new guy, newbie questions.

Rob Landley landley at
Sun Jan 20 03:16:53 PST 2002

On Sunday 20 January 2002 09:01 am, Chris Lingard wrote:
> Rob Landley wrote:
> >> To get a working and useful system on a CD takes 500Mb.
> >
> > As bzipped tarballs of source code?  Define "working and useful".  (What
> > are
> > you installing?  Text compresses pretty well...)  Red Hat fits the source
> > code for a CD's worth of binaries onto one CD...  I glanced at the XML,
> > didn't see anythign that looked particularly big.  (Are you compiling
> > directly from the CD?)
> OK,  365 Mb with the extra sources removed.  85 Mb of packages, book and
> hints.  But the 280Mb of binaries contains 100Mb of X plus some other
> things.  I can get it down a bit, but I do not want to loose functionality.

Ah.  Okay, that's what I wanted to know.  (Your "working and useful" contains 
X.  The LFS book does not.  I've actually gotten X working on my own before, 
but boy was it a pain.  And that was back when you had to manually guess 
which combination of refresh rates made your monitor and your video card 

> I can do XFree -configure; and get a working X, so installation is quite
> civilized.
> "working and useful"  yes, good question.  To me it is a full LFS system,
> and yes it does compile straight off the CD;  this is how it auto-installs.
> I wanted a system that can mass produce LFS machines.  Just run off the
> CDs.  All I need to do is make the partitions, mount them and run the
> script overnight.  The end result is a system that needs a kernel, fstab
> and lilo.conf, (you have to do chapter 8).  The links are to UK clock and
> keyboard, but this could be changed.

One fun little thing I've been working on is the CML2 autoconfigurator.  It's 
close to working (not QUITE there yet), but when it's done you can do "make 
autoconfigure" instead of "make menuconfig" and it should probe your hardware 
and set questions correctly.  (You can make menuconfig to double-check its 
guesses if you like.  Probably a good idea at present...)  It can't find old 
pre-PNP ISA cards, but other than that it does a pretty good job.  So 
automating a kernel build might not be impossible for too much longer.  I've 
seen it work as "configure && make && make modules_install", just on a fairly 
restricted subset of machines at present, and of course the patch isn't in 
2.5 yet...

Automating fstab and lilo/grub are basically the same problem.  Deal with 
partition layout and you can tell the installer what to do...

> It is not compulsary to run the script.  You can also run the commands as
> per the book.  It has lynx, so just make an empty partition, mount it, and
> do the book.

I'm doing the book now...

> > Yeah you need a boot system on top of that, but you can install a minimal
> > system, with compiler, in maybe 16 megs.  (Uncompressed.  The binary of
> > the compiler compresses down to less than 4 floppies, I installed it that
> > way back on OS/2...)
> I did not want to make a "Type go to install" type system; so everything is
> installed and working on the CD.
> What functionality would you expect on an installation/distribution CD?

Dunno.  That's why I asked. :)

If your system is "boot working system from CD, AND all uncompressed sources 
to compile and install elsewhere, plus X", then yeah 500 megs is actually 
fairly reasonable. :)

> > If I get a copy of a CD I could probably put it up for download
> > somewhere...
> > (I know somebody at VA who might be able to arrange hosting there.  If
> > not,
> > I'm sure I could figure something out...)  How big is the bzipped version
> > of the ISO image?
> I have done this exercise before; and can get the bzipped iso image down to
> about 75Mb.  This is OK for the USA with free telephones and cable;  but is
> an impossible download most other places.  It costs UKP1.00 to post; and
> this is the cheapest download.  If it ever gets popular I will find someone
> with a CD duplicator.

Well, lemme hack my way through the basic LFS install first, now that I 
finally have a test system I can format.  (It's a pentium pro 180, but hey...)

> >> This is interesting.  My boot image thinks it is a 2.88Mb floppy.
> >
> > Ah.  I actualy do have one of those drives somewhere (salvaged from IBM),
> > but I'm not sure I have any of the disks...
> No, you do not need this, sorry I was not clear.  The boot image on the CD
> is 2.88Mb, and "thinks" it is a floppy;  but the CD boots direct.

All el-torito CDs think they're a floppy during boot.  I was still thinking 
in terms of hacking it into a networkable install.  (I've got an in-house 
network, with cable modem, so most of my installs are actually through the 
network.  Even installing red hat, I make my own little ftp site (running off 
of my laptop, generally) to install from.  I'm odd...

> So far I have compiled -march=i586  -mcpu=i586 -Os but there is an
> interesting thread about how to compile 486.  I think I will remake the
> generating system.  I also want the new X for the source disk.

I'm looking at 4.20 myself and going "ooh"...

What does "-Os" do?  I usually use about -O2...

What's the difference between -march and -mcpu again?

> Chris

Unsubscribe: send email to listar at
and put 'unsubscribe alfs-discuss' in the subject header of the message

More information about the alfs-discuss mailing list