.

I think working out from the minirt might be a good way. We have the 64-bits kernel, which does not have to be replaced (if it's not for Knoppix-unrelated bugs etc - like with 2.6.37 necessitating 2.6.39). We also have 64-bits busybox from Debian releases - what more do we need to start off?

To me, it seems that it might suffice to put dpkg with support libraries into the minirt bin. Debian live and Kanotix stuffs all sorts of utilities there, I think the Knoppix minimal way is better and more robust.

1. Create a loop-mounted image 5-15GB, just use adaptation of the persistent creating function in minirt.
2. No compressed image in the first version, and minimal system initialization. Use only internal hard disk partitions and USB-mounted media, which are already supported by kernel.
3. Init into a console, where dpkg can be run, to install apt-get, aptitude etc, and continuing from there.
4. Split package lists from to distro-to-copy (e.g. Knopix 6.6) into manageable units, and feed them to aptitude, batch-wise.
5. All the initial setup and testing work is done in qemu-kvm, no rebooting necessary ever.
6. When all actual packages are installed, copy in 64-bits /sbin/init and Knoppix initialization.
7. Create compressed image the ordinary way.

It wouldn't be too hard to have this as an option in standard minirt, I think.