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Dornith 03-10-2013 10:23 AM

How long does Linux From Scratch Take?
I freed up some extra hard-drive space in my last distro-switch and now I'm looking to build a distro. How long would that usually take? I'm very busy during the school year so I'd prefer to do it in my time off. I got a week off soon, so would that be enough time, or should I wait until the summer?

jefro 03-10-2013 12:53 PM

LFS is not really a disto. LFS is only a single use OS. Just that may take you a day or so.
A fast system, luck, ability to understand new terms, luck, angle of the moon... who knows. A lucky guy might get it down to a few hours or so. Don't be worried if it takes you all week or more. That is not uncommon on slow systems, bad luck, misunderstand one step.

The main thing is to have fun, learn and not worry about time.

To make a proper disto, that may consume a year or more. Some of the things that make a distro is hardware support, package management, and maybe a way to update the OS and other tasks to include testing.

spiky0011 03-10-2013 01:09 PM


I have just built mine "Yesterday" in a day but this is my umteenth time, as jethro says it can take a while.
If you want gnome then that will take sometime, but to get just LFS built no gui a week should cover it.

Keith Hedger 03-10-2013 01:12 PM

That's like asking how long is a piece of string.
The basic LFS system takes about three-four hours to compile on my machine ( not including the temporary tools as I reuse those ), but that is a very minimal bootable system, no xorg no desktop etc, it's adding all the crinkly bits that take the time, and months after starting to use my first full LFS system I was still coming across the odd app that I had forgotten to install, it's an ongoing process but you will learn a LOT!

re_nelson 03-10-2013 02:58 PM


Originally Posted by Keith Hedger (Post 4908590)'s an ongoing process but you will learn a LOT!

And going "cold turkey" by making LFS your primary, day-to-day work environment only enhances the learning experience, presuming you have patience and enjoy troubleshooting. On my system, other platforms such as Slackware, Gentoo, Fedora, CentOS and Arch are present but mostly exist just to see how those branded distributions do things. When all is said and done, the ultra-customization afforded by LFS was worth the time and the occasional frustration.

Since I track the SVN branch for the main system and keep updated with BLFS, the timeline for me has been 8 years! And it's still evolving...

spiky0011 03-11-2013 01:51 PM

I think that it,s a valid question for some one that is curious

jefro 03-11-2013 09:58 PM

" keep updated with BLFS, the timeline for me has been 8 years! "

This is also true. It could consume your time for years.

I think it is well worth trying once. Not sure I'd be tempted to do it too many times. Plenty of folks have done it often and some people get pretty good at it. I'd need the book each time.

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