Kernel Minimums

John Gay johngay at
Tue Dec 7 11:54:39 PST 2004

On Tuesday 07 December 2004 17:46, Jeremy Utley wrote:
> DHAJOGLO wrote:
> >>I think you need to clarify what you plan to do.
> >
> >I would like to start with the barest minimum kernel install ever possible
> > in the entire world (or as close as possible :)  I think this is a good
> > idea (even if others may not).  Then from there I can put whatever I like
> > into it.
> A bare minimum system is NOT going to be functional enough to compile
> software, that's what you don't seem to understand.  The software
> installed by LFS in chapter 6 is just about the bare minimum necessary
> to compile most packages.
But he doesn't want to compile software on the system, just run selected 

> >>If all you want to do is learn about the kernel, install a recent distro
> >> and concentrate on the code.  But, if you are intending to do any
> >> half-serious coding or testing of the kernel, you'll need bzip2 (for the
> >> patches you download
> >>
> >>
> >>from, and perhaps sed and perl for the kernel build.
> >
> >I am well aware of what the various packages are for... I am trying to be
> > vague on purpose to spark discussion.  Lets face it, Ed-0.2 isn't exactly
> > the most important package in the install; is M4 there because of lfs
> > needs or is it simply a commonly used package?  In a barest of bare it
> > probably could be skipped.  I don't have a problem with the list of
> > packages and don't think they should be changed... I'm simply asking for
> > advice.
> Patch sort of depends on Ed, which is why it was in the book.  Note as
> of LFS 6.0, Ed has been removed, and so has procinfo.  M4 is needed to
> compile many pieces of software (including Binutils).  LFS *IS* barest
> of bare, if you want to be able to add on additional packages.
If you want to be able to 'compile' additional packages on the system. But to 
only run the packages, he can do without ed, M4, make, most of gcc all the 
headers etc . . .

> The trick to making a very small system is to build up to where you
> want, then remove things that are no longer necessary to run the things
> you want.
Or, built LFS on one root partition, then use that to build just what he wants 
into another root partition, using the books technique with chroot to test if 
the minimal system actually runs. This has two advantages.
1) He only installs those packages that he wants, rather than trying to figure 
out what to remove.
2) The build environment is a separate system from the target system. Once 
he's finalised what the final system needs, he can tar it up, put it on CD 
and install it onto other boxes fairly easily.

I agree with Matt that the "From Powerup to Bash" Howto will be of great 
assistance, but LFS is probably the best way to get there.


	John Gay

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