Skip to main content

Proposal for a new Linux distribution

I have decided my life isn't interesting enough, so to make it more interesting I've decided to create Yet Another Linux Distribution (YALD). This YALD will have the name ... drum roll please ...

Fairy Linux

Named after the Fairy Penguin of Australia, it is meant to be yet another 'lean' distribution of Linux. Here's what I had in mind as a beginning set of requirements;
  • Fit in, complete, at around 200MB. That's installed.

  • Based on the latest kernel, whatever that happens to be. That would be something in the 2.6 line, and greater than 2.6.32.

  • Based on the latest glibc, whatever that happens to be, and not one of the embedded/limited substitutes found in other small distributions.

  • Based on one, and only one, desktop environment. I'm seriously thinking of KDE 4 (seriously). There is a strong reason for this, primarily that KDE uses Qt, which will make a good foundation for another choice I have in mind.

  • Stripping out as much of the current software as possible, especially the duplicates.

  • A limited CLI userland. I had thought of using Busybox, but after reading about how litigious the current project has turned out to be, I've decided to go with the regular tools. I have half-seriously considered a comment that someone should take the BSD tools and create an alternative to Busybox. That would be a sub-project.

  • Make sure that Ruby and Ruby/Qt are installed. The complaint has been made, more than once, that there is no equivalent to an easily approachable programming tool like Basic/QBasic/Visual Basic. I've used Ruby and Ruby/Qt; the tools and bindings are there to build reasonably sophisticated (and fun) graphical applications without having to pull out the C++ and regular Qt libraries.

  • Target x86 systems to start with, but I would like to eventually migrate to ARM exclusively.

  • Make sure that all necessary drivers are with the distribution for the best user experience possible. For x86 that means nVidia and ATI. I'm well aware of what happened in the case of Kororaa, but the commercial modules will go in and stay in. As for the GNU purists, I don't give a damn what they think or how they feel.

  • Base all of this on an existing distribution. Although I've built, from scratch, embedded Linux systems for experimental purposes, building a full-up and installable distribution is non-trivial. It makes a lot more sense to base off of an existing distribution. The base distro I have in mind is Linux Mint. Linux Mint is just that good.
This is just a starting list; I'm sure I'll come up with more requirements, and then they'll need to be racked and stacked for importance. Only after that will I make the decision to go through with this or not. I need some ROM as to the level of effort and resources required, rather than jumping in feet-first.


  1. -- 200 megs installed? With your laundry list that may be quite tough.
    -- Have you considered 64bit? Both Risc and x86 small chips are steadily moving towards 64bit.
    -- KDE/QT, very cool! However, KDE alone is probably going to make it difficult to fit into 200 megs.
    -- The Ubuntu netbook remix/moblin may be worth looking at.

    Have a good one.

  2. Have you thought about basing it on arch linux? Just did a search on your blog, didn't find anything on arch. I think arch would be a perfect candidate for the base system. I think arch has their modularized version of KDE so one can install just the base without any kde apps and then build up from there. I have no idea how you would make it work on an arm system out of the box as it only supports i686 and x64.

    Some negatives might be:
    - Small userbase (compared to the big distros)
    - Not that popular (still ~10 on distrowatch)
    - Hence there might not be enough info/help on the net

    I do like the idea of a small, lightweight distro with kde. Good luck.

  3. *obligatory 4chan "install gentoo" spam here*

    That probably wouldn't be the best idea though, as you are going for user friendliness and gentoo is just ridiculous to mess with.

    200MB is quite a goal, but even if you have to go to like 400 or more, no big deal.

    I LOVE the fact that you plan on cutting the included software out. Let the user decide what they want. What I hate about ubuntu is that I always end up deleting half of the base software and replacing it.

    You got some really good ideas and I am interested to see how this will go. Keep it up.

  4. I also would love to have my own remaster but I would prefer to base it on Debian; however I cannot find anything that makes for easy remasters like is possible with the various *buntu tools out there. I have no trust in the stability of the *buntus (and hence Mint), but if there was a Debian remaster tool that would be wonderful...

  5. From Debian came Ubuntu, from Ubuntu came Mint and from Mint will cometh Fairy :)

    Waiting for your first release, all the best! I guess based on Ubuntu and Mint tradition the release will be code named something beginning with 'A'.

  6. I'm seriously thinking Arrogant Ass.


Post a Comment

All comments are checked. Comment SPAM will be blocked and deleted.

Popular posts from this blog

A Decade Long Religious Con Job

I rarely write inflammatory (what some might call trolling) titles to a post, but this building you see before you deserves it. I've been seeing this building next to I-4 just east of Altamonte/436 and Crane's Roost for nearly 12 years, and never knew who owned it. Today on a trip up to Lake Mary with my wife I saw it yet again. That's when I told her I wanted to stop by on the way back and poke around the property, and photograph any parts of it if I could.

What I discovered was this still unfinished eighteen story (I counted) white elephant, overgrown with weeds and yet still under slow-motion construction. It looks impressive with its exterior glass curtain walls, but that impression is quickly lost when you see the unfinished lower stories and look inside to the unfinished interior spaces.

A quick check via Google leads to an article written in 2010 by the Orlando Sentinel about the Majesty Tower. Based on what I read in the article it's owned by SuperChannel 55 WA…

Be Careful of Capital One Mailings

Capitol One ("What's in your wallet?") sent me a bit of deceptive snail mail today. I felt sure it was a credit card offer, and sure enough, it was. I open all credit card offers and shred them before putting them in the trash. Normally I just scan the front to make sure I don't miss anything; the Capital One offer made me stop for a moment and strike a bit of fear into my heart.

The letter's opening sentence read:
Our records as of December 30, 2009 indicate your Capital One Platinum MasterCard offer is currently valid and active.Not paying close attention during the first reading, I quickly developed this irrational worry that I was actually on the hook for something important, but I wasn't quite sure what. The letter listed "three ways to reply" at the bottom; via phone, the internet, and regular snail mail. I elected to call.

Once I reached the automated phone response system, the first entry offered was '1', to "activate my Capital …

cat-in-a-box channels greta garbo

So I'm sitting at my computer, when I start to notice a racket in back. I ignore it for a while until I hear a load "thump!", as if something had been dropped on the floor, followed by a lot of loud rattling. I turn around and see Lucy in the box just having a grand old time, rolling around and rattling that box a good one. I grab the GX1 and snap a few shots before she notices me and the camera, then leaps out and back into her chair (which used to be my chair before she decided it was her chair).

Just like caring for Katie my black Lab taught me about dogs, caring for Lucy is teaching me about cats. She finds me fascinating, as I do her. And she expresses great affection and love toward me without coaxing. I try to return the affection and love, but she is a cat, and she takes a bat at me on occasion, although I think that's just her being playful. She always has her claws in when she does that.

She sits next to me during the evening in her chair while I sit in mi…