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That sounds interesting, but also very complex; and worryingly so when you then ask "Where would I start?"
My advice would be to try and participate in some of the existing Raspbian forums, seeing how they modify pacakges or perhaps you can join in dev work on some of the Raspbian forks like Raspyfi/Volumio/Moode etc ? Perhaps you could list those requirements you mention so we can see how your design idea differs to the existing range of RPi + shields.
If you want to launch your own line of SBC and your own version of Raspbian then you would need to be prepared to constantly ripple through the updates asap to your user community....that could become really tedious. Are you looking at sites like Kickstarter ? They can help get funding which which you can pull together a paid development team.
Hi Rod, Thanks for the detailed response.
I am currently in the process of getting some initial funding where I would be able to hire 1 dedicated developer to become a part of this initiative. I hope to grow this base with volunteers such as myself - although I am not a full blown developer, I would manage the overall project with resources, operations, finance etc,.
Much like the zerophone, the aim is the have a "kit" of parts that can easily be fixed / attached together and an OS to go with it. I would need to get it to MVP stage (like zerophone have) before launching on Crowd Supply or Kickstarter. At this stage, all we are trying to achieve is kit that would be based on the following:
Raspberry Pi (>=3)
Mini microphone - currently using a usb dongle mic
Mini camera - currently using RPi camera
Small speaker - currently using the line out on RPi
The idea would be to build a very simple smart speaker solution which would include the MyCroft RPi image - PiCroft. Th - is would be as a proof of concept going forward.
I also have some designs for casing in 3D which can then be either 3D printed (for now) or mass produced when the time comes. However, I am sure that this will evolve over time. My objective is to get the OS ready so as to have a working prototype which can then get updates (i.e. curl) when necessary.
The items I would need to take care of at this stage would be:
- Drivers for mic
- Drivers for camera
- Drivers for speaker
- PiCroft versions
- Raspbian versions
I believe the above is achievable and would make a nice phase 1 whilst attending to the hardware and bespoke RPi board with all necessary 3rd party shields and devices pre-soldered.
Would you have any advice on this moving forward with the OS? Would I be wiser to create a package of PiCroft which includes the necessary drivers for the related hardware and have that as a package on top of Raspbian?
Appreciate comments and input from anyone.
I am looking to start a new Linux distribution closely based on Raspbian and along with it, a new SBC based on the existing and future Raspberry Pi boards.
Splitting this into hardware and software, where would I start? I have a list of requirements based on existing software that would be "built into" Raspbian to make this distro. Then the hardware that is needed in order to make it work should be built along with the Raspberry Pi board.\\
It would be great to ensure this is open source and remains so all the way. I would welcome other developers / engineers who would be interested to hear more and get involved. This is an IoT initiative with a long roadmap.
It would be great to understand the best way to:
Create a community for the OS
Build and grow the OS
Integration with the SBC and required modifications