Selling systems with Fedora preloaded.

Gain Paolo Mureddu gmureddu at
Sun Nov 27 20:46:19 UTC 2005

Hash: SHA1

Matthew Miller wrote:

> On Sun, Nov 27, 2005 at 02:11:23PM -0600, Gain Paolo Mureddu wrote:
>> *) How far could we (if we walk down this path, anyway) modify
>> the default Fedora installation to better fit customers?
>> (installing some Extras packages and maybe
>> Flash/RealPlayer/mPlayer/Xine; 32-bit apps for backwards
>> compatibility on 64-bit Linux boxes)
> If you modify it, you can't call it Fedora. But you can modify it
> all you want. However, as not-a-lawyer, just adding things probably
> doesn't fall under that. The details hare here:
> <>
> You're definitely going to want to consult a lawyer. Preferably one
> familiar with open source.
> Watch out for the licenses and other legal issues with those
> "maybe" apps.
> And x86_64 already does include 32-bit backwards-compatibility
> stuff.
Yes it does, just not for plugins stuff like Flash, Java and even
RealPlayer. I had to install either Firefox/Netscape/Mozilla 32-bit to
be able to install Flash. Plus when I installed FC4 x86_64 I had to
expressely state I wanted the 32-bit compatibility libs and programs.

>> *) As far as Look'n'Feel go, would there be problems if the
>> default desktop settings are changed a bit (theme, icon set,
>> color schemes)?
> Same.
>> *) Even though Fedora does not ship with them, could we be able
>> to deliver the built systems with all necesary drivers, provided
>> a warning in the manual that stated the drivers are not part of
>> the distro DVD the customers will get, with instructions on how
>> to get them and install them?
> The trademark guidelines would apply again. But also, it would
> depend on the licensing terms of the drivers, too.
Guess, Fedora is best suited for individual use only... As going
through all the restrictions, and balancing what most users expect to
find in their comptuers, it'd deffinitely be hard to market such
computers. Despite the computer's raw power. As I said earlier, what
worries me the most is the hardware part, as I can leave the system to
a default (kickstart) installation, letting users configure their
users, change root's password, etc., but (and I would too) users
expect the hardware they buy a new system with to flawlessly work with
the OS the system shipped.  This is what leaves me worried. As these
are the rough specs we thought of the systems:

Proc AMD64 based (2800+ onwards)
Mem 1Gb (PC 333 or 400 depending on price)
HDD 160 S-ATA HDD (with at least 6 partitions, 5 for system, 1 for
DVD-RW/RAM optic unit
CD-RW 52-32-52 optic unit
1) nVidia based graphics solutions <- This right here is an issue in
itself! Though they've got the best support and best performing
drivers around.
2) S3 based graphics, using OpenSource Drivers. Best suited for
Desktop system, with limited garphics use (i.e, not for gaming or the
EMU10K1 Audigy2 Value class cards
VIA 8235/8237 class cards (as these two types have native ALSA
hardware mixing capabilities)
The rest of the hardware is pretty much standard (USB keyboard, mice
and 17" LCD monitor)

Of the above (assuming no changes to Fedora installation), obviously
the hardware is an issue. We want to offer some lean 'n mean hardware,
but without the drivers to operate it... I guess they won't go too
far.  We've thought of a few ways to walk around this issue, like if
we just leave Fedora be and go for another distro (we wouldn't want to
do that, though) or offer the drivers as a separate disk with
installation instructions, and probably those packages we would have
had added to the system... BUT this could also in itself be an issue
if in anyway there's a restriction to do this as well. I'm going
through the licenses of Flash, RealPlayer and the nVidia (and ATi)
drivers as well... I didn't expect this to be easy...

Just to clarify: Even changing default theme (to another GPL'ed one)
would cause an issue with the trademark? Even if the theme COMES with
Fedora in a default installation?

PS: I really wouldn't want to relegate Fedora systems to
"compatibility-value" boxes, as I know how good the system can really be.
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