Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Linux From Scratch 6.1 (part 1?)

Filed under
Linux
Reviews
-s

Linux From Scratch 6.1 was released on July 10 and I thought I'd take a look. This will be my third attempt at installing LFS. My first attempt was way back when I still ran Mandrake everyday (ie. - about 3 years ago) and I got as far as setting up the filesystem directories when I decided this was too much like work and abandoned the quest. My second was not so long ago when 6.0 was the latest and greatest version. I got a base installed and booted, but could not get xorg (blfs) to build. The project was put on the back burner until it simmered away. Today I begin again. Will I have the time and inclination to complete it this time? You know what they say, "third time's a charm!" ... or it is "three strikes, your out?" We'll see.

The first thing I did was untar/uncompress the LFS-Book-6.1-html. Yep, that's how this unique distro is distributed - not by iso or stage tarball, but by instructions. I fired up Konqueror and navigated to the index.html where I read the prerequisites telling me if I didn't know about linux, read "some links to newbie's guides". Then next the system requirements.

I wanted to build from my gentoo install, and I knew that I was using a 2.6.12 kernel with gcc 3.4.4. The system requirements stated that "the host must be running at least a 2.6.2 kernel compiled with GCC-3.0 or higher." So, I guess I'm good.

I recall reading their "book" from cover to cover, or at least until the building of xorg last time, so I refreshed my memory some by reading the preface and introduction. I was a little anxious to get compiling, but I knew if I skipped this step - I'd be sorry later. One of the subheadings is called Errata, and they recommend clicking on the link and checking for any pressing issues prior to building. Yippee - none were listed yet - this version was only just released today. I'll be one of their guinea pigs. I could just follow the guide.

Heyyyy, Chapter 1.1 - How to Build an LFS System states that "As an alternative to installing an entire separate distribution onto your machine, you may wish to use the Linux From Scratch LiveCD. The CD works well as a host system, providing all the tools you need to successfully follow the instructions in this book. Additionally, it contains all the source packages, patches and a copy of this book. So once you have the CD, no network connection or additional downloads are necessary. For more information about the LFS LiveCD or to download a copy, visit http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/livecd/." augh well.... Skipping to Chapter 2... Big Grin

I already had a partition set up and a filesystem created, so... whoops, it's reiser and they recommend ext2 or 3. I guess I'll mke2fs /dev/hda13 and tune2fs -j /dev/hda13. Next, mount it. I still had my /mnt/lfs from the last attempt, so I export LFS=/mnt/lfs as instructed as well as mount /dev/hda13 $LFS and mkdir $LFS/sources. Thus begins the tendious task of downloading all the recommended packages and patches. One bit of advice for ya here: download all tar.gz packages. In my infinite wisdom, I chose as many tar.bz2 packages as possible, but not all are available in bunzip2. Later it would make for more delays when having to check if the package was gunzip'd or bunzip'd and issueing the correct command to decompress.

Next was setting up some further environmental variables and stuff, followed by binutils. LFS offers a suggestion to keep a time on this first compile so that you may be able to estimate how long the remaining packages take to compile - measured in BSUs. My BSU for binutils was:
real 2m26.874s
user 1m44.221s
sys 0m29.469s

As the first pass of gcc builds, I can report the problems encountered so far with book. Root directory owned by root and package sources and directory owned by host system user, causing permission problems when we got to the mkdir ../binutils and ../gcc build directories. Also, no /home/lfs instruction which caused the su - lfs to fail the first attempt. I mkdir /home/lfs and chown lfs:lfs /home/lfs and then as root from host system, just chowned lfs:lfs /mnt/lfs. I hope this is okay and doesn't cause problems later on. But with everything being built and installed by the lfs user, that is of course the permissions on all the files and executables. It only stand to reason the initial directory permissions should be the same. We'll see.

At this point I was just more or less highlighting and pasting the given commands into the virtual environmental shell. All went well and it was time to chroot into lfs and continue with chapter 6. The permissions issue mentioned in the previous paragraph are addressed here. A root group/user is added and directory permissions are changed.

From that point on I just followed the guide through the package recompiles. It was as they say "by the book". I configured the kernel and skipped the grub portion. I set up some of the config files "the book" suggested - some I copied from gentoo, like my /etc/resolv.conf. I copied the boot kernel and files to /boot, then mv'd that to /boot.bak. I then mounted my hda5 as /boot and copied all the files from /boot.bak to /boot. I set up an entry in my gentoo's lilo.conf, ran lilo and rebooted.

The system rebooted into my fresh LFS install without issue. All the included configuration instructions seemed fairly complete and accurate enough given the users' input and ability to know small details about their machines. Overall I found the instructions in the book easy to follow and accurate. I think anyone with basic commandline experience could have a successful install and with just a few more hints (for example: delete previous gcc-build directory/sources and untar/compress fresh), a newbie might too. Tho LFS is designed to be just your basic system ready for your customizations and additions, the book really needs to include at least a console web browser (links or lynx) and wget. It took me about 10 hours or so to go from clicking on the html book to logging into my new system (bearing in mind I had to break from time to time to eat, watch some movies, and fight with my boyfellar). So for anyone wanting their own homemade system or to learn more how a Linux operating system is put together and works (if one pays attention to valuable information/explanations included as opposed to <cough>mindlessly <cough>copying and pasting), I can recommend LFS-6.1.

Now on to BLFS. Unfortunately Beyond Linux From Scratch is always a book behind it seems. To me it's not a real install until one can log into a window manager. Hopefully by next weekend BLFS will be caught up and we can possibly have a part 2. But I have a base ready and waiting for it. Big Grin

I remember...

Within my first year of linux, back under RH 7 or Mandrake.
I seem to remember I had a nice LFS install on a smaller partition (500Mb), the biggest problem I had was adding it to my host lilo config.
I remember I was able to boot to bash in under 5sec due to the lack of what some people would consider 'functionality' and under 10sec for a minimal X session with mplayer fired up waiting for me to play a dvd.
I even got as far as installing KDE 3.5 on that sucker a few weeks before it became available under Mandrake (that was a mission with dial-up) I ended up buying a source cd from somewhere Big Grin

I ended up down this route after finding I had to keep rebuilding my kernel for a winmodem which had a working driver which wouldn't be accepted into the mainline kernel or the distro ones either.

Reiser is available under LFS provided kernel support and reiserfsprogs (see BLFS) are built and installed in the minimal system (stage 2 i seem to remember).

I eventually gave up with this as I like living on the cutting edge too much (escpecially with KDE4) and my laptop is not capable of rolling it's own gentoo weekly which requires less personal input into the configuration and dependency managemnet than LFS which is quite intensive for watching dependencies (although there's no circular dependencies which makes sence).

Speaking of which I installed paco as a text based package manager which I still grab again for my SuSE install when I have to compile that all-so-important package from source. I find it's quicker than me generating my own rpm, which (I suppose) would be easier to upgrade...

At the moment I have a chroot jail on my system which I copied loosley from LFS which allows me to do any work with the latest compilers etc without polluting my main system.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

Raspberry Pi based computer offers Real-Time Ethernet

Hilscher is prepping a rugged “netPI” computer that combines a Raspberry Pi 3 with its “netHAT 52-RTE” RPi add-on featuring dual Real-Time Ethernet ports. German Real-Time Ethernet experts Hilscher will soon launch a Raspberry Pi 3-based industrial computer with Real-Time Ethernet support. Hilscher has yet to formally announce the ruggedized netPI computer, but the board was demonstrated at the recent Embedded World show, and was revealed in a Mar. 27 Element14 Community blog by Shabaz. The system can be used as a Real-Time Ethernet gateway or controller, and it supports add-ons such as sensors or actuators to enable additional applications, writes Shabaz. Read more

GNOME Migration and Slideshow

  • The Linux Migration: Corporate Collaboration, Part 2
    Note that a number of folks have suggested alternative calendar applications. I’ve rejected these so far because I don’t think they’ll fit into my workflow or my environment, but they may work for others. Some of the applications I’ve seen suggested include Rainlendar, Calcurse, or KOrganizer. Some of these applications address some of the shortcomings of GNOME Calendar, but none of them address all the major issues I’ve outlined here (based on my testing thus far).
  • GNOME 3.24 Provides Users With More Pleasing Linux Desktop Experience

Dowry to Linux Foundation From NSA Ally

  • AT&T takes up membership in the Linux Foundation, furthers open source efforts
    AT&T has become a Platinum member in the Linux Foundation, a move that reflects the telco’s ongoing effort to implement open source and open networks not only in its own networks but also to drive broader industry collaboration. One example of this is AT&T's Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management and Policy (ECOMP) architecture. In February, AT&T contributed several million lines of ECOMP code to The Linux Foundation, as well as the new Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) Project based on production-ready code from AT&T and OPEN-O contributors.
  • AT&T Joins The Linux Foundation as a Platinum Member
  • AT&T Joins The Linux Foundation as a Platinum Member
    The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit advancing professional open source management for mass collaboration, today announced that AT&T has become a Platinum member. This follows news of the company’s contribution of several million lines of ECOMP code to The Linux Foundation, as well as the new Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) Project based on production-ready code from AT&T and OPEN-O contributors.

GNU/Linux on Servers: VisionMobile Report, Cilium, Microservices, and Kubernetes

  • VisionMobile Report Lays Out Developer Salaries by Skill, Software Sector, and Location
    In 2017, that means skilled cloud and backend developers, as well as those who work in emerging technologies including Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning and augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR) can make more money -- tens or sometimes hundreds of times more -- than frontend web and mobile developers whose skills have become more commoditized. “In Western Europe, for example, the median backend developer earns 12% more than the median web developer; a machine learning developer makes 28% more,” according to the report.
  • Cilium leverages Linux kernel for advanced container networking
    Networking has always been one of the most persistent headaches when working with containers. Even Kubernetes—fast becoming the technology of choice for container orchestration—has limitations in how it implements networking. Tricky stuff like network security is, well, even trickier. Now an open source project named Cilium, which is partly sponsored by Google, is attempting to provide a new networking methodology for containers based on technology used in the Linux kernel. Its goal is to give containers better network security and a simpler model for networking.
  • Modules vs. microservices
    Much has been said about moving from monoliths to microservices. Besides rolling off the tongue nicely, it also seems like a no-brainer to chop up a monolith into microservices. But is this approach really the best choice for your organization? It’s true that there are many drawbacks to maintaining a messy monolithic application. But there is a compelling alternative which is often overlooked: modular application development. In this article, we'll explore what this alternative entails and show how it relates to building microservices.
  • What Is Kubernetes?
    Kubernetes is open source software for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. The project is governed by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, which is hosted by The Linux Foundation. And it’s quickly becoming the Linux of the cloud, says Jim Zemlin, executive director of The Linux Foundation. Running a container on a laptop is relatively simple. But connecting containers across multiple hosts, scaling them when needed, deploying applications without downtime, and service discovery among several aspects, are really hard challenges. Kubernetes addresses those challenges with a set of primitives and a powerful API.