I've written a utility for download system rescue cd, and depending on the options will interactively do many things including modifying the image and recompressing it, burn it to usb key, write to iso, boot in kvm/qemu etc.
Check out the help at:
There are links to view the source and download it there also.
I think it's an essential developer tool for working on system rescue cd.. it really helps out with testing modifications and things. The utility aids you in partitioning the usb drive appropriately if writing to usb, and uses sudo if it's available. It also will download and compile the lzma patched unsquashfs and mksquashfs tools so that the whole process can be done from pretty much any linux distribution directly without needing to boot into system rescue cd first.
I'm going to add support for download portage inside the image (then the portage cruft will be ignored when recompressing the image), along with a few other ideas.
Post there if you plan to contribute to this SystemCd
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