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Need help making a new distro

I know everyone is thinking: "Ugh!!! Not another distro!!!

But this is a different case. I am making this for my personal use and for a few friends and family members.

I am thinking of basing it off Slackware or Arch, although I am currently using PCLinuxOS and Mint on a couple other pcs.

ALL help and advice is helpful. But first I need to figure out WHERE to start.

If anyone would like to help with this, please post here with any links or info I will be needing. I am totally lost here.

Comments

  • Goineasy9Goineasy9 Posts: 1,116
    To start? You need a base install. One without any window managers. In Debian, I use the businesscard install, I go to advanced or expert installation, then uncheck everything but the base. I've never experimented with Slackware or Arch, but, since they are advanced distros, I would guess they would also have the option of a base install.
    From there just add what you need. Not a new distro, but your distro.
  • DemonTekDemonTek Posts: 7
    Thanx GoinEasy9, maybe I will try Debian. I was looking at Slackware and it just seems like it might be a pain.

    @ manfred: What?
  • atreyuatreyu Posts: 216
    DemonTek wrote:
    I know everyone is thinking: "Ugh!!! Not another distro!!!

    But this is a different case. I am making this for my personal use and for a few friends and family members.

    I am thinking of basing it off Slackware or Arch, although I am currently using PCLinuxOS and Mint on a couple other pcs.

    ALL help and advice is helpful. But first I need to figure out WHERE to start.

    If anyone would like to help with this, please post here with any links or info I will be needing. I am totally lost here.

    If you are going to roll your own distro, one important question might be: How do you intend to manage your software packages? The two most popular binary formats are RPM (Fedora/Mandrake et al) and DEB (Ubuntu/Debian et al). If you prefer one of those to the other, you might want to use one of those to create your base image. Or you can go the other route and complete roll it from scratch using Linux From (you guessed it) Scratch.

    Good luck and post your progress!
  • DemonTekDemonTek Posts: 7
    Well, I'm thinkin of goin the Debian route now, so I guess I will be using DEB. That way I can also add in their repos.

    I have never "rolled my own" distro before. So the easiest way, is the best way for me right now.

    I was also thinkin on just grabbin Debian and theme it up and add every thing we use to it. But then, it wouldn't really be my own creation, would it?

    I mean, so many ppl do exactly that, then bundle it, rename it and tag it as their own creation.
  • Goineasy9Goineasy9 Posts: 1,116
    While I wrote this how-to in Sept/08, I do believe the steps I took using the Debian Businesscard Installer are still viable. I also used an app called smxi (from techpatterns.com) to add my kde window manager after the basic Testing install. You may or may not want to use it, that's up to you, but it is a helpful app. It was also given a DistroWatch award a couple of months ago, so it does have geek cred. When you use the Businesscard install in Debian you can (at one point) choose whether you want to install Lenny(stable), Squeeze(testing) or Sid(unstable). Many choices for your own unique install.

    Have Fun
    Tom

    Edit: LoL, forgot the link
    http://www.linuxquestions.org/blog/goineasy9-98941/2008/9/9/using-debian-businesscard-install-and-smxi-to-make-the-perfect-debian-testingkdesmxi-enhanced-distro-1176/
  • DemonTekDemonTek Posts: 7
    Thanx for the info. I will definitely take a look at that.
  • raluxsraluxs Posts: 20
    I guess Linux from scratch is just what you are looking for, go check it out.
  • atreyuatreyu Posts: 216
    DemonTek wrote:
    I have never "rolled my own" distro before. So the easiest way, is the best way for me right now.
    ...well, if you want easy, then you don't want Linux From Scratch. It's not exactly the path of least resistance...
    I was also thinkin on just grabbin Debian and theme it up and add every thing we use to it. But then, it wouldn't really be my own creation, would it?

    I mean, so many ppl do exactly that, then bundle it, rename it and tag it as their own creation.
    That's kinda what I was thinking. I would feel something was more "mine" if I really did it from the ground up. But hey, you have to start somewhere, right?
  • DemonTekDemonTek Posts: 7
    Ok, I have a couple screens now:

    Screens:
    Desktop w/custom theme
    xnywas.png
    With a few apps loaded
    2dgw51k.png

    Known bugs:
    When custom theme is implemented it crashes several of the multi-media apps. Also, when loading it up, it seems to revert back to before the customizations were implemented. Will try and work the bugs out. But I am just 1 person, may take awhile.


    By the way, I used AV Linux which is a Debian base and used Tony Brijeski's Remastersys Installer, maybe this is what is causing the bugs?

    I also just made a blog:
    http://demonlinux.blogspot.com/
  • I think it's very good to learn how to build a distribution but in most cases I think that's just adding up to a pile, as you stated in your opening question.

    Wouldn't it be easier to take a tiny distribution with your favorite package manager and window manager and then to customize it with themese and apps that you like using scripts for autmoation?

    In this manner you take away the assle of maintaining your distro for your familly and firends over time, you increase the use of standard distro which helps with bug reports and you contribute scripts and themes to the community.

    I think the problem of our world (true in the west only) is that we have too much... too much information is available, too many distros, too many languages... and creating more just doesn't help.

    My 2 cents ;).
  • DemonTekDemonTek Posts: 7
    I agree somewhat with you. With this, it will always be updated from the Debian repros and any packages made will be .deb. So I am contributing to the whole.

    What I don't agree with is the too many distros idea. Isn't linux all about freedom and different flavors? If it's not, then we all should just go back to being m$ automatons.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Now for my $1.00, I have posted about a couple problems I am having with this. If anyone has any advice that will help me with these, could you PLEASE post them?

    Thanx
  • sflorysflory Posts: 2
    Honestly having maintained a distro at several different companies for a living. My advice is DON"T. As single person or small group you CAN NOT produce a distro that is better the large distros. (Unless you are creating a really really small distro.) It's a waste of your time, and reinvents the wheel.

    What I do advise is:
    -Figure out what it is that you really to do that is better than the existing distros
    -Find a distro you like
    -Make modified packages for that distro that does what you want.
    -Reskin the installer, the desktop, what ever
    -If you make modifications of value contribute back if possible. (Not because it's nice, but it's a pain in the ass to keep modifing things every release...)
  • DemonTekDemonTek Posts: 7
    First I would like to thank everyone for all the encouragement received in this post. You folks are great in my opinion.

    I would also like to thank the others for wasting my time and telling me NOT to make this OS.

    If anyone would like more info on this, you can come by the blog located http://demonlinux.blogspot.com/

    I have even posted a download link for anyone willing to help me on this.

    Thanx again!!!
  • ScHmItChScHmItCh Posts: 10
    Fedora has some good "remixing" tools. I know a few people have made custom installs of Fedora.

    I would definitely recommend basing it on a distro that supports deb or rpm. That is the easiest way to manage packages.
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