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Linux From Scratch This Forum is for the discussion of LFS.
LFS is a project that provides you with the steps necessary to build your own custom Linux system.

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Old 01-20-2002, 10:02 PM   #1
notsoevil
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LFS and LBT


I'd really like to be able to install an LFS system, but without the need for a preinstalled Linux system on the target computer.

I was thinking about doing this via a Linux system that runs from CD -- as per the Linux Bootable Toolkit @ http://lbt.linuxcare.com

I used the LBT CD to setup my partitions on the target machine and then was up to the point where you start to install actual software (post-directory creation, first installing BASH) -- and OOPS! LBT doesn't have GCC on it. Which needless to say put a damper on my plans.

Any LFSers tried something like this? How did you (or would you) go about it? I think combining something like the LBT and LFS system is a great idea.

PS: If you haven't seen the LBT, check it out. Pretty cool, actually. I used it to fix a partition table problem on a Windows box just a few minutes ago! Besides its 'toolkit'ness use, it is just plain neat -- can even network and surf the net from it in a pinch. Carry it with you to use on your 'unconverted' friend's Microsoft box to show him/her a little about Linux.
 
Old 01-21-2002, 07:42 AM   #2
ca9mbu
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Have you seen the gentoo distro? It looks like a promising competitor to LFS for thos of us who want to build from scratch. I've not tried it yet, but it looks as though all you need to do is whack in the boot CD and it connects you to the 'net to download all the source packages you want, then compiles them up (optimising for your CPU as it goes).

Well, until ALFS (or nALFS as it may be) sees some serious development I think Gentoo's the way to go.

Just my 2 pennies!

Matt
 
Old 01-21-2002, 07:53 AM   #3
notsoevil
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Yes, I actually have Gentoo on CD -- but the main problem is connecting to the 'Net to get everything. I already took the time to download all the LFS sources I need -- is there a way for Gentoo to look at local media for sources, instead of needing a network connection?

It seems the only thing lacking from using LBT as the base system is lack of a compiler -- though there are probably a few other things missing. I am going to try and fill those 'holes' in with the appropriate parts and see what I can do.

Plus, it will just -feel- that much better to do it the LFS way, than the Gentoo way. A little more .. raw, so to speak.
 
Old 01-21-2002, 02:36 PM   #4
lfslinux
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k I think I have a few words to say here (short intro: I'm the guy who started LFS. 'nuff said intro wise I think).

Bootable cdrom. Yes, we're working on it. In fact, it's available arleady. Right now you have to create one yourself (hints available at http://hints.linuxfromscratch.org/hints/bootcd.txt ) which kind of doens't work well if you don't have Linux preinstalled. Read on.

The realization that a bootable cdrom could be handy to install LFS on a computer that doesn't have Linux installed yet isn't a recent development. Pretty much since the start of LFS I've been planning on working on that issue. Back in those early LFS days I didn't have a cdrw so it was hard to test and postponed for the future.

Now we're 2 years in the future (2 years since LFS-1.0) and still no bootable cdrom provided with LFS. What's going on? Lack of time. Serious lack of time, that's what is going on.

I'm finding myself hard pressed on time these days to work on any new projects. There's a _whole lot_ of work left to do on the LFS-Book. I have some guys who are helping out editing the book but there's still a lot of work left for me to deal with. Other than the book there are the LFS mailing lists, there's the linuxfromscratch.org server that needs attention, there's my wife who needs attention too, and there are some days I just don't feel like spending time at the computer. Those are the days I sit back and relax all day reading a good book or two (novels...not computer books).

So, all the time I do spend on LFS is spent on the lfs-book and not on any other lfs sub-projects like ALFS, BLFS, bootable cdroms, lfs-hints and so forth. Other people work on those areas (like I put Mark Hymers in charge of BLFS, Jesse Tie Ten Quee of ALFS, Ian Chilton of lfs-hints) but they have other things to do in life as well. So, development isn't always going as fast as I'd like it to be.

So, since I don't have time to work on a bootable cdrom I'm leaving this to other people to do. A bootcd.txt hint was created a while ago to bridge the gap. There are several people who are working on their own cdrom implementations, but they include their own version of what it should be, some automated installation process, etc. LFS isn't about automating (that's what ALFS is for) so I'm still waiting for a set of instructions on how to create a good bootable cdrom.

The instructions are pretty much in my head too, but the problem is writing them down, testing it out, go through a few pre-releases to work out the bugs. I got no time for that kind of things. I can do the testing, but I can't do the writing. I will do it if nobody else delivers what I need, but it'll have to wait until I have time for it. This pretty much means wait another month or two or three until LFS-4.0 is out there. Then I'll have more time for other things.

When a cd is finally available, the lfs-book will contain instructions on how to create this cd yourself, and the LFS FTP server will have precompiled ISO's for cases where you can't build this cdrom yourself.

Btw, I don't think that gentoo will be a real competitor of LFS. Our reason for existence is different. LFS' main goal is to educate people how to build a Linux system, to teach how things work together. By just popping in a cdrom and run an installation program you don't learn all that much. Not even if everything is compiled from source. You just learn a lot more by typing in commands yourself, make mistakes and get some errors you have to work through. Then the book suddenly stops at a point where your system is quite bare and doesn't have anything to do anything, except to build more to make it a usable system. And that's where you learn most; you just got some experience building a system, you can probably manage to download any package and just install it (read some docs too before you start installing of course

That's actually another reason why this bootable cdrom thing hasn't been created yet. It's not high on my priority list. LFS isn't really meant for newbies, but for intermediate to advanced Linux users. They'll have most always Linux already installed and are using it, and want to learn more by going through an LFS installation.

Now, ALFS is a totally different story. It needs a bootable cdrom yes. So it's probably a good idea to make it semi-important (...still waiting for two people to submit some material to me...it does look I'm going to have to do it myself one of these days and just get it over with)
 
Old 01-21-2002, 03:19 PM   #5
notsoevil
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Gerard,

I definitely am not looking for any sort of automated installation nor even an LFS 'bootable' CDROM per se. That takes the fun out of the whole LFS idea(l) in the first place.

I want to follow the LFS book to the letter, but without the need of Linux on an HD already -- so I am going to combine the LBT from Linuxcare with the LFS instructions and set about installation of a real LFS system.

Hell, even ALFS takes the fun out of it -- what's the point? It just becomes Gentoo then. Sure, everything is compiled from source, but -you- aren't doing it -- at least not in the way you are as in the LFS book.

I like LFS as LFS, where one can get down the nitty gritty of Linux installation. I just don't want to install Linux so I can install Linux -- I have a 900mhz Athlon machine with 512MB of RAM and an empty (not really empty now, since I got through partitioning and directory creation with LFS already) 30GB HD. It's just SCREAMING for a custom Linux installation. By using the LBT (with some additions I will provide once I get this to work), I hope to install LFS without a HD-based host linux.

Once I get this to work (I will! I will!), I'll gain two things: a greater knowledge of the workings of Linux and a nice, fast, sexy little Linux box.

And for gaining two things, I'll give back everything I find out about install LFS ala LBT on my website (which I'll actually build again this week).

Oh, and Gerard, thanks for all of your hard work on the LFS projects and books -- it is much appreciated.

Last edited by notsoevil; 01-21-2002 at 03:20 PM.
 
Old 01-22-2002, 01:13 PM   #6
finegan
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Quote:
Originally posted by lfslinux

That's actually another reason why this bootable cdrom thing hasn't been created yet. It's not high on my priority list. LFS isn't really meant for newbies, but for intermediate to advanced Linux users. They'll have most always Linux already installed and are using it, and want to learn more by going through an LFS installation.
Gerard,

Thanks again for the upteenth time of contributing here. I wish you were around back when Taz and I were chattering like soccer moms over our LFS attempts on some thread now buried deep in Distro somewhere.

I guess I qualify as a low end-intermediate user, more advanced in some areas (say... Linux wlans) as opposed to others (I still haven't bothered to learn Samba). I think I learned more in the month I spent piddling around with BLFS work than in 3 months I ran RedHat, easily.

Notsoevil,

Another possibility, and I have an uber-geek pal trying this due to the lack of available large HDs in our little community, have you thought about trying to do it over NFS?

One of the Bobs put a 50 Mb partition on one machine's 2Gb (that'll later end up being scratch space later), threw on Slack's Series A and parts of N, and got nothing more than a running kernel and mountd working, then NFS mounted that machine from his Deb box and proceded to do an LFS on the first machine's remaining 1.875Gb (some swap evens out the math), via the network. Its a neurotic way to do things, and slow as christmas over 10 base-T, but last I checked he had finished Glibc, the real hurdle.

Why didn't the Bob just take the drive out and slave it off of the Deb Box? Er... what's the challenge in that?

Okay, enough weird tales of the Para-scratchel.

Cheers,

Finegan

Last edited by finegan; 01-22-2002 at 01:14 PM.
 
Old 01-22-2002, 01:25 PM   #7
notsoevil
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Fin,

Hmm, I dinna think about NFS -- but then again assuming I have no linux machine to do that from, there is still a problem. I can suck it up and install a very basic RedHat or something on the target box now, then proceed with LFS. Installing LFS isn't really my problem -- I have no problem per se. I just want to be able to do this via CD.

Why? Well, uh, cause it will be neat. Bar that, it'll be a learning experience I can share with others.

I am going to keep on hacking on this till I get it to work. Of course, I'll post details here (or at least a link to my details).

Now, on a similar note, I have another thread here trying to find out where I can get a distro-independent download (eg: sans distro-specific packaging) gcc, so I can place it on my LBT CD. However, the gcc page at GNU has downloads for nearly all the OTHER *nixes, save for Linux.

And the GCC-HOWTOs spread all over the place have an incomplete sentence: "found at . " Found where darnit!?!

Oh, sorry, I began to vent.

Last edited by notsoevil; 01-22-2002 at 01:26 PM.
 
Old 01-22-2002, 01:35 PM   #8
finegan
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Quote:
Originally posted by notsoevil
I just want to be able to do this via CD.

Why? Well, uh, cause it will be neat. Bar that, it'll be a learning experience I can share with others.
Exactly why one of the Bobs NFS'd it. It was just too neat. Most of that LAN is hard mounted to other parts of that LAN, so when one goes down, they all go down.

Quote:
Originally posted by notsoevil

I am going to keep on hacking on this till I get it to work. Of course, I'll post details here (or at least a link to my details).
Solidarity

Quote:
Originally posted by notsoevil

And the GCC-HOWTOs spread all over the place have an incomplete sentence: "found at . " Found where darnit!?!
Oh, sorry, I began to vent.
Honestly, grab LFS's GCC package, compile it elsewhere (if this is possible), using their compile arguments as a guideline, and then cut it onto the CD. I read the other thread... and I don't really know of a linux compiled GCC that doesn't come as a part of a distro.

Cheers,

Finegan
 
Old 01-23-2002, 09:51 PM   #9
notsoevil
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Okay, an update I suppose:

I have a binary gcc ready and set up, but when I try my first compile (bash), I get the infamous "C compiler cannot create executables" at ./configure.

Grr.
 
Old 01-24-2002, 08:36 AM   #10
lfslinux
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Quote:
Originally posted by notsoevil
Okay, an update I suppose:

I have a binary gcc ready and set up, but when I try my first compile (bash), I get the infamous "C compiler cannot create executables" at ./configure.

Grr.
run these commands:

cat > test.c << "EOF"
//begin test.c
int main() {
return 0;
}
//end test.c
EOF

gcc -o test test.c
./test
 
Old 12-20-2002, 04:58 PM   #11
Douwe
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Nice idea. Try the Knoppix 3.1 cdrom, it does contain gcc
http://www.knopper.net/knoppix/index-en.html
Click on 'packages' to see what is in it (a lot!!).
You can download & burn an .iso file or buy it cheap in Germany. (+ costs sending it to the States...).
Some German included, but main things are in English.
 
Old 12-21-2002, 02:16 PM   #12
adam_boz
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I have a bootable cdrom w/ all of the sources on it. I can get it to you if you have somewhere I can ftp it to.
 
Old 12-21-2002, 02:39 PM   #13
MasterC
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Anyone notice a date on this thread? It's almost a year old

I really enjoyed reading it though, gives good insight into the "intent" of LFS from Gerard himself.

Cool
 
Old 12-22-2002, 12:26 AM   #14
safrout
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ya me too



nice to see such words from the main Maintainer of what i think the best dist all over the world
 
  


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