jeroen at linuxfromscratch.org
Sat Jan 10 03:34:12 PST 2004
Hi michael. You said the following on 01/10/04 03:19:
> my mandrake system will (or rather would) update itself in a very
> convenient way,which makes me think how would that be with LFS,do you
> wait for a new version and rebuild everything (oh please not again) from
> scratch ?The fact that mandrake update will present a list of packages
> in need of revamping practically every week leads one to suspect that
> one might be running a dismally outdated system with LFS if one doesn't
> do anything about it..
This question has been asked so many times that I'm creating a FAQ from
You probably know this already, but LFS is not a distro in the
traditional sense. It's primary goal is: "teaching people how a Linux
system works internally. " (quote from
http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/lfs/whatislfs.html). While this means
you have great control over your system ("Your distro. Your rules."), it
also has the drawback of having to take care of updating it yourself.
If you've built an LFS system and have extended it to become your
primary system, the best thing to do is to decide on an upgrade policy.
Do you want to keep the latest version of every package? Then be
careful, because you're going to be burned. I recommend slight
conservatism when upgrading to keep a healthy system. A general rule of
thumb which works for most people is: only upgrade packages if they have
security fixes. Subscribe to lfs-security and LWN to keep yourself
informed about security fixes. Another rule of thumb is: don't upgrade
the toolchain (gcc, glibc and binutils) unless you're going to rebuild
your entire system. These packages form the heart of your LFS system,
destroying them means destroying the ability to compile packages or even
Remember that updating packages is at your own risk. LFS takes great
care to present a stable mix of packages which are compatible all the
way up to BLFS so you can compile OpenOffice.Org and Java (which are
real dinosaurs to compile). This means that your LFS system may get
slightly outdated but ensures compatibility and stability. You can
compare this to Debian's stable and testing releases, although LFS
stable is generally bleeding-edge compared to other distro's.
In general it is safe to upgrade single packages; they'll just overwrite
the old contents. Package managers take care of uninstalling old
versions, and it's really convenient to have some sort of package
management system in place. Have a look at the hints; there are several,
ranging from RPM to DEB to TGZ (Slackware) to Checkinstall to package
A final comment: what package instructions should you use when updating
a package? In general, you can use the standard LFS instructions,
although you shouldn't blindly assume they will apply to all packages.
To keep yourself informed about upgrades and new package instructions,
subscribe to lfs-dev, and if you're really bleeding-edge, lfs-hackers.
Keep in mind that these are not support lists but development lists.
If you need more information, just ask. I'll keep track of this thread
to finetune the FAQ-entry which will be composed of the above answer.
Jeroen Coumans (jeroen at linuxfromscratch.org)
FAQ and Website Maintainer
More information about the lfs-support