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AZorin 08-03-2009 04:47 AM

How can I spread the word of my Linux distro?
 
Hello, I have made an Ubuntu-based Linux distro called Zorin OS (http://zorin-os.webs.com) and want to spread the word. This OS makes it easy for Windows users to migrate to Linux because it replicates the Windows gui. I have tried distrowatch but they said that it will take a very long time. How can I spread the word about my distro for free as I am a school student and I am short on funds.

unSpawn 08-03-2009 05:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AZorin (Post 3629285)
Hello, I have made an Ubuntu-based Linux distro called Zorin OS

Congratulations. What did you change from the standard distribution to make it "easy for Windows users to migrate to Linux" BTW?


Quote:

Originally Posted by AZorin (Post 3629285)
I am short on funds.

As your websites are free (as far as I can see), FTP being provided to you for free by Ibiblio.org and your web storage is free (who posts a legitimate distro on zshare anyway?) I don't get this part. Unless you're thinking of making money off of selling your "distribution" or "services". If that's the case you probably shouldn't bother unless you've found some wildly creative and lucrative business model the big players didn't think of.

* As far as I can see you're in violation of the GPL for not providing sources. I also wonder how much trust one should have in your work when you write "I think my email account has been hacked." and I doubt anyone would like to be confronted with this kind of distribution oddness: "We also password protected these packs with the password given in the README.png document given in the Zorin OS zip so that only Zorin OS users can use these packs.". From looking at the empty "Zorin Mobile" and "Zorin Soft" sites and reading phrases like "flagship operating system" I wonder what you're trying to do...

teebones 08-06-2009 06:34 AM

Indeed the site doesn't make me feel in trusted hands.
Also some information is missleading to say it nicely.
E.g. the credits page.. There are names in there, that surely are NOT aware of this distribution as in Developer for it, or publisher.
An example: Ladislav Bodnar. He has nothing to do with the distribution at all. (and i know Ladislav, as i'm part of his team (volunteer))

Furthermore, What the previous poster mentioned, the iso hosting for http is done on a free hosting platform (a rapidshare kind), and doesn't give you much stability and trust by potential users. No distribution i know of, uses such a weak platform to host their images on.

And personal note, What's so special about this distribution, compared to Ubuntu? I only notice a change in theme, nothing more, no special tools crafted, or mods on existing tools (enhanchments e.g).. Just the same stuff, in a new theme. Thus only graphically a change, nothing more. I think that is not enough for people to switch or try it out.

You also say the distribution is made by a firm called, Zorin-soft, which pretends there is a real business behind it, while this isn't true at all. You're a student, and did this a hobby project.

All the websites are hosted on a free hosting platform, like geocities kind of thing, this is bAD! It's not professional, not stable, and drives folks away. Better do proper internet handling.. by utilizing a REAL Domainname, whith quality hosting. Also you can use that for hosting the iso's and updates (as primary distribution point, where mirrors query for syncs).

All in all... lots of remarks and questionable things...

monsm 08-06-2009 07:14 AM

Well, I guess you have some work to do on the distro and the site according to the above.
I recon its a good start though. You can solve all this one step at a time. If its true about the source, mentioned by unSpawn above, I guess fixing that would be a good start.
I guess I would have gotten a proper domain before I start spreading the word too much (zorin-os.org or zorin-os.com).

Ones those two things are done, get listed on distro-watch and here on LQ. Work on your website and how it gets listed by the search engines, add a wikipedia entry, collect users email addresses and send regular "Zorin-os news" email. Go from there. Good luck.

Mons

sycamorex 08-06-2009 08:04 AM

According to:
http://www.debianhelp.co.uk/debian.htm

you would be the 153rd distro based on Debian. Congratulations

Don't get me wrong. Well done and all that. I wouldn't know how to do it myself, but
do you really think the world needs another distro that claims to be even more 'for humanity' than Ubuntu?
IMO, you might be slightly too optimistic hoping to make money out of it (still you've got the perfect right to try:)
The only reason I'd ever do it is for personal use, just to prove that I CAN do it. Then again, you've got the perfect right
to do with it whatever you want (as long as you address the issues identified by other LQ members)

Good Luck

AZorin 08-07-2009 05:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by unSpawn (Post 3629330)
* As far as I can see you're in violation of the GPL for not providing sources.

What do you mean by "providing sources", if you're thinking of source code you can view it in the os while running it.

unSpawn 08-07-2009 06:15 AM

A distribution may allow anyone to change anything to their liking. To make certain everybody has that freedom and uderstands the implications it was written down in the license. If you have based your modifications on a distributions' source code that is governed by a certain license you may be required to publish the source code of your changes. Depending on the license you may have violated it if you do not publish those modifications. If OTOH your modifications are not based on the provided source code then you have to mark them as having a different license from the one that is used for that distribution. I am not a lawyer but letting any license violations remain (and your use of "password protected packs") is the quickest way to drive any interested people away from testing your distribution.

Also please note this thread has multiple questions for you. Answering them all might not be fun to do but will bring clarity.

teebones 08-07-2009 06:28 AM

another thing to add:

do you realise what it takes to maintain a distribution? you need a truckload of active hours to grab news about security issues and the patches/upgrades provided to fix it, or fix it yourself (if skilled). then the compilation of the packages for your distribution, that you can spread to you users, etc etc etc AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, the TESTING before spreading it to the userbase!!!

Once the project is off the ground (and gets a (tiny) userbase, it needs to be maintained with release cycles and such (and not for only when you still having fun doing it, but also when not (don't let the userbase down!).
So, soon you need a team (volunteer or not) to assist you in the tasks e.g. community managers, devs, artists etc.. etc.. etc...

Also a quality forum (with many topics) is required nowadays, and mailinglists etc...
You current forum is quite minimalistic and unpleasant to navigate in.

The support, how are you plannig to provide that? Community and payed? payed alone? only community?

The distribution site, should be providing clear understanding about the goals of the distribution, why it's standing out, and descriptions about each special tool provided, that others don't. (incl. current screenshots).
Currently, the site is cripled big time, sorry, but that's what it is. It gives me a hurried impression. No quality checking done, not stuff like mentioned above. It's a basic theme that the current hosting provide, webs, offered you, so no self made design/cms etc. (tailered to the goals of the distribution, and lacking professional appearances)

also i noticed dead links on the sites.. or non existant pages! That's a big no no, especially for startups.

AZorin 08-10-2009 10:31 AM

Source
 
OK, I've added the source to the Download page. It's at the bottom. I have also made the ibiblio download link the only one.
Quote:

And personal note, What's so special about this distribution, compared to Ubuntu? I only notice a change in theme, nothing more, no special tools crafted, or mods on existing tools (enhanchments e.g).. Just the same stuff, in a new theme. Thus only graphically a change, nothing more. I think that is not enough for people to switch or try it out.
Well, the reason for Zorin OS is a gui change and yes there are more changes and enhancements like having WINE preinstalled and having a gui client for the firewall.
Quote:

An example: Ladislav Bodnar. He has nothing to do with the distribution at all. (and i know Ladislav, as i'm part of his team (volunteer))
Yes, Ladislav didn't help develop Zorin OS but he gave a lot of publicity.
Quote:

Also a quality forum (with many topics) is required nowadays, and mailinglists etc...
You current forum is quite minimalistic and unpleasant to navigate in.
I'll start working on the Forums and mailing list now.
Quote:

also i noticed dead links on the sites.. or non existant pages! That's a big no no, especially for startups.
I didn't see any broken links, where are they?

Best regards
AZorin

unSpawn 08-10-2009 11:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AZorin (Post 3637898)
OK, I've added the source to the Download page. It's at the bottom.

No, that's a package list, not a list of your modifications of existing packages or packages or modifications you added yourself.


Quote:

Originally Posted by AZorin (Post 3637898)
I didn't see any broken links, where are they?

There are HTML link checkers to help you: see Freshmeat or Sourceforge.

AZorin 08-11-2009 05:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by unSpawn (Post 3637987)
No, that's a package list, not a list of your modifications of existing packages or packages or modifications you added yourself.

Thanks for the info, I'm making the source now.

AZorin 08-11-2009 09:12 AM

Source
 
I have posted the source package (a .zip file) to the site and got rid of the package list. Note that the source package includes links to some content.

unSpawn 08-11-2009 09:21 AM

Where if I may ask? The D/L page still leads me to http://zorin-os.webs.com/zorin-1.0-source.txt ...

teebones 08-11-2009 09:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AZorin (Post 3637898)
Yes, Ladislav didn't help develop Zorin OS but he gave a lot of publicity.

Like how? what publicity? i guess, correct me if wrong: you're just mentioning his name, as that name is well known, so potential customers might be lured into the idea this is a big project.
And if i'm wrong i would see some "proof" of this "lot of publicity" to back it up.

Quote:

Originally Posted by AZorin (Post 3637898)
I didn't see any broken links, where are they?

Well, your other sites, ("corporate" site and that mobile site).
EDIT: hmm seems you've quickly changed it. Ok, you can erase this point.

-------------

Besides, you're site claimes another huge error... (and illegal too)
You are claiming, Zorin OS and the logo are REGISTERED TRADEMARKS of zorin soft. This is in no way TRUE as of writing (i've looked it up in the official records (worldwide)), and thus illegal.
Claiming a Trademark or registered product name/brand, while not holding it, is an illegal activity, because it is forgery of documents. You can only claim copyrights for the content you've created (in person. not as firm, in this particular case), and refer to copyrights other did.
Furthermore, as mentioned before, you don't have a real company called zorin soft (one big clue this is the reality, is that there is NO indication of any formal office address seen anywhere on the sites, Only one phonenumber, but that doesn't say anything really. How can one write a postal mail to you? how can one vitit you? They can't cos it aint a real business). So stop the lies, and be frank to users. I know it's appealing to pretend big, etc.. but in reality, people will find out, and put it back in your face even more. It would be better, to call it, a product from the zorin soft project. (and on the zorin soft page explain this is a project that started out to accomplish some goals namely: <define the goals> and that it's an opensource initiative by linux community based around that ideas/goals. (that way you don't lie, and people will respect it more. and you might get more dev's attracked if the products are innovate/idealistic enough)

I don't want to kick you in the ground, or anything.. I'm just very detailed and critic about new projects. I've seen many come with lots of fanfare, but dying quickly thereafter.

Just my extra two cents.


EDIT: about the source download:
I don't see anything about Licenses, and credits accompaning the files.
Furthermore, no references to the other packages used (incl. licenses, where to get them, and credits).
for GPL licensed content (code or whatnot) this is a least required to provide:
(a link to the download location the the specified package (unmodified sourcecode/original content), a link to mod done to the specified package, OR a combinational download of the specified package + credits should be in place in the code (those for the original sourcecode/content and yours (clearly marked inside the orignal code/content) so people can easily spot the differences, links should be provided on the site or download location and inside the content/compiled code: e.g. about program.)

simple example:

image i created a lib, you use in your tool.
Inside the tool, there is a credits, or about window clickable.
You should see at least something like this:

Quote:

<name of your tool>

Credits:

Programming gui:
Zorink (your email, and or webaddress)

Programming blabalabl:
Zorink

etc etc etc

But also:

Portions of this program uses <mylibname> (c) 2009 teebones
http://www.<lib address>.org

And a link to the site where people can get the source you've used along my lib.
So they can recompile, or change the package.
You as linux dev, know this already..

Opensource in general: What license does each package and/or file has?
License specific (other then GPL): whatever that particular license requires.

AZorin 08-12-2009 06:55 AM

Trademark and other stuff
 
BTW I didn't say it was a REGISTERED trademark, I just said it is a trademark, which does not necessarily mean it is registered accorging to the Wikipedia article about trademarking (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trademark). Also in the copyright text files we mentioned The names of the people (AZorin and/or Zorink) and not Zorin Soft. Also I uploaded the source package with the licenses. Also, about the publicity by Ladislav, he posted me onto the DW weekly newsletter 1st December 2008 (http://distrowatch.com/weekly.php?issue=20081201). I could not post the site analytics as my analytics provider (Clicky) won't let me go that far back, but on the day of the newsletter I got nearly 900 visitors and for around a week after the newsletter, the site visitors were in the hundreds.


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