Imagine-Linux (new distribution) based on debian unstable

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Imagine-Linux (new distribution) based on debian unstable

Postby Snow Keld » 2012-02-06 07:36

i have built a debian blend that i want to expand into a full fledged distribution at some point.

i have spent a year working on this project. (over 7 months learning how, and messing with ubuntu)

debian > unstable
desktop > xfce 4.8
extra > compiz, emerald, plymouth, awn
theming > atolm, awoken (ported required engines)


most applications i include would likely be found on a default gnome 2 install, this is built to be an alternative to gnome (shell) for the users that want to keep their gnome 2 style with compiz.

it runs as a live CD and installs with a live installer pulled from LMDE (linux mint)
currently it is made using remastersys, but i am likely going to start using the live-build package soon for more options.

there are only a handful of packages not pulled from debian unstable, i plan on making a small repository in the near future to provide updates for these packages.


what do i plan in the farther off future? (if this distribution gets enough support)

i want to make a repository pulled from debian unstable (like debian testing). the only reason this is not based on debian testing is because of the 6 month freeze.
i was thinking of making it a 20 day process, 3 days to add to a "proposed updates" repo, and 17 days to make it to the stable distro.

this is a ROLLING distro

any comments are welcome (like/dislike).

-------------

i need some help though.

i need a place to host my images from. i have no spare money to buy hosting.

images are about 800-1400MB in size currently (trying to get my basic version under 700MB)

i would like to be able to host at least 2 images.

does anyone know a place that will provide free/inexpensive hosting like this?
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Re: Imagine-Linux (new distribution) based on debian unstabl

Postby nadir » 2012-02-06 08:09

I think with the bigger image you will get into trouble at sourceforge.net and at ibiblio.org, but am not sure. I think that at minus.org you can upload big files, and you will get 10 Gig of space (but its not exactly the right place to offer a distro, i guess (?). For me it is ok to store the iso there, but i don't really offer it to others...). Probably others will post better or other solutions...

xfce, based on sid, and all the rest sounds good to me.
"I am not fine with it, so there is nothing for me to do but stand aside." M.D.
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Re: Imagine-Linux (new distribution) based on debian unstabl

Postby Snow Keld » 2012-02-07 03:16

thanks for the info.

i will try sourceforge i guess.

i read up somewhere that you can turn a dropbox account into a repository, if i can do this i will be able to provide updates the small number of packages that are not found in debian repositories.

i would use dropbox for image hosting, but they will cut the account if monthly bandwidth goes too high (no more than 10GB traffic a day).

most of the creation of this was a cake walk, getting remastersys to work on sid took some time, and the most tiresome and difficult part was the live installer, now that i have it finished i can distribute my work, i want to do it as soon as possible. my best chance for recognition and a user base is to catch as many linux users that are trying to find a different path than gnome shell.
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Re: Imagine-Linux (new distribution) based on debian unstabl

Postby stevepusser » 2012-02-07 04:36

You get 5 GB of free space at Ubuntu One, too. No need to be running Ubuntu, either, I use the web interface, and have even used it to upload files up to 1.2 GB. The Ubuntu One Linux client will probably run on Debian unstable, and allows for syncing of folders (apt-repo!) I could not find anything right away about what they would do for very heavy traffic on an account, though.

I think the new kernels now support squashfs-xz along with squashfs-tools. You can cut an ISO size down by 15-20% by using that.
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Re: Imagine-Linux (new distribution) based on debian unstabl

Postby Snow Keld » 2012-02-08 08:56

thank you for the info about ubuntu one. i've used it before and i may look into it.


i have signed up at sourceforge.net and talked to support on irc. i explained what i wanted to use the project space for and what conditions i may or may not be violating. the answer was that i can most definitely host images larger than 1GB given that i delete older versions when i upload a new image. i mentioned having around 4 hosted at a time and that was fine.

i also inquired about making an apt repo and i was directed to a help page on making a yup repo on sourceforge and i was also told that others have likely made apt repos by creating it locally and then uploading all files to a folder.

that being said, i will have an iso uploaded within the next day or two.

check at the Imagine-Linux sourceforge.net page.
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Re: Imagine-Linux (new distribution) based on debian unstabl

Postby Snow Keld » 2012-02-09 23:44

first image is released.

currently there are a couple non-free packages included.

linux-firmware-nonfree
and all available wireless drivers that are not supported with free alternative.

the next release should not include any non-free software.

when i release my next image i will hopefully have another page built into the live installer so the user can choose to install non-free software on their own. that way the live image can be entirely free software but a new user can easily choose the extra software they need/want during install. handy for a user that do not fully understand apt or how to get drivers. (not that i should draw this user group before i have a stable version not tied to possible breakage by debian sid)
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Re: Imagine-Linux (new distribution) based on debian unstabl

Postby buntunub » 2012-02-10 00:50

this is built to be an alternative to gnome (shell) for the users that want to keep their gnome 2 style with compiz.


Any user of Sid can do this easily. I guess the question I have is what is the purpose of this new Distro other than to use as a LiveCD using the LMDE installer? Its an interesting concept. AptoSid already does this with its own installer and also has a LiveCD I think. Not trying to knock your idea at all though. Just curious what your vision is and in what ways your Distro will be unique providing a compelling reason for someone to want to install and use it over pure Debian Sid or AptoSid?
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Re: Imagine-Linux (new distribution) based on debian unstabl

Postby notthatguy » 2012-02-10 01:04

the purpose of any small distro, to install a select set of packages and tweaks
very useful to those that want those packages installed, not very useful to those that do not
up to the user to decide if it is useful to them or not
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Re: Imagine-Linux (new distribution) based on debian unstabl

Postby notthatguy » 2012-02-10 03:15

getting remastersys to work on sid took some time

You should look at refractasnapshot by fsmithred he has it on github for refracta

You could also look at dean-clone as well.


... the most tiresome and difficult part was the live installer

You used the installer from LMDE? What kind of trouble did you have with it?

Once again you might look at the refracta tools from fsmithred or if you want something simple and basic then the old 8.0.3 refracta installer at http://distro.ibiblio.org/pub/linux/dis ... installer/
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Re: Imagine-Linux (new distribution) based on debian unstabl

Postby Snow Keld » 2012-02-10 06:53

the purpose of this distribution is aimed to an end desktop user. actually most likely appealing to the current user base of ubuntu or mint. or the many people looking for the right rolling distro.

the images i'm releasing now are directly from sid. this means that my target end user is unlikely to be all that interested.

my future plan (far off future) is to have sid packages pool into my own repo to provide a truly stable product. more so than debian testing, and unaffected by other issues in debian testing like the 6 month freeze for stable release.

i am likely aiming too large, although i am sure that even if i can never reach that point there are many linux users out there that would like this distro as is.

---

i've looked at aptosid many times, it seems unappealing to me personally. although i have not taken a recent look at the installer they use.

LMDE live-installer failed at many levels, most where issues with the differences between the live build setup it was made for and the live setup remastersys creates. the people over at linux mint make a seemingly strange live setup compared to other debian derivatives, i think it is more similar to ubuntu live setup even though LMDE is DEBIAN.

one failure point that seemed common with multiple installers was the creation of the new user. i had to re-write this part entirely. PAM authentication error issues in chroot. i have a long thread going already on the remastersys forum about the live-installer, the creator of remastersys has been giving some insight and help.


thank you for the references, i will look at all of them on my next day off work.
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Re: Imagine-Linux (new distribution) based on debian unstabl

Postby drdavidk » 2012-02-14 00:36

I've been playing around with your new distro on a USB stick, and really enjoy its look and feel. I especially appreciate your adding AWN to XFCE without all the Gnome dependencies-- no easy feat, as I installed it on LMDE/XFCE recently and struggled to do so.

Here's the fly in the ointment: I installed the distro to my hard disk, which goes fine except that the install doesn't set up a user, so that when I reboot after the install and try to log in, I get rejected. (There's no user folder under /home.) So I'm stuck using the USB stick.

Any solutions?
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Re: Imagine-Linux (new distribution) based on debian unstabl

Postby Snow Keld » 2012-02-14 07:50

refracta looks almost the same as remastersys.

and every live installer i have found made for debian in not user friendly, except for the LMDE installer and the MEPIS installer. then i simply chose GTK over QT. both installers needed work for sid compatibility.
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Re: Imagine-Linux (new distribution) based on debian unstabl

Postby subhuman » 2012-02-14 08:03

i certainly don't want to be the party pooper - but who might possibly feel the need for yet another distribution? and even if: how would he find yours, unless by accidentally stumbling upon it? :?
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Re: Imagine-Linux (new distribution) based on debian unstabl

Postby Snow Keld » 2012-02-14 20:39

i have to agree.

at this beginning stage i have no idea how to get people to actually know that it exists. i will not rule out the possibility that it will become a mildly popular distribution in the future so i will just do my best to get people to try it, and maybe give a review on their thoughts. some time in the near future if i have gotten at least some support or good feedback i will put it up on distrowatch (waiting list of course, usually takes up to a year to be approved).

currently i have had multiply people i know personally test it, and one who is using it as their everyday desktop. all good feedback so far.
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Re: Imagine-Linux (new distribution) based on debian unstabl

Postby Snow Keld » 2012-02-14 20:45

drdavidk wrote:I've been playing around with your new distro on a USB stick, and really enjoy its look and feel. I especially appreciate your adding AWN to XFCE without all the Gnome dependencies-- no easy feat, as I installed it on LMDE/XFCE recently and struggled to do so.

Here's the fly in the ointment: I installed the distro to my hard disk, which goes fine except that the install doesn't set up a user, so that when I reboot after the install and try to log in, I get rejected. (There's no user folder under /home.) So I'm stuck using the USB stick.

Any solutions?


i messed up on the dev2 image, the installer was not put together correctly.

the installer on the dev3 image i made sure to test a full install before i uploaded and it worked perfectly.

make sure you use the provided live installer, there is a hidden installer that comes with remastersys but i removed it from the menu because it does not work correctly.


i now have a support forum setup on sourceforge, just go to the discussion section. i also post any relevant information on the blog.

if you do not want to download the new image i have the fix posted on the blog, just replacement of one line in the python script.
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