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Hi guys, I'm looking for ideas for a good, off-the-wall, distro for me to install (just as a project to stave off boredom). I'd like something as obscure as possible, ...
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  1. #1
    Linux Guru smolloy's Avatar
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    Dumb project. I need ideas!


    Hi guys,
    I'm looking for ideas for a good, off-the-wall, distro for me to install (just as a project to stave off boredom).

    I'd like something as obscure as possible, and preferably one that will require a lot of effort to get it up and running. Something like Linux From Scratch would be good (but I've already installed that one), and something more difficult and time consuming would be better!

    My only two absolutes are that the process should give me a deeper understanding of linux, and that it can be done on a virtual machine. If there's something cool or unique about a particular distro (like it can be trimmed down to fit on a floppy, or it's simple to turn it into a usb-drive distro), then so much the better, but I won't insist on that.



    Any ideas or suggestions?
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator devils casper's Avatar
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    Hi smolloy !!

    Because you have installed Linux From Scratch already, I dont have any suggestion for you. I have never installed LFS. I couldn't dare and didn't have much time but I will try pretty soon...

    Sorry for not being helpful....
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  3. #3
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    Have you seen sourcemage? I started out with it, and got so far and it really felt like going back to my first distros.

    We're so spoiled these days!

  4. #4
    oz
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    You might want to consider giving Rock Linux a spin, too. It's another build your own project.
    oz

  5. #5
    Super Moderator devils casper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigtomrodney View Post
    Have you seen sourcemage? I started out with it, and got so far and it really felt like going back to my first distros.

    We're so spoiled these days!
    Wow ! Thats a lot of work... Going through its wiki. Thanx BigTom !
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  6. #6
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    Take a look at DIY Linux.
    DIY Linux
    Also, you might consider doing something like LFS, except instead of doing it by the book, now try to do it on your own. Refer to the book when you run into problems you can't figure out.

  7. #7
    Linux Guru smolloy's Avatar
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    Thanks for the great suggestions guys!

    DIY linux looks interesting, but no new items have been added to their front page since 2006, so the project seems to have died. It's very similar to LFS, but LFS is being actively worked on, so I'd rather go with LFS than DIY.

    Trying LFS on my own sounds interesting. I even thought of trying to write my own scripts to automate the process as much as possible. This would start off as (almost) a direct copy from the book, but then I could tweak things to my own liking, and to see all the different ways I can break and rescue a linux system.

    Sourcemage looks good, and it looks like I would learn a lot (given that the installation requires me to think about such details as configuring the logging software), but it looks like I might be able to finish it in a day or two.

    Rock looks the most promising in terms of customising a full distro, and it looks like it could take quite a while (which is a good thing). But I think I could learn more about the guts of linux from Sourcemage or LFS.

    If there are no other suggestions (and I really hope there are), then I think I'm gonna try to set up Sourcemage on a virtual machine running on my Ubuntu box.

    As I said, more suggestions are very welcome!
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  8. #8
    Linux Guru smolloy's Avatar
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    Well I got stuck into Sourcemage last night, but I'm a little disappointed.

    I was impressed by the way the installation offers me the chance to customise everything under the sun. But at the end it handed me an error report that it wanted me to email to the developers. Not a good sign.

    After this, I rebooted, and it brought me to a bash prompt as expected. Unbelievably my wireless worked perfectly using the options I gave it during the installation (remember this is on a virtual machine running on a laptop that Fedora struggles to get a wifi connection on!), which impressed me no end, but then I was stuck.

    The last page of the installation gave me a list of commands to update the package management system (equivalent of "yum clean all ; yum update"), but they wouldn't work. I could work on fixing it, but that weird installation error makes me think that there is something wrong deep in the guts of this installation.

    It seems like quite a good distro though, and maybe judging it on its performance in a virtual machine isn't quite fair. One idea I had was to install it on a partition on my home desktop, and move my current apache installation there. That would allow me to run apache in a chroot jail, thus increasing my security.

    As for my pet project, I'm gonna go with automating LFS. Unless anyone else has any cool ideas?
    Registered Linux user #388328 || Registered LFS user #15880
    AMD 64 X2 4600+ :: 2X1GB DDR2 800 :: GeForce 9400 GT 512MB :: ASUS M2N32 Deluxe :: 4X250GB SATAII
    Need instant help? Try us on IRC -- #linuxforums on freenode

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