This is part one of a multi-part series about my experiences creating a LFS system for the first time.
In addition to doing reviews of some of the Linux distributions that I like, I decided that it was time to learn more about the fundamental building blocks of the operating system. One of the best ways to do that is to build Linux from the ground up, using the Linux From Scratch website and book. I have decided to use the stable version of LFS for this, which at this time is 7.1. If you decide you want to work on this yourself, I strongly suggest you read through the book once before you even start getting things ready. It’s important to understand the overall sequence of steps you will be performing, and also why you are doing certain things. The book is very well written.
Since this is my first time making a working system with LFS, I am playing it safe by using a virtual machine environment. Not only will this protect my laptop, but it means that I can start working on LFS and yet still review the different distros I was planning to during May.
I use Oracle’s Virtualbox software for this, running on the Windows half of my laptop. For the host system I will be using to build LFS, I’m using the newly released Linux Mint Debian 201204 edition, Xfce version. Following the recommendation of the LFS book, I installed the 32-bit version. LFS doesn’t say you can’t use a 64-bit host, but it looked like it added some complexity that I didn’t want. I want the experience of creating a functional base system, and adding just a few things to it, and so I will be adhering to the book extremely closely.
Since the installer forces you to create partitions yourself, it was trivial to add a dedicated partition for LFS, as the book expects.
Yes, I gave LFS a huge amount of space. I wanted to be sure I could add things from the “Beyond LFS” book if I wanted to afterwards.
The Debian version of Linux Mint gives you an almost perfect developer environment; I found that only one required package had not been installed by default – texinfo. (According to the LFS preface, part vii Host System Requirements.) I installed it via the Synaptic Package Manager in between 2 runs of the “version-check.sh” script that Linux From Scratch provides for this purpose.
In my next post about LFS, I’ll discuss the final preparations I made on the partition I will use to build my LFS system.