[lfs-support] Host Distribution

Ken Moffat zarniwhoop at ntlworld.com
Tue Sep 25 12:51:20 PDT 2012

On Tue, Sep 25, 2012 at 01:29:58PM -0400, Wally Lepore wrote:
> I've been reading and studying much and definitely look for as much
> support as possible with the chosen distro. I've been involved with
> computers for a long long time. I just started studying Linux about
> two months ago. I still haven't loaded a distro yet and I am simply
> looking for a host distro that will give me the least conflict with
> building an LFS distro.

 LFS is arguably not a distro.  I don't want to get into splitting
hairs, the thing is that a completed LFS system is only really ready
for you to start building the packages you want to use.  If you
haven't used a current linux system, identifying a first set of
useful packages (I'm assuming this is going to be some sort of
desktop) will be unnecessarily hard.  Start with a distro, explore
what they offer, decide which packages you think you want to use.

 As long as you leave space (i.e. partitions) available for future
systems [ you might even try more than one distro, although
persuading them that they don't own /boot can be *fun* ], and arguably
put both /boot and /home on partitions of their own, then you can
keep using the host distro while you build LFS, and if you
eventually make a permanent move to using LFS then you can remove
the other distro to make space for your *next* LFS system.

 On big modern disks, there is plenty of space to install several
systems - keep all the *data* in /home.

 After you have become comfortable with using a distro, perhaps try
building a newer kernel to suit your machine [ ideally, without an
initrd, so that you have a .config that you can use in LFS ] and
take a look at BLFS - try to install some of the packages in it (you
will need to remember that any dependency in LFS itself, such as
gawk, is never listed as a dependency in BLFS) : if you install
packages in /usr/local, or /opt, then they should be out of the way
of the distro's package management tools.

> I simply prefer to learn Linux from the ground up, as in the correct
> way without the help of fancy admin tools. I prefer to learn how to
> load, compile and build my own packages and NOT have a particular
> distro's admin tools automatically accomplish this for me. I'd like to
> know what's happening behind the admin tools actions.

 Ah, terminology.  When you say 'load' I think of what happens when
I execute one of the programs from a package and the system loads it.
LFS won't teach you much about the details of that.  'Compile' and
'build' are mostly synonyms for us :  Usually, packages are CMMI -
configure, make, make install.

 A few use cmake [ something I try to avoid ] - for linux users,
it's just an alternative to 'configure' (you still have to run
'make' afterwards), but with its own arcane variables.  On other
OS's cmake does things differently.

 Come back when you are comfortable with how to install packages
and know what you want to do with the resulting LFS system - that
might mean that it is only a place to learn more about how the parts
fit together, and that you will stay with your host distro for doing
real work.

das eine Mal als Tragödie, das andere Mal als Farce

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