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Nigerian Linux Distribution: do we need one?

Do you think programmers in Nigeria should work to create their own Linux distro?

"Whoa, a Nigeria Branded distro? That would be so cool and neat. Especially if could spawn from this very

forum. I would be much joyed to be part of such an endeavour. Resources would be required to creat and

managed such a project and lots of ideas would be flow to be implemented in the distro. Who would manage

this? i'm just curious about that aspect and IMHO its just a matter of time before its eventually done. I just hope we get to do it first :-)."

"ps. the distro ( as a matter of survival ) should be very rigid and _immune_ to damages from power outages.

probably be able to go down and come up in seconds! :-p oh, and what would be the 'mascot'? an eagle like

penguine? or a danfo bus? :-p"

Re: A Nigerian-Branded Linux Distro? (ng_linux mailing list)

"So, I was thinking, since we have some programmers in Nigeria with really extreme skills, it is possible to develop a complete Nigeria distribution of Linux and call it NaijaLinux or something like that. This will be an extensively collaborative project and will involve a lot of people; University students, professors, professional programmers etc."

Indigenous OpenSource; A Nigerian Linux Distribution? (Femi Olubosi, IT consultant)

Personally, I feel that it's not necessary for us to have our own Linux distribution, unless we have some technical improvements to contribute, because open source software belongs to the whole world. The Redhat and Debian distributions of Linux belong to Nigerians as much as they belong to Americans or Europeans, because they are free for all of us to use. Right or wrong?

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what is this Linux of a thing , guys ?

permit my unskilled nature here, am new and would like to go into the IT industry and thought it wiser to confide in my people , how una see am , who get experiences to share with a newbie like me about this whole thing and how to make a living out of it , online ?

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Can someone tell me why i should use the command prompt to install a new application (amongst several other things) on linux instead of double clicking away? Till then, a 'Nigerian Distribution' would probably be out of it.

But really, why the fuss about a Nigerian distribution in the first place? Install an existing distribution and create a window manager like KDE, Gnome, etc. The window manager could be as 'Nigerian' as you want it to be. No use starting over, except you are creating what your personal idea of a Linux should be, which i guess is what AbujaBoy is trying to do. (TO AbujaBoy: Keep it up. You could mail me when you are through!).

About security; if i where a suicide bomber, i would blow myself up in a marketplace (or an amusement park!). Cybercriminals dont have much time for Linux users yet. Moreso, various distibutions exist. Take the 'Symbian OS' for instance, its open! But its the most popular OS for portable devices, and guess what? Its got several reports of virus attacks. A lot of antivirus solutions exists for the 'Symbian' already. Nothing is hack free!

If ever a truly 'Nigerian' distribution becomes available, and gets a userbase of at least 30% of the computer literate population, y'all be surprised at how many attacks it'll have! Subsequently, continuous attacks will force its users to run back to their previous operating systems. How many security analysts do we have here in Nigeria to combat that?

There's more to improving IT in Nigeria than creating a new Linux distribution (it was just an idea anyway).

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AbujaBoy, how far have you gone with your Linux distro?

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That statment was flawed,

I haven't tried out LFS yet, but distro's like Gentoo were based upon them, my distro shall be an all purpose distro, for all users (execpt for Seun, it'll probably take him awhile to find out that there's no mspaint) , There were plans of making the distro based upon Gentoo, but I'll have to embed portage and emerge. So, I'll just use LFS and make a fairly large repository before releasing to the public, I want this distro to be in lines with Gentoo and Debian, It shall (of course) run the 2.6.xx kernel. It'll come on one CD, and the base WM should be Gnome + Fluxbox. Like Ubuntu, there would be installs for Kde and stuff Seun would like. Whatever the case may be, it'll either be based upon Gentoo or LFS, I don't care which for now, its still in planning stage. If you have any contributions to make (we definitley need more people) send me a PM in yahoo messenger. We need graphical art aswell, so if you're into that, it'll be cool.

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anybody heard of leapsoft? they ve successfully created a linux distro.

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Yes. That's Wazobia Linux.

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Congrats on Wazobia Linux. We can discuss it here.

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Gentlebeings,

may i present to you: wazobialinux. www.wazobialinux.com is the site to check things out. Its still in development, for the language and locale information for Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo. Let me know your thots.

Cheers

Dongo

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no point in a nigerian linux distro, or at least, nobody has brought up and good reasons why we should have one.

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NIgerian Distro or Not. Are you ready to be a part?

Then create a project management forum and let it start rolling. Though i dont know C yet. But i go join along the line cos am doing somthing abt it.

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i can block ppl by ip address in windows - just a hell of a lot harder to do. No matter how security focused linux is, someone either has to set up the security or your machine has to be preconfigured. For the average computer user, if you get a linux box preconfigured for maximum security, they will be severely limited online because they won't know what to do. If they get a box that isn't configured for max security, then they will be open to attacks. There is no default security settings that work for everyone. Since security is something that people need to configure, and there is no easy way to do it without a lot of knowledge about your system, linux and windows are both crap when it comes to that for the average user.

Where windows succeeds is having an intuitive interface for ppl who have never used a computer before. Not only is it intuitive, it's also geared for non technical ppl. I don't mind sitting at a command prompt and hacking away, my mom - no way. Linux heads need to stop trying to prove they are better and work on actually getting better in the sector that most computer users actually care about.

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the main reason i feel we need one is because we have a very large number of people who can't even speak english and the computer is definitely a different hurdle entirely. india faced the same problems until microsoft software was indigenised into punjab, hindi and bahasa languages. Now you hear of village women who go to the village cafe for remote appointments with doctors or agricultural boards. It won't be a bad idea if that were to happen in Nigeria.

You don't honestly expect a farmer in Kafanchan, Nigeria to customise his own distro or software. we will still use the base OS functions, what we are talking about is the GUI(s) for the software.

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Thanks jogego, i feel your yans!

It's high time people ,that knew little or nothing about linux, kept shut. i work on linux server configuration and i know the extent linux has taken system security to. Go read about iptables and feel the power of firewall. Norton or any windows antivirus is nothing compared to the power of iptables. Damn linux is good!

Let me say this, there were once viruses for linux at it's early development. Take it or leave it. But these viruses find it difficult to exhibit any malicious threat to linux files because of many reasons like the file permission, file system hierrachy, users permit, chroot, su, and lots. It was reported that even if a virus should get in and perform it act, it only affect the current user. As of today no virus has been announced. Moreover linux development is open, not money oriented- so even the so-called virus programmers are the ones securing linux since they help in it development(open source).

i love fedora core 4

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Linux is a variant of Unix which by design is secure so the user does not need to do much to secure it. I have several times installed linux and used it without any form of firewall or any security. The nature of Linux is security conscious ab initio. Very unlike windows where you need to install firewalls and anti viruese immediately you install the OS.

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i was not saying that only geeks use Linux, I'm saying that only geeks have the kind of knowledge necessary to secure linux. . .and if they were using windows, they have the ability to secure it too. So, for the rest of people, who use both, Linux and windows have the same level of security.

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It would be a lot better if people would take time out do a little bit of research( and am not talking about reading the MS sponsored security reports which claim Windoze is more secure than Linux), I mean really do some serious research, and maybe it wouldnt be a bad idea to actually use whatever it is you are criticing?

More than 90% of computer users use Windows, so it makes basic sense as a virus writer to target the majority. If you cared to use a linux box, you would know that most distros nowadays do not even allow you to log in as root or SU. If you want to do things as SU, you go into console to do it.

For someone to say that only geeks can use Linux is obviously one of the worst mis-statements of this century. I have had people who know next to nothing about computers use linux boxes without any problems. Most modern distros, Kanotix, Mepis, FC4, Suse, etc, do not need any fiddling. All you do is install and all you are good to go. I dont campaign for the whole world to use Linux but personally, I aint contributing money to M$ any more.

Now as to the issue of a Nigerian distro. I have refrained from posting on this thread cos I would probably step on some toes. The truth is that, there are so many Live CDs available today, that you can master( customize) to your taste. And as the previous poster pointed out, add your own images, desktop, icons, splash screen etc and you have a distro. Knoppix does it, Kanotix also does it. But in my own opinion, what exactly the point in re-inventing the wheel?

Will this bring IT closer to the roots? Will it in any way improve the condition on the poor man on the street, me thinks not.

I personally believe this kinda effort can be channelled to something more productive and of more benefit to the greater community.

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Linux isn't that much more secure than Windows. I seriously hate when people go around making such false (or better misleading) statements.

What linux has over windows is an ability to fully secure your system by providing access to all OS functions - a functionality which is limited in Windows since it is proprietary technology.

However, you can secure your windows machine, server, or network to the point where only hackers of very very high sophistication who spend countless hours studying and attacking your system could break.

The same applies to linux. If you run your machine always logged in as the root user with programs that have open ports and can be remotely accessed and manipulated, a hacker can compromise your machine too.

If linux was in use by the typical user the way windows is, it would have just as many security problems. The main reason linux seems so secure is that its main core of users are computer literate. . in fact, you almost have to be in order to use linux comfortably. Windows - you don't need to know that much to use it.

For this reason, Windows will continue to thrive and while linux may see more adoption in enterprise and government applications, the typical user will still be a Windows or Mac (OS) user.

Now, as far as having a nigerian distro . . . what would be the point or advantage of having a special nigerian distro? It seems meaningless to me. If you want a Nigerian branded distro, you don't need to be that much of a genius or need that many people to create one, just replace start screens with Nigerian themed ones, etc. Same OS and function, just a different color.

I don't know if linux heads realize this, but Linux is moving towards becoming more like windows. In order to attract a huge base of customers, distros have to hide more and more of the base functionality and create a guis for the OS. I predict that within 10 years, Linux will essentially exist as an open source version of windows. In fact, there will be no linux or windows, or mac os and just a mishmash of the good aspects of all of them.

So, while windows, mac, and linux bash each other now, soon, all of you will be in the same boat. . .

Sometimes, the world seems so silly.

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hehehe funny, I remembered the Nigerian postcode project, when we had to convert all the Nigerian postcodes to XML format. We had people who promised to contribute, but once we began, only 3 people or so actually did the work, I inclusive. Well Nigerians sha, keep talking sweet like you always do!!

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Well Seun I think it's a good Idea to have our own Linux distro. All you need do is get it rolling and support will come, you will be suprised how many people will be involve in the project.

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they distribute free versions of books written in english and a few other languages.

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im not sure what that site does exactly

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@Obong why didn't i think of that? I came across a site (www.gutenberg.com). I assume if something like that was done for yoruba language we might have a greater excuse to use it in the polity.

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chxta it is a nice idea to want to develop distros in Nigerian languages, but save Yoruba and to a little extent Igbo, how many Nigerians can actually read in their native tongues? That idea is at best utopian

One of the reasons more nigerian don't read thier langauges well is unavialbility of material. the more its around you, the more you'll read it. as long as you are literate in latin alphabeths and speak your language, you'll be able to read it as it comes along. we should strive to be bi-literate

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i did not suggest building one from scratch. thats the beauty of open source, you can simply copy and improve the code. What i was advocating was the creation of language support for the language itself. Maybe Star Office could be updated to allow it to display the Yoruba alphabet. As to the belief that most people can't read their languages, well that may apply elsewhere, but not to the yorubas or educated Hausa. Most of them can read but thats a topic for other sections of the site.

@pasuma I don't know who told you that, but there are very good programmers in the country, capital and access to neccessary resources are the major problems they are facing. We all know the lecturers still teac FORTRAN77 from their old texts

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i think its a good idea.. but this wud require some expertise relying on nigeria professors and students is just like telling a toddler 2 climb a mast...

we don't have good professors as poragrammers they are all charlatans.. they brag , fail u... all they teach u in school is mathematics and they copy from papers written abroad by pple who have not even gotten their masters.....

anyway if u want give a call .. been using LINUX for 5months now and nevere hope 2 touch the windows ever.. i know perl.. and doing good with other stuff u can use with linux

pasoma

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Well if you were to do it, It makes more sense building off a already stable but somewhat unuser friendly base (eg debian, gentoo etc)

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No, i don't think we need a Nigerian Linux Distribution.

And just a good resource for building a custom Linux system/distro from scratch:

http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/

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@kodewrita, it is a nice idea to want to develop distros in Nigerian languages, but save Yoruba and to a little extent Igbo, how many Nigerians can actually read in their native tongues? That idea is at best utopian.

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@Bibi. has it occured that linux might provide the opportunity to bridge the IT divide for millions of nigerians. Its cheap, reliable, Secure(more secure than any windows release including the latest one which has already been hacked and the results pasted online.). If we add language support for nigerian languages (which microsoft is not ready to do at the moment) you might have kids in the benue interland or Ekiti developing programs like is obtainable elsewhere.

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I think it will be an effort in wrong direction. We cant even manage our own domain name (:. We should stick to any of the various free distributions available.

Instead of developing a Nigerian linux distribution, we should be targetting more Nigerian-made applications for Linux, i.e. most payroll/human resource applications in Nigeria are home grown and today, the platform is mostly windows.

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