Razer Linux Distro

Discussion in 'The Linux Corner' started by Hactar88, Apr 6, 2017.

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  1. A few people have floated the idea of Razer creating their own Linux distro.

    Personally I support this and spoke to that in more detail here: https://insider.razerzone.com/index...to-the-linux-corner.20618/page-10#post-330732

    One reason I like this is that Razer would have the opportunity to create a seamless hardware/software integration and could ship machines fully configured and working perfectly right out the box (and obviously those who prefer their own pet distro could simply load that instead).

    So I would like to hear from others...

    1. What do you feel about Razer creating their own distro?

    2. Which present distro would you prefer this being built on?

    3. What suggestions, technical or otherwise, do you have for Razer that they might find useful in creating their own distro?

    Thanks :) Looking forward to hearing everyone's input...
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2017
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  2. ETitus

    ETitus Active Member

    Well I am not sure if all the branching in linux is beneficial. There is much to say for both ideas.
    I think having good drivers and integration is a must, but that should be available for all distro's, with the biggest few up front.

    On shipping a laptop with Linux I'd say dont. Those that want to run it will be able to set that up in no time. Having choice, leads to different stocks, availability issues etc.

    Plus having a windows key that is included in the price is nice to have on your laptop.
     
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  3. Good sentiments, but a A REALLY BAD IDEA.

    1. Planned market segmentation failure
    Razer wants to make money by selling as many units as possible. People choose their version of linux primary for functionality, features and cost. By creating their own distribution of linux, Razer would automatically limit their sales to those that want that specific linux distro.

    2. Hardware compatibility with all flavors of linux.
    The flip side of point (1) above is to create rock solid drivers for Razer hardware that is included in the repositories and will auto-install with the installation disks. Targeting the base distributions upon which the other linux distributions are built hits multiple markets with one stroke (i.e.: Create the drivers for Debian market, and you automatically pick up the Debian based distribution markets like Ubuntu and Mint, etc.)

    3. Target linux users that are typically under-served by hardware vendors.
    Linux users typically wait for older hardware so that the drivers are available. By developing the drivers and making them part of the install distributions and repositories, you make the latest hardware on the coolest machines available to an under-served market. That is good marketing.

    4. Branding of the linux O/S
    The reality is that most of the linux market does NOT use linux to be "cool", rather they chose linux because of the functionality in terms of cost and performance. And they specifically chose their particular distribution of linux for functionality and performance. Trying to brand a linux O/S distro is basically starting a losing marketing battle and increasing costs for it. The money is better spent on drivers for the hardware.

    5. Making widgets for Razer hardware and O/S wallpapers
    However, useful linux widgets for the specific Razer hardware would automatically be used, as would any cool and useful customized workspaces and themes (think a customized and streamlined Razer KDE gui) would become workspaces of preference. The more color schemes and customization of it, the more people would use it. Widgets include keyboard(lighting, fingerprint reader, macros, etc.), mice (resolution, macros, lighting, etc..), display(all settings, etc.).

    6. Hardware - Two(2) hard drives.
    I've said this before, but I will say it again because a good part of the linux market uses desktops.
    One of the reasons is that they use two(2) drives, one for O/S's, and one for data.
    It is easy to overlook the fact that most people that will install linux on a laptop, will install it on encrypted partitions including the O/S.
    Encrypted partitions are not re-sizeable. If you want to keep different bootable distributions of linux on your hard disk, once size is set it cannot be changed. If you have to resize an encrypted partition because you need more space, you need to create a new one for your O/S. You don't want to keep multiple copies of your data in the encrypted disk of your O/S. Rather you want to keep a separate encrypted hard drive that you can mount or not mount at will.
    This is why linux desktops typically have two or more hard disks. To move away from a desktop, you need two(2) hard drives. One for your encrypted O/S's such as linux, and windows, etc.. And the second encrypted hard drive on which to keep your data, including the bare metal hard drive images, which you can then burn onto your O/S hard drive at will with something as simple as clonezilla on a flash drive. This also makes backing up and syncing a breeze. This effectively eliminates the need for a desktop except for backups and big storage (RAID arrays, etc).

    READ THAT: Complexity reduction. If linux users no longer need desktops for disk images, then Razer may be able to further move them to their Core setup for graphics and backups, or even big storage if needed. This is better marketing.

    7. Hardware - Security
    Take hardware security seriously because linux users take software security seriously. There are two ways to deal with security:
    1. Make it a contest between your knowledge and your opponent's knowledge.
      (i.e.: Internet protection software that gets defeated, then patches to prevent the previous defeat, and waiting until the next defeat ...)
      READ THAT: It is only a matter of WHEN you will be a victim, not IF.

    2. NOT make it a contest of your knowledge and your opponent's knowledge.
      (i.e.: If you don't need internet connection, don't have any physical or wireless connection to the internet).
    The Intel Trusted Platform Management (TPM) is a security backdoor waiting to be exploited, or has been exploited and has not been made public. This is because it goes right through to the BIOS, before your O/S security can detect anything. Intel makes chips with and without TPM, Razer should offer both versions.
    The same goes for any other potential security loopholes in the BIOS. They should either not exist if the customer does not want them, or at the very least be able to be physically (not by software) turned off (as by removing a jumper).

    Also part of security is the marketing trend to attempt to lock-in customers by tethering them to your control of their data via "cloud" storage. Linux users understand very well that "the cloud" is just someone's server, elsewhere, out of their control. A majority of linux users will not be comfortable using it for the data. This is likely bad marketing.
    However, having the Razer Core in a secure location that can be accessed securely from the internet via linux encrypted communications, with the assurance that nobody else can get in, would be good marketing.

    Example part 1:
    You have Debian, Fedora and Windows bootable partitions on your O/S drive. You usually use windows in virtual machine, but you have windows games that require direct access to to the hardware, so you boot in windows to play. Your data disk is encrypted and not mounted when you do. Windows malware can render your O/S hard disk unusable, but it cannot get to the get to O/S's themselves because they are on encrypted partitions and not mounted. The same with the data on the data disk because it too is encrypted and not mount and further it is on different hard drive.

    Example part 2:
    Now you want to install Archlinux but, you partitioned your Debian and Fedora partitions on your O/S hard drive so that you don't have space. You make a bit image copy of the existing Debian, Fedora and Windows partitions and save them to your data disk. Then you create smaller encrypted partitions on the O/S hard drive and then recreate them in appropriate sizes and then create the Archlinux partition. OOOPS, you just blew away something and the computer wont boot off of the O/S drive, and for some reason you cant recover it. Not only that, because you can't boot, you no longer have connection to the internet to search for solutions.
    No problem, you boot from clonezilla on a flash drive, restore the last image that worked from your data drive to your O/S drive, then you can boot and go back to work. You can try to re-partition your O/S drive when you have more time. (This is a lot faster than you think between two m2 PCIe drives on the same machine).

    Example part 3:
    Now that you found that you can move your world onto your laptop (because it has two hard drives) you want to backup your data disk, but with a terabyte (or two as disks are getting bigger) it takes forever over ethernet. You think about getting a new desktop as the old one is getting older, and is not used for anything but backup, but they really haven't got a good connection to thunderbolt 3 which would make backups and syncing your data disk fast with Bacula or even LuckyBackup. Lo and behold, as you are thinking of replacing your desktop computer/storage/backup, the Razer Core is there and can handle a JBOD setup so you can have a software RAID array (it's already built into linux) as backup and/or storage, AND (big and) Razer has the linux drivers so it can be done over thunderbolt3, regardless of which distribution of linux you use.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2017
  4. Why not do both??

    My proposal was always twofold:

    1. Razer creates rock solid drivers which support all major Linux distros. Clearly this needs to happen so that people can use their distro of choice.

    2. Razer creates its own distro off the back of Debian, Ubuntu or whatever, all drivers installed, fully integrated and configured, branded and beautiful, working perfectly right out the box.

    And thus ships machines as either (a) Windows, (b) Razer Linux or (c) blank - and charges accordingly. And my contention is that that would be a reasonably simple thing to do.

    I also believe that there is a major demographic of soon to be ex-Apple users (especially creative professionals and various species of power users who Apple are not supporting anymore) who will flock to Razer in droves if a fully configured Razer Linux option were offered.

    This demographic are people who once long ago, moved from Windows to Mac (and are never going back), who deeply appreciate Linux and the philosophy underlying it, but are much more focused on doing whatever creative work they are doing than tweaking their machines endlessly - something many Linux enthusiasts are prone to be doing.

    If Razer embraced this demographic via a Razer Linux distro I believe they have the opportunity to leverage a massive market and grow their hardware business exponentially.

    In the last few weeks I have canvassed among many friends and colleagues, the majority of whom are presently Mac users (and largely frustrated with Apple's recent complete loss of direction), and asked if they would jump if Razer offered a supported and fully integrated hardware/software solution based on Linux - and the answer was an unequivocal Fuck Yeah!

    I appreciate the comments thus far and would love to hear more...
     
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  5. Why would you force linux users to buy Windows?

    I would make the Microsoft key an OPTIONAL purchase as I would rather pay the money to have rock solid drivers.

    Microsoft has decided to abandon its roots for profit, and it would have done so already if not for Apple and linux. Most people don't remember, but there were two reasons Microsoft grew so quickly. The first was that prior to Microsoft windows, people worked on terminals that were connected to a mainframe. Because they did not own or control the mainframe, they were charged by the minute of usage. DOS on PCs changed that paradigm by making it possible for people to disconnect from the mainframe and do their own processing on their own PC and software with a one-time purchase.

    Microsoft went one step further with the Graphical User Interface (GUI). Before Windows (skip the history of Xerox et all) Unix had a choice of two GUI's that one had to purchase separately. Windows hit the market at just the right time.

    HOWEVER, now that Microsoft is the dominant operating system for PCs, they are banking on people not wanting to change to linux, and being willing to put up with the move back to the central computer and terminal model, where Microsoft can get a steady revenue stream instead of one-time purchases. It won't be long before Microsoft Windows is made so it will not run in a virtual machine, without paying a lot more money for it. I am not sure what is happening in the Apple world.

    With Microsoft trying to force people to give them an annuity, this would be a very strategic time for Razer to move into the linux market and sell the hardware, as for the market, the higher price of the hardware is offset by the lower price of software. Particularly if it installs and works with no problems of of the distribution repositories.
     
    kumarin likes this.
  6. I strongly agree that people should have the option to buy a Razer machine and not have to pay for Windows. Personally I would be totally happy to pay for a Razer Linux distro if Razer wanted to fund development for it in that way though...
     
  7. lkcl_

    lkcl_ New Member

    http://libreboot.org/faq#intelme

    of far greater concern - as if the Treacherous Platform Management system wasn't bad enough - is the "Management Engine". there's really not a lot that can be done here: AMD is the same (just in a different way) so you have two choices: put up with this cr**... or don't have a computer. not really good choices either way...

    i've been working with software libre for over 20 years, now, and have installed debian on something like 15-20 different laptops over the years (http://lkcl.net/reports). however when debian started shipping with systemd as the primary init process i have stopped recommending its use.

    ubuntu i recommend very very strongly staying away from, as they have been shipping illegal binaries for some years, lost their right to distribute the linux kernel source due to linux kernel violations (including modules that are not compatible with the GPLv2), and various completely unethical deals including one with amazon where they too snapshots and shipped off the contents of your desktop without your consent or knowledge. you hear a lot about "how convenient" ubuntu is... but the fact remains that that "convenience" comes with a heavy price.

    archlinux i have investigated very recently and was deeply impressed with the speed at which they respond to bugreports and include new software packages *as part of the distro*. this comes down to the fact that archlinux is a "rolling release" - it is always therefore, by definition, constantly and continuously "up-to-date".

    if i could recommend debian, i would say that it would be a good idea NOT to do anything as stupid as canonical did (fork the entire repository) but instead to go with your *own* mini-repository which includes custom packages, and you ALSO include the main debian repos (look at deb-multimedia for an example of how this is done). now, the only thing with this is: you *REALLY* need to keep on top of it, keep it up-to-date. you are almost certainly (as in, it is going to be flat-out impossible) NOT going to be able to go with debian/stable - it's called "stable" for a reason, so you would need to use parts of debian/testing. that's usually why people try to do their own mini-repositories that "augment" debian, and it works well... as long as you stay either withing debian/stable (plus the security updates) and stay out of debian/testing's way.

    with that in mind - the amount of effort it takes to maintain a mini-augmenting-repository on top of debian - it leans strongly towards archlinux, particularly as the razer is hardware that's simply too modern for debian/stable. with archiinux you will be able to have a *MODERN* snapshot that works well with your hardware, then just ship that as-is, don't update it (except periodically, with a full round of testing) and let the users take responsibility for updating.

    hactar88 is however basically right, that most people who install linux do so quite happily, take on the responsibility themselves for upgrading and so on.

    *however*...

    it would be *really nice* to have a benchmark "everything works properly" distro and for that, working with the archlinux team would be your best bet. debian's primary focus, as the distro with by far and above the largest number of packages (40,000?) is stability, so working with them is tricky and subject to long delays. archlinux: i got a ONE DAY response time on inclusion of a new package, which is absolutely astounding.

    if you can work with the archlinux team - including documenting a razer "Howto" on their wiki - then ship that as a benchmark - you stand a good chance of people learning how take care of the other distros themselves. it would however also be a really good idea to have someone who is experienced at documenting installs (such as myself) setting up linux on one of your laptops. i offered on the other thread: if you can send me a machine to loan and are happy to take care of the cost of delivery and return entirely yourselves i am happy to do a documented install and testing for you, with debian/testing.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 7, 2017
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  8. Disclaimer: I am coming at this issue from the stance of someone that wants to see greater Linux adoption by end-users, gamers, and software / game development companies. I completely understand the views of the purists, but I generally favor a middle-ground compromise that, in my opinion, provides the most benefits to the most people (and I think sets up Razer for greater success). I truly believe that Windows is moving in a direction that is unhealthy and borderline dangerous for the OS/PC marketplace and want to see OSX face actual competition from the open-source world. FWIW - I'm a software consultant by trade and use Linux every day as my primary OS for work and play.

    I really don't want to cause waves, but I'm not sure that a new distro is the best approach to take. A custom GNOME theme or something would be awesome, but an entire distro seems like it would be a huge undertaking. The primary issues with linux user-adoption, in my experience, are compatibility and ease-of-use. I feel like a distro that is already widely utilized and user-friendly makes the most sense.

    I would personally select a distro like Ubuntu. And now before the GNU/Linux hackers lay into me, let me try to explain why. I know that most of the applications I need for work run on existing distros like Ubuntu. However, I don't know that they all provide source code that could be compiled on a Razer distro, and asking them to compile and release a version specifically for a "gaming" linux distro just seems like a non-starter. That would be a deal-breaker for me personally, because this machine only makes sense if I'm able to work and play on it when traveling to clients.

    Other more day-to-day examples are simple things like printer drivers. The company we buy our printers from releases .deb .rpm and .yum installation packs of their drivers (which is already above and beyond what I'd expect from most companies and is pretty bad ass of them imo). However, the actual source code is generally delayed or sometimes not released as they, understandably, don't want the responsibility for supporting every random branch of Linux in the ecosystem.

    To the comments so far about Arch: I'm not an Arch-hater, but it does require a pretty significant understanding of Linux to use. It's awesome that they are so quick to provide feedback and support and I completely agree that their documentation is well above what most provide (that community wiki is really something to behold), but a "normal" PC user (i.e. not a Linux power user) I don't feel would be able to operate that distro effectively. My experience with it was that it requires a good deal of patience and time to get going. I understand the bare-bones, totally customizable nature is by design, but the majority of PC users are simply not willing to go through that exercise just to operate their machine to a level which they have come to expect out of the box from OSX / Windows.

    To clarify, when I say "majority of PC users" I'm thinking of people from my experience like my parents, friends my age (late 20s / early 30s) without a BS/MS in CS, my fiance, co-workers who currently run <shudder> Alienware machines, etc. Basically, people who play games, are competent with a computer, but can't code in C or write an AWK command. My, maybe unrealistic, dream is to see people like that migrate to Linux. That obviously will require the system to be easy-to-use. If my fiance has to open a terminal, fire up Vim (or Emacs... please don't send Stallman after me), and go surfing through config files to try and figure out why her machine won't print... she's going to give up and go back to Windows. (and then we have to cancel the wedding :big_grin_: )

    I guess my primary point / concern is that most people don't have the skill set to hack on their OS to get it to do what they need it to. And even if they have the ability, most people don't have the time. If I need to download some software that a client needs for work, I don't have time to hack out a new driver or fork and update an existing community effort that was retired 3 years ago from inactivity. I have to install it immediately and get to work. If I can't on Linux, then I have to switch to another machine. That's the primary reason behind my current use of Ubuntu. A surprising amount of software is already supported on the platform.

    All of that said, I'm not a Canonical fanboy. If Razer went with another distro (Fedora, Suse, Debian, etc.) I would still buy the machine in a heartbeat. At the end of the day, I would just rather have Razer focus on supporting an existing and commonly-used distro rather than starting from scratch. I'm happy to be persuaded otherwise though if I'm missing something.

    And just to be clear... I am definitely in favor of Razer offering a Blade with Linux pre-installed or without an OS (i.e. No Windows). I would probably end up dual-booting anyway for games like League that can't get their Linux act together, but I can handle the dual-boot task with my own Win license if/when I need that. No need to sully the brand new machine right out of the gate ;)
     
  9. Again, the problem is financial. For either driver maintenance or distributions, Razer will need to hire permanent dedicated staff. The initial development will require a larger, temporary, highly skilled staff.

    I assume that Razer doesn't have money to burn, so Razer makes their hardware usable by the most linux users
    by focusing on drivers across all linux platforms. That is why the drivers should come first and foremost.

    HOWEVER, Ikcl and Hactar88 do make an interesting point about a Razer distro. Keeping with the security issues I posted previously in this thread, there is a probable marketing opportunity for Razer, linux and possibly a much larger market both business, government and retail.

    As Ikcl said, systemd is also a disaster waiting to happen. In simple terms, systemd is abandonment of the original linux principles that: 1) each module of software should do one thing, and do it well. 2) Logs and configuration files should be in plain text. (READ THAT: you can't hide trojans in text files) Systemd is a single point of failure that works with binary files. Again, it is a question of WHEN, not IF, a network attack on systemd will bring down the whole linux ecosystem that depends upon it.

    Here is the tantalizing opportunity: If Razer were to take a non-systemd distribution of linux and make it its own, such as Arch-OpenRC or Manjaro-OpenRC which is based on Arch, then WHEN the attack came and brought down the systemd based linux world, Razer computers would be the only ones left standing.

    Can you i magine how Razer could capitalize on the security of Razer computers then?
    • Yes, you can install any linux on Razer and it will work flawlessly. HOWEVER, the customized version of the Razer non-systemd O/S is $$.

    • Why pay $$ for the Razer version of Arch or Manjaro when I could install it for free? BECAUSE Razer took the extra steps of eliminating the complexity of Arch or Manjaro installation (as Kumarin pointed out) and made sure the Razer installation of its O/S and apps (i.e. postgresql) is FIPS 140-2 compliant, it's usb PID card reader is FIPS 140-2 complaint and its laptops can be used out of the box by the U.S. government. (bigger market)

    • The same thing about security goes for all vendors to the U.S. government as they too need FIPS 140-2 compliance and PID readers.

    This is one of those times where a company has to make the market as opposed to following it.
     
  10. I'm a traditional healer and used Linux user for 8 years from 2004 - 2012. The feeling I got when using free software was amazing - its good to support freedom and openness. Then life got really busy and the time investment in tweaking Linux on my laptop just didn't make sense - I was using a mac for work (because final cut pro) and ended up going with mac on the laptop too because the hardware was great and I wanted computing to be easy and just work.

    Now Apple is screwing up badly and its time to move back to Linux on my portable machine. I'm looking at Razer because the hardware is excellent . So the idea of a Razer distro is an interesting one...full integration certainly makes life easier. There is a huge pool of users who don't want to have to tweak things endlessly.

    BUT I'm also aware Razer is a hardware company not a software one and its a big step to move into doing both, even with a lot of the resources already provided as would be the case with Linux. Not sure how Razer could manage this, perhaps by teaming up with a Distro to do a Razer verison?
     
    Hactar88 likes this.
  11. Just dreaming here of an optimal solution :

    Xen virtualization Linux host, not based on a distro at all. A fork of Steam OS as a guest to run games (or maybe even normal applications, since Steam has started selling them). These two are meant to be idiot proof, completely locked down and always functioning, with a repair function in BIOS similar to Chrome OS (except for the whole, repair == full SSD wipe).

    Then two forks of GalliumOS as non locked down guests. One for the Intel GPU, one for the high performance GPU. With VGA pass-through for both obviously. I think people have got that working for primary GPUs now. I don't think anyone has done work on allowing saving/restoring the GPU state with pass through yet though (for switching back and forth between the SteamOS fork and the high performance GalliumOS fork). It's obviously possible since it's just a variation of hibernation ... but would require some development.

    The user could of course provide his own hosts and/or bootable partitions, or even erase everything from Razer.

    For what users? If you want to tempt more than a small subset of power users away from consoles and Apple products there are only two existing "distros" suitable. ChromeOS and Android. Nothing else is user friendly enough.

    That's what you have to copy, not Ubuntu or Mint or whatever.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 7, 2017
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  12. lkcl_

    lkcl_ New Member

    interestingly this idea that you suggest, pinky, is more realistic now that the latest linux kernel provided GPU Virtualisation support. i.e. a guest OS may have direct access to GPU hardware (in a controlled fashion). so it's a really good idea. complex, but a good one.

    this is a gaming machine, with specifications, pricing *and a user-base* far beyond that of the average chromeos or android user.

    the reason i'm using an Aorus X3PlusV6 is because it has 16GB of RAM by default that's upgradeable to 32GB, it can take *dual* NVMe SSDs, i can SIMULTANEOUSLY run 3D CAD Software, 2D PCB Development Software, 2 simultaneous browsers (one with over 300 tabs open) and still have room to compile u-boot, linux kernel software, alliance and other *massive* software bases with a parallel make spanning absolutely every processor.

    the only reason i didn't buy a razer is because (a) i didn't hear about it at the time of making a decision but (b) even if i had, it only has USB 3.1 ports and i need to be able to plug in USB2 devices without cluttering the already overcrowded surrounding physical space with development boards (i'm a hardware and software libre engineer as you can probably tell from the list of software i run).

    the reason i'm writing this story above is to emphasise just how drastically different the type of uses to which this high-end laptop hardware is put, from the average chromeos or android uses.

    the average android system requires something like a quad-core *low power* ARM processor, and is perfectly comfortable running in 2GB of RAM. hell, low-end android systemss run... what... 512mb of RAM with dual-core processors and cost under $35 nowadays? it's nuts. the kindle fire is $50 and that's got specs way above that of *high-end desktops* from 8 years ago!

    the average chromeos system requires something like a mid-end quad-core ARM processor (the RK3288 for example) and either 2GB or 4GB of RAM is fine.

    these gaming systems can be pushed to FOUR GIGAHERTZ overclocked. the GRAPHICS card has 6GB of RAM for goodness sake!

    no - it's a completely different world (and userbase), pinkys.

    why?

    thinkpenguin doesn't have permanent dedicated technical staff doing driver maintenance or distributions. what they did was: they picked hardware that supports their chosen distro OUT-OF-THE-BOX.

    but not only that: because they provide such hassle-free products, the libre community DO THE WORK FOR THEM.

    why the hell would they do that?

    because they're so damn grateful (as you say below) to have all the hassle taken out of what they want to do that the community *ACTIVELY* supports them in their efforts.

    so no, i do NOT believe it necessary for Razer to hire permanent dedicated staff, because they will not be "doing a distro". someone else explained why "doing a distro" is such a turn-off - the thought of having to track down a (failed, tired, under-maintained) distro repository... eugh.

    this is why i recommended archlinux (because it's up-to-date as a rolling release distro), taking a snapshot (and sticking with that), making use of community resources, and so on.

    there must be a word which doesn't mean "official" *or* "unofficial" so that there is no expectation of support (or abandonment) but instead implies "we tested this, it works, but you're responsible for using it".


    in the post where razer (apparently) was actively asking for suggestions on what to do about a linux distro, i mentioned that it is CRITICAL that Razer NOT ship even a WINDOWS machine if there is no linux kernel support for a particular piece of hardware.

    it's very very important that Razer understand that to do *active* driver software development is something that they should flat-out and absolutely categorically REFUSE to do.

    so i assume, alphacrash, that you are referring to driver CONFIGURATION and INSTALLATION and TESTING. for example, intel-snd-hda can often require kernel module parameters, depending on the type and capabilities of the AC97 chipset that's been hooked up to the Southbridge IC.


    that's part of the problem(s) with systemd. if you look at the CVE database it's littered with reports. you can't even *FIND* CVE entries related to sysvinit. there are two other critical problems with systemd's development:

    (a) the lead developer is so universally hated that he's actually received death threats. i don't know about you, but i don't need to know the details: just the fact that otherwise rational people hate him *so badly* as to *literally* want to kill him tells me everything i need to know. i will NEVER run systemd or any other software where its developers are so universally hated.

    (b) unlike SE/Linux, which was formally researched, rationally spec'd out in terms of its scope, features and API, then implemented and NOT EXTENDED WITHOUT FURTHER RESEARCH, systemd is developed in an ad-hoc fashion with ZERO CONSULTATION WITH THE WIDER COMMUNITY. announcements "trickle out" such as "we manage filesystem mounting now" or "we manage firewall rules now" i mean for god's sake this is PID 1 - any f***-ups and it's game over.

    please, try not to refer to simply installing particular software as "making a new distro". there's a world of difference between using pre-existing distro packages, installing them, configuring them and creating in effect a "Golden Image" which may be flashed onto an SSD, and "creating an entirely new distro, rolling your own packages" and so on.

    i can confirm that arch-openrc works really well. you just follow the instructions and it's done.

    what i would strongly suggest that Razer do is to simply do a single pre-install (which can be done by a community member or a contractor), then *LITERALLY* copy that directly onto the SSDs at the factory.... and leave it at that.

    this is what thinkpenguin do (actually, they install from CD every time as a way to do a bit of a burn-in test of the machine). they DO NOT DO THEIR OWN DISTRO.

    now, thinkpenguin's job is made much, MUCH simpler... because they've deliberately picked hardware which just works out-of-the-box, and this is why i recommend the "Golden Image" concept for Razer. pre-configure, get everything working (from a stock distro), and factory-copy it.

    job done. no "extra special staff" needed. it's a rote task. existing factory staff could easily handle it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 7, 2017
  13. I just looked at the Aorus X3PlusV7. As I said in another post, if the machine with right specs comes along, I'm buying it right then and there. This is close. It's a 3k display, not a 4k. USB 3.1 is a must for me. However, so is Thunderbolt3, display port and HDMI. It doesn't say what spec the display port is at, so I assume it's legacy. It has an SD card reader, so I can keep a bootable version of clonezilla in my wallet (as opposed to a usb stick). The battery life is good. Price for the configuration I want is on par with Razer. But it comes with the intel TPM. (The intel desktop overclocking chips don't have TPM, does it work the same way for laptop overclocked chips?) But I'm not paying that price for something I don't want.

    The Razer Blade Pro is close, but at 8 lbs and 17" display is too large and heavy to be lugging every day, and it has TPM, otherwise I'd already be waiting for it to go on sale.

    I would prefer the Razer Blade Stealth at 12" since I don't need the graphics card, but the Razer Blade is the likely candidate for Razer to add dual drives, upgrade I/O and make TPM optional. It's not zero bezel, but 4 lb in a 14" frame is workable (would prefer zero bezel), and keep a good sized battery. I'll pay the extra for the graphics card, (assuming I can switch to intel graphics to extend battery), if that is the only way to get it, and assuming everything works with linux.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2017
  14. FiszPL

    FiszPL Well-Known Member

    In my opinion not a good idea. There will be another, almost the same linux distro with changed wallpaper, theme etc.
    I'd recommend contributing to popular desktop distros like Linux Mint, Fedora etc. Contributing makes popular OS better, creating another fork - NOT (just look at SteamOS - it was "popular" on the beggining, now it's not used so much).

    Or just release some "compatibility" pack/drivers for this hardware - that is distro independent.
     
    kumarin and Hactar88 like this.
  15. sarmadka_no_id

    sarmadka_no_id New Member

    No, I prefer if they stick with a popular distro. They don't need to create their own distro to get a seamless hardware/software integration; they can simply do what System76 do, which is using standard Ubuntu and having their own PPA with Razer drivers/patched components/extra apps/etc.
     
    kumarin likes this.
  16. When you take control over a ton of fundamental packages it's not really Ubuntu any more IMO. It's semantics of course, but take something like GalliumOS. It calls itself based on Xubuntu, not a PPA.
     
  17. sarmadka_no_id

    sarmadka_no_id New Member

    I don't know if they will need a ton of packages. I have a System76 laptop and all they have is a small PPA with few drivers.
     
  18. TheWill42

    TheWill42 Active Member

    So would this be like razer's take on SteamOS?
     
  19. It depends ... do you want the distro to be QA'd for their hardware or not? If they QA likely culprits for breaking stuff there's quite a few they'll have to take control of (kernel, X, compositor, pulseaudio etc).

    To do something simple like deliver tear free accelerated video out of the box they'll want to customise some of those as well.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2017
    Hactar88 likes this.
  20. Mr.ShoNuff

    Mr.ShoNuff New Member

    The simplest solution is always best so lets just focus on gaming and basic computing needs all users need. It's much easier to go with a distro that allows easy kernel manipulation and ability to update it easily to device specific platforms (Razer laptops). The kernel really is the issue!

    My recommendation is to use Arch as the base because you will have the least bloat starting out and their package management is simple for a small team to manage... rolling releases will also fair better for updating... and from there Razer's in-house teams can modify the kernel to their hardware specifically and add in own custom modules/drivers. To do this, Razer would only need to create their own official repository where the package manager could update to the newest Razer configured kernels without issue.

    Secondly, I recommend gpu pass-through to alleviate the need for dual booting. This will allow users to enjoy the benefits of Linux while also not being limited to select titles of games.

    What I am proposing really is the easiest route to doing this. Once Razer's lab configures the setup and it works without issue.... clone it to all the other laptops. *literally, a team between 2-4 people could manually configure a kernel and update repository (this is very cost effective).


    On the discussion about systemd.... I would make it default because it suits the needs for the average user; the option to revert to init is always there for those who know what it is... if they know what it is they will know how to implement it anyway most likely. Systemd--> Keep it easy for average users.

    I read one comment about Arch needing significant understanding which is complete bull! The majority of users just use their OS without doing anything else extra... and if pre-installed it just needs to work .... so they aren't going to even be at the CLI or want to be most likely. The package manager handles updates... which is GUI.. and the window manager handles everything else --> so not sure how much easier you can get.

    I am open to questions if people have them. The big question I see is which window manager: openbox, kde, gnome, etc. I have a recommendation for this but would like to here others first on the topic.

    I had a System76 Galagos Ultra... and yeah... if you compile your own kernel to match the hardware you see performance increases.... but if you just keep the basic Ubuntu build there is noticeable latency. Try what I am saying so you see what I am talking about.

    I would say no... SteamOS is really smoke and mirrors. This would be an already available Linux OS that is heavily customized to maximize performance of Razer's laptops.

    I totally agree. All they need is a Arch repository so that their systems update with Razer modified kernels.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 12, 2017
    Hactar88 likes this.
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