Monday, 19 October 2009
Sunday, 11 October 2009
I've made my own Linux distribution...but first the history
So I've been playing with linux for a while now...I still boot windows most of the time but I have an old machine that has run Ubuntu, Xubuntu, Puppy Linux, DSL and more at one time or another. I'm definately still a newb to but I am learning all the time... I am really interested in the politics and philosohpies that underly the development of Linux and for me that is the main draw to using it....I learnt a lot about the history of linux from the excellent book rebel code......
So last week I discovered via the excellent Lifehacker a new service called SUSEstudio and I think I've seen the future! SUSEstudio is an entirely browser based tool for creating your own linux distribution...for those who don't know a distribution is an entire operating system...but unlike windows, linux distributions include many 3rd party application preconfigured within. What SUSEstudio enables people to do is create their own operating system based on openSUSE and then configure and customise the software and settings it contains....amazingly after this you can hit the build button and it creates one of numerous options- disk image, Live cd/dvd etc...this is created and stored on the SUSEstudio server (they allocate each user 15gb!) and then the magic begins....you can testdrive the distribution you just built live in the browser for up to an hour each time...wow...any changes you make in testdrive mode can then be overlayed into the build file for your next build.
So I have spent the last week building Concretedog Linux...which as I type is at version 0.2.4 and is a live cd (so you can and indeed I am at this very moment) running the entire distribution on a cd on a windows machine...and when I boot this machine next without the cd in the drive my windows xp installation and filesystem etc will be untouched....
Concretedog Linux currently contains a stripped down studio environment with software including,
Ardour- a multitrack studio DAW
Milkytracker- My choice of oldschool style trackers.. no effects no gimmicks just a rock solid tracking platform
Audacity- a great cross platform audio editor
Hydrogen- a drum machine and sequencer
lots of LADSPA effects that can plug in to hydrogen, audacity and Ardour
The GIMP- a brilliant image editing program
and Opera...a great fast browser that I use all the time on my mobile phone so I feel right at home using it on my laptop.
I've also added a pack of my samples from my circuit bent instruments so that basically armed with this cd and a pendrive I have a creative environment I can carry with me and use on any machine.
Although the more I play with this the more I am likely to install it to my harddrive.
I need to make a few more revisions as a couple of things are broken but after that I will press a few disks up and give them away to friends...but I urge you if you are interested in making any sort of appliance...be it a kiosk machine, a stripped down server or a live multimedia cd give SUSEstudio a go...If I can do it....anyone can!