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Old 11-22-2008, 10:57 AM   #1
lumix
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Fun with Linux


Okay, I'm tired of dwelling in this area of the LQ forums...I need to know more. I'd like to be able to look at a Linux OS the way I look at a network infrastructure or, say, a 1995 BMW R1100GS...whatever that means.

Anyway, can anyone point me to a good starting point--a tutorial, how-to, etc.--where I can start putting together an absolute bare-bones version of linux from scratch? Something only a few Mb or less--basically a command prompt and not much more. I'd really like to understand all that goes on under the hood, rather than resign myself to a pusher of buttons and watcher of flashing lights.
 
Old 11-22-2008, 11:28 AM   #2
wizardhat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lumix View Post
linux from scratch
You just answered your own question!

http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/

It is a bit intense, but it's a good learning experience.
 
Old 11-22-2008, 11:56 AM   #3
linest
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lumix View Post
Okay, I'm tired of dwelling in this area of the LQ forums...I need to know more. I'd like to be able to look at a Linux OS the way I look at a network infrastructure or, say, a 1995 BMW R1100GS...whatever that means.

Anyway, can anyone point me to a good starting point--a tutorial, how-to, etc.--where I can start putting together an absolute bare-bones version of linux from scratch? Something only a few Mb or less--basically a command prompt and not much more. I'd really like to understand all that goes on under the hood, rather than resign myself to a pusher of buttons and watcher of flashing lights.
There was a time (early 1992, at least) when there were no distros and everyone had to build from scratch. Download a kernel, burn it to a floppy, run a hex editor on it to change the bits that point to a root device, etc., etc., etc.

I came across a box full of my old floppies from those days and played with them long enough to find that many were no longer readable. I bet there are archives with old rootdisks and bootdisks, maybe even old gccs and usertools (all the binaries have to be from the same era or else library incompatibility ruins everything).

Ah yes, here's the stuff:
http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kern.../RELNOTES-0.12
 
Old 11-22-2008, 12:16 PM   #4
johnson_steve
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Hmm, nice bike. here's mine:

http://i282.photobucket.com/albums/k...l/PICT0213.jpg

Gentoo is a bit easier then LFS and has some of the best documentation out there for linux. you still build the system yourself and learn a ton. it takes a while to install (just did one in about 3 days.) you want a stage 3 install with the 'minimal' cd. let me know if you get stuck.

www.gentoo.org
 
Old 11-22-2008, 01:52 PM   #5
lumix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wizardhat View Post
You just answered your own question!
Doh. I shoulda googled that. The power of presumption...it's all too often presumed dead.

All very useful links, thanks.

As for bikes, well, since you bring it up:

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...hlight=germans
 
Old 11-22-2008, 03:08 PM   #6
zeno0771
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If LFS or Gentoo get too heady for you, ArchLinux is another, similar way to go.
I switched to it after 3 years of Fedora; I too felt that I had outgrown the idea of a prefabricated Linux experience. I tried LFS first; excellent way to learn the nuts 'n' bolts but I didn't have the patience to do a from-scratch build for a production system. Gentoo definitely has its fans but, and in NO WAY should this be construed as a blanket statement, the users I've encountered seem rather aloof in an old-school-BSD way; YMMV.

This wiki page compares Arch with Gentoo, LFS, Debian, etc:
http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Arch_vs_Others
 
Old 11-22-2008, 03:23 PM   #7
johnson_steve
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeno0771 View Post
the users I've encountered seem rather aloof in an old-school-BSD way; YMMV.
What ?!?

just kidding. we know we're assholes.
 
Old 11-22-2008, 04:25 PM   #8
dv502
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lumix View Post
Anyway, can anyone point me to a good starting point--a tutorial, how-to, etc.--where I can start putting together an absolute bare-bones version of linux from scratch? Something only a few Mb or less--basically a command prompt and not much more. I'd really like to understand all that goes on under the hood, rather than resign myself to a pusher of buttons and watcher of flashing lights.
Arch linux gives you a base system and you build from there. The wiki page explains how to install the rest of the stuff ( i.e xorg, alsa, kde,gnome or other desktop, etc...)

But if you really need to know the guts of linux then you need to use LFS or gentoo.

If I were you, I would do it this way. Have one fully functional linux distro for everyday use. Next, install LFS or gentoo to a separate partition, to another hard drive or use a virtual machine. I would recoomend a virtual machine because you can still be in your main distro with net access and get additonal info to further build the LFS/gentoo system. And if you make a misstake building the system you can delete the virtual machine file and start again.

- Cheers

Last edited by dv502; 11-22-2008 at 04:56 PM.
 
Old 11-22-2008, 04:33 PM   #9
phantom_cyph
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Try building a project from Slackware's online packages instead of installing with the iso. It's a pain in the *** but I hope it will all work out. Check out the link in my sig to see what I'm talking about.
 
Old 11-24-2008, 10:34 AM   #10
lumix
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Crikey

...and yikes too.

LFS would have been...aggravating, if I hadn't been using linux (or should I say, "GNU linux") already for some time. Still looks like it will be a good exercise.

My first stumbling block:

It instructs me to download patches--but not necessarily. It states that they are "required" and "will be needed". Superb. Where and in what form? My assumption is that they should be delivered to the sources directory like the package files. Is this correct? Also, they don't look executable as is...how and when will they be used? I've browsed ahead but haven't found any section that seems to apply the patches...are they automatically applied during the compilation process?

My suggestion to LFS would be this: as with some of the items they've linked to definitions, their should be links to explanations of what's going in a given step, what it's function is, and how it fits into the grand scheme of things. Maybe a good next project for me when I have answers to these my self.
 
Old 11-25-2008, 03:07 PM   #11
zeno0771
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lumix View Post
...and yikes too.

LFS would have been...aggravating, if I hadn't been using linux (or should I say, "GNU linux") already for some time. Still looks like it will be a good exercise.

My first stumbling block:

It instructs me to download patches--but not necessarily. It states that they are "required" and "will be needed". Superb. Where and in what form? My assumption is that they should be delivered to the sources directory like the package files. Is this correct? Also, they don't look executable as is...how and when will they be used? I've browsed ahead but haven't found any section that seems to apply the patches...are they automatically applied during the compilation process?
http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/patches/downloads/, perhaps?

In my experience, patches are applied before compilation using patch:
Code:
patch -p1 <new-patch
Go here to find out how that game is played: http://www.cpqlinux.com/patch.html. The site is a bit older but still accurate for your purposes.

I got brave with my LFS build by "jumping the line" and getting the latest of everything...then again I haven't finished the build yet either...
 
Old 12-04-2008, 08:20 AM   #12
lumix
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Stumbling Block #2

In 4.4. Setting Up the Environment:

Code:
lfs@Evo:~$ cat > ~/.bash_profile << "EOF"
> exec env -i HOME=$HOME TERM=$TERM PS1='\u:\w\$ ' /bin/bash
> EOF
Command 'cat' is available in '/bin/cat'
The command could not be located because '/bin' is not included in the PATH environment variable.
bash: cat: command not found

Last edited by lumix; 12-04-2008 at 08:24 AM.
 
Old 12-04-2008, 11:40 AM   #13
kevinalm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lumix View Post
...and yikes too.

LFS would have been...aggravating, if I hadn't been using linux (or should I say, "GNU linux") already for some time. Still looks like it will be a good exercise.

My first stumbling block:

It instructs me to download patches--but not necessarily. It states that they are "required" and "will be needed". Superb. Where and in what form? My assumption is that they should be delivered to the sources directory like the package files. Is this correct? Also, they don't look executable as is...how and when will they be used? I've browsed ahead but haven't found any section that seems to apply the patches...are they automatically applied during the compilation process?

My suggestion to LFS would be this: as with some of the items they've linked to definitions, their should be links to explanations of what's going in a given step, what it's function is, and how it fits into the grand scheme of things. Maybe a good next project for me when I have answers to these my self.
As an LFS/BLFS user since LFS 5.0, forgive me if I'm wrong but it sounds like you quickly skimmed the first few introductory chapters. _Don't_do_that_! There are some very important things in the early parts of the book. Also as each package is built there are very clear notices as to which patch must be applied and when. Later on in BLFS there are notices "Required patch:" and "Optional patch:" with furter explaination for the optionals.
 
Old 12-04-2008, 09:57 PM   #14
lumix
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I don't think I skipped over anything, but I'll go back and have a look. As for explanations, as of the 3rd or 4th section it appears there's plenty of that, I'm glad to say.

As for the above question, it turns out that I'm a dingbat and didn't login as "lfs" before setting up a "clean" shell and replacing the .bashrc file.
 
Old 12-05-2008, 02:06 AM   #15
kevinalm
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Setting up the environment is critical, it's one of the main difficulties that seem to crop up. Good luck on you're build. I think you'll find it's one of the best ways to really start to understand how linux works.
 
  


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