8.1. Introduction

In this chapter, we start constructing the LFS system in earnest.

The installation of this software is straightforward. Although in many cases the installation instructions could be made shorter and more generic, we have opted to provide the full instructions for every package to minimize the possibilities for mistakes. The key to learning what makes a Linux system work is to know what each package is used for and why you (or the system) may need it.

We do not recommend using customized optimizations. They can make a program run slightly faster, but they may also cause compilation difficulties, and problems when running the program. If a package refuses to compile with a customized optimization, try to compile it without optimization and see if that fixes the problem. Even if the package does compile when using a customized optimization, there is the risk it may have been compiled incorrectly because of the complex interactions between the code and the build tools. Also note that the -march and -mtune options using values not specified in the book have not been tested. This may cause problems with the toolchain packages (Binutils, GCC and Glibc). The small potential gains achieved by customizing compiler optimizations are often outweighed by the risks. First-time builders of LFS are encouraged to build without custom optimizations.

On the other hand, we keep the optimizations enabled by the default configuration of the packages. In addition, we sometimes explicitly enable an optimized configuration provided by a package but not enabled by default. The package maintainers have already tested these configurations and consider them safe, so it's not likely they would break the build. Generally the default configuration already enables -O2 or -O3, so the resulting system will still run very fast without any customized optimization, and be stable at the same time.

Before the installation instructions, each installation page provides information about the package, including a concise description of what it contains, approximately how long it will take to build, and how much disk space is required during this building process. Following the installation instructions, there is a list of programs and libraries (along with brief descriptions) that the package installs.

[Note]

Note

The SBU values and required disk space include test suite data for all applicable packages in Chapter 8. SBU values have been calculated using a single CPU core (-j1) for all operations.

8.1.1. About Libraries

In general, the LFS editors discourage building and installing static libraries. Most static libraries have been made obsolete in a modern Linux system. In addition, linking a static library into a program can be detrimental. If an update to the library is needed to remove a security problem, every program that uses the static library will need to be relinked with the new library. Since the use of static libraries is not always obvious, the relevant programs (and the procedures needed to do the linking) may not even be known.

The procedures in this chapter remove or disable installation of most static libraries. Usually this is done by passing a --disable-static option to configure. In other cases, alternate means are needed. In a few cases, especially Glibc and GCC, the use of static libraries remains an essential feature of the package building process.

For a more complete discussion of libraries, see Libraries: Static or shared? in the BLFS book.