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as my other fairly recent thread here at LQ announced, im repairing my pc and looking for a distro to start off with. if you have some good ideas cruise on over and drop them on my thread on this board.
however, while i take suggestions over there, OTT we will discuss the so called build your own distros.
what intrigues me about this possibility is the ability to pick and choose the major apps available by default and not have to deal with what i didnt choose. i dont ever use kopete, konqueror as a browser, vpns and etc etc. firefox for my browser with perhaps chrome, thunderbird for my rss feeds, vlc for media etc etc.
but since ive never used one, i dont know how customizable they are nor how difficult to install to a functional desktop OS.
so has anyone else used one of these? suggestions?
You can customize Gentoo and Arch (more so Gentoo) to your exact specifications. I'd pick Gentoo and build your system from there, otherwise your going to be getting problem after problem after problem with dependency handling. Arch will be a little more friendly than Gentoo if your just getting started.
I think most distros, especially the more "basic" ones like Slackware, Arch, Gentoo, Debian, and of course Linux from Scratch, offer this in one way or another. For example the Slackware installer has an "expert" or "menu" option (they're the same thing) that lets you go through every single package before you decide to install it or not. I wasn't quite that pedantic myself, but still I only installed a/, ap/, d/, k/, n/, and x/ "series"(a little less than half a full install). For almost a week (I'm essentially a newbie at linux; I'm quite slow sometimes) I had nothing but the console (well, also a really ugly tab window manager for X but I never used it). It's hard at times, really hard other times, but I'm learning a hell of a lot really fast and am quite proud what I have so far, having put so much of it together on my own. It was one of the few occasions where I decided to just jump right in and trust myself! And there's always the Internet and this forum if/when you get stuck. Do it!
Last edited by derstephen; 09-13-2011 at 03:13 AM.
This is what I recently did with two old computers someone gave me. I installed the netinst of Debian Stable and put LXDE, Abiword, and other apps they may want on both, because I'll be giving them away to poor families who can't afford a new computer. I have everything setup for non techies to run the system without much help from me, since I guess I will be their first call for tech help!
I would like to point out that all of this discussion is not about building a Linux distribution, merely a Linux installation, which is quite a different matter. Installing Linux with random components chosen and and installed from already existing packaging, distribution and installation systems is relatively pedestrian. Creating those systems (what a distro really is) so that others may use it is a couple of orders of magnitude more difficult.
my purpose for this question was that while i prefer kde (at least kde 3 from 3-4 years ago) i never used Kontact, most of the games arent something i would play and etc. my pc is more or less just to surf the intarwebz and play media, IM, etc. im not a foss fanatic, but it just makes sense that i go where i dont have to scan my box weekly or more with two or three different apps to catch most of the crap infesting it from the time i connect. ill deal with drama from pretty women, not a pc.
Although I would point out that the term "pedestrian" is a little harsh, building a linux distro requires more than putting stuff on a CD. With the pace of open source software development, any linux system which is not updated regularly would be outdated very soon; new software won't build on it; older software will expose bugs. To keep a distro updated is a monumental effort and one which will surely involve re-inventing the wheel. Similar effort contributed to the development of an existing distro might be considered as more fruitful.
Have you ever tried suseStudio, Its an online tool that can help you create your own distro based either on OpenSuse or SLED. Also it's Free and Easy. You can choose the packages you want on it aswell. Search "Suse Studio" on Google.