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Build your own Linux Distro

Old 12-01-09, 07:46 AM
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Build your own Linux Distro


There are a lot of desktop Linux distros out there that you can try for free. But have you ever wondered what it would be like to simply roll your own distro? Tech-savvy developers can do this fairly easily, but Joe and Jane Desktop User really couldn't—until now.

SUSE Studio puts you in the developer's chair and lets you create your own customized version of desktop Linux. You don't even need to download software to do it, just visit the SUSE Studio site to get started. You can do everything necessary in your browser—no other tools are required.

You'll need an invitation to access SUSE Studio, and you can get one in minutes by simply typing your e-mail address into the log-in page.

Don't worry if you've never even thought about creating your own version of Linux. It's pretty darn easy, and you won't need to look at a single piece of code in order to do it.

Creating Your Linux Distro

After you've logged into SUSE Studio, pick your base template (server or desktop), and then you can begin adding software and configuring your system. Your appliance will be based on openSUSE 11.1 (for a desktop system) or Suse Linux Enterprise 10 or 11.

You can choose a minimal system with a lightweight window manager like IceWM or one loaded with feature-filled desktop environments like KDE 4 (or KDE 3, if you prefer) or GNOME. Once you've done that, you pick your architecture (32-bit or 64-bit), name your system, and create your appliance.

Software and Configuration
Once you've created your appliance, you'll need to add some software and then configure it. Just click the tabs at the top of the screen. You can browse around to find software on the software page, or you can search for a particular application. Adding packages is easy, and SUSE Studio deals with all of the dependencies for you.

Click the Configuration tab to customize your network settings, locale, users and groups, logo, background images, default runlevel, RAM size (needed for some formats), virtual disk, disk image and scripts. You can also click the Overlay files tab to add custom files to your distro.

Finally, you have the option to format your appliance as an image prepped for either a USB stick or hard disk; as a Live CD; or for virtualization with VMWare, VirtualBox, or Xen Virtual Machine.

I created a VMWare image using a KDE desktop with minimal software and it took SUSE Studio only about three minutes to build. As soon as your appliance is built, you can download it, view its files, or take it for a test drive.
Old 12-01-09, 08:13 AM
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Re: Build your own Linux Distro

sounds a lot like the Red Hat installer
Old 12-01-09, 08:44 AM
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Re: Build your own Linux Distro

That's interesting, but I don't see it being much more accessible to "Joe and Jane User", not that most users really want to roll their own distro. The "test drive" feature looks impressive.
Old 12-01-09, 01:59 PM
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Re: Build your own Linux Distro

It would be nice to have the install disk install everything you want and nothing you don't right off the bat.
Old 12-01-09, 02:03 PM
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Re: Build your own Linux Distro

Yes, I'm sure Joe Six Pack is anxious to create his own Linux distribution.

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