Let's build the perfect (simulated) Distro!


Let's build the perfect (simulated) Distro!  

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Unobscured Vision

After reading (and participating in) a lot of the recent threads regarding how we've lost enthusiasm for Desktop Linux and a lot of the problems we've run in to, I thought of something we could do for fun, and at the same time we could flex the ol' neurons a bit. That's right, folks -- Linux AND fun AND brain game. What's not to like? :D

 

We will do this in the time-honored tradition of the Benevolent Dictator Linus Torvalds, walking endlessly at his treadmill workstation ... well, maybe not. Instead, we'll take votes on everything. Polls will stay up for a week, then we'll proceed based on the results and move on to the next items that need addressing.

 

First up! Do we base this simulated Distro upon:

 

- Ubuntu (or a derivative) -- Benefits: Easy package & driver installation, most available packages of any base | Drawbacks: Large install, tends toward bloat, performance issues

- Debian (or a derivative) -- Benefits: Awesome stability, VERY large hardware support | Drawbacks: Can be more difficult to install for novices, more easy to break the system

- Red Hat (or a derivative) -- Benefits: More robust and forgiving, better online help | Drawbacks: More commercial, not as much software available

- Arch (or a derivative) -- Benefits: Much smaller system footprint than any other Linux, awesome performance and documentation | Drawbacks: Can be intimidating to newcomers at first, but the community alleviates most of that

- Gentoo (or a derivative) -- Benefits: Unparalleled performance | Drawbacks: You'll be waiting two days to get your system running while everything compiles.

- Slackware (old school, I know, but still popular -- and still updated) -- Benefits: Nice, rock-solid system | Drawbacks: Packages tend to be out of date

- Source (like a boss!) -- Benefits: Pretty good performance compared to others | Drawbacks: Not for everyone, since you run from source things can be flaky.

- Custom (please specify)

 

It's too early yet to give the Distro a name, but suggestions will be entertained if they are good enough. Remember, keep them clean -- you know who you are. ;)

 

Discuss!

 

[EDIT] Added Benefits/Drawbacks to each listed Base.

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Decebalvs Rex

I say , build it upon Arch distro because I dislike bloat.

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Unobscured Vision

I will not vote, since I am coordinating this simulated project and must remain neutral. :) Everyone knows, however, that I lean towards Linux Mint, so if I were to vote it would be Ubuntu or a derivative.

 

You know what, I may just switch my phantom vote to Arch-based also. Let's try something different, GZT. :D

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Max Norris

Personally, probably Arch. Arch is up to date without the six-month nonsense, or if you prefer, go with a "partial rolling" setup.. stable core for stability with the desktop/etc rolling, plus the packages are quite "pure" as the developers intended them, no "downstream pollution". The way it's set up is rather BSD like too which is appealing, a base plus extras versus dumping everything into one large mess, kind of a turnoff for me with most Linux distros, never mind having the ports-like system is a plus. Can't beat the documentation/community either. Docs are great, community isn't a raging mess.

Edit - Since you added benefits/drawbacks, most of the complexity is the installation itself, it doesn't hold your hand. If you're wanting to do a "based on" distro, no reason why that couldn't be automated just like the other ones. After that *shrug* it's mostly the same stuff, a few core things (package management and services especially) is not really harder, just different, and (in my opinion) better.

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simonlang

i vote for my own distro, Snapshot-Linux, so therefore for a *buntu derivative.

seems to be accepted pretty well, over 33.000 page-views on google+ 

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Unobscured Vision

Jack, I gave Snapshot a try and broke it upon driver installation, buddy. :(

 

Sorry.

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simonlang

without any specific error messages i can't help. 

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Unobscured Vision

Personally, probably Arch. Arch is up to date without the six-month nonsense, or if you prefer, go with a "partial rolling" setup.. stable core for stability with the desktop/etc rolling, plus the packages are quite "pure" as the developers intended them, no "downstream pollution". The way it's set up is rather BSD like too which is appealing, a base plus extras versus dumping everything into one large mess, kind of a turnoff for me with most Linux distros, never mind having the ports-like system is a plus. Can't beat the documentation/community either. Docs are great, community isn't a raging mess.

Edit - Since you added benefits/drawbacks, most of the complexity is the installation itself, it doesn't hold your hand. If you're wanting to do a "based on" distro, no reason why that couldn't be automated just like the other ones. After that *shrug* it's mostly the same stuff, a few core things (package management and services especially) is not really harder, just different, and (in my opinion) better.

Yep. That's pretty much what Distros are -- respins. A few of them (like Mint) are trying to be their own thing, making their own DE's and utilities and I applaud them for it. Mint did their stuff out of necessity. Deepin is another example of a Distro trying to break out and be their own thing, maybe even more so than Mint. That DDE, however one feels about HTML5 being so tightly integrated into the OS, is a work of art if nothing else. ;)

 

So, yeah. I agree.

without any specific error messages i can't help. 

Segfaulting, then dumping back to a terminal. That's all it did after reboot. It's all in the Snapshot thread. Let's keep our Simulated Linux topic on track here. ;)

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Unobscured Vision

Something else to consider ahead of time is what Desktop Environment will this Simulated Distro use? Ideally, it should:

 

1) Be functional (Yes, LXDE, we're looking at you and getting ready to laugh, because you can't do anything without Openbox)

2) Be practical (KDE 4/5, we're eyeballing you with that look of pure derision)

3) Be fit for purpose without being unstable (and yes, Gnome 3, we're looking at you now)

4) Be what it's supposed to be without a ton of extra dependencies (mourning the loss of XFCE as it was two years ago before the Xubuntu people messed with it ...)

5) Cinnamon, MATE, DDE .. options ...

 

At least this is the Open-Source Community and we have choices. Too bad I can't add any more polls right now. Soon. ;)

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Max Norris

Something else to consider ahead of time is what Desktop Environment will this Simulated Distro use?

I'm kind of partial to two. KDE, just for the absurd number of ways to change it up and not falling into the "lets dumb it down even further" mentality that many desktops are taking. On the downside, if you don't like the default theme it's a huge hassle getting GTK and QT to look like they belong together, and I've frequently hit stability issues with various components or weird bugs that just never seem to get fixed. Some features could be really good with more work/refinement, liking where KDE5's going but in traditional KDE style will wait till it gets a bit more stable. Meh, 4 was the same way at first too and that turned out pretty well.

The other one I actually like oddly enough is Unity, lots of polish, think it has the best taskbar of them all as I prefer the icon-only view and it does it better than KDE, and they borrowed some nice features from Windows that I appreciate like jumplists, taskbar progress meters, etc. Not a fan of Nautilus in any way, but *shrug* replace the sucker with Nemo and call it a day. On the downside, I hate the launcher with a passion, probably the most convoluted back-asswards design ever.. they replace that with something else and I'd be a happy camper. Also the least customizable out of the bunch, seems to be more so with each new release. Some things you used to be able to at least tweak by hand aren't even doable anymore, it's their way or no way. Comon Windows isn't exactly flexible but I can at least move the taskbar around, stupid things like that. Really need to get rid of Compiz already too.

Gnome I've given up on completely, sorry but makes Windows 8 look good. (At least Mate is keeping that old setup alive.) Not a fan of lightweight desktops (XFCE/LDXE/etc), I appreciate the appeal for keeping those circa 2001 junkers going, but for a desktop environment I prefer more features/capability, not less. Cinnamon's got a lot of potential, not a fan of their launcher or panels though, curious to see how it progresses.

The one I personally use more often than not though is AwesomeWM, but my *Nix boxes are typically servers/dev platforms and that really wouldn't be ideal as a "proper" desktop environment.

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Unobscured Vision

I'm a big fan of MATE, personally. Not so much for the whole Gnome 2 "Change is bad" thing, but because it wasn't broke (at the time). Gnome 3 was just all-in-all a bad idea. There wasn't anything in Gnome 2 that couldn't be fixed -- it wasn't perfect, but it could have been dealt with, and far more easily than the mess that Gnome 3 has become.

 

I once (for a short time) was cool with Gnome 3, but it didn't last. MATE is my DE of choice, followed by Cinnamon. XFCE in Openbox mode with Compiz/Emerald was my all-time favorite, but that got broken for good (and it made me sad) in Xubuntu. Maybe Arch has it working somewhere ... ;)

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Mindovermaster

I say Debian. I use Crunchbang, which is a minimal install of Debian. I normally build upon that.

 

I voted Arch as well. As, you get the latest and greatest. Not that it always works first hand, though.

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Anibal P

Arch, latest and greatest, no bloat, you can do whatever you want the easiest 

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Praetor

what no Mandrake/Mandriva/Mageia love in here?

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Unobscured Vision

what no Mandrake/Mandriva/Mageia love in here?

That's RPM-Based. As such, it's a Red Hat/SuSE or a derivative, last I knew. I used Mandrake back during the 2.6 Kernel switchover, and it was decent. No complaints from me then. Tried Debian and that was all she wrote. ;)

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Unobscured Vision

I say Debian. I use Crunchbang, which is a minimal install of Debian. I normally build upon that.

 

I voted Arch as well. As, you get the latest and greatest. Not that it always works first hand, though.

I've no complaints at ALL with #!. I'm a big fan of their work. Top notch documentation, a solid community. Arch and Crunchbang get high marks indeed from me for both. If there were ever two 'Nixes who were more about the docs than Gentoo, it's Arch and Crunchbang. Hands down. Crunch saves the day for Debian as far as I'm concerned. And yes, you may quote me on that.

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Mindovermaster

I've no complaints at ALL with #!. I'm a big fan of their work. Top notch documentation, a solid community. Arch and Crunchbang get high marks indeed from me for both. If there were ever two 'Nixes who were more about the docs than Gentoo, it's Arch and Crunchbang. Hands down. Crunch saves the day for Debian as far as I'm concerned. And yes, you may quote me on that.

 

Oh, forgot, Archbang is good, too :)

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remixedcat

Can we have one order golden corral and have a media player that rivals jriver?

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Unobscured Vision

The tally so far is 8-5 in favor for using an Arch base. The vote is open until 12-27-14 (next Saturday).

 

 

Can we have one order golden corral and have a media player that rivals jriver?

That depends on whichever DE is voted on by the community to be used. The choice of a Media Player, however, has not been discussed.

 

And you may order whatever you darn well like for dinner. :P

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simonlang

The tally so far is 8-5 in favor for using an Arch base. The vote is open until 12-27-14 (next Saturday).

 

 

That depends on whichever DE is voted on by the community to be used. The choice of a Media Player, however, has not been discussed.

 

And you may order whatever you darn well like for dinner. :p

 

seems like i got something wrong here. if arch is only the base and DI is not yet chosen, i might accept arch as choice as well.

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Max Norris

if arch is only the base and DI is not yet chosen, i might accept arch as choice as well.

Right, by default an Arch install is as bare as it gets. No desktop, no servers (not even SSH), nada, about as vanilla as it gets. Complete opposite from the kitchen sink distros, in my opinion that makes it a good candidate to build off of. End result distro would need a desktop of course, but this is just the core without having to rip stuff out first. Good place to start.
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Unobscured Vision

Yep. The item on the discussion plate at the moment is what base our Hypothetical Distro is using. Desktop Environment, Media Player, other applications/packages, etc. will be discussed and voted on for inclusion later when it is appropriate.

 

This is a simulation -- so feel free to step out of comfort zones, do some research, take some chances, and generally have some fun with this. :yes:

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Unobscured Vision

seems like i got something wrong here. if arch is only the base and DI is not yet chosen, i might accept arch as choice as well.

Feel free to change your vote. Nobody will hold it against you. :)

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