Peppermint OS Community Forum

General => General Discussion => Topic started by: Leviticus on May 20, 2018, 09:16:21 pm

Title: Learning to make your own distro
Post by: Leviticus 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.
Title: Re: Learning to make your own distro
Post by: pin 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!

(https://i.imgur.com/sOjEtl9.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/LECp6IQ.png)

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...
Title: Re: Learning to make your own distro
Post by: Leviticus 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
Title: Re: Learning to make your own distro
Post by: pin 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

Skickat från min SM-G900F via Tapatalk

Title: Re: Learning to make your own distro
Post by: PCNetSpec 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.
Title: Re: Learning to make your own distro
Post by: JoeSh 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.
Title: Re: Learning to make your own distro
Post by: AndyInMokum on May 21, 2018, 04:40:09 pm
You could try doing a Gentoo build: www.gentoo.org (https://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  ;).
Title: Re: Learning to make your own distro
Post by: JoeSh 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.
Title: Re: Learning to make your own distro
Post by: Leviticus 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

(https://i.imgur.com/3hEzCev.jpg)



(http://i66.tinypic.com/30rxhyc.png)


(http://i67.tinypic.com/eg34vd.png)

 :)  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.
Title: Re: Learning to make your own distro
Post by: pin on September 03, 2018, 01:57:51 am
Nice looking.
Title: Re: Learning to make your own distro
Post by: PCNetSpec 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.
Title: Re: Learning to make your own distro
Post by: manyroads 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/ :-\
Title: Re: Learning to make your own distro
Post by: PCNetSpec 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 :))
Title: Re: Learning to make your own distro
Post by: PCNetSpec 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).
Title: Re: Learning to make your own distro
Post by: pin 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
Title: Re: Learning to make your own distro
Post by: PCNetSpec on September 03, 2018, 02:40:04 pm
Well, he/she did mention that LFS "is not exactly a tool" and that you need to "have lots of free time"  :D

I don't care what was said later as a qualifier, after using the word "easily" in the articles title LFS shouldn't have been included .. take "easily" out of the title so it just reads "8 Tools to Create Your Own Custom Linux Distro" and fair enough ;)

You could argue that the title doesn't suggest the article is aimed at "noobs", but I'd argue LFS is NOT easy, even for seasoned users and developers. The ONLY people it will be easy for is those that have been through it multiple times (basically the author), and they wouldn't need to be told about it.
Title: Re: Learning to make your own distro
Post by: pin on September 03, 2018, 03:00:08 pm
Fair enough  ::)
Title: Re: Learning to make your own distro
Post by: PCNetSpec on September 03, 2018, 03:04:27 pm
Sure I'm 'nit picking' but still, it gave me an unexpected chuckle when I got to #4 .. there's nowt wrong with irony (as long as it's intentional).

[EDIT]

And the picture - A box with "For Mom" written on it .. I can't imagine a scenario where I'd give my mom LFS :))
Title: Re: Learning to make your own distro
Post by: pin on September 03, 2018, 04:00:29 pm
 :D  :D
Should try LFS sometime... just can't convince myself WHY I should do it  :-\
Title: Re: Learning to make your own distro
Post by: Leviticus on September 03, 2018, 04:01:53 pm
https://firework.cloud/en/linux/

Note the search button at the top is to search for apps you have pinned instead of Google Search.  A pretty neat little tool. :)
Title: Re: Learning to make your own distro
Post by: PCNetSpec on September 03, 2018, 04:05:21 pm
https://firework.cloud/en/linux/

Note the search button at the top is to search for apps you have pinned instead of Google Search.  A pretty neat little tool. :)

Many thanks Leviticus :)

[EDIT]

Pity it's not open source (or at least I can't find the source code)  .. I've a 'thang' about running pre-compiled binary executables from 'unknown' sources on my machines.  :(
Title: Re: Learning to make your own distro
Post by: Leviticus on September 03, 2018, 04:16:28 pm
That is my beef with it too.  But it is the best tool I found so far.  I am going to keep looking for an alternative.
Title: Re: Learning to make your own distro
Post by: VinDSL on September 03, 2018, 05:20:24 pm
[...] facetious [...]

Bwahahahaha

The only word in the English language that contains all the vowels, in the correct order.

Just being facetious. Carry on ...  ;D

Title: Re: Learning to make your own distro
Post by: scifidude79 on September 03, 2018, 05:57:27 pm
That's looking really nice so far. I gave you a karma point, for doing things I can't do. :) (fortunately, I have Peppermint ;D )
Title: Re: Learning to make your own distro
Post by: PCNetSpec on September 03, 2018, 07:43:50 pm
The only word in the English language that contains all the vowels, in the correct order.

I did not know that .. you live and learn eh! :)

[EDIT]

Hmm, apparently facetious is not the only one.
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/explore/words-with-all-five-vowels-in-order/

Discounting chemical, zoological, and botanical terms, there's still abstemious and abstentious .. both of which, pretty much mean the same thing.

Pity .. I kinda liked feeling I was a fully initiated guardian of some arcane bit of trivia there for a second. :(

'Abstemious' is a new one on me though, so I guess I gained something after all :)

[EDIT 2]

Sorry Leviticus, swerving wildly off topic there :-[
Title: Re: Learning to make your own distro
Post by: Leviticus on September 03, 2018, 10:29:41 pm
Hahaha, It don't bother me.   :P
Title: Re: Learning to make your own distro
Post by: PCNetSpec on September 04, 2018, 07:55:53 am
Right, in that case let's discuss why MSG gets such a bad rap whilst umami has positive connotations ? .. I mean if glutamate is the thing that actually triggers the umami taste receptors why the double standard ?

And what about Mary-Lou ?

Kidding :)
Title: Re: Learning to make your own distro
Post by: Leviticus on September 04, 2018, 04:28:10 pm
That's looking really nice so far. I gave you a karma point, for doing things I can't do. :) (fortunately, I have Peppermint ;D )

It is not that hard, although getting the Chrome OS look at the bottom with Plank was a pain.  And I must say doing some "experiments" made me unleash that usb reinstall several times   :D

Now that I have the look I want, now I need to work on the bootup time.  It is too slow.
Title: Re: Learning to make your own distro
Post by: scifidude79 on September 04, 2018, 05:54:10 pm
It is not that hard

It is when you don't know how to program and are disinclined to learn. ;)
Title: Re: Learning to make your own distro
Post by: manyroads on September 08, 2018, 01:26:24 pm
For those looking for an interesting approach to building their own derivative of Linux, this may be of interest:

https://www.kali.org/tutorials/my-custom-kali-linux-distribution/
--and--
https://gitlab.com/jacekkowalczyk82/my-debian/tree/kowalczyk-dev-kali-i3-openbox
Title: Re: Learning to make your own distro
Post by: manyroads on September 16, 2018, 09:08:05 am
I will create a new thread for this if that is best (or the moderator may move this).

I am trying to build a Genealogists Workbench using Peppermint 9 32-bit.  I have tried creating a new distro using PinguyBuilder, Customizer, and distroshare-ubuntu-image-master... none seem to work.  I must be missing something special. What I want is to end up with a clean install of the distro with a bunch of new apps and desktop setup installed... but no Users or Passwords.

Can someone help? Any ideas?  Thanks.
Title: Re: Learning to make your own distro
Post by: murraymint on September 16, 2018, 10:06:53 am
You need a user but you don't have to require a password at login. It's an option you get during installation.

Do you need this to be installable on multiple machines or are you just setting up one?
Title: Re: Learning to make your own distro
Post by: manyroads on September 16, 2018, 12:33:13 pm
I want to make the setup available to anyone, anywhere. 
Title: Re: Learning to make your own distro
Post by: Leviticus on January 24, 2019, 07:24:39 pm
After going back and forth between efficiency  and functionality, I decided upon a XFCE/Openbox Hybrid.  It uses a little less than 150 mb ram at first boot.  I was able to use some aspects of the former Chromixium/ Cub Linux distro.  The only beef I ever had with Cub is it did not have a panel, even though I realize one of its main goals was to look like Chrome OS.  This is the finalized 32 bit.  The 64 bit will be completed next. :)


(https://i.imgur.com/a91NvKu.jpg)

 
I also have a control panel like Cub, and modified it for use in the right click Openbox menu.

(https://i.imgur.com/37xcaCD.png)

Standard Whisker Menu on the panel

(https://i.imgur.com/ICqMbvH.jpg)

....and one on Plank (not necessary, but some may want it)

(https://i.imgur.com/oxitrWI.png)


Once I get done with the Ubuntu versions, I want to try Debian again and then look giving this look to something like Void, an rpm based distro or maybe a *BSD or Arch. 8)
Title: Re: Learning to make your own distro
Post by: pin on January 25, 2019, 10:31:54 am
Nice work!

EDIT: By the way... If you want to join and build something based on NetBSD just send me a PM. I'm currently involved in creating a NetBSD based "distro", still very early project. Don't know if it will ever happen, but...
Title: Re: Learning to make your own distro
Post by: Leviticus on January 25, 2019, 09:02:33 pm
Sure, Pin.  Just be warned, my *BSD knowledge is low.  I have a laptop that i should bring out and just put NetBSD on and get experience.

BTW, I tried Void.  Very efficient distro.  I even saved some links for it to try out some GUI programs that are like Synaptic.
Title: Re: Learning to make your own distro
Post by: pin on January 26, 2019, 06:56:09 am
Here, https://www.unitedbsd.com/d/6-netbsd-a-little-guide-for-newcomers
if you would need help.
The guide is for legacy boot. Just let me know if you need instructions for an EFI system, it's slightly more complex  ;)