I would like to make my very personal own linux baby, which is not to get whole world users get involved but myself to use it and do lots of experiment with it, so that when things does not work with other linux, i can show myown linux actually works and i will name it NeverMindMyOwnLinuxCanDoIt.

So that when ever anyone need a solution, i can provide my own tested OS and get out of those company and license issues involved.

Which Linux is really the freedom of choice that has no other involvement pure open and allow others to do what they want to do?

I am thinking to go with Red hat linux and customize it for my own use. But can i?

closed as not constructive by Gilles, Michael Mrozek Sep 28 '11 at 3:02

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    I think all fit your criteria of "freedom of choice that has no other involvement pure open and allow others to do what they want to do?" That's the nature of the Linux kernel, and it's various distros in general. – Marco Ceppi Sep 26 '11 at 18:42

Most of the mainstream linux distributions make a fairly big deal out of FOSS and licensing issues. The Linux kernel itself is under GPL, as is the core userland of most distros (in any case, GNU is GPL), so unlimited reuse is probably out of the question (you could try FreeBSD or NetBSD if you need that).

Other than that: Gentoo has a 'compile everything from source' philosophy, which means if it's not open source, you cannot install it; debian is fairly strict in its policies, defaulting to free software only (although you can add non-free sources to your package manager); Ubuntu categorizes its repositories by 'freedom type', defaulting to free software only, but allowing you to enable non-free repositories; other distros probably have similar policies in place.

If you want to build your own Linux distro, Linux From Scratch (LFS, http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/) is the way to go, but you'll have to put in quite some effort to get it to work and keep it up to date. Unless you have strong reasons to avoid one of the tried-and-tested off-the-shelf distros, AND considerable experience with Linux/Unix systems, you're better off with a mainstream Linux flavor.

  • 2
    Clarification: in Gentoo portage there are also ebuilds that install binaries without compilation. Such ebuilds exists for example for free software apps like LibreOffice and Firefox and for proprietary software like Adobe Reader or Adobe Flash. – pbm Sep 26 '11 at 20:25
  • The FSF has a list of "entirely free" distributions somewhere, but IMVHO their idea of "nonfree" goes too far. – vonbrand Jan 23 '13 at 13:17

Go with Slackware! Hands down, I think Slackware is the best for exactly what you're trying to do.. No messy install programs: Slackware's package management is a collection of shell scripts. Many, many moons ago I got started with Linux using Slackware (circa 1994). I have tried other distributions off and on over the years and I keep coming back to Slackware.

I have since created my own CDs based on Slackware. Out of the box, Slackware has a GUI if you want it but it boots to a command prompt. You won't find this with CentOS, Ubuntu, Fedora, etc... You can disable the window manager but for what you're looking to do, Slackware is the best.

Also, Slackware has many things turned off by default requiring you to go enable the features you want such as NFS, Samba, DHCP, NAMED, etc... And if you don't like the version that comes with the stock Slackware, you can easily upgrade using the original source tar balls. In other words you don't have to rely on slackware's packaging to upgrade various software bits. It's simply a matter, in most cases, of downloading the software and doing a "./configure;make;make install" Of course this puts the burden of dependencies back on you but, in my opinion, it makes you a better Linux GURU!

  • Pretty much the same goes for debian, and probably most other distros. If you install nothing but the base system, you'll get a terminal with bash and the core GNU userland, and that's about it. Anything else, including X11 and any window managers, can be installed through apt, or you can build from source yourself. – tdammers Sep 27 '11 at 9:30
  • doesn't debian impose PAM upon you? Slackware has PAM if you want it but out of the box it's not required nor is SELinux... And what is up with .deb packages? No, thanks. I'm a low level guy and I really don't have time, where I am in my career, to figure out some cryptic package manager. They all suffer from the same problem of trying to hide complexity that I think a seasoned Unix/Linux admin should know. If you go to another company that does not use your distro of choice, you have to learn another package manager. Better to learn what they do under the hood IMHO. – Eric Sep 28 '11 at 0:25
  • @Eric: Can i brand my customized Slackware as "MyNewGoogleOSlikeDemo" – YumYumYum Oct 22 '11 at 10:01
  • @goOgle: Yes, of course. If by brand you also intend to remove any bread crumbs that you used Slackware as a base then yes. The only three things that mention slackware, that I'm aware of, is (1) libc (libc-slackware-etc) (2) /etc/rc scripts mention slackware in comments and (3) slackware packages directory which you can blow away. If you look at slackware package manager, it's just a bunch of shell scripts that for the most part pass arguments to the ./configure script of most software. I eventually went to LFS but I often use Slackware on systems when I run into problems outside of it. – Eric Oct 25 '11 at 18:19
  • err. Pretty sure "Bob" is trademarked. So it might be tainted by barnding or association ? I would not feel comfortable using it in connection with other faiths, might not sit well with Episcopalians and Catholics. – mckenzm Sep 9 '16 at 2:59

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.