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Offline Leviticus

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Learning to make your own distro
« on: May 20, 2018, 09:16:21 pm »
First of all, I recently found  Peppermint OS, and I am very impressed with this distro.  I installed this on both of my daughter's computers, and Peppermint 8 32-bit is alot faster than Linux Mint 18 XFCE 32-bit.  Even on a 12 year old laptop with a single core AMD and 1.5 gig of RAM.  Most of all, the compinations of using the XFCE menu/components on top of lx-session is genius, along with having mint-update and a similar software center which I think is far and above the GNOME software option.

Now to the question: I have become interested in wanting to make my own distro, but I can confidently say I don't have the knowledge/experience to do so.  I do see alot of "point and click" options similar to Remastersys where you can make a respin based on another distro, but, in my opinion, be irresponsible to put something out and not know how to properly maintain it.  What knowledge/experience is helpful to start down that path?  Any info or suggestions would be appreciated.

Offline pin

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Re: Learning to make your own distro
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2018, 03:47:02 am »
Hi Leviticus!
What exactly would you like to do? Build something for yourself or create a distro to a larger audience?
There are a lot of options really!

If you want to build something from scratch, which I've never did, you will need to have a lot of time. There's Linux from scratch, http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/ and beyond Linux from scratch, http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/blfs/

On the other hand, if you want to do it a bit easier, pick a base ISO, there are a lot of projects offering this type of installation.

For an Ubuntu base system, you can start from the Ubuntu server image, https://www.ubuntu.com/download/server
For Debian based system, you have Debian's Network install option, https://www.debian.org/CD/netinst/

Then there's Arch, https://www.archlinux.org/ ; Slackware, http://www.slackware.com/ ; Gentoo, https://www.gentoo.org/

or any of the BSD's,
https://www.freebsd.org/
http://www.openbsd.org/
http://www.netbsd.org/
http://www.dragonflybsd.org/

...and then my personal favourite, Void linux, https://www.voidlinux.eu/

I have two systems at the moment. One running Peppermint and one running Void, minimal install with everything else added manually from the console.
Be warned, not even Xorg will be installed by default and almost all the services will need to be installed and started by yourself. You will need to create almost everything yourself, including setting up an user, configuring the wifi, picking all the components like file-manager, window-manager, etc...
I've done this a few times with Void now and I know exactly what I need, so the whole process takes me 2 -3 hours, but the first time it took me one week, working on it in my spare time.

Downside? Quite a lot of work the first time you do it. NOTE: Take notes and keep them for future reference!
Upside? You learn a lot, get your system exactly how you want it and with the pieces of software you want.

I wish you good luck!

Teaser, my Void laptop running awesome window manager, without titlebars!





Quote
What knowledge/experience is helpful to start down that path?  Any info or suggestions would be appreciated.

Give it a go at building your own system first. A distro for a larger audience will require you to keep-up with updates, security issues, software packaging, etc...
« Last Edit: May 21, 2018, 12:01:10 pm by pin »

Offline Leviticus

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Re: Learning to make your own distro
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2018, 11:10:03 am »
Thanks for the info.  My interest would be Debian/Ubuntu side of Linux.  Also want to learn programming and how to create in Linux like Peppermint made ICE and their control center.  The LFS may help me with learning the "bones" of Linux.  BTW I will check out Void as well

Offline pin

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Re: Learning to make your own distro
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2018, 11:22:19 am »
You're welcome!
Hope it helped you a bit.
If you have any questions about Void or want to try it just join the forum and ask. I'll  be there! I think it would be out of place here

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Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: Learning to make your own distro
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2018, 04:01:37 pm »
This might help
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/InstallCDCustomization
but be ready to make the vast majority of changes via the command line.

Also if you're going to distribute the distro beyond family and friends, make SURE you remove all branding from the donor distro first .. it would be unfair, not too mention a breach of trademark law to distribute another distros trademarked artwork/branding without explicit written consent.

So feel free to use Ubuntu/Mint/Peppermint/<insert other distro> as a base, it's pretty much all open source and permissively licenced .. but be aware that does not extend to branding (and in our case the copyrighted Ray Bilcliff wallpapers, which you'd need to get his permission to distribute).

In fact the biggest job in creating a distro is staying on the right side of copyright/trademark/licensing .. there's a LOT of different licences involved for different components.
WARNING: You are logged into reality as 'root' .. logging in as 'insane' is the only safe option.

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Offline JoeSh

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Re: Learning to make your own distro
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2018, 04:08:54 pm »
Build something for you. Use it for a good while. If you feel confident using it day to day then look at making it a unique Linux Distribution.

Offline AndyInMokum

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Re: Learning to make your own distro
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2018, 04:40:09 pm »
You could try doing a Gentoo build: www.gentoo.org.  The instructions are really clear.  Just take it slowly.  I've found the folks over at the Gentoo Forum are really nice too  ;).
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Offline JoeSh

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Re: Learning to make your own distro
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2018, 04:49:16 pm »
I used AnArchy minimal install to give me the stepping stones to build something of my own.

Offline Leviticus

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Re: Learning to make your own distro
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2018, 07:56:49 pm »
Here is what I have so far.  It is based on Lubuntu

https://imgur.com/a/9pi9aPN










 :)  I wanted to base it on Debian, but Ubuntu is just more familiar to me.  I also discovered a program for Linux called Firework.  It is the closest thing I could find that mimics the old Chrome App Launcher.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2018, 08:37:11 pm by Leviticus »

Offline pin

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Re: Learning to make your own distro
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2018, 01:57:51 am »
Nice looking.

Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: Learning to make your own distro
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2018, 07:08:24 am »
:)  I wanted to base it on Debian, but Ubuntu is just more familiar to me.  I also discovered a program for Linux called Firework.  It is the closest thing I could find that mimics the old Chrome App Launcher.

Personally I think Ubuntu is a much better idea, I love Debian but it's a much harder base to make smooth for the desktop .. it can be done, take MX for example, but it's more work and generally requires you host a lot of custom packages yourself.

Might take a look at Firework myself.
WARNING: You are logged into reality as 'root' .. logging in as 'insane' is the only safe option.

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Offline manyroads

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Re: Learning to make your own distro
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2018, 02:00:11 pm »
I'm sure you folks have seen this... but for those who have not:

https://www.maketecheasier.com/6-tools-to-easily-create-your-own-custom-linux-distro/ :-\

Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: Learning to make your own distro
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2018, 02:20:01 pm »
Quote
8 Tools to Easily Create Your Own Custom Linux Distro

...[snip]...

4. Linux from Scratch

Bwahahahaha!!!

Some cool tools there, and obviously a sense of facetious irony to boot :)



Not laughing at you manyroads, as I said a useful post/link, so TVM .. but #4 killed me :))
WARNING: You are logged into reality as 'root' .. logging in as 'insane' is the only safe option.

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Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: Learning to make your own distro
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2018, 02:31:27 pm »
I also discovered a program for Linux called Firework.  It is the closest thing I could find that mimics the old Chrome App Launcher.

Have you got a link ?
(my googlefoo appears to have gone on holiday unannounced).
« Last Edit: September 03, 2018, 02:33:25 pm by PCNetSpec »
WARNING: You are logged into reality as 'root' .. logging in as 'insane' is the only safe option.

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Offline pin

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Re: Learning to make your own distro
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2018, 02:34:29 pm »
Well, he/she did mention that LFS "is not exactly a tool" and that you need to "have lots of free time"  :D