Where to take Shift


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Daylene

Hey everyone,

For those who don't remember me, I'm one of the original people who helped get Shift off the ground by suggesting we use Morphix as a base and helping a little bit in starting it :p

After seeing some of the work on Shift, I have to say it looks really nice! The graphics team did a great job, along with everyone else who has helped to get the distro going. Although, to be honest I don't think Morphix is such a good idea to use to further Shift development. I say this primarily because it is mostly built for making Live CDs, and is fairly limited on what it can do. If anyone is open for suggestions, I'd like to point out a few suggestions on what the next release of Shift should try to use as a base distro.

-Shift uses a new distro for its base system, while the Morphix Shift continues to be developed and supported until the transition to the new distro. If development were to go this way, I would suggest basing Shift off of one of the three following distros:

-Slackware: Slackware is an excellent, minimal Linux distro with a lot of power and flexibility, while at the same time keeping it simple. We could implement our own package management system, based on something like slapt-get and add different features like a one-click installer for non-free things such as drivers.

-Ubuntu: Ubuntu, based on Debian, is user-friendly and stable. It also comes with the great package manager apt-get and a nice GUI installer. Besides branding it Shift, we can add things like non-free codecs, and focus on eye-candy, by making things such as the AWN dock ship standard.

-Arch Linux: Arch Linux is bleeding-edge, and has a great package manager, pacman. It is also very fast, but only supports i686 (correct me if I'm wrong) CPUs. If we used Arch, we could focus on creating a distro which focuses on speed and bleeding edge things.

If anyone has any suggestions, comments, or ideas, let me know!

Thanks!

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afuchi

Ubuntu!

1. user-friendly and stable.

2. with the great package manager.

3. nice GUI installer.

4. quite large community to get help if needed.

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Digitalx

I would say at the end of the day, even though shift and neowin may have started being focused more on the enthusiast, I believe we would be better off probably off taking the ubuntu route so it'll be easier to manage and build upon and be easier to help offer a bridge to linux to the new users who haven't tried linux or would like to try our route of linux we'd like to drive.

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0l33l

Arch!

I'm using arch as my one and only OS. The package management is great (pacman) and it can also build from user-submitted files. Although pacman is a command line utility, there are wrappers that give it a GUI (such as jacman).

It supports x86-64, which is what I'm running now.

Compared to Ubuntu, it does not support as many things out of the box (my webcam isn't detected unless I install some packages) whereas it is detected in Ubuntu. But arch runs so much faster than Ubuntu, it is definitely worth the extra few hours getting set up

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+Frank B.
Hey everyone,

For those who don't remember me, I'm one of the original people who helped get Shift off the ground by suggesting we use Morphix as a base and helping a little bit in starting it :p

After seeing some of the work on Shift, I have to say it looks really nice! The graphics team did a great job, along with everyone else who has helped to get the distro going. Although, to be honest I don't think Morphix is such a good idea to use to further Shift development. I say this primarily because it is mostly built for making Live CDs, and is fairly limited on what it can do. If anyone is open for suggestions, I'd like to point out a few suggestions on what the next release of Shift should try to use as a base distro.

-Shift uses a new distro for its base system, while the Morphix Shift continues to be developed and supported until the transition to the new distro. If development were to go this way, I would suggest basing Shift off of one of the three following distros:

-Slackware: Slackware is an excellent, minimal Linux distro with a lot of power and flexibility, while at the same time keeping it simple. We could implement our own package management system, based on something like slapt-get and add different features like a one-click installer for non-free things such as drivers.

-Ubuntu: Ubuntu, based on Debian, is user-friendly and stable. It also comes with the great package manager apt-get and a nice GUI installer. Besides branding it Shift, we can add things like non-free codecs, and focus on eye-candy, by making things such as the AWN dock ship standard.

-Arch Linux: Arch Linux is bleeding-edge, and has a great package manager, pacman. It is also very fast, but only supports i686 (correct me if I'm wrong) CPUs. If we used Arch, we could focus on creating a distro which focuses on speed and bleeding edge things.

If anyone has any suggestions, comments, or ideas, let me know!

Thanks!

There's a Wiki entry about the future direction of Shift Linux on the Shift Linux Wiki. Feel free to add your ideas to it.

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Simon

We're 90% set on Ubuntu already, actually. There are some internal builds floating around based on it that Crimson and I are trying to change up. Ubuntu has some great tools for getting us started, like Reconstructor and the Ubuntu Customization Kit. Once we get wallpapers, themes, bootsplashes, boot menus, etc. in there, we have some stuff of our own to add, some packages to customize, and some stuff to make more bleeding edge (we're a beta distro, so we are contemplating including some beta stuff in there).

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Daylene
We're 90% set on Ubuntu already, actually. There are some internal builds floating around based on it that Crimson and I are trying to change up. Ubuntu has some great tools for getting us started, like Reconstructor and the Ubuntu Customization Kit. Once we get wallpapers, themes, bootsplashes, boot menus, etc. in there, we have some stuff of our own to add, some packages to customize, and some stuff to make more bleeding edge (we're a beta distro, so we are contemplating including some beta stuff in there).

Sounds great. Just make sure that you're using Hardy Heron so that you're always with the latest Ubuntu version. Also, is there any way I could take a look at the builds and such?

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Barney T.

Hey Bulio......

Thanks for the post. We did spend some late nights, didn't we??

TBH, we have talked much about many of the points that you brought up. As Simon says (hee-hee) we are looking at the portability of using the Ubuntu model, as we've struggled with getting an installer that worked properly. We would also create our own custom build apps and such.

We will be kicking this around some more before we come to some resolution. The Shift staff here should be very proud of the year long effort that it took to get us this far. After a small respite, we will take up a new build and create another high quality release.

Thanks for your input and it is nice to see you on the boards again.

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Panacik

OOOOOhhhh there is a shift linux team now... nice.

sorry to go offtopic Mr Barney sir :D

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samg

Damnit, where is my Shiny Shift Linux badge!

And why has the home page been changed from my one :s Looks good though!

And where is my name on the credits for hosting the site!

some people, this country... etc

/rant over.

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Barney T.
Damnit, where is my Shiny Shift Linux badge!

And why has the home page been changed from my one :s Looks good though!

And where is my name on the credits for hosting the site!

some people, this country... etc

/rant over.

We have ways of fixing this, sir! I will sort out the works this afternoon......... you rock, and you know it ;)

**Added to credits page, devs have added you to the Shift Linux team group.**

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DaveLegg
And where is my name on the credits for hosting the site!

I host the site now :p ?_?

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Simon
I host the site now :p ?_?

I could've sworn someone told him...

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samg
I host the site now :p ?_?
I could've sworn someone told him...

Someone did... Barney.

Totally forgot. Should be able to free up some space/bandwidth no:):)

Also forgot to thank barney for what hes just done:):) Thanks.

Edited by illmonkey
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Fish

So... just trying to get a feel for this... being based on Ubuntu, are you aiming Shift towards the more "beginner"-types, or are you trying to strike some sort of middle ground for the more technically minded Linux users? Just wondering, because the impression I tend to get "from the community" is that some users just won't look at Ubuntu and its derivatives simply because of what it is.

I'm just finding my feet in Linux, ergo Ubuntu suits me just fine atm (and by that token, Shift should do too), but I wonder how you'll be able to cater for the power-users at the same time (if, indeed, that is your intention)?

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markjensen
...

I'm just finding my feet in Linux, ergo Ubuntu suits me just fine atm (and by that token, Shift should do too), but I wonder how you'll be able to cater for the power-users at the same time (if, indeed, that is your intention)?

There is nothing in Ubuntu that prevents someone from being a "power user". Someone doesn't like sudo being set up, they can create a root account password and remove sudo. If they don't like Gnome or anything else, they can set it all up they way they please.

Ubuntu, as people download the CD, is just a start point for an install. Where the particular PC goes, as far as setup, is totally up to the user.

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Barney T.
So... just trying to get a feel for this... being based on Ubuntu, are you aiming Shift towards the more "beginner"-types, or are you trying to strike some sort of middle ground for the more technically minded Linux users? Just wondering, because the impression I tend to get "from the community" is that some users just won't look at Ubuntu and its derivatives simply because of what it is.

I'm just finding my feet in Linux, ergo Ubuntu suits me just fine atm (and by that token, Shift should do too), but I wonder how you'll be able to cater for the power-users at the same time (if, indeed, that is your intention)?

Mark nailed it again. All Linux distros, once installed, can be used by beginners as well as power users. Depending on the apps added, or the way the user administers it, Linux can be molded to suit every need. As an example, all Debian distros use APT as the package manager. This is a powerful application that not only adds or removes software from selected repositories, but can fetch and install additional packages that are required by the chosen software.... without additional research by the user. Now the user can choose to administer APT through the command line interface (the terminal) or by using Synaptic, the GUI APT interface. Both work equally as well. Using the command line interface gives the user more choices on how to download packages, or options in searching for software, but both do the trick.

The same can be said with administering any Linux distro. You can set up any Linux distro to be a server, a firewall, or a router. If you do not care for the default look, you can go to any theming site (like Gnome-Look) and download and install new themes. If you want to get in depth in customizing your desktop or the way your screen looks, you can go into system files (like xorg.conf) and change the entries. Again it is all in how in depth you want to go.

The good thing about Ubuntu and Shift is that they are made as Live CDs. This means that you can try them out first, without any harm to your hard drive. No installation is needed. You run them off your memory, and once you reboot, your hard drive is back to the way it was before. So you can see if the distro will do the things you want it to. If so, you can install it (even dual-boot if you want to). If not, remove the CD, reboot, and go your way.

Barney

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Fish

Good points, well made. I understand what you're saying, but it does beg the question... what are/would be the Shift-specific features? I know Linux is about choice, so why would one choose Shift over vanilla Ubuntu, or for that matter any other Distro?

I realise this sounds like another "oh no, another Distro - why?" post, but please understand that I'm not slating Shift in any way, just playing Devil's advocate... and trying to get a little insight into what you devs have in mind.

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markjensen

I'm going to jump in again (and hopefully not land on Barney's or any other Shift developer's toes) :p

Shift is done by Neowinians for a two main reasons I can think of:

  • Direct control over what gets packaged, instead of making requests to the Ubuntu team (or Fedora, or whatever). What "we" (meaning those directly involved with Shift) want, goes.
  • Learning experience. For those on the team, I think that they are learning a lot about what it takes to build and test a Linux system. I tried to get involved a while ago, but I don't have a dedicated PC for this, and my current rig is too slow to make emulation practical.

Individually, I am sure that the Shift team members each have their own personal reasons they want to participate in this effort, as well.

When Ubuntu came out, I heard a lot of "oh no, not another Linux distro" comments, too. ;)

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Whiffle
Good points, well made. I understand what you're saying, but it does beg the question... what are/would be the Shift-specific features? I know Linux is about choice, so why would one choose Shift over vanilla Ubuntu, or for that matter any other Distro?

I realise this sounds like another "oh no, another Distro - why?" post, but please understand that I'm not slating Shift in any way, just playing Devil's advocate... and trying to get a little insight into what you devs have in mind.

Actually I was just wondering the same thing. Every other day I find out about another *buntu distro, and I always ask, what does this new distro bring to the table, and, is whatever it brings something that could be simply added on via an extra set of packages, or does it necessitate a whole new distro.

I am getting an idea lately that the word "distribution" no longer means what it used to. Back when I started with Linux, distribution were differentiated by everything that surrounds the kernel, the init scripts, the configuration files, etc. Some of it was shared, but alot of things were different (like package managers...apt, rpm, portage, etc). Nowadays it seems that a new "distro (based on <insert another distro here>" that appears to be just a different default UI with all the underlying pieces of another distro. Kind of like the kubuntu, ubuntu, fluxubunu,xubuntu etc. Its all ubuntu, the only thing thats different is the DE, which I think is actually really confusing if you're new to the business.

Anyway...

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Simon

The truth is that it will be differentiated from other distributions by what you guys recommend. We have some small, nice touches to add, but we don't have any killer features--yet. You guys can suggest new apps, new ideas, or whatever to us, and we'll see what we can do about it.

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Daylene

If Shift is going for a real "eyecandy" look, it would be neat to see AWN being used by default. I use it all the time and it looks quite nice.

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Whiffle
The truth is that it will be differentiated from other distributions by what you guys recommend. We have some small, nice touches to add, but we don't have any killer features--yet. You guys can suggest new apps, new ideas, or whatever to us, and we'll see what we can do about it.

Downloading now, time to take it for a test drive.

Actually, I was more wondering, what are this distros goals? Or does it not have any yet? I think one of the key things to have in any project is a well defined set of goals, or series of goals, so you know where you are and you know where you're going. Without them, it kind of turns into a never ending quest and you never really feel like you're getting anywhere. It doesn't even have to be much of a goal even, just something to work toward. Granted this may be difficult when that sort of idea is left to a vote, but its worth checking into I think.

For example (http://www.slackware.com/info/)

The Official Release of Slackware Linux by Patrick Volkerding is an advanced Linux operating system, designed with the twin goals of ease of use and stability as top priorities. Including the latest popular software while retaining a sense of tradition, providing simplicity and ease of use alongside flexibility and power, Slackware brings the best of all worlds to the table.

Ease of use and stability. Bingo.

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Daylene
Downloading now, time to take it for a test drive.

Actually, I was more wondering, what are this distros goals? Or does it not have any yet? I think one of the key things to have in any project is a well defined set of goals, or series of goals, so you know where you are and you know where you're going. Without them, it kind of turns into a never ending quest and you never really feel like you're getting anywhere. It doesn't even have to be much of a goal even, just something to work toward. Granted this may be difficult when that sort of idea is left to a vote, but its worth checking into I think.

For example (http://www.slackware.com/info/)

Ease of use and stability. Bingo.

I agree, a well-defined set of goals generally tends to produce more results. Maybe if a survey was made to see what users wish to see in Shift, the devs could take it from there? I can create a simple questionnaire if everyone wants.

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