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Old 02-21-2019, 02:39 PM   #16
scasey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gilius View Post
If all Linux distros were installed as "minimal", i.e. without any software/apps, what functional differences would exist between them besides the aesthetics?
"Minimal" doesn't typically mean "without software/apps" Any OS without software wouldn't do anything at all.
Minimal Linux typically means with a very light desktop environment (DE), or not DE at all. Web servers run hundreds of "apps" with nothing at all to show on a screen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gilius View Post
Very poor answers... is that the best you can do!? I haven't learnt anything since I came here...
I disagree about the poor answers. ondoho has done an outstanding job of providing comprehensive responses to your questions. I have enjoyed them. Whether or not you're learning is on you.
 
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Old 02-21-2019, 07:30 PM   #17
gilius
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rtmistler, and you do realize that the following are considered forms of abuse?
*Evasion
*Deliberately vague

I have no choice but to multi-boot 20 of the major distributions of Linux to try to ascertain what the differences are myself, if any, since I am not getting any true answers here.

My original question is about finding the ultimate GUI based on functionality, i.e. everything we can do in bash. This is to ultimately understand the differences between each Linux install, so as the topic matured I was able to formulate better questions to try to get at the fundamental differences - possibly exposing the Linux world to be some kind of grave yard of vanity projects as per ondoho's first (helpful) reply - but since then the answers have been degrading.

Here's the questions that remain unanswered and, I am sure, hold the key to understanding Linux in it's various incarnations:

If all Linux distros were installed as "minimal", i.e. without any software/apps, what functional differences would exist between them besides the aesthetics?

If a dev/vendor forks a distro, what can he change exactly? And is he required to make any changes to the kernel?

Based on examples, what is the dev/vendor able to change in the Desktop Environment?

How can the same Desktop Environment differ across multiple distributions?

Does the kernel exist in as many variations as per the distros?

I heard the kernel has some kind of quality control compared to the distros, since if "everything" can be changed then how is it still Linux anymore?

Last edited by gilius; 02-21-2019 at 07:35 PM.
 
Old 02-21-2019, 09:12 PM   #18
michaelk
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The definition of minimal might depend on the distribution.

I think of a minimal installation as the basic utilities and apps for a running system with no desktop. What is basic depends on the distribution and IMHO the major differences would be the kernel, default terminal and system configuration files and package manager if any and now days the init system.

The Kernel is provided under the terms of the GNU General Public License version 2 which basically says that anyone has access to and can modify the source code in any way. No requirement to change the kernel.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_Ge...ense#Version_2

There are many desktops and anyone can be installed on any distribution. Although there are some distributions that are designed around a particular desktop like RHEL/CentOS and Gnome. Since the source code is available the distribution developers can tweak anything they want to improve the functionality as they see fit.

Here is a link to a list of DEs
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php...p_environments

To make this a bit more complicated there are also window managers.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Window_manager

The generic kernels are kept here at kernel.org. The bleeding edge distributions like Fedora will use the latest kernel while those known for there stability i.e debian, slackware and CentOS will use older versions. Distributions developers do modify the kernel source code.

https://www.kernel.org/

Quote:
the ultimate GUI based on functionality, i.e. everything we can do in bash.
Probably not possible. There are hundreds of CLI utilities. Many GUI applications are just wrappers for the CLI utility. Although over the years the GUIs now perform the lower functionalities of the CLI. I have not played with every DE so I can't say what administration GUI is available. You can search for a distribution with a specific desktop at www.distrowatch.com

Just as an aside note. When trying to help others it is much easier to have the OP post the output a CLI command because they will almost always be installed regardless of distribution.

distrowatch lists 305 distributions. I have no idea what the differences are between them nor do I have the time to go try everyone. Granted many of them are derivatives of the major ones so we cold probably eliminate many. I agree that some of your questions are very complex and that a complete answer is difficult in this type of environment.

Please be mindful of the rules...
Quote:
Challenge others' points of view and opinions, but do so respectfully and thoughtfully ... without insult and personal attack. Differing opinions is one of the things that make this site great.
 
3 members found this post helpful.
Old 02-22-2019, 07:44 AM   #19
rtmistler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gilius View Post
Here's the questions that remain unanswered and, I am sure, hold the key to understanding Linux in it's various incarnations:
I'm not sure these specific answers will meet what you are looking to achieve:
Quote:
Originally Posted by gilius View Post
If all Linux distros were installed as "minimal", i.e. without any software/apps, what functional differences would exist between them besides the aesthetics?
Distributions have different kernel versions and different configurations of the kernel. It would be nice to know if you understand how to configure and build the Linux kernel. Because this is key to understanding this answer. Differences lie within the version of the kernel chosen for the distribution, the different versions of drivers, and especially how the kernel is configured.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gilius View Post
If a dev/vendor forks a distro, what can he change exactly? And is he required to make any changes to the kernel?
Anything they want, they are making the distribution and they can literally change everything. The matter of a fork merely means that they started with a certain other distribution. They are not required to make changes to the kernel, however it seems likely that they would.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gilius View Post
Based on examples, what is the dev/vendor able to change in the Desktop Environment?
Anything they want. They can change the appearance, the tools to configure it, they can eliminate whatever they don't wish to have appear in their new distribution, they can re-invent the DE or they can replace it with another one.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gilius View Post
How can the same Desktop Environment differ across multiple distributions?
You can initialize software in a customized manner, and something as large as a DE you can customize it greatly. Therefore you can make it appear entirely different; much like Dell, HP, and other manufacturers all may have Windows 10, but it appears different for all of their computers because they have customized the desktop to make their products appear unique.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gilius View Post
Does the kernel exist in as many variations as per the distros?
Probably more. You really should check out https://www.kernel.org/ to see the versions of the kernel, including which one is current. Meanwhile you also should review the documentation for the kernel, specifically how to build it and how to configure it, Configuring the Kernel Part 1 and Configuring the Kernel Part 2 if you already haven't perused the official Linux kernel site.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gilius View Post
I heard the kernel has some kind of quality control compared to the distros, since if "everything" can be changed then how is it still Linux anymore?
Your question seems not in line with management of software versions. Yes the kernel has quality control for versions, perhaps you should review the Linux kernel documentation where it covers how to report bugs, as well as the standards for Linux application and kernel development. These topics are all located on that page.


With regards to your original question where you wish to find a desktop that replaces bash. I am not aware of a distribution which satisfies what you are looking for. Meanwhile, "everything you can do in bash" is a very broad, set of requirements. What would be your full test criteria to conclude that some distribution actually satisfies this requirement? Do you have documentation which describes all that, or a reference you can cite for it?



No one is telling you what you have to do. No one is guaranteeing that we're here to provide you with answers.


As noted before, all members, including yourself, are volunteers.


Meanwhile, you are free to develop exactly what you feel you want in a desktop environment. That is the beauty of Linux, which is that you can develop a custom distribution in any form you wish. Why not give it a try? I find it somewhat rewarding of a task to take on and accomplish.
 
3 members found this post helpful.
Old 02-22-2019, 09:00 AM   #20
ondoho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gilius View Post
Very poor answers... is that the best you can do!? I haven't learnt anything since I came here...
Quote:
Originally Posted by gilius View Post
rtmistler, and you do realize that the following are considered forms of abuse?
*Evasion
*Deliberately vague

I have no choice but to multi-boot 20 of the major distributions of Linux to try to ascertain what the differences are myself, if any, since I am not getting any true answers here.
just want to preserve this for posterity, so everybody understands why:
I won't feed this person anymore.

we are not "abusive" for not answering every question in full detail.
Being "vague" is not always "deliberate".
we don't know everything.
and personally i've always been reluctant to do other people's web searches for them. nevertheless, i did just that in my last post. look what i got for it.

also, the person is now asking the same questions that they already received answers to, again.
and has not specified their own requirements.
maybe that should also be considered a form of abuse.

Last edited by ondoho; 02-22-2019 at 09:02 AM.
 
3 members found this post helpful.
Old 02-22-2019, 09:08 AM   #21
rokytnji
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If bored.

https://www.sabayon.org/

Booted that 4 gig dvd years ago < suffer from crs so gigs may be off > and saw the elephant in the kitchen sink. I bet it has more bells and whistles now.

Hmmm. works on arm also now.

Last edited by rokytnji; 02-22-2019 at 09:13 AM.
 
Old 02-22-2019, 09:41 AM   #22
hazel
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Once you have removed the GUI, I think the main differences between the distros are:

1) Attitude to novelty versus stability. Some distros (Arch, Gentoo, Debian Unstable) are bleeding edge. You get the latest software but things are inclined to break. Others (Debian Stable, Slackware) are stable but may be a bit out of date. These distros update applications only for security or for bugs that cause serious problems. New versions come out every two years or so.

2) Package manager. Every distro family has a different package management system. People tend to prefer one to another. One important difference between package managers is how they handle dependencies.

3) Novice versus expert. For example Mint versus Gentoo.

4) What gets installed. Some distros give you a complete installation with everything you are likely to need. Some give you a skeleton installation and you add the applications you want afterwards. Some give you both (Debian full install versus net install).

5) Attitude to proprietary software. If you are evangelical about free software, there are distros that supply nothing else. There are distros like Debian that make proprietary software available but only from a special repository that is not activated by default. And there are distros like Mint which supply it alongside the free software so that things will "just work".

6) Init system. This is controversial so I will just say that some distros use the traditional sysvinit (or bsdinit which is similar) and some use systemd which is quite different. This has become such a flamefest that some people specifically choose a distro to avoid systemd.

Last edited by hazel; 02-22-2019 at 09:46 AM.
 
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