How to build Linux distro?
Having read the LFS playbook this question is less tech oriented and more procedural and maybe philosophic.
1. Can someone explain in laymen terms the maybe handful of steps involved. Am aware that within each step there may be tens of dozens of substeps and myriad scripts. There is a reason for my question but first what are the steps?
Start with kernel, add tools, add packages, etc.
2. The purpose is.. why do some distros have drivers and others not? Surely a distro maker does not go searching and d/l video, sound, scanner, printer drivers from all over the net. That is reinventing the wheel. Is there not a central larger repo where these guys go to get all printer drivers in one whack, another for all video in one whack, etc.
One well known distro leaves off Libreoffice in order to leave room for drivers and it shows. It will load on most everything. Conversely, another distro leaves out the wpa-supplicant wireless package. Many common home and business wireless networks are WPA protected but a newbie would never know why he is not connecting. Icon is there, lspci shows device there , dmesg shows it but no connection because something as common as wpa-supplicant package is not installed by default thus wasting a new users time and turning them away from Linux.
3. If I were to build a distro it would be at least 1gb of nothing but drivers and setup tools and then let the user d/l user software. Todays .iso images are already over 1gb, so what's the problem? To the best of my knowldge, many graphics, printer, scanner, camera etc drivers are on the order of kilobytes or much less. A 4.7 gb DVD disc should allow for thousands and thousands of drivers going back 10 years. Many businesses must still use Plll / P4 era hdwr. I understand that newer hdwr presents issues.
4 How many drivers are included in the kernel as compared to how many are loaded by the kernel?
Many drivers are propriety and distributing those drivers is a bit of a grey area in terms of legality because they involve patents, which is why many distros don't include them.
The other problem, perhaps the bigger problem, is that most drivers are designed for windows and the code, being propriety, needs to be reverse-engineered or built from scratch. Not a simple task, I'm sure.
This is a pretty good article on "How To Build Your Own Linux Distro"
This How To explains how to compile drivers for Linux automation and add them to your Linux image. Compiling drivers for Linux automation can be a daunting task, but once your environment is set up and you've done it a few times, it becomes quite easy.
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