A recent linux mag (Linux Format) has an article on “Build your own Distro”. I’ve thought about doing something like this to match my interests for a few years. Something like Gamebuntu : a distro with just games. But there are a few of these now (e.g.live.linux-gamers.net)
To match the programming thoughts I’ve been having I thought it might be a good niche for a Young Programmers Workshop style distro. Something that you can put onto a USB stick, plug into any PC, and get a programming workshop. Then anything you write can be always on that USB stick. As long as you have a PC available you have somewhere to hack around with programming.
I see it having:
- a really small footprint; 50-200Mb.
- a simple desktop (Enlightenment), gOS, LXDE
- an beginners mode: First time login, get web page up and several easy to find buttons to start up the easiest of programming systems I can find (e.g. Alice or Processing or Scratch)
- an intermediate mode: Start with an IDE – bit like the old Apple II, Commodore 64, BBC Micro days). Just start coding, compiling and running.
- an advanced mode: just the normal linux with terminal window. Using C++ and an IDE/SDK of choice.
At the least it will need:
- Gcc C++
- libSDL + support
- and more.
I feel I should avoid languages for the sake of languages: i.e. python, php, perl, etc. I don’t really know what I’m doing but it is one of those tasks that I keep thinking about but never actually following through.
For an idea of the kind of desktop I see for this Distro – it would have a similar feel to gOS but without WINE, OpenOffice or Skype. I’d probably keep the google gadgets and firefox to keep the PC web browser friendly.