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Old 02-10-2013, 10:33 AM   #1
linuxPCplus
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Ubuntu Based Rolling Release Planned!


I am considering the possibility of creating a FULLY Rolling Release distro based on Ubuntu. This project will be sponsored & funded by my company Linux PC Plus. But in order to make this vision a reality, we need volunteers! We need developers, programmers, graphics designers, etc. We especially need folks with experience creating/contributing to Linux distributions. If you have helped develop any Linux distro (especially rolling releases or Ubuntu based distros), maintaining repositories, etc, PLEASE CONTACT ME!!! I understand this is a HUGE task & it will be a difficult challenge to undergo. But with the right people, I believe it CAN BE DONE! If you are interested in contributing & being a part of this exciting project, please email wolf@linuxpcplus right away. Include a brief summary of your experience & why you want to be involved.
MORE INFO WILL BE AVAILABLE ON http://linuxpcplus.com IN THE NEAR FUTURE.

Last edited by linuxPCplus; 02-10-2013 at 10:38 AM.
 
Old 02-11-2013, 07:45 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linuxPCplus View Post
I am considering the possibility of creating a FULLY Rolling Release distro based on Ubuntu.
Just as Ubuntu devs are pondering the very same idea? That's quite a coincidence.


Quote:
Originally Posted by linuxPCplus View Post
we need volunteers! We need developers, programmers, graphics designers, etc. We especially need folks with experience creating/contributing to Linux distributions. If you have helped develop any Linux distro (especially rolling releases or Ubuntu based distros), maintaining repositories, etc,
Just being curious, given your long list, what would be your role? (Please don't say "management" ;-p) What are your skills? Do you have something tangible to show people who would be interested investing time and effort?
 
Old 02-11-2013, 12:54 PM   #3
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Perhaps I being slow here, but does it really make sense to base a rolling-release on something that isn't? If you want a rolling-release distro that's like Ubuntu, shouldn't you do what Ubuntu do and base it on Debian Testing? But isn't that already done by LMDE?
 
Old 02-12-2013, 12:56 PM   #4
linuxPCplus
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Let me rply to unSpawn first;
No, not really coincidence at all. It is something I have pondered for a long time. Although, I will admit the recent stories about Ubuntu did put some fuel on my fire. Of course, as you know, Canonical has made it clear they have no such intentions for Ubuntu.
My role? Well, first I wll be honest, I am NOT a Linux Developer/programmer, just an enthusiast with more than 10 years Linux experience (though I am currently preparing for my LPIC exams) and 30 years computer experience. I am web designer & a small business owner with primarily Linux based business.

As such, I would provide the web design for the project, the main servers for the distro itself & it's repos, & a good percentage of financial needs for the project. I would also provide all marketing & promotional needs for the project. I would work directly with the core team of developers on the project to help decide the direction of the project. I will possibly contribute artwork as well.

My leadership role would likely be minimal as I would most likely assign leadership roles to qualified participants. I know my skill set & would not pre-doom this project by taking on responsibilities I am not qualified for.

I will not BS anybody with bloated stories about my skills & experiences. I will never make claims to skills I do not possess. This is exactly why I am trying to gain interest & find a team of folks who DO have the skills that will be needed & whom would like to see such a distro released.

Please note, as I said in my original post, more info will be available in the very near future on the http://linuxpcplus.com website, so please watch there for further details.

Now, to reply to you David.

LMDE is a partially rolling release (and there is some debate about that), not a FULL RR. I am active on dozens of Linux forums, blogs, etc & I have seen so many folks showing a desire for a RR based on Ubuntu. Currenlty, the closest thing to an Ubuntu based RR is NOT LMDE, it is Bodhi. But even it is only a partly rolling release.

This distro, if ever realised, would offer the standard Ubuntu repos as well as it's own distros. This is similar to what other distros such as Bodhi & Manjaro do. Both have their own distros, but allow access to their parent distros repos as well (Manjaro, based on Arch cannot access the Arch repos, but can access the Arch User Repository-AUR).

The distro's own repos would offer the latest stable or semi-stable packages that are not yet available in the Ubuntu repos. For example at the time of this writing neither LibreOffice 4 nor KDE 4.10 are available in the Ubuntu repos. Both are stable & official releases, but you will have to wait until at least 13.04, likely 13.10 for them to be in the Ubuntu repos. Sure, a user can manually add the ppa's & then install them, but an rr like this would make it so much easier, automatic in fact.

There are also many Ubuntu users who hate the fact that every 6 months they have to do a new installation in order to have the latest version of Ubuntu. I hear this complaint ALL THE TIME! This new RR I am planning would allow people to keep everything they love about Ubuntu, but would also mean they never have to reinstall it. Install it once, configure your update options, & you will always have the latest version.

I do not want to give too much away right here, but I am also happy to answer any questions or comments! The whole point of this post (which is repeated on several Linux forums) is to measure interest. So, far, interest seems pretty strong between all of the platforms this post exists on.

As I said, please watch the website for further details. I plan to post more there in the next week or so.

Last edited by linuxPCplus; 02-12-2013 at 01:04 PM. Reason: additional comments
 
Old 02-12-2013, 02:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
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The whole point of this post (which is repeated on several Linux forums) is to measure interest. So, far, interest seems pretty strong between all of the platforms this post exists on.
Good to hear that. Good luck with the project.
 
Old 02-12-2013, 03:16 PM   #6
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If you are basing it on Ubuntu the only way you can really do it is to keep the repository pointing to testing but Ubuntu doesn't hava testing so you will probably need to create your own repositories and pull Ubuntu's development release into that on a daily basis. Even then it will only be semi rolling much like LMDE is. Good luck with it though I'll be keeping an eye on the progress.
 
Old 02-13-2013, 12:06 AM   #7
linuxPCplus
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As I stated, the distro will have it's own repositories in ADDITION TO the standard Ubuntu repos.
Thank you for watching!
 
Old 02-13-2013, 06:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linuxPCplus View Post
As I stated, the distro will have it's own repositories in ADDITION TO the standard Ubuntu repos.
Thank you for watching!
You will definitely run into problems with that approach on any distribution with automatic dependency resolving. This is basically the same as mixing Debian Stable with Debian Sid, which will for sure break the system.
The whole point of a (true) rolling release distro is to always have the latest packages in the repositories. This does not work well with the approach to also have older packages in the system.

I also think that you will have to seriously limit yourself, at least at the beginnings of the project to the point you have a reasonable number of package maintainers. Almost any package in Ubuntu is already not the latest version at release time (with very few exceptions), so you will need package maintainers for at least any package that comes by default with your distribution, but that will only be of use if the user does not want to install additional software, in which case you need additional package maintainers for the additional packages, since those packages in the Ubuntu repositories will also not be the latest.

Don't get me wrong, I do not want to discourage you, but I think that you have not thought through all aspects of rolling release systems. There is a reason why all true rolling release distros are independent and not based on distros following a release cycle.
 
Old 02-13-2013, 12:20 PM   #9
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Mixing repositories can be a mess. As a CentOS users (very small repo) I've got software from a number of repos but I'm using the priority-setting plugin in yum. I think you can get a similar protection with apt and it would need to be set by default.

I get your point about the demand for a rolling-release distro in the Debian family but with the user-friendliness of Ubuntu, but I still think you'd do better basing the repository on Debian Testing.
 
Old 02-13-2013, 07:57 PM   #10
linuxPCplus
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You will definitely run into problems with that approach on any distribution with automatic dependency resolving. This is basically the same as mixing Debian Stable with Debian Sid, which will for sure break the system.
The whole point of a (true) rolling release distro is to always have the latest packages in the repositories. This does not work well with the approach to also have older packages in the system.

I also think that you will have to seriously limit yourself, at least at the beginnings of the project to the point you have a reasonable number of package maintainers. Almost any package in Ubuntu is already not the latest version at release time (with very few exceptions), so you will need package maintainers for at least any package that comes by default with your distribution, but that will only be of use if the user does not want to install additional software, in which case you need additional package maintainers for the additional packages, since those packages in the Ubuntu repositories will also not be the latest.

Don't get me wrong, I do not want to discourage you, but I think that you have not thought through all aspects of rolling release systems. There is a reason why all true rolling release distros are independent and not based on distros following a release cycle.
You may very well be correct. This is why this thread exists, to get the discussion going. You are likely right that I have not thought thoroughly enough about about how a rolling release works. This is why I am so glad these threads are garnering this much discussion. It helps identify potential problems & hopefully ways to address them.
Please see my reply to DavidMcanns most recent comments about the project for more thoughts.
 
Old 02-13-2013, 08:02 PM   #11
linuxPCplus
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Mixing repositories can be a mess. As a CentOS users (very small repo) I've got software from a number of repos but I'm using the priority-setting plugin in yum. I think you can get a similar protection with apt and it would need to be set by default.

I get your point about the demand for a rolling-release distro in the Debian family but with the user-friendliness of Ubuntu, but I still think you'd do better basing the repository on Debian Testing.
Not surprisingly, this seems to be a common theme in all of the trheads I have started on the topic on various sites. And to be honest, while I am not giving up on the project, I am considering the advice you & so many others have given: basing the distro upon Debian instead of Ubuntu, but with the user friendliness Ubuntu is so well known for.

If I can give something that resembles the Ubuntu experience users love, but in a rolling release, I will accomplish my truest goal in all of this. If I do base it on Ubuntu, I will still want full comnpatibility (at least as close as possible) with Ubuntu repos & PPA's.
 
Old 02-14-2013, 03:11 AM   #12
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As already pointed out you wont really be able to mix repos without alot of work, that very well could be innefective anyway, to create a rolling release based on Ubuntu. I wouldn't even base it on Debian Testing (LMDE from linux Mint is suppsoed to be based on Debian Testing) because the "rolling" idea stops at freeze time which lasts for a fair while (6 months or so). Even Debian Sid cannot be considered a Rolling Release as it also slows down when Testing is in Freeze.

Getting back to the repository for a minute. If you mix and match repositories (official Ubuntu, your own Ubuntu, PPAs) you will create conflicts and I wonder how many people you will have working with you that will be able to fix these conflicts. Also many PPAs come and go so will you allow all the PPAs or just a select few.

If I were you I'd be giving up on either the Ubuntu based rolling release idea of the mixing and matching so many repositories idea. I'd also look for a different distro anyway. If you like the "user friendliness" of Ubuntu then use Debian Sid and modify it to suit because it will take less effort to do that than it would to use Ubuntu as you seem to be suggesting. If you are not worried about various tools like package management maybe you should research Fedora, or Siduction, or others listed on Distrowatch or LQ.

I'm not trying to turn you off the idea but I would hate to see you put in a huge amount of effort only to find your initial choices maybe weren't the best ones.
 
Old 02-14-2013, 12:04 PM   #13
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Once we get out of Debian territory, there's already a very user-friendly rolling-release distro: Fuduntu.

Other rolling-release distros, like Arch and Debian Sid, tend to be bleeding-edge, which is definitely not user-friendly, so a bit of work would be necessary to slow things down: you couldn't just use their repositories as they stand.
 
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Old 02-14-2013, 12:27 PM   #14
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Other rolling-release distros, like Arch and Debian Sid, tend to be bleeding-edge, which is definitely not user-friendly, so a bit of work would be necessary to slow things down: you couldn't just use their repositories as they stand.
Sid isn't bleeding edge, Gnome is 3.4 in Wheezy and 3.4 in Sid, hardly a great leap forward in anyones books. Sid slows down alot when Testing is in freeze.
 
Old 02-14-2013, 01:03 PM   #15
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Well, running Sid for a while now I've not noticed any major breakages other than the change over to multilib, and that was solved by pinning a testing repository, so I'd guess that means a modified Sid with some testing packages to prevent breakages could work?
If you've enough people/time I dare say things like jockey could be pulled from Ubuntu to your private repository and kept at the version which matches Sid (either from LTS Ubuntu or current depending)?
I'll admit these are only suppositions based upon experience of running Debian based distros so are probably a little off the mark.
 
  


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