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Re: "hard core" linux



Rahul Sundaram wrote:


Lets see

* KDE or XFCE based Fedora derivative.

Yes, one of the silliest things about RH/Fedora is that it comes with two half-baked desktop environments rather than one complete desktop environment.


It would be easiest to make a Gnome-only distribution since there are quite a few packages that are compiled with Gnome bindings. (For instance, last I looked, Ethereal.) On the other hand, I think Gnome lovers are more likely to be happy with Fedora as it is -- so a KDE-based Fedora would have more of a market.

XFCE might be more work, but has the bigger gain of being a really simple and lightweight desktop.

Personally my feeling about UI are bifurcated. Most of the time I work out of the shell, but use Mozilla and Firefox heavily. I don't use graphical file browsers much, except for certain kind of operations that involve handling lots of files, and even for that I like the old-school text interfaces the best.

On the other hand, I have an AMD64 machine at home that's used for web crawling, data mining, gaming and multimedia. For the last two things, I'd really like a much more consumer-oriented interface (like MythTV) that is metadata-oriented, not filesystem oriented. My wife has no trouble playing things with mplayer if she can find them, but I often get called up during the day because she wanted to play something and doesn't know where they are.

(MythTV is cool, but it's half-baked and centered around a bunch of functionality I don't use or need)

My gaming and multimedia habits revolve around files and formats of questionable legality, so I don't expect Fedora to solve my problems. Yet, I've got the feeling that the desktop paradigm is tired -- if you want me to care about GUI's you're designing, I either want something that's super-streamlined/consumer oriented or something that lets me have a godlike view of the contents of my machine. Either of those involves a metadata-oriented interface instead of a filesystem-oriented approach; everyone in the commerical arena has been promising that for more than a decade, but we're yet to see anything that really works.

* Fedora for low end systems

XFCE.

It might also be nice to see a server-oriented distribution. One of my complaints about Linux is that its trying to be everything to everybody. Right now people are writing stupid things about how Solaris 10 could be a Linux killer, and they miss the point that the appeal of Solaris 10 is that it does certain things right. If Solaris supported the same garbage hardware Linux supports (open source or binary drivers both,) Solaris would have all the problems Linux has. Similarly, the people who want to run Mac OS X on generic x86 hardware are missing the point. There's something to say for a single-vendor hardware and software stack where everything is qualified to actually work.

I've found that kudzu and other desktop-oriented stuff that comes with RHEL causes problems on servers I run. A server distribution definitely doesn't need Gnome and KDE, who knows how many half-baked office programs, all the unfun graphical games and all that.

* Hardened version of Fedora with strict or MLS policy by default

Yeah, SELinux is a wide open frontier. There's definitely a lot of buzz about things like FreeBSD jails and Solaris zones, it would be nice to explore the space of what SELinux can do.


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