Long: Trials & Tribulations with LFS CD & VMWare

Roger Merchberger zmerch-lfs at 30below.com
Wed Mar 28 10:44:54 PDT 2007

Up front: I'm not looking for support, handholding, violin music, or a 
shoulder to cry on - this is informational only. You have been warned.


So I decided I'd try to build an automated LFS using jhalfs and the Live CD 
(6.2-5). On Windows XP Pro. With VMWare 5.5. Without networking (which I 
had to modify to "minimal networking.") I didn't decide to fail, but I 
haven't put a ton of work into it yet, but so far no worky. However, if 
anyone else is going to try this, he/she/they won't have to repeat most of 
my errors.

These are random(ish) comments, queries, quibbles, etc.; albeit in roughly 
chronological order.

1) Have lots of RAM available to VMWare. 512Meg main system memory isn't 
enough, unless you want the build to slow to a crawl railing swap all the 
time. With no swap & virtual system memory set to 160Meg, you will run out 
of memory during the automated build. 384Meg virtual system memory seems to 
work fine.

2) Whilst trying to clean up system memory for VMWare, don't turn off *any* 
of the networking services. VMWare doesn't like it, and jhalfs won't build 
without working networking - I haven't figured out how to make it *not* 
download at least the book; and sometimes it wants to download the kernel 
sources, too.

3) I have yet to figure out how to integrate VMWare's "Tools" disk for 
Linux with the LFS Live CD; so be prepared for missing keystrokes (happens 
often at 110wpm), the occasional doubled keystroke, and key repeat is 
pretty much non-functional 98% of the time.

[[ The ncurses build meter update thingy misses a lot of characters, too - 
but that's a _very_ minor nitpick. ]]

4) I'm accusomed to making the build in /mnt/lfs and I'm assuming the 
system ID to use for the build is jhalfs. With jhalfs version 2.1 (on the 
disk) I've gotten to the point where it builds, but dies at:

Making targer: 066-glibc
=-= with a =-=

  *** make [mk_CHROOT] Error 2   error.

So, I figured I'd download the latest jhalfs, but no love. The build dies 
in the same spot. I've tried it with and without optimization (which 
shouldn't matter; glibc should never compile optimized with jhalfs, right?).

OK, I found the build logs. Maybe they weren't actually lost, but it took 
me some time to find 'em. ;-) All this over "it didn't like my timezone." 
Ungh. Maybe tailing the last 5-10 log lines on the console screen on a 
fatal error (in a perfect world) or at least a "Build died. Go check 
/hey/idiot/go/here/to/find/the/066-glibc.log file."


[[ a more major nitpick: Where the heck in the book is 066-? Does that mean 
Chapter 6, section 6? It's actually section 9, but from some of the other 
numbers I'd seen scroll by, it doesn't seem like the internal numbers match 
the book very well - for those who are doing the build in a pure CLI 
instead of in a xterm, the lack of ability to scroll back to see when a 
chapter or section starts where, numbers more mnemonic to the actual 
chapters & sections could be helpful. ]]

So I'm gonna restart the build now that I've gotten the corrective timezone 
in place, and I set the "Rebuild files" setting thinking it would ignore my 
previous build & start fresh (per the help gizmo in the makefile). No love, 
it says the "kernel fylesystem is still there." No biggie, I'll go mke2fs 
again... well, I would if I could see what open files are keeping me from 
unmounting it - lsof isn't part of the LiveCD environment... so I'll 
reboot, then mke2fs & start from scratch & report back with whatever 

[[ Again, remember this isn't a rant or anything! All just for 
informational purposes... ]]

OK, so I'm doing wacko stuff on wacko hardware with wacko software... I 
realize that. ;-) I haven't googled a ton yet, I barely skimmed the README; 
but I noticed the whole "It still doesn't work" FAQ which says that jhalfs 
is intended to build the development LFS book(s)... does anyone test this 
much with the CD, or is it primarily designed solely with the InterWeb in mind?

Again, this is informational only... having fun getting back into LFS again 
- the only "problem" with LFS as a hobby is once you get it working, you 
don't need to build it again for at least a couple of years... (I don't 
"need" to build this one - just wanted to remember how!!! ;-) If someone 
has a well-paying job for me building this every week, I'm all ears... ;-)

Roger "Merch" Merchberger

Roger "Merch" Merchberger -- SysAdmin, Iceberg Computers
zmerch at 30below.com

What do you do when Life gives you lemons,
and you don't *like* lemonade?????????????

More information about the alfs-discuss mailing list