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Old 12-03-2008, 04:46 PM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Dec 2008
Posts: 16

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Least number of packages to run Firefox?

I am wondering about the least number of packages that is needed to have a linux based operating system which will run firefox.

I would like to understand and KNOW my OS. Ideally I would like to know the function of each and every file in the system. Because of this I am trying to find out how to build the most simple system that will run firefox. Why? Because I think that browsing the internet is one of the most basic things that I want my system to be able to do.

To be more clear here are the requirements for the system I am thinking about (from most to least important):

1. The system should be able to run firefox.
2. The system should consist of the least possible number of packages.
This implies that there should be as little dependencies as possible.
I'm thinking of the kernel, busybox, needed X packages, window manager.
But which ones are really needed only to run firefox?
3. The system should consist of as little files as possible. The less files there are, the more it is possible to know the system really well; ideally know the function of every file.

I have found this site:
Has anyone tried this yet?
Has anyone attempted to built a system that has as little packages as possible?

I am aware of LFS but the goal of LFS is to teach about linux and not to make a simple as possible linux system.

I am also interested in the systems you are running or ran in the past. What was the least number of packages you used for the system?
Was anyone able to create a linux system (incl. X) that is so minimal that you knew the function of every file?

Last edited by gmic; 12-03-2008 at 04:48 PM.
Old 12-03-2008, 05:17 PM   #2
LQ Guru
Registered: Mar 2002
Location: Salt Lake City, UT - USA
Distribution: Gentoo ; LFS ; Kubuntu
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Actually LFS is both to teach you how to use Linux AND provide you with a very lean (read, what you explicitly put in) system. Aside from that you could use something like Gentoo to only pull in Firefox and the necessary dependencies along with the features you want to enable (or not). On Gentoo I just ran 'equery g mozilla-firefox' and the dependancy graph was too big to list here. But it doesn't look like you really need much, most of the dependencies appear to be xorg modular packages. If you don't build java support or any plugin support, I think you are probably looking at maybe 10 or 11 pacakges (I would consider xorg and all the modules going into it as 1 package) outside of a basic/core system (which would include things like gcc, bash, libutils, etc). LFS really might be the way to go if you want to strip down every package and every dependency completely to see what's going into your Firefox system.


Last edited by MasterC; 12-03-2008 at 05:18 PM.


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