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Thread: Linux Car Distro?

  1. #1
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    Linux Car Distro?

    Hey,

    I have used Linux on and off for some time and even programmed in it a fair bit. About 5 years ago I used a small linux distro as a router as in those days hardware routers were expensive. I was wondering if anyone has or is planning on creating Linux distro for Car PC's?

    I would really like to spend some time investigating the benifits of using linux as a OS for my Car PC but the majority of applications that I have used to date requre windows. As I am very familar with it I have installed in my first CarPC.

    One day I may get around to customizing linux into a fast booting frontend GUI with GPS mapping and all the features I currently have but until such a time clunky windows it is.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    FLAC TheLlama's Avatar
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    With all the distros out there I don't see much reason to. Especially since there isn't really anything that "special" about a carPC. At least in terms of the OS. Distributions like Gentoo or DSL make excellent Car distros. Plus, there is nothing keeping you from using the *many* other distributions.

    I think what is more important is having CarPC software (GPS, Frontends, wireless manager, etc..)

    I could be wrong.

  3. #3
    Variable Bitrate intuitionsys's Avatar
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    I tend to agree. And so many users want different things or do them a different way, a CarPC-centric distro wouldn't provide any more or less functionality than the distros aimed at the more experienced user like Gentoo or DSL.

    I would recommend SuSE as a testbed even though it's a desktop-oriented distro with all the bells and whistles, just to get things up and running quickly and then move to something leaner and meaner like the above mentioned once you've got a handle on everything. Just remember not to tie any of your code to the way a certain OS works if you plan on developing any software.
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  4. #4
    Maximum Bitrate Dennis5587's Avatar
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    I personally think its a great idea, having everything that you need for your carpc all in one os, made just for that reason. Think about it, people use windows media center edition for htpc's even though they can technically do everything it does with regular software. Its just a lot nicer to have everything with one install, and have it be very neat and efficient... so long as you don't charge....

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  5. #5
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    The problem is that when you create your own distro, you have to keep it upto date.

    I would rather rely on DSL, Gentoo, Knoppix, etc to keep the packages upto date, and bug free, and write the front end myself.

    Maybe someone should write a CarPC howto on improving boot speed, and removing login requirments, customizing boot splashes, etc.

    -Chris

  6. #6
    Variable Bitrate intuitionsys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by strandtc
    The problem is that when you create your own distro, you have to keep it upto date.

    I would rather rely on DSL, Gentoo, Knoppix, etc to keep the packages upto date, and bug free, and write the front end myself.

    Maybe someone should write a CarPC howto on improving boot speed, and removing login requirments, customizing boot splashes, etc.
    That sounds alot more practical to me. Now if I only had time to write up a HowTo Seriously though that's a good idea.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by strandtc
    Maybe someone should write a CarPC howto on improving boot speed, and removing login requirments, customizing boot splashes, etc.

    -Chris
    I think Chris nailed it on the head. When I get around to dabbling into Linux for my car PC I might keep a text editor open and jot down some stuff relative to Car PC's in Linux to share with the world.

    I'm sure there are several HOWTO’s already out there that are worth while too. Putting them altogether in one place would be nice. There is always this forum...

  8. #8
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    New 2 the group... Computer Background

    Hello everyone.

    I am new here as you can tell, but I am no stranger to the PC world. I think this is great what you all are doing with the PC in the car. I think this will solve my issue with my wife wanting to play her selection of music and having movies for the kids as well.

    I also play with car audio installs as a hobby to my electronics interests.

    anyway enough babbling.

    I am a Unix and Linux supporter as well as a Windows supporter outside of my regular job, and the problem I see with Linux right now is not having enough hardware support for drivers.

    Now before everyone starts hating on me, I would prefer having Linux as my OS as I feel it is much more stable than having a bloaty OS like Windows, but with all that bloat comes ease of use too.

    So there are pros and cons. But I have noticed also is that the Mac Mini might have potential as it is already pretty small, and it almost looks ready to go from what I saw in someones post.

    I would like to apologize if I stepped on anyones toes in my statements.

  9. #9
    Raw Wave shotgunefx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hamzter
    Hello everyone.

    I am new here as you can tell, but I am no stranger to the PC world. I think this is great what you all are doing with the PC in the car. I think this will solve my issue with my wife wanting to play her selection of music and having movies for the kids as well.

    I also play with car audio installs as a hobby to my electronics interests.

    anyway enough babbling.

    I am a Unix and Linux supporter as well as a Windows supporter outside of my regular job, and the problem I see with Linux right now is not having enough hardware support for drivers.

    Now before everyone starts hating on me, I would prefer having Linux as my OS as I feel it is much more stable than having a bloaty OS like Windows, but with all that bloat comes ease of use too.

    So there are pros and cons. But I have noticed also is that the Mac Mini might have potential as it is already pretty small, and it almost looks ready to go from what I saw in someones post.

    I would like to apologize if I stepped on anyones toes in my statements.
    Driver support is a bit of PITA, but outside of some grumblings initially with the touchscreen, everything else has worked well out of the box. It's come a long way in the last few years.

    Having said that, we'll see how I feel after I get my PCMCIA video capture card

  10. #10
    Low Bitrate eurocarpc's Avatar
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    I'd say that the hardware support is not so important. If you are really commited to use Linux in you carpc, then buy supported HW.

    Anyway, most of the installations I've seen around here would be 100% HW supported in most recent Linux distros.

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