Introducing StudentOS™ (A remastered DSL4.0)
Forum: Linux and Free Software
Topic: Introducing StudentOS™ (A remastered DSL4.0)
started by: blogananda
Posted by blogananda on June 12 2008,21:25Hi,
Iam Ananda Kammampati (username "blogananda" at DSL forums) and I would like to introduce StudentOS™ - a remastered DSL4.0 but, with Linux 2.4.35 kernel built with LIRC module.
Now why does the world need yet another remastered Linux you might ask. Fair question and I dont have a convincing answer :-) But I have shared my thoughts on creation of StudentOS™ and different "Editions" of it on my website.
< http://www.metoolabs.com >
< http://www.metoolabs.com/index.p....emid=58 >
Having done with the creation of StudentOS™, for which I have documented to my best at :
< http://www.metoolabs.com/index.p....emid=83 >
I then went ahead and did something that the creators of DSL and it's community would hate to see someone doing it for DSL. which is "bloating" the distro and going against it's phylosophy of keeping it small.
So, before I get flame emails :-) just wanted clarify that my intial plan is to work extensively on DSL-N (2.6 kernel). But since I couldn't get the development tools working on DSL-N (atleast when I looked into it last time), I eventually ended up spending more time on DSL, creating StudentOS™ and different Editions based on it, with each bundled with a different set of Opensource applications.
< http://www.metoolabs.com/index.p....emid=69 >
You are absolutely welcome to download, install them and play with them all.
< http://www.metoolabs.com/index.p....mid=104 >
For now, please bear with the ugly (but harmless) error messages that will be thrown at bootup time (exception - StudentOS™-Basic Edition). I'll take care of them in their
next cut/release.The error messages will appear only when it is booted from CDROM. Once you install them on the hardrive (Press F3 at boot prompt and enter "install"), things should be fine.
Clicking on each Edition of StudentOS™ listed under www.metoolabs.com-->Documentation-->StudentOS-->Editions
should popup a browser (or a tab in your browser) showing step-by-step instructions in building all the softwares listed under that particular Edition.
I sincerely hope the documentations that I have provided will save a lot of trouble for anyone out there who love DSL and who would like to install different Opensource software on DSL. (The website is slow and it might be annoying. But I'll fix it)
I welcome you to sign-in the guestbook with your thoughts and suggestions :-) You can also reach me at :
Thanks a million to Robert and John for making DSL and also writing an excellent book on it!
Learn, Educate, Share!
Here is the list of Opensource softwares that I could build on DSL.
Icecast Streaming Server
Live555 Streaming Server
Web Publishing Edition
Support Tracking Edition
Systems Mgmt. Edition
Document Mgmt. Edition
Posted by lucky13 on June 12 2008,21:38Boo, spam.
Posted by chaostic on June 12 2008,22:59No, not spam. Quite useful actually. I didn't think some of that software would work on dsl (Wordpress, for example). And a bunch of wiki's I been meaning to try anyway.
How they have it fully documented is great as well. Every package or source install is fully documented and commented. The base remaster (and kernel compiling) documentation is years ahead of the ReMaster thread on here, if not simple easier on the eyes.
I'm already downloading three of the distros to see if any of the wiki's are worth while for my own remaster.
Posted by lucky13 on June 12 2008,23:35Two threads for the same advertisement = spam. Booooooo!
Edit: especially when he includes trademark symbols...
Posted by blogananda on June 13 2008,00:42Dear lucky13,
I have absolutely no intensions of spamming our forum. I love DSL as much as you do. The reason I posted in two places is obviously to get the word out so that people dont have to spend time on trying to figure out how to build softwares from source bundles and/or how to configure them on DSL.
I sincerely believe that the docs. that I have posted will only accelerate the adoption of DSL even further!
I work on virtualization and emdedded space and I truely believe DSL could play a major role in those areas as well. (more to follow). There is absolutely nothing out there in my website that is proprietary. And that's precisely why I picked only the GPL'ed softwares to be part of my Editions.
With respect to trademark, I honestly don't believe there is anything wrong in it. "Linux" is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds as you know and no one is against him for that matter.
Well, that's just my opinion. We could still have differences but I believe we can still help out each other with DSL going forward :-)
Posted by lucky13 on June 13 2008,01:31Instead of spamming DSL forums about your remasters, why don't you submit packages for MyDSL? Be part of the community instead of "trademarking" remixes based on something that's already an established trademark.
Re: trademarks... You're no Linus Torvalds. Don't even go there.
GPL isn't the only open source license. GPL has very clear requirements if you're re-distributing executables covered by that license. Accordingly, I posted links to both GPLv2 and GPLv3 in the other thread (spam) you posted. I also linked to an article about how that relates to sub-distros using unmodified binaries from upstream distros. It's very clear and unambiguous: you have an obligation when you release a binary based on GPL code to make sources available per the terms of the license once you distribute it.
You've offered publicly -- using two separate threads in this forum -- multiple variations of remasters containing GPL code. I want to know where your source tree is and how I can obtain all the sources for the executables covered under GPL used by each of your publicly distributed remasters.
Among the code contained in DSL (and presumably your remasters) is BusyBox:
< http://lwn.net/Articles/261328/ >
< http://busybox.net/license.html >
Are you fulfilling the requirements of the license? How? Where?
Posted by blogananda on June 13 2008,04:11Dear Lucky13,
Thanks for all the URLs that you have posted.
Regarding submitting packages to myDSL, that's what I initially started with. Then when I got into remastering techiques chapter 11 (explained in DSL book), I totally got carried away with it and ended up making different .iso images with different open sources packages and that's what ended as different Editions. But I see your point of making packages and submitting to myDSL.
Regarding "Linus Torwalds", thanks for the advice. I won't go there again :-)
Iam not sure which "source" that you mean, that I pretend to be hiding ?!
All I did is integration of DSL4.0, replacing it's kernel with kernel2.4.35 with LIRC module added (which are all available in their respective websites). This is all what I did.
1) I created 2 partitions with ext3 filesystems on my harddrive.
2) I then installed DSL4.0 on the first partition
3) I then manally mounted the second partition
4) I then downloaded the opensource softwares in second partition
5) For every software, I do a "./configure --prefix=/usr/local", followed by "make && make install"
6) I then take a tar (of filesystem) everything under "/" and keep it seperate (which I use it to integrate it step 8)
7) I then start the remaster work that I documented (or I should say "spam" in your words) booting with "boot: dsl 2 base norestore legacy"
8) I then replace it's filesystem with the filesystem that I created in step 6.
9) Finally, I make a new .iso image out of it.
I do it all manually. Pretty much that's all there is to it.
And if you say that's the source that Iam supposed to share (those filesystems), ofcourse they are all there for anyone to take :
< http://www.metoolabs.com/Remaster >
All I have written it down is, what it takes to make a DSL remaster and customise the way one wants to.
I will be intested in knowing is if the links that I provided under "documents" are useful to others.
I will be interested in hearing from other collegues as well and see if Iam doing anything illegal and/or breaking any rules.
Posted by lucky13 on June 13 2008,04:49I didn't ask about processes or steps -- I think I have that part of it down, thankyouverymuch. I asked where you're making sources for GPL software contained in your (re)distributions available under the terms of the GPL. That means kernel source, busybox source, etc. For every GPL'ed code contained in the remaster.
Better go read the GPL before offering such software to others. I don't think you understand your obligations under the license. The GPL is not carte blanche to produce remasters or even unique distros and hand them out or put them on the Internet. The moment you make it available to ANYONE, you're obliged by the GPL to also provide the sources. Do you need to hear from lawyers to comply?
edit: "which are all available in their respective websites" -- No, the GPL doesn't allow you to link or suggest websites if you distribute a binary. You're obligated to make the sources available where you make your ISOs available.
Posted by andrewb on June 13 2008,05:10This thread appear to be getting a bit personal, but I will add an observation:
DSL does not provide the sources for the extensions - they are only referred to in the info files - much the same as the links mentioned above. I know John & Robert can provide the code for the core system, but what about all the extensions - do we need a parallel repository with all the source code?
Posted by lucky13 on June 13 2008,11:05
Good question. I'm not a lawyer. It's also ironic that I raised the issue of source maintenance responsibility privately yesterday *before* these remaster/re-distros were made available in these forums. I don't know the answer (yet) and am awaiting clear guidance.
I've maintained sources of my submissions whether GPL, BSD, or MIT-X because I know the sources aren't found in MyDSL but (at least the GPL ones) have to be made available. I don't mind that because I'm the one making the extensions available and DSL only hosts those for the benefit of the community. DSL isn't distributing extensions, per se, since users select those themselves -- I see MyDSL in terms more similar to file sharing than distributing but I'm not 100% sure SFLC/FSF sees it the same way with respect to GPL software. I know other distros maintain full source trees for everything available in their packages. Maybe we'll get a clear answer about this soon.
My only GPL submissions are GNU screen, calcurse, and gdb (more pending). Unless and until we're asked to submit our sources along with our extensions, anyone wanting source for any of my extension submissions can get the sources I used directly from me.
That's a separate issue from this thread. As far as this being or becoming personal, blogananda decided to make his remasters public and, accordingly, put himself in a position of having to make all GPL sources contained therein available. This isn't my rule, this is the rule of each copyright holder of GPL code. It's a legal matter, not personal.
The GPL is a strict software license that stipulates terms for use, and it is not liberty to distribute things on your own terms without adhering to all of its requirements. Once you distribute it, you're obligated to comply with those terms. I'm not a fan of GPL (see my blog including my "FSF sucks" category) for this reason. I've always tried to respect and abide by the decision of developers when it comes to their terms for use, modification, and redistribution of their code whether GPL, BSD, or even proprietary licenses. That in part prompted my questions yesterday about compliance due to strict copyright requirements I encountered in something I want to submit and a couple other issues.
I want to comply fully with the terms and conditions software authors choose. DSL does this with respect to what's in its base and provides sources for unmodified upstream binaries. Will the person who willfully chose to release remasters/re-distros also comply with license obligations?
Posted by clivesay on June 13 2008,11:36There's no doubt they need to be available at some point. I think he can be given a little time to get his stuff together.
Some may not realize it but the sources weren't always available for DSL. That was actually done not that long ago because John got notified that he needed to make them available. He had to play catchup and spend a lot of time to get them together in a cd.
So lets not throw this user under the bus just yet.
Posted by lucky13 on June 13 2008,12:03
One of the links I provided mentions that and quotes John about it. There had been a presumption by some derivative developers that so long as they didn't modify what they got upstream (in the case of DSL, from Knoppix and Debian) then the upstream-provided source is sufficient because they provided the binaries. The FSF/SFLC, though, said no: if you redistribute anything, the onus is on you to provide the source as well. On the spot. Mepis had to fix this. So did DSL.
Now it's this guy's turn. The GPL sources need to be available per the terms of the GPL or they need to be taken off line until he's able to comply. It's not throwing him under a bus when it's his obligation to follow the rules of developers who release their code under GPL.
Posted by curaga on June 13 2008,13:29There are tons of other publicly available DSL remasters without source available.
I wonder why you haven't told their creators the same, or is it that this guy mentioned his in these forums?
Posted by lucky13 on June 13 2008,13:59This guy made his very public by posting two separate threads here about it with links and all. I don't know of other remasters. They clearly have the same obligation under GPL.
Posted by blogananda on June 13 2008,14:43Hi,
Thanks everyone for all your comments and sound advice. As "clivesay" mentioned Iam making all the sources available at :
(Iam doing it as I speak). And also make changes to the docmentation links appropriately.
And if I couldn't do it for any reason, thnn I will certainly disable the appropriate links under "download" so there will be no .iso images. That way, no damage done.
Posted by lucky13 on June 13 2008,16:00I'll look again after this weekend and see how much progress you've made. Thanks, Ananda.
Posted by florian on June 13 2008,17:40So, with you can easily download DSL and it's also fairly easy to do your remaster...
... yet in theory, before you're allowed to offer your work, you need to send a < request > to get DSL sources, pay a nominal fee of 7 US $ by check and wait that you receive the source. Although it's perfectly compliant with the GPL, it looks a bit like this delivery process is made to deter spare-time developers to publish their own remasters or ports or cool hacks that might find their way back into DSL.
Although I have no desire to see too many remasters or to see forks, I believe it is both pointless and uneffective to have a complex process in the hope of avoiding bad forks, etc. Therefore, I would suggest to have a link to be able to *download* the source of DSL (especially as next version is tiny and entirely compiled from source)! Let's be frictionless.
Posted by lucky13 on June 13 2008,18:01
Between the costs associated with burning CDs (including the costs of media and the burner itself), maintaining all changes from one version to another, bandwidth, postage, and time involved in doing all the work, I don't think $7 is a barrier to anything. It sure as bleep isn't going to make John wealthy. It's well within the parameters of the GPL and far less than the costs charged by Mepis for the same (although Mepis has a lot more to code to maintain and burn). It's not prohibitive, it's fair. I don't think it's a barrier to making remasters, but it's still something one should do before *releasing* a sub-distro to anyone else (let alone to the general public). I don't know the size of an ISO of the DSL source, but there's no restriction against someone who has that ISO making it available elsewhere -- that, too, is allowed under GPL -- regardless of whether John wants to do that himself.
Posted by chaostic on June 13 2008,19:53First, according to the GPL, offering offline access only to the source, when the binaries are online, is against the GPL. If you want to start being a prick to one person, have you bugged John about that?
< http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#AnonFTPAndSendSources >
And DSL is offered for free, yet the sources must be paid for, also in violation of the GPL
< http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#DoesTheGPLAllowDownloadFee >
And even more, no gpl software in the repository has the gpl license file with it, also in violation.
Karma has a way of affecting us all. Don't give karma a reason.
Posted by lucky13 on June 13 2008,20:56QUOTING CHAOSTIC:
Stop the name-calling right now. I haven't engaged in ANY ad hominem attacks on anyone here. Yet this is the second time you've called me a prick.
This is where DSL is in compliance with both letter and spirit of GPL.
< http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/selling.html >
So you're wrong. As usual. Not bein' snarky or nothin'... heh.
Posted by ^thehatsrule^ on June 13 2008,21:06chaostic: I think there may be a problem with your interpretation of those links you posted:
1 - it says v3?
2 - it says it's fine to charge a fee
(3) - see /usr/share/doc/License
There are some uncertanties on this (that I even have) in which I think a lawyer would be best in consulting with I suppose. Even then, there are "gray areas" and I don't want to bother with it (personally).
In any case, this thread has now gone off-topic imo...
Posted by lucky13 on June 13 2008,21:24
Agreed, but I also think it and its echo (duplicate) in another section were in poor taste since they're not DSL-specific and "advertising" someone else's sub-distro. Which is why I first replied as I did about spam.
But since we're already at this point... I can give a rationale for why source isn't available online and why your request should have a corresponding release number. Some of the sources have been modified at different points and in different ways. In order to fulfill the obligation online, John would have to maintain separate sections for each release with any changes. An example would include the various jwm versions and some of the modifications to it as well as other sources that have changed. It's not just one set of sources he's managing, it's a variety of that apply per DSL version.
Posted by blogananda on June 13 2008,23:03Hi All,
Just a quick update on the source bundles. I have made them all available now.
< http://www.metoolabs.com/src/README >
< http://www.metoolabs.com/src/prereqs > contain all the "Pre-requisites".
< http://www.metoolabs.com/src/editions > contain all software bundles that went into "Editions".
Also pl. note that I have disabled the "Streaming-Edition" under "Download" as I need to get all the sources in building VLC, which is the hardest of all.
< http://www.metoolabs.com/Docs/Streaming-Edition/Vlc >
And here is that README file.
"http://www.metoolabs.com/src" contain the files that I used to remaster DSL4.0.
"http://wwww.metoolabs.com/src/prereqs" contain source files of all the "Pre-requisites" that are used in building different Editions of StudentOS.
"http://wwww.metoolabs.com/src/editions" contain source files of all the softwares that are used in building different Editions of StudentOS.
We'll get back to you all once Iam back from my weekend trip.
Have a great weekend!
Posted by chaostic on June 13 2008,23:33
You gloss over the last part of the quote. 7 > 0.
Posted by lucky13 on June 14 2008,00:09
No, you just don't get it. GPLv2:
3-a) Accompany it with the complete corresponding machine-readable source code, which must be distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange; or,
b) Accompany it with a written offer, valid for at least three years, to give any third party, for a charge NO MORE THAN YOUR COST OF PHYSICALLY PERFORMING SOURCE DISTRIBUTION, a complete machine-readable copy of the corresponding source code, to be distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange...
The offer is made in the same place where the ISOs are available. The offer is also made on the CD. The price of $7 is not prohibitive or unreasonable -- not when compared to the $30 charged by Mepis or other distros. Even TiVo charges $15, which isn't deemed excessive by FSF/SFLC. Only by chiselers who think GPL means "free as in beer" when that is NOT the case. Never has been, never will be. Clear yet?
cf. < http://www.mepis.org/source >
(edited to fix misspelling and to note my emphasis above)
Posted by WDef on June 14 2008,06:08Not sure about GPL3 but I know I did some reading up on the GPL2 a year back and, unless I'm mistaken, it is regarded as sufficient to indicate where the sources may be obtained (I'm not a lawyer) eg a url is enough. Maybe this is just some truism people have absorbed and echoed but I'm pretty sure I saw it definitively somewhere.
So afaik the dsl repos do not have a problem provided info files do indicate where GPL'd sources can be obtained.
Some of the dual licensed code could require care but even SSL turns out to be no problem, though complying with its multiple licensing might seem to imply that anything compiled against its libs and headers has to give a specific acknowledgment to Eric S Young as well as including the SSL licenses, but I'm not sure this appears to be followed very strictly anywhere so perhaps that is not enforceable or something.
btw I see nothing wrong with blogananda either remastering and redistributing dsl or posting about it here, whether or not he is associated with some company. If he happens to do something interesting with this then, as has happened before, any good ideas can simply be merged back into dsl, that's one of the great things about open source and one reason it can both consolidate and spread innovation at the same time rather than trapping it in proprietary chimneys. I don't think it matters (?) whether he has registered a trademark or not.
Since its inception there has been an often tight association between unix and linux and commercial activity, and now of course we have seen a boom in services provided around open source.
Multiple threads can be annoying though blogananda - you will risk incurring Lucky's ire (never a wise thing to do LOL) or getting up someone else's nose if you do that.
Posted by lucky13 on June 14 2008,10:03
I think this is a matter we need to clarify. I don't know if John has already done this (or not), or if submitters need to maintain sources for all submissions for three years, etc. Could be a hassle if there's any unfulfilled obligation but the GPL has requirements and they have to be met correctly.
That was one of the reasons I approached Robert about the subject (and other related issues) off-forum. My pending extension(s) aren't compiled against OpenSSL, they *are* OpenSSL and require ssleay copyright information.
I have no problem with remastering. I have several of my own.
I have no problem with redistributing DSL or remasters, so long as those who do it abide by all the terms of the GPL and any other applicable licenses. I think many users don't realize GPL is a double-edged sword especially when it comes to what's really "free" about it, and they equate free only with "free as in beer."
The GPL allows blogananda to sell his remasters, and I would defend his right to do that. Heck, I'd even give him ideas to market those if he wanted. I'm a capitalist pig -- pro-corporation and pro-profit. So I have no problem with him slapping whatever he wants on it as long as he plays by the rules. The GPL is "the rules" for a big part of what he's doing, and he has to play by them if he's redistributing anything to which GPL applies.
The things I had any problem with were:
- posting the same lengthy information in two separate threads (and, IMO, unsuitable threads -- perhaps one of the water cooler threads would be a better place to advertise one's re-distros),
- that someone coming so quickly from outside the community would seem to join it to toot his own horn instead of participate in the community by submitting extensions, and
- the likelihood that he was in non-compliance with the same rules anyone else distributing GPL'ed software has to comply with.
The thing about trademark symbols everywhere is kind of nitpicky, I admit. The irony is DSL *is* trademarked and he left the symbols off all the DSL part of it even though his remasters leave so much of DSL intact. If anything, the thread should read "Introducing StudentOS (A remastered DSL™4.0)" or something like that.
That's arbitrary and a matter of taste as far as how it's done, even though trademarks aren't trivial. The GPL stuff certainly isn't trivial. That's legal stuff. I'm glad he's keen to do the right thing about it, and my impressions of and respect for him have increased because his attitude has been very positive.
(minor edit to clarify)
Posted by jpeters on June 15 2008,05:39
...reminds me of the guy who wanted to make his pile from non-profits.
Posted by lucky13 on June 15 2008,16:38This is venturing way off topic.
There's no such thing as "non-profit." Whether you look at the economics from a corporate/aggregate standpoint or from the standpoint of individuals who work for them, non-profits are very much centered on activities that are, of necessity, not selfless but very much focused on fund-raising. At least in the corporate world such activity comes with an exchange of goods or services rather than appeals and grant proposals for cash. The employees of many non-profits are paid salaries commensurate or in excess of what they'd make in the "for profit" sector (which is what we would call "the real world") for the same tasks. I'm not dismissing the work many of them do in the public interest, I just disagree there's a qualitative difference between non- and for-profit. Profitable coporations also act in the public interest by offering goods and services at prices markets can support.
Accordingly, why should I object if Ubuntu is able to capitalize on open source software and lure companies and individuals (and "non-profits") to subscribe to service contracts with Canonical? Or if Sun uses OpenSolaris to push either their hardware or Solaris service contracts or both? Or if John wants to market mini-ITX systems, mini CDs, or USB pendrives ready to go? Or if blogananda can find ways to monetize this thing that interests him?
People don't work to break even, they work to get ahead. If you're not a monk or priest who's voluntarily taken a vow of poverty (which is still about work as "getting ahead" in another way), you go in to work with an expectation that you'll be paid a rate that makes it worth your while. You do this work for that pay or whatever exchange you choose to barter. There's nothing wrong with making money or doing something for the reward of coming out ahead of where you were when you started. Not when an individual does it, not when a company does it, not when non-profits do it by soliciting voluntary contributions. When the siphon dries, people do other things to try and come out ahead or at least make it worthwhile.
That pertains to open source software every bit as much as anything else. The GPL allows for it. The sad irony is, many GPL fans and open source advocates object to it anyway.
Posted by jpeters on June 15 2008,18:07Nicely said, although I'd guess the vast majority of us on the board are in it for the hobby. Personally, it seems a bit silly to think about remastering a zillion varieties of DSL for profit, although I guess there's always some idiot who would buy a copy.
Posted by lucky13 on June 15 2008,19:00
*snickering while I scroll up to look at the ads for DSL CDs, USB sticks, etc.*
It's not necessarily the copy that's of value, but preconfigured, ready-to-roll systems and other things that make it more convenient and/or reduce the learning curve. I'm sure there's a niche he could fill whether it's serving idiots or even subgeniuses.