Thursday, July 7, 2011

Mageia 1 Review: How to make a distribution

First of all let's see the general basic steps of a Linux distribution creation.
  • Find a strange name for your distro and create a childish logo.
  • You know that creating a new distro is hard, so you must find an already existing base. (Beware! You will have find a good reason of your distros existence and that is not a easy as it sounds. See later.)
  • Create a website!
  • Make sure that every page of the website contains the words: free and community (at least 10 times)
  • Community, community, community: explain in large how wonderful your distros community is.
  • The features page of the website: copy and paste the old "how wonderful is that linux has everything from office programs to games" text from a different distro page. If you think that's now enough then add something again about the community or freedom.
  • Show exciting statistics about the huge number of packages available in your repositories and hide the fact that in 2011 installing something which is not in the repo is still a pain and you have no idea how (don't want) to change this.
  • If you think the default desktop of your distro sucks or have no idea what the default DE of your distro should be then do create a lot of spins and add a download option for every DE spin. Make sure you explain somewhere the importance of choice. To help confused users add a complicated wiki article about different installation medias and wonder why Linux is under 1% on the desktop.
  • Make sure every visitor of your site understands that your distribution includes LibreOffice and NOT OpenOffice but don't explain why this is important (because is not).
  • Invite people to do things. Say that everybody can participate and hide the fact that you have no idea what is the direction or plan. Here you can explain again why the community is so important. When explaining the lack of strategy or direction you can point that no commercial management can dictate the path your distro will take.
  • Create a backports repository for your current "stable" version. Create a nonfree repository too. And create a testing repository. And create a contrib repository. Say again something about the greatness of choice, but add that you have no idea what will happen if somebody mixes these repositories too much.
And we are here: They are following this little guide with lots of enthusiasm. Mageia 1 is a new (old) distribution and is based (basically they have copied everything) from Mandriva Linux. Mandriva is bad now because they are controlled by an evil corporation. And this corporation is not a community, which is bad.

They did a good job at explaining why this distro is needed: Mageia is about people. So it is a club or something. They even states that Mageia have People not Users...

Ah, and they are looking for advocates too!