Interface for customized Ubuntu install CD's.

Registered by Jeremy Manning on 2006-11-03

Currently, much setup needs to be done after a fresh Ubuntu install. This additional setup includes installing new packages, non-free drivers and codecs; choosing new themes and wallpapers; and changing the layout of desktop environment (panel positions, icons, etc). Ubuntu offshoots, such as Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Edubuntu, and even Mepis, Linux Mint, and others, essentially provide “customized” download CDs. Each of these distributions encompasses the same set of core modules (i.e. the “Ubuntu kernel”) but with some additional modules added or changed, and with layouts customized and themes changed.

I propose a generalized solution to this issue, via creation of easy-to-customize download CDs. This specification requires the creation of either a website or a downloadable cross-platform GUI, which allows the user to select packages, themes, and other customizations, similar to how the Anaconda installer works in Red Hat, Fedora, and others. After selecting the desired features, a downloadable installation CD should be made available to the user, such that a fresh installation will require no additional setup to get things up and running as the user desires. (One caveat to this is that, if all desired packages can’t fit on a single CD, a script should run during setup and/or after the first boot to download and install the remaining packages).

In effect, this would unify all Ubuntu offshoots, since each offshoot could be generated by selecting some subset of the packages available. By unifying the various Ubuntu offshoots, more programmers and idea-generators are available to benefit the Ubuntu community (which, to an extent, encompasses all offshoots as well), which means that more can get done, faster. In addition, this unification could help prevent redundant coding. Having multiple Ubuntu offshoots actually hinders choice, since it forces users to choose a particular set of packages to install. This specification proposes a continuum of possible Ubuntu customizations, catered to each user.

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