Richard Stallman asked:
> What would "source-based" mean, here, if it doesn't mean
> "You compile everything yourself"?
If you want to install the GNU Operating System now you have to start with an
already existing system with an unused partition, and configure/compile/install
everything yourself (i.e., manually.) As Alfred Szmidt said it's cumbersome.
To avoid that requirement there should be some way to do that same installation
without an already existing system. Sort of a "GNU Installer." Such a program
could be made to know about all GNU packages and their dependencies, and then
handle the whole process of configuring, compiling and installing everything
necessary to make the system work. I suppose that people could still do that
same work manually if they wanted but it would no longer be mandatory.
A downside to compiling the whole system from scratch is that it would take
longer to get a working system (when compared to the other option of compiling
the software in advance and the installer then just has to copy the software to
the desired partition.) Alfred Szmidt said it also presupposes that people have
the CPU & RAM necessary to complete the compile process but it seems to me that
any computer made within the last decade or more should be able to compile its
own software. That still leave the question of how long it would take though. My
computer at home could do it quickly but I also own a very old computer that
takes about 12 hours just to compile the kernel alone.