ALFS == build world?

Bryan Dumm bdumm at
Sat Dec 2 08:46:41 PST 2000


> >into the "Custom Profile" section, pick a default profile, then click on
> >all the extras, like, apache, postfix, samba, etc, finish it up and then
> >the website would give you back an ALFS XML Profile.
> How would this accommodate for my (actual) desire of having IBM's Dynamic
> Probes and support for the Linux Trace Toolkit patched into the kernel?
> I'd rather start with a "clean" kernel, then add patches (reiserfs, LTT,
> etc) on top. I see this having been taken into account for glibc - start
> with the "raw" distribution, then add the optional add-ins, then patches.

Yep sure, this can be done. What you would do is take out the LFS 
kernel <package> and replace it with one you make up from the Syntax
that is in CVS and has been posted here... For writing backends, I am
only adding the functionality that is in the Syntax file. I want to at least
try and maintain a stable profile/backend. 

Seeing such and that for now you will have the LFS way, you could 
also just run the profile up to the kernel part, do that part manually and
then feed the rest of the profile to ALFS. I have also been thinking that
we should add a 

<custom tag=mynewtag  atts=whatever> whatever </custom>

to our profile. This would allow the backend to say for example in perl

use {$mynewtag}.pm

&{$mynewtag}(whatever you pass);

which would call the corresponding function in this person new code. 
this would allow people to hook in their own perl modules. 

Now if we can figure out some other way so that we can have the xml
hook and it can work in "other languages" then I think that would make
things better. If we can have hooks like that, then people could even
make up their own tags, ways the backend works. Which might help in
future development, when ALFS splits in a million directions after the
base is installed......


> >Then, depending on how the Front-End was designed, you would just have
> >to wait for it to finish compiling or change the settings in real-time
> KISS - Keep it Simple ... . Adding real-time tinkering will add *major*
> synchronisation problems and, with that, reliability problems. Once
> something is in progress, it may be aborted, but never, ever play with
> something life, as the outcome *will* be unpredictable.
> >But anyways...yes, in general that's how it will work, and upgrading
> >will just be a simple as running the ALFS tools with the proper XML
> >Profile with the updated information in it (new package version or
> >different way of installing it, etc)
> I take it that security updates will be patched in the same way?
> Has it been taken into account that currently there is a divergence
> between the preferable kernel C compiler (egcs 1.1.2) and the preferable
> "user mode C(++) compiler" - gcc 2.95.2 - and that this divergence will
> increase the moment gcc 3.0 will be out?
> I think I'll have to understand what *I* want much better before I can
> talk intelligently about ALFS (and LFS). I am still waiting for my target
> experimental machine (notebook, P133) to be "given up" (for a PIII 500
> notebook) before I can actually try LFS and look at the details :->
> Right *now*, when looking at current Linux distributions, it just looks
> like a "whole mess", difficult to configure because of a lack of
> uniformity in config options, because of the sheer amount of "stuff" that
> is being delivered by default. This all could be avoided with a lean
> flexible system, with consistent config options - and LFS (with ALFS on
> top) currently seems to be the one and only choice AFA Linux is concerned.
> I can imagine that (A)LFS allows building a Linux system that can do
> everything - from being a Beowulf master, to a dial-in router, to a
> starting point for embedded devices.
> My (professional) focus currently is on "simplicity", "maintainability",
> and "flexibility" - in my experience everything that doesn't follow these
> attributes is prone to errors, and hence very expensive. In that respect,
> that SuSE 7.0 install that I am working with on one of my machines, taking
> gigabytes of hard disk space, is just horrible. RedHat 7.0 isn't better at
> all, taking 700 MB or so (pretty default, too). *I* don't have the time
> and energy to tinker with that mess. I cannot believe that "normal" users
> (in contrast to geeks) will ever want to have that mess. This is somewhat
> backed up by what I currently use:
>   Linux:
>     KDE 2.0 (just for the heck of it)
>     konsole
>     Samba
>     Apache
>     Mozilla
>     gcc
>     <some other devel tools>
>   Windows 2000:
>     Reflection X (to talk to Linux <g>)
>     Forte Agent (newsreader)
>     Internet Explorer
>     WinZip
>     <plenty of devel tools>
>   Across systems:
>     TV viewer
>     Ghostview / Ghostscript
>     Acrobat Reader
>     StarOffice
> Now, looking at that real mess that all these systems have installed in
> addition to what I *need*, I just get sick. Not because of the waste of
> disk space, but because someone needs to maintain all that, because there
> are too many points of failure.
> And then, the Linux systems I have set up don't do (yet) what I need,
> simply because I'd have to patch the kernel to add quite a few things
> (devel stuff) - and it's plainly risky to do that on a "pre-compiled"
> system.
> Oh well, time to play with (A)LFS, I suppose.

I don't actually believe in any "Internet". And I am 
highly suspicious of anyone who does.

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