So you have an interest in building your own Linux distro? Okay, perhaps that would  be a little too intense. How about using a great new tool to re-master an existing one like Ubuntu? Surely that must sound a bit less intimidating! As it turns out, one doesn’t have to worry too much about learning the fine art of re-mastering as there are some pretty decent tools that makes this easy.

Enter Novo

While there are indeed, many other alternatives out there for distro re-mastering, I’ve found that perhaps the most intriguing among them is called Novo. What makes it so interesting is how Novo manages to put together all of the components for a successful re-mastering without a lot of hassle. Now this is not to say that it doesn’t hurt to be well-versed  with using Linux, how it all comes together and so on. But you get the general idea.

Novo is an application that is best suited to the GNOME desktop, while in theory can run on KDE as well. Once installed, you will have what is called the “builders main screen.” It’s from here where you can begin the building of your re-mastered distribution.

Setting it all up

Photo by Matt Hartley

Interestingly, the setup is pretty simple and easy to get your mind around. Key things to keep in mind include:

– Sources, tools and scripts can be edited or changed.

– Tweaking the overlay is fairly straight forward.

– Application Package Lists provide the user with control over which apps they want provided out of those available.

Who would use something like this?

I would remind folks that this isn’t something that should be tried by Linux newbies. There’s a lot going on here. But what I can suggest is that you install this app on a computer that you might not use everyday. Get some applications installed, tweak the layout a bit and redo some of the graphics with some customized stuff you come up with. Once completed, go ahead and see where you’re creativity takes you. Who knows, you might end up creating the next big Ubuntu variant.