For some months, I have been testing recent Linux distros in search of one which can be run either as a minimalist system or packed with specialized tools to share in respin projects. I believe I have found something really nice in Debian 12, respun as EznixOS 12.
EzinxOS brings the Debian goodies right out of the box, with a popular web browser, office suite, image viewer, terminal emulator, and multimedia apps which add up to a general purpose Linux experience. EznixOS is already lightweight, without bloat, and running a nicely themed XFCE desktop environment.
Years ago, I stopped using full-on desktop environments on Linux in favor of a more efficient and workflow-driven window manager in combination with an app launcher and several essential hot keys. I don't pick and poke with my mouse, working instead with a rapid set of key taps to open, close, and arrange various application windows. It took me all of 20 minutes to convert my EznixOS setup to a Swaywm environment, mostly due to having limited internet speeds the other day.
On a simple window manager setup on Wayland with Sway, Debian 12 / EznixOS 12 absolutely rocks. Fast and stable are the two words which describe my experience. However, I did make a few changes, and am gradually setting up a new base for future rolling release respins of my own projects:
Some of the above changes involved some wrangling with AppImages, installer scripts, or finding deb files created by the software developers, but none were difficult to find and can be updated pretty quickly.
For creating customized live iso files, which you can boot and run on any PC, there is a set of scripts in EznixOS which expand upon the Debian Live Build system. You can use that and it works well. I tend to do major changes on live Linux projects from a chroot environment, and use a script which I have gradually developed over several years. If you want to try something different, give the Linux Respinner scripts a try.
Debian 12 is a really nice distro, and perfect for basing your operating system projects for other specialized purposes. EznixOS version 12 is even better, as it is streamlined and customizable. Give them a try, and good luck with your Linux!