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I'm thinking of creating a new Linux distro and am wondering if anybody else is interested. I'm new to Linux Forums but this looks like the right place to ask. ...
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    Lightbulb Creating a new linux distro


    I'm thinking of creating a new Linux distro and am wondering if anybody else is interested. I'm new to Linux Forums but this looks like the right place to ask.

    The new distro will try to work well across a range of devices including desktop PCs, laptops and servers as well, perhaps, as smartphones, tablets and touch screen PCs.

    I'm considering a 'bundle' based package management system a la Mac OS X

    Any other suggestions or questions are welcome.

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    Just wondering why you might choose to do this ?
    Are none of the available ones suitable for some reason?

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    Mainly for fun

    However there are a few other reasons for a new distro. At the moment most distros use a dependency based package management system which can make upgrading packages perilous as software is all just lumped into the system. I think that a much more elegant system would be to use app bundles like OS X so that all the user has to do to install software is to drag and drop the bundle into an applications directory.

    Also I am unhappy with current desktop environments. KDE is too memory intensive; I don't like the Unity dash and LXDE and XFCE lack the eye-candy I expect from a modern OS. The reason I don't propose a new DE is because I think that a good DE should be integrated with the OS as Unity is with Ubuntu.

    I hope this answers your question

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    Linux Newbie SL6-A1000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tefuzzyllama View Post
    Mainly for fun

    However there are a few other reasons for a new distro. At the moment most distros use a dependency based package management system which can make upgrading packages perilous as software is all just lumped into the system. I think that a much more elegant system would be to use app bundles like OS X so that all the user has to do to install software is to drag and drop the bundle into an applications directory.

    Also I am unhappy with current desktop environments. KDE is too memory intensive; I don't like the Unity dash and LXDE and XFCE lack the eye-candy I expect from a modern OS. The reason I don't propose a new DE is because I think that a good DE should be integrated with the OS as Unity is with Ubuntu.

    I hope this answers your question
    I would be interested, but i don't have much coding experience but i do have a lot ideas and knowledge into how things could be improved that i would be willing to put forward.

    Your idea sounds fine, but i am not so sure about using a Mac OSX packaging system. There packaging system i have found to be very convoluted and could be a lot better streamlined. Thus, i think you should carefully re-consider how your system works for installing apps etc. The linux way is very versatile and there is a lot of flexibility in it. Similarly the BSD packaging system is also very well designed and if it was me i would highly consider modeling my package system of the BSD design.

    Not to crap on your idea about the DE, but if your integrate your DE with the OS your going to have to be pretty thorough with your research and design of what works for a DE and what doesn't, because at the end of the day that is mostly what your system will be judged by for the everyday user. I would also carefully consider your ideas on eye-candy and functionality. Otherwise you may well repeat the mistakes already made by current DEs.
    You can make the most prettiest DE in the world but if it is not user friendly and functional it won't mean crap all. Just take the Unity & GNOME 3 experience as an example, sure they are very elegant and pretty by design but for most (the keyword) it is not functional for the power user or everyday user that wants efficiency from their DE (at least not without a lot of modifications/ ad-ons).
    It is the reason why DEs like XFCE, LXDE & MATE are so successful.

    Unfortunately for you, you are never going to fully integrate a DE with the OS unless you design your own like Windows and Mac OSX. You could take an existing open-source DE like MATE and make it very unique to your distro but eventually it will become part of the mainstream (especially if its good) at least not without making the theme closed/ restricted like Commodore OS did. But even then it can be copied.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SL6-A1000 View Post
    I would be interested, but i don't have much coding experience but i do have a lot ideas and knowledge into how things could be improved that i would be willing to put forward.

    Your idea sounds fine, but i am not so sure about using a Mac OSX packaging system. There packaging system i have found to be very convoluted and could be a lot better streamlined. Thus, i think you should carefully re-consider how your system works for installing apps etc. The linux way is very versatile and there is a lot of flexibility in it. Similarly the BSD packaging system is also very well designed and if it was me i would highly consider modeling my package system of the BSD design.

    Not to crap on your idea about the DE, but if your integrate your DE with the OS your going to have to be pretty thorough with your research and design of what works for a DE and what doesn't, because at the end of the day that is mostly what your system will be judged by for the everyday user. I would also carefully consider your ideas on eye-candy and functionality. Otherwise you may well repeat the mistakes already made by current DEs.
    You can make the most prettiest DE in the world but if it is not user friendly and functional it won't mean crap all. Just take the Unity & GNOME 3 experience as an example, sure they are very elegant and pretty by design but for most (the keyword) it is not functional for the power user or everyday user that wants efficiency from their DE (at least not without a lot of modifications/ ad-ons).
    It is the reason why DEs like XFCE, LXDE & MATE are so successful.

    Unfortunately for you, you are never going to fully integrate a DE with the OS unless you design your own like Windows and Mac OSX. You could take an existing open-source DE like MATE and make it very unique to your distro but eventually it will become part of the mainstream (especially if its good) at least not without making the theme closed/ restricted like Commodore OS did. But even then it can be copied.
    Thanks for the feedback

    The BSD package management system looks interesting, although I don't really like the idea of ports as a few programs I use are not open source (Google Chrome, Steam, etc.) so ideally it would be nice to use binary packages (which I think BSD also supports). RPM also is a good option as it would mean that the distro could be LSB compliant and there would be a ton of packages ready to use. APT/RPM could be used for dependency solving.

    As for the DE, I couldn't agree more about making it functional and easy to use as I once tried gnome 3 and hated it. The best way of making a DE which people enjoy using IMHO is to allow plenty of options for customisation, so that if somebody doesn't like the UI they are free to change it. This I feel is the strength of most DEs in linux.
    By eye-candy I simply mean things like drop shadows and rounded corners on windows, things that I don't think should impact productivity too much.

    I also understand what you say about integration of the DE with the OS. I don't mind the DE being copied, that's what free software is all about.
    All I mean by integration with the OS is having a few features which would only really make sense on this particular distro e.g. Right clicking on a package and having an option to install it. Things like this make a system seem more complete, IMHO.

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    Have a look at PCBSD and how that installs software, in particular App Cafe and PBIs
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    Quote Originally Posted by elija View Post
    Have a look at PCBSD and how that installs software, in particular App Cafe and PBIs
    This method looks very promising; I like the idea that it only installs libraries that are not already on the system.

    One way of reducing the download size and disk space of the packages could be to include a well defined set of non-optional libraries, applications and services in the OS such as Qt, libpng, bash, xlib, etc. These components wouldn't need to be included in any packages as it is certain that they can be found on any installation of the OS.
    Another way of reducing disk space could be that packages, instead of being installed as directories as they are on OS X, could simply be left as tar.gz archives. To run the application, the archive could be mounted as a FUSE filesystem at a prefix such as /opt/pkg before an executable file is started inside the package.

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    So what's the main idea begin this distro?
    Is it going to be domain specific? (science, media editing, security...) or just a general one?
    What are the design priorities? (Customization, Eye-candy, Stability, etc.)

    About the package manager, I think you should base off another distribution like Debian, RedHat or even Arch, I don't really think a new packaging system from scratch is a really good idea.

    My opinion is that you should think about the big picture first and all that is required for a new distro instead of worrying about desktop integration at this stage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by matugm View Post
    So what's the main idea begin this distro?
    Is it going to be domain specific? (science, media editing, security...) or just a general one?
    What are the design priorities? (Customization, Eye-candy, Stability, etc.)

    About the package manager, I think you should base off another distribution like Debian, RedHat or even Arch, I don't really think a new packaging system from scratch is a really good idea.

    My opinion is that you should think about the big picture first and all that is required for a new distro instead of worrying about desktop integration at this stage.
    At the moment I think that the distro will not be domain specific but should not worry too much about targeting 'consumers' - people who only use their computer to ckeck twitter and occasionaly edit the odd document or two.

    The design priorities should be ease of use; relatively new but stable software (think Ubuntu); eyecandy and modern aesthetics; and generally being better than any other OS.

    I think that if I had to use an existing method of package management it would RPM simply because IMHO its the easiest to package for. However, I suggest a new package manager for two reasons:

    1) Ease of use
    One obstacle to anybody new to Linux is the idea of packages and I think it would be more simple if each 'package' was simply an application.

    2) Stability
    Sometimes an upgrade can break your system because packages are installed into a huge mass of shared directories. By keeping the files in each package separate, there is no chance of the system becoming unusable.

    On a different note, I'm working on a mockup of the desktop environment in Inkscape which I hope to post somewhere soon.

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    Sounds similar to what pkgsrc can do.
    Another issue with creating your own package management system is you have to have the hardware and services to keep it running and maintained. Which means you will need a dedicated server running 24-7 to house software packages that are likely going to be unique and not compatible with existing systems after compiled from source.
    This will be a lot of work... not something one person can do overnight, not to dishearten you at all but look at the existing distributions they would have more than a handful of people that are consistently updating and maintaining there repositories.
    Compared to using a pre-existing package manager, that you could potentially just mirror i.e. Ubuntu, Debian, Mint or Red Hat initially until you get it up and running. This saves you time and money setting up your own server.

    Do you have the resources and time needed to create and mature your own package management system?

    If your aiming for stability and ease of use, your going to have a lot of competition with existing Linux Distributions (e.g. Debian, OpenSUSE, Red Hat) and even PC-BSD and GhostBSD.

    What is going to separate yours from the rest and makes it unique?

    Why should someone use your linux distro over others in a similar category?

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