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Re: LinuxOttawa distro progress

Hi John,

As a suggestion, I think it would be good to include a 5-10 minute
introduction discussion about the difference (or benefits) of building a
64-bit distribution versus a 32-bit one, for the sake of novice attendees
(or even seasoned veterans) that may not be aware of the consequences?
Most would assume a 32-bit build would be considered mainly to support
legacy hardware, but I can think of a couple of points that might intrigue

   - 32-bit systems can only address a maximum of 4GB of memory
   (4,294,967,296 bytes). Taking into account system overhead, applications
   realistically can only allocate a smaller percentage of this maximum for
   its use (I remember some old 32-bit Sun documentation that restricted
   memory allocation for 32-bit server applications to only < 3GB of useable
   memory for memory cache or TMP files, etc.)
   - In some situations, 32-bit can impact performance on a system, but
   that depends on the situation.  In a lot of cases, applications may be
   optimized for 64-bit operating systems and hardware, but there are some
   unique situations where the opposite is true.  For example, I worked on a
   project years ago where a Java-based server application - Oracle Directory
   Server Enterprise Edition - performed better on an OEL 64-bit server when
   configured with a 32-bit JRE installation.  (Lookup query results were
   faster when indexes were performed with 32-bit libraries)

I expect that you have more experience with building distros, so you likely
have additional feelings on the subject (ie., 32-bit ISOs are likely
smaller to post and share, etc.), and I would be interested to hear more
about your views on the subject. :-)


Best regards,


On Wed, Feb 26, 2020 at 2:18 PM J C Nash <profjcnash [ at ] gmail [ dot ] com> wrote:

> Last year I presented some ideas for a distro the club could use to
> introduce
> people to Linux. Some of the desiderata:
> - handle old machines (so possibly 32 bit, though that may be ancient
> history)
> - handle UEFI and legacy
> - include some useful tools and/or allow their easy setup via scripts
> - be "reasonably" mainstream
> These meant I had to be able to customize, and I didn't really want to do
> everything from scratch.
> The candidate solution was 32 bit Antix-17. I was able to add Double
> Commander
> and change the wallpaper and set username "user" to had pw "user", and
> username
> "root" to have pw "root". Then using the ISO snapshot, I got a UEFI/legacy
> bootable
> ISO. Antix is debian based, which I am familiar with. Yes, I know, there
> are other
> choices. If there are plenty of workers to take on the job, I'll be happy
> to let
> them drive us to Arch or RedHat or ...
> Some glitches recently noticed:
> - the network setup is via "ceni". Not ideal. Maybe a better tool can be
> found.
>   Or a "HowTo" on the desktop.
> - My choice of wallpaper (a picture of parliament) is too bright. It's
> easy to
>   change.
> - I had to find the installer. The snapshot ISO doesn't have the desktop
> icon.
>   But the installer is in /sbin/minstall.
> - The install from the snapshot does not give the user a chance to change
> username
>   and password and root password. Maybe a "customize.sh" script is needed
> with a
>   click-on icon to launch it.
> In any event, I would welcome some feedback and will come early to the
> March 11
> meeting. Maybe we can set up a working party some Saturday and move the
> project
> forward, then consider a "Welcome to Linux" session to try to attract
> newbies.
> Scott did at one time mention we could probably afford to have some USB
> give-aways.
> Discussion welcome.
> Best, John Nash
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