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Linux From Scratch 6.1 - Part 2 - BLFS

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Apparently BLFS-6.1 was released well over a week ago but I didn't notice it until recently. I'd been checking back every few days since my original Linux From Scratch 6.1 article on July 11, ...I thought. Had it really been that long since I checked? Well, no matter, I have it now and unlike the LFS-html docbook, it's not lain out exactly in a linear manner. I had the basic LFS 6.1 install in place and I was hoping I only needed to pick up from there. The BLFS docbook lists such topics as security, filesystems, shells, editors, differing networking configurations, and my main goal here: X and window managers.

First thing I did in preparation to resume the install of the LFS system was to mount the lfs partition and chroot into it. I started with the "After LFS Configuraton Issues," where one is instructed on how to handle a few things under the hood like adding new users, compressing man and info pages, and setting up some user startup files. This section is straight forward and easy to follow.

The next section deals with security. I wasn't too concerned with that portion at this time and as such, most of that section was skipped. If you choose to install BLFS, you may wish to complete much more than I. I really only chose to use the PAM portion of this section, and it went without a hitch and I found the docs very informative.

The next goal was networking. As I wouldn't be using dial-up or pppoe, I just opted for dhcpcd. Again, the procedure in this section was fully explained and the task was easily accomplished. Some of the utilities and programs I chose to install were links, wget, net-tools, ntp, and fetchmail. No problems with this section, but X was next. <shudder>

Despite my trepidation, I was successful this go around. I was quite pleased with the instructions in the section to build X. It listed all dependencies and gave the commands that worked without a hitch. Other instructions included how to setup a xorg.conf, some ttf directories, and keyboard/mice devices. Next I worked on some graphic libraries that a desktop environment or window manager might need. These included qt, gtk, lesstif, and much more (and associated dependencies). All downloaded, compiled and installed with no issue. The docbook is working quite well so far.

The next course of action was get a window manager installed. KDE was once the only window manager (excuse me, desktop environment) for me. However last 6 months or so, since my Month with Fluxbox actually, I've grown quite fond of Fluxbox. This was my choice for my lfs install. Of course all went well with the fluxbox install. The blfs book didn't include feh that I felt I needed, so I had to stray off on my own for that, as well as torsmo, fbpanel and idesk.

Next I needed some internet applications. Without KDE, I was going to need a stand alone browser, email and newgroup applications. ...or I could just use mozilla or opera. That's what I decided to do. Upon booting into my LFS system I installed the nvidia graphic drivers and loaded up some modules and started X with fluxbox. Then I ran the mozilla-installer and was surfing the internet in no time at all.

I still have a lot of work to do in finding and installing other needed applications and configure torsmo and such. I also need to work extensively on the eye candy by installing some icons, more fonts and themes. ...generally make it more useful. But in so much as this is might be considered a review of sorts, I must say the authors at BLFS did a mighty remarkable job. Their instructions pick right up where LFS left off and allows one to build a homemade system without any issue. The added explanations were not only informative, but quite interesting. I found them complete without being boring. I encourage everyone who wishes to learn more how a linux system functions to give it a try. Everyone needs to do it at least once. Big Grin

Download LFS

Download BLFS

One Note: Use the nochunk version (all on one html page) as the multiple-page version isn't quite fully updated as of this writing.

Stay tuned for Part 3.

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