help -- system without operating system

Richard Betel emteeoh at
Sun Jan 23 09:00:43 PST 2005

On Sun, 23 Jan 2005 11:03:56 +0000, Matthew Burgess
<matthew at> wrote:

> And completely miss the value of using LFS - that is to *read* and
> *understand* the concepts behind building an LFS system.  If you just
> want an automated way of building from source, go grab Gentoo's images.
>   If you want to *learn* how to put such a system together yourself, why
> and how it works, then read LFS and follow it.

I disagree! Certainly, there is great value in reading and following
LFS through to build a system. You learn much from it (thanks guys!)
but that doesn't mean that the ONLY use for LFS is to learn about
linux. I use LFS regularly in servers because it has exactly what I
put there. No other distribution does that as well. In my experience,
Gentoo does add in a bunch of things that Gentoo wants. It takes a
fair amount of effort to config it to not load all kinds of crap.  And
have you ever tried loading Gentoo onto a machine with no network? Its
a valid use of a computer you know. Sometimes networks are not
necessary. God help you get gentoo going without it though, especially
if you're new to the distribution.

But LFS is different. The original poster *HAS* read through it, and
followed it. (at least, that's what I got from his first sentence: "I
had built linux from scratch LFS book 6") There may be something for
him to learn by re-running it a second time, but will he learn
anything from the third? or the fourth? So if he wants to make a
custom install that meets his exact needs, likes the results of LFS,
but doesn't feel need to enter every command for the 10th time,  ALFS
is an excellent solution.

I also think that you underestimate how much you learn from ALFS. I
built my first box manually from book 5, but when I went to my Alpha,
I tried using ALFS book 6. I figured that since I wasn't likely to get
chicken pocks at the age of 33 a second time, I wouldn't be able to
sit at home for a week and watch it build. ALFS let me install while I
was at work and asleep, and kept alot of logs. Its not a smooth simple
build, and to figure out what what going on I ended up re-reading a
good third of LFS book 6, recoding a half-dozen XML files (had to
learn XML to do that. Not a big deal, but I have never needed to use
XML before), spent a few days diving into binutils source as well as
gcc bugtrack and 4 years worth of mailing lists. I learned about the
specifics of DEC ALPHA EV1 thru 5's lack of IEEE floating point (it
does everything except handle cases that should be returning NANs, so
IEEE is easily emulated in software), as well as some weird details
about powerPC and Sparc.

So no, it doesn't "completely miss the value of using LFS". It builds on it.

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