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Both of them allow for building a Linux OS from nothing, with CLFS being a cross-compiler version (even more complicated) which allows you to build software from one architecture, on/for another architecture.
If you're new to Linux, you might want to get accustomed to an already-put-together OS for a while first, to get an understanding of some of what it is exactly you want to build; it does help to have a grip on what the finished product might look like, *before* beginning to build it. However, if you don't mind working at it for a long time, and don't wish to have a functional OS any time soon, by all means, start reading about LFS.
If you want easy to use, start with Ubuntu, CentOS, Open Suse, Mandriva, or Debian. They will all give you a system that is ready to go. (I've also heard good things about Mint, but I've never used it.)
If you want to learn, start with Slackware.
It will give you a fully loaded installation with lots of applications ready to go, but lots of learning when you start to configure it to your taste.
Linux Mint and PCLinuxOS are both great starter OS's.
Not only is Linux Mint a great starter OS, it's great for everyday use when you need something to "just work". I consider myself an intermediate user (not a novice, but not an expert) and I use it regularly.
gee, thank you guys for the post.... will try what you all suggested.... its just that im running a
Processor: Intel Celeron 400 MHz
Installed Memory: 256 MB (SDRAM)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 98 (used to but not anymore hehehe)
HDD Size: 10 GB
Optical Drive Type: CD-ROM & DVD-ROM
everything i tried it with is very slugish in GUI (well not all the dist), that is why i only used Tinycore Linux.. everything fits
that is why i want to experiment with Linux From Scratch for me to install pretty much A VERY VERY MINIMAL BASIC NEEDS
just your everyday needs like office, music, paint, programming, a very minimal GUI
Knoppix was the top newbie distro a few years ago. Ubuntu has kind of taken that reign for now. Mint seems to be popular. If you're thinking of doing something like LFS, you might try debian to get a feel for linux without training wheels. Then try gentoo to get a feel for linux from source. Then maybe if you have nothing better to do, and a longing to learn, give LFS a try. It's not for the meek and unless you need to know, or want your own distro, kind of a waste of time in this day and age. So many other know more than you or I and have already done most of that work for us in the form of distros. Issues are not quite as vast as the days of old where you almost had to do LFS just to have a functioning system. Or at least a system current enough that you would want to use it.
Gentoo is a distro that is compiled from source-code on the fly as you install it. This is unlike most distros, which are put together & installed on your machine as pre-compiled binaries.
The differences? It typically takes much longer to install a Gentoo system than another distro, because EVERY component of Gentoo has to be compiled fresh from scratch on your machine. Also, this can produce an OS that is better tailored to your specific computers hardware (CPU mainly) because you can specify compiler flags which are tuned specifically for your CPU.
"Source" also means that, with many distros (virtually ALL distros really..) you can install new packages (applications) by downloading the "source code" for the program, and compiling it on your machine and installing it yourself. The same differences apply as I mentioned above about Gentoo vs. another distro.
The alternative is to use your package manager (or download from the internet yourself) to install applications that are already compiled and "ready to install". The package manager method (downloading already-compiled applications) is usually faster.
As for what jay73 wrote about "command line system", I believe what he means is that you can choose nearly *any* distro, and make a small, minimal installation of it, installing ONLY the bare minimum it needs to run (thus it is very small and light for your older machine) and then, install other things/applications you want to use, such as maybe a window manager, a browser, etc.. and sort of "custom-build" your OS. Note that *some* distros are not so easy as far as I know, to install "minimally" -- Ubuntu comes to mind; I'm not sure how someone would install a minimal Ubuntu system, except to *maybe* install Ubuntu Server (which comes with no GUI desktop) and then add some stuff to it. Slackware as an example, is a distro which can easily be installed in a very minimal fashion, adding only what you really want/need on top of the essentials.
It's not my intent to put words in jay73's mouth so if I've described his intent incorrectly, I'm sure he'll pop in and correct me.
Last edited by GrapefruiTgirl; 07-23-2010 at 06:06 AM.
Source is generally the manner in which software is distributed in linux. Not to be confused with open source. I guess it is kind of slang. Source is short for source CODE. It is the program before it gets compiled. The advantage is that if it's written right, you can compile the source code for ANY processor. Any that has a compiler that supports that programming language and that chip anyway. It is why linux runs on Macs, PCs, PDAs, gaming consoles, cell phones, and Mainframes. It's what makes it so easy to port to any platform, even those yet to be invented.
When doing LFS, you are basically taking every package in their source code form (the only way to get the latest versions really) and compiling them specifically for your machine. As in give me a snapshot of what you have today and I'll use it. Versus that thing you might have compiled six months ago. A lot can change in six months. With gentoo you get a taste of this as it downloads the sources and compiles them. A bit more automated than you'll get with LFS, but it still does it. This helps ensure that you have a recent version, and that it's optimized specifically for your machine. And with todays faster machines, higher capacity storage, and broadband, not that much of a burden anymore (if automated like with gentoo).