LinuxQuestions.org
Register a domain and help support LQ
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Distributions > Ubuntu
User Name
Password
Ubuntu This forum is for the discussion of Ubuntu Linux.

Notices

Reply
 
Search this Thread
Old 08-17-2008, 12:10 PM   #1
flouran
Member
 
Registered: Aug 2008
Distribution: Ubuntu Hardy Heron 8.04 LTS
Posts: 77

Rep: Reputation: 16
Talking How to Customize Ubuntu into your own custom distribution


Hi Guys,
I was thinking of creating my own custom Ubuntu distribution. I've used reconstructor before to customize Ubuntu 7.10; however, when I boot up my customized distribution, it drops me to a job control shell. Are there any good guides on the internet describing how I could go about customizing Ubuntu into my own, new Linux distribution (such as changing the themes, changing the LiveCD/Installer from using Ubuntu anywhere in the software to using a name of my own, and adding/removing software)? Or could anyone help me out?

Your help is greatly appreciated,
Flouran
 
Old 08-17-2008, 01:45 PM   #2
thejosephgrace
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Aug 2008
Location: U.S.
Distribution: Slackware, Ubuntu, FreeBSD.
Posts: 2

Rep: Reputation: 0
Question

Have you looked at LFS yet?
(linuxfromscratch.org)

Last edited by thejosephgrace; 08-17-2008 at 01:48 PM.
 
Old 08-17-2008, 08:33 PM   #3
flouran
Member
 
Registered: Aug 2008
Distribution: Ubuntu Hardy Heron 8.04 LTS
Posts: 77

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 16
Yes, I have looked into LFS before, and it was what I was originally planning to do; however, my intent is to not build a new distribution from scratch, but to create a new distribution based on Ubuntu (it would be a derivative of the Ubuntu Desktop Edition). Do you guys know any good guides where I could successfully customize Ubuntu (or know from first-hand experience) by
changing the themes, altering the LiveCD/Installer from using Ubuntu anywhere in the software to using a name of my own, and adding/removing software?
 
Old 08-17-2008, 08:48 PM   #4
jschiwal
Guru
 
Registered: Aug 2001
Location: Fargo, ND
Distribution: SuSE AMD64
Posts: 15,733

Rep: Reputation: 654Reputation: 654Reputation: 654Reputation: 654Reputation: 654Reputation: 654
It sounds like you simply want to customize your copy of Ubuntu rather than produce your own distribution.

The GPL license allows you to take the source and build your own packages. It doesn't allow you to simply make a copy of compiled binaries and call them your own. You will also need to grep for any and all copyright and trademarks to make sure that there aren't any non-gpl components in the source. Some packages may be based on other licenses. For example Firefox, openssl, Apache, perl. You will need to abide by their licenses as well.

You will also be responsible for security upgrades, and updating your installer to detect and handle new hardware in the future.

Last edited by jschiwal; 08-17-2008 at 08:50 PM.
 
Old 08-17-2008, 09:50 PM   #5
flouran
Member
 
Registered: Aug 2008
Distribution: Ubuntu Hardy Heron 8.04 LTS
Posts: 77

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 16
No, I want to create my own Linux distribution (which would be a derivative of the Ubuntu Desktop Edition) from customizing an Ubuntu LiveCD. My intention is definitely not to simply make a copy of compiled binaries and call them my own. I want to create a distribution that has more software, packages, and more functionality than the current Ubuntu desktop systems. But, since you (jschiwal) did bring up the topic, how would I be able to modify the Ubuntu installer?

Also, I found a website on the community Ubuntu documentation which describes how to customize Ubuntu: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Li...ionFromScratch

Have any of you guys seen this guide or used it before (or at least give me your feedback on whether this guide is useful for what I am doing)?

-Flouran
 
Old 08-17-2008, 11:21 PM   #6
vharishankar
Senior Member
 
Registered: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,142
Blog Entries: 4

Rep: Reputation: 121Reputation: 121
Quote:
I want to create a distribution that has more software, packages, and more functionality than the current Ubuntu desktop systems.
There is such a distribution and it's called Debian

If anything I suggest you look at customizing Debian as it might be more flexible for this sort of thing and Debian is the base of so many modern Linux distributions including Ubuntu.

Read this article http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/7233

Last edited by vharishankar; 08-17-2008 at 11:25 PM.
 
Old 08-18-2008, 12:32 PM   #7
flouran
Member
 
Registered: Aug 2008
Distribution: Ubuntu Hardy Heron 8.04 LTS
Posts: 77

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 16
Originally, I thought I would base my system off of Debian. I soon realized that I wanted to integrate Ubuntu's easy yet powerful desktop functionality into my own distribution. Thus, my OS would be an unofficial branch of the Ubuntu desktop edition (much like Kubuntu and Xubuntu, although they are official).

I want my OS to be so user-friendly that people will want to support/promote Ubuntu and the rest of the Open-Source world. What problems do you think might I encounter if I try to create an unofficial branch/customization of the Ubuntu Desktop Edition? Or do you guys have any suggestions on what I could do better in order to help achieve this goal?

Thank you very much,
Flouran
 
Old 08-18-2008, 12:36 PM   #8
vharishankar
Senior Member
 
Registered: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,142
Blog Entries: 4

Rep: Reputation: 121Reputation: 121
There are plenty of Ubuntu variants already, so go ahead with your plans. I don't see anybody having issues with that, except maybe you having to choose a name
 
Old 08-18-2008, 03:50 PM   #9
jay73
Guru
 
Registered: Nov 2006
Location: Belgium
Distribution: Ubuntu 11.04, Debian testing
Posts: 5,019

Rep: Reputation: 130Reputation: 130
What exactly would be the advantage of having more software? As soon as you are connected to the internet, you already have more at your disposal than any other distribution has to offer. And, let's face it, the more you put on your media (cd/dvd), the more there will be to update as soon as it has been installed (like, yuk, many hundreds of megabytes each time you install, say, Suse or Fedora). Of course, you are free to do as you like but you may want to ask yourself whether there is any real point to it other than a personal exercise. It will take a lot of time unless it's a one-time shot. Plus the distro market is swamped with derivatives and derivatives of derivatives as it is.
 
Old 08-18-2008, 08:15 PM   #10
flouran
Member
 
Registered: Aug 2008
Distribution: Ubuntu Hardy Heron 8.04 LTS
Posts: 77

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 16
Talking Response to Jay73's comment

The advantage of having more software is that everything comes pre-installed, and from the first install, the Linux distribution achieves greater functionality than a distribution which doesn't come with pre-packaged applications. You see, most Linux Gurus/Long-Time Users don't really care about their Linux operating system coming with many programs which can play mp3's, movies, and install Windows programs (the list goes on) because they themselves have the ability to easily find these software programs on their own. However, for users who are simply switching from commercialized, "easy to use" operating systems( although Windows is not at all easy to use, it's just plain painful ), and are used to having everything come out-of-the-box, it is somewhat of a challenge to add more applications in order to fit their needs. I remember when I first switched from Windows to Ubuntu; I couldn't play mp3's, flash movies, install Windows programs, and it was nightmarish because I had installed Linux over my Windows, which had all of those capabilities. My main goal is to create a Linux distribution (based off of Ubuntu, and as harishankar and jay73 suggested, most likely should not be a derivative of Ubuntu, but its own distribution), which is not only easy to use and welcoming to average end users who are switching from proprietary operating systems, but enticing to computer programmers/Linux Gurus as well. Hopefully, then, the stereotype of Linux being "hard and unusable for the average end-user" could be abolished. That's my philosophy.
Also, I had a question. Which line in /etc/apt/sources.list (or is it even this file?) allows Ubuntu to download a new Operating System version (for instance, when someone is running Ubuntu 7.10, what enables his computer to discover an 8.04 update?) ?
 
Old 08-18-2008, 11:34 PM   #11
vharishankar
Senior Member
 
Registered: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,142
Blog Entries: 4

Rep: Reputation: 121Reputation: 121
If you're going to package proprietary technology like codecs and Flash into your distribution, you'd better take a deeper look at the licensing issues first and understand what is OK and what is not OK to redistribute without permission etc.

There's a reason why many distros avoid packaging media codecs, proprietary hardware drivers and (binary blob) firmware and Adobe Flash (and in the past Sun Java - when its license was restrictive) into the main distribution - licensing issues and its associated legal headaches (mostly because of proprietary technology).

Last edited by vharishankar; 08-18-2008 at 11:37 PM.
 
Old 08-19-2008, 12:26 AM   #12
flouran
Member
 
Registered: Aug 2008
Distribution: Ubuntu Hardy Heron 8.04 LTS
Posts: 77

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 16
Talking Licensing Issues

OK, that is a great idea to look at the licenses first. However, if there are licensing issues with proprietary software such as Adobe Flash, then how come Reconstructor (the Open-Source program used to make customized Ubuntu distributions) includes the Adobe Flash Plugin (non-free) on its list of software one can add to the customized Ubuntu distribution he/she is creating? Isn't that a violation of law in and of itself?
 
Old 08-19-2008, 12:32 AM   #13
vharishankar
Senior Member
 
Registered: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,142
Blog Entries: 4

Rep: Reputation: 121Reputation: 121
There might be a difference between "distributing that package" through an official CD and allowing end users to download it through unofficial channels or the original software maker's website.

Also some CD manufacturers get written permission from software vendors to redistribute packages. You will have to check that out.

Also the law varies so much from country to country on these issues it's hard to state clearly what the position is.
 
Old 08-19-2008, 10:32 AM   #14
flouran
Member
 
Registered: Aug 2008
Distribution: Ubuntu Hardy Heron 8.04 LTS
Posts: 77

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 16
OK, I will look at the licenses for each package, individually, thank you very much!

I had another question to ask you guys. Do any of you know which line in /etc/apt/sources.list (or is it even this file?) allows Ubuntu to update to a new Operating System version? For instance, when someone is running Ubuntu 7.10, what enables his computer to discover an 8.04 update and download it?

Here is my /etc/apt/sources.list, in case anyone is wondering:

#deb cdrom:[Ubuntu 8.04.1 _Hardy Heron_ - Release i386 (20080702.1)]/ hardy main restricted
# See http://help.ubuntu.com/community/UpgradeNotes for how to upgrade to
# newer versions of the distribution.

deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy main restricted
deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy main restricted

## Major bug fix updates produced after the final release of the
## distribution.
deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy-updates main restricted
deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy-updates main restricted

## N.B. software from this repository is ENTIRELY UNSUPPORTED by the Ubuntu
## team, and may not be under a free licence. Please satisfy yourself as to
## your rights to use the software. Also, please note that software in
## universe WILL NOT receive any review or updates from the Ubuntu security
## team.
deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy universe
deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy universe
deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy-updates universe
deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy-updates universe

## N.B. software from this repository is ENTIRELY UNSUPPORTED by the Ubuntu
## team, and may not be under a free licence. Please satisfy yourself as to
## your rights to use the software. Also, please note that software in
## multiverse WILL NOT receive any review or updates from the Ubuntu
## security team.
deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy multiverse
deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy multiverse
deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy-updates multiverse
deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy-updates multiverse

## Uncomment the following two lines to add software from the 'backports'
## repository.
## N.B. software from this repository may not have been tested as
## extensively as that contained in the main release, although it includes
## newer versions of some applications which may provide useful features.
## Also, please note that software in backports WILL NOT receive any review
## or updates from the Ubuntu security team.
# deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy-backports main restricted universe multiverse
# deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy-backports main restricted universe multiverse

## Uncomment the following two lines to add software from Canonical's
## 'partner' repository. This software is not part of Ubuntu, but is
## offered by Canonical and the respective vendors as a service to Ubuntu
## users.
# deb http://archive.canonical.com/ubuntu hardy partner
# deb-src http://archive.canonical.com/ubuntu hardy partner

deb http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu hardy-security main restricted
deb-src http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu hardy-security main restricted
deb http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu hardy-security universe
deb-src http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu hardy-security universe
deb http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu hardy-security multiverse
deb-src http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu hardy-security multiverse
 
Old 08-19-2008, 10:38 AM   #15
flouran
Member
 
Registered: Aug 2008
Distribution: Ubuntu Hardy Heron 8.04 LTS
Posts: 77

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 16
Talking

I think it is this line which searches for updates:
deb http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu hardy-security main restricted

When I follow the link to http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu, and browse the webpage, there is a link called: http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/di...-upgrader-all/

What do you guys think?
 
  


Reply

Tags
customize, desktoplinux, distribution, linux, livecd, ubuntu


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Building Custom Slackware Distribution mahdif Slackware 1 10-25-2007 11:13 AM
customize installation ubuntu kernelvn Ubuntu 4 04-17-2005 12:59 AM
Custom Distribution Kikketer Linux - Software 2 12-04-2004 01:09 AM
custom distribution nitin_kataria Linux From Scratch 3 09-27-2003 08:44 PM
make Custom Distribution ?? pmehta Linux - Distributions 4 12-17-2001 10:08 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:28 PM.

Main Menu
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
identi.ca: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration