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YALD (Yep, Another Linux Distribution) 86

Evgeny Zemlerub wrote in about eIT's easyLinux® which sports a complete GUI-based installation; automatic hardware-detection; NLS (National Language Support); claims easy choice of VGA-Card and monitor adjustment; KDE support; Registry support, etc. They still need to finish translating their web-site though...
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YALD (Yep, Another Linux Distribution)

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  • Posted by jeremycrabtree:

    Here is the key:

    MyKey1;MySubKey1;texting123;domidi;/home/jeremy/ bin/;generated with regedit

    Here is what the values correspond to (as per regedit):

    Key: MyKey1
    SubKey: MySuibKey1
    Value: texting123
    Path: /home/jeremy/bin
    Execute: domidi
    %C(creator?): generated with regedit

    Looks interesting enough to me...but I can't seem to make out exactly WHAT it is used for %-/

    (Also note that 'Execute' seems to be independant of 'Path', it seems to always search ~/.register/bin for the 'execute'able)
  • Posted by jeremycrabtree:

    I got that from using the source of course! I downloaded it, built it (with some mild pays to read the instructions and change the Makefile to match your system ;), and then did a test run to see what it's output looked like.

    It's interesting, it builds the CLI and X11 versions and a so that one can write programs that use it's registry services. It really looks as though it was made to take advantage of KDE, though I'm sure GNOME could easily use it, should the developers feel the need.(1)

    Some more info...

    It also creates ~/.register containing

    registry -- a plain text file
    bin -- a directory
    icons -- a directory

    Neither directory contains anything, though.

    The install also creates /var/register . This directory contains the same files/directories as ~/register, plus an added file, 'config', which is (apparently) used for NLS support, and several files in the 'icons' subdirectory. (ALERT! Customization opportunity ;)

    1) I personally don't use either one, so it is of little consequence to me.
  • Posted by KenM:

    Well, the guys did say that they welcome anyone who wants to (re)write it to link to an alternative library...
  • ...the "Produkte" section says Alpha release, November '98, Beta release end of December '98, Final 1Q99; it doesn't make it clear which of these are projections and which have been met, but the "order" section only allows you to order the "alpha" release; so they failed to meet their December deadline by some way but didn't update the Web site to reflect it.

    So thankfully it looks like we'll never see this disastrous distribution.

    I would like to see a distribution with some of those ideas, though. New distributions aren't a bad thing if you can install .rpms on them; I'd like to see a profusion of "sub-distributions" based on RedHat or Debian but with new, experimental front ends and a hand-picked selection of "preferred" packages, and if one of them installed a VGA X server for configuration stuff as an early step that might be a good idea.
  • But maybe that's just me. Went to /pub/dist/easylinux (or whatever it was) and the directory was empty.

    Don't that have to make it avaliable for download?

    Their 'eregistry' program is GPL, acoording to the readme in the tarball.
  • Stop kidding yourself. Most people who are interested in pushing KDE most likely weren't using RedHat to begin with. As for a GUI install, didn't RedHat try that once and got rid of it? You are going to see the same thing happen with this dist also once the GUI start crashing on different video cards.
  • They want you to pay half of the release price to get the alpha, and no where do I see a ftp site for free downloads like Red Hat, et al.

    It looks like a windows install, it has a "registry" and they want you to PAY to debug it for them. This looks like one of many people that want to take Linux, make money from it and contribute nothing back.

    If I am wrong with what I think I am reading, flame away. But if this is the way these people want to do business with OUR OS, I think we should squash them now. No matter how "pretty" their install program is, it isn't worth having people out there doing Linux business this way.
  • [...]
    one day they might even decide to implement the BSOD [...]

    Hmmm. I take it you haven't seen a recent xscreensaver [] release? Amongst other things, it comes with bsod, which is a rather fantastic emulation of the fabled um, BSOD. It's got Windows, Amiga, Mac modes, and so on -- groovy.

  • SuSE has been using a sort of registry file for a long time: In /etc/rc.config, all the keys like SENDMAIL_EXPENSIVE, SMB_START etc. are stored. The file gets processed by a bunch of SuSEConfig scripts which generate the appropriate config files like, etc.

    This is quite convenient, since I don't have to meddle with config files and startup scripts everytime I want to change a little setting.

    Regards, Jochen

  • You probably installed Pacific High-Tech's version of RedHat Linux a while back. I had 3.0.2 and it had an X install option. Kinda cool.
  • by Daniel ( 1678 )
    It's called /etc. :-)

    (ok, ok, that's not exactly what you meant. But all my config files can be found under /etc. )

  • Seems this distribution wants to do away with most of Linux's advantages--flexibility, openness, choice. It tries to hide the command line, and only their "selected" applications will be supported. It tries to cover Linux's internals up by doing everything for the user. But it adds a registry. Hmm.... It tries to turn Linux into a Windows clone.

    The problem is that distributions like this further move away from the common form of Linux. It is as if they are trying to create another OS. For example, do these people believe free software authors will depend on that registry for their programs? Or they will rather support Red Hat and SUSE rather than this strange distribution?

    Probably most people will stay away from this distribution.
  • That isn't a bad idea. MacOS has done something very similar to that one for years; I'm rather surprised Windoze didn't use it too. The Windows Registry is little more than a giant kludge ("giant" most definitely being the operative word). But then, so is most of the rest of the OS...
  • Most of the icons you see in the screenshots there are from OS/2...if anyone cares. :-)
  • If you want to know how the thing works, just use the Source, Luke! :) The source code for their "registry" tool is GPL and can be grabbed from their ftp site [].

    I like these guys with their new distribution. They are trying to cater to the Windows crowd, which is a Good Thing (tm) in my book. Their goods do look frighteningly like Windoze, but you can easily forgive them when you remember, "Hey, that's their audience." The folk behind easyLinux really seem to get it, even if their English could use some work.

  • It's nice that they have their page in multiple languages, but their English wasn't too much of an improvement over Babelfish.

    From the looks of things, they aren't very concerned with things like the "Linux community". I see no words regarding licensing, or history. I don't expect that this will go very far, but I wish them luck.

  • Hmmm. Why does a graphic GUI make installing easier than a terminal-based menu driven installation? I've been sticking to SuSE for 2 years now and everyone who has been looking over my shoulders will tell you that installation looks far more easier than installation of e.g. Windows NT.

    From my point of view, terminal based installs have nothing but advantages over graphical GUIs. They're fast, they're fail safe, they're compatible. Oh, they are indeed less pretty, but nobody, not even end users would complain about that if they got a possibility to use it.
  • Flame me if I'm wrong, but I thought the GPL states that the source MUST be included with any binaries you distribute. They say they are only supplying "important" sources, all others you must either pay extra for or download them off of FTP. As far as I'm concerned, this is a violation of the GPL. Losers...
  • I've tried most of the mainstream distributions (RedHat, SuSE, Caldera, Debian) and found something of value in the differences of all of them. A new distribution ( perhaps one aimed at the first-time user ) can open up the market some.

    Most people who use Linux for the first time mainly want to use the internet ( reasonable, that's also where they'll get their best information regarding Linux ). Debian 2.0 nicely sets up your PPP connection for you, but other parts of the install are quite daunting for the raw newbie.

    A distribuition that installs PPP like Debian, sets up video/X like RedHat, and has a nice, easy to follow config tool like SuSE's Yast would ( I'm sure ) find a fast following.

    My $.02

  • Provided they make the source to their Qt based apps freely available, they don't need to pay Troll a thing for their use and redistribution of Qt. For example, Debian is not giving any money to Troll to be able to put Qt on its FTP site, that's for sure.

    Contarary to popular belief, Troll Tech is not made up of a bunch of ruthless Bill Gates wannabes.

  • It's on the website... follow the links at the bottom of the Registry page.

    I'd like to point out it appears they want all apps to switch to using the "Registry." Here we go, fix it all up for the "Gee, it's not like MS" NT users. Damnit. This will either fall flat on it's face, or take my affordable UNIX-like system away. Personally, I don't like this. Not because it's easy, but because it BREAKS STANDARDS. I'm all for the easy part.

    I just wish people didn't think Windows and easy as synonymous.
  • in some article before, some guy complained that RH required 8mb, i hope he don't see that this one requires 16mb...
  • by NaCh0 ( 6124 )
    Those calling Red Hat "MS Linux" better appologize right now. Theres a new kid on the block -- complete with registry.
  • I hope all the registry keys are kept in a common directory like /etc/sysconfig. It'd be basically the same thing we have now, if it works.

    I'm really wondering about their packaging system. I wish the website said if they're using RPM or some new nonstandard system. Something nonstandard would suck major ass.
  • A couple points spring to mind...
    * Did they pay Troll Tech for the right to distribute Qt (which is required for KDE)? If not this could turn ugly very quickly.
    * What's wrong with an easy installation? Do not come down on people if they have a "windows-like" installation -- you have Slackware if you want to do it non-graphically and have a lot of choice. Remember, variety doesn't just apply to installation procedures, it applies to Linux distributions and (gasp) people too.

    Give these guys a fuckin break.
  • Those sure are pretty config tools they've got there, but they don't look one bit "easier" or "friendlier" than Red Hat's less-glamorous, but clean and clear color textmode installation.

    I think their interface approach is a nice one, but it looks to me like it will still only address the technical market of people who know what video chipset they have and why they're partitioning drives in the first place. Seems more an equivalent to the pretty GUI installer Solaris has these days. Still no substitute for knowing some pretty gritty hardware details.

    No, to have a consumer, home-user Linux installer, this has to become a wizard that walks you through everything, with nice blobby general options and sensible defaults based on the hardware autodetection. These choices and options and the notion of "total control" have to be hidden behind an "Advanced Settings" button.

    Fact is, in today's world of gigantic drives, you can come up with one fixed scheme per, say, each popular drive size, that will leave 99% of consumers perfectly happy. Requiring people to think hard about mount points is a nice educational goal, but not a battle that should be fought as part of a user's first 10 minutes of the Linux experience.

    I'm sure all the major non-techie distribs will soon have something that combines this kind of Qt or GTK+ GUI with some soothing consumer-oriented wizards as a "novice" install otipon soon enough.
  • Actually it is my understanding that Red Hat 6.0 will have an improved interface for install routines...anyone else hear about this???


  • I know most people who use Linux
    now won't want this.

    But I know a LOT of people who
    would think about trying this
    who cursed Linux as a tool of
    the devil.

    (Hey--in their defense--it does have daemons) ;-)

    This just opens Linux up to a
    whole new market of people.
    That is always good.
    I know I would have moved to
    Linux a lot sooner if there
    was something like this when
    I was first looking at it.

  • I'm running KDE 1.1 beta2 on my RedHat 5.2 box without incident. I think it's a great gui. I don't understand RH's insitance on using Gnome, but hey, whatever.

    BTW there's links to RH rpm's on the site for whoever wants to try it.

  • The type of person their catering to is the guy that has a surface knowledge of computers and keeps reading in his Ziff-Davis magazines that Linux is the wave of the future. Problem is, this guy is also the same guy that goes out and buys all the latest hardware the minute it's released; what happens when he gets his new Voodoo Banshee home and realizes (without reading the fine print) that X isn't going to work with his new toy without some major tweaking. Let's see how easy it is to install then.
  • They don't give the source code.. they only give binaries, and you can download or pay for the source code.. isn't that a violation of the GNU liscense?
  • The registry is text based, so it should be better than windows. Also, I am sure your system will still have all the individual(sp?) /etc/* and dotfiles. Also, it's settings aren't cryptic like HKEY_SYSTEM_LOCAL_UGG, key, binary jive.

    Just from the screenshot (which isn't a very fair method to judge something like this), I'd say it doesn't do much more than the GNOME or KDE control-centers already do.
  • That's nice. And how do you let a user keep the same settings between different machines if their config data is all in a central registry?

    For every unix box I log in on at work, my environment reflects my preferences. On NT my environment reflects the preferences of whoever uses the box the most, so basically I can't use any NT box but the one on my desk.

  • User profiles are per machine, as far as I know.
    That's exactly the problem. My Unix settings port with no effort, my Windows settings have to be set up anew on each machine.
  • How is putting user configuration files in ~/etc different to putting them in ~ with a dot as the first character?
  • So you think that redhat has no interest in GUI. Is that why they wrote GUI admin tools, and are now helping out with the GNOME project in the form of programmers and documentation writers?

    And what is wrong with the price? Last I checked you could get the whole distribution free off your local mirror.
  • Hey, a friend of mine wants to write a distribution called dubian, because everybody should roll their own:) If I make my own distribution, I am going to color it purple, and the install will autodetect your personality, needs, wishes, and future. It will be unique, in that it will be like every other distribution out there:( My distribution will develope a cult following, and this group of followers will diss your distribution because it sucks! Quick, order my distribution today, It will ship first quarter of of some year in the near future. Replicating other peoples work, instead of improving on it, will be the moto for my distribution. My distributions web page will be http://www.redundant.redundant.doingthesamething_o ver_again.waste_of_effort.whyareyoustill readingthis.willthiseverend.probablynot.yetanother distro.arewedoneyet.ohlord_here_we_go_ag
  • I'll just duplicate the current efforts in progress:)
  • Well, of course it will be "Free", but my download site will be served by a single 1200 baud modem that is on only ten minutes per day. The package will cost 129.00 to buy, but it will come with all sorts of proprietary installation utils, and non standard code.
  • The issue with the registry is that it is a single point of failure. On windows, if a programm can't access the registry, it can't find its dll's and it has lost the equivalent of its environment variables. Having a registry as MS impliments it, is a bad idea all around. As for Red Hat, the RPM database is not a registry. Applications don't access the database during run time. It is a reference point for install time, and even if it gets corrupted, it can be easily rebuilt.
  • Technically it is not bad to have an X install. However, if your card has a buggy, or unique VGA interface, it can cause installs to be a real problem. The ncurses based install is almost guaranteed to work on all available hardware. Since Linux is intended for everything under the sun(no pun intended), it is better to have an install that you know will work, instead of one that is "sexy" Eventually, someone will build a stable X install, but the text install will probably always be the defacto standard for experienced Linux users. I imagine Red Hat and other distros will adopt an X install, as an option, within the next two release cycles.
  • Seems this distribution wants to do away with most of Linux's advantages--flexibility, openness, choice. It tries to hide the command line, and only their "selected" applications will be supported. It tries to cover Linux's internals up by doing everything for the user. But it adds a registry. Hmm.... It tries to turn Linux into a Windows clone.

    How does it take away any flexibility? What's stopping your from uninstalling KDE and installing GNOME, for instance? And how many other distributions "support" other programs? None, as far as I know...

    I think what they mean by "hiding the command line" is that it will start up in X, instead of starting in console mode. Of course, anyone with a bit of smarts/experience can just edit the /etc/inittab!

    Turning Linux into a "Windows Clone", as you call it, is NOT necessarily bad! Is hardware auto-detection bad? RedHat's installer practically does that already!

    If you don't like what this distro does, then you can just CHOOSE NOT TO USE IT! Is that so tough? :)

  • Having political convictions makes the Debian group stuck-up morons?

    Who the hell do you think got the whole Free Software bandwagon rolling? RMS and the GNU community, the stuck-up morons who have joined forces with the Debian group to keep the spirit of Free and Open Software alive.

    They don't believe in restrictive licenses, if you don't like that, get another distribution. There are plenty...

God help those who do not help themselves. -- Wilson Mizner