Sunday, 15 March 2009

Building Vinux from Scratch!

This weekend I have been experimenting with building Vinux from scratch, starting with the Ubuntu Minimal Install ISO which weighs in at just under 10Mb! This provides an internet based install of a very basic text based system which can be used as a platform upon which to build a full graphical desktop etc. I thought at first that I was going to be able to produce a very small and fast console based distribution using YASR and a selection of text based applications. However, by default Remastersys requires Ubiquity in order to run, and this has a large amount of GUI based dependencies. It would be possible to edit the Remastersys script to remove this dependency, but then it would not have an installer. I suppose I could use the Remastersys-installer script to do this, although it has been dropped from the latest version on Remastersys (at least temporarily). Anyway, I installed the Gnome Desktop Environment, Ubiquity and Orca and once remastered it came in at a very trim 350Mb! However this is without the inclusion of Open Office and Evolution, to which I hope to find smaller accessible counterparts. It also didn't require the inclusion of PulseAudio which may provide a solution to the problem of not being able to get Orca to use Speech-Dispatcher without losing multi-channel sound capabilities. I think this discovery is very promising as one of the biggest restraints on the development of Vinux so far has been trying to fit everything onto a CD rather than moving to a larger DVD sized image. I hope to try and build the next version of Vinux next weekend and I am planning to try this new approach and just hope it doesn't hold any nasty surprises in store!