Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-factory (1135 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-factory] About the Live CDs (PLEASE READ)
  • From: "M. Edward (Ed) Borasky" <znmeb@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 8 Jun 2012 10:10:43 -0700
  • Message-id: <>
On Fri, Jun 8, 2012 at 12:02 AM, Stefan Seyfried
<stefan.seyfried@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Am 07.06.2012 22:12, schrieb Javier Llorente:

Some of the options we have:

1. Saying goodbye to Live CDs (and building USB live images). Others have
already done that, such as PC-BSD

2. Removing LibreOffice and GIMP from the Live CD and leaving just English

3. Making the Live CD KDE pure, like Fedora.

There is a fourth option:

4. creating an additional live media flavour besides oS-GNOME-Live and

This could serve as some kine of "minimal desktop live CD", with a
second purpose as "comfortable rescue system". My proposal would be to
put the following stuff on it:

* XFCE (my personal choice, but to be debated. We could even go for
icewm, but the problem we have is that we need lots of "fat" stuff
anyway: NetworkManager+applets, a Browser, maybe an Email Client, so
using the relatively fat XFCE might not add too much of an overhead).
* a browser (firefox) and maybe an email client (thunderbird?)
* the chosen desktop should be "complete" and "functional" (i know,
there are different meanings for different people). E.g. keep the
multimedia stuff and the music player included, so that hardware
compatibility can be tested (you don't need MP3 for testing the
soundcard, ogg is just fine for that).

I've built LXDE appliances in SUSE Studio and much prefer it to XFCE.
It pulls in the XFCE NetworkManager applet. It brings in Abiword and
Gnumeric, a media player, paint and photo app abd two text editors. It
also functions in VirtualBox Seamless mode - the LXDE menu appears on
the host. The only issue I have with LXDE is that it looks like
there's not much activity upstream - it's not getting the level of
attention that Cinnamon and Razor-Qt are.

* rescue tools: all filesystem stuff, gparted, gpart, whatever. Maybe
even some forensic stuff, Greg Freemeyer might know what is useful also
for a "normal" user who has "just" killed his partition table and wants
to recover it.
* basic documentation, maybe the man-pages packages. Brian explained the
reasoning for that quite good: "I happen to value documentation on live
media specifically because half the time I'm even USING a live media is
because I'm either installing or repairing or otherwise do not have
normal use of the machine, which may mean no access to internet (at
least via that machine)."

Stuff *I personally* would leave out:
* libreoffice
* gimp
* languages

IIUC there is no real alternative to libreoffice for viewing office
documents (some people realy write their tutorials in MSWord...) but
then there's not much we can do about that. A picture viewer is probably
helpful, but then XFCE's ristretto should do fine. Editing of images is
probably not needed.

Note that I'd really "design" this CD with dual-purpose: useful as a
"purist", "minimalist" desktop for "small is beautiful" geeks and for
basic hardware compatibility tests but also useful as a rescue system
for recovering after you installed grub into the wrong partition.
And I'd actually try to go for less than CD size. We don't need to fill
700MB, a smaller download is always nice.

I never cared for or even thought about the building of the live cds.
What do i need to do to start such a project? Can I test this in my home
in OBS? Or do I need to use SUSE Studio for that?

SUSE Studio by default builds minimalist appliances - the
"--recommends" option is turned off and you get only the packages you
request and their dependencies. Even a KDE desktop will be smaller
than the one shipped in 12.1. I've been using it for two years and I
can't function without it. ;-) Once you get a build you like, you can
export the Kiwi project definition and do your own testing /
manufacturing / deployment.

Anyone interested in doing/using something like that?
It's surely not useful enough for me to do it if I am the only user :-)

Best regards,

Stefan Seyfried

"Dispatch war rocket Ajax to bring back his body!"
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I think for the official distribution, we need to look at the
competition. What do they feature? What else do they offer? IMHO
Ubuntu is the simplest - they feature a desktop LiveCD, a server CD
and a cloud CD and just about everybody goes for the desktop. Fedora
features a GNOME LiveCD, a KDE LiveCD, an XFCE LiveCD and an LXDE
LiveCD. My recollection is that the Ubuntu desktop ditched GIMP this
time around but still has LibreOffice. Fedora has both and I think
openSUSE needs to have both as well.

This late in the 12.2 game, I'd recommend sticking with the
traditional media - full install DVD, GNOME and KDE LiveCD at 700 MB
and a net install CD. In fact, I'd kill the XFCE and LXDE projects and
abandon Razor-Qt and Cinnamon to focus on meeting the deadlines. I'm
sure there are ways to manage the packages to get a GNOME and KDE
desktop with at least LibreOffice word processing, spreadsheet and
presentations. You might not have GIMP and you might have to make
separate English and German versions, but I think if Ubuntu and Fedora
both have LibreOffice, openSUSE needs to as well.

But further down the road, I think the project needs to take a hard
look at strategic realities. UEFI, the transition away from optical
drives, Windows 8 and touch screens, tablets, ARM, .etc. openSUSE
seems stuck in fourth place in the Distrowatch rankings and fourth
place isn't a sustainable strategic position. Both Ubuntu and Fedora
are making OpenStack Essex accessible in the main distro and
supporting it via community documentation, but openSUSE relies on a
third party. And Fedora's KVM desktop hosting tools are a good bit
easier to use than what's built in to YaST2.

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