What I would like to see in a Linux distro

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What I would like to see in a Linux distro

Postposted on Fri May 04, 2012 7:47 pm

Ok, I'm not a programmer, but if I ever learn programming, I'll work on this, but I wouldn't be able to do it alone. What I would like to see in a Linux distro, is more of a build-your-own kit, not as complicated as doing Linux from Scratch.

You start with a network installation disk. And begin to choose things from the ground up. Choose what kind of kernel you want, click next. Choose what kind of file system you want to use and click next. Choose the sound system you want to use in your custom build(Alsa, PulseAudio(PA pisses me off), OSS, Jack, etc...) click next. Choose your desktop(Unity pisses me off), click next. Choose your security method(SELinux, AppArmor) click next. Choose a whole bunch of other thing, and when your done, it downloads all of the sources from the respositories, compiles everything from source, installs it on your system, reboot, and you have one helluva custom distro. :) I don't know if this is possible, and updates would be a pain in the butt, but if this were possible, I would like to see it.
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Re: What I would like to see in a Linux distro

Postposted on Fri May 04, 2012 7:58 pm

Sounds to me like you want Gentoo or Arch.
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Re: What I would like to see in a Linux distro

Postposted on Fri May 04, 2012 8:00 pm

I'll give arch a try. I tried Gentoo a few years ago, and tried to build something from the ground up with a very basic Gentoo install, but it was too complicated.
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Re: What I would like to see in a Linux distro

Postposted on Fri May 04, 2012 9:45 pm

It's also not too difficult to start from a base Debian (or Ubuntu Server) install, and add the packages you want ala carte.

I suspect playing mix-n-match with the audio stack will be somewhat problematic regardless of whether you use a repository or compile from source.
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Re: What I would like to see in a Linux distro

Postposted on Fri May 04, 2012 10:34 pm

I'm hoping I am reading between the lines well enough to assume you don't mean to have a GUI with little option boxes to do all the work for you....

Otherwise, what you've just described is Arch linux.

The best definition of Arch Linux: "Linux with a nice package manager" - You make it act like and do what you want.

Want a nice and easy desktop?

Code: Select all
// after base and minimal install...
# pacman -Syu xorg-server xorg-xinit xf86-video-nvidia(or ati) svga-dri xf86-video-vesa
# pacman -Syu xfce4 gamin


Modify two files:

Code: Select all
[b]/etc/rc.conf[/b]
...
daemons=(... dbus ...)
...


Code: Select all
[b]/etc/skel/.xinitrc[/b]
...
add exec ck-launch-session startxfce4
...


Create a user account and set password:

Code: Select all
# useradd b00bmaster
# passwd b00bmaster


Log out of root and log in with b00bmaster. Tada, nice minimal desktop!

Want a web browser?

Code: Select all
$ su -
(enter root pw)
# pacman -Syu chromium
or
# pacman -Syu firefox
or
# pacman -Syu opera


Want a nice simple X text editor?

Code: Select all
# pacman -Syu leafpad


This was all from memory so just ask if something isn't working, but I believe this is perfect. Easy peasy.

I use nothing but Arch.
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Re: What I would like to see in a Linux distro

Postposted on Fri May 04, 2012 11:00 pm

As others have said, Arch. Grab Virtualbox and start here: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Beginners'_Guide
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Re: What I would like to see in a Linux distro

Postposted on Fri May 04, 2012 11:35 pm

thegtproject wrote:I'm hoping I am reading between the lines well enough to assume you don't mean to have a GUI with little option boxes to do all the work for you....

Otherwise, what you've just described is Arch linux.

The best definition of Arch Linux: "Linux with a nice package manager" - You make it act like and do what you want.

Want a nice and easy desktop?

Code: Select all
// after base and minimal install...
# pacman -Syu xorg-server xorg-xinit xf86-video-nvidia(or ati) svga-dri xf86-video-vesa
# pacman -Syu xfce4 gamin


Modify two files:

Code: Select all
[b]/etc/rc.conf[/b]
...
daemons=(... dbus ...)
...


Code: Select all
[b]/etc/skel/.xinitrc[/b]
...
add exec ck-launch-session startxfce4
...


Create a user account and set password:

Code: Select all
# useradd b00bmaster
# passwd b00bmaster


Log out of root and log in with b00bmaster. Tada, nice minimal desktop!

Want a web browser?

Code: Select all
$ su -
(enter root pw)
# pacman -Syu chromium
or
# pacman -Syu firefox
or
# pacman -Syu opera


Want a nice simple X text editor?

Code: Select all
# pacman -Syu leafpad


This was all from memory so just ask if something isn't working, but I believe this is perfect. Easy peasy.

I use nothing but Arch.


Whuu ugly stuff. Whatever happened to user hostile? Oh well so it goes.

I'm old so this my way of shouting 'GET OFF MY LAWN". Slackware is just what you need OP.
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Re: What I would like to see in a Linux distro

Postposted on Sat May 05, 2012 9:58 am

Actually, this sounds like it should be doable with only relatively straightforward changes from the current Debian installer.

In the current installer, you can't choose the "type of kernel" you want directly, but you can choose among Linux, FreeBSD, and Hurd by choosing different installer ISOs. Potentially it might be possible to integrate all three into one CD or DVD, but you'd still probably have to choose one at the boot menu before launching the actual intaller.

You can already choose what filesystem you want, at least in "manual partitioning" mode (where you can also partition up the available space in any convoluted way you may want, although last I checked there was no way to tell it which physical disk to install GRUB to).

You can't choose your desired sound system directly during the install, but in theory it shouldn't be too hard to make that possible, and it's not difficult to switch among them after installing a bare-bones system - not if you know how to set them up in the first place, at least. (Which I don't in some cases. This is definitely one feature which would be nice, if only for getting a correctly-configured base installation of the desired sound system.)

You can't choose your desired desktop environment directly during the install, but you can choose whether or not to install a graphical environment at all; it shouldn't be too difficult to add another sub-menu to allow selection of window manager. Even now, if you install only the most basic bare-bones system, it won't install *any* window manager by default; after the install, if you install X and your desired window manager by hand, the end result is about the same as if it had been installed that way to start out with. (Though it's still annoying to have to take the extra steps. This is another feature which I agree would be nice to have.)

I've never used any of the various system-hardening approaches such as you name, but from what I understand of how getting them set up works, I see no reason it shouldn't be possible to add a selection option for that as well.

I actually like this idea. It would probably be worth submitting a suggestion for this degree of install-time customizability to the Debian Installer team... I may even look into learning enough of the Debian Installer infrastructure to be able to set it up myself.
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Re: What I would like to see in a Linux distro

Postposted on Sat May 05, 2012 11:15 pm

I'm now calling it a night. I have a couple fistfulls of hair and will probably settle for a handicapped linux like Mint 12. I know the in's and out's of DOS very well. But I grew up on that, and Linux is whole different animal. Oh well. :-?
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