Let's build the perfect (simulated) Distro!


Let's build the perfect (simulated) Distro!  

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simonlang

i just realized i could change the vote and did so. :laugh:

 

if just these rules would have applied back in 2012 we would have abetter potus now :)

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Unobscured Vision

[comment removed -- not relevant to the discussion]

 

Moving right along.

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Kazama Levi

Voting for Kubuntu as base.

Arch might not be bad, too, but plain Arch comes totally naked without anything, and you'll have to spend vast amounts of time adding in all the bits and pieces needed, and then making sure they work well together and whatnot... let's not go there.

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Unobscured Vision

Those decisions can be made later on. Remember, this is a simulation. An experiment. Something meant to be fun.

 

Let's not make it overly serious.

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simonlang

Voting for Kubuntu as base.

Arch might not be bad, too, but plain Arch comes totally naked without anything, and you'll have to spend vast amounts of time adding in all the bits and pieces needed, and then making sure they work well together and whatnot... let's not go there.

 

hm but as far as i understood this, is that arch will be only the base, then comes the DI, then probably many other details and once it's done and built will be rolled out as a complete distro. so from this point of view, the base does not really matter much.

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elenarie

Debian or Arch. I think it would be best if the initial release is a simple, minimal installation of either of those coupled with a DE removed of all crap. The opposite of the junk that Gnome and KDE come with.

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simonlang

Debian or Arch. I think it would be best if the initial release is a simple, minimal installation of either of those coupled with a DE removed of all crap. The opposite of the junk that Gnome and KDE come with.

 

i strongly disagree here. basically every distro is too light, offers too little included apps, programs and tweak tools. what use would be another one of this, where after having installed the distro you would have to spend 2 or 3 hours adding programs, tweaks and stuff?

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Kazama Levi

hm but as far as i understood this, is that arch will be only the base, then comes the DI, then probably many other details and once it's done and built will be rolled out as a complete distro. so from this point of view, the base does not really matter much.

 

The point is: If you use a naked distro like Arch as the base, you'll have to spend a lot of time adding in all the bits and pieces required (by far not just the DI) to be able roll out a distro later on. If you use a more complete distro like Kubuntu, you'll have much less work before you can roll your distro.

 

Now if you're saying: I've got lots and lots of time on my hand and am dying of boredom anyway, so doing nothing but adding the required bits and pieces to a naked Arch for the next three months or so suits me just fine, then okay, just go ahead.

 

If however you don't have huge amounts of time at your disposal, and if you think that there's no point in re-inventing the wheel by starting with a naked distro and adding in all the bits, then using a more complete distro like Kubuntu as a base would be a better idea.

 

So the first thing that should be decided is: Do you want to spend huge amounts of time (a few months at least) and effort into adding all the required bits to a naked distro like Arch, or do you want to use a more complete distro like Kubuntu as a base, which won't require near as much time and effort (but might not be a configurable)?

 

i strongly disagree here. basically every distro is too light, offers too little included apps, programs and tweak tools. what use would be another one of this, where after having installed the distro you would have to spend 2 or 3 hours adding programs, tweaks and stuff?

Yes, that's the other downside when using a naked distro like Arch as the base, you'll most likely spend more time adding apps and tweaks after installing the distro.

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fusi0n

 

The point is: If you use a naked distro like Arch as the base, you'll have to spend a lot of time adding in all the bits and pieces required (by far not just the DI) to be able roll out a distro later on. If you use a more complete distro like Kubuntu, you'll have much less work before you can roll your distro.

 

I agree.. The people that want a non-bloat linux will install their own debian core, or Arch and won't use someone elses distro.. If you are building a distro that everyone can use, it would be best to make it as easy and user friendly out of the box as possible.. 

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Max Norris

The point is: If you use a naked distro like Arch as the base, you'll have to spend a lot of time adding in all the bits and pieces required (by far not just the DI) to be able roll out a distro later on. If you use a more complete distro like Kubuntu, you'll have much less work before you can roll your distro.

Just my opinion, but if you're just going to take Kubuntu, change the wallpaper and add/change an app or two, it's not worth the effort and really shouldn't even be called a distro.. more of a remix. If I wanted Kubuntu I'd just grab Kubuntu and be done with it. Besides, all that time adding the bits and pieces in isn't going to be done by the end user anyway, then you (as the maintainer) get a truly customized setup, parts hand picked from the ground up. It also moves you away from that six month nonsense too.. how many versions of this distro do you want to have to support? Conversely, stick with the LTS build and your software gets stale in a hurry. Using something like Arch it'll be just one release, every so often release an updated ISO so there's less to download at the end or if there's a big change to the setup.
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Kazama Levi

I agree.. The people that want a non-bloat linux will install their own debian core, or Arch and won't use someone elses distro.. If you are building a distro that everyone can use, it would be best to make it as easy and user friendly out of the box as possible..

 

Yes, that's another good point. People who would be the target of an Arch-based distro would probably rather install Arch and add in what they regard as missing by themselves, rather than using an prepared distro.

Just my opinion, but if you're just going to take Kubuntu, change the wallpaper and add/change an app or two, it's not worth the effort and really shouldn't even be called a distro.. more of a remix.

That's just how Mint started out. Initially, there wasn't changed much in Mint over Ubuntu, the changes only came over time. People still liked it, and it became very popular.

You don't need to change all that much in your very first release. Changing all sorts of stuff just for the sake of change is just stupid. Just do a decent amount of changes and improvements for the first release, package it nicely with good presentation, and people will still like it.

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Unobscured Vision

All valid points to consider everyone, thank you. :)

 

I attempted to install Arch last night (per the documentation for Virtualbox), and I failed to get it working. I'll keep trying until I get it right. It's likely my fault anyway. :yes:

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gohpep

I vote for Fedora because it is a stable base we can work off of. Arch is too free form.

Debian is my next choice after Fedora, because Fedora has business in mind so it is more stable.

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Max Norris

That's just how Mint started out. Initially, there wasn't changed much in Mint over Ubuntu, the changes only came over time. People still liked it, and it became very popular.

That popularity is probably due to either Mate or Cinnamon. If they released a Mint Unity Edition.. I seriously doubt it would be anywhere near as popular. You say "Linux Mint" and the first thing that comes to mind isn't going to be KDE. (Some people don't even know they do a KDE version.)

 

Changing all sorts of stuff just for the sake of change is just stupid.

(Wish the Gnome team got that memo /s) Rehashing the exact same thing just to change a few visual settings and say changing the browser from X to Y is hardly the "perfect distro" either, well in my opinion anyway, it's just a rehash of the same thing and just a waste of a download.. what's the point then? I can do that myself in a few minutes at most. The "perfect distro" for me would bring something unique to the table. Someone mentioned Deepin for example, now that is a worthwhile download. Ubuntu at its core sure.. but it's unique. Same with Elementary and a couple of Mint's distros. Or from a different perspective, say Sabayon Linux. Gentoo without the headaches and nosebleeds.

Not saying I'm in a "Arch or nothing" mindset mind you, I just think it provides a perfect "blank canvas" to work with. Debian Unstable and the like would work too.

 

I attempted to install Arch last night (per the documentation for Virtualbox), and I failed to get it working. I'll keep trying until I get it right. It's likely my fault anyway. :yes:

Heh nobody makes the first jump -- just makes getting it right that much sweeter.
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Mindovermaster
I attempted to install Arch last night (per the documentation for Virtualbox), and I failed to get it working. I'll keep trying until I get it right. It's likely my fault anyway. :yes:

 

That's because the Arch Beginners Guide in wiki, gives you too many variables to work with. I wish they did it differently. Half the stuff you'd never need..

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simonlang

i am pretty sure, with the many talented people we have here on neowin, even arch as a base would be possible. and once configured properly there would be no need for the user to add much more.

however: how often did we have had these talks already? lots of words, arguments, good ideas but no results.  :/

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Kazama Levi

i am pretty sure, with the many talented people we have here on neowin, even arch as a base would be possible. and once configured properly there would be no need for the user to add much more.

however: how often did we have had these talks already? lots of words, arguments, good ideas but no results.  :/

Exactly that's why we shouldn't start with something complicated like an Arch-based distro, it'll be dead pretty soon long before the first release.

Let's start simple. Take e.g. Kubuntu and do the following:

  • add apps which are missing from Kubuntu, e.g. Ktorrent, Konversation, Firefox, Gimp.
  • add basic add-ons for Firefox: Adblock Plus, Noscript, Tabmix Plus, Tabscope (tab preview), Perapera (Japanese pop-up dictionary), Https Everywhere, Flagfox
  • setup apps properly, e.g. I like this Dolphin setup much better than the default one:

    5lFetqEN.jpg

  • the default Kubuntu theme is pretty lame. Add a better theme (Qtcurve) and create a nice theme, see screenshot above.
  • same goes for the ugly default gray, replace it!
  • add desktop enhancements:
    • Lancelot start menu
    • Cairo dock with nice icons
    • System monitor widget

      pzpEVDU8.jpg

  • add nice wallpapers (e.g. like the one above).
  • setup slideshow screensaver with the wallpapers included by us

That's it for starters, can't think of anything more right now... The above won't take one of us Linux experts long to setup, but keep in mind that most people aren't experts. Most haven't even touched Linux ever. If they installed a distro and it came with all the above listed improvements over plain Kubuntu right out of the box, they would surely have a much better opinion of Linux :woot:

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Mindovermaster
That's it for starters, can't think of anything more right now... The above won't take one of us Linux experts long to setup, but keep in mind that most people aren't experts. Most haven't even touched Linux ever. If they installed a distro and it came with all the above listed improvements over plain Kubuntu right out of the box, they would surely have a much better opinion of Linux :woot:

 

Do tell me, how many Windows/OSX users look in here for help? Most of us that are posting in here know a thing or 2 about Linux. Whoever said we were building this for novice users?

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TDT

Take the elementary OS source code and go from there. IMO, it's the best Linux distro out there at the moment. Based on Ubuntu, but no bloatware, it's beautiful, simple, fast, everything a normal user could ask from a OS.

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Mindovermaster

Take the elementary OS source code and go from there. IMO, it's the best Linux distro out there at the moment. Based on Ubuntu, but no bloatware, it's beautiful, simple, fast, everything a normal user could ask from a OS.

 

 

Could say the same for any distro. It depends on what you want/need. I could take a base Debian setup, install with no DE. But instead add XFCE4 to the mix. I'm on my way.

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simonlang

Exactly that's why we shouldn't start with something complicated like an Arch-based distro, it'll be dead pretty soon long before the first release.

Let's start simple. Take e.g. Kubuntu and do the following:

  • add apps which are missing from Kubuntu, e.g. Ktorrent, Konversation, Firefox, Gimp.
  • add basic add-ons for Firefox: Adblock Plus, Noscript, Tabmix Plus, Tabscope (tab preview), Perapera (Japanese pop-up dictionary), Https Everywhere, Flagfox
  • setup apps properly, e.g. I like this Dolphin setup much better than the default one:

    5lFetqEN.jpg

  • the default Kubuntu theme is pretty lame. Add a better theme (Qtcurve) and create a nice theme, see screenshot above.
  • same goes for the ugly default gray, replace it!
  • add desktop enhancements:
    • Lancelot start menu
    • Cairo dock with nice icons
    • System monitor widget

      pzpEVDU8.jpg

  • add nice wallpapers (e.g. like the one above).
  • setup slideshow screensaver with the wallpapers included by us

That's it for starters, can't think of anything more right now... The above won't take one of us Linux experts long to setup, but keep in mind that most people aren't experts. Most haven't even touched Linux ever. If they installed a distro and it came with all the above listed improvements over plain Kubuntu right out of the box, they would surely have a much better opinion of Linux :woot:

 

 

hmm... long time since i used arch so i am not sure, but is not firefox itself responsible for it's addons and once firefox is installed you can add the addons in windows just like in any linux and probably mac os as well?

afaik same should go for dolphin but i am waiting for someone to confirm or contradict me there.

 

funny thing is that you mention qt-curve theme (rightfully so!) but then showing 2 very ugly screenshots. i see what you want to demonstrate with the functions but would any non linux user ever notice in such dark black screenshots? better going for something bright and slick to demonstrate it.

 

lancelot? unsure. for some reason it has kde 3.x written all over the place for me. a doc is popular for sure, but why not just using iconized task bar instead of 2 ones, like mac os does very well in that regard.

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Unobscured Vision

The vote as it stands now is Ubuntu-based at 13 votes, Arch-based at 12, Debian-based at 8, Red Hat/SuSE/Fedora-based at 5, Gentoo-based at 4, Slackware-based at 2, Source-based at 1, and Custom/Other at 1. Interesting turn of events indeed.

 

Keep the votes coming in, everyone. Voting for the Distro's Base ends this coming Saturday, then we'll begin the vote on the major software that it will contain (Web Browser, Media Player, etc).

 

Happy Holidays, everyone. :)

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NightScreams

I wish I knew how to work with Linux. I just want one where I can use the same gestures as OSX and have all my apps full screen and switch between them by swiping 3 fingers left and right. Smooth zooming in web browsers like how Safari does in OSX and stuff like that. I love OSX but it's bloated and too much crap running that I don't use.

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simonlang

I wish I knew how to work with Linux. I just want one where I can use the same gestures as OSX and have all my apps full screen and switch between them by swiping 3 fingers left and right. Smooth zooming in web browsers like how Safari does in OSX and stuff like that. I love OSX but it's bloated and too much crap running that I don't use.

 

it's possible.

sudo apt install touchegg

and to have a gui interface, you need

touchegg-gce

after running it, you see this kind of interface:

XQolaVj.jpg

 

further reading: here

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Unobscured Vision

The current vote will finish at 12 pm EDT tomorrow (Saturday) and the Base will be selected for the Simulated Distro according to what the community has decided.

 

I need to figure out whether to start new topics for each voting cycle (which could be construed as spamming the forums, and that's something I don't want to do) or keep the topic here in this thread and simply add new votes (which is what I prefer but I don't know if I'm able to do that).

 

Anyway, the items on the agenda for the next voting cycle are which flavor of the Selected Base will be used and which default software will be included. Some good points were raised earlier in the topic that if we're simply doing a respin there's no reason to make things overly complicated on ourselves by "reinventing the wheel" when we already have a selection of wheels to improve upon.

 

Since we as Linux Users are all about choice and preserving the freedom for other users to make their own choices, I have an idea. Believe it or not, this was first implemented by Microsoft themselves when they were forced to allow users to choose which Web Browser to install. Linux Mint then expanded this idea somewhat with their Welcome Screen. I'd like to advance this a bit further by having the user, at their convenience, choose which software they would like to have installed (such as Web Browser, Media Player, Music Player, etc) so that the system software is tailored to their tastes. Of course, there will be a set of "sane defaults" for those users who would prefer to not be bothered or whom, like one's Mother, who has no idea what "VLC" is other than she wants something that will "play her movies without fussing about it". We want something that "simply works".

 

That's the real purpose of our Simulated Distro -- to build the "Almost Perfect" Linux that our Mothers and Grandmothers can use out of the box, that will let them watch their soap operas and Facebook and Skype with the kids without the need to call us every hour because something didn't work, or some malicious website stole their credit card information.

 

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm tired of dealing with bloatware from a failed Windows 8 installation that never really did its' job to begin with, and having to deal with the local Credit Union because my Mother lost $1400 due to fraud.

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