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LFS 4.0 Released

timothy posted about 12 years ago | from the for-the-adventurous dept.

Linux 180

Tekmage writes "For those of you who have never had the pleasure of rolling your own Linux install from scratch, take a moment to check out Version 4.0 of Linux From Scratch. Definitely for the techies amonst us, there is (IMHO) truly no better way out there to get down and dirty with the inner workings of our favorite OS." LFS organizes its documentation into "books"; 4.0's book is dated yesterday.

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FP! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4398859)

Fork Pork Bork!

FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4398885)

Firsties, yo.

I nearly got.. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4398886)

an orgasm when I got LFS installed! It is so cool it can not be described.

Re:I nearly got.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4399022)

in that case im sure you are quite the man in bed.

It's a great resource (1)

bsharitt (580506) | about 12 years ago | (#4398890)

I've used LFS before to build my own personal distro, and it's a great resource. With basic knowledge of Linux and how to compile, LFS can allow you to make your very own distro.

Re:It's a great resource (2)

Moonshadow (84117) | about 12 years ago | (#4398901)

Seems like a great way to learn the OS, anyway. Not for everyone, I suppose, but definately cool for the learning crowd, or if you plan on doing a large number of custom installs.

TRILL (-1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | about 12 years ago | (#4398903)

Sorry, I meant "TROLL".

Re:It's a great resource (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4399026)

Wow. Informative? hahahahahahahaha

I installed Windows on a clean machine I bought from a computer show. I used the instruction manual and wizard guides to set it up. With basic knowledge of the keyboard and how to use a mouse, the Windows instruction manual can help you make your very own Windows machine.

Re:It's a great resource (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4399367)

The great thing about it is, when you start out with basic knowledge, you end up learning more and more about Linux as you go through the book and the hints, an at the end your friends see you as an Ubergeek, that certainly happened to me.

Well, at least it made me feel like an ubergeek. :p

Remember, put in #define BUILDRENDER YES if you want nice AA in XFree...

LFS is really good (2, Informative)

Ron885 (415314) | about 12 years ago | (#4398908)

I have been using lfs for about two years. I cannot imagine going back to a normal distribution. LFS gives you so much freedom with the way YOU want to setup your system. If you are looking for just something to do, or if you dislike all the available distributions, try out LFS and you wont be sorry.

Re:LFS is really good (1)

Mr2cents (323101) | about 12 years ago | (#4399024)

I installed it too, it took me three days but I learned a lot, and it's really nice to have it boot for the first time (I didn't get an ograsm though :)). I don't use it on my desktop, just on the router - not doing anything else. But it's too much a hassle for me to manage/upgrade packages - I like Debian better. Does anyone care to share some hints on that? e.g., I would like something like this:

[program] -l logfile make install

that dumps all files created by make install.

Re:LFS is really good (1)

Ron885 (415314) | about 12 years ago | (#4399033)

you should take a look at install-log or installwatch. you can check the lfs hints repository for some information on them

Re:LFS is really good (2, Informative)

JebusIsLord (566856) | about 12 years ago | (#4399200)

As a compromise, use gentoo linux. It still gives lots of control to the build and upgrades are a cinch.

Re:LFS is really good (1)

Ron885 (415314) | about 12 years ago | (#4399231)

why does everyone have to keep saying... "dont use lfs, use gentoo"? if someone wants to use lfs they will use lfs. some people dont like gentoo(myself) and there are many others that dont like it also, namely many of the regulars in #LFS @ irc.linuxfromscratch.org. All i'm seeing in these "just use gentoo" posts is this: "gentoo is the best, use it or else". that is not what linux is about.

Re:LFS is really good (1)

JebusIsLord (566856) | about 12 years ago | (#4399272)

I just meant if package management is an issue gentoo is a good compromise. Read in context of the parent post. I myself used gentoo previously but became an even bigger control freak and actually switched to LFS recently.

Re:LFS is really good (2, Interesting)

Josh (2625) | about 12 years ago | (#4399571)

It's easy to understand how LFS enables greater customization. It's also easy for most conventional distribution users to think of particular packages that they like to compile from source to their own custom specs (typically kernel, if nothing else). But it would be nice if an LFS advocate could post something on the most appealing/useful examples of massive customization that they feel justify the extra time/effort involved compared to using a distro with customizations tacked on.

Too many todo's (1)

NightWhistler (542034) | about 12 years ago | (#4398911)

Doing a full LFS install has been on my to-do list for quite some time now... perhaps I should try it someday soon. Until now, I have always been a faithful Slackare user, and I've done a bit of hacking in a few programs myself... as I see it, LFS is the perfect way to get the ultimate "feel" for Linux... I'm just not quite sure if I'm up to the task... building a simple Linux system I can handle, but building a full KDE-setup may be a bit too much for me right now...

Re:Too many todo's (1)

Johan Veenstra (61679) | about 12 years ago | (#4399040)

To follow the books you need some skills, but since you've been using Slackware, you're almost overqualified :)

Besides some skills, the only other thing you'll need is time and patience.

Johan Veenstra

Re:Too many todo's (5, Informative)

HIghoS (177655) | about 12 years ago | (#4399324)

Hey fear not. Getting KDE running on an LFS system is not *that* hard.

There's a subproject of LFS, that isn't as well known as it should be, that's documenting the process of installing software after (or I should say 'beyond' :) the completion of the lfs-book.

http://beyond.linuxfromscratch.org/view/cvs/

In there, you will find all the information required to install the graphic libraries, X11, KDE, and so forth.

You can also check out the lfs-hints for additional software/issues that are not covered by the blfs-book;

http://hints.linuxfromscratch.org/hints.shtml

It's more about taking the time todo it ;-)

Mirrors and /. effect (2)

T-Kir (597145) | about 12 years ago | (#4398914)

Man they must have seen us coming (have they been /.'ed before?), that is a nice list of mirrors on the linked page... that is until the linked page gets killed ;)

Re:Mirrors and /. effect (4, Informative)

iamthemoog (410374) | about 12 years ago | (#4398935)

For your enjoyment:

North America
Fremont, California, USA [8 Mbit] http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/lfs/intro.shtml
Lufkin, Texas, USA [6 Mbit] http://linuxfromscratch.idge.net/lfs/intro.shtml
Columbus, Ohio, USA [1 Mbit] http://www.us.linuxfromscratch.org/lfs/intro.shtml
Calgary, Alberta, Canada [10 Mbit] http://www.ca.linuxfromscratch.org/lfs/intro.shtml

Europe
Mainz, Germany [100 Mbit] http://lfs.linux-provider.net/lfs/intro.shtml
Amsterdam, The Netherlands [100 Mbit] http://www.nl.linuxfromscratch.org/lfs/intro.shtml
Oslo, Norway [100 Mbit] http://www.no.linuxfromscratch.org/lfs/intro.shtml
Lancaster, UK [100 Mbit] http://linuxfromscratch.mirror.ac.uk/lfs/intro.sht ml
Vienna Univ. of Technology, Austria [64 Mbit] http://www.at.linuxfromscratch.org/lfs/intro.shtml
Karlskrona, Sweden [10 Mbit] http://www.se.linuxfromscratch.org/lfs/intro.shtml
Freising, Germany [4 Mbit] http://www.de.linuxfromscratch.org/lfs/intro.shtml
Teesside, UK [256 Kbit] http://www.linuxfromscratch.co.uk/lfs/intro.shtml
Odense, Denmark [256 Kbit] http://www.dk.linuxfromscratch.org/lfs/intro.shtml

Australia
Brisbane, Australia [155 Mbit] http://www.au.linuxfromscratch.org/lfs/intro.shtml

Asia
Singapore, Singapore [45 Mbit] http://www.sg.linuxfromscratch.org/lfs/intro.shtml

Re:Mirrors and /. effect (2, Informative)

HIghoS (177655) | about 12 years ago | (#4399185)

Yes, we have been slashdotted several times now. It's one of the reasons we have always kept the mirror list on the front page. We are also the main host for http://www.distrowatch.com so we have to keep up with all the barrage of hits it gets also :)

It's always fun *coughs* to watch how shadowfax (the lfs server) handles the load. A little while ago we had nearly ~100 apache processes spawned with a load of almost 5.00. It's gotten a little more sane wotn to about ~50 proc/0.50 load.

The best part is problably looking at this; http://stats.linuxfromscratch.org/mrtg/

So... (1)

Prince_Ali (614163) | about 12 years ago | (#4398917)

When will we be getting WFS?

Re:So... (0)

Theom (567303) | about 12 years ago | (#4398960)

When penguins live in hell.

Re:So... (-1, Offtopic)

LMCBoy (185365) | about 12 years ago | (#4398975)

Hey, you can buy WFS right here, right now [cafeshops.com] .

You're welcome.

Gentoo? (2, Informative)

thing12 (45050) | about 12 years ago | (#4398918)

Why not just use Gentoo? [gentoo.org] You get all of the benefits of a fully customized and compiled distribution when you want it. Yet it's completely automated for when you don't want to be bothered with every little package that goes into a fully functional system.

Re:Gentoo? (4, Informative)

Ron885 (415314) | about 12 years ago | (#4398925)

gentoo is an alternative, but its not the same as doing it by hand... you just start it and it does it all by itself... with lfs you can compile everything the way you want to with the options you want and dont need to mess around with the config files of gentoo.

Re:Gentoo config files (2, Informative)

thing12 (45050) | about 12 years ago | (#4398962)

The gentoo config files are not all that bad - they bring order to the chaos that is a source based distribution. With LFS you either remember what you have installed (which may be easy since you tend not to install very much when you have to do it from scratch) or most likely keep track if it in a file (or on paper). Either way you need to know what you have installed so you have that info available to pass as configure options. With gentoo you keep track of that in one place. Then for every package that *can* use, for example, OpenLDAP it will automatically be configured to use it. It's so much easier than LFS - and yet I'm failing to see what you lose with Gentoo...

Re:Gentoo config files (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4399053)

>It's so much easier than LFS - and yet I'm failing to see what you lose with Gentoo...

Simple: If you are looking for easy, do not do LFS.

If you are looking for a pre-made distro, do not do LFS.

(Note that I said "do LFS" instead of "use LFS" above. With LFS you build the system the way you
want it, THEN use it the way you want to)

Stick with Gentoo if you don't get it, or don't want it...

Re:Gentoo? (2, Informative)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 12 years ago | (#4398966)

Have you ever used it?

Its really iso-linux with a few added features. Everything and I mean everything needs to be installed from scratch. No X, apache, sound, even network settings. You need to setup everything yourself. Very different from the current world of distro's. I suppose some of it is automated like "emerge kde" would install X and kde, but everthing else needs to be installed from scratch.

Re:Gentoo? (3, Informative)

Fiver-rah (564801) | about 12 years ago | (#4399017)

That's an unfair characterization. Sure, you get to compile your own kernel and set up a network and all that stuff. But installing new software is always as easy as typing "emerge ". Saying "everything else needs to be installed from scratch" is pretty unfair. There are scripts and ebuilds written so that pretty much all you do by hand is set up the file systems, handle networking, and compile the kernel. You don't need to worry about where to download things, or what to download, or which patches to apply or anything like that.

Re:Gentoo? (3, Insightful)

handsomepete (561396) | about 12 years ago | (#4399128)

I totally agree. I use gentoo now (bizarrely enough) because it's simple to maintain and not terribly hard to install in the first place if you have a weekend to kill, especially in comparison to lfs. There's a massive difference from installing KDE from source and typing 'emerge kde.' As others have said, lfs is great for getting your hands dirty and learning some stuff. Gentoo is for after your hands are dirty and you want to clean them up while still getting that feel-good speed from compiling every package for your system from source. Yeah yeah yeah, you have to hand edit all of the X/ftp/ssh/profile/etc config files and that's a big pain. Deal with it. You should be doing that anyways.

Why is that everytime someone mentions lfs, someone has to say, "Why not just use gentoo?" It makes us (the users) look like the next generation zealots. I have a better idea - learn what distros do what things and at what difficulty and then choose for yourself. Suit your own needs, dammit.

Re:Gentoo? (2)

Fiver-rah (564801) | about 12 years ago | (#4399171)

Suit your own needs, dammit.

Exactly. That's what Linux is all about. I can run Gentoo, and my mom can run RedHat.

Re:Gentoo? (3, Interesting)

Junta (36770) | about 12 years ago | (#4399186)

To be fair though, knowing which patches can and should be applied to particular versions of particular packages is not very useful, long term knowledge. Most of the patches installed by Gentoo are bugfix patches, which are *really* short lived. The occasional feature enhancement patch is relevant longer, but not too much longer. Same with the where to download and what to download. The learning experience of LFS basically boils down to knowing *every* dependency in your system, and how to manually configure every package (though that configuration step is not taken care of in gentoo). The dependency knowledge is of dubious value, as that too is subject to change in the details. All gentoo does is hide the nitty-gritty of requisite packages and keeps you from having to know every dependency. I did a Linux from scratch before (before the 'official' LFS existed, played it by ear), and it really doesn't teach you much that you don't learn in time with distributions. The useful knowledge is how to *use* the applications, not install them.

Re:Gentoo? (2, Informative)

jormurgandr (128408) | about 12 years ago | (#4398947)

gentoo also isnt production stable yet. I've been using it on my home PC for about 6 months now, and although I love the portage system, it isnt perfect yet. Quite frequently, I've had to go in and edit files by hand, without any docs from the install, and without network access (emerge world killed my NIC several times, and my IDE controller another). Hopefully in time it will become more mature.

Re:Gentoo? (3, Offtopic)

Junta (36770) | about 12 years ago | (#4398988)

That is really bizarre, I've never had any troubles. Especially killing the NIC and IDE controller, I wouldn't blame software if hardware is dying.

With the portage system, I've never really *needed* to maunally edit unmasked versions of packages. Occasionally I will change the mask rules to try stuff at my own risk, but I haven't needed to do anything.

All that said, it is at least as workable as LFS and much much easier. While both take forever to get up and going (my computer emerged for an entire weekend), the interactive time for gentoo makes it at least livable (I issued one emerge command with the packages I wanted and spent the weekend doing other stuff).

LFS is useful for learning a bit more about the system and how it works, but offers few details that can't be gotten in easier ways. What I have found extremely useful about the LFS references is that when I do go after masked packages and have problems, the LFS hints can explain why it broke and a workaround.

Re:Gentoo? (1)

twistedcubic (577194) | about 12 years ago | (#4399052)


Why not just use Gentoo?

I use Gentoo, and I've done LFS before. You really don't have to know much to install Gentoo, and you barely learn anything because everything is so simplified. This is why I use Gentoo. But I don't think it compares to LFS, where you get to do the minute details of every step of the installation, and have to tediously maintain it.

Uh, yay? (-1, Troll)

SargeZT (609463) | about 12 years ago | (#4398920)

I guess this is kinda cool, but I hate source code, so I'll stick with RedHat for now.

This is not a business site (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4398922)

It is obvious that this news is directed towards people who have the free time to pursue pointless exercises such as this. Linux from Scratch may have been a cute idea back 3 years ago, but today Linux is used in mission critical situations where wasting time fiddling with every little bit is not necessary and not wanted.

If you really want all the benefits of LFS without the stupidity of going through the hell yourself, go with Gentoo or Sorcerer Linux.

Re:This is not a business site (1)

Ron885 (415314) | about 12 years ago | (#4398934)

what about those who use linux for their desktops at home? there are many of us like that and we use LFS because we want it the way we set it up, not how someone else sets it up.

Well, S&M is a thriving business (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4398945)

I can't say it's for me, but hey, if it's your thing...

Pointless? (3, Insightful)

TriCCer (591321) | about 12 years ago | (#4398985)

I don't get you. LFS is a great way for people to get a grasp of what gnu/linux is/contains. If they have the time or not is up to them, but this definately is news for nerds. I'd say that lfs has great eductational value. but that's me.

Re:Pointless? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4399084)

What don't you get? I made a comment on the inapplicability of LFS in a business scenario. I'm sure LFS is useful in learning about Linux and its various parts, but in the "Real World" it is as useless as a broken printer.

problems with GCC3.2 though (2, Informative)

jormurgandr (128408) | about 12 years ago | (#4398927)

I've been using the 4.0 release candidate for about 2 weeks now, and although it is AWSOME, it does have some problems with some packages, like GDB and Tripwire (neither will compile). I'm pretty sure the problems are related to GCC 3.2. Hopefully a patch for GCC will be released soon so as to compile these apps properly. Just a warning for those interested in LFS (its great otherwise).

Re:problems with GCC3.2 though (4, Informative)

ct.smith (80232) | about 12 years ago | (#4399005)

I wonder if the problems are really gcc3.2 and not the source code. I've just spent the last week trying to compile a suite of programs with 3.2 just to discover that none of it compiles. However, each problem was actually due to use of non-standard C++ code. The issue is that old versions of gcc let a lot of non-standard code compile, but the newest version is much more strict. I would hope that the solution is to fix the code and not make the compiler do silly things to remain backwards compatible.

I suspect that there is a large amount of code out there that has the same problem. Probably this includes the packages you couldn't compile.

Liar (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4399051)

Open Source programmers only use Best Practices like staying true to the language standard and using libraries that are guaranteed to be compatible with existing systems.

They wouldn't ever use bugs in the GNU compiler to make their programs work. That's what Microsoft does.

another update dated today (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4398937)

http://www.freebsd.org

someone please explain? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4399453)

I went to that page and all it said was "BSD is dead, you moron!" What does this mean?

Gentoo is a great iso-linux distro (4, Informative)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 12 years ago | (#4398948)

If you want a balance between installing everything from scratch and a real distro with documentation, then I would recommend Gentoo.

Gentoo is pretty much based on iso-linux from the linux from scratch project.

The benefits are great documentation from their website [gentoo.org] and the best package manager out today. It truly feels like an os you own and not by some corporation since you have to put the os together yourself. The forums are also great. If you want to get your hands dirty and have a huge community help you out through the process then look no further.

Re:Gentoo is a great iso-linux distro (2, Informative)

Junta (36770) | about 12 years ago | (#4399028)

Well, to be fair, while I *love* portage, I would say the ebuild system isn't the best package manager feature wise (portage would be the package distribution system, ebuild the package system). Ebuilds add optional dependencies, but that is it. But from the perspective of the portage system as a whole, there is a problem. The end system is highly optimized and installs truly are managed well, but if you are undecided about packages that may become dependencies for other packages, well, there is often no turning back while knowing for certain what will be impacted. On installs, portage intelligently figures out what is needed and what optional packages to use based on USE flags. But unmerging will just do that package without regard to broken dependencies. If you are unsure about what you want, gentoo may not be right.

Personally, I use gentoo on my laptop and desktop (and would my router if I didn't mind spending days for it to finish), but there are things about it that make it not best for everyone.

Re:Gentoo is a great iso-linux distro (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4399244)

I've been considering using gentoo, but being a tin foil hat wearer, i've been wondering about one thing. At least the documentation on the web page doesn't mention anything about automatic verification of signatures or even checksums. Is this issue omitted as completely as it seems?

Re:Gentoo is a great iso-linux distro (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4399403)

Every file that the package system handles has its md5sum checked.

It isn't perfect (read as: malicious developer / hecked Gentoo mirror server) but it's a fair bit better than nothing.

Our favorite OS? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4398956)

Thanks for speaking for all of us.

My favorite OS is FreeBSD.

Re:Our favorite OS? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4399012)

Mine is Windows 2000. That's why I'm posting AC.

This is only slightly off-topic but, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4398967)

it would be nice if it came with cron. Don't get me wrong, I've used and love lfs, and yes I can get cron elsewhere, but as it is a rather basic thing to have, it would have been nice to see it finally be included in this wonderful distribution...

Re:This is only slightly off-topic but, (4, Informative)

Ron885 (415314) | about 12 years ago | (#4398993)

the reason LFS doesn't come with cron is because it is not an ESSENTIAL program to the operation of a linux system. you may want/need it, but someone else might not. it isn't essential so its not included, plus there are hints that provide information on how to compile it. that is what is so great about lfs, anyone in the community can contribute by writing a hint.

Re:This is only slightly off-topic but, (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4399394)

Linux? Without cron??!?

*prays to the sun-gods for his programs to once again magically run on time*

Re:This is only slightly off-topic but, (4, Interesting)

shoppa (464619) | about 12 years ago | (#4399115)

Three points:
  1. Cron is not essential.
  2. Cron has historically been a security risk. What's the patch level on Vixie-Cron? :-)
  3. Cron packages generally (there are exceptions) require a sendmail-like mail system for reporting results. Sendmail (and even its not so cumbersome clones) isn't generally necessary or even wanted.
All that said, there's a wide choice of crons you can install, just see the BLFS (Beyond Linux From Scratch) hints.

Re:This is only slightly off-topic but, (3, Informative)

Johan Veenstra (61679) | about 12 years ago | (#4399129)

A text webbrowser, a ftpclient, telnet etc is also pretty basic, but don't expect to find it in LFS. LFS is sorta just enough to build another LFS from.

If you want that cron/ftp/telnet/lynx/cdrecord/lame/xfree/kde/gnome etc etc stuff, check out Beyond Linux From Scratch:

http://beyond.linuxfromscratch.org/

Johan Veenstra

LFS is great (2, Informative)

Repugnant_Shit (263651) | about 12 years ago | (#4398984)

Its been a great way for me to learn the ins and outs of Linux. I still don't know everything but I'm much more comfortable setting everything up. And the #LFS channel on irc.linuxfromscratch.org is very helpful.

As an aside, try using Slackware 8.1 for your base distro. Its got a pretty small footprint but it still has everything you need.

Re:LFS is great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4399419)

A way to get to use all of the harddrive is to make the partition used for the base distro the partition that will be used as the /home partition. You don't need it while building the system, and once you no longer need the distro you can wipe it to use as /home

Why LFS indeed? (5, Informative)

ageitgey (216346) | about 12 years ago | (#4398989)

I'm sure people are going to reply saying that LFS is a niche product and not news that many people care about.

Well, though most of you are probably exposed to Linux through the desktop, Linux is winning it's in-roads in the industry through embedded systems and handheld devices (not desktop). Functional LFS installs can be as little as 5 megs or so and completely customized. Perfect to compete with several-thousand-dollar offerings from MS, Palm, etc.

So if embedded systems are driving commercial linux support, in a way LFS and systems like it are more important in the short term than Mandrake and SuSE.

So why not write your local LFS contributer and say thanks?

Re:Why LFS indeed? (2, Interesting)

hirschma (187820) | about 12 years ago | (#4399018)

Although the LFS folks have been making the claim of an 8 or 5 meg installation, I've yet to see any clear docs on how to do it. I'd like to. Anyone know of a related hint or how-to that details the slimming process?

jonathan

Re:Why LFS indeed? (1)

Ron885 (415314) | about 12 years ago | (#4399041)

that was a "hey we can do it" type thing, there are actually no docs on how to do that yourself, a few people have asked for that.

Re:Why LFS indeed? (1)

Johan Veenstra (61679) | about 12 years ago | (#4399079)

Not really that difficult, just build LFS and install the feature that you need (ftpd for example). And then remove *everything* that's not needed anymore :)

Johan Veenstra

Re:Why LFS indeed? (2, Informative)

HIghoS (177655) | about 12 years ago | (#4399425)

Hrm... Actually getting a system running in 5-8MB is quite modest today. At the time (2y ago) Gerard had build a complete lfs system and stripped all the useless packages/files from the system and then installed apache. It actually worked quite well for it's purpose.

Today, it could be done in under 1MB by switching to uClibc from Glibc and so forth.

Honestly however.. just do some research. I know of dozens of people that have done this over the years, many of them have posted details on weblogs, mailing lists, portals, etc. It's such a grey area and considered more "embedded" then custom that there isn't much of a need for documentation like the lfs-book.

It's just assumed that if you are going to be working on such a project-you at least know where to start :)

*shrugs*

educational value (5, Insightful)

mrm677 (456727) | about 12 years ago | (#4399003)

LFS is a great way to learn Linux. It truly helped take me to the next level of my personal understanding of how things work.

However I would never recommend it for a production system. Even using it for a personal workstation takes loads of time to manage. One doesn't appreciate package management until they have installed a LFS system!!! Of course one could always use RPM/APT/DEB after doing a LFS installation...

Re:educational value (3, Interesting)

jgkastra (571174) | about 12 years ago | (#4399226)

Package management?

My current LFS install (3.3) has LFS installed in the default places, and everything else created after LFS in /opt in its own directory. The files are symlinked into their respective directories in /opt, and are uninstalled by reading the list of files in the /opt/foo/* directories. I can then rm -r the directory and uninstall the package.

My next installation is moved towards installing the core in /usr/lfs and /lfs and symlinking out from there.

This keeps me in check with the program version and what is installed with a simple ls. The only time I've had to use a package manager is to install Glide (I couldn't compile Glide, so I had to use RPM).

Re:educational value (1)

mrm677 (456727) | about 12 years ago | (#4399475)

Yes, I used the same approach when I maintained my LFS system. Except I used a tool to manage the symlinks (I forgot the name of what I used though GNU has a similar tool). It still got tedious after awhile....at least in my opinion. Also symlinks do have a very small effect in speed and usually take up 4k per symlink depending on your choice of file system.

Uh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4399004)

My, and the majority of the world's favorite OS, is Windows.

He may be trolling, but he is right. (0, Offtopic)

Prince_Ali (614163) | about 12 years ago | (#4399025)

Windows is my favorite too, but I am unwilling to use XP because of their "anti-piracy" features. I guess Linux will be installed on my next computer.

Re:He may be trolling, but he is right. (0, Offtopic)

wikki (13091) | about 12 years ago | (#4399075)

Ugh OH, Everyone watch out, we have an adminitted pirate among us

Re:Uh (1)

YahoKa (577942) | about 12 years ago | (#4399080)

You are 100% correct to say that it is the majority of the worlds favorite OS.

But why is that? Because it is the only option for most people.
Linux is still sort of an option for some, but perhaps it wont be the day we are required to use Microsoft ® Palladium.

Re:Uh (1)

glenstar (569572) | about 12 years ago | (#4399470)

But why is it the only option for people? The reason is simple: Windows just "works"... at least as far as Joe Blow is concerned. Joe Blow isn't going to want to cd /usr/pkgsrc/www/mozilla; make && make install and then wait a fairly long amount of time for it to compile and install.

As a developer, I *most* of the time enjoy doing builds from source, or using some of the more obscure switches for pkg_add or rpm. The *vast* majority of the population wouldn't even know where to begin.

Re:Uh (1)

Vinum (603982) | about 12 years ago | (#4399535)

It is the only option because 95% of commercial applications/games in the store are for Windows. If Wine was actually up to par, or 95% of applications were written in Java (and someone implemented a fast JVM) then there would be choice.

I always complain to vendors when they send me quotes in excell format (and if I can help it I avoid using them all together) but... gee. Most people in the business world don't have a choice either with properiety file formats being exchanged between business types.

"pleasure?" (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4399015)

"Linux install" and "pleasure" do not belong in the same sentence.

The Way to Learn (4, Interesting)

fm6 (162816) | about 12 years ago | (#4399021)

I've heard popular distros like Red Hat criticized because they do too much hand-holding. The theory is that you'll learn more about how Linux works if you use a less user-friendly distro, such as Slackware.

But if you need handholding, you really need it. On the other hand, if you're comfortable with using Linux, but want to know more about how it's put together, even Slackware is too high-level. LFS, on the other hand, is the ultimate Linux-learners tool, because it doesn't automate anything.

Re:The Way to Learn (2)

Glytch (4881) | about 12 years ago | (#4399169)

Amen to that. I've always loved Slackware, and it's always my first choice for most systems, but my main desktop is LFS. My only nitpick is how the premade boot scripts in the book are (ick) SysV. Ah well, at least it taught me to write boot scripts from scratch, too. :)

Re:The Way to Learn (1)

HIghoS (177655) | about 12 years ago | (#4399249)

I guess you haven't heard about the lfs-hints yet. One of the major reasons for doing LFS, is the educational value, which is why we like to encourage users to experiment and change the book to fit _their_ needs, so...

Considering you are talking about Slackware, I assume you would prefer a bsd init system; http://hints.linuxfromscratch.org/hints/bsd-init.t xt

Re:The Way to Learn (2)

Glytch (4881) | about 12 years ago | (#4399487)

Actually, that's exactly where I learned it. I used the scripts in bsd-init.txt, and modified them. I like to have a runlevel without networking but with virtual consoles (long and boring story behind that), and that hintfile made it easy.

That's why I use FreeBSD (1, Troll)

johnkp (178178) | about 12 years ago | (#4399034)

If you're like me you like to have everything compiled from scratch. Thats why I tried LFS some months ago, but found it at that the time it took to make a basic setup was awful long. Then I switched to gentoo but I disliked their portage system, but finally I setteled with FreeBSD. Compiling everything from scratch is as easy as:
cvsup stable-supfile
cd /usr/src
make world && make buildkernel KERNCONF=MYKERNEL && make installkernel KERNCONF=MYKERNEL

and ports+portupgrade is just great.

Re:That's why I use FreeBSD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4399088)

apollo# pkg_add -r xpdf

Error: FTP Unable to get ftp://ftp.freebsd.org/pub/FreeBSD/ports/i386/packa ges-4
.5-release/Latest/xpdf.tgz: File unavailable (e.g., file not found, no access)

pkg_add: unable to fetch `ftp://ftp.freebsd.org/pub/FreeBSD/ports/i386/pack ages-
4.5-release/Latest/xpdf.tgz' by UR

apollo# pkg_add -r galeon

Error: FTP Unable to get ftp://ftp.freebsd.org/pub/FreeBSD/ports/i386/packa ges-4
.5-release/Latest/galeon.tgz: File unavailable (e.g., file not found, no access)

pkg_add: unable to fetch `ftp://ftp.freebsd.org/pub/FreeBSD/ports/i386/pack ages-
4.5-release/Latest/galeon.tgz' by URL

Oh yeah! Don't you JUST LOVE FreeBSD's ports? This is a proof how fucking GREAT it works!

Re:That's why I use FreeBSD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4399400)

cd /usr/ports/print/xpdf/ && make install
cd /usr/ports/www/galeon && make install

Idiot.

Re:That's why I use FreeBSD (1)

glenstar (569572) | about 12 years ago | (#4399443)

Those aren't ports, those are binary packages you are trying to add.

Re:That's why I use FreeBSD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4399254)

Ports is not great when it doesn't work. There has been *major* problems with FreeBSDs Ports in recent months. I know, I've got 2 BSD boxes and I ain't satisfied.. Besides, before claiming Ports is great, take a look at Gentoo Linux's portage system. It is more advanced version of ports. Gentoo Linux's main developer Daniel Robbins abandoned FreeBSD 'cause all the fun was happening in Linux and he created portage based on his FreeBSD experience.

LFS as the basis for a distro (2, Interesting)

pcardoso (132954) | about 12 years ago | (#4399049)

For some time I'm toying around with the idea of using LFS as the basis of a linux distribution.

Use LFS to create a linux demo/distribution, a bit like Beos R5. You boot the cd, try it out, and if you like it, have a program to copy the cd over to the hard disk and setup a bootloader.

And keep it small. BeOS managed to cram a lot of stuff into a 40mb iso image. Current mainstream distros are too fat, spreading all on at least 2 cds.

Well, gotta ditch the older version and check this new LFS book.

Re:LFS as the basis for a distro (1)

Johan Veenstra (61679) | about 12 years ago | (#4399103)

40mb iso image is possible, but it would be 40mb of compressed data and don't expect XFree to start.

[lfs]$ startx
bash: startx: command not found

Johan Veenstra

Bah (0)

roly (576035) | about 12 years ago | (#4399074)

I could never get 3.3 to work. Does it still support Red Hat 6.2 as build system? (me was using RH6.2 to build LFS)

make the switch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4399083)

If you've never installed linux or want to reinstall, start fresh and run FreeBSD instead.
It's a great operating system and the leader in innovation and is the base for Mac OS X.

Wait for it... (1)

Froze (398171) | about 12 years ago | (#4399090)

Want to play with multiple distros? but you don't want to trash your setup? wait until the next major kernel release, you will be able to play with this with out even rebooting! The new VM in the latest kernel is touted as being able to run multiple installations.
LINUX ROCKS!

(disclaimer, this is only an opinion, not actually based on first hand experience)

LinuxFromNotSoScratch.com (1)

Dark Lord Seth (584963) | about 12 years ago | (#4399114)

From: LFS Book 4.0 - Chapter 1.1, Section 2 [linuxfromscratch.org]

We are going to build the LFS system by using a previously installed Linux distribution such as Debian, SuSE, Slackware, Mandrake, RedHat, etc. We will use the existing Linux system as the development platform, because we need tools like a compiler, linker, text editor, and other development tools to build our system. Ordinarily, the required tools are available by default if we selected "development" as one of our installation options when we installed a Linux distribution.

Okay, so what do these people mean by "Linux From Scratch"? Installing another distro first to install "required tools" is in my view not installing from scratch. I was hoping to be able to install a very, VERY base HD based distro for my two antique 486s with just the standard stuff (GCC, shell, GNU utils and iptables) for use as a router/NAT gateway but that is quite far out of the question now. Huge disappointment from something with such a promissing name.

Re:LinuxFromNotSoScratch.com (2, Insightful)

Ron885 (415314) | about 12 years ago | (#4399181)

yes, you do need somewhere to compile the chapter 5 programs in, but there are many people who provide iso images with the chapter 5 programs precompiled, or you could use another box to compile the stuff for chapter 5. after you have that sorted out, you could than just install the things from chapter 6 that you want and skip the other things. what is nice about lfs is that you can install what you want and not install what you dont want.

Re:LinuxFromNotSoScratch.com (5, Insightful)

amccall (24406) | about 12 years ago | (#4399196)

What do you want them to start from? Flip 0's and 1's on a front panel?

In order to build ANYTHING you need an existing tool chain. Here that means gcc, bash, ld, etc... LFS starts with creating a bootstrap system using your existing distribution: this existing distribution might just be a bootable ISO cd. LFS DOES go through everything: the kernel, gcc, glibc, ... everything.

LFS will show you how to build your own Linux, step by step. It will tell you everything you need to know to understand the bootup process.

If you want to run LFS on a 486 though, you'd probably be a lot better off getting it going from your main system, and then copying over. glibc alone can take HOUR(S) to compile on a modern system.

Re:LinuxFromNotSoScratch.com (1)

JebusIsLord (566856) | about 12 years ago | (#4399261)

Dude how are you going to install an OS without an OS? explain please how you will boot up a machine with nothing on it and proceed to download and install packages without a compiler, terminal, shell prompt etc.

Here is a hint for you though: download an iso linux distro (one that boots off cd) and build using that. or install redhat on a second hard drive that you can remove after you are finished.

Re:LinuxFromNotSoScratch.com (3, Insightful)

jonadab (583620) | about 12 years ago | (#4399262)

> Okay, so what do these people mean by "Linux From Scratch"?
> Installing another distro first to install "required tools"
> is in my view not installing from scratch.

If I understand correctly, the other distro you use to build
your LFS is not part of your finished project, and does not have
to be installed on the same drive or end up running on the same
hardware. i.e., you can take the hard drive from your 486 and
pop it in any working Linux system and build LFS on it, then
put it back in your 486 and use your shiny new LFS. At least,
I think that's the theory.

Re:LinuxFromNotSoScratch.com (1)

Max Threshold (540114) | about 12 years ago | (#4399481)

That pretty much sums it up. You build a few essential tools, linked statically so they can run on their own. Then you chroot into
where the tools are and build glibc. Then you build everything again inside chroot, dynamically linked against your shiny new glibc. Set up init scripts and a kernel and you can boot the thing.

Re:LinuxFromNotSoScratch.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4399268)

you can what you are hoping, but probably not
build-and-install-in-place. You would need to
do a build on another system (with at least 1GB
of free space) and tar up the resulting tree,
transfer it over to your net-connected 486 (I
presume it has no CD) and to effect that transfer,
you would use some mini-floppy distro like tomsrtbt.
I put LFS on a thinkpad 350c, 486slc/33, 16MB RAM
with a PCMCIA net card that way. About 110 MB if
you remove Perl; about 85 if you remove GCC.

GNU/Linux From Scratch ?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4399136)

When installing LFS, one tends to notice just how much of a contribution has been made by the FSF, so I dont mind calling it GNU/Linux. When someone ask's why not just call it Linux, I can tell them about Free Software. Thats what the GNU is for to spread the word, its not about credit. More power to everyone who is part of it, which includes RMS, Linus and everyone else. Im just happy to have an alternative which is free.

bait

Re:GNU/Linux From Scratch ?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4399291)

BS, Linux is Linux.

I use RedHat, myself.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4399524)

..but it has to be said. Because I'm tired of hearing it in reference to RedHat vs. other distros.

"Real men use Linux From Scratch!"

Take that, Debian and Slackware users! Hah! From Cowardly Anonymity, I stab at thee! With my sprained wrists, I spit at thee!
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