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Old 02-11-2005, 03:44 PM   #1
Kikketer
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Very Custom Linux


I realize that I'm an incredible newbie but the idea of a totally customizable operating system has sparked my creative mind.
I have installed a few different distros of Linux (Fedora 2 and 3, Gentoo) but none of them seem to do what I want, that or I just don't know what I'm doing. The second probably being the correct one.

Since the professors here at my campus are incapable of helping me out I turned to the one place where I think people know what they are talking about when it comes to Linux.

I typed up a text document of the project plan that I have. I would copy and paste it in here but I fear everything would get a little messy so I have a link.

http://students.uwsp.edu/cweed308/customlinux.txt

Please if you have time look over what I have down there and let me know what you think. As stated in the text file, this is all about learning and I have as much time as it requres to learn what is going on.

Thank you for any help!

Chris Weed
- Student -
 
Old 02-11-2005, 03:57 PM   #2
dylbyrt45
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Interesting project, maybe you should consider Linux from Scratch. I have heard it can be hard to do, but maybe what you are looking for. Here are a couple links.
Good luck!

http://www.tldp.org/LDP/lfs/html/

http://www.linuxgazette.com/issue49/...LFS-HOWTO.html
 
Old 02-11-2005, 04:08 PM   #3
Kikketer
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I have just discovered LFS. Thank you for the quick post. Now this LFS will let me do things such as this? It's not just some fancy way to get me into the bash and say "well we just did everything that the Fedora installer would do in seconds" type thing, right?

 
Old 02-11-2005, 04:13 PM   #4
__J
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i would recommend any linux distro, just running X with the sawfish window manager (just a screen, no toolbars, menus, panels, or anything but it will manage your windows for you) just run your app on top of sawfish and your app will be the desktop.

You could use anything for the distro, I would recommend something precompiled (like debian, slackware, mandrake, Suse) which will save you alot of time over something like gentoo or LFS (both good distro's, but if you gotta write this app and have a limited time frame they may take longer than what you want to spend on the setup)
 
Old 02-11-2005, 04:25 PM   #5
Kikketer
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Time is really of no issue here and I'm attempting this as a learning excersise. I will try to use this sawfish thing but it seems to have more than what is nessisary. I need to install the base system (mandrake or something) then have something else installed.

One of the problems with my current iteration of this project is the limited space. I have about 1gig to work with in terms of the operating system. The rest of the space is taken up by the programs and data.

Perhaps I'll try out the sawfish with mandrake first just to get a more firm idea of what I want and to see how it runs. If after doing this I feel confident I'll attempt the Linux from Scratch.

Thanks for the input.
 
Old 02-11-2005, 04:35 PM   #6
__J
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1 Gig should be plenty. keep in mind you won't need kde or gnome ( if your not looking to run you app out of a full featured desktop environment) so that will eliminate alot of otherwise used space.

You could code the app as the desktop, you'll need to learn the X api and make your app take over the root window (like nautilus for gnome does).
 
Old 02-11-2005, 04:38 PM   #7
Kikketer
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Could you point me in the right direction to learn this X api? And maybe even a place to see how I can make it take over the root.

Sorry I'm really bad with this Linux thing. I'm reading the sawfish documentation right now and they are saying things about this Lisp programming language... I'm assuming this is just a language to make windows and such.
 
Old 02-11-2005, 04:58 PM   #8
__J
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you don't need to know lisp to use sawfish, only if you want to add your own customizations to it.

X api:

http://users.actcom.co.il/~choo/lupg...ogramming.html
http://users.actcom.co.il/~choo/lupg...ramming-2.html

look over these two, and do a google there are alot of helpful tutorials around
 
Old 02-11-2005, 11:54 PM   #9
Kikketer
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If I have X running (I think that's what it is) when I boot up why would I need Sawfish? If I'm going to learn the X api then why would I need Sawfish if I'm only going to be running one window at a time.

I might be confused.

Linux Command Line -> X Window System -> Sawfish -> My Program

or is it like this:

Linux Command Line -> Sawfish -> My Program

Thanks
 
Old 02-12-2005, 04:42 AM   #10
__J
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depends on what you want to do. you could put the X functions you need in the app itself. In your text, you said you have exp. in several languages so the best place to start would be with the source of some small window managers like sawfish, or even twm (it comes with X, so look in the source directory for X) for what you need to do to initialize the X window system and draw windows and such. Really, there are numerous ways you could accomplish this it just depends on what you want to do.

as far as the order:

command line --> X --> either your app with the X functions or wm

you need something between X and your app unless you code the X functions you need into the app in the first place. The only reason I suggested sawfish is because it's barebones (meaning you will see only your app instead of things other wm like to put in like panels, docks. etc...) and already available.
 
Old 02-12-2005, 10:56 AM   #11
Kikketer
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Thanks, I'll look into it.
 
Old 02-12-2005, 11:22 AM   #12
ahh
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If you are only going to run one program, which can only be manipulated via the keyboard, there is no need for the X windows system.

You can write the program to use ncurses and run it in the console like mc or lynx etc:

This will save you loads of disk space, use less ram and be quicker.

Also, if you do decide to allow mouse support this is available with gpm.
 
Old 02-12-2005, 12:06 PM   #13
Kikketer
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Thanks ahh for the input. I will have that one program running but that one program will launch other programs that are not written by me. I don't think these programs need any windows management either but I'll have to check, they are graphical.
 
  


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