New superlight distro - recycling old pc's
Hey all, I'm looking for anyone with experience building/rebuilding Linux distros for advice. I'm planning to build a new distro (read: mod an existing distro) with a few specific goals:
Must be responsive on old hardware - the idea is to acheive a system that can run at roughly the same speed as Win98 on old P2's (a fresh Win98 install, I mean, I know Windoze tends to atrophy over time)
Must be highly effective for office work (including MS Office compatible, this will be a problem) and web browsing (capable of 'properly' displaying modern, dynamic websites). The idea is to turn old computers into productive machines and, games aside, office and internet are a huge percent of computer usage.
Must be easy to use and configure, even if the user has no clue what they're doing. Since this would be used mainly on computers donated to schools, shelters, etc., it must be simple enough that the average grade-schooler would be able to use it without getting frustrated.
Must be stable and secure. From my experience with Linux, this should be the easiest goal to acheive ;D
Here's my plan: Take an old version of Slackware, and update some of the libraries. Install Abiword and an early version of OpenOffice (I know, OO might not work too well. Is there anything *light*, functional, and fully compatible with MS Office?), and the Galeon web browser (I'll need the gnome libs for this). Now, run xfce (it's light, intuitive, and attractive).
I'll make sure to support (and use by default) Reiserfs to speed up disk access. Also, I think I'll end up writing some of my own graphical configuration tools and an installer to make the thing easy to use.
Now, does anyone have any advice? Are there better ways to go about this? Where am I going to run into the most problems? I'm not afraid of time; I know this will take forever, but I'm planning to make it an honors project - it'll be all I do for a 3-credit, term-long college class and I'm starting way early (as in, a year and a half early).