Sunday, 1 November 2015

Should I make my own distro?

So, on January 2013, I tried to create my own anime oriented Linux distro, I was however a noob with just 2 years of Linux experience and no barely enough CLI knowledge to 'cd' and 'apt-get'. That what I made was nothing more than Ubuntu 12.04(or 12.10 was it?) and some preinstalled software like a mass renamer for anime episodes, vlc and some other software. And it was made with UCK and the help of similar tools.

Now I am willing to maybe give it another go, just for funzies. And yeah, I did get some skills since then.

I don't want to give you an answer directly about what exactly my distro will be, because as you can see if you read it down furrther, I still have questions myself.

So let's talk about some of the ideas I have.
I will definitely again use the help of tools like UCK, except this time I will delve in much deeper. 
For my base I want to either use Ubuntu or Debian. I am kind of leaning more to Ubuntu, because Ubuntu does have sane defaults(and if we go the 'user friendly route' then definitely Ubuntu), plus if it ever succeeds and becomes my brak off success hobby project(yeah Linus I am looking at you :=P )it might become an official flavour in the long run(hey, a guy can dream right :P ?). 

If I pick Debian I will definitely use the netinstall image. Also I don't want to leave it unprotected, however I do not want to use the NSA backed SELinux, or the omnipresent AppArmor. I will try Tomoyo, because I do like the security trough obscurity concept.

If I pick Ubuntu I will also probably try any kind of minimal image, but I will also consider the Unity image except I will remove Unity from that image. I will do that If I want to have the GUI application software that comes by default with Unity (LO, the unity control center, network manager).

But what GUI will you use?
I am 95% sure that I wan't to have i3wm there somewhere. 
But what does i3wm bring to the usermean to the user, with heavy keyboard usage, ultra high on customisation and even less resource usage than LXDE. It will also mean debloating, although Ubuntu is definitely not bloated, it should just come closer to actual minimalism. A caveat however is that i3wm is not one of the most user friendly interfaces.

Ok, but what about that 'user friendly route'?
If I go that way I will very probably make 2 distros, one with i3 and another one with probably KDE,Unity or LXDE.

What file manager?
I still have no idea. I need to do research on that one. But if I don't find anything better then probably Dolphin. Nautilus activates too many background services and screws up i3wm while launching(by default at least, maybe I could even tame it). Pcmanfm however is too barebones in my opinion. I do want to have automounting and a working search index in the file manager, which Dolphin does have even if it is buggy on i3wm.

What web browser?
Probably not one of the mainstream ones. Maybe Otter browser?

Ok but what about the 'flavour' of the distro?
I am once again thinking about 2 routes:
"i3buntu"- basically a flavour of Ubuntu or Debian with i3wm, modified as I have described before.
"something something anime Linux"- The same like before except anime themed. Anime themed or related or useful software preinstalled. The "user friendly route" is actually a subroute of this route. I will probably also preinstall it with renpy based Visual novels. And maybe steam.

Sounds fun, so may I help?
Of course. Contact me here or on my email: 
What I really do need help for is if you can do Debian packaging for some of my own software and some other tarballs. Because dependency hunting while packaging is something that reminds me of vomiting.
If you can't help with that but can help with something else you are still free to contact me

But isn't there already something like an 'Anime distro'?
Yes there is:
And it looks great. I reccomend you to try those before I finish my first alpha.
However I still want to try my idea for the following reasons:
-Mangaka is based of the LTS release of Ubuntu. Which is not bad in itself, but I want mine to be based of the curent release.
-Mangaka does not have a i3wm version
-I want to do it to further my own knowledge of Linux and for fun.
But I would consider mergin my i3wm version with them when I get something workable.

So what next?
My first order of business is to install the tools I want and need and then get my desired image.
My second order of business is to uninstall Unity (either 15.04 or 15.10 if the bug with AMD drivers gets fixed soon enough), install i3wm and test if the image works.
My third order of business if everything is successful is to reprioritise on what I as a person am doing to make enough space and time to work on this.

Just like Linux Torvalds suggested in one of his famous quotes, I plan to start small. This is a hobby project for me.

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