Lets say you need to setup 5, 10, or maybe 1000s of gumstix with the same root fs. None of the stock images have what you need and many have many items you don’t need. You could of course, start with one of the minimal images (say gumstix-minimal-image) and then, once it is installed, use ipkg to install all the packages you need and in a final step pull the image back out of flash (I’m not sure how you would do that, or if the gumstix would even allow it. You could do it using one of the boot from SD/MMC/CF images, and then take the tree and turn it into a JFFS2 images once it was setup). Of course, when you need to update the image, you have to repeat the process of starting from a stock binary, installing everything (hope you kept good notes and that nothing changed) and pulling the image.