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The Linux from Scratch project teaches how to create your own Linux distribution. However, the project is done on a hard drive. What if someone wanted to create a distribution to be installed from a CD, just like the commercial ones? How is an installation CD for a customized distribution made?
I think most of the time they boot just like a liveCD, and start some kind of installation program. The isntallation program is written for each distribution. Mandrake uses DrakX and Fedora uses Anaconda. There is also a Gentoo installer project going on. It's probably quite a big job - But you could always just take a "snapshot" of a system and then write a shell script to copy it from the CD to the HardDisk (which is what you do with Gentoo to a certain extent).

I would say a good place to check out with be the Gentoo people, they're quite good at these things. As well, if you would like to make your own live cd, check out the Knoppix wiki
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