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Making Your Own Linux 147

Posted by timothy
from the sterilize-all-vessels-thoroughly dept.
jjr writes: "Have you ever wanted to make your own Linux distro? Now at www.linuxfromscratch.org you can teach yourself how Linux works and even make your own Linux distro from the info they have at this site." This looks like a cool resource especially if your school or place of employ (or coven, biker gang, hunter-gatherer tribe, etc.) wants to create a site- or affinity-specific distribution.
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Making Your Own Linux

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  • by pnevares (96029) on Saturday April 22, 2000 @06:24AM (#1116807) Homepage
    There's been a Linux from Scratch HOWTO [linuxdoc.org] for a while now, very interesting reading.

    Pablo Nevares, "the freshmaker".
  • from the sterilize-all-vessels-thoroughly dept.

    Am I missing something?
  • Just curious, but is there anything a corporation would gain from building their own distro from scratch? I can't think of anything they would gain from that over adding rpms to redhat or more debian packages to the debian distro.

    Am I missing something?

    /ZL
  • Ohh what phun!

    But I'd just like 2 know how many ppl out there would actually have the time to develop there own version of linux.

    Enditallnow

  • This is a good idea. for someone with a spare box and alot of time on their hands. I imagine you would learn an aweful lot about what each integral part of linux does, and why.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    There a bunch of little distros you can build on. Some are Vector Linux, Peanut Linux and DOS Linux. These are much easier to newbies to understand than bloated distros like Red Hat.
  • I know that I can find about a hundred uses for this at my high school alone! Bloated RedHat just doesn't cut it when all your computers are donated and have 300MB harddrives. That's what Linux should be used for anyway - to take full advantage of everything that doesn't have the 256MB RAM required to run Win2k.
  • Yes you are missing something. Many users and potential users already go through a great deal of trouble to script things when they install any OS. This will let many possible Linux Users build a custom distro that will include many things the other distros can't and take out many things they also can't take out. Thinks strong crypto and alot of services someone on the bottom end would not need to use. I'm currently involved in a project to give Linux machines to customer service people give them a web front end for everything and no rights to anything else. This could be very usefull.
  • by phlypsyde (130097)
    I have a Pentium 200 MMX with 64 megs of EDO ram. I have a 540 meg ide hard drive. I want to set this up as a good linux box. I tried mandrake, but the install was like 340 megs. what is the most recommended install? I want to run a dedicated counter-strike server as well, and that takes like 150 megs right there. I need as much space as i can keep.. any ideas?
  • Having a "corporate" flavor of linux would be pretty cool. You could do things like trim out all the binaries that you want to have shared via NFS, compile a few key bin's staticly, set up some key files in the distro, and then cut server and desktop versions that can be installed with a minimum of fuss. If there is a feature that the community wants in the distro, but that RH or SUSE has decided isn't ready for prime time, that can be included too. In a nutshell, you can set things up before you ship the cd.
  • I mean as distros there are there... which would be most recommended? I don't have enough time to build my own system outright..
  • by zorgon (66258) on Saturday April 22, 2000 @06:34AM (#1116818) Homepage Journal
    I can think of a gzillion. Custom network, X, shell, and software package configuration all pre-done, kernels set up for particular machines or combinations of peripherals, stuff you *don't* want to put in every desktop machine but is typically included in the other distros (like httpd, ftpd ...). The advantage goes up and up the more times you have to do it. Makes sense for a site where you have to administer > 50 machines. You aren't missing anything at all, really, it's just a matter of reducing the number of steps needed to configure a box.
  • http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/docs/HOWTO/mini/Sa ving-Space.html
  • by test007 (162343) on Saturday April 22, 2000 @06:39AM (#1116820) Homepage
    Now this is something I have wanted to do for a long time, but did not know where to start. Now if there only was some way to easily add national language support for many languages (Arabic, Hebrew, Chinese etc.).

    I know slangsoft (http://www.slangsoft.com) has a library you can link with your java applications to accomplish this. But there are a few drawbacks to this toolkit.

    1
    this toolkit is a commercial product and therefore hard or impossible to integrate with a linux distribution whithout violating the GPL (correct me if I am wrong).

    2
    It only works with java.

    3
    It only works for webapplications

    Wouldn't it be neat if there was some sort of an open source alternative? I think this would help spread linux usage worldwide because people can have an operating system in their native language. Maybe Slangsoft can be persuaded to open source their product.

  • Why bother making your own unless ur are some paranoid thats insecure about a computer OS... if ur one of the norm, just go an buy/download a normal distro.... some of ther versions are SuSe @ www.suse.com RedHat @ www.redhat.com Stormix @ www.stormix.com Mandrake @ www. mandrake.com All with there own free download...
  • by mind21_98 (18647) on Saturday April 22, 2000 @06:41AM (#1116822) Homepage Journal
    This is pretty useful for web hosting companies and the like, as they get to customize every aspect of it and make it as secure and reliable as possible.

    I'm currently discussing this with my boss, but there's one thing that's missing from that howto: how to burn the new distro onto CD and how to install it on other computers. That is the thing which is preventing us from implementing this reliably (there is always the possibility of using a boot disk and copying it using NFS, but that isn't for the faint of heart.)
  • by PollMastah (174649) on Saturday April 22, 2000 @06:42AM (#1116823) Homepage

    What is the main reason you'd like to assemble your own Linux distro?

    1. It's a good learning experience for people who want to know exactly how the different parts fit together.
    2. It allows total control over what you put into your system.
    3. The standard Linux distributions are too bloated for my tastes.
    4. I just like re-inventing the wheel, especially square ones.
    5. 'cos RedHat sucks.
    6. 'cos CmdrTaco rules.
    7. Yuck. I prefer to stick with an existing distro.
    8. What, you mean anybody from highschool can actually assemble their own Linux system?!! God forbid! This is a security hazard! We better report this to the FBI!
    .
  • Good luck, I tried installing a counter-strike server on a P166 with a 1GB harddrive and it was really difficult. I tried the smallest Slackware 7 install I could do, i got the server up and all but it was still really hard. I suggest not using a new version of a distro and go for something with a 2.0 kernel (like Red Hat 5.2 or Slackware 4.0)
  • how about one that only runs a web browser, and can only access /. pages?

    Moderators: Please note, the below is my signature. Do not moderate this post based upon my signature. That is counter to the moderator guidelines.

  • I heard Rob was going to release SlashLinux after reading this site, but then somebody asked him about it so he delayed it's release 24 hours.
  • by Signal 11 (7608) on Saturday April 22, 2000 @06:52AM (#1116827)
    I heard Rob was going to release SlashLinux after reading this site, but then somebody asked him about it so he delayed its release 24 hours.
  • So, are you like talking about the IS guys building custom distros for the specific departments at a big corp? That would be pretty cool.
  • This absolutely positively must mean that the slashdot crew is planning on creating their own distro, complete with Slash already integrated.

    There simply is no excuse for this now. With such tools provided, they'd be hipocrites not to make one. This IS an open source shop right???

    P.S.-Don't kill me Rob, was just making fun of all the comments just before Slash got released. ;0)
  • Anyone who has time to read slashdot and ask how many people would want to build their custom distrobution probably has a little extra time to tinker with something new. :).
  • by big_hairy_mama (79958) <`xc.sivadp' `ta' `todhsals'> on Saturday April 22, 2000 @06:56AM (#1116831) Homepage
    It seems to be suffering from a little bit of the /. effect, so I put up a mirror of the actual document at http://www.pdavis.cx/HOWTO/LFS-BOOK/in dex.html [pdavis.cx]. This not the whole site, just the document (the development version).
  • Uhh, they were planning on it, but then you asked, so they delayed it 24 hours...
  • you forgot the ritual "slashdot sucks" option :)
  • Question: Anyone have any experience with buying a machine from VA Linux?

    On their page, they talk about this great 'optimized' version of RHL. Maybe I was a Windows user for too long, but I get wary when I hear things like that ...

  • I still think it'd be really cool if the government were to create and use their own distro. That way, they can have a lot of control over the product, they can also have a very secure product. If they don't believe it, the full source code can always be reviewed, by anyone. That way, the only way they can achieve security and keeping information classified would be to use tools that were really secure, not merely obscure. I think the government should really consider it.
  • Or you could package custom packages for Debian/
    Red Hat/Mastadon - Debian makes making a kernel package a standard part of compiling a new kernel, so that's no problem. With Debian or Red Hat, it should be trivial to not install what you don't want (I know it is in Debian.) And you can rely on the security patches from upstream matching up with your stuff.

    Want to upgrade all the kernels in a Debian based
    situation? Replace kernel-2.2.2 with kernel-2.2.8 in your apt-cache, and run apt-get install kernel-2.2.8 on each computer. Are you going to make it easier than that with your own distro, without a lot of pain?
  • you might be missing the drugs they were on when they wrote that! =)

    -rt-
  • I finally can fulfill my dream linux distro :)

  • A custom-built distribution for a corporation could be incredibly useful. They might have some custom applications they developed, or they might have their own version of a "standard desktop installation". If you knew what a particular type of corporate desktop needs, you can trim down a distribution from several hundreds of megabytes to maybe a few hundred megabytes. If all the hardware is the same, perhaps a precompiled kernel for that computer. If they're really cool, they'll just put their custom distribution on a server and just pop in a boot disk in order to install Linux. Just set it up once and use it as a template.
  • >Now this is something I have wanted to do for a
    >long time, but did not know where to start. Now
    >if there only was some way to easily add national
    >language support for many languages (Arabic,
    >Hebrew, Chinese etc.).
    [snip]
    >I think this would help spread linux usage
    >worldwide because people can have an operating
    >system in their native language.

    There is no magic fairy dust. Gnome and KDE are both working on the Unicode and BIDI support needed for those langugages. Many Japenese are already using Linux - cf. www.debian.or.jp .

    Many European languages - English, French, Spanish, German, Icelandic - are handled fine right now - the only thing missing is translations. There is really no magic fairy dust here - no quick hack. It needs lots and lots of translators work to translate the messages.
  • Ooooh yeah! Doh! I totally forgot about that... I remember posting something about including two "standard options" in every poll - one for the "Slashdot sucks" variations, the other for the "Hemos rulez" variations. Maybe I should put that into my sig or something :-)

  • It's entirely possible they've compiled everything with a proprietary optimising compiler. GCC, although extremely effective and portable, is not the best optimiser out there; in some cases, you can get a 50% speedup in your applications by using a really finely tuned compiler.

    (Maybe someone should tell netscape about this ;)
  • Building your own distro so you can control the initial setup of, eg. an office, is nowhere near as useful as having proper configuration management tools.

    One of the things Debian are working towards (with debconf and apt) is a system where you can roll out a bunch of workstations with the same configuration automatically (just point them at your "config server"); or you can save your configuration to use as a backup, or to help someone else get started.

    They're not there yet. But "zero administration" will be the killer app that gets linux onto office desktops...
  • Yea, I have been thinking about doing this very seriously. Right now we have a bunch of post install add-ons that I would like to see wrapped up into an installation. Things like security warning banners (You are using a DOE computer...your mind is not your own sorts of things), site-specific security issues (ssh, kerberos, AFS), and having xservers already setup for mass machine configuration.
  • by hedgehog_uk (66749) on Saturday April 22, 2000 @07:32AM (#1116845) Homepage
    This looks like a cool resource especially if your school or place of employ (or coven, biker gang, hunter-gatherer tribe, etc.) wants to create a site- or affinity-specific distribution.

    I'm employed, I'm wiccan and I'm a biker. Looks like I'm going to be very busy creating distros!

    HH

    Yellow tigers crouched in jungles in her dark eyes.
  • For equilibrium of the distributions, Redhat has this as well with Kickstart. There is a kickstart HOWTO as well.
  • "...they get to customize every aspect of it and make it as secure and reliable as possible."

    No! Bad company! Attempting to design and maintain your own distro is guaranteed to end in insecurity. A much better idea would be to participate in an existing "high-security" distro.
    --
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I've been running a custom system ala LFS for a while now. And if you have a good understanding of how linux works, it doesn't take long. I spend more time compiling Glibc and Gcc then anything else. I was able to do everything from the Book (it's no longer a HOWTO, btw) in under 14 hours... I found it to be a wonderfull way of learning how everything fits together. -=HIghoS=- -- HIghoS - tie@linux.ca - tie@mountlinux.com http://www.mountlinux.com Join Olympus, Central Remote Administration
  • by Anonymous Coward
    They (I) get the programs they really need without nothing extra. They know what *every* file is therefore and thus they can fully manage the whole system. And why all the hassle? Just because when you dip your shoes into this kind of a project, *you learn* !!

    Personally ive been running linux for many years (the days of Slackware! aah). I can manage allmost all problems i stumble upon but the thing is, i dont have that gut feeling that i can build all the shit i need. That is the main reason i started to build my own os from the scratch. I will get solid info on how to do things and probably even the base i build will be used as a basic installation in our future projects.

  • Solaris Jumpstart / RedHat Kickstart sound appropriate for this.
  • I think one of the secondary reason for making your own distro is to learn more on how Linux works, I know I'd like to try it in the near future (right now I still have troubles with some of the basics), but this is definitivly the kind of thing I am into. The primary reason for doing it is of course that it looks like a fun project, the equivalent of building a radio-controlled model airplane from a kit.

  • by zrpg (10539)
    If your going to do this (and believe me, it's no trivial task), don't forget to use Encap [uiuc.edu], the packaging system that Nomad Linux [nomadlinux.com] uses. Basically, it each application goes in its own directory in /usr/local/encap/ and Encap makes symbolic links to directories on the path. Thus, removing a package is a snap. It takes longer, because you have to set up configure to do it each time you compile something, and sometimes you have to do it manually, but it makes it a hell of a lot easier when you want to upgrade or remove a package. Even if you're not going to "roll your own distribution," it makes life easier.
  • What would be really cool would be to have a "Linux demo" that is bootable from cd-rom then mounts a ram disk as the / directory (for machine spefic config files (like for /etc/ppp/ppp.options) and then have the option to "flush" any files that have changed to either a zip drive or a floppy disk (the latter being more restirctive).

    The idea behind this, would be to allow users to be able to "test" Linux without having a newbie tearing up his/her hard drive cause of it. Hell, now that I think about it, just disable all IDE/SCSI/FS support in the kernel or remove commands like fdisk from the cd-rom all together. So they couldn't trash their hard drive without first getting a "real" distro, by that time though they should have be intrested enough to take the time to do it Right.

    You could actucally make a generic kernel that had module support for everything you could possiable think of. It would work like this, it would boot from CD-ROM, look for a floppy or zip drive, if there was config files on either of these media's it would use those when booting, else it would boot into the `default` setup.

    This might be a really good idea for maybe a lugi, I can see it now `Luci Linux Demo Disk`

    Pop the CD-ROM in (if the bios supports bootable cd-rom) or the boot floppy, it loads, someone from the lugi configs X, ppp and a couple other things for them really quick and off they go.

    But then again this might have an ill effect, they might get a "false" or distrorted view of what exactly Linux is. And the second negative effect might be the user clicks on the `Netscape` icon and everything goes to hell... :)
  • Anyone seen www.demolinux.org? They have a CD-ROM based linux distro that boots off a CDROM, autodetects the hardware, and runs off a RAMDISK partition.

    With an 80min CDR blank (which fits nicely into my wallet, and the ability to build a custom linux distro, imagine the possibility: Being able to walk into any computer lab, or borrow a machine, insert this little disc, and bam! have ssh, an xterm, etc...

    -=- SiKnight
  • This rocks!!! There is an ITEC convention happening soon ,n and the ISP I work for is showing. My boss wants me to make a custom distro for handing out. What a cool project, I love my job!!!
  • Slighty offtopic, but does anyone know of an existing distro with good support for setting up servers for diskless workstations?
  • Or another idea, make a distro that is easily configurable and flexiable. Say pre-config the distro for a certain machine/user, burn it to disk and then boot from that.

    For example, config a distro for my grandma's computer with all hardware pre-setup and all Internet settings/programs configed for them. Take it over there, boot from the cd-rom, save everything (email/web browser cache) to zip drive. They want to boot the system? Stick in the disk, click 'connect' on KPPP, click 'KMail' and now they are on the Information Superhighway, how easy is that?

    Basically make it real simple like the iOpen-er or iMac, so that anyone can be sending their first email in 5 minutes or less. But every burn would have to be pre-configed for each system/isp, would could really get time intense. Plus if it got screwed up even in the littest way (opps forgot /etc/some_obsecure_config_file.cfg) it would really mess them up. Plus I don't ever want my grandma to use the words "core" and "dump" in the same sentance.

  • Is it just me, or does that sound strangely like GNU Stow [gnu.org]?

    And with the nice little script stowES (found it on freshmeat a couple weeks ago), installing from source couldn't be easier (as long as the packages use configure).

    Of course, nothing beats Debian, but if something isn't packaged yet, stow[ES] does a very nice job.

  • Attempting to design and maintain your own distro is guaranteed to end in insecurity.

    Ask QNX if you don't believe this...

    -Brent
  • "With an 80min CDR blank (which fits nicely into my wallet)"? I hate to be the one to tell you this.... but Dude, you've got a purse
  • You should read the comment on the post and realize this isn't for everyone.

    And also, Linux is a kernel. I doubt that the site has any information on making a Linux clone. :^P The site is, I'm sure (although I haven't checked; seems to be down at the moment) for folks who want to install a kernel & utils from scratch. It's just for folks who want to or need to, for some reason. Most folks don't want or need to do this, but for those who have a want/need to do so, I'm sure that such a site would be a handy resource. :^)
  • Linux is only free if your time is worthless.

    Well, since you had to make an effort to point this out, I've got to reply to it.

    There is no one every, anywhere, at any time, that has claimed that Linux was free. (Except for maybe Microsoft) So I guess I'm missing what your (lame) point is. Has anyone claimed that Linux was free?

  • oh, I just thought of this one, a new one saying "Katz sucks because he's a mainstream writer and doens't know what fsck does." :)
  • by Enahs (1606)
    Why bother developing for Linux systems, or Linux itself? I mean, Microsoft and Apple make operating systems...
  • Yeah, I'm pretty sure I remember a poll about a week ago, where a significant portion of the audience here voted that they liked Linux because it was free (like free beer). There you go, sounds like quite a few people are claiming it.
  • Seems to me that VMware is perfect for this. This was actually the whole reason I bought a license, well that and to run a few windows apps :). I like the idea of being able to put together a new distro in a nice safe sandbox. Plus I can keep an mp3 player open while I work.
    treke
  • According to US law, a defector can only stay if said defector FLIES to the country. If you come by boat, you're out. The US "justice" system is breaking the law by letting that kid stay. The kid's getting a pretty good deal so far...I mean, if the letter of the law were being followed here, he'd have been back in Cuba in less than 48 hours.
  • Stow sounds a lot like Encap...Encap predates Stow by a year.
  • I think I might builg and RPM like slackware with this. I find slack is the only thing I use, but a working rpm database would make it easier to fix slackware when it starts to get broken. right now I can't get Gnome to compile or run binaries because of library issues
  • Current distros were built more-or-less from scratch. While the package management and configuration management tools on a number of systems are impressive, I don't think they're anywhere close to what they could be.

    A lot of folks grouse about how many distros there are right now. Quite frankly, though, I think that when Apple put together their own BSD system, they chose their name wisely: Darwin is indeed a wise name for a free-software project. Many steps have been taken in the evolution of free software, and some have fallen by the wayside due to disuse/poor design/etc. But the important thing to remember is that all the config managers and package managers out there got started by someone saying "this sucks; let's do something different."

    The one thing I'd like to see change is the necessity for using a package manager to manage packages, and the risk of breaking config management tools simply by configing by hand once in a while (I've had problems with both on Red Hat/Mandrake/SuSE systems.) From what I've heard, it's kind of a necessity for Debian sytems to use the package manager to not break dependencies. Mandrake's terrible because all its packages have "MDK" in the name of the package; some Red Hat packages don't install at all.

    What I'd like to see is something a bit like "alien" that can deal with rpms/potatoes/tgz/whatever, use traditional approaches to finding dependencies (if all else fails, find the required libs) and then use an "Encap"-like method of installing packages (i.e. use a seperate dir for every package, when convenient.)
  • >>This looks like a cool resource especially if
    >>your school or place of employ (or coven, biker
    >>gang, hunter-gatherer tribe, etc.) wants to
    >>create a site- or affinity-specific
    >>distribution.

    >I'm employed, I'm wiccan and I'm a biker.

    But are you a hunter-gatherer?

    --Sam L-L
  • by Skapare (16644) on Saturday April 22, 2000 @09:05AM (#1116872) Homepage

    I've been building a "fast install" of Linux based on Slackware 7.0 with many of my local mods (including a total rewrite of the sysinit rc scripts). The full install takes less than 8 minutes (when started from a HD based rescue partition) which is faster than some systems can even get booted up. Smaller configurations should go even faster. And this even includes repartitioning and reformatting. The configuration to be installed is entirely separate from the configuration of the system that serves the installation.

    There is no concensus on what proper configuration management tools is, yet. What I am aiming for is less need to actually do any configuration. Right now the configuration I actually do involves editing files because there are no configuration tools around that know how to configure a collection of modularized installation feature groups as I have now. For those who prefer menu and/or graphical based central configuration, such tools will be needed. Since I'm not one who uses such tools, I would be a poor choice to program that part of the project. Maybe you could do that part?

    I'm also currently looking at basing this from Debian 2.2. I would have to figure out how to change dpkg/apt so it can install into the installation repository instead of the host system, or run on the target machines and obtain configuration preferences from the central machine (e.g. what to install, etc).

  • If this runs on RAMDISK, does it only run on a MacIntosh? Can you use RAMDISK on Windows?

  • Earlier this year I foudn the original LFS howto and I created a sorta-mini-distro that I called Laonux. The 40 meg tar.gz file expanded to a 200 meg filesystem. It worked great. Last thursday I replaced my RedHat system with this one, and added on all the bells and whistles. Hehe, it's quite an enjoyable experience. You should all do it. You know you want to. Just be careful around glibc, it bites.
  • yyyyyeeeeahh, no, probably not. You are surely right as far as that goes. But I'm sure there does come a point where you do x amount of tweaking to a particular distro to make it work for you and an x+1 point where it's worth doing your own. I've installed RedHat on enuf boxen to know that it takes a bit of time to get it right on our net, so no that is not trivial when you take this bit and multiply it x50. Not for everyone.
  • I meant 80 MM , not 80 mm. In other words, CD single size. I have a few of these CDRs around. And those will fit in a wallet. They are only a bit bigger than a credit card dimensional wise, holds almost 200 Mbs. Which is enough for a small slackware install with X. SiKnight
  • Yeah: especially if they get smart like decide to completely eliminate NT and replace it, so they'd have to do it a bunch of times.
  • But it's from the same person and had you read the moderator guidelines you would know that you aren't suppost to moderate double posts as redundant because they are accidental.
  • by narf (207)
    QNX isn't a distro.
  • They are only a bit bigger than a credit card dimensional wise, holds almost 200 Mbs.

    Excuse me?

    The only credit-card sized CDs I have found hold 20 or 40MB, not 200. I would, however, be interersted in 200mb varieties. Got a link?

  • > I still think it'd be really cool if the government were to create and use their own distro.

    Let's see, we could have -
    • _NSALinux, specially designed for by foreign governments,
    • FBILinux, specially designed for use by crackers, and
    • IRSLinux, specially designed for use by tax cheaters.
    Am I forgetting any?

    ps - Although I've made a joke of it, I agree that it would be the ultimate in good sense for governments world wide to adopt OSS, aka "Trojan Free", solutions.
    --
    "Damn! And just when Piranha was starting to turn the tide of negative PR!"
  • by mattc (12417)
    Your post doesn't make any sense. Put away the crackpipe before you go on the internet please!
  • Unh, could you elaborate on that?

    QNX is _not_ a linux distribution; it's an embedded RTOS. It just happens to be able to run on x86 hardware, be POSIX compatible, run X etc.

    http://www.qnx.com/
  • Why bother? Why bother buying a kit car when you can buy a perfectly good classic car on the market? Easy - for the enjoyment. I found the Linux from Scratch How-to a while ago, and thought it really cool. Some people, such as myself, take enjoyment out of fiddling and tinkering and rolling your own Linux distro would be 1. a helluva lot o fun (with headaches Im sure) 2. get to learn what one *doesnt* know about Linux 3. impress friends and family with freshly burnt cd's of your own custom rolled Linux distro ;)

    There may or may not be any utility in rolling your own, but for me at least that consideration misses the point.
  • I, on the other hand, am eagerly putting together my own Eunux distro. (It's almost there, but there's still one vital part is missing.)

    --
    "Damn! And just when Piranha was starting to turn the tide of negative PR!"
  • Unh, could you elaborate on that?

    Yes [slashdot.org]

    -Brent
  • What version of glibc did you use?

    Any particular specific comments as to why glibc is such a bear, and what you did about them?

    (For someone considering rolling-his-own distro for laptops, I'm curious. :)
  • Yeah, I'm pretty sure I remember a poll about a week ago, where a significant portion of the audience here voted that they liked Linux because it was free (like free beer). There you go, sounds like quite a few people are claiming it.

    So what? If they consider it free, what's that to you? Do you really have a problem with it? Do you have something against 'poor' college students being able to have an OS that didn't require real $$'s from them to use? Are you jealous because the OS that you want to use requires you to fork over real $$'s? What's the point of your .sig anyways?

    -Brent
  • OK, here's something I don't understand: How do you get your network settings right if you do this?

    I've tried this with PicoBSD [freebsd.org] (fits on floppy--only gives you terminal access, but it's better than nothing) and want to try it with the QNX-on-a-floppy (has gui & browser!) [qnx.com] . However, I shove the floppy in a random machine at a public library, and it boots and then, since I'm not very networking literate, I don't know how to set things like my IP and routing info. Advice?

  • It would be pretty cool if there was a readily available distrib that fitted onto a 1.44" stiffy. And that you could extend easily.

  • here's one for you...

    return 0;

    Good enough? :)
    treke

  • Ok, that sounds like a really nice computer for Linux with a hard drive that isn't proportional to everything else. However, many a time have I installed Linux on a very small hard drive (even the dreaded "bloated" RedHat manages to get pretty small if you want it to). It basically depends on what you want to do - if you just want to play around and learn Linux you can afford to have 350 megabytes taken up for installation and 100 megabytes for swap. For anything else you'll need some serious free disk space, and then you're talking about bare X Windows without fancy window managers, and knowing exactly what programs you'll know you need, and get rid of everything else - but if you're new to Linux it's hard to know what you want. I agree with a previous responder who said don't go with the latest distribution...my recommendation is RedHat 5.2, which is stable, reliable, and something good to learn with. Best of all, I've been able to fit it on some pretty small hard drives. Another recommendation is to learn how to install and uninstall programs well, because if you use the computer often you'll need to be freeing up space by getting rid of programs you realize you don't need. If you want to set it up as a server, 540 megs is fine for a simple small web pages/e-mail, but forget about X Windows - you can save a lot of room by not installing it. I'd have to say though, from personal experience that installing Linux on a small hard drive is a nice challenge, but like any OS there's so much more you can do with some more space. Hard drives are incredibly cheap - I just bought an 18 gig hard drive for $140 including shipping, and the prices for smaller ones go down from there. Buy something larger than 1.2 gigs and you'll have a much better experience - besides, it fits your other hardware a little more proportionally. Good luck!
  • LFS isn't about making a distro... it's about building a linux system from the source up.
    And by the time you have compiled the basic system, you could compile and install Enlightenment or Gnome or Emacs or whatever by yourself ;)
    Everything that's installed right now is what the Author thou was best in his opinion... do whatever you like it did...
    On a seperate note, if you check the mailing list you will see that the Book is in heavy development right now.
    There's been a lot of discussion about where the Book should go, like should the Book explain how to setup this or what when there's pleny of HOWTO's that go into great detail about how to do something specific at http://www.linuxdoc.org
    Anyways, hope i could clear up a few thinks...
  • hehe... hey Lao, oh and thx for the screenshot you sent me yesterday on your new setup ;) Shadowlion... i'm running LFS on my laptop, Toshiba Satellite 4090XDVD, nothing special just PCMCIA installed with the kernel and APM deamon running ;) Glibc is a pain in the ass usually just because of the time it takes to compile. Plus the Author hasn't updated the Glibc section in a while...(you should see his TODO list) 'later...
  • oh boy, I seem to have touched a nerve. All that because you asked me a question ("does anyone really say Linux is free?") and I answered it in a way that you didn't want me to yet you can't refure? I'll answer your questions one at a time.

    If they consider it free, what's that to you?

    Absolutely nothing. They can consider it free if they want. I don't.

    Do you really have a problem with it?

    No, I don't.

    Do you have something against 'poor' college students being able to have an OS that didn't require real $$'s from them to use?

    Well, being a "poor" college student myself, first I'd have to say that Windows doesn't cost anyone anything extra really anway. With the "Windows Tax," since the computers come pre-loaded with Windows (and the vast, vast majority do..especially academic packages), it's not like the users really have to pay anything extra to buy their operating system. It comes with the computer. I really didn't pay anything for my copy of windows, it came with my computer. Even though there was the "Windows tax" added, it's really negligable. If anyone wants to not pay the Windows tax, they're going to pay in other ways..which I'll get to in response to your last question...

    Are you jealous because the OS that you want to use requires you to fork over real $$'s?

    Again, no. Why would I be jealous? I've used Linux, and I'll continue to do so. I'll also continue to run Windows the majority of the time, and enjoy doing so. Despite what I hear from everyone on /., when I'm in Windows, my system doesn't crash every 2 minutes. In fact, right now I've been over a week without a reboot, and that reboot was changing from Linux to Windows. I can't remember the last time Windows crashed on me requiring a reboot.

    What's the point of your .sig anyways?

    Well, mainly that if you're not willing to pay the "Windows Tax," and you insist upon either buying a PC made by one of the smaller linux-installing shops, or if you want to load linux onto a machine that had Windows before, you're going to pay in ways other than "real $$." You're going to pay in terms of the time it takes you to get things working that you had taken for granted in Windows. Like truetype fonts. Like sound. Like an ethernet connection. Like UDMA66 support. Like USB support. Like a stable GUI (still waiting for a stable Linux GUI). So, unless you don't value your time at all, Linux really isn't free, because you're going to be wasting so much time getting simple things working that you'll really be wasting something valuable (time).

  • OK, I'm curious. If I develop a dialect of C or Java in Hebrew, does the order of evaluation of operators of equal precedence proceed from right-to-left or left-to-right?

    I ask this because, from my experience with compiler construction, I believe that switching this around is somewhat more difficult than simply translating the reserved word list. Anyone have any experience with this?

  • What version of Slackware are you using? 7.0 comes with rpm as well as Gnome. A note about rpm on slackware, you must use rpm -Uvh --force --nodeps whatever.rpm in order for it to work ;)

  • by 586 (137798)
    Now Linux is even better!!
  • I am quite aware of the --force command-line option, as well as --nodeps.

    The fact is, different distros use different libs, different dir structures, etc. If you need to use --force --nodeps to install an RPM, then the package maintainer might as well have used a Slack package; in other words, just make a .tgz of the darn thing. The RPM database is supposed to help make system maintenance a non-issue; instead, because the RPM concept is so flawed, it's more hassle at times than an actual help.

    Also, before you Debian fascists speak up, I'd just like to say that I'd like to have a setup that I *didn't* have to use a package manager, but could if I wanted to. Okay, that sounds like a newbie thought, but bear with me. Why not set up a packaging system that could, if deps fail, check the deps on its own? Open ld.so.conf and check those dirs, etc. It wouldn't be as impossible as it sounds, and would make installing from source almost a non-issue.

    Well, that's my $0.02 for now.
  • oh boy, I seem to have touched a nerve.

    Yes you did, thank you.

    All that because you asked me a question ("does anyone really say Linux is free?") and I answered it in a way that you didn't want me to yet you can't refure? I'll answer your questions one at a time.

    I've heard that premise before ("Linux isn't free unless your time is free") and I've never understand what the point of it was. I mean, any OS is going to require "time", so it's not like Linux is any worse then anything else in that area. Windows requires "time" too, just like Linux does. You aren't going to not need "time", just because you use Windows instead of Linux. But I'm sure you already know that.

    Now onto your other points.

    I really didn't pay anything for my copy of windows, it came with my computer.

    I would have had to pay $200 if I wanted to buy a license to have Windows on my PC. Just because you got Windows preloaded, doesn't mean that you didn't pay anything for it. OEM's have to make a profit somehow, and that means that they are recouping the cost of the license. It just may not be as much as Microsoft gouges consumers for.

    I can't remember the last time Windows crashed on me requiring a reboot.

    Windows continually runs out of resources and then crashes, or refuses to run more applications, or quites redrawing properly. I don't know while, but it happens on all my Windows boxes. I should have those problems with a AMD K6-350 and 64meg ram, when all I'm running is Access, Word, C++ Builder, 2 dozen instances of IE open, and email and irc clients. And a bunch of other software open too. But anyways, I can run a whole lot more programs then that in Linux, without having to close programs down, or hit the reset button.

    You're going to pay in terms of the time it takes you to get things working that you had taken for granted in Windows.

    I wish I could claim to have that same experience. (Yeah, right!). However, when I've installed Windows, and Linux, it's always been Windows that has taken the time, been frusterating, and never worked. Linux, I can pop in the CD, and in 30 minutes have it rebooted and running. It'll have set everything up that I need, configured all my hardware, and is on the network. With Windows, it takes forever to install Windows to the hard drive. Then you've got to reboot. And reboot. And reboot. Install Office. Reboot. Install the drivers that didn't come with Windows. Reboot. Install Borland C++ Builder. Reboot. Install RealPlayer. Reboot. Install netmeeting. Reboot. Install an X server. Reboot. Configure the box to talk to the network. Reboot. Then if you've only got a modem connection, it'll be all night to download the 40+ meg from the Windows 98 update site that has been release since last June. Reboot. Also if you have the original 98 license, MS will send you the SE patches on CD (for S/H) but you'll have to install 98 first, and then the patches over that. Reboot.

    I guess I don't know what to say. I *could* do my work in either Windows or Linux, I suppose. However, I value my time. And that's why I choose to use Linux.

    In conclusion, I thank you for exmplaining your reasoning. But I must disagree. First of all, I think that everyone understands that nothing is ever completely free. However, certain qualities of things are free. For instance, in the case of Linux, I don't have to pay licensing costs. I'd call that free. Second, time is valuable. That's why you must make sure that you have a good investment. An OS that can't handle running all the applications I use, with the hardware I give it, isn't a good investment. An OS that doesn't eat up my valuable time be requiring my to run less applications then I should, or that requires me to reboot, certainly is less 'free' (in your own terms), then one that allows my to do everything I want.

  • by Bryce (1842) on Saturday April 22, 2000 @11:35AM (#1116903) Homepage
    Would it be useful to have CD's specific to a given game? For instance, with WorldForge, I've wondered if it would be useful to set up a CD-of-the-month club, with the latest versions of the clients - with all libraries, artwork, media, scripts, etc. - which could be booted independently without needing to disturb the primary OS.

    Bryce

  • If upgradeability concerns you (and it shouldn't, there are several good methods of managing this, not the least of which being "make uninstall" with most decent newer programs) then you can always install a package manager, and follow a distribution's conventions.

    Nothing prevents you from using RPM, for instance, on your homemade non-RedHat system.

  • The Debian package diskless [debian.org] looks promising.
    --
  • > Can you prove that any proprietary OS's include any trojans?

    Of course not. You can't prove either way about a POS. That's the whole point.

    --
    "Damn! And just when Piranha was starting to turn the tide of negative PR!"
  • by mircea (28953)
    I was able to fit a whole Slackware 7.0 install, with KDE and all, in just under 480M. Make sure you use "expert" mode upon install, it will allow you to pick individual packages.

    One more thing: if you can get several small HDs, you can use them together in software-RAID mode: the system I'm talking about actually has 5 HDs, ranging from 80M to 185M, for a total of 600M.
  • Compiled by two Cro-Magnon and a Neandertal, HG Linux is desgined specifically for the modern computing needs of hunter-gatherers. HG Linux includes our custom Point-and-Grunt interface, simple enough for even the pre-verbal cave-dweller.

    We at HG Linux torture tested our distro, by giving it to upper management for a month. Yes, we use our own distribution internally, as many of our tech support personel also have sloping foreheads and prognathous jaws.

    We've carefully selected a minimum set of tools, considered uncomplicated enough for use by the illiterate. We know that many of you who are capable of actually READING don't bother to crack the manual open, so printed manuals aren't included. HG Linux is intentionally missing the usual READMEs and manpages. Not to worry! We've replaced them with simplified cave-paintings, in PNG format. Just point and grunt!

    http://hglinux.example.org/

    [...Example.org: providing all your RFC 2606 compliant sample domain name needs...]

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