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Thread: Forking Debian

  1. #1
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    Question Forking Debian

    Hello all!

    Not sure if this is the correct place to be posting this (or even the right forum) but I am looking at building a custom linux distro.

    I intend on modifying most of the GUI code, and some of the backend code, as well as adding my own software. I don't need help with coding (though I may ask a few questions on this forum) but I have no idea where to start, if anyone can help I would be greatfull!

    Not the best (or most advanced) example of what I can do with code, but it's my only published app, if you would like to see it you can find it here

    Thanks in advance for any help!!!

  2. #2
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    Re: Forking Debian

    For learning to build your own distro you may find http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/ to be useful.

  3. #3
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    Re: Forking Debian

    Sound slike you don't want to modify the distro, but only certain packages in it...
    「明後日の夕方には帰ってるからね。」


  4. #4
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    Re: Forking Debian

    Quote Originally Posted by Bachstelze View Post
    Sound slike you don't want to modify the distro, but only certain packages in it...
    What is forking a distro but modifying its packages? Even modifying the behavior of config files and scripts implies modifying packages in any distro that is built on top of a packaging system.

    Anyway, I think that before even thinking on touching Debian you should understand it so that you know exactly what you want to modify. Also, having a look on what other derivatives have done will surely inspire you. Dunno, Linux Mint Debian Edition is really popular these days. Part of this decision is also which Debian release you want to fork from, stable ("wheezy", Debian 7.0), "testing" (codename "jessie") or "unstable" (codename "sid")... Ubuntu is a fork from unstable, e.g.

  5. #5
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    Question Re: Forking Debian

    I was thinking about it last night, and I think I want to fork Ubuntu instead - I understand it better (I have never used Debian).

    Quote Originally Posted by nvteighen View Post
    What is forking a distro but modifying its packages? Even modifying the behavior of config files and scripts implies modifying packages in any distro that is built on top of a packaging system.
    I understand what it is, but I don't know where to start! I know what I want to do, I just need some help...

    I have no Idea how I would modify the system then put it on a DVD (there will be more to it than just that though (I'm guessing)). I just want some help with that side of it!

    Thanks again!

  6. #6
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    Re: Forking Debian

    Ubuntu is a fork from unstable
    That has never been the case.
    Ubuntu is always derived from the testing branch.
    With the occasional overlap with stable, such as this current development cycle.

    https://launchpad.net/ubuntu/saucy

    For the OP, forking and modifying are going to be a lot harder to accomplish than you'd really want to do.
    Distributions like Debian and/or Ubuntu and even Mint have hundreds to thousands of active developers working on projects full time. In some cases, like those working on Debian, they might work on the project over several years.

    However, I don't want to be a total debbie downer on the issue, so there is nothing wrong with building your own highly personalized Ubuntu spin, for your own use only (as well as for friends/family)
    If you can follow this,
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/LiveCDCustomization

    it might be helpfu for what you want.
    Splat Double Splat Triple Splat
    Earn Your Keep
    Don't mind me, I'm only passing through.
    Once in a blue moon, I'm actually helpful
    .

  7. #7
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    Re: Forking Debian

    Quote Originally Posted by nvteighen View Post
    What is forking a distro but modifying its packages? Even modifying the behavior of config files and scripts implies modifying packages in any distro that is built on top of a packaging system.
    I think "forking" is something a little more involved than just modifying a handful of packages, otherwise installing anything from a third-party repository would be forking...
    「明後日の夕方には帰ってるからね。」


  8. #8
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    Exclamation Re: Forking Debian

    Quote Originally Posted by deadflowr View Post
    That has never been the case.
    Ubuntu is always derived from the testing branch.
    With the occasional overlap with stable, such as this current development cycle.

    https://launchpad.net/ubuntu/saucy

    For the OP, forking and modifying are going to be a lot harder to accomplish than you'd really want to do.
    Distributions like Debian and/or Ubuntu and even Mint have hundreds to thousands of active developers working on projects full time. In some cases, like those working on Debian, they might work on the project over several years.

    However, I don't want to be a total debbie downer on the issue, so there is nothing wrong with building your own highly personalized Ubuntu spin, for your own use only (as well as for friends/family)
    If you can follow this,
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/LiveCDCustomization

    it might be helpfu for what you want.
    This could be interesting, I might be able to get this to do what I want.

    Can I only use this for myself? Am I not able to give others a download via my website?

    If I could, I may try this!

  9. #9
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    Re: Forking Debian

    Quote Originally Posted by ICouldBeAnyone View Post
    Can I only use this for myself? Am I not able to give others a download via my website?
    Free software is about freedom. As a general principle, you are free to distribute free software as long as you don't take away someone else's freedom by imposing restrictions or failing to supply source code for anything you modify.

    However, you should read this:

    http://www.canonical.com/intellectual-property-policy
    Please create new threads for new questions.
    Please wrap code in code tags using the '#' button or enter it in your post like this: [code]...[/code].

  10. #10
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    Re: Forking Debian

    Quote Originally Posted by ICouldBeAnyone View Post
    This could be interesting, I might be able to get this to do what I want.

    Can I only use this for myself? Am I not able to give others a download via my website?

    If I could, I may try this!
    Possibly.
    Depends though.
    Looky here on Canonicals Trademark and copyright policy, for which Ubuntu is among
    http://www.canonical.com/intellectual-property-policy

    Aye, r-senior beat me!
    Last edited by deadflowr; June 3rd, 2013 at 08:31 AM. Reason: beat to the punch!
    Splat Double Splat Triple Splat
    Earn Your Keep
    Don't mind me, I'm only passing through.
    Once in a blue moon, I'm actually helpful
    .

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