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dtjohnst
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 11:27 am    Post subject: Gentoo vs LFS Reply with quote

Anyone ran LFS? I'm curious how it compares to Gentoo and vice versa in terms of stability and/or speed. I've got a junk laptop that I'm thinking of throwing linux on and I'm contemplating giving LFS a try.
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leonglass
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had the same idea as you back along and looked into doing an lfs install myself. At the time I would have had to create a partition for it on my hard drive but then realised that the normal book does not cater for the amd64 platform I have. I would have had to follow the cross lfs book. I think it would be an educational exercise at best as you can learn loads about Linux through a Gentoo system as you can investigate it as much as you like. The interesting part, for me, would be learning how the base of a system is put together. If I had a spare x86 machine around I would give it a go and may still even try the cross compiling route if I ever get time. In general the install seems to go much the same as the method I installed Gentoo - create partition -> download sources -> chroot into partition -> compile everything ->set up so will boot.
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impulze
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gentoo is LFS.
LFS is a book which guides you through installing all the needed packages for a GNU/Linux OS, so that you can compile, run and work with applications and boot your system.
Gentoo is basically just a plain GNU/Linux OS with the additional comfort as in having ebuilds, portage and various helper applications which compiles, installs and configures your applications.
In LFS you have to take care of that yourself. You decide what's stable and what's not.
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leonglass
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

impulze wrote:
Gentoo is LFS.
Yes but you spend more time considering the base of the system don't you?
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impulze
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

leonglass wrote:
Yes but you spend more time considering the base of the system don't you?

If you mean compiling, no you don't. But you have to take care of all steps yourself. There's no ebuild which builds the package. Not sure what you meant though.
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Cyker
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gentoo is soo not anywhere near LFS.

If you've never tried to do an LFS, it would seem logical that you could compare them - 'Installing' LFS would be a lot like creating a Stage1 from the start and installing from there.

But the difference in required knowledge is huge - You really need to Know Your S**t when trying to do LFS, or have lots of time for trial and error. Well, you need lots of time full-stop with LFS ;)

And there is a single massive difference that seperates the two.

Packages.

To me, distributions are DEFINED by their Package Management systems; This is why you have things classified as Redhat-based distros (Because they use RPM's, often derived from the original RPM tree), and why things like Sabayon are considered Gentoo-based.

LFS doesn't *have* a package management system - You could certainly hack one in, but then your LFS system would not really be properly LFS anymore (And lots of stuff would probably break).

When you add stuff to LFS, you do it the raw ./configure;make;make install way. Or possibly the gcc way ;)

The point of LFS is that you are not tied to a specific structure or anything; You can deviate from the guide a bit to make a BSD-style /etc layout for instance (I must confess I prefer BSD and Slackware's simpler layout to the terminally convoluted SystemV-style used by everyone else, but they are notoriously difficult for advanced package management systems to cope with.)

The hand-compiling has advantages and disadvantages.

The biggest advantage is flexibility - You have access to all the configure options, patches, manual hacks etc. which even Gentoo won't give you unless you make your own Portage Overlay.
The biggest disadvantage is that you need to be careful when upgrading and stuff; YOU are the dependency checker. Uninstalling stuff is also a bitch.

Copious note-taking is recommended. (Although I think this about Gentoo as well ;))


I like Gentoo because it's a nice compromise between a raw LFS, and fixed distros like Debian, Fedora etc..
You do have to do a lot more hoop-jumping to do slightly odd things (Like compile php without the 9-million dependencies!), but the fact that you can do them, and still retain a sane package environment, is a big plus over full-package distros.
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leonglass
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

impulze wrote:
leonglass wrote:
Yes but you spend more time considering the base of the system don't you?

If you mean compiling, no you don't. But you have to take care of all steps yourself. There's no ebuild which builds the package. Not sure what you meant though.
I meant taking care of it yourself yes. I know they both compile it all but with Gentoo the programs are listed as part of the base install. At least I think it is it has been so long since I installed it.

Cyker you could install portage onto LFS if you wanted to.
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mirojira
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have installed LFS two months ago. Very good fast startup distro, usefull for somebody who wants to know something more about linux, but not usefull for everyday using. I have two reasons to claim this:
- With the help of the guide http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/lfs/view/stable/ you can intsall basic system without any bigger problems. You will have running linux, but the real problems will start after you want to install some application. You can use http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/blfs/view/stable/ which is really very usefull but even if it is said to be stable I have doubts about stability of this part of the project. I really had many problems to compille some applications and many times I made installations from other sources.
- The second problem is to keep your LFS up to date. You know how much time takes sometime to update gentoo and everything is automatically made by portage. And if you need to upgrade compiller you will have to start again from scratch.

But I have to say that it has been very good experience for me and if I was you I wouldn't hesitate to try it.
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krigav
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've run LFS+BLFS using the paco package (http://paco.sourceforge.net/) for a few weeks, and everything worked fine. It's a really a nice feeling to open firefox for the first time on a completely selfmade system. You know every part of your system, because you integrated it youself.

But the problem could be (but it haven't to be!) maintenance. You have to have your eyes on distrowatch or the mailinglists of the concerned package to be up to date. Using gentoo you just (thanks to all the package manager) have to type "emerge --sync && emerge -uDNv world" and you're up to date!

Gentoo, as said before, is something in between. You have the full control over your system, without the package handling complexity. If you really want to get the feeling of a raw linux system I would recommend you LFS. Try it at a seperate partition and if you can handle it you could consider to run your main system under LFS. But until you're not sure if you really can handle LFS , I would recommend you to run a more automated system side by side LFS.

Have a lot of fun with LFS! :D
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