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Old 04-03-2012, 08:40 PM   #1
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New Linux user - I want to eventually make my own version of Linux, where to start?

I'm quiet new to Linux. I've 'used' it before but never really used it as a primary OS, but now I want to. Ever since I started programming a year ago I've been interested in learning how everything with a computer works and being able to make my own software. Well now I want to know more about the OS side of things too and I figured switching to using Linux would great for this. (Plus, Linux just looks so much more awesome than Windows.)

I have to learn how to use Linux well first. Once I've done that though I want to start learning towards how to make my own Linux distro. I figured maybe start by modifying an existing one and go from there? I realize this is a broad question and not in the near future. Are there any useful resources? Articles/tutorials you can link me? Good sites with information? Some really useful books maybe? Just something to get me started and learning. (I know, google is my friend, but I thought asking you guys would give me some more reliable information.)
Old 04-03-2012, 09:08 PM   #2
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Linux From Scratch is the natural place to start if you're interested in how a Linux system is put together.
Old 04-03-2012, 09:17 PM   #3
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Well, as you say, there are already pages all over the Internet on the subject, like this one:

Before you can go any further, though, you've really got to ask yourself why it is that you want to create a new distro. (There are many dozens of them already of all shapes and sizes.) Two possible answers:

1) "I want a distro that is preloaded with all my favourite software." It's a lot easier just to reconfigure a standard system, but anyway... in this case you probably want to make a derivative of another distro. If I remember correctly, something like half the Gnu/Linux distros out there are basically pre-configured versions of Debian.

2) "I have some amazing new idea about how software should be managed/installed on a Gnu/Linux system." In this case, you need to forget for the moment about the distro and concentrate on writing the package manager. On the most fundamental level, the package manager is what really defines a distro.
Old 04-03-2012, 09:26 PM   #4
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While modifying an existing distribution is rather easy (besides that I personally wouldn't that call making my own distro) and can be done with simple to use tools (Debian's live-build, Remastersys, Linux Live, ...), it is a whole different thing to really create a distro from scratch. If you really want to do that, as mentioned before, LFS is the way to go. But before trying that make sure that you fulfill the prerequisites, if you don't you will learn nothing from LFS, except how to copy and paste commands you don't understand.
Also, while you can learn Linux on any distro there are distributions with a steeper learning curve, like Slackware, Arch and Gentoo. If you really want to learn I would recommend to use one of those distros.
Old 04-03-2012, 09:35 PM   #5
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I am a FAN of live-helper. I have used it to customize a minimal Debian system to my hearts content. I can assist you if you want detailed information in what I have done.
Old 04-03-2012, 09:37 PM   #6
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Once you can define what a distro is, you can begin to build one.
Old 04-03-2012, 09:46 PM   #7
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@hydraMax My reason is to know how it works because I like knowing how stuff works, and so if I do get an idea I can make it happen. I want to be able to be sitting around and go "Oh! I'd like to add this" and be able to do it. Thanks for the information guys!
Old 04-04-2012, 12:30 PM   #8
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"LINUX: Rute User’s Tutorial and Exposition, by Paul Sheer" is an interesting place to start: you can find it as a free pdf. Sites where you can read useful information about various things are


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