DSL: Mini, desktop Linux distro build kit?

Forum: DSL Ideas and Suggestions
Topic: DSL: Mini, desktop Linux distro build kit?
started by: Nigadoo

Posted by Nigadoo on Mar. 18 2008,16:56
I figured I'd do my thinking out loud in a dedicated thread in case it's of any benefit...

Would it benefit this project if DSL allowed for easy creation of MYDSL Live CD's that could still fit onto biz-card (well, small at least) CD's?

In < "this other thread" >, we go into a little bit about DSL as a "lego-like kit" to put together custom distro's.

Here's what I'm thinking:
* setup base DSL with the very minimum necessary for DSL to work (i.e. take out apps that aren't tightly integrated into the distro);
* setup the "taken out" apps above as MYDSL extensions;
* setup the DSL distro (the "main" ISO) as base + MYDSL extensions above, so that this distro looks just like the the DSL distro we know today;
* setup "Make MYDSL" build script to build an ISO out of the base + only MYDSL extensions chosen by the user (i.e. don't automatically include MYDSL extensions from the "main" ISO.

Just like the MYDSL extensions provide off-the-shelf applications for customization, I think it would be pretty cool to have a series of off-the-shelf MYDSL Distro's ... (especially mini-CD ones!)  How about a "MYDSL Server", "MYDSL Pre-School" "MYDSL SOHO", "MYDSL RetroGames"???

The thing is, John (and Robert?) have done such a great job picking low-resource/footprint apps, I don't know if a "base" DSL would leave much room for an alternative set of apps.  Would it?

As it's easy enough to take, along with the DSL CD, as many apps as we want on a USB key, would it make sense to do any of this?  I'm tempted to say "yes", otherwise what's the point of having "Make MYDSL"?  (There must already be an obvious need to create custom DSL CD's...)

Sorry, long-winded.  You're lucky this isn't a you-tube like posting ... you'd be suffering through a lot of non-verbal communication on top of that!

Cheers and best regards.

Posted by curaga on Mar. 18 2008,17:32
Had you created a youtube vid we wouldn't be watching it :P

The tiny core is pretty much what is planned, and putting a notice to mkmydsl about the "base" extensions and wether to include them is easy.

Special editions, spins, pups or whatever are nice, but let's not hog the server bandwith with tons of .iso's that have 97% in common. Like I said in the other thread, having a web interface like Nimblex but outputting a list of extensions selected would work nice with your idea - like having pre-selected something for server, retro etc.

Posted by lucky13 on Mar. 18 2008,17:42
I loudly vote "No!" to offering remasters as independent ISOs. There's been enough confusion between isolinux/syslinux and 3x/4x versions (not to mention the confusion over frugal/debian-like installs). The base is small enough that you can roll your own for your specific tastes and needs now. The problem with throwing out various "remixes" is people are going to continue to insist that application A be in the base instead of application B. They're still going to resort to MyDSL. So just leave it there and cut out the confusion and hassle of maintaining twenty-something different ISOs.
Posted by clivesay on Mar. 18 2008,17:50
lucky13, I agree.
Posted by Nigadoo on Mar. 18 2008,18:26
Agree, multiple ISO's available not so good.  I guess for me, I like the idea of a customized DSL ISO that fits biz-card CD's and doesn't require in-depth technical know-how ... I just don't have the luxury of time for such a hobby.  I would like to be able to build:

* a biz-card CD for grandpa with amateur radio related stuff;
* a biz-card CD for kids with educational stuff or simple games;
* other "stocking-stuffers" for family and friends

You're right lucky13, there are enough ISO's for DSL as is, and way too many Linux distro's in general.  Choice is great, buy holy cow do we need that many?  Much better to have a strong base distros (DSL for biz-card size, nomadic, run-on-anything computing, and others for whatever else) for customization (with "recipes"?).

Curaga: thanks.  Appreciate the tidbits of "what's in the future."  Is there a forum thread somewhere that focuses on that kind of topic?

Posted by lucky13 on Mar. 18 2008,19:27
Can you fit enough amateur radio stuff on a bizcard to make it worthwhile? Or would you at least need a mini CD to fit it all in? I don't think there's that much you'd want to remove from DSL's base -- aside from Firefox, the apps are so small that you're not really going to make a big enough dent to fit in much else.

Why not give gramps a nice shiny USB-HDD set up that he can insert in any computer and boot up? Then he has something that still fits in his pocket with all the apps he wants, persistent settings, and plenty of storage if he wants to pimp his myspace page. Same goes for the kids and friends.

EDIT... The "2.6 wishlist" thread has some of the teasers about the tiny core project. Robert hasn't announced any time lines.
< http://damnsmalllinux.org/cgi-bin....t=19395 >

Posted by newby on Mar. 19 2008,04:49
Quote (Nigadoo @ Mar. 18 2008,13:26)
I would like to be able to build:

* a biz-card CD for grandpa with amateur radio related stuff;
* a biz-card CD for kids with educational stuff or simple games;
* other "stocking-stuffers" for family and friends

The Damn Small Linux book has chapters on remastering and special projects:

< http://www.amazon.com/Official-Damn-Small-Linux-Book/dp/0132338696 >

One of which is DSL for kids.

Posted by Nigadoo on Mar. 19 2008,16:40
Thanks Newby and Lucky13.  I got the book over a year ago, and highly recommend it to all.

Yes, have considered what both of you recommend, but was holding off hoping for MYDSL Remastering that would fit biz-card CD's (cool factor!).  I'll forget about that and refocus on planning on MYDSL projects for the "larger" (still cool) mini-CD's.

Much appreciated.  Thanks for indulging me.  Cheers.

Posted by roberts on Mar. 19 2008,17:47
I have given John the option for me to build a tiny core DSL, but it has been rejected everytime. Don't look for DSL as we know it today (2.4 kernel) to be stripped.
However a goal is to offer such with a 2.6 kernel. When it is ready depends on time available to build it given the situation that is today.

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