Forum Thread: Linux from Scratch

Hello nullbyte community. I have been wanting to get to learn linux, and have been over time. I have used various distributions both in virtual box and as a main operating system.

I have not been happy with just one system for too long, and when somthing goes south i get impatient rather quickly to find out the problem. No, it is not because i don't want to learn but because i rather not be solving an issue i will be solving once whereas i could learn other things i'll use over time.

Anyway linux is my operating system of choice. I am thinking about following the linux from scratch book and building a distribution for my needs, nothing complex.. just a distribution to meet my needs which would be browsing the web and editing files.

I'm doing this both for the sake of learning, and actually have a motive to fix my system, even the smallest of issues because i'll have dedicated time and effort into building my distribution and getting it to my liking, not just following some installer.

What do you think of this idea of building a linux distro from scratch? have you built yours from scratch and what was it like? how rewarding was it?

I may start a series, or a "diary" of building my distribution from scratch, but that depends on if i'm skilled enough to even start this project. I just wanted to start a group discussion on this topic, i'm sure we all have our side projects.. hopefully this can be mine.

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8 Responses

That's a very ambitious project, but given the knowledge, time, and resources, I'm sure you can make it. Just an advice, don't reinvent the wheel !! If it's for an academic project, it's fine, but there are already minimal distro that can be tightly configured for a specific purpose without building your own kernel from scratch. You can try that one first before embarking on your long journey to madness.

I once built my own starting from a minimal ubuntu, basically an http server with php, dhcp, ssh and few other things, as a private distribution project, then made it live on usb key to physically deploy on low spec machines. That was time consuming but rewarding, and did exactly what I wanted to. Took me about a week or less, as I knew already my beast.

The diary is a great idea. Documenting your progress (and your failures) will help not just yourself, but other people.

Best of luck !

All i've been doing today is studying the steps needed to be taken to install packages from source using tarballs. Never have done that before due to package managers but i have learned the advantages and disadvantages between installing from source and from installing pre-compiled packages.

Was the minimal distribution of ubuntu called core-ubuntu? I read about that somewhere, it provides you with just the basic foundation to build up i believe. But that's the power of making your own distribution, both the knowledge and the ability to make it exactly the way you want to.

It was this if I'm not wrong

that makes me wonder if the tails distrubution is actually that special? did they really go that far in rerouting all traffic and disguising every possible footprint?

This is truly an exciting post.
Perhaps once you complete your project, you can share where you learned how to compile, and modify distributions?

Thanks again for the post,
-Cameron Glass

Yes I can do that, i will probably do a conclusion of how long things took me and what i had learned. Don't expect me to be quick about it, for me it will probably take ages but yes i will provide links and such at the time i'm finished.

So in the end... are you really going to build your kernel from scratch like these guys ? (on the same repo you will find the infamous PonyOS )

Or you're going to make an own distribution starting with a minimal arch/debian/other ?

What i'm doing is following the Linux From Scratch guide, so that will end up as a minimal foundation to build upon. It is not part of any specific distribution, and i'm not building my kernal from scratch.

What i'm doing is using a host system to get all the tools needed for my other distribution (compiling, installing etc) which will end me up with just a basic linux distribution.

From there i can choose to install a package manager or other programs. I havn't started the build yet, just finished reading about compiling programs and installing them from tarballs and checked to see if my tools on the host computer were the correct version like the ones in the LFS guide, they aren't so i'll have to fix that (may just use a live system).

So in short, i will not be creating my own kernel and it is not based off a minimal distribution like debian or arch. I will be retrieving the software needed to create a base-system and starting from there.

EDIT: sorry if i made it out to sound i was coding my own kernal.

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