Linux From Scratch community project

So, I am quite sure that a few of you have probably done this before, I’m also sure a few have tried and failed, and I know a few people who would love to give it a go and see how it works.
I mentioned in telegram that I had always been curious about Linux From Scratch. For those of you not in the know, Linux From Scratch, or LFS, is as basic a linux install as you can get. You start from absolutely nothing, and compile each and every item required to make a full linux system from beginning to end using the LFS book as a guide.
Those of you who have heard of it, already know it’s become sort of a meme in the linux community to joke about installing LFS for a fun project.
Since I mentioned it, a few other members of the community showed interest, and we thought heck. Since we’re all kinda fascinated by the idea, maybe we should make a telegram room and sort of hang out as moral support. Talk about hang ups on the journey, where we’ve gotten too, how we’re going on. That sort of thing. Since not all of us are ON telegram, I thought we should spread the fun. Anyone interested in trying this with us?
The link to the telegram room is https://t.me/joinchat/LDDdIxWhNatd9mH9LxjAZQ if you’re interested, kindly set up by Fred Finster over there. But I don’t think anyone will object if you prefer a slower chat about it over here, assuming the admins are alright with that.

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I was thinking of making just such a post on discourse when I embark on LFS and BLFS but it might not be for a few weeks yet. I think it’s a great idea for anyone who’s already doing it to share their enthusiasm with the community :slight_smile:

I’m not on the telegram group because I can find group messages a bit overwhelming at times, but I might try it some time. Thanks for the invitation :slight_smile:

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Just thinking for a bit about this today:

  • Lay grounds for what functionality this is going to end up with. Create a poll?
  • Create a Git repo for people to contribute to.
  • What kind of hardware is this going to run on, and what should the requirements minimum and recommended be?
  • Should we make this a DLN community distro and release it?
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:open_mouth: Intriguing! That is an interesting topic for sure.

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At the moment, I was just trying to see if I could run through the book, get things up and running in the most basic of fashions, but if others want to get more in depth I’ll offer whatever I can! It’s just a fun thing I’ve never managed to actually get working, and now that I’m a little more experienced I thought I’d give it a better go.
I felt like if I were interested, others might be too. And since I’ve had trouble previously, it might be nice to do it with a group of like minded individuals.
That said, I’d totally be up for trying to get some crazy new distro with a DLN flair up and running.

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I’ve never done anything like this at all myself, and just skimming through the book now to get a feel of how things are going to be.

I’ll try in a VM first, to see if I can get it running at all.

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I was having a go with LFS on a VM and progressing quite well, learning a lot as I went along. When I paused to learn a bit more about networking, LFS released a new version, so I’d rather now restart with that next time around. The way the process works though, I think I’ll confuse myself least by starting with a new base VM and starting from scratch - pun intended :wink:

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What base VM are you using? Went for Debian here.

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Debian stable. I find it a good choice, but check my posts on VMs especially if you’re using Virtualbox. I find Gnome boxes far more stable.

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Great suggestion.

It’s definitely on the list for me too. I thought I’d go through a few other things first working my way up to LFS but as long as it’s done in a way where I actually do everything in my own LFS (because that’s the point for me, to do everything and look at the result and be proud) I can’t think of a better little community to embark on the journey with.

I love the idea of a community distro!

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I figured as much. Have had nothing but tiny problems already. Wondering if i should go Ubuntu or Pop!_OS. I’m leaning towards pop.

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Is your VM running on Virtualbox or Gnome Boxes or Virtual Machine Manager, I wonder? I’ve found Boxes rock-solid under Debian 10 Stable and am on the verge of switching completely away from Virtualbox, sadly. Just not getting my work done with it :frowning:

Update:
I’ve experimented further with my Virtualbox Debian 10 Stable guest under Debian 10 Stable host and posted how I got best results on another thread, as I’ve been reporting my ongoing experiments there:

Further update - I’ve summarised what works best for me in this tutorial:

Happy LFS + BLFS building everyone!

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Tried with virtualbox and KVM. Going to do it on Hardware with pop as a build environment.

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It was insanely easy on bare metal. I got mine installed dual booted with arch linux, Just the very basic system, nothing extra. It works on reboot, but I obviously have no network or anything. So I’m now in the process of chrooting back in from arch and installing all the extras.
In some ways this is more interesting that building linux itself from scratch, because now I have choices. LFS requires that you do everything the way it says… (Although I skipped grub since it was already installed in arch) BLFS is much more open. Leaves things a little more likely to break!

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Wow you’ve done it already?! That’s fantastic :slight_smile: I just don’t have the hardware to spare to try it on, so it’ll have to be VM for me!

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I don’t normally have free hardware, but I had to do a reinstall for some stuff, and figured I’d save 50gb on my hard drive just for this.
It wasn’t hard to do once I got the hang of it. This isn’t really my first rodeo, I’ve fallen off this horse a few times before! Decided this time it was going to happen.
Honestly, the actual base install wasn’t that rough. I mean. I wouldn’t recommend it to someone whose only experience with linux was like, installed pop_OS! in a VM, but if you’ve installed arch or better yet gentoo, you’ll be just fine.
On the other hand, running through Beyond Linux From Scratch so that the system is actually USEFUL, has been much more complex. Everything depends on everything else, and you have to install things, then install something else, then install the original thing again only with the new dependency included…
Hit a bit of a snag for some of it where the makes started failing and I’m not sure why. Had to quit for the night 'cos I’m going cross-eyed and seeing terminals full of scrolling text if I close my eyes…

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@onesubtractone I started LFS as an excuse to get my shell-scripting up to scratch. When I reached the networking sections I stopped a bit to delve deeper. Then they released a new version. What I’m really keen on is BLFS for the reason that it could open the door for me to work on some FOSS projects, which is a current goal. Sound’s like you’re doing really well - inspiringly well, actually! Thanks for sharing your progress :slight_smile:

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What you just said right there is the answer to why people use systems with package management.

I read through the LFS docs with the part generally dissing packages and asking why anyone would use them when they could compile their own. And that’s the answer. Compiling stuff can be a pain in the behind if you want to use your computer to do things other than set up your computer. :laughing:

Don’t get me wrong I’ve done my fair share of compiling packages, but sometimes source won’t compile and the package works so what’s a person to do.

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That’s very true from a user perspective. I think the first goal of LFS though, is to learn from. Developers need to be experienced with building their code to be able to target different platforms. LFS folk advocating build from code are only emphasising that there is an option to have near-complete control over one’s system by doing that, though it’s a far stretch from most users’ wants and needs, I think.

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I don’t think I’ll be jumping away from package managers permanently any time soon. All this building from scratch stuff is fun for just messing with, but I am an old man and I don’t have the time or the patience to live like this day to day. It’s certainly an experience I don’t regret, and I think it’s a great idea for anyone just to try and see how this whole thing goes together.
But I miss my pacman!

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