Beyond Linux® From Scratch

Version 7.9

The BLFS Development Team

Copyright © 2001-2016, The BLFS Development Team

All rights reserved.

This book is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Computer instructions may be extracted from the book under the MIT License.

Linux® is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds.


Revision History
Revision 7.9 2016-03-08 Thirteenth Release
Revision 7.8 2015-10-01 Twelfth release
Revision 7.7 2015-03-06 Eleventh release
Revision 7.6 2014-09-23 Tenth release
Revision 7.5 2014-03-05 Ninth release
Revision 7.4 2013-09-14 Eighth release
Revision 6.3 2008-08-24 Seventh release
Revision 6.2.0 2007-02-14 Sixth release
Revision 6.1 2005-08-14 Fifth release
Revision 6.0 2005-04-02 Fourth release
Revision 5.1 2004-06-05 Third release
Revision 5.0 2003-11-06 Second release
Revision 1.0 2003-04-25 First release


This book follows on from the Linux From Scratch book. It introduces and guides the reader through additions to the system including networking, graphical interfaces, sound support, and printer and scanner support.


This book is dedicated to the LFS community

Table of Contents


Having helped out with Linux From Scratch for a short time, I noticed that we were getting many queries as to how to do things beyond the base LFS system. At the time, the only assistance specifically offered relating to LFS were the LFS hints ( Most of the LFS hints are extremely good and well written but I (and others) could still see a need for more comprehensive help to go Beyond LFS - hence BLFS.

BLFS aims to be more than the LFS-hints converted to XML although much of our work is based around the hints and indeed some authors write both hints and the relevant BLFS sections. We hope that we can provide you with enough information to not only manage to build your system up to what you want, whether it be a web server or a multimedia desktop system, but also that you will learn a lot about system configuration as you go.

Thanks as ever go to everyone in the LFS/BLFS community; especially those who have contributed instructions, written text, answered questions and generally shouted when things were wrong!

Finally, we encourage you to become involved in the community; ask questions on the mailing list or news gateway and join in the fun on #lfs at You can find more details about all of these in the Introduction section of the book.

Enjoy using BLFS.

Mark Hymers
markh <at>
BLFS Editor (July 2001–March 2003)

I still remember how I found the BLFS project and started using the instructions that were completed at the time. I could not believe how wonderful it was to get an application up and running very quickly, with explanations as to why things were done a certain way. Unfortunately, for me, it wasn't long before I was opening applications that had nothing more than "To be done" on the page. I did what most would do, I waited for someone else to do it. It wasn't too long before I am looking through Bugzilla for something easy to do. As with any learning experience, the definition of what was easy kept changing.

We still encourage you to become involved as BLFS is never really finished. Contributing or just using, we hope you enjoy your BLFS experience.

Larry Lawrence
larry <at>
BLFS Editor (March 2003–June 2004)

The BLFS project is a natural progression of LFS. Together, these projects provide a unique resource for the Open Source Community. They take the mystery out of the process of building a complete, functional software system from the source code contributed by many talented individuals throughout the world. They truly allow users to implement the slogan "Your distro, your rules."

Our goal is to continue to provide the best resource available that shows you how to integrate many significant Open Source applications. Since these applications are constantly updated and new applications are developed, this book will never be complete. Additionally, there is always room for improvement in explaining the nuances of how to install the different packages. To make these improvements, we need your feedback. I encourage you to participate on the different mailing lists, news groups, and IRC channels to help meet these goals.

Bruce Dubbs
bdubbs <at>
BLFS Editor (June 2004–December 2006)

My introduction to the [B]LFS project was actually by accident. I was trying to build a GNOME environment using some how-tos and other information I found on the web. A couple of times I ran into some build issues and Googling pulled up some old BLFS mailing list messages. Out for curiosity, I visited the Linux From Scratch web site and shortly thereafter was hooked. I've not used any other Linux distribution for personal use since.

I can't promise anyone will feel the sense of satisfaction I felt after building my first few systems using [B]LFS instructions, but I sincerely hope that your BLFS experience is as rewarding for you as it has been for me.

The BLFS project has grown significantly the last couple of years. There are more package instructions and related dependencies than ever before. The project requires your input for continued success. If you discover that you enjoy building BLFS, please consider helping out in any way you can. BLFS requires hundreds of hours of maintenance to keep it even semi-current. If you feel confident enough in your editing skills, please consider joining the BLFS team. Simply contributing to the mailing list discussions with sound advice and/or providing patches to the book's XML will probably result in you receiving an invitation to join the team.

Randy McMurchy
randy <at>
BLFS Editor (December 2006–January 2011)


This is the development version of the BLFS book. This version of the book is intended to be used when building on top of a system built using the LFS development book as well as the current stable version of LFS. Though this version of the book is development in nature, every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and reliability of the instructions. Many people find that using the instructions in this book after building the current stable or development version of LFS provides a stable and very modern Linux system.


Randy McMurchy
August 24th, 2008

Last updated on 2015-09-20 15:38:20 -0700

Who Would Want to Read this Book

This book is mainly aimed at those who have built a system based on the LFS book. It will also be useful for those who are using other distributions, but for one reason or another want to manually build software and are in need of some assistance. Note that the material contained in this book, in particular the dependency listings, is based upon the assumption that you are using a base LFS system with every package listed in the LFS book already installed and configured. BLFS can be used to create a range of diverse systems and so the target audience is probably nearly as wide as that of the LFS book. If you found LFS useful, you should also like this!

Last updated on 2015-09-20 15:38:20 -0700


This book is divided into the following parts.

Part I - Introduction

This part contains information which is essential to the rest of the book.

Part II - Post LFS Configuration and Extra Software

Here we introduce basic configuration and security issues. We also discuss a range of editors, file systems, and shells which aren't covered in the main LFS book.

Part III - General Libraries and Utilities

In this section we cover libraries which are often needed by the rest of the book as well as system utilities. Information on Programming (including recompiling GCC to support its full range of languages) concludes this part.

Part IV - Basic Networking

Here we cover how to connect to a network when you aren't using the simple static IP setup given in the main LFS book. Networking libraries and command-line networking tools are also covered here.

Part V - Servers

Here we deal with setting up mail and other servers (such as SSH, Apache, etc.).

Part VI - X + Window Managers

This part explains how to set up a basic X Window System installation along with some generic X libraries and Window managers.

Part VII - KDE

For those who want to use the K Desktop Environment or some parts of it, this part covers it.


GNOME is the main alternative to KDE in the Desktop Environment arena.

Part IX - Xfce

Xfce is a lightweight alternative to GNOME and KDE.

Part X - X Software

Office programs and graphical web browsers are important to most people. They, along with some generic X software can be found in this part of the book.

Part XI - Multimedia

Here we cover setting multimedia libraries and drivers along with some audio, video and CD-writing programs.

Part XII - Printing, Scanning and Typesetting (PST)

The PST part of the book covers document handling with applications like Ghostscript, CUPS and DocBook to installing texlive.


The Appendices cover information which doesn't belong in the main book; they are mainly there as a reference.

Last updated on 2015-09-20 15:38:20 -0700

Part I. Introduction

Chapter 1. Welcome to BLFS

The Beyond Linux From Scratch book is designed to carry on from where the LFS book leaves off. But unlike the LFS book, it isn't designed to be followed straight through. Reading the Which sections of the book? part of this chapter should help guide you through the book.

Please read most of this part of the book carefully as it explains quite a few of the conventions used throughout the book.

Which Sections of the Book Do I Want?

Unlike the Linux From Scratch book, BLFS isn't designed to be followed in a linear manner. This is because LFS provides instructions on how to create a base system which is capable of turning into anything from a web server to a multimedia desktop system. BLFS attempts to guide you in the process of going from the base system to your intended destination. Choice is very much involved.

Everyone who reads the book will want to read certain sections. The Introduction part, which you are currently reading, contains generic information. Especially take note of the information in Chapter 2, Important Information, as this contains comments about how to unpack software, issues related to using different locales and various other aspects which apply throughout the book.

The part on Post LFS Configuration and Extra Software is where most people will want to turn next. This deals with not just configuration but also Security (Chapter 4, Security), File Systems (Chapter 5, File Systems and Disk Management), Editors (Chapter 6, Editors) and Shells (Chapter 7, Shells). Indeed, you may wish to reference certain parts of this chapter (especially the sections on Editors and File Systems) while building your LFS system.

Following these basic items, most people will want to at least browse through the General Libraries and Utilities part of the book. This part contains information on many items which are prerequisites for other sections of the book as well as some items (such as Chapter 13, Programming) which are useful in their own right. Note that you don't have to install all of these libraries and packages found in this part to start with as each BLFS installation procedure tells you which packages it depends upon so you can choose the program you want to install and see what it needs.

Likewise, most people will probably want to look at the Networking part. It deals with connecting to the Internet or your LAN (Chapter 14, Connecting to a Network) using a variety of methods such as DHCP and PPP, and with items such as Networking Libraries (Chapter 17, Networking Libraries) and various basic networking programs and utilities.

Once you have dealt with these basics, you may wish to configure more advanced network services. These are dealt with in the Servers part of the book. Those wanting to build servers should find a good starting point there. Note that this section also contains information on various database packages.

The next parts of the book principally deal with desktop systems. This portion of the book starts with a part talking about X plus Window and Display Managers. This part also deals with some generic X-based libraries (Chapter 25, X Libraries). After this, KDE and GNOME are given their own parts which are followed by one on X Software.

The book then moves on to deal with Multimedia packages. Note that many people may want to use the ALSA-1.1.0 instructions from this chapter quite near the start of their BLFS journey; they are placed here simply because it is the most logical place for them.

The final part of the main BLFS book deals with Printing, Scanning and Typesetting. This is useful for most people with desktop systems and even those who are creating mainly server systems will find it useful.

We hope you enjoy using BLFS and find it useful.

Last updated on 2012-12-19 11:57:20 -0800

Conventions Used in this Book

Typographical Conventions

To make things easy to follow, there are a number of conventions used throughout the book. Following are some examples:

./configure --prefix=/usr

This form of text is designed to be typed exactly as seen unless otherwise noted in the surrounding text. It is also used to identify references to specific commands.

install-info: unknown option

This form of text (fixed width text) is showing screen output, probably a result from issuing a command. It is also used to show filenames such as /boot/grub/grub.conf


This form of text is used for several purposes in the book but mainly to emphasize important points or to give examples as to what to type.

This form of text is used for hypertext links external to the book such as HowTos, download locations, websites, etc.


This form of text is used for links internal to the book such as another section describing a different package.

cat > $LFS/etc/group << "EOF"

This type of section is used mainly when creating configuration files. The first command (in bold) tells the system to create the file $LFS/etc/group from whatever is typed on the following lines until the sequence EOF is encountered. Therefore, this whole section is generally typed as seen.


This form of text is used to encapsulate text that should be modified and is not to be typed as seen, or copy and pasted. Note that the square brackets are not part of the text, but should be substituted for as well.


This form of text is used to show a specific system user or group reference in the instructions.

Conventions Used for Package Dependencies

When packages are created, the authors depend on prior work. In order to build a package in BLFS, these dependencies must be built prior to the desired package. For each package, any prerequsite packages are listed in one or more separate sections: Required, Recommended, and Optional.

Required Dependencies

These dependencies are the minimum prerequsite packages required to build the package. Omitted from the list are packages in LFS and required dependencies of other required packages.

Recommended Dependencies

These dependencies are those that the BLFS editors have determined are important to give the package reasonable capabilities. Package installation instructions assume thay are installed. If a recommended package is not desired, the instructions may need to be modified to accommodate the missing package.

Optional Dependencies

These dependencies are those that the package may use. Integration of optional dependencies may be automatic by the package or may need additional instructions not presented by BLFS. Optional packages may be listed without corresponding BLFS instructions. In this case it is up to the user to determine appropriate installation instructions.

Conventions Used for Kernel Configuration Options

Some packages have specific needs regarding the kernel configuration. The general layout is the following:

Master section --->
  Subsection --->
    [*]     Required parameter                     [CONFIG_REQU_PAR]
    <*>     Required parameter (not as module)     [CONFIG_REQU_PAR_NMOD]
    <*/M>   Required parameter (could be a module) [CONFIG_REQU_PAR_MOD]
    <*/M/ > Optional parameter                     [CONFIG_OPT_PAR]
    [ ] Incompatible parameter                     [CONFIG_INCOMP_PAR]
    < > Incompatible parameter (even as module)    [CONFIG_INCOMP_PAR_MOD]

[CONFIG_...] on the right gives the name of the option, so you can easily check whether it is set in your config file. The meaning of the various entries is:

Master section top level menu item
Subsection submenu item
Required parameter the option could be either built-in or not selected: it must be selected
Required parameter (not as module) the option could be either built-in, module, or not selected: it must be selected as built-in
Required parameter (could be a module) the option could be either built-in, module, or not selected: it must be selected, either as built-in or module
Optional parameter rarely used: the option could be either built-in, module, or not selected: it may be selected at will
Incompatible parameter the option could be either built-in or not selected: it must not be selected
Incompatible parameter (even as module) the option could be either built-in, module, or not selected: it must not be selected

Note that, depending on other selections, the angle brackets (<>) may appear as braces ({}), if the option cannot be unselected, or even dashes (-*- or -M-), when the choice is imposed. The help text about the option specifies the other selections on which this option relies, and how those other selections are set.

SBU values in BLFS

As in LFS, each package in BLFS has a build time listed in Standard Build Units (SBUs). These times are relative to the time it took to build binutils in LFS and are intended to provide some insight into how long it will take to build a package. Most times listed are for a single processor or core to build the package. In some cases, large, long running builds tested on multi-core systems have SBU times listed with comments such as '(parallelism=4)'. These values indicate testing was done using multiple cores. Note that while this speeds up the build on systems with the appropriate hardware, the speedup is not linear and to some extent depends on the individual package and specific hardware used.

Some packages do not support parallel builds and using -j1 for the make command is required. Packages that are known to have such limits are marked as such in the text.

Last updated on 2015-11-13 06:24:57 -0800

Book Version

This is BLFS-BOOK version 7.9 dated March 8th 2016. This is the development branch of the BLFS book, currently targeting the LFS development book. If this version (7.9) is older than a month, it's likely that your mirror hasn't been synchronized recently and a newer version is probably available for download or viewing. Check one of the mirror sites at for an updated version.

Last updated on 2008-05-10 18:20:50 -0700

Mirror Sites

The BLFS project has a number of mirrors set up world-wide to make it easier and more convenient for you to access the website. Please visit the website for the list of current mirrors.

Last updated on 2007-04-04 12:42:53 -0700

Getting the Source Packages

Within the BLFS instructions, each package has two references for finding the source files for the package—an HTTP link and an FTP link (some packages may only list one of these links). Every effort has been made to ensure that these links are accurate. However, the World Wide Web is in continuous flux. Packages are sometimes moved or updated and the exact URL specified is not always available.

To overcome this problem, the BLFS Team, with the assistance of Server Beach, has made an HTTP/FTP site available at This site has all the sources of the exact versions of the packages used in BLFS. If you can't find the BLFS package you need, get it there.

We would like to ask a favor, however. Although this is a public resource for you to use, please do not abuse it. We have already had one unthinking individual download over 3 GB of data, including multiple copies of the same files that are placed at different locations (via symlinks) to make finding the right package easier. This person clearly did not know what files he needed and downloaded everything. The best place to download files is the site or sites set up by the source code developer. Please try there first.

Last updated on 2012-12-19 11:57:20 -0800

Change Log

Current release: 7.9 – March 8th 2016

Changelog Entries:

  • March 8th, 2016

    • [bdubbs] - Release of BLFS-7.9.

  • March 8th, 2016

    • [ken] - Update to firefox-45.0. Fixes #7496.

    • [ken] - Update to nss-3.23. Fixes #7497.

  • March 6th, 2016

    • [pierre] - Update to Exim-4.86.2. Fixes #7493.

  • March 3rd, 2016

    • [ken] - shadow : remove spnam.3 and passwd.5 manpages to match LFS (i.e. prefer the versions from man-pages).

  • March 2nd, 2016

    • [bdubbs] - Add section about nvidia firmware.

    • [bdubbs] - Update kde package links. Fixes #7464.

    • [ken] - Libreoffice by default fails to configure if gtk3 is not present. Reword the command explanation, this amends the fix for #7482.

  • March 1st, 2016

    • [ken] - make k3b build.

    • [ken] - Update to openssl-1.0.2g. Fixes #7490. Because this disables SSLv2 code, packages which link to it (such as curl and Python3, probably others) will need to be recompiled.

  • February 29th, 2016

    • [pierre] - Update to icedtea-web-1.6.2. Fixes Fixes #7427.

  • February 28th, 2016

    • [bdubbs] - Update to oxygen-icons5-5.19.0. Fixes Fixes #7466.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to kf5-5.19.0. Fixes Fixes #7468.

    • [bdubbs] - Add Oxygen-fonts-5.4.3 and Noto Fonts in support of KF5.

  • February 27th, 2016

    • [ken] - Fix breakage in xindy resulting from grep-2.23. Fixes #7489.

  • February 26th, 2016

    • [fernando] - Update to LXDE: lxmenu-data-0.1.5, libfm-extra-1.2.4, libfm-1.2.4, pcmanfm-1.2.4, lxpanel-0.8.2, lxappearance-0.6.2, lxde-common-0.99.1, gpicview-0.2.5, lxappearance-obconf-0.2.3, lxinput-0.3.5, lxrandr-0.3.1, and lxtask-0.1.7. Fixes #7487.

  • February 24th, 2016

    • [bdubbs] - Update to extra-cmake-modules-5.19.0. Fixes #7467.

    • [fernando] - Update to mplayer-SVN-r37794. Fixes #7174.

  • February 23rd, 2016

    • [ken] - gegl requires glib-2.0. Fixes #7481.

    • [ken] - fix webkitgtk+-2.10.7 for glibc-2.23. Fixes #7484.

    • [bdubbs] - Some data in Certificates are UTF-8. Set LANG in to a UTF-8 locale for grep-2.23 and later to work correctly.

    • [ken] - Fix libreoffice for glibc-2.23.

    • [fernando] - Update to libgsf-1.14.36. Fixes #7459.

  • February 22nd, 2016

    • [bdubbs] - Update to libinput-1.1.8. Fixes #7477.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to ed-1.13. Fixes #7458.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to sg3_utils-1.42. Fixes #7475.

  • February 21st, 2016

    • [ken] - Update to clutter-gst-3.0.16. Fixes #7461.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to lvm2-2.02.142. Fixes #7472.

    • [ken] - Update to eog-3.18.2. Fixes #7469.

    • [ken] - Update to x264-20160220-2245. Fixes #6915.

  • February 20th, 2016

    • [ken] - Libreoffice prefers gtk3, but also wants gtk2. Fixes #7482.

    • [ken] - Update to ImageMagick-6.9.3-5. Fixes #7314.

  • February 19th, 2016

    • [ken] - Update to poppler-0.41.0. Fixes #7474.

    • [ken] - Update to wayland-1.10.0. Fixes #7374.

    • [ken] - Update to nspr-4.12 and nss-3.22.1. Fixes #7473 and #7471.

    • [ken] - Update to sqlite-autoconf-3111000 (3.11.0). Fixes #7476.

    • [ken] - Updated to git-2.7.1. Fixes #7322.

  • February 16th, 2016

    • [ken] - Libreoffice - multiple languages need to be in quotes.

  • February 14th, 2016

    • [fernando] - Lua-5.3.2 and VLC-2.2.2 need to be compiled with Lua compat 5.1. Fixes #7462 and #7465.

    • [fernando] - Update to thunderbird-38.6.0. Fixes #7457.

  • February 12th, 2016

    • [ken] - Updated to icewm-13.12. Fixes #7456.

    • [bdubbs] - Updated to plasma-5.5.4. Fixes #7398.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to lmdb-0.9.18. Fixes #7433.

    • [fernando] - Update to cups-filters-1.8.2. Fixes #7455.

    • [fernando] - Update to vte-0.42.4. Fixes #7454.

    • [fernando] - Update to postgresql-9.5.1. Fixes #7453.

    • [fernando] - Update to nano-2.5.2. Fixes #7452.

    • [fernando] - Update to firefox-44.0.2. Fixes #7451.

  • February 11th, 2016

    • [fernando] - Update to mesa-11.1.2. Fixes #7450.

  • February 10th, 2016

    • [fernando] - libreoffice-5.1.0 (libreoffice- fix some broken links

    • [fernando] - Update to libreoffice-5.1.0 (libreoffice- Fixes #7449.

    • [fernando] - Update to libinput-1.1.7. Fixes #7448.

    • [ken] - Add more external perl modules required by the testsuites of other modules. Note that Test::MockModule uses Module::Build.

    • [ken] - Update to asymptote-2.36. Fixes #7428.

    • [ken] - firefox can be built using gtk+-3 instead of gtk+-2.

    • [ken] - for libpwquality, cracklib is required : there is no way to disable it.

    • [ken] - libsoup now fails to configure if vala is not present, until told to disable it : add Vala as Recommended and show the option.

    • [ken] - Fix the tests for fontforge (a font has moved again, presumably the licence means it cannot be included in the package source) and add wget as a dependency for the tests.

  • February 9th, 2016

    • [fernando] - Update to freetype-2.6.3 and freetype-doc-2.6.3. Fixes #7447.

    • [fernando] - Update to xorg-server-1.18.1. Fixes #7446.

    • [fernando] - Update to unrarsrc-5.3.11 (unrar-5.3.11). Fixes #7445.

    • [fernando] - Update to libgcrypt-1.6.5. Fixes #7444.

    • [fernando] - Update to firefox-44.0.1. Fixes #7443.

  • February 8th, 2016

    • [fernando] - Update to curl-7.47.1. Fixes #7442.

  • February 7th, 2016

    • [fernando] - Update to gnumeric-1.12.27. Fixes #7440 .

    • [fernando] - Update to libinput-1.1.6. Fixes #7439 .

    • [fernando] - Update to libgsf-1.14.35. Fixes #7438 .

  • February 6th, 2016

    • [fernando] - Update to vlc-2.2.2. Fixes #7437 .

    • [fernando] - Update to cups-2.1.3. Fixes #7436 .

    • [fernando] - Update to libwnck-3.14.1. Fixes #7435 .

    • [fernando] - Update to openldap-2.4.44. Fixes #7434 .

    • [Chris] - Updated dependencies for clutter - it uses libinput, not libevdev.

  • February 5th, 2016

    • [fernando] - Update to feh-2.14.1. Fixes #7431 .

    • [fernando] - Update to libinput-1.1.6. Fixes #7430 .

    • [fernando] - Update to unrarsrc-5.3.10 (unrar-5.3.10). Fixes #7429 .

  • February 4th, 2016

    • [fernando] - Update to mercurial-3.7.1. Fixes #7426 .

    • [fernando] - Update to Regexp-Common-2016020301 (perl module). Fixes #7425 .

    • [fernando] - Update to gnutls-3.4.9. Fixes #7424 .

    • [fernando] - Update to php-7.0.3. Fixes #7421 .

    • [fernando] - liblinear-2.1 URL Forbidden: replaced by new unfriendly URL. Notice that versioning is changed from 2.1 to 210. Contents of old and new tarballs are exactly the same, but the directory changes from liblinear-2.1 to liblinear-210.

  • February 3rd, 2016

    • [fernando] - Update to iso-codes-3.65. Fixes #7423 .

    • [fernando] - Update to nss-3.22. Fixes #7422 .

  • February 2nd, 2016

    • [fernando] - Update to mercurial-3.7. Fixes #7420 .

  • February 1st, 2016

    • [fernando] - Update to ffmpeg-2.8.6. Fixes #7419 .

    • [fernando] - Update to pixman-0.34.0. Fixes #7418 .

  • January 31st, 2016

    • [fernando] - Update to mpg123-1.23.0. Fixes #7417 .

    • [fernando] - Update to x265_1.9 (x265-1.9). Fixes #7416 .

    • [fernando] - Update to mariadb-10.1.11. Fixes #7415 .

    • [fernando] - Update to libcap-2.25. Fixes #7414 .

    • [fernando] - Replace HTML Tidy-cvs_20101110 with tidy-html5-5.1.25. Fixes #7413 .

  • January 30th, 2016

    • [pierre] - Update to OpenJDK- Fixes #7403.

  • January 29th, 2016

    • [fernando] - Update to webkitgtk-2.10.7. Fixes #7412.

    • [fernando] - Update to gnome-calculator-3.18.3. Fixes #7410.

    • [fernando] - Update to vte-0.42.3. Fixes #7409.

    • [fernando] - Update to gtk+-3.18.7 (gtk+3.18.7). Fixes #7408.

    • [fernando] - Update to mdadm-3.4 (tests not run). Partially fixes #7407.

    • [fernando] - Update to stunnel-5.30. Fixes #7406.

    • [fernando] - Update to openssl-1.0.2f. Fixes #7405.

    • [fernando] - Update to nettle-3.2. Fixes #7404.

  • January 27th, 2016

    • [fernando] - Update to webkitgtk-2.10.6. Fixes #7402.

    • [fernando] - Update to curl-7.47.0. Fixes #7401.

    • [fernando] - Update to firefox-44.0. Fixes #7400.

    • [fernando] - Update to nautilus-3.18.5. Fixes #7399.

    • [fernando] - Update to xkeyboard-config-2.17. Fixes #7397.

    • [fernando] - Update to cmake-3.4.3. Fixes #7396.

    • [fernando] - Update to gnupg-2.1.11. Fixes #7395

    • [fernando] - Re-Update to wicd-1.7.4. Upstream tarball changed, with fixes. Fixes #7391.

  • January 25th, 2016

    • [fernando] - Update to v4l-utils-1.10.0. Fixes #7393.

    • [fernando] - Update to libinput-1.1.5. Fixes #7392.

    • [fernando] - Update to wicd-1.7.4. Fixes #7391.

    • [fernando] - Update to LVM2.2.02.141. Fixes #7390

    • [fernando] - Update to bluefish-2.2.8. Fixes #7389.

  • January 22nd, 2016

    • [fernando] - Update to cups-filters-1.8.1. Fixes #7388.

    • [fernando] - Update to libpng-1.6.21. Replaced apng patch. Fixes #7369.

    • [fernando] - VLC-2.2.1: several fixes and disable building with opencv-3.1.0.

    • [fernando] - Update to pulseaudio-8.0. Fixes #7302.

  • January 21th, 2016

    • [fernando] - Update to gedit-3.18.3. Fixes #7387.

    • [fernando] - Update to libsecret-0.18.4. Fixes #7386.

    • [fernando] - Update to sqlite-autoconf-3100200 (3.10.2). Fixes #7385.

    • [fernando] - Update to ntp-4.2.8p6. Fixes #7384.

    • [fernando] - Update to dhcpcd-6.10.1. Fixes #7383.

    • [fernando] - Update to Module-Build-0.4216 (perl module). Fixes #7380.

  • January 20th, 2016

    • [fernando] - Update to webkitgtk-2.10.5. Fixes #7373.

    • [fernando] - Update to gstreamer-1.6.3, gst-plugins-base-1.6.3, gst-plugins-good-1.6.3, gst-plugins-bad-1.6.3, gst-plugins-ugly-1.6.3, and gst-libav-1.6.3. Fixes #7379.

    • [fernando] - Update to bind-9.10.3-P3 (bind9.10.3-P3) and BIND Utilities-9.10.3-P3. Fixes #7378.

    • [fernando] - Update to cmake-3.4.2. Fixes #7377.

    • [fernando] - Update to HTML-Parser-3.72 (perl module). Fixes #7376.

    • [fernando] - Update to graphite2-1.3.5. Fixes #7375.

  • January 19th, 2016

    • [fernando] - Update to cups-filters-1.7.0. Fixes #7371.

    • [Chris] - Removed obsolete commands from CUPS instructions - testprint and banner files are no longer installed.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to gparted-0.25.0. Fixes #7370.

  • January 17th, 2016

    • [pierre] - Update to LVM2-2.02.140. Fixes #7365.

    • [fernando] - Update to ffmpeg-2.8.5. Fixes #7368.

    • [fernando] - Update to acpid-2.0.26. Fixes #7367.

    • [fernando] - Update to dbus-glib-0.106. Fixes #7366.

    • [fernando] - Update to gutenprint-5.2.11. Fixes #6996.

  • January 16th, 2016

    • [fernando] - Update to fop-2.1. Fixes #7364.

    • [fernando] - Update to sqlite-autoconf-3100100 (3.10.1). Fixes #7363.

    • [fernando] - Update to fuse-2.9.5. Fixes #7362.

  • January 15th, 2016

    • [fernando] - Fix some gschema deprecated entries in gsettings-desktop-schemas-3.18.1, Gcr-3.18.0, gnome-keyring-3.18.3 and Seahorse-3.18.0.

  • January 14th, 2016

    • [ken] - Update to openssh-7.1p2. Fixes #7361.

    • [ken] - Update to dhcp-4.3.3-P1. Fixes #7353.

    • [fernando] - Update to cups-filters-1.6.0. Fixes #7360.

    • [fernando] - Update to gtksourceview-3.18.2. Fixes #7359.

    • [fernando] - Update to poppler-0.40.0. Fixes #7358.

    • [fernando] - Update to ConsoleKit2-1.0.1. Fixes #7357.

  • January 13th, 2016

    • [bdubbs] - Update kde5 apps (kate, kdenlive, kmix, konsole) to version 15.12.1. Fixes #7321.

    • [bdubbs] - Update appropriate kde packages to version 15.12.1. Includes kdelibs, ked-runtime, kde-baseapps, kmix, libkcddb, and okular. Fixes #7354.

    • [bdubbs] - Remove reference to configure option demosdir in qt5.

    • [bdubbs] - Fix some deprecated entries in gsettings-desktop-schemas.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to kdelibs-4.14.16. Fixes #7355.

    • [fernando] - Add gsettings-desktop-schemas-3.18.1 as required dependency for Yelp-3.18.1.

    • [fernando] - Update to opus-1.1.2. Fixes #7356.

    • [fernando] - Update to Business-ISSN-1.001 (perl module). Fixes #7352.

    • [fernando] - Update to mesa-11.1.1. Fixes #6984.

    • [fernando] - Add libunique-1.1.6 as optional dependency for Midori-0.5.11 (built with gtk+2).

    • [fernando] - Move libunique-1.1.6 to "9. General Libraries".

    • [fernando] - Update to samba-4.3.4. Fixes #7349.

    • [fernando] - Update to elfutils-0.165. Fixes #7348.

    • [fernando] - Update to harfbuzz-1.1.3. Fixes #7347.

  • January 12th, 2016

    • [bdubbs] - Update to KDE Plasma 5.5.3. Fixes #7327.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to KDE Frameworks 5.18.0. Fixes #7351.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to breeze-icons-5.18.0. Part of #7346.

  • January 11th, 2016

    • [fernando] - Update to extra-cmake-modules-5.18.0. Fixes #7346.

    • [fernando] - Update to oxygen-icons5-5.18.0. Fixes #7345.

    • [fernando] - Update to nano-2.5.1. Fixes #7344.

  • January 10th, 2016

    • [fernando] - Update to epiphany-3.18.3. Fixes #7342.

    • [fernando] - Update to xf86-input-evdev-2.10.1. Fixes #7341.

    • [fernando] - Update to Regexp-Common-2016010801 (perl module). Fixes #7340.

    • [fernando] - Update to LVM2.2.02.139. Fixes #7339.

    • [fernando] - Update to stunnel-5.29. Fixes #7338.

    • [fernando] - Update to gnutls-3.4.8. Fixes #7337.

  • January 9th, 2016

    • [fernando] - Update to thunderbird-38.5.1. Fixes #7336.

    • [fernando] - Update to postgresql-9.5.0. Fixes #7335.

  • January 8th, 2016

    • [fernando] - Update to ntp-4.2.8p5. Fixes #7334.

    • [fernando] - Update to dhcpcd-6.10.0. Fixes #7333.

    • [fernando] - Update to php-7.0.2. Fixes #7332.

    • [fernando] - Update to Regexp-Common-2016010701 (perl module). Fixes #7331.

    • [fernando] - Update to URI-1.71 (perl module). Fixes #7330.

    • [fernando] - Update to librsvg-2.40.13). Fixes #7329.

    • [fernando] - Update to giflib-5.1.2. Fixes #7328.

  • January 7th, 2016

    • [fernando] - Update to firefox-43.0.4. Fixes #7326.

    • [fernando] - Update to sqlite-autoconf-3100000 (3.10.0). Fixes #7325.

  • January 5th, 2016

    • [fernando] - Update to libevdev-1.4.6. Fixes #7324.

    • [fernando] - Update to llvm-3.7.1. Fixes #7323.

    • [fernando] - Update to unrarsrc-5.3.9 (unrar-5.3.9). Fixes #7319.

    • [fernando] - Update to pciutils-3.4.1. Fixes #7318.

    • [fernando] - Update to iso-codes-3.64. Fixes #7317.

    • [fernando] - Update to git-2.7.0. Fixes #6982.

  • January 3rd, 2016

    • [fernando] - Add Unicode-Normalize-1.25 (perl module). Fixes #7316.

    • [fernando] - Update to biblatex-biber-2.3. Fixes #7313.

    • [fernando] - Update to biblatex-3.2. Fixes #7285.

    • [fernando] - Update to xterm-322. Fixes #7315.

    • [fernando] - Update to ImageMagick-6.9.3-0. Fixes #6290.

  • January 2nd, 2016

    • [fernando] - Update to mercurial-3.6.3. Fixes #7312.

    • [pierre] - Update to docbook-xsl-1.79.1. Fixes #7026.

  • January 1st, 2016

    • [fernando] - qemu-2.5.0: Alternative start command giving sound output, supporting vmware graphics card with possibility of new modelines and fixing problems with enable-kvm, between other additions.

    • [fernando] - Update to xterm-321. Fixes #7310.

  • December 31st, 2015

    • [fernando] - Update to swig-3.0.8. Fixes #7309.

    • [fernando] - Update to unixODBC-2.3.4. Fixes #7308.

    • [fernando] - Update to iso-codes-3.63. Fixes #7307.

    • [fernando] - Update to qemu-2.5.0. Fixes #7260.

  • December 30th, 2015

    • [fernando] - Update to doxygen-1.8.11. Fixes #7306.

    • [fernando] - Update to wireshark-2.0.1. Fixes #7305.

    • [fernando] - Update to xapian-core-1.2.22. Fixes #7304.

    • [fernando] - Update to audacious-3.7.1, audacious-plugins-3.7.1. Fixes #7303.

    • [fernando] - Update to firefox-43.0.3. Fixes #7301.

    • [fernando] - Update to gnumeric-1.12.26. Fixes #7300.

    • [fernando] - Update to goffice-0.10.26. Fixes #7299.

    • [fernando] - Update to sysstat-11.2.0. Fixes #7298.

    • [fernando] - Update to libpng-1.6.20. Fixes #7297.

    • [fernando] - Update to libical-2.0.0. Fixes #7296.

  • December 28th, 2015

    • [bdubbs] - Updated to plasma-5.5.2. Fixes #7117.

    • [bdubbs] - Created new chapter "Icons" and moved all icon related packages to this new location. Created sections for oxygen-icons5 and breeze-icons. Completes #7180.

    • [fernando] - Update to libdrm-2.4.66. Fixes #7295.

    • [fernando] - Update to bluez-5.37. Fixes #7294.

  • December 27th, 2015

    • [bdubbs] - Update to kf5-5.17. Partially fixes #7180.

    • [fernando] - Update to gnumeric-1.12.25. Fixes #7293.

    • [fernando] - Update to goffice-0.10.25. Fixes #7292.

  • December 26th, 2015

    • [fernando] - Update to tigervnc-1.6.0. Fixes #7177.

  • December 25th, 2015

    • [fernando] - Update to ruby-2.3.0. Fixes #7291.

    • [fernando] - Update to at_3.1.18 (at-3.1.18). Fixes #7290.

  • December 24th, 2015

    • [fernando] - Update to mariadb-10.1.10. Fixes #7289.

    • [fernando] - Update to network-manager-applet-1.0.10. Fixes #7288.

    • [fernando] - Update to NetworkManager-1.0.10. Fixes #7287.

    • [fernando] - Update to libwebp-0.5.0. Fixes #7286.

    • [fernando] - Update to firefox-43.0.2. Fixes #7283.

  • December 23rd, 2015

    • [fernando] - Update to thunderbird-38.5.0. Fixes #7284.

    • [fernando] - Update to mesa-11.0.8. Fixes #7282.

    • [fernando] - Update to libinput-1.1.4. Fixes #7280.

    • [fernando] - Update to xf86-video-nouveau-1.0.12. Fixes #7279.

    • [fernando] - Update to libXi-1.7.6. Fixes #7278.

    • [fernando] - Update to rsync-3.1.2. Fixes #7277.

    • [fernando] - Fix build of frei0r-snapshot-27-01-15 with opencv-3.1.0. Fixes #7281.

    • [fernando] - Update to opencv-3.1.0. Fixes #7276.

  • December 21st, 2015

    • [bdubbs] - Update KDE4 to version 15.12.0. Fixes Fixes #7118.

  • December 20th, 2015

    • [fernando] - Update to ffmpeg-2.8.4. Fixes #7275.

    • [fernando] - libarchive-3.1.2 bsdtar OOM error. Fixes #7274.

    • [fernando] - Update to firefox-43.0.1. Fixes #7272.

  • December 19th, 2015

    • [fernando] - Update to libdvdcss-1.4.0. Fixes #7273.

    • [fernando] - Update to nautilus-3.18.4. Fixes #7271.

    • [fernando] - Update to iptables-1.6.0. Fixes #7270.

    • [fernando] - Update to cups-filters-1.5.0. Fixes #7269.

    • [fernando] - Update to php-7.0.1. Fixes #7268.

    • [fernando] - Update to Archive-Zip-1.56 (perl module). Fixes #7267.

    • [fernando] - Update to libcroco-0.6.11. Fixes #7266.

    • [fernando] - Update to boost_1_60_0. Fixes #7265.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to libreoffice-5.0.4 (libreoffice- Fixes #7264.

    • [fernando] - Update to samba-4.3.3. Fixes #7263.

    • [fernando] - Update to ruby-2.2.4. Fixes #7262.

    • [fernando] - Update to poppler-0.39.0. Fixes #7261.

  • December 17th, 2015

    • [bdubbs] - Update to libva-1.6.2 and libva-intel-driver-1.6.2. Fixes #7258.

    • [fernando] - Update to bind-9.10.3-P2 (bind9.10.3-P2) and BIND Utilities-9.10.3. Fixes #7256.

    • [fernando] - Update to subversion-1.9.3. Fixes #7249.

    • [fernando] - Update to LVM2.2.02.138. Fixes #7248.

  • December 16th, 2015

    • [fernando] - Update to firefox-43.0. Fixes #7251.

    • [fernando] - Update to totem-pl-parser-3.10.6. Fixes #7259.

    • [fernando] - Update to libinput-1.1.3. Fixes #7257.

    • [fernando] - Update to Regexp-Common-2015121601 (perl module). Fixes #7255.

    • [fernando] - Update to cups-filters-1.4.0. Fixes #7253.

    • [fernando] - Update to nautilus-3.18.3. Fixes #7250.

    • [fernando] - Update to gdk-pixbuf-2.32.3. Fixes #7054.

  • December 15th, 2015

    • [fernando] - Update to gstreamer-1.6.2, gst-plugins-base-1.6.2, gst-plugins-good-1.6.2, gst-plugins-bad-1.6.2, gst-plugins-ugly-1.6.2, and gst-libav-1.6.2. Fixes #7252.

  • December 14th, 2015

    • [fernando] - Update to libcroco-0.6.10. Fixes #7247.

    • [fernando] - Update to glibmm-2.46.3. Fixes #7246.

  • December 13th, 2015

    • [fernando] - Update to libgpg-error-1.21. Fixes #7245.

  • December 12th, 2015

    • [pierre] - Update to httpd-2.4.18. Fixes #7238.

    • [pierre] - Update to dovecot-2.2.21. Fixes #7240.

    • [pierre] - Update to wget-1.17.1. Fixes #7239.

    • [fernando] - Update to pinentry-0.9.7. Fixes #7244.

    • [fernando] - Update to libnl-3.2.27. Fixes #7243.

    • [fernando] - Update to stunnel-5.28. Fixes #7241.

    • [pierre] - Update to gcc-ada-5.3.0. Fixes #7223.

    • [pierre] - Update to gcc-java-5.3.0. Fixes #7222.

  • December 11th, 2015

    • [fernando] - Update to epiphany-3.18.2. Fixes #7237.

    • [fernando] - Update to gtk+-2.24.29. Fixes #7236.

    • [fernando] - Update to unbound-1.5.7. Fixes #7235.

  • December 10th, 2015

    • [fernando] - Update to cups-filters-1.3.0. Fixes #7234.

    • [fernando] - Update to cairo-1.14.6. Fixes #7233.

    • [fernando] - Update to mesa-11.0.7. Fixes #7232.

    • [fernando] - Update to nmap-7.01. Fixes #7231.

  • December 9th, 2015

    • [fernando] - Update to libinput-1.1.2. Fixes #7230.

    • [fernando] - Update to whois_5.2.11 (whois-5.2.11). Fixes #7229.

    • [fernando] - Update to Net-DNS-1.04 (perl module). Fixes #7228.

  • December 8th, 2015

    • [fernando] - Update to menu-cache-1.0.1. Fixes #7227.

    • [fernando] - Update to dovecot-2.2.20. Fixes #7226.

    • [fernando] - Update to p11-kit-0.23.2. Fixes #7225.

  • December 7th, 2015

    • [fernando] - Update to Python-3.5.1 (Python3-3.5.1). Fixes #7224.

  • December 6th, 2015

    • [fernando] - Update to Python-2.7.11 (Python2-2.7.11). Fixes #7221.

    • [fernando] - Update to gdb-7.10.1. Fixes #7219.

    • [fernando] - Update to nano-2.5.0. Fixes #7218.

    • [fernando] - Update to gcc-5.3.0. Fixes #7216.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to libwww-perl-6.15. Fixes #7220.

    • [pierre] - Update to LVM2-2.02.137. Fixes #7157.

  • December 5th, 2015

    • [fernando] - Update to gtk+-3.18.6 (gtk+3.18.6). Fixes #7217.

    • [fernando] - Update to XML-Simple-2.22 (perl module). Fixes #7215.

    • [fernando] - Update to Archive-Zip-1.55 (perl module). Fixes #7214.

    • [fernando] - Update to gnupg-2.1.10. Fixes #7213.

  • December 4th, 2015

    • [fernando] - Update to php-7.0.0. Fixes #7212.

    • [fernando] - Update to XML-Simple-2.21 (perl module). Fixes #7211.

    • [fernando] - Update to stunnel-5.27. Fixes #7210.

    • [fernando] - Update to openssl-1.0.2e. Fixes #7209.

  • December 3rd, 2015

    • [fernando] - Update to cups-2.1.2. Fixes #7208.

    • [fernando] - Update to curl-7.46.0. Fixes #7207.

    • [fernando] - Update to cmake-3.4.1. Fixes #7206.

    • [fernando] - Update to libassuan-2.4.2. Fixes #7205.

    • [fernando] - Update to zsh-5.2 and zsh-5.2-doc. Fixes #7204.

  • December 2nd, 2015

    • [fernando] - Update to libass-0.13.1. Fixes #7203.

    • [fernando] - Update to samba-4.3.2. Fixes #7202.

    • [fernando] - Update to mercurial-3.6.2. Fixes #7201.

    • [fernando] - Update to dbus-1.10.6. Fixes #7200.

    • [fernando] - Update to librsvg-2.40.12. Fixes #7199.

    • [fernando] - Update to libgusb-0.2.8. #7198.

  • December 1st, 2015

    • [fernando] - Update to cups-2.1.1. Fixes #7197.

    • [fernando] - Update to openldap-2.4.43. Fixes #7196.

    • [fernando] - Update to dhcpcd-6.9.4. Fixes #7194.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to lmdb-0.9.7. Fixes #7195.

    • [fernando] - Update to lua-5.3.2. Added optional "Basic tests". Fixes #7193.

  • November 30th, 2015

    • [fernando] - Some packages with doc directory not matching version. Fixes #7192.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to qca-2.1.1. Fixes #7182.

    • [fernando] - Update to atkmm-2.24.2. Fixes #7191.

  • November 29th, 2015

    • [bdubbs] - Update to libtirpc-1.0.1. This update requires a new patch to rpcbind. Fixes #7181.

    • [fernando] - Update to libisoburn-1.4.2. Fixes #7190.

    • [fernando] - Update to libburn-1.4.2. Fixes #7189.

    • [fernando] - Update to libisofs-1.4.2. Fixes #7188.

    • [fernando] - Update to Unicode-LineBreak-2015.12 (perl module). Fixes #7187.

    • [fernando] - Update to freetype-2.6.2 and freetype-doc-2.6.2. Fixes #7186.

  • November 28th, 2015

    • [pierre] - Patch Doxygen for building with flex-2.6.0. Fixes #7185.

    • [fernando] - Update to ffmpeg-2.8.3. Fixes #7179.

    • [fernando] - Update to shared-mime-info-1.5. Fixes #7184.

    • [fernando] - Update to qupzilla-1.8.9. Fixes #7183.

  • November 27th, 2015

    • [pierre] - Update to PHP-5.6.16. Fixes #7176.

    • [fernando] - Update to cups-filters-1.2.0. Fixes #7178.

    • [fernando] - Update to harfbuzz-1.1.2. Fixes #7175.

  • November 26th, 2015

    • [fernando] - Update to mplayer-SVN-r37561. Fixes #6916.

    • [fernando] - Update to opus-1.1.1. Fixes #7173.

  • November 25th, 2015

    • [fernando] - Update to LibRaw-0.17.1. Fixes #7167.

    • [fernando] - Update to thunderbird-38.4.0. Fixes #7171.

    • [fernando] - Update to lxdm-0.5.3. Fixes #7170.

    • [fernando] - Update to unrar-5.3.8. Fixes #7169.

    • [fernando] - Update to harfbuzz-1.1.1. Fixes #7168.

  • November 24th, 2015

    • [fernando] - Update to xf86-input-wacom-0.32.0. Fixes #7166.

    • [fernando] - Update to mariadb-10.1.9. Fixes #7165.

    • [fernando] - Update to NetworkManager-1.0.8. Fixes #7164.

    • [fernando] - Update to pcre-8.38. Fixes #7163.

    • [fernando] - Update to libassuan-2.4.1. Fixes #7162.

  • November 23rd, 2015

    • [fernando] - Update to libsndfile-1.0.26. Fixes #7161.

    • [fernando] - Update to xfsprogs-4.3.0. Fixes #7160.

    • [fernando] - Update to Test-Differences-0.64 (perl module). Fixes #7159.

    • [fernando] - Update to gnutls-3.4.7. Fixes #7158.

  • November 22nd, 2015

    • [fernando] - Update to mesa-11.0.6. Fixes #7155.

    • [fernando] - Update to gimp-2.8.16. Split Gimp and Gimp-Help in the same page (statistics, build instructions). Statistics, particularly, were too cluttered, but I believe it could be further simplified, perhaps moving some parts to the text (?). Fixes #7156.

    • [pierre] - Update to Libxml2-2.9.3. Fixes #7152.

  • November 21st, 2015

    • [fernando] - Update to network-manager-applet-1.0.8. Fixes #7154.

    • [fernando] - Update to epiphany-3.18.1. Fixes #7153.

    • [fernando] - Update to glibmm-2.46.2. Fixes #7151.

    • [fernando] - Update to krb5-1.14 (MIT Kerberos V5-1.14). Authentication session commented out. Fixes #7150.

  • November 20th, 2015

    • [fernando] - Update to nmap-7.00. Fixes #7149.

    • [fernando] - Update to harfbuzz-1.1.0. Fixes #7148.

    • [fernando] - Update to babl-0.1.14. Fixes #7146.

  • November 19th, 2015

    • [fernando] - Update to xmlto-0.0.28. Links problem not solved. Two (test?) files installed in the ~/Desktop directory, as before. Fixes #7145.

    • [fernando] - Update to wireshark-2.0.0. Many simplifications in the instructions. Fixes #7144.

    • [fernando] - Update to nspr-4.11. Fixes #7143.

  • November 18th, 2015

    • [fernando] - Update to webkitgtk-2.10.4 (webkitgtk+-2.10.4). Fixes #7124.

    • [fernando] - Update to gtk+-3.18.5 (gtk+3.18.5). Fixes #7142.

    • [fernando] - Update to dbus-1.10.4. Fixes #7141.

    • [fernando] - Update to poppler-0.38.0. Good simplification of instructions. Fixes #7140.

    • [fernando] - Update to nano-2.4.3. Fixes #7139.

    • [fernando] - cmake-3.4.0: Minor re-reword of the tests explanations.

  • November 17th, 2015

    • [fernando] - Update to libinput-1.1.1. Fixes #7137.

    • [fernando] - Update to wget-1.17. Fixes #7136.

    • [fernando] - Update to cmake-3.4.0. Fixes #7135.

    • [fernando] - Update to taglib-1.10. Fixes #6852.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to mlt-0.9.8. Fixes #7138.

  • November 16th, 2015

    • [ken] - Correction to my change for biblatex-3.1: I had removed all of the Additional Downloads details instead of just the patch, meaning biblatex had no download link.

    • [ken] - Fix a build failure in asymptote-2.35 with current libgsl. Fixes #7104.

    • [bdubbs] - Add a modification from upstream to xmlto to fix a regression when cleaning up.

  • November 15th, 2015

    • [fernando] - openjdk: as agreed but not done, make the test suite optional.

    • [fernando] - LXQt pre-install instructions: I do want extra lines here, although who modified implied that they were so bad instructions and he was only trying to improve.

    • [fernando] - libreoffice: reinstate what should not have been deleted and include verbose, because I like.

    • [fernando] - xinit: Nothing has to be anything less yet "nodump".

    • [fernando] - FFmpeg-2.8.1 doesn't build with libvpx-1.5.0. Fixes #7133.

    • [fernando] - Update to libpng-1.6.19. Fixes #7129.

    • [fernando] - Update to GNOME-3.18.2. Fixes #7110.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to Xorg nouveau driver git version as of commit 1ff13a92.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to Xorg Intel driver git version as of commit 0340718. Addresses #5918 but does not resolve it.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to xf86-video-ati-7.6.1. Fixes #7123.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to xorg-server-1.18.0. Fixes #7108.

    • [bdubbs] - Clarified qemu install instructions. Fixes #7132.

    • [fernando] - Update to xmlto-0.0.27. Fixes #7127.

  • November 14th, 2015

    • [pierre] - Update to libreoffice- Fixes #7086.

    • [fernando] - Update to libsigc++-2.6.2. Fixes #7131.

  • November 13th, 2015

    • [fernando] - Update to gtk+-3.18.4 (gtk+3.18.4). Fixes #7130.

    • [fernando] - Update to xdg-utils-1.1.1. Fixes #7128.

  • November 12th, 2015

    • [ken] - Update to biblatex-biber-2.2 and biblatex-3.1. Fixes #7043 and #7044.

    • [ken] - Update to Unicode::LineBreak-2015.11. Fixes #7077.

    • [ken] - minor clean-up in perl external modules: Test::Deep no longer needs Test::NoWarnings for user tests.

    • [fernando] - Update to mupdf-1.8. Fixes #7126.

    • [fernando] - Update to gsl-2.1. Fixes #7122.

    • [fernando] - Update to at-spi2-core-2.18.3. Fixes #7116.

    • [fernando] - Update to scons-2.4.1. Fixes #7114.

    • [fernando] - Update to qpdf-6.0.0. Fixes #7113.

  • November 11th, 2015

    • [ken] - Promote perl modules List::MoreUtils-0.413 and LWP::Protocol-https-6.06 to full membership of the book. They have always been required for biblatex-biber, but when I added that page I persuaded myself they were always pulled in by other modules (LWP::Protocol::https is not necessarily pulled in by anything else, List::MoreUtils is only pulled in by List::AllUtils if you run the testsuites at each level). As a consequence, rewrite the https comments at the end of the LWP module.

    • [ken] - asymptote: work around build failure with libgsl-2.0 by disabling it (most users of asymptote probably do not need to link it to libgsl). Fixes #7104.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to mesa-11.0.5. Fixes #7119.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to libevdev-1.4.5. Fixes #7115.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to libvpx-1.5.0. Fixes #7112.

    • [fernando] - Update to gtk+-3.18.3 (gtk+3.18.3). Fixes #7109.

    • [fernando] - Update to mercurial-3.6.1. Fixes #7106.

    • [pierre] - Update to LVM2-2.02.134. Fixes #7100.

  • November 10th, 2015

    • [bdubbs] - Update to Net-DNS-1.03. Fixes #7102.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to alsa-1.1.0. Fixes #7111.

    • [fernando] - Update to libsoup-2.52.2. Fixes #7107.

    • [fernando] - Update to nss-3.21. Fixes #7105.

  • November 9th, 2015

    • [fernando] - Update to Midnight Commander 4.8.15 (mc-4.8.15). Fixes #7101.

    • [fernando] - Update to seamonkey-2.39. Fixes #7103.

  • November 8th, 2015

    • [fernando] - Update to audacious-3.7 and audacious-plugins-3.7. Fixes #7099.

    • [fernando] - Update to at-spi2-core-2.18.2. Fixes #7098.

    • [fernando] - Update to qpdf-5.2.0. Fixes #7097.

    • [fernando] - Update to glib-2.46.2. Fixes #7096.

  • November 7th, 2015

    • [ken] - remove the freetype patch from paps, it is no longer needed with freetype-2.6.1. Thanks to Bruce for confirming this.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to ptlib-2.10.11. Fixes #7094.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to talloc-2.1.5. Fixes #7095.

    • [fernando] - Add fix for lxqt.desktop in "LXQt Desktop Final Instructions", to be listed in SDDM and LXDM.

    • [fernando] - Update to sddm-0.13.0. Fixes #7090.

    • [fernando] - Update to QScintilla-gpl-2.9.1. Fixes #7091.

    • [fernando] - Update to firefox-42.0. Fixes #7085.

    • [fernando] - Update to sqlite-3.9.2. Fixes #7084.

  • November 6th, 2015

    • [bdubbs] - Update to stunnel-5.26. Fixes #7083.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to qemu-2.4.1. Fixes #7087.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to libassuan-2.4.0. Fixes #7088.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to xkbcomp-1.3.1. Fixes #7093.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to pulseaudio-7.1. Fixes #7066.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to bluez-5.36. Fixes #7060.

  • November 4th, 2015

    • [fernando] - Update to qupzilla-1.8.8. Fixes #7089.

    • [fernando] - Short descriptions and typo, from Denis Mugnier. Fixes #7082.

    • [fernando] - Archive liblxqt-mount-0.9.0. Fixes #7092.

    • [fernando] - Update to LXQt 0.10.0. Fixes #7081.

    • [fernando] - Update to libqtxdg-1.3.0. Fixes #7074.

    • [fernando] - Update to libsysstat 0.3.1. Fixes #7073.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to gstreamer-1.6.1 and associated plugin packages. Fixes #7065.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to xf86-input-evdev-2.10.0. Fixes #7063.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to xorg-Server-1.17.4. Fixes #7053.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to exo-0.10.7. Fixes #6940.

    • [bdubbs] - Add phonon-backend-gstreamer compatibility patch. Fixes #7058.

  • November 2nd, 2015

    • [bdubbs] - Update Plasma5 section. The page is not yet finished. but should be usable.

    • [bdubbs] - Add libxkbcommon and xcb-util-cursor needed for KDE Plasma5.

    • [bdubbs] - Remove unneeded option from libgpg-error.

    • [bdubbs] - Updated KF5 profile initialization scripts.

    • [fernando] - Update to xf86-input-synaptics-1.8.3. Fixes #7080.

    • [fernando] - Update to mercurial-3.6. Fixes #7079.

    • [fernando] - Update to sudo-1.8.15. Fixes #7078.

    • [fernando] - Update to libcroco-0.6.9. Fixes #7076.

    • [fernando] - Update to gsl-2.0. Fixes #7075.

    • [igor] - Update to unbound-1.5.6. Fixes #7001.

  • November 1st, 2015

    • [fernando] - Update to samba-4.3.1. Fixes #6912.

    • [bdubbs] - Add lmdb needed for KDE Plasma5.

  • October 31st, 2015

    • [fernando] - Update to lxdm-0.5.2. Fixes #7072.

    • [fernando] - Update to libwebp-0.4.4. Fixes #7059.

    • [fernando] - Update to cups-filters-1.1.0. Fixes #7057.

    • [fernando] - Update to gparted-0.24.0. Fixes #7056.

    • [fernando] - Update to unrar-5.3.7 (unrarsrc-5.3.7). Fixes #7055.

    • [fernando] - Update to dbus-1.10.2. Fixes #7052.

    • [pierre] - Update to LVM2-2.02.133. Fixes #7067.

  • October 30th, 2015

    • [fernando] - Update to php-5.6.15. Fixes #7064.

    • [fernando] - Update to cairo-1.14.4. Fixes #7063.

    • [fernando] - Update to Clearlooks-1.7 (MPlayer Skin). Fixes #7062.

    • [fernando] - Update to postfix-3.0.3. Fixes #7008.

    • [fernando] - Update to postgresql-9.4.5. Fixes #7004.

    • [pierre] - Update to OpenJDK- Fixes #7047.

    • [igor] - Update to feh-2.14. Fixes #6994.

  • October 28th, 2015

    • [bdubbs] - Add libinput, wayland, and libpwquality for KDE Plasma5. Add preliminary Plasma5 instructions. Packages build, but the desktop does not yet run properly.

    • [fernando] - Update to GNOME-3.18.1 - end. Fixes #6950.

    • [fernando] - Update to webkitgtk-2.10.3. Fixes #6945.

  • October 27th, 2015

    • [pierre] - Add a note in the LVM and mdadm pages, warning against versions 4.1 and 4.2 of the kernel, which have a broken RAID implementation.

    • [fernando] - Update to mesa-11.0.4. Fixes #7051.

    • [fernando] - Update to xscreensaver-5.34. Fixes #7050.

    • [fernando] - Update to pygobject3-3.18.2. Fixes #7049.

    • [fernando] - Update to sysstat-11.1.8. Fixes #7046.

    • [fernando] - Update to gtksourceview-3.18.1. Fixes #7034.

    • [fernando] - Update to gvfs- Partially fixes #6950.

    • [fernando] - Update to gnome-keyring-3.18.2. Partially fixes #6950.

    • [fernando] - Update to gcr-3.18.0. Partially fixes #6950.

    • [fernando] - Update to gsettings-desktop-schemas-3.18.1. Partially fixes #6950.

    • [igor] - Update to dovecot-2.2.19. Fixes #6991.

  • October 26th, 2015

    • [bdubbs] - Update to KDE Fraeworks-5.15. Fixes #7015.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to KDE Applications 15.08.2. Fixes #6844.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to KDE Short Descriptions. Fixes #7029.

  • October 25th, 2015

    • [pierre] - LVM2: Update introduction and test sections.

  • October 24th, 2015

    • [fernando] - x265_1.8: fix to disable static library.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to gnumeric-1.12.24. Fixes #7023.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to goffice-0.10.24. Fixes #7022.

    • [fernando] - libmpeg2-0.5.1: install only shared libraries. Fixes #7045.

    • [fernando] - Update nspr-4.10.10. Fixes #7041.

    • [fernando] - Update to nss-3.20.1. Fixes #7040.

    • [fernando] - Update to gnutls-3.4.6. Fixes #7039.

    • [fernando] - audiofile-0.3.6: tests DO pass with --disable-static. Fixes #7038.

    • [fernando] - graphviz-2.38.0 fails to build with ghostscript-9.18. Fixes #7037.

    • [fernando] - Update to ntp-4.2.8p4 - Security update. Fixes #7042.

  • October 23rd, 2015

    • [bdubbs] - Update to libreoffice- Fixes #6975.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to glib-2.46.1. Fixes #7035.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to xinput-1.6.2. Fixes #7036.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to nfs-utils-1.3.3. Fixes #6977.

    • [igor] - Update to python-3.5.0. Fixes #6936.

  • October 21st, 2015

    • [bdubbs] - Update to ffmpeg-2.8.1. Fixes #7018.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to parole-0.8.1. Fixes #7031.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to glib-networking-2.46.1. Fixes #6960.

    • [bdubbs] - Fix issues in mozilla apps with freetype-2.6.1 and gconf dependencies. Fixes #6998.

  • October 19th, 2015

    • [bdubbs] - Update to gptfdisk-1.0.1. Fixes #7033.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to mariadb-10.1.8. Fixes #7030.

    • [fernando] - Update to pango-1.38.1. Fixes #7014.

    • [fernando] - Update to gtk+-3.18.2. Fixes #7013.

    • [fernando] - Update to adwaita-icon-theme-3.18.0. Partially fixes #6950.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to qt-5.5.1. Fixes #7025.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to httpd-2.4.17. Fixes #7010.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to sane-backends-1.0.25. Fixes #6997.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to bluez-5.35. Fixes #6981.

  • October 18th, 2015

    • [bdubbs] - Update to ghostscript-9.18. Fixes #6995.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to librsvg-2.40.11. Fixes #6999.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to talloc-2.1.4. Fixes #7016.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to at-spi2-core-2.18.1. Fixes #7011.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to at-spi2-atk-2.18.1. Fixes #7012.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to libsoup-2.52.1. Fixes #6961.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to pygobject-3.18.0. Fixes #6958.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to pulseaudio-7.0. Fixes #6867.

    • [fernando] - Update to sqlite-3.9.1. Fixes #7028.

    • [fernando] - Update to stunnel-5.24. Fixes #7002.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to libva-intel-driver-1.6.1 / libva-1.6.1. Fixes #6921.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to xkeyboard-config-2.16. Fixes #7021.

  • October 17th, 2015

    • [fernando] - Update to elfutils-0.164. Fixes #7027.

    • [fernando] - libdrm-2.4.65 will build without Valgrind. Fixes #7024.

    • [fernando] - Update to harfbuzz-1.0.6. Fixes #7017.

    • [fernando] - Update to freetype-2.6.1. Fixes #6993.

  • October 16th, 2015

    • [bdubbs] - Update to clutter-gst-3.0.14. Fixes #6987.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to clutter-gtk-1.6.6. Fixes #6939.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to clutter-1.22.4. Fixes #6938.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to libgusb-0.2.7. Fixes #6932.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to soundtouch-1.9.2 Fixes #6913.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to wireshark-1.12.8. Fixes #7020.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to v4l-utils-1.8.1. Fixes #6951.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to gnupg-2.1.9. Fixes #7007.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to poppler-0.37.0. Fixes #7005.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to curl-7.45.0. Fixes #7000.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to icu4c-56_1. Fixes #7003.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to liblinear-2.1. Fixes #6976.

    • [igor] - Update to unrar-5.3.6. Fixes #6935.

  • October 15th, 2015

    • [ken] - Update to firefox-41.0.2. Fixes #6988 and addresses the firefox part of #6998.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to subversion-1.9.2. Fixes #6959.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to libnl-3.2.26. Fixes #6973.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to valgrind-3.11.0. Fixes #6973.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to Archive-Zip-1.53 (perl module). Fixes #6957.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to cogl-1.22.0. Fixes #6943.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to libtasn1-4.7. Fixes #6933.

  • October 14th, 2015

    • [bdubbs] - Update to gnutls-3.4.5. Fixes #6927.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to cups-filters-1.0.76. Fixes #6924.

    • [fernando] - Update to sqlite-autoconf-3090000 (3.9.0). Fixes #7019.

    • [fernando] - Update to sysstat-11.1.7. Fixes #6946.

    • [bdubbs] - Update to gstreamer and gst-* to version 1.6.0. Fixes #6979.

    • [igor] - Update to libass-0.13.0. Fixes #6992.

    • [igor] - Update to ffmpeg-2.8. Fixes #6914.

  • October 12th, 2015

    • [igor] - Added x265-1.8. Fixes #7009.

  • October 11th, 2015

    • [bdubbs] - Update locations of files hosted on anduin.

    • [igor] - Update to mesa-11.0.3. Fixes #7006.

    • [igor] - Update to libusb-1.0.20. Fixes #6892.

  • October 10th, 2015

    • [ken] - add update-desktop-database to the yelp install commands so that 'help' from gnome applications will work.

  • October 9th, 2015

    • [igor] - Update to cmake-3.3.2. Fixes #6947.

  • October 8th, 2015

    • [pierre] - Fix Inkscape, GParted and Gtkmm2 to build with the new GNU C++ libraries below.

    • [pierre] - Update to glib-2.46.0. Fixes #6980.

    • [pierre] - Update to pangomm-2.38.1. Fixes #6970.

    • [pierre] - Update to pango-1.38.0. Fixes #6969.

    • [pierre] - Update to gtkmm3-3.18.0. Fixes #6968.

    • [pierre] - Update to gdk-pixbuf-2.32.1. Fixes #6967.

    • [pierre] - Update to cairomm-1.12.0. Fixes #6966.

    • [pierre] - Update to atkmm-2.24.1. Fixes #6966.

    • [pierre] - Update to atk-2.18.0. Fixes #6964.

    • [pierre] - Update to at-spi2-core-2.18.0. Fixes #6963.

    • [pierre] - Update to at-spi2-atk-2.18.0. Fixes #6962.

    • [pierre] - Update to gobject-introspection-1.46.0. Fixes #6954.

    • [pierre] - Update to glibmm-2.46.1. Fixes #6953.

    • [pierre] - Update to gtk+3-3.18.1. Fixes #6949.

    • [pierre] - Update to poppler-0.36.0. Fixes #6919.

    • [pierre] - Update to libsigc++-2.6.1. Fixes #6732.

    • [igor] - Update to libdrm-2.4.65. Fixes #6944.

  • October 7th, 2015

    • [igor] - Update to libxi-1.7.5. Fixes #6920.

  • October 6th, 2015

    • [pierre] - Update to LVM2-2.02.132. Fixes #6931.

    • [ken] - In firefox-41.0 add option to disable gconf, which I forgot to include when I updated the book to 41.0 last month. Thanks to Pierre for noticing. Hopefully, this really fixes #6971.

    • [igor] - Update to mesa-11.0.2. Fixes #6850.

  • October 5th, 2015

    • [igor] - Update to tiff-4.0.6. Fixes #6928.

    • [igor] - Update to libjpeg-turbo-1.4.2. Fixes #6955.

    • [igor] - Update to pixman-0.32.8. Fixes #6956.

  • October 4th, 2015

    • [pierre] - Update to mercurial-3.5.2. Fixes #6989.

    • [pierre] - Update to git-2.6.0. Fixes #6759.

    • [pierre] - Update to gnupg-2.1.8. Fixes #6917.

    • [pierre] - Update to libgcrypt-1.6.4. Fixes #6911.

    • [pierre] - Update to graphite2-1.3.3. Fixes #6918.

    • [pierre] - Update to harfbuzz-1.0.4. Fixes #6986.

    • [pierre] - Update to cpio-2.12. Fixes #6929.

  • October 3rd, 2015

    • [pierre] - Update to PHP-5.6.14. Fixes #6990.

  • October 1st, 2015

    • [bdubbs] - Release of BLFS-7.8.

Last updated on 2016-03-08 14:25:32 -0800

Mailing Lists

The server is hosting a number of mailing lists that are used for the development of the BLFS book. These lists include, among others, the main development and support lists.

For more information regarding which lists are available, how to subscribe to them, archive locations, etc., visit

Last updated on 2007-04-04 12:42:53 -0700


The BLFS Project has created a Wiki for users to comment on pages and instructions at Comments are welcome from all users.

The following are the rules for posting:

  • Users must register and log in to edit a page.

  • Suggestions to change the book should be made by creating a new ticket, not by making comments in the Wiki.

  • Questions with your specific installation problems should be made by subscribing and mailing to the BLFS Support Mailing List at mailto:blfs-support AT linuxfromscratch D0T org.

  • Discussions of build instructions should be made by subscribing and mailing to the BLFS Development List at mailto:blfs-dev AT linuxfromscratch D0T org.

  • Inappropriate material will be removed.

Last updated on 2007-04-04 12:42:53 -0700

Asking for Help and the FAQ

If you encounter a problem while using this book, and your problem is not listed in the FAQ (, you will find that most of the people on Internet Relay Chat (IRC) and on the mailing lists are willing to help you. An overview of the LFS mailing lists can be found in Mailing lists. To assist us in diagnosing and solving your problem, include as much relevant information as possible in your request for help.

Things to Check Prior to Asking

Before asking for help, you should review the following items:

  • Is the hardware support compiled into the kernel or available as a module to the kernel? If it is a module, is it configured properly in modprobe.conf and has it been loaded? You should use lsmod as the root user to see if it's loaded. Check the sys.log file or run modprobe <driver> to review any error message. If it loads properly, you may need to add the modprobe command to your boot scripts.

  • Are your permissions properly set, especially for devices? LFS uses groups to make these settings easier, but it also adds the step of adding users to groups to allow access. A simple usermod -G audio <user> may be all that's necessary for that user to have access to the sound system. Any question that starts out with “It works as root, but not as ...” requires a thorough review of permissions prior to asking.

  • BLFS liberally uses /opt/<package>. The main objection to this centers around the need to expand your environment variables for each package placed there (e.g., PATH=$PATH:/opt/kde/bin). In most cases, the package instructions will walk you through the changes, but some will not. The section called “Going Beyond BLFS” is available to help you check.

Things to Mention

Apart from a brief explanation of the problem you're having, the essential things to include in your request are:

  • the version of the book you are using (being 7.9),

  • the package or section giving you problems,

  • the exact error message or symptom you are receiving,

  • whether you have deviated from the book or LFS at all,

  • if you are installing a BLFS package on a non-LFS system.

(Note that saying that you've deviated from the book doesn't mean that we won't help you. It'll just help us to see other possible causes of your problem.)

Expect guidance instead of specific instructions. If you are instructed to read something, please do so. It generally implies that the answer was way too obvious and that the question would not have been asked if a little research was done prior to asking. The volunteers in the mailing list prefer not to be used as an alternative to doing reasonable research on your end. In addition, the quality of your experience with BLFS is also greatly enhanced by this research, and the quality of volunteers is enhanced because they don't feel that their time has been abused, so they are far more likely to participate.

An excellent article on asking for help on the Internet in general has been written by Eric S. Raymond. It is available online at Read and follow the hints in that document and you are much more likely to get a response to start with and also to get the help you actually need.

Last updated on 2009-09-24 22:43:37 -0700


Many people have contributed both directly and indirectly to BLFS. This page lists all of those we can think of. We may well have left people out and if you feel this is the case, drop us a line. Many thanks to all of the LFS community for their assistance with this project.

Current Editors

  • Fernando de Oliveira

  • Bruce Dubbs

  • Pierre Labastie

  • Ken Moffat

  • Douglas Reno

  • Igor Živković

Contributors and Past Editors

The list of contributors is far too large to provide detailed information about the contributions for each contributor. Over the years, the following individuals have provided significant inputs to the book:

  • Timothy Bauscher

  • Daniel Bauman

  • Jeff Bauman

  • Andy Benton

  • Wayne Blaszczyk

  • Paul Campbell

  • Nathan Coulson

  • Jeroen Coumans

  • Guy Dalziel

  • Robert Daniels

  • Richard Downing

  • Manuel Canales Esparcia

  • Jim Gifford

  • Manfred Glombowski

  • Ag Hatzimanikas

  • Mark Hymers

  • James Iwanek

  • David Jensen

  • Jeremy Jones

  • Seth Klein

  • Alex Kloss

  • Eric Konopka

  • Larry Lawrence

  • DJ Lucas

  • Chris Lynn

  • Andrew McMurry

  • Randy McMurchy

  • Denis Mugnier

  • Billy O'Connor

  • Alexander Patrakov

  • Olivier Peres

  • Andreas Pedersen

  • Henning Rohde

  • Matt Rogers

  • James Robertson

  • Henning Rohde

  • Chris Staub

  • Jesse Tie-Ten-Quee

  • Ragnar Thomsen

  • Thomas Trepl

  • Tushar Teredesai

  • Jeremy Utley

  • Zack Winkles

  • Christian Wurst

General Acknowledgments

  • Fernando Arbeiza

  • Miguel Bazdresch

  • Gerard Beekmans

  • Oliver Brakmann

  • Jeremy Byron

  • Ian Chilton

  • David Ciecierski

  • Jim Harris

  • Lee Harris

  • Marc Heerdink

  • Steffen Knollmann

  • Eric Konopka

  • Scot McPherson

  • Ted Riley

Last updated on 2015-10-01 08:52:43 -0700

Contact Information

Please direct your emails to one of the BLFS mailing lists. See Mailing lists for more information on the available mailing lists.

Last updated on 2012-02-05 21:15:51 -0800

Chapter 2. Important Information

This chapter is used to explain some of the policies used throughout the book, to introduce important concepts and to explain some issues you may see with some of the included packages.

Notes on Building Software

Those people who have built an LFS system may be aware of the general principles of downloading and unpacking software. Some of that information is repeated here for those new to building their own software.

Each set of installation instructions contains a URL from which you can download the package. The patches; however, are stored on the LFS servers and are available via HTTP. These are referenced as needed in the installation instructions.

While you can keep the source files anywhere you like, we assume that you have unpacked the package and changed into the directory created by the unpacking process (the 'build' directory). We also assume you have uncompressed any required patches and they are in the directory immediately above the 'build' directory.

We can not emphasize strongly enough that you should start from a clean source tree each time. This means that if you have had an error during configuration or compilation, it's usually best to delete the source tree and re-unpack it before trying again. This obviously doesn't apply if you're an advanced user used to hacking Makefiles and C code, but if in doubt, start from a clean tree.

Building Software as an Unprivileged (non-root) User

The golden rule of Unix System Administration is to use your superpowers only when necessary. Hence, BLFS recommends that you build software as an unprivileged user and only become the root user when installing the software. This philosophy is followed in all the packages in this book. Unless otherwise specified, all instructions should be executed as an unprivileged user. The book will advise you on instructions that need root privileges.

Unpacking the Software

If a file is in .tar format and compressed, it is unpacked by running one of the following commands:

tar -xvf filename.tar.gz
tar -xvf filename.tgz
tar -xvf filename.tar.Z
tar -xvf filename.tar.bz2


You may omit using the v parameter in the commands shown above and below if you wish to suppress the verbose listing of all the files in the archive as they are extracted. This can help speed up the extraction as well as make any errors produced during the extraction more obvious to you.

You can also use a slightly different method:

bzcat filename.tar.bz2 | tar -xv

Finally, you sometimes need to be able to unpack patches which are generally not in .tar format. The best way to do this is to copy the patch file to the parent of the 'build' directory and then run one of the following commands depending on whether the file is a .gz or .bz2 file:

gunzip -v patchname.gz
bunzip2 -v patchname.bz2

Verifying File Integrity Using 'md5sum'

Generally, to verify that the downloaded file is genuine and complete, many package maintainers also distribute md5sums of the files. To verify the md5sum of the downloaded files, download both the file and the corresponding md5sum file to the same directory (preferably from different on-line locations), and (assuming file.md5sum is the md5sum file downloaded) run the following command:

md5sum -c file.md5sum

If there are any errors, they will be reported. Note that the BLFS book includes md5sums for all the source files also. To use the BLFS supplied md5sums, you can create a file.md5sum (place the md5sum data and the exact name of the downloaded file on the same line of a file, separated by white space) and run the command shown above. Alternately, simply run the command shown below and compare the output to the md5sum data shown in the BLFS book.

md5sum <name_of_downloaded_file>

Creating Log Files During Installation

For larger packages, it is convenient to create log files instead of staring at the screen hoping to catch a particular error or warning. Log files are also useful for debugging and keeping records. The following command allows you to create an installation log. Replace <command> with the command you intend to execute.

( <command> 2>&1 | tee compile.log && exit $PIPESTATUS )

2>&1 redirects error messages to the same location as standard output. The tee command allows viewing of the output while logging the results to a file. The parentheses around the command run the entire command in a subshell and finally the exit $PIPESTATUS command ensures the result of the <command> is returned as the result and not the result of the tee command.

Using Multiple Processors

For many modern systems with multiple processors (or cores) the compilation time for a package can be reduced by performing a "parallel make" by either setting an environment variable or telling the make program how many processors are available. For instance, a Core2Duo can support two simultaneous processes with:

export MAKEFLAGS='-j2'

or just building with:

make -j2

Generally the number of processes should not exceed the number of cores supported by the CPU. To list the processors on your system, issue: grep processor /proc/cpuinfo.

In some cases, using multiple processors may result in a 'race' condition where the success of the build depends on the order of the commands run by the make program. For instance, if an executable needs File A and File B, attempting to link the program before one of the dependent components is available will result in a failure. This condition usually arises because the upstream developer has not properly designated all the prerequsites needed to accomplish a step in the Makefile.

If this occurs, the best way to proceed is to drop back to a single processor build. Adding '-j1' to a make command will override the similar setting in the MAKEFLAGS environment variable.

Automated Building Procedures

There are times when automating the building of a package can come in handy. Everyone has their own reasons for wanting to automate building, and everyone goes about it in their own way. Creating Makefiles, Bash scripts, Perl scripts or simply a list of commands used to cut and paste are just some of the methods you can use to automate building BLFS packages. Detailing how and providing examples of the many ways you can automate the building of packages is beyond the scope of this section. This section will expose you to using file redirection and the yes command to help provide ideas on how to automate your builds.

File Redirection to Automate Input

You will find times throughout your BLFS journey when you will come across a package that has a command prompting you for information. This information might be configuration details, a directory path, or a response to a license agreement. This can present a challenge to automate the building of that package. Occasionally, you will be prompted for different information in a series of questions. One method to automate this type of scenario requires putting the desired responses in a file and using redirection so that the program uses the data in the file as the answers to the questions.

Building the CUPS package is a good example of how redirecting a file as input to prompts can help you automate the build. If you run the test suite, you are asked to respond to a series of questions regarding the type of test to run and if you have any auxiliary programs the test can use. You can create a file with your responses, one response per line, and use a command similar to the one shown below to automate running the test suite:

make check < ../cups-1.1.23-testsuite_parms

This effectively makes the test suite use the responses in the file as the input to the questions. Occasionally you may end up doing a bit of trial and error determining the exact format of your input file for some things, but once figured out and documented you can use this to automate building the package.

Using yes to Automate Input

Sometimes you will only need to provide one response, or provide the same response to many prompts. For these instances, the yes command works really well. The yes command can be used to provide a response (the same one) to one or more instances of questions. It can be used to simulate pressing just the Enter key, entering the Y key or entering a string of text. Perhaps the easiest way to show its use is in an example.

First, create a short Bash script by entering the following commands:

cat > blfs-yes-test1 << "EOF"

echo -n -e "\n\nPlease type something (or nothing) and press Enter ---> "


if test "$A_STRING" = ""; then A_STRING="Just the Enter key was pressed"
else A_STRING="You entered '$A_STRING'"

echo -e "\n\n$A_STRING\n\n"
chmod 755 blfs-yes-test1

Now run the script by issuing ./blfs-yes-test1 from the command line. It will wait for a response, which can be anything (or nothing) followed by the Enter key. After entering something, the result will be echoed to the screen. Now use the yes command to automate the entering of a response:

yes | ./blfs-yes-test1

Notice that piping yes by itself to the script results in y being passed to the script. Now try it with a string of text:

yes 'This is some text' | ./blfs-yes-test1

The exact string was used as the response to the script. Finally, try it using an empty (null) string:

yes '' | ./blfs-yes-test1

Notice this results in passing just the press of the Enter key to the script. This is useful for times when the default answer to the prompt is sufficient. This syntax is used in the Net-tools instructions to accept all the defaults to the many prompts during the configuration step. You may now remove the test script, if desired.

File Redirection to Automate Output

In order to automate the building of some packages, especially those that require you to read a license agreement one page at a time, requires using a method that avoids having to press a key to display each page. Redirecting the output to a file can be used in these instances to assist with the automation. The previous section on this page touched on creating log files of the build output. The redirection method shown there used the tee command to redirect output to a file while also displaying the output to the screen. Here, the output will only be sent to a file.

Again, the easiest way to demonstrate the technique is to show an example. First, issue the command:

ls -l /usr/bin | more

Of course, you'll be required to view the output one page at a time because the more filter was used. Now try the same command, but this time redirect the output to a file. The special file /dev/null can be used instead of the filename shown, but you will have no log file to examine:

ls -l /usr/bin | more > redirect_test.log 2>&1

Notice that this time the command immediately returned to the shell prompt without having to page through the output. You may now remove the log file.

The last example will use the yes command in combination with output redirection to bypass having to page through the output and then provide a y to a prompt. This technique could be used in instances when otherwise you would have to page through the output of a file (such as a license agreement) and then answer the question of “do you accept the above?”. For this example, another short Bash script is required:

cat > blfs-yes-test2 << "EOF"

ls -l /usr/bin | more

echo -n -e "\n\nDid you enjoy reading this? (y,n) "


if test "$A_STRING" = "y"; then A_STRING="You entered the 'y' key"
else A_STRING="You did NOT enter the 'y' key"

echo -e "\n\n$A_STRING\n\n"
chmod 755 blfs-yes-test2

This script can be used to simulate a program that requires you to read a license agreement, then respond appropriately to accept the agreement before the program will install anything. First, run the script without any automation techniques by issuing ./blfs-yes-test2.

Now issue the following command which uses two automation techniques, making it suitable for use in an automated build script:

yes | ./blfs-yes-test2 > blfs-yes-test2.log 2>&1

If desired, issue tail blfs-yes-test2.log to see the end of the paged output, and confirmation that y was passed through to the script. Once satisfied that it works as it should, you may remove the script and log file.

Finally, keep in mind that there are many ways to automate and/or script the build commands. There is not a single “correct” way to do it. Your imagination is the only limit.


For each package described, BLFS lists the known dependencies. These are listed under several headings, whose meaning is as follows:

  • Required means that the target package cannot be correctly built without the dependency having first been installed.

  • Recommended means that BLFS strongly suggests this package is installed first for a clean and trouble-free build, that won't have issues either during the build process, or at run-time. The instructions in the book assume these packages are installed. Some changes or workarounds may be required if these packages are not installed.

  • Optional means that this package might be installed for added functionality. Often BLFS will describe the dependency to explain the added functionality that will result.

Using the Most Current Package Sources

On occasion you may run into a situation in the book when a package will not build or work properly. Though the Editors attempt to ensure that every package in the book builds and works properly, sometimes a package has been overlooked or was not tested with this particular version of BLFS.

If you discover that a package will not build or work properly, you should see if there is a more current version of the package. Typically this means you go to the maintainer's web site and download the most current tarball and attempt to build the package. If you cannot determine the maintainer's web site by looking at the download URLs, use Google and query the package's name. For example, in the Google search bar type: 'package_name download' (omit the quotes) or something similar. Sometimes typing: 'package_name home page' will result in you finding the maintainer's web site.

Stripping One More Time

In LFS, stripping of debugging symbols was discussed a couple of times. When building BLFS packages, there are generally no special instructions that discuss stripping again. It is probably not a good idea to strip an executable or a library while it is in use, so exiting any windowing environment is a good idea. Then you can do:

find /{,usr/}{bin,lib,sbin} -type f -exec strip --strip-unneeded {} \;

If you install programs in other directories such as /opt or /usr/local, you may want to strip the files there too.

For more information on stripping, see

Libtool files

One of the side effects of packages that use Autotools, including libtool, is that they create many files with an .la extension. These files are not needed in an LFS environment. If there are conflicts with pkgconfig entries, they can actually prevent successful builds. You may want to consider removing these files periodically:

find /lib /usr/lib -not -path "*Image*" -a -name \*.la -delete

The above command removes all .la files with the exception of those that have "Image" as a part of the path. These .la files are used by the ImageMagick programs. There may be other exceptions by packages not in BLFS.

Last updated on 2015-11-13 06:24:57 -0800

The /usr Versus /usr/local Debate

Should I install XXX in /usr or /usr/local?

This is a question without an obvious answer for an LFS based system.

In traditional Unix systems, /usr usually contains files that come with the system distribution, and the /usr/local tree is free for the local administrator to manage. The only really hard and fast rule is that Unix distributions should not touch /usr/local, except perhaps to create the basic directories within it.

With Linux distributions like Red Hat, Debian, etc., a possible rule is that /usr is managed by the distribution's package system and /usr/local is not. This way the package manager's database knows about every file within /usr.

LFS users build their own system and so deciding where the system ends and local files begin is not straightforward. So the choice should be made in order to make things easier to administer. There are several reasons for dividing files between /usr and /usr/local.

  • On a network of several machines all running LFS, or mixed LFS and other Linux distributions, /usr/local could be used to hold packages that are common between all the computers in the network. It can be NFS mounted or mirrored from a single server. Here local indicates local to the site.

  • On a network of several computers all running an identical LFS system, /usr/local could hold packages that are different between the machines. In this case local refers to the individual computers.

  • Even on a single computer, /usr/local can be useful if you have several distributions installed simultaneously, and want a place to put packages that will be the same on all of them.

  • Or you might regularly rebuild your LFS, but want a place to put files that you don't want to rebuild each time. This way you can wipe the LFS file system and start from a clean partition every time without losing everything.

Some people ask why not use your own directory tree, e.g., /usr/site, rather than /usr/local?

There is nothing stopping you, many sites do make their own trees, however it makes installing new software more difficult. Automatic installers often look for dependencies in /usr and /usr/local, and if the file it is looking for is in /usr/site instead, the installer will probably fail unless you specifically tell it where to look.

What is the BLFS position on this?

All of the BLFS instructions install programs in /usr with optional instructions to install into /opt for some specific packages.

Last updated on 2007-04-04 12:42:53 -0700

Optional Patches

As you follow the various sections in the book, you will observe that the book occasionally includes patches that are required for a successful and secure installation of the packages. The general policy of the book is to include patches that fall in one of the following criteria:

  • Fixes a compilation problem.

  • Fixes a security problem.

  • Fixes a broken functionality.

In short, the book only includes patches that are either required or recommended. There is a Patches subproject which hosts various patches (including the patches referenced in the books) to enable you to configure your LFS the way you like it.

Last updated on 2007-04-04 12:42:53 -0700

BLFS Boot Scripts

The BLFS Bootscripts package contains the init scripts that are used throughout the book. It is assumed that you will be using the BLFS Bootscripts package in conjunction with a compatible LFS-Bootscripts package. Refer to ../../../../lfs/view/7.9/chapter07/bootscripts.html for more information on the LFS-Bootscripts package.

The BLFS Bootscripts package will be used throughout the BLFS book for startup scripts. Unlike LFS, each init script has a separate install target in the BLFS Bootscripts package. It is recommended you keep the package source directory around until completion of your BLFS system. When a script is requested from BLFS Bootscripts, simply change to the directory and as the root user, execute the given make install-<init-script> command. This command installs the init script to its proper location (along with any auxiliary configuration scripts) and also creates the appropriate symlinks to start and stop the service at the appropriate run-level.


You should review each bootscript before installation to ascertain that it satisfies your need. Also verify that the start and stop symlinks it creates match your preferences.


From time to time the bootscripts are updated to accomodate new packages or to make minor corrections. All versions of the bootscripts are located at

Last updated on 2015-11-13 06:24:57 -0800

Libraries: Static or shared?

Libraries: Static or shared?

The original libraries were simply an archive of routines from which the required routines were extracted and linked into the executable program. These are described as static libraries (libfoo.a). On some old operating systems they are the only type available.

On almost all Linux platforms there are also shared libraries ( - one copy of the library is loaded into virtual memory, and shared by all the programs which call any of its functions. This is space efficient.

In the past, essential programs such as a shell were often linked statically so that some form of minimal recovery system would exist even if shared libraries, such as, became damaged (e.g. moved to lost+found after fsck following an unclean shutdown). Nowadays, most people use an alternative system install or a Live CD if they have to recover. Journaling filesystems also reduce the likelihood of this sort of problem.

Developers, at least while they are developing, often prefer to use static versions of the libraries which their code links to.

Within the book, there are various places where configure switches such as --disable-static are employed, and other places where the possibility of using system versions of libraries instead of the versions included within another package is discussed. The main reason for this is to simplify updates of libraries.

If a package is linked to a dynamic library, updating to a newer library version is automatic once the newer library is installed and the program is (re)started (provided the library major version is unchanged, e.g. going from to Going to will require recompilation - ldd can be used to find which programs use the old version). If a program is linked to a static library, the program always has to be recompiled. If you know which programs are linked to a particular static library, this is merely an annoyance. But usually you will not know which programs to recompile.

Most libraries are shared, but if you do something unusual, such as moving a shared library to /lib accidentally breaking the .so symlink in /usr/lib while keeping the static library in /lib, the static library will be silently linked into the programs which need it.

One way to identify when a static library is used, is to deal with it at the end of the installation of every package. Write a script to find all the static libraries in /usr/lib or wherever you are installing to, and either move them to another directory so that they are no longer found by the linker, or rename them so that libfoo.a becomes e.g. libfoo.a.hidden. The static library can then be temporarily restored if it is ever needed, and the package needing it can be identified. You may choose to exclude some of the static libraries from glibc if you do this (libc_nonshared.a, libg.a, libieee.a, libm.a, libpthread_nonshared.a, librpcsvc.a, libsupc++.a) to simplify compilation.

If you use this approach, you may discover that more packages than you were expecting use a static library. That was the case with nettle-2.4 in its default static-only configuration: It was required by GnuTLS-3.0.19, but also linked into package(s) which used GnuTLS, such as glib-networking-2.32.3.

Many packages put some of their common functions into a static library which is only used by the programs within the package and, crucially, the library is not installed as a standalone library. These internal libraries are not a problem - if the package has to be rebuilt to fix a bug or vulnerability, nothing else is linked to them.

When BLFS mentions system libraries, it means shared versions of libraries. Some packages such as Firefox-45.0 and ghostscript-9.18 include many other libraries. When they link to them, they link statically so this also makes the programs bigger. The version they ship is often older than the version used in the system, so it may contain bugs - sometimes developers go to the trouble of fixing bugs in their included libraries, other times they do not.

Sometimes, deciding to use system libraries is an easy decision. Other times it may require you to alter the system version (e.g. for libpng-1.6.21 if used for Firefox-45.0). Occasionally, a package ships an old library and can no longer link to the current version, but can link to an older version. In this case, BLFS will usually just use the shipped version. Sometimes the included library is no longer developed separately, or its upstream is now the same as the package's upstream and you have no other packages which will use it. In those cases, you might decide to use the included static library even if you usually prefer to use system libraries.

User Notes:

Last updated on 2015-09-20 15:38:20 -0700

Locale Related Issues

This page contains information about locale related problems and issues. In the following paragraphs you'll find a generic overview of things that can come up when configuring your system for various locales. Many (but not all) existing locale related problems can be classified and fall under one of the headings below. The severity ratings below use the following criteria:

  • Critical: The program doesn't perform its main function. The fix would be very intrusive, it's better to search for a replacement.

  • High: Part of the functionality that the program provides is not usable. If that functionality is required, it's better to search for a replacement.

  • Low: The program works in all typical use cases, but lacks some functionality normally provided by its equivalents.

If there is a known workaround for a specific package, it will appear on that package's page. For the most recent information about locale related issues for individual packages, check the User Notes in the BLFS Wiki.

The Needed Encoding is Not a Valid Option in the Program

Severity: Critical

Some programs require the user to specify the character encoding for their input or output data and present only a limited choice of encodings. This is the case for the -X option in a2ps-4.14 and Enscript-1.6.6, the -input-charset option in unpatched Cdrtools, and the character sets offered for display in the menu of Links-2.12. If the required encoding is not in the list, the program usually becomes completely unusable. For non-interactive programs, it may be possible to work around this by converting the document to a supported input character set before submitting to the program.

A solution to this type of problem is to implement the necessary support for the missing encoding as a patch to the original program or to find a replacement.

The Program Assumes the Locale-Based Encoding of External Documents

Severity: High for non-text documents, low for text documents

Some programs, nano-2.5.2 or JOE-4.1 for example, assume that documents are always in the encoding implied by the current locale. While this assumption may be valid for the user-created documents, it is not safe for external ones. When this assumption fails, non-ASCII characters are displayed incorrectly, and the document may become unreadable.

If the external document is entirely text based, it can be converted to the current locale encoding using the iconv program.

For documents that are not text-based, this is not possible. In fact, the assumption made in the program may be completely invalid for documents where the Microsoft Windows operating system has set de facto standards. An example of this problem is ID3v1 tags in MP3 files (see the BLFS Wiki ID3v1Coding page for more details). For these cases, the only solution is to find a replacement program that doesn't have the issue (e.g., one that will allow you to specify the assumed document encoding).

Among BLFS packages, this problem applies to nano-2.5.2, JOE-4.1, and all media players except Audacious-3.7.1.

Another problem in this category is when someone cannot read the documents you've sent them because their operating system is set up to handle character encodings differently. This can happen often when the other person is using Microsoft Windows, which only provides one character encoding for a given country. For example, this causes problems with UTF-8 encoded TeX documents created in Linux. On Windows, most applications will assume that these documents have been created using the default Windows 8-bit encoding.

In extreme cases, Windows encoding compatibility issues may be solved only by running Windows programs under Wine.

The Program Uses or Creates Filenames in the Wrong Encoding

Severity: Critical

The POSIX standard mandates that the filename encoding is the encoding implied by the current LC_CTYPE locale category. This information is well-hidden on the page which specifies the behavior of Tar and Cpio programs. Some programs get it wrong by default (or simply don't have enough information to get it right). The result is that they create filenames which are not subsequently shown correctly by ls, or they refuse to accept filenames that ls shows properly. For the GLib-2.46.2 library, the problem can be corrected by setting the G_FILENAME_ENCODING environment variable to the special "@locale" value. Glib2 based programs that don't respect that environment variable are buggy.

The Zip-3.0 and UnZip-6.0 have this problem because they hard-code the expected filename encoding. UnZip contains a hard-coded conversion table between the CP850 (DOS) and ISO-8859-1 (UNIX) encodings and uses this table when extracting archives created under DOS or Microsoft Windows. However, this assumption only works for those in the US and not for anyone using a UTF-8 locale. Non-ASCII characters will be mangled in the extracted filenames.

The general rule for avoiding this class of problems is to avoid installing broken programs. If this is impossible, the convmv command-line tool can be used to fix filenames created by these broken programs, or intentionally mangle the existing filenames to meet the broken expectations of such programs.

In other cases, a similar problem is caused by importing filenames from a system using a different locale with a tool that is not locale-aware (e.g., OpenSSH-7.1p2). In order to avoid mangling non-ASCII characters when transferring files to a system with a different locale, any of the following methods can be used:

  • Transfer anyway, fix the damage with convmv.

  • On the sending side, create a tar archive with the --format=posix switch passed to tar (this will be the default in a future version of tar).

  • Mail the files as attachments. Mail clients specify the encoding of attached filenames.

  • Write the files to a removable disk formatted with a FAT or FAT32 filesystem.

  • Transfer the files using Samba.

  • Transfer the files via FTP using RFC2640-aware server (this currently means only wu-ftpd, which has bad security history) and client (e.g., lftp).

The last four methods work because the filenames are automatically converted from the sender's locale to UNICODE and stored or sent in this form. They are then transparently converted from UNICODE to the recipient's locale encoding.

The Program Breaks Multibyte Characters or Doesn't Count Character Cells Correctly

Severity: High or critical

Many programs were written in an older era where multibyte locales were not common. Such programs assume that C "char" data type, which is one byte, can be used to store single characters. Further, they assume that any sequence of characters is a valid string and that every character occupies a single character cell. Such assumptions completely break in UTF-8 locales. The visible manifestation is that the program truncates strings prematurely (i.e., at 80 bytes instead of 80 characters). Terminal-based programs don't place the cursor correctly on the screen, don't react to the "Backspace" key by erasing one character, and leave junk characters around when updating the screen, usually turning the screen into a complete mess.

Fixing this kind of problems is a tedious task from a programmer's point of view, like all other cases of retrofitting new concepts into the old flawed design. In this case, one has to redesign all data structures in order to accommodate to the fact that a complete character may span a variable number of "char"s (or switch to wchar_t and convert as needed). Also, for every call to the "strlen" and similar functions, find out whether a number of bytes, a number of characters, or the width of the string was really meant. Sometimes it is faster to write a program with the same functionality from scratch.

Among BLFS packages, this problem applies to xine-ui-0.99.9 and all the shells.

The Package Installs Manual Pages in Incorrect or Non-Displayable Encoding

Severity: Low

LFS expects that manual pages are in the language-specific (usually 8-bit) encoding, as specified on the LFS Man DB page. However, some packages install translated manual pages in UTF-8 encoding (e.g., Shadow, already dealt with), or manual pages in languages not in the table. Not all BLFS packages have been audited for conformance with the requirements put in LFS (the large majority have been checked, and fixes placed in the book for packages known to install non-conforming manual pages). If you find a manual page installed by any of BLFS packages that is obviously in the wrong encoding, please remove or convert it as needed, and report this to BLFS team as a bug.

You can easily check your system for any non-conforming manual pages by copying the following short shell script to some accessible location,

# Begin
# Usage: find /usr/share/man -type f | xargs
for a in "$@"
    # echo "Checking $a..."
    # Pure-ASCII manual page (possibly except comments) is OK
    grep -v '.\\"' "$a" | iconv -f US-ASCII -t US-ASCII >/dev/null 2>&1 \
        && continue
    # Non-UTF-8 manual page is OK
    iconv -f UTF-8 -t UTF-8 "$a" >/dev/null 2>&1 || continue
    # Found a UTF-8 manual page, bad.
    echo "UTF-8 manual page: $a" >&2
# End

and then issuing the following command (modify the command below if the script is not in your PATH environment variable):

find /usr/share/man -type f | xargs

Note that if you have manual pages installed in any location other than /usr/share/man (e.g., /usr/local/share/man), you must modify the above command to include this additional location.

Last updated on 2013-02-11 10:51:17 -0800

Going Beyond BLFS

The packages that are installed in this book are only the tip of the iceberg. We hope that the experience you gained with the LFS book and the BLFS book will give you the background needed to compile, install and configure packages that are not included in this book.

When you want to install a package to a location other than /, or /usr, you are installing outside the default environment settings on most machines. The following examples should assist you in determining how to correct this situation. The examples cover the complete range of settings that may need updating, but they are not all needed in every situation.

  • Expand the PATH to include $PREFIX/bin.

  • Expand the PATH for root to include $PREFIX/sbin.

  • Add $PREFIX/lib to /etc/ or expand LD_LIBRARY_PATH to include it. Before using the latter option, check out If you modify /etc/, remember to update /etc/ by executing ldconfig as the root user.

  • Add $PREFIX/man to /etc/man_db.conf or expand MANPATH.

  • Add $PREFIX/info to INFOPATH.

  • Add $PREFIX/lib/pkgconfig to PKG_CONFIG_PATH. Some packages are now installing .pc files in $PREFIX/share/pkgconfig, so you may have to include this directory also.

  • Add $PREFIX/include to CPPFLAGS when compiling packages that depend on the package you installed.

  • Add $PREFIX/lib to LDFLAGS when compiling packages that depend on a library installed by the package.

If you are in search of a package that is not in the book, the following are different ways you can search for the desired package.

Some general hints on handling new packages:

  • Many of the newer packages follow the ./configure && make && make install process. Help on the options accepted by configure can be obtained via the command ./configure --help.

  • Most of the packages contain documentation on compiling and installing the package. Some of the documents are excellent, some not so excellent. Check out the homepage of the package for any additional and updated hints for compiling and configuring the package.

  • If you are having a problem compiling the package, try searching the LFS archives at for the error or if that fails, try searching Google. Often, a distribution will have already solved the problem (many of them use development versions of packages, so they see the changes sooner than those of us who normally use stable released versions). But be cautious - all builders tend to carry patches which are no longer necessary, and to have fixes which are only required because of their particular choices in how they build a package. You may have to search deeply to find a fix for the package version you are trying to use, or even to find the package (names are sometimes not what you might expect, e.g. ghostscript often has a prefix or a suffix in its name), but the following notes might help:

    • Arch - enter the package name in the 'Keywords' box, select the package name, select one of the 'SVN Entries' fields, then select the PKGBUILD to see how they build this package, or look at any patches.

    • Debian (use your country's version if there is one) - the source will be in .tar.gz tarballs (either the original upstream .orig source, or else a dfsg containing those parts which comply with debian's free software guidelines) accompanied by versioned .diff.gz or .tar.gz additions. These additions often show how the package is built, and may contain patches. In the .diff.gz versions, any patches create files in debian/patches.

    • Fedora - this site is still occasionally overloaded, but it is an easy way of looking at .spec files and patches. If you know their name for the package (e.g. mesa.git) you can append that to the URI to get to it. If not, use the search box. If the site is unavailable, try looking for a local mirror of (the primary site is usually unavailable if fedora cgit is not responding) and download a source rpm to see what they do.

    • Gentoo - the mirrors for ebuilds and patches seem to be well-hidden, and they change frequently. Also, if you have found a mirror, you need to know which directory the application has been assigned to. The ebuilds themselves can be found at - use the search field. If there are any patches, a mirror will have them in the files/ directory. Depending on your browser, or the mirror, you might need to download the ebuild to be able to read it. Treat the ebuild as a sort of pseudo-code / shell combination - look in particular for sed commands and patches, or hazard a guess at the meanings of the functions such as dodoc.

    • openSUSE - source only seems to be available in source rpms.

    • Slackware - the official package browser is currently broken. The site at has current and previous versions in their unofficial repository with links to homepages, downloads, and some individual files, particularly the .SlackBuild files.

    • Ubuntu - see the debian notes above.

    If everything else fails, try the blfs-support mailing-list.


If you have found a package that is only available in .deb or .rpm format, there are two small scripts, rpm2targz and deb2targz that are available at and to convert the archives into a simple tar.gz format.

You may also find an rpm2cpio script useful. The Perl version in the linux kernel archives at works for most source rpms. The rpm2targz script will use an rpm2cpio script or binary if one is on your path. Note that rpm2cpio will unpack a source rpm in the current directory, giving a tarball, a spec file, and perhaps patches or other files.

Last updated on 2013-08-26 08:43:33 -0700

Part II. Post LFS Configuration and Extra Software

Chapter 3. After LFS Configuration Issues

The intention of LFS is to provide a basic system which you can build upon. There are several things about tidying up the system which many people wonder about once they have done the base install. We hope to cover these issues in this chapter.

Most people coming from non-Unix like backgrounds to Linux find the concept of text-only configuration files slightly strange. In Linux, just about all configuration is done via the manipulation of text files. The majority of these files can be found in the /etc hierarchy. There are often graphical configuration programs available for different subsystems but most are simply pretty front ends to the process of editing a text file. The advantage of text-only configuration is that you can edit parameters using your favorite text editor, whether that be vim, emacs, or any other editor.

The first task is making a recovery boot device in Creating a Custom Boot Device because it's the most critical need. Hardware issues relevant to firmware and other devices is addressed next. The system is then configured to ease addition of new users, because this can affect the choices you make in the two subsequent topics—The Bash Shell Startup Files and The vimrc Files.

The remaining topics, Customizing your Logon with /etc/issue, Random number generation, Autofs-5.1.1, and Configuring for Network Filesystems are then addressed, in that order. They don't have much interaction with the other topics in this chapter.

Creating a Custom Boot Device

Decent Rescue Boot Device Needs

This section is really about creating a rescue device. As the name rescue implies, the host system has a problem, often lost partition information or corrupted file systems, that prevents it from booting and/or operating normally. For this reason, you must not depend on resources from the host being "rescued". To presume that any given partition or hard drive will be available is a risky presumption.

In a modern system, there are many devices that can be used as a rescue device: floppy, cdrom, usb drive, or even a network card. Which one you use depends on your hardware and your BIOS. In the past, a rescue device was thought to be a floppy disk. Today, many systems do not even have a floppy drive.

Building a complete rescue device is a challenging task. In many ways, it is equivalent to building an entire LFS system. In addition, it would be a repetition of information already available. For these reasons, the procedures for a rescue device image are not presented here.

Creating a Rescue Floppy

The software of today's systems has grown large. Linux 2.6 no longer supports booting directly from a floppy. In spite of this, there are solutions available using older versions of Linux. One of the best is Tom's Root/Boot Disk available at This will provide a minimal Linux system on a single floppy disk and provides the ability to customize the contents of your disk if necessary.

Creating a Bootable CD-ROM

There are several sources that can be used for a rescue CD-ROM. Just about any commercial distribution's installation CD-ROMs or DVDs will work. These include RedHat, Mandrake, and SuSE. One very popular option is Knoppix.

Also, the LFS Community has developed its own LiveCD available at This LiveCD, is no longer capable of building an entire LFS/BLFS system, but is still a good rescue CD-ROM. If you download the ISO image, use xorriso to copy the image to a CD-ROM.

The instructions for using GRUB2 to make a custom rescue CD-ROM are also available in LFS Chapter 8.

Creating a Bootable USB Drive

A USB Pen drive, sometimes called a Thumb drive, is recognized by Linux as a SCSI device. Using one of these devices as a rescue device has the advantage that it is usually large enough to hold more than a minimal boot image. You can save critical data to the drive as well as use it to diagnose and recover a damaged system. Booting such a drive requires BIOS support, but building the system consists of formatting the drive, adding GRUB as well as the Linux kernel and supporting files.

User Notes:

Last updated on 2014-01-19 04:43:46 -0800

About Firmware

On some recent PCs it can be necessary, or desirable, to load firmware to make them work at their best. There is a directory, /lib/firmware, where the kernel or kernel drivers look for firmware images.

Preparing firmware for multiple different machines, as a distro would do, is outside the scope of this book.

Currently, most firmware can be found at a git repository: For convenience, the LFS Project has created a mirror, updated daily, where these firmware files can be accessed via wget or a web browser at

To get the firmware, either point a browser to one of the above repositories and then download the item(s) which you need, or install git and clone that repository.

For some other firmware, particularly for Intel microcode and certain wifi devices, the needed firmware is not available in the above repository. Some of this will be addressed below, but a search of the Internet for needed firmware is sometimes necessary.

Firmware files are conventionally referred to as blobs because you cannot determine what they will do. Note that firmware is distributed under various different licenses which do not permit disassembly or reverse-engineering.

Firmware for PCs falls into four categories:

  • Updates to the CPU to work around errata, usually referred to as microcode.

  • Firmware for video controllers. On x86 machines this seems to only apply to ATI devices : Radeons require firmware to be able to use KMS (kernel modesetting - the preferred option) as well as for Xorg. For earlier radeon chips (before the R600), the firmware is still in the kernel.

  • Firmware updates for wired network ports. Mostly they work even without the updates, but one must assume that they will work better with the updated firmware.

  • Firmware for other devices, such as wifi. These devices are not required for the PC to boot, but need the firmware before these devices can be used.


Although not needed to load a firmware blob, the following tools may be useful for determining, obtaining, or preparing the needed firmware in order to load it into the system: cpio-2.12, git-2.7.1, pciutils-3.4.1, and Wget-1.17.1

User Notes:

Microcode updates for CPUs

In general, microcode can be loaded by the BIOS or UEFI, and it might be updated by upgrading to a newer version of those. On linux, you can also load the microcode from the kernel if you are using an AMD family 10h or later processor (first introduced late 2007), or an intel processor from 1998 and later (Pentium4, Core, etc), if updated microcode has been released. These updates only last until the machine is powered off, so they need to be applied on every boot.

There are two ways of loading the microcode, described as 'early' and 'late'. Early loading happens before userspace has been started, late loading happens when userspace has started. Not surprisingly, early loading is preferred, (see e.g. an explanatory comment in a kernel commit noted at x86/microcode: Early load microcode on LWN.) Indeed, it is needed to work around one particular erratum in early intel Haswell processors which had TSX enabled. (See Intel Disables TSX Instructions: Erratum Found in Haswell, Haswell-E/EP, Broadwell-Y.) Without this update glibc can do the wrong thing in uncommon situations.

It is much simpler to begin by building a kernel which boots on your hardware, try late microcode loading to see if there is an update (in many cases the BIOS or UEFI will have already applied any update), and then take the extra steps required for early loading.

This means you will be reconfiguring your kernel if you use early loading, so keep the built source around to minimise what gets rebuilt, and if you are at all uncertain, add your own identifier (A,B, etc) to the end of the EXTRAVERSION in the kernel configuration, e.g. "EXTRAVERSION -A" if nothing was set.

To confirm what processor(s) you have (if more than one, they will be identical) look in /proc/cpuinfo.

Intel Microcode for the CPU

Required Package

For intel CPUs an extra package, microcode_ctl, is required. The package chosen is the version hosted at fedora — there is an alternative version at github from the same packager, but that still includes a redundant old version of an AMD microcode container, and also requires the unzip package.

Download the latest version from the link above; when last checked this was 2.1-8 and is updated when intel releases new microcode.

This package reformats the microcode supplied by intel into a format which the kernel can apply. The program intel-microcode2ucode is built and invoked by the Makefile to create the individual firmware blobs, so there is no reason to install it.

Begin by extracting the tarball and changing to the directory it created. Then change to the source directory and run:


This creates various blobs with names in the form XX-YY-ZZ. Now you need to determine your processor's identity, to see if there is any microcode for it. Determine the decimal values of the cpu family, model and stepping by running:

head -n7 /proc/cpuinfo

Now convert the cpu family, model and stepping to pairs of hexadecimal digits. For a SandyBridge i3-2120 (described as Intel(R) Core(TM) i3-2120 CPU) the relevant values are cpu family 6, model 42, stepping 7 so in this case the required identification is 06-2a-07. A look at the blobs will show that there is one for this CPU (although it might have already been applied by the BIOS). If there is a blob for your system then test if it will be applied by copying it (replace <XX-YY-ZZ> by the identifier for your machine) to where the kernel can find it:

mkdir -pv /lib/firmware/intel-ucode
cp -v <XX-YY-ZZ> /lib/firmware/intel-ucode

Now that the intel microcode has been prepared, use the following options when you configure the kernel to try late loading of the intel microcode:

Processor type and features  --->
  <M> CPU microcode loading support  [CONFIG_MICROCODE]
  [*]      Intel microcode loading support [CONFIG_MICROCODE_INTEL]

After you have successfully booted the new system, use the command dmesg | grep microcode and study the results to see if the message new patch_level appears. This example from the SandyBridge i3:

[    0.059906] perf_event_intel: PEBS disabled due to CPU errata, please upgrade microcode
[    2.603083] microcode: CPU0 sig=0x206a7, pf=0x2, revision=0x23
[    2.669378] microcode: CPU0 sig=0x206a7, pf=0x2, revision=0x23
[    2.669994] microcode: CPU0 updated to revision 0x29, date = 2013-06-12
[    2.670069] microcode: CPU1 sig=0x206a7, pf=0x2, revision=0x23
[    2.670139] microcode: CPU1 sig=0x206a7, pf=0x2, revision=0x23
[    2.670501] microcode: CPU1 updated to revision 0x29, date = 2013-06-12
[    2.670509] microcode: CPU2 sig=0x206a7, pf=0x2, revision=0x23
[    2.670540] microcode: CPU2 sig=0x206a7, pf=0x2, revision=0x23
[    2.670917] microcode: CPU2 updated to revision 0x29, date = 2013-06-12
[    2.670955] microcode: CPU3 sig=0x206a7, pf=0x2, revision=0x23
[    2.670988] microcode: CPU3 sig=0x206a7, pf=0x2, revision=0x23
[    2.671348] microcode: CPU3 updated to revision 0x29, date = 2013-06-12
[    2.671356] perf_event_intel: PEBS enabled due to microcode update
[    2.671412] microcode: Microcode Update Driver: v2.00 <>, Peter Oruba

If the microcode was not updated, there is no new microcode for this system's processor. If it did get updated, you can now proceed to the section called “Early loading of microcode”.

AMD Microcode for the CPU

Begin by downloading a container of firmware for your CPU family from The family is always specified in hex. Families 10h to 14h (16 to 20) are in microcode_amd.bin. Families 15h and 16h have their own containers. Create the required directory and put the firmware you downloaded into it as the root user:

mkdir -pv /lib/firmware/amd-ucode
cp -v microcode_amd* /lib/firmware/amd-ucode

When you configure the kernel, use the following options to try late loading of AMD microcode:

Processor type and features  --->
  <M> CPU microcode loading support   [CONFIG_MICROCODE]
  [*]   AMD microcode loading support [CONFIG_MICROCODE_AMD]

After you have successfully booted the new system, use the command dmesg | grep microcode and study the results to see if the message new patch_level appears, as in this example from an old Athlon(tm) II X2:

[    4.183907] microcode: CPU0: patch_level=0x010000b6
[    4.184271] microcode: CPU0: new patch_level=0x010000c8
[    4.184278] microcode: CPU1: patch_level=0x010000b6
[    4.184283] microcode: CPU1: new patch_level=0x010000c8
[    4.184359] microcode: Microcode Update Driver: v2.00 <>, Peter Oruba

If the microcode was not updated, there is no new microcode for this system's processor. If it did get updated, you can now proceed to the section called “Early loading of microcode”.

Early loading of microcode

If you have established that updated microcode is available for your system, it is time to prepare it for early loading. This requires an additional package, cpio-2.12, as well as changes to the kernel config and the creation of an initrd which will need to be added to grub.cfg.

It does not matter where you prepare the initrd, and once it is working you can apply the same initrd to later LFS systems or newer kernels on this same machine, at least until any newer microcode is released. Use the following commands:

mkdir -p initrd/kernel/x86/microcode
cd initrd

For an AMD machine, use the following command (replace <MYCONTAINER> with the name of the container for your CPU's family):

cp -v /lib/firmware/amd_ucode/<MYCONTAINER> kernel/x86/microcode/AuthenticAMD.bin

Or for an Intel machine copy the appropriate blob using this command:

cp -v /lib/firmware/intel-ucode/<XX-YY-ZZ> kernel/x86/microcode/GenuineIntel.bin

Now prepare the initrd:

find . | cpio -o -H newc > /boot/microcode.img

You will now need to reconfigure and rebuild your kernel. It is safer to either add/change the EXTRAVERSION in the kernel's configuration and install the newer kernel with a new name, or else (unless you have a machine which requires an early firmware update) wait for the next SUBLEVEL kernel release so that you can fall back to the existing kernel in the event that something goes wrong.

You will also need to add a new entry to /boot/grub/grub.cfg and here you should add a new line after the linux line within the stanza. If /boot is a separate mountpoint:

initrd /microcode.img

or this if it is not:

initrd /boot/microcode.img

You must also change the kernel config:

General Setup --->
  [y] Initial RAM filesystem and RAM disk (initramfs/initrd) support [CONFIG_BLK_DEV_INITRD]
  [y] CPU microcode loading support                                  [CONFIG_MICROCODE]

Retain the setting for INTEL or AMD microcode. When you have saved the .config file, either CONFIG_MICROCODE_INTEL_EARLY=y or CONFIG_MICROCODE_AMD_EARLY=y should be set, together with CONFIG_MICROCODE_EARLY=y.

When you have installed and booted this kernel, you should check the output of dmesg to confirm that the early load worked. The places and times where this happens are very different in AMD and Intel machines. First, an Intel example where a development kernel is being tested, showing that the first notification comes before the kernel version is mentioned:

[    0.000000] CPU0 microcode updated early to revision 0x29, date = 2013-06-12
[    0.000000] Linux version 4.0.0-rc6 (ken@jtm1) (gcc version 4.9.2 (GCC) )
               #3 SMP PREEMPT Mon Mar 30 21:26:02 BST 2015
[    0.000000] Command line: BOOT_IMAGE=/vmlinuz-4.0.0-rc6-sda13 root=/dev/sda13 ro
[    0.103091] CPU1 microcode updated early to revision 0x29, date = 2013-06-12
[    0.113241]  #2
[    0.134631]  #3
[    0.147821] x86: Booted up 1 node, 4 CPUs
[    0.147936] smpboot: Total of 4 processors activated (26338.66 BogoMIPS)
[    0.272643] microcode: CPU0 sig=0x206a7, pf=0x2, revision=0x29
[    0.272709] microcode: CPU1 sig=0x206a7, pf=0x2, revision=0x29
[    0.272775] microcode: CPU2 sig=0x206a7, pf=0x2, revision=0x29
[    0.272842] microcode: CPU3 sig=0x206a7, pf=0x2, revision=0x29
[    0.272941] microcode: Microcode Update Driver: v2.00 <>, Peter Oruba

A second AMD example is where the machine was running a stable kernel on an older version of LFS. Note that here there is no mention of the previous microcode version — compare this output to the AMD late loading messages (above) from the same machine:

[    0.000000] Linux version 3.18.11 (ken@milliways) (gcc version 4.9.1 (GCC) )
               #4 SMP Thu Apr 9 21:51:05 BST 2015
[    0.000000] Command line: BOOT_IMAGE=/vmlinuz-3.18.11-sda5 root=/dev/sda5 video=800x600 ro
[    0.584009] Trying to unpack rootfs image as initramfs...
[    0.584092] microcode: updated early to new patch_level=0x010000c8
[    0.586733] microcode: CPU0: patch_level=0x010000c8
[    0.586778] microcode: CPU1: patch_level=0x010000c8
[    0.586866] microcode: Microcode Update Driver: v2.00 <>, Peter Oruba

Firmware for Video Cards

Firmware for ATI video chips (R600 and later)

These instructions do NOT apply to old radeons before the R600 family. For those, the firmware is in the kernel's /lib/firmware/ directory. Nor do they apply if you intend to avoid a graphical setup such as Xorg and are content to use the default 80x25 display rather than a framebuffer.

Early radeon devices only needed a single 2K blob of firmware. Recent devices need several different blobs, and some of them are much bigger. The total size of the radeon firmware directory is over 500K — on a large modern system you can probably spare the space, but it is still redundant to install all the unused files each time you build a system.

A better approach is to install pciutils-3.4.1 and then use lspci to identify which VGA controller is installed.

With that information, check the RadeonFeature page of the Xorg wiki for Decoder ring for engineering vs marketing names to identify the family (you may need to know this for the Xorg driver in BLFS — Southern Islands and Sea Islands use the radeonsi driver) and the specific model.

Now that you know which controller you are using, consult the Radeon page of the Gentoo wiki which has a table listing the required firmware blobs for the various chipsets. Note that Southern Islands and Sea Islands chips use different firmware for kernel 3.17 and later compared to earlier kernels. Identify and download the required blobs then install them:

mkdir -pv /lib/firmware/radeon
cp -v <YOUR_BLOBS> /lib/firmware/radeon

There are actually two ways of installing this firmware. BLFS, in the 'Kernel Configuration for additional firmware' section part of the Xorg ATI Driver-7.6.1 section gives an example of compiling the firmware into the kernel - that is slightly faster to load, but uses more kernel memory. Here we will use the alternative method of making the radeon driver a module. In your kernel config set the following:

Device Drivers --->
  Graphics support --->
      Direct Rendering Manager --->
        <*> Direct Rendering Manager (XFree86 ... support)  [CONFIG_DRM]
      <m> ATI Radeon                                        [CONFIG_DRM_RADEON]

Loading several large blobs from /lib/firmware takes a noticeable time, during which the screen will be blank. If you do not enable the penguin framebuffer logo, or change the console size by using a bigger font, that probably does not matter. If desired, you can slightly reduce the time if you follow the alternate method of specifying 'y' for CONFIG_DRM_RADEON covered in BLFS at the link above — you must specify each needed radeon blob if you do that.

Firmware for Nvidia video chips

Some Nvidia graphics chips need firmware updates to take advantage of all the card's capability. These are generally the GeForce 8, 9, 9300, and 200-900 series chips. For more exact information, see

First, the kernel Nvidia driver must be activated:

Device Drivers --->
  Graphics support --->
      Direct Rendering Manager --->
        <*> Direct Rendering Manager (XFree86 ... support)  [CONFIG_DRM]
      <*/m> Nouveau (NVIDIA) cards                          [CONFIG_DRM_NOUVEAU]

The steps to install the Nvidia firmware are:

sh --extract-only
mkdir -p /lib/firmware/nouveau
cp -d nv* vuc-* /lib/firmware/nouveau/

Firmware for Network Interfaces

The kernel likes to load firmware for some network drivers, particularly those from Realtek (the /lib/linux-firmware/rtl_nic/) directory, but they generally appear to work without it. Therefore, you can boot the kernel, check dmesg for messages about this missing firmware, and if necessary download the firmware and put it in the specified directory in /lib/firmware so that it will be found on subsequent boots. Note that with current kernels this works whether or not the driver is compiled in or built as a module, there is no need to build this firmware into the kernel. Here is an example where the R8169 driver has been compiled in but the firmware was not made available. Once the firmware had been provided, there was no mention of it on later boots.

dmesg | grep firmware | grep r8169
[    7.018028] r8169 0000:01:00.0: Direct firmware load for rtl_nic/rtl8168g-2.fw failed with error -2
[    7.018036] r8169 0000:01:00.0 eth0: unable to load firmware patch rtl_nic/rtl8168g-2.fw (-2)

Firmware for Other Devices

Identifying the correct firmware will typically require you to install pciutils-3.4.1, and then use lspci to identify the device. You should then search online to check which module it uses, which firmware, and where to obtain the firmware — not all of it is in linux-firmware.

If possible, you should begin by using a wired connection when you first boot your LFS system. To use a wireless connection you will need to use a network tools such as Wireless Tools-29 and wpa_supplicant-2.5.

Firmware may also be needed for other devices such as some SCSI controllers, bluetooth adaptors, or TV recorders. The same principles apply.

Last updated on 2016-03-02 13:42:47 -0800

About Devices

Although most devices needed by packages in BLFS and beyond are set up properly by udev using the default rules installed by LFS in /etc/udev/rules.d, there are cases where the rules must be modified or augmented.

User Notes:

Multiple Sound Cards

If there are multiple sound cards in a system, the "default" sound card becomes random. The method to establish sound card order depends on whether the drivers are modules or not. If the sound card drivers are compiled into the kernel, control is via kernel command line parameters in /boot/grub/grub.cfg. For example, if a system has both an FM801 card and a SoundBlaster PCI card, the following can be appended to the command line:

snd-fm801.index=0 snd-ens1371.index=1

If the sound card drivers are built as modules, the order can be established in the /etc/modprobe.conf file with:

options snd-fm801 index=0
options snd-ens1371 index=1

USB Device Issues

USB devices usually have two kinds of device nodes associated with them.

The first kind is created by device-specific drivers (e.g., usb_storage/sd_mod or usblp) in the kernel. For example, a USB mass storage device would be /dev/sdb, and a USB printer would be /dev/usb/lp0. These device nodes exist only when the device-specific driver is loaded.

The second kind of device nodes (/dev/bus/usb/BBB/DDD, where BBB is the bus number and DDD is the device number) are created even if the device doesn't have a kernel driver. By using these "raw" USB device nodes, an application can exchange arbitrary USB packets with the device, i.e., bypass the possibly-existing kernel driver.

Access to raw USB device nodes is needed when a userspace program is acting as a device driver. However, for the program to open the device successfully, the permissions have to be set correctly. By default, due to security concerns, all raw USB devices are owned by user root and group usb, and have 0664 permissions (the read access is needed, e.g., for lsusb to work and for programs to access USB hubs). Packages (such as SANE and libgphoto2) containing userspace USB device drivers also ship udev rules that change the permissions of the controlled raw USB devices. That is, rules installed by SANE change permissions for known scanners, but not printers. If a package maintainer forgot to write a rule for your device, report a bug to both BLFS (if the package is there) and upstream, and you will need to write your own rule.

There is one situation when such fine-grained access control with pre-generated udev rules doesn't work. Namely, PC emulators such as KVM, QEMU and VirtualBox use raw USB device nodes to present arbitrary USB devices to the guest operating system (note: patches are needed in order to get this to work without the obsolete /proc/bus/usb mount point described below). Obviously, maintainers of these packages cannot know which USB devices are going to be connected to the guest operating system. You can either write separate udev rules for all needed USB devices yourself, or use the default catch-all "usb" group, members of which can send arbitrary commands to all USB devices.

Before Linux-2.6.15, raw USB device access was performed not with /dev/bus/usb/BBB/DDD device nodes, but with /proc/bus/usb/BBB/DDD pseudofiles. Some applications (e.g., VMware Workstation) still use only this deprecated technique and can't use the new device nodes. For them to work, use the "usb" group, but remember that members will have unrestricted access to all USB devices. To create the fstab entry for the obsolete usbfs filesystem:

usbfs  /proc/bus/usb  usbfs  devgid=14,devmode=0660  0  0


Adding users to the "usb" group is inherently insecure, as they can bypass access restrictions imposed through the driver-specific USB device nodes. For instance, they can read sensitive data from USB hard drives without being in the "disk" group. Avoid adding users to this group, if you can.

Udev Device Attributes

Fine-tuning of device attributes such as group name and permissions is possible by creating extra udev rules, matching on something like this. The vendor and product can be found by searching the /sys/devices directory entries or using udevadm info after the device has been attached. See the documentation in the current udev directory of /usr/share/doc for details.

SUBSYSTEM=="usb_device", SYSFS{idVendor}=="05d8", SYSFS{idProduct}=="4002", \
  GROUP:="scanner", MODE:="0660"


The above line is used for descriptive purposes only. The scanner udev rules are put into place when installing SANE-1.0.25.

Devices for Servers

In some cases, it makes sense to disable udev completely and create static devices. Servers are one example of this situation. Does a server need the capability of handling dynamic devices? Only the system administrator can answer that question, but in many cases the answer will be no.

If dynamic devices are not desired, then static devices must be created on the system. In the default configuration, the /etc/rc.d/rcS.d/S10udev boot script mounts a tmpfs partition over the /dev directory. This problem can be overcome by mounting the root partition temporarily:


If the instructions below are not followed carefully, your system could become unbootable.

mount --bind / /mnt
cp -a /dev/* /mnt/dev
rm /etc/rc.d/rcS.d/{S10udev,S50udev_retry}
umount /mnt

At this point, the system will use static devices upon the next reboot. Create any desired additional devices using mknod.

If you want to restore the dynamic devices, recreate the /etc/rc.d/rcS.d/{S10udev,S50udev_retry} symbolic links and reboot again. Static devices do not need to be removed (console and null are always needed) because they are covered by the tmpfs partition. Disk usage for devices is negligible (about 20–30 bytes per entry.)

Last updated on 2012-03-13 11:19:34 -0700

Configuring for Adding Users

Together, the /usr/sbin/useradd command and /etc/skel directory (both are easy to set up and use) provide a way to assure new users are added to your LFS system with the same beginning settings for things such as the PATH, keyboard processing and other environmental variables. Using these two facilities makes it easier to assure this initial state for each new user added to the system.

The /etc/skel directory holds copies of various initialization and other files that may be copied to the new user's home directory when the /usr/sbin/useradd program adds the new user.


The useradd program uses a collection of default values kept in /etc/default/useradd. This file is created in a base LFS installation by the Shadow package. If it has been removed or renamed, the useradd program uses some internal defaults. You can see the default values by running /usr/sbin/useradd -D.

To change these values, simply modify the /etc/default/useradd file as the root user. An alternative to directly modifying the file is to run useradd as the root user while supplying the desired modifications on the command line. Information on how to do this can be found in the useradd man page.


To get started, create an /etc/skel directory and make sure it is writable only by the system administrator, usually root. Creating the directory as root is the best way to go.

The mode of any files from this part of the book that you put in /etc/skel should be writable only by the owner. Also, since there is no telling what kind of sensitive information a user may eventually place in their copy of these files, you should make them unreadable by "group" and "other".

You can also put other files in /etc/skel and different permissions may be needed for them.

Decide which initialization files should be provided in every (or most) new user's home directory. The decisions you make will affect what you do in the next two sections, The Bash Shell Startup Files and The vimrc Files. Some or all of those files will be useful for root, any already-existing users, and new users.

The files from those sections that you might want to place in /etc/skel include .inputrc, .bash_profile, .bashrc, .bash_logout, .dircolors, and .vimrc. If you are unsure which of these should be placed there, just continue to the following sections, read each section and any references provided, and then make your decision.

You will run a slightly modified set of commands for files which are placed in /etc/skel. Each section will remind you of this. In brief, the book's commands have been written for files not added to /etc/skel and instead just sends the results to the user's home directory. If the file is going to be in /etc/skel, change the book's command(s) to send output there instead and then just copy the file from /etc/skel to the appropriate directories, like /etc, ~ or the home directory of any other user already in the system.

When Adding a User

When adding a new user with useradd, use the -m parameter, which tells useradd to create the user's home directory and copy files from /etc/skel (can be overridden) to the new user's home directory. For example (perform as the root user):

useradd -m <newuser>

Last updated on 2007-10-16 06:49:09 -0700

About System Users and Groups

Throughout BLFS, many packages install programs that run as daemons or in some way should have a user or group name assigned. Generally these names are used to map a user ID (uid) or group ID (gid) for system use. Generally the specific uid or gid numbers used by these applications are not significant. The exception of course, is that root has a uid and gid of 0 (zero) that is indeed special. The uid values are stored in /etc/passwd and the gid values are found in /etc/group.

Customarily, Unix systems classify users and groups into two categories: system users and regular users. The system users and groups are given low numbers and regular users and groups have numeric values greater than all the system values. The cutoff for these numbers is found in two parameters in the /etc/login.defs configuration file. The default UID_MIN value is 1000 and the default GID_MIN value is 1000. If a specific uid or gid value is not specified when creating a user with useradd or a group with groupadd the values assigned will always be above these cutoff values.

Additionally, the Linux Standard Base recommends that system uid and gid values should be below 100.

Below is a table of suggested uid/gid values used in BLFS beyond those defined in a base LFS installation. These can be changed as desired, but provide a suggested set of consistent values.

Table 3.1. UID/GID Suggested Values

Name uid gid
bin 1
lp 9
adm 16
atd 17 17
messagebus 18 18
lpadmin   19
named 20 20
gdm 21 21
fcron 22 22
systemd-journal   23
apache 25 25
smmsp 26 26
polkitd 27 27
rpc 28 28
exim 31 31
postfix 32 32
postdrop 33
sendmail 34
mail 34
vmailman 35 35
news 36 36
kdm 37 37
mysql 40 40
postgres 41 41
dovecot 42 42
dovenull 43 43
ftp 45 45
proftpd 46 46
vsftpd 47 47
rsyncd 48 48
sshd 50 50
stunnel 51 51
svn 56 56
svntest 57
games 60 60
kvm 61
wireshark 62
lightdm 63 63
sddm 64 64
scanner 70
colord 71 71
systemd-bus-proxy 72 72
systemd-journal-gateway 73 73
systemd-journal-remote 74 74
systemd-journal-upload 75 75
systemd-network 76 76
systemd-resolve 77 77
systemd-timesync 78 78
systemd-coredump 79 79
ldap 83 83
avahi 84 84
avahi-autoipd 85 85
netdev 86
ntp 87 87
unbound 88 88
plugdev 90
anonymous 98
nobody 99
nogroup 99

One value that is missing is 65534. This value is customarily assigned to the user nobody and group nogroup and is unnecessary.

Last updated on 2016-02-12 01:53:39 -0800

The Bash Shell Startup Files

The shell program /bin/bash (hereafter referred to as just "the shell") uses a collection of startup files to help create an environment. Each file has a specific use and may affect login and interactive environments differently. The files in the /etc directory generally provide global settings. If an equivalent file exists in your home directory it may override the global settings.

An interactive login shell is started after a successful login, using /bin/login, by reading the /etc/passwd file. This shell invocation normally reads /etc/profile and its private equivalent ~/.bash_profile upon startup.

An interactive non-login shell is normally started at the command-line using a shell program (e.g., [prompt]$/bin/bash) or by the /bin/su command. An interactive non-login shell is also started with a terminal program such as xterm or konsole from within a graphical environment. This type of shell invocation normally copies the parent environment and then reads the user's ~/.bashrc file for additional startup configuration instructions.

A non-interactive shell is usually present when a shell script is running. It is non-interactive because it is processing a script and not waiting for user input between commands. For these shell invocations, only the environment inherited from the parent shell is used.

The file ~/.bash_logout is not used for an invocation of the shell. It is read and executed when a user exits from an interactive login shell.

Many distributions use /etc/bashrc for system wide initialization of non-login shells. This file is usually called from the user's ~/.bashrc file and is not built directly into bash itself. This convention is followed in this section.

For more information see info bash -- Nodes: Bash Startup Files and Interactive Shells.


Most of the instructions below are used to create files located in the /etc directory structure which requires you to execute the commands as the root user. If you elect to create the files in user's home directories instead, you should run the commands as an unprivileged user.


Here is a base /etc/profile. This file starts by setting up some helper functions and some basic parameters. It specifies some bash history parameters and, for security purposes, disables keeping a permanent history file for the root user. It also sets a default user prompt. It then calls small, single purpose scripts in the /etc/profile.d directory to provide most of the initialization.

For more information on the escape sequences you can use for your prompt (i.e., the PS1 environment variable) see info bash -- Node: Printing a Prompt.

cat > /etc/profile << "EOF"
# Begin /etc/profile
# Written for Beyond Linux From Scratch
# by James Robertson <>
# modifications by Dagmar d'Surreal <rivyqntzne@pbzpnfg.arg>

# System wide environment variables and startup programs.

# System wide aliases and functions should go in /etc/bashrc.  Personal
# environment variables and startup programs should go into
# ~/.bash_profile.  Personal aliases and functions should go into
# ~/.bashrc.

# Functions to help us manage paths.  Second argument is the name of the
# path variable to be modified (default: PATH)
pathremove () {
        local IFS=':'
        local NEWPATH
        local DIR
        local PATHVARIABLE=${2:-PATH}
        for DIR in ${!PATHVARIABLE} ; do
                if [ "$DIR" != "$1" ] ; then
        export $PATHVARIABLE="$NEWPATH"

pathprepend () {
        pathremove $1 $2
        local PATHVARIABLE=${2:-PATH}

pathappend () {
        pathremove $1 $2
        local PATHVARIABLE=${2:-PATH}

export -f pathremove pathprepend pathappend

# Set the initial path
export PATH=/bin:/usr/bin

if [ $EUID -eq 0 ] ; then
        pathappend /sbin:/usr/sbin
        unset HISTFILE

# Setup some environment variables.
export HISTSIZE=1000
export HISTIGNORE="&:[bf]g:exit"

# Set some defaults for graphical systems
export XDG_DATA_DIRS=/usr/share/
export XDG_CONFIG_DIRS=/etc/xdg/

# Setup a red prompt for root and a green one for users.
if [[ $EUID == 0 ]] ; then
  PS1="$RED\u [ $NORMAL\w$RED ]# $NORMAL"

for script in /etc/profile.d/*.sh ; do
        if [ -r $script ] ; then
                . $script

unset script RED GREEN NORMAL

# End /etc/profile

The /etc/profile.d Directory

Now create the /etc/profile.d directory, where the individual initialization scripts are placed:

install --directory --mode=0755 --owner=root --group=root /etc/profile.d


This script uses the ~/.dircolors and /etc/dircolors files to control the colors of file names in a directory listing. They control colorized output of things like ls --color. The explanation of how to initialize these files is at the end of this section.

cat > /etc/profile.d/ << "EOF"
# Setup for /bin/ls and /bin/grep to support color, the alias is in /etc/bashrc.
if [ -f "/etc/dircolors" ] ; then
        eval $(dircolors -b /etc/dircolors)

if [ -f "$HOME/.dircolors" ] ; then
        eval $(dircolors -b $HOME/.dircolors)

alias ls='ls --color=auto'
alias grep='grep --color=auto'


This script adds some useful paths to the PATH and can be used to customize other PATH related environment variables (e.g. LD_LIBRARY_PATH, etc) that may be needed for all users.

cat > /etc/profile.d/ << "EOF"
if [ -d /usr/local/lib/pkgconfig ] ; then
        pathappend /usr/local/lib/pkgconfig PKG_CONFIG_PATH
if [ -d /usr/local/bin ]; then
        pathprepend /usr/local/bin
if [ -d /usr/local/sbin -a $EUID -eq 0 ]; then
        pathprepend /usr/local/sbin

# Set some defaults before other applications add to these paths.
pathappend /usr/share/man  MANPATH
pathappend /usr/share/info INFOPATH


This script sets up the default inputrc configuration file. If the user does not have individual settings, it uses the global file.

cat > /etc/profile.d/ << "EOF"
# Setup the INPUTRC environment variable.
if [ -z "$INPUTRC" -a ! -f "$HOME/.inputrc" ] ; then
export INPUTRC


Setting the umask value is important for security. Here the default group write permissions are turned off for system users and when the user name and group name are not the same.

cat > /etc/profile.d/ << "EOF"
# By default, the umask should be set.
if [ "$(id -gn)" = "$(id -un)" -a $EUID -gt 99 ] ; then
  umask 002
  umask 022


This script sets an environment variable necessary for native language support. A full discussion on determining this variable can be found on the LFS Bash Shell Startup Files page.

cat > /etc/profile.d/ << "EOF"
# Set up i18n variables
export LANG=<ll>_<CC>.<charmap><@modifiers>

Other Initialization Values

Other initialization can easily be added to the profile by adding additional scripts to the /etc/profile.d directory.


Here is a base /etc/bashrc. Comments in the file should explain everything you need.

cat > /etc/bashrc << "EOF"
# Begin /etc/bashrc
# Written for Beyond Linux From Scratch
# by James Robertson <>
# updated by Bruce Dubbs <>

# System wide aliases and functions.

# System wide environment variables and startup programs should go into
# /etc/profile.  Personal environment variables and startup programs
# should go into ~/.bash_profile.  Personal aliases and functions should
# go into ~/.bashrc

# Provides colored /bin/ls and /bin/grep commands.  Used in conjunction
# with code in /etc/profile.

alias ls='ls --color=auto'
alias grep='grep --color=auto'

# Provides prompt for non-login shells, specifically shells started
# in the X environment. [Review the LFS archive thread titled
# PS1 Environment Variable for a great case study behind this script
# addendum.]

if [[ $EUID == 0 ]] ; then
  PS1="$RED\u [ $NORMAL\w$RED ]# $NORMAL"


# End /etc/bashrc


Here is a base ~/.bash_profile. If you want each new user to have this file automatically, just change the output of the command to /etc/skel/.bash_profile and check the permissions after the command is run. You can then copy /etc/skel/.bash_profile to the home directories of already existing users, including root, and set the owner and group appropriately.

cat > ~/.bash_profile << "EOF"
# Begin ~/.bash_profile
# Written for Beyond Linux From Scratch
# by James Robertson <>
# updated by Bruce Dubbs <>

# Personal environment variables and startup programs.

# Personal aliases and functions should go in ~/.bashrc.  System wide
# environment variables and startup programs are in /etc/profile.
# System wide aliases and functions are in /etc/bashrc.

if [ -f "$HOME/.bashrc" ] ; then
  source $HOME/.bashrc

if [ -d "$HOME/bin" ] ; then
  pathprepend $HOME/bin

# Having . in the PATH is dangerous
#if [ $EUID -gt 99 ]; then
#  pathappend .

# End ~/.bash_profile


Here is a base ~/.bashrc. The comments and instructions for using /etc/skel for .bash_profile above also apply here. Only the target file names are different.

cat > ~/.bashrc << "EOF"
# Begin ~/.bashrc
# Written for Beyond Linux From Scratch
# by James Robertson <>

# Personal aliases and functions.

# Personal environment variables and startup programs should go in
# ~/.bash_profile.  System wide environment variables and startup
# programs are in /etc/profile.  System wide aliases and functions are
# in /etc/bashrc.

if [ -f "/etc/bashrc" ] ; then
  source /etc/bashrc

# End ~/.bashrc


This is an empty ~/.bash_logout that can be used as a template. You will notice that the base ~/.bash_logout does not include a clear command. This is because the clear is handled in the /etc/issue file.

cat > ~/.bash_logout << "EOF"
# Begin ~/.bash_logout
# Written for Beyond Linux From Scratch
# by James Robertson <>

# Personal items to perform on logout.

# End ~/.bash_logout


If you want to use the dircolors capability, then run the following command. The /etc/skel setup steps shown above also can be used here to provide a ~/.dircolors file when a new user is set up. As before, just change the output file name on the following command and assure the permissions, owner, and group are correct on the files created and/or copied.

dircolors -p > /etc/dircolors

If you wish to customize the colors used for different file types, you can edit the /etc/dircolors file. The instructions for setting the colors are embedded in the file.

Finally, Ian Macdonald has written an excellent collection of tips and tricks to enhance your shell environment. You can read it online at

Last updated on 2015-11-13 06:24:57 -0800

The /etc/vimrc and ~/.vimrc Files

The LFS book installs Vim as its text editor. At this point it should be noted that there are a lot of different editing applications out there including Emacs, nano, Joe and many more. Anyone who has been around the Internet (especially usenet) for a short time will certainly have observed at least one flame war, usually involving Vim and Emacs users!

The LFS book creates a basic vimrc file. In this section you'll find an attempt to enhance this file. At startup, vim reads the global configuration file (/etc/vimrc) as well as a user-specific file (~/.vimrc). Either or both can be tailored to suit the needs of your particular system.

Here is a slightly expanded .vimrc that you can put in ~/.vimrc to provide user specific effects. Of course, if you put it into /etc/skel/.vimrc instead, it will be made available to users you add to the system later. You can also copy the file from /etc/skel/.vimrc to the home directory of users already on the system, such as root. Be sure to set permissions, owner, and group if you do copy anything directly from /etc/skel.

" Begin .vimrc

set columns=80
set wrapmargin=8
set ruler

" End .vimrc

Note that the comment tags are " instead of the more usual # or //. This is correct, the syntax for vimrc is slightly unusual.

Below you'll find a quick explanation of what each of the options in this example file means here:

  • set columns=80: This simply sets the number of columns used on the screen.

  • set wrapmargin=8: This is the number of characters from the right window border where wrapping starts.

  • set ruler: This makes vim show the current row and column at the bottom right of the screen.

More information on the many vim options can be found by reading the help inside vim itself. Do this by typing :help in vim to get the general help, or by typing :help usr_toc.txt to view the User Manual Table of Contents.

Last updated on 2007-10-16 06:02:24 -0700

Customizing your Logon with /etc/issue

When you first boot up your new LFS system, the logon screen will be nice and plain (as it should be in a bare-bones system). Many people however, will want their system to display some information in the logon message. This can be accomplished using the file /etc/issue.

The /etc/issue file is a plain text file which will also accept certain escape sequences (see below) in order to insert information about the system. There is also the file which can be used when logging on remotely. ssh however, will only use it if you set the option in the configuration file and will not interpret the escape sequences shown below.

One of the most common things which people want to do is clear the screen at each logon. The easiest way of doing that is to put a "clear" escape sequence into /etc/issue. A simple way of doing this is to issue the command clear > /etc/issue. This will insert the relevant escape code into the start of the /etc/issue file. Note that if you do this, when you edit the file, you should leave the characters (normally '^[[H^[[2J') on the first line alone.


Terminal escape sequences are special codes recognized by the terminal. The ^[ represents an ASCII ESC character. The sequence ESC [ H puts the cursor in the upper left hand corner of the screen and ESC 2 J erases the screen. For more information on terminal escape sequences see

The following sequences are recognized by agetty (the program which usually parses /etc/issue). This information is from man agetty where you can find extra information about the logon process.

The issue file can contain certain character sequences to display various information. All issue sequences consist of a backslash (\) immediately followed by one of the letters explained below (so \d in /etc/issue would insert the current date).

b   Insert the baudrate of the current line.
d   Insert the current date.
s   Insert the system name, the name of the operating system.
l   Insert the name of the current tty line.
m   Insert the architecture identifier of the machine, e.g., i686.
n   Insert the nodename of the machine, also known as the hostname.
o   Insert the domainname of the machine.
r   Insert the release number of the kernel, e.g.,
t   Insert the current time.
u   Insert the number of current users logged in.
U   Insert the string "1 user" or "<n> users" where <n> is the
    number of current users logged in.
v   Insert the version of the OS, e.g., the build-date etc.

Last updated on 2007-04-04 12:42:53 -0700

Random Number Generation

The Linux kernel supplies a random number generator which is accessed through /dev/random and /dev/urandom. Programs that utilize the random and urandom devices, such as OpenSSH, will benefit from these instructions.

When a Linux system starts up without much operator interaction, the entropy pool (data used to compute a random number) may be in a fairly predictable state. This creates the real possibility that the number generated at startup may always be the same. In order to counteract this effect, you should carry the entropy pool information across your shut-downs and start-ups.

Install the /etc/rc.d/init.d/random init script included with the blfs-bootscripts-20150924 package.

make install-random

Last updated on 2007-04-04 12:42:53 -0700


Introduction to lsb_release

The lsb_release script gives information about the Linux Standards Base (LSB) status of the distribution.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS-7.9 platform.

Package Information

User Notes:

Installation of lsb_release

First fix a minor display problem:

sed -i "s|n/a|unavailable|" lsb_release

Install lsb_release by running the following commands:

./help2man -N --include ./lsb_release.examples \
              --alt_version_key=program_version ./lsb_release > lsb_release.1

Now, as the root user:

install -v -m 644 lsb_release.1 /usr/share/man/man1/lsb_release.1 &&
install -v -m 755 lsb_release /usr/bin/lsb_release

Configuration Information

The configuration for this package was done in LFS. The file /etc/lsb-release should already exist. Be sure that the DISTRIB_CODENAME entry has been set properly.

Add the current package version to /etc/lsb-release. As the root user:

echo 'LSB_VERSION="1.4"' >> /etc/lsb-release


Installed Programs: lsb_release
Installed Library: None
Installed Directories: None

Short Descriptions


is a script to give LSB data.

Last updated on 2016-02-21 12:38:55 -0800

Chapter 4. Security

Security takes many forms in a computing environment. After some initial discussion, this chapter gives examples of three different types of security: access, prevention and detection.

Access for users is usually handled by login or an application designed to handle the login function. In this chapter, we show how to enhance login by setting policies with PAM modules. Access via networks can also be secured by policies set by iptables, commonly referred to as a firewall. The Network Security Services (NSS) and Netscape Portable Runtime (NSPR) libraries can be installed and shared among the many applications requiring them. For applications that don't offer the best security, you can use the Stunnel package to wrap an application daemon inside an SSL tunnel.

Prevention of breaches, like a trojan, are assisted by applications like GnuPG, specifically the ability to confirm signed packages, which recognizes modifications of the tarball after the packager creates it.

Finally, we touch on detection with a package that stores "signatures" of critical files (defined by the administrator) and then regenerates those "signatures" and compares for files that have been changed.


About vulnerabilities

All software has bugs. Sometimes, a bug can be exploited, for example to allow users to gain enhanced privileges (perhaps gaining a root shell, or simply accessing or deleting other user's files), or to allow a remote site to crash an application (denial of service), or for theft of data. These bugs are labelled as vulnerabilities.

The main place where vulnerabilities get logged is Unfortunately, many vulnerability numbers (CVE-yyyy-nnnn) are initially only labelled as "reserved" when distributions start issuing fixes. Also, some vulnerabilities apply to particular combinations of configure options, or only apply to old versions of packages which have long since been updated in BLFS.

BLFS differs from distributions - there is no BLFS security team, and the editors only become aware of vulnerabilities after they are public knowledge. Sometimes, a package with a vulnerability will not be updated in the book for a long time. Issues can be logged in the Trac system, which might speed up resolution.

The normal way for BLFS to fix a vulnerability is, ideally, to update the book to a new fixed release of the package. Sometimes that happens even before the vulnerability is public knowledge, so there is no guarantee that it will be shown as a vulnerability fix in the Changelog. Alternatively, a sed command, or a patch taken from a distribution, may be appropriate.

The bottom line is that you are responsible for your own security, and for assessing the potential impact of any problems.

To keep track of what is being discovered, you may wish to follow the security announcements of one or more distributions. For example, Debian has Debian security. Fedora's links on security are at the Fedora wiki. Details of Gentoo linux security announcements are discussed at Gentoo security. Finally, the Slackware archives of security announcements are at Slackware security.

The most general English source is perhaps the Full Disclosure Mailing List, but please read the comment on that page. If you use other languages you may prefer other sites such as (German) or (Croatian). These are not linux-specific. There is also a daily update at for subscribers (free access to the data after 2 weeks, but their vulnerabilities database at is unrestricted).

For some packages, subscribing to their 'announce' lists will provide prompt news of newer versions.

User Notes:

Last updated on 2015-09-20 15:38:20 -0700

Certificate Authority Certificates

The Public Key Infrastructure is used for many security issues in a Linux system. In order for a certificate to be trusted, it must be signed by a trusted agent called a Certificate Authority (CA). The certificates loaded by this section are from the list on the Mozilla version control system and formats it into a form used by OpenSSL-1.0.2g. The certificates can also be used by other applications either directly of indirectly through openssl.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS-7.9 platform.

Introduction to Certificate Authorities

Package Information


The certfile.txt file above is actually retrieved from It is really an HTML file, but the text file can be retrieved indirectly from the HTML file. The Download URL above automates that process and also adds a line where the date can be extracted as a revision number by the scripts below.

Certificate Authority Certificates Dependencies




User Notes:

Installation of Certificate Authority Certificates

First create a script to reformat a certificate into a form needed by openssl. As the root user:

cat > /usr/bin/ << "EOF"
#!/usr/bin/perl -w

# Used to generate PEM encoded files from Mozilla certdata.txt.
# Run as ./ > certificate.crt
# Parts of this script courtesy of RedHat (
# This script modified for use with single file data (tempfile.cer) extracted
# from certdata.txt, taken from the latest version in the Mozilla NSS source.
# mozilla/security/nss/lib/ckfw/builtins/certdata.txt
# Authors: DJ Lucas
#          Bruce Dubbs
# Version 20120211

my $certdata = './tempfile.cer';

open( IN, "cat $certdata|" )
    || die "could not open $certdata";

my $incert = 0;

while ( <IN> )
        $incert = 1;
        open( OUT, "|openssl x509 -text -inform DER -fingerprint" )
            || die "could not pipe to openssl x509";

    elsif ( /^END/ && $incert )
        close( OUT );
        $incert = 0;
        print "\n\n";

    elsif ($incert)
        my @bs = split( /\\/ );
        foreach my $b (@bs)
            chomp $b;
            printf( OUT "%c", oct($b) ) unless $b eq '';

chmod +x /usr/bin/

The following script creates the certificates and a bundle of all the certificates. It creates a ./certs directory and ./BLFS-ca-bundle-${VERSION}.crt. Again create this script as the root user:

cat > /usr/bin/ << "EOF"
# Begin
# Script to populate OpenSSL's CApath from a bundle of PEM formatted CAs
# The file certdata.txt must exist in the local directory
# Version number is obtained from the version of the data.
# Authors: DJ Lucas
#          Bruce Dubbs
# Version 20120211

# Some data in the certs have UTF-8 characters
export LANG=en_US.utf8


if [ ! -r $certdata ]; then
  echo "$certdata must be in the local directory"
  exit 1

REVISION=$(grep CVS_ID $certdata | cut -f4 -d'$')

if [ -z "${REVISION}" ]; then
  echo "$certfile has no 'Revision' in CVS_ID"
  exit 1

VERSION=$(echo $REVISION | cut -f2 -d" ")

TEMPDIR=$(mktemp -d)

mkdir "${TEMPDIR}/certs"

# Get a list of starting lines for each cert
CERTBEGINLIST=$(grep -n "^# Certificate" "${certdata}" | cut -d ":" -f1)

# Get a list of ending lines for each cert
CERTENDLIST=`grep -n "^CKA_TRUST_STEP_UP_APPROVED" "${certdata}" | cut -d ":" -f 1`

# Start a loop
for certbegin in ${CERTBEGINLIST}; do
  for certend in ${CERTENDLIST}; do
    if test "${certend}" -gt "${certbegin}"; then

  # Dump to a temp file with the name of the file as the beginning line number
  sed -n "${certbegin},${certend}p" "${certdata}" > "${TEMPDIR}/certs/${certbegin}.tmp"


mkdir -p certs
rm -f certs/*      # Make sure the directory is clean

for tempfile in ${TEMPDIR}/certs/*.tmp; do
  # Make sure that the cert is trusted...
  grep "CKA_TRUST_SERVER_AUTH" "${tempfile}" | \
    egrep "TRUST_UNKNOWN|NOT_TRUSTED" > /dev/null

  if test "${?}" = "0"; then
    # Throw a meaningful error and remove the file
    cp "${tempfile}" tempfile.cer
    perl ${CONVERTSCRIPT} > tempfile.crt
    keyhash=$(openssl x509 -noout -in tempfile.crt -hash)
    echo "Certificate ${keyhash} is not trusted!  Removing..."
    rm -f tempfile.cer tempfile.crt "${tempfile}"

  # If execution made it to here in the loop, the temp cert is trusted
  # Find the cert data and generate a cert file for it

  cp "${tempfile}" tempfile.cer
  perl ${CONVERTSCRIPT} > tempfile.crt
  keyhash=$(openssl x509 -noout -in tempfile.crt -hash)
  mv tempfile.crt "certs/${keyhash}.pem"
  rm -f tempfile.cer "${tempfile}"
  echo "Created ${keyhash}.pem"

# Remove blacklisted files
# MD5 Collision Proof of Concept CA
if test -f certs/8f111d69.pem; then
  echo "Certificate 8f111d69 is not trusted!  Removing..."
  rm -f certs/8f111d69.pem

# Finally, generate the bundle and clean up.
cat certs/*.pem >  ${BUNDLE}
rm -r "${TEMPDIR}"

chmod +x /usr/bin/

Add a short script to remove expired certificates from a directory. Again create this script as the root user:

cat > /usr/sbin/ << "EOF"
# Begin /usr/sbin/
# Version 20120211

# Make sure the date is parsed correctly on all systems
  local y=$( echo $1 | cut -d" " -f4 )
  local M=$( echo $1 | cut -d" " -f1 )
  local d=$( echo $1 | cut -d" " -f2 )
  local m

  if [ ${d} -lt 10 ]; then d="0${d}"; fi

  case $M in
    Jan) m="01";;
    Feb) m="02";;
    Mar) m="03";;
    Apr) m="04";;
    May) m="05";;
    Jun) m="06";;
    Jul) m="07";;
    Aug) m="08";;
    Sep) m="09";;
    Oct) m="10";;
    Nov) m="11";;
    Dec) m="12";;



if [ $# -gt 0 ]; then

certs=$( find ${DIR} -type f -name "*.pem" -o -name "*.crt" )
today=$( date +%Y%m%d )

for cert in $certs; do
  notafter=$( $OPENSSL x509 -enddate -in "${cert}" -noout )
  date=$( echo ${notafter} |  sed 's/^notAfter=//' )
  mydate "$date"

  if [ ${certdate} -lt ${today} ]; then
     echo "${cert} expired on ${certdate}! Removing..."
     rm -f "${cert}"

chmod u+x /usr/sbin/

The following commands will fetch the certificates and convert them to the correct format. If desired, a web browser may be used instead of wget but the file will need to be saved with the name certdata.txt. These commands can be repeated as necessary to update the CA Certificates.

URL= &&
rm -f certdata.txt &&
wget $URL          &&         &&
unset URL

Now, as the root user:

SSLDIR=/etc/ssl                                              && certs                                &&
install -d ${SSLDIR}/certs                                   &&
cp -v certs/*.pem ${SSLDIR}/certs                            &&
c_rehash                                                     &&
install BLFS-ca-bundle*.crt ${SSLDIR}/ca-bundle.crt          &&
ln -sfv ../ca-bundle.crt ${SSLDIR}/certs/ca-certificates.crt &&
unset SSLDIR

Finally, clean up the current directory:

rm -r certs BLFS-ca-bundle*

After installing or updating certificates, if OpenJDK is installed, update the certificates for Java using the procedures at JRE Certificate Authorithy Certificates.


Installed Programs:, and
Installed Libraries: None
Installed Directories: /etc/ssl/certs

Short Descriptions

is a shell script that reformats the certdata.txt file for use by openssl.

is a utility perl script that converts a single binary certificate (.der format) into .pem format.

is a utility shell script that removes expired certificates from a directory. The default directory is /etc/ssl/certs.

Last updated on 2016-02-23 10:28:27 -0800


Introduction to ConsoleKit

The ConsoleKit package is a framework for keeping track of the various users, sessions, and seats present on a system. It provides a mechanism for software to react to changes of any of these items or of any of the metadata associated with them.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS-7.9 platform.

Package Information

ConsoleKit Dependencies


dbus-glib-0.106 and Xorg Libraries



If you intend NOT to install polkit, you will need to manually edit the ConsoleKit.conf file to lock down the service. Failure to do so may be a huge SECURITY HOLE.



User Notes:

Installation of ConsoleKit

Install ConsoleKit by running the following commands:

./configure --prefix=/usr        \
            --sysconfdir=/etc    \
            --localstatedir=/var \
            --enable-udev-acl    \
            --enable-pam-module  \
            --enable-polkit      \
            --with-xinitrc-dir=/etc/X11/app-defaults/xinitrc.d \
            --docdir=/usr/share/doc/ConsoleKit-1.0.1           \
            --with-systemdsystemunitdir=no                     &&

This package does not come with a test suite.

Now, as the root user:

make install &&

mv -v /etc/X11/app-defaults/xinitrc.d/90-consolekit{,.sh}

Command Explanations

--enable-udev-acl: This switch enables building of the udev-acl tool, which is used to allow normal users to access device nodes normally only accessible to root.

--enable-pam-module: This switch enables building of the ConsoleKit PAM module which is needed for ConsoleKit to work correctly with PAM. Remove if Linux PAM is NOT installed.

--enable-polkit: Enable PolicyKit support.

--with-xinitrc-dir=/etc/X11/app-defaults/xinitrc.d: Fix the location of the script. Notice that the script has been renamed after installation, because xinitrc only sources script names ending with extension .sh.

--with-systemdsystemunitdir=no: Disable attempting to build with systemd libraries.

--enable-docbook-docs: Use this switch if xmlto is installed and you wish to build the user and API documentation.

Configuring ConsoleKit

PAM Module Configuration

If you use Linux PAM, it needs to be configured to activate ConsoleKit upon user login. This can be achieved by editing the /etc/pam.d/system-session file as the root user:

cat >> /etc/pam.d/system-session << "EOF"
# Begin ConsoleKit addition

session   optional
session   optional nox11

# End ConsoleKit addition

You will also need a helper script that creates a file in /var/run/console named as the currently logged in user and that contains the D-Bus address of the session. You can create the script by running the following commands as the root user:

cat > /usr/lib/ConsoleKit/run-session.d/ << "EOF"

[ -n "$CK_SESSION_USER_UID" ] || exit 1
[ "$CK_SESSION_IS_LOCAL" = "true" ] || exit 0

TAGFILE="$TAGDIR/`getent passwd $CK_SESSION_USER_UID | cut -f 1 -d:`"

if [ "$1" = "session_added" ]; then
    mkdir -p "$TAGDIR"
    echo "$CK_SESSION_ID" >> "$TAGFILE"

if [ "$1" = "session_removed" ] && [ -e "$TAGFILE" ]; then
    sed -i "\%^$CK_SESSION_ID\$%d" "$TAGFILE"
    [ -s "$TAGFILE" ] || rm -f "$TAGFILE"
chmod -v 755 /usr/lib/ConsoleKit/run-session.d/

See /usr/share/doc/ConsoleKit/spec/ConsoleKit.html for more configuration.


Installed Programs: ck-history, ck-launch-session, ck-list-sessions, ck-log-system-restart, ck-log-system-start, ck-log-system-stop and console-kit-daemon
Installed Libraries: and
Installed Directories: /etc/ConsoleKit, /usr/{include,lib}/ConsoleKit, /usr/share/doc/ConsoleKit-1.0.1, and /var/{log,run}/ConsoleKit

Short Descriptions


is a utility that provides information from the ConsoleKit database about what users have logged into the system.


is a utility for starting a command in its own ConsoleKit session.


list sessions with respective properties. Also good for debugging purposes.


write system restart to log.


write system start to log.


write system stop to log.


is the ConsoleKit daemon.

Last updated on 2016-02-26 19:14:42 -0800


Introduction to CrackLib

The CrackLib package contains a library used to enforce strong passwords by comparing user selected passwords to words in chosen word lists.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS-7.9 platform.

Package Information

Additional Downloads

There are additional word lists available for download, e.g., from CrackLib can utilize as many, or as few word lists you choose to install.


Users tend to base their passwords on regular words of the spoken language, and crackers know that. CrackLib is intended to filter out such bad passwords at the source using a dictionary created from word lists. To accomplish this, the word list(s) for use with CrackLib must be an exhaustive list of words and word-based keystroke combinations likely to be chosen by users of the system as (guessable) passwords.

The default word list recommended above for downloading mostly satisfies this role in English-speaking countries. In other situations, it may be necessary to download (or even create) additional word lists.

Note that word lists suitable for spell-checking are not usable as CrackLib word lists in countries with non-Latin based alphabets, because of “word-based keystroke combinations” that make bad passwords.

CrackLib Dependencies



User Notes:

Installation of CrackLib

Install CrackLib by running the following commands:

sed -i '/skipping/d' util/packer.c &&

./configure --prefix=/usr    \
            --disable-static \
            --with-default-dict=/lib/cracklib/pw_dict &&

Now, as the root user:

make install                      &&
mv -v /usr/lib/* /lib &&
ln -sfv ../../lib/$(readlink /usr/lib/ /usr/lib/

Issue the following commands as the root user to install the recommended word list and create the CrackLib dictionary. Other word lists (text based, one word per line) can also be used by simply installing them into /usr/share/dict and adding them to the create-cracklib-dict command.

install -v -m644 -D    ../cracklib-words-2.9.6.gz \
                         /usr/share/dict/cracklib-words.gz     &&

gunzip -v                /usr/share/dict/cracklib-words.gz     &&
ln -v -sf cracklib-words /usr/share/dict/words                 &&
echo $(hostname) >>      /usr/share/dict/cracklib-extra-words  &&
install -v -m755 -d      /lib/cracklib                         &&

create-cracklib-dict     /usr/share/dict/cracklib-words \

If desired, check the proper operation of the library as an unprivileged user by issuing the following command:

make test


If you are installing CrackLib after your LFS system has been completed and you have the Shadow package installed, you must reinstall Shadow-4.2.1 if you wish to provide strong password support on your system. If you are now going to install the Linux-PAM-1.2.1 package, you may disregard this note as Shadow will be reinstalled after the Linux-PAM installation.

Command Explanations

sed -i '/skipping/d' util/packer.c: Remove a meaningless warning.

--with-default-dict=/lib/cracklib/pw_dict: This parameter forces the installation of the CrackLib dictionary to the /lib hierarchy.

--disable-static: This switch prevents installation of static versions of the libraries.

mv -v /usr/lib/* /lib and ln -v -sf ../../lib/ ...: These two commands move the library and associated symlink from /usr/lib to /lib, then recreates the /usr/lib/ symlink pointing to the relocated file.

install -v -m644 -D ...: This command creates the /usr/share/dict directory (if it doesn't already exist) and installs the compressed word list there.

ln -v -s cracklib-words /usr/share/dict/words: The word list is linked to /usr/share/dict/words as historically, words is the primary word list in the /usr/share/dict directory. Omit this command if you already have a /usr/share/dict/words file installed on your system.

echo $(hostname) >>...: The value of hostname is echoed to a file called cracklib-extra-words. This extra file is intended to be a site specific list which includes easy to guess passwords such as company or department names, user's names, product names, computer names, domain names, etc.

create-cracklib-dict ...: This command creates the CrackLib dictionary from the word lists. Modify the command to add any additional word lists you have installed.


Installed Programs: cracklib-check, cracklib-format, cracklib-packer, cracklib-unpacker and create-cracklib-dict
Installed Libraries: and the Python module
Installed Directories: /lib/cracklib, /usr/share/dict and /usr/share/cracklib

Short Descriptions


is used to determine if a password is strong.


is used to format text files (lowercases all words, removes controle characters and sorts the lists).


creates a database with words read from standard input.


displays on standard output the database specified.


is used to create the CrackLib dictionary from the given word list(s).

provides a fast dictionary lookup method for strong password enforcement.

Last updated on 2016-02-21 15:08:48 -0800

Cyrus SASL-2.1.26

Introduction to Cyrus SASL

The Cyrus SASL package contains a Simple Authentication and Security Layer, a method for adding authentication support to connection-based protocols. To use SASL, a protocol includes a command for identifying and authenticating a user to a server and for optionally negotiating protection of subsequent protocol interactions. If its use is negotiated, a security layer is inserted between the protocol and the connection.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS-7.9 platform.

Package Information

Additional Downloads

Cyrus SASL Dependencies




Linux-PAM-1.2.1, MIT Kerberos V5-1.14, MariaDB-10.1.11 or MySQL, OpenJDK-, OpenLDAP-2.4.44, PostgreSQL-9.5.1, SQLite-3.11.0, krb4 and Dmalloc

User Notes:

Installation of Cyrus SASL

Install Cyrus SASL by running the following commands:

patch -Np1 -i ../cyrus-sasl-2.1.26-fixes-3.patch &&
autoreconf -fi &&

./configure --prefix=/usr        \
            --sysconfdir=/etc    \
            --enable-auth-sasldb \
            --with-dbpath=/var/lib/sasl/sasldb2 \
            --with-saslauthd=/var/run/saslauthd &&

This package does not come with a test suite. If you are planning on using the GSSAPI authentication mechanism, it is recommended to test it after installing the package using the sample server and client programs which were built in the preceding step. Instructions for performing the tests can be found at

Now, as the root user:

make install &&
install -v -dm755 /usr/share/doc/cyrus-sasl-2.1.26 &&
install -v -m644  doc/{*.{html,txt,fig},ONEWS,TODO} \
    saslauthd/LDAP_SASLAUTHD /usr/share/doc/cyrus-sasl-2.1.26 &&
install -v -dm700 /var/lib/sasl

Command Explanations

--with-dbpath=/var/lib/sasl/sasldb2: This switch forces the sasldb database to be created in /var/lib/sasl instead of /etc.

--with-saslauthd=/var/run/saslauthd: This switch forces saslauthd to use the FHS compliant directory /var/run/saslauthd for variable run-time data.

--enable-auth-sasldb: This switch enables SASLDB authentication backend.

--with-dblib=gdbm: This switch forces GDBM to be used instead of Berkeley DB.

--with-ldap: This switch enables the OpenLDAP support.

--enable-ldapdb: This switch enables the LDAPDB authentication backend. There is a circular dependency with this parameter. See for a solution to this problem.

--enable-java: This switch enables compiling of the Java support libraries.

--enable-login: This option enables unsupported LOGIN authentication.

--enable-ntlm: This option enables unsupported NTLM authentication.

install -v -m644 ...: These commands install documentation which is not installed by the make install command.

install -v -m700 -d /var/lib/sasl: This directory must exist when starting saslauthd or using the sasldb plugin. If you're not going to be running the daemon or using the plugins, you may omit the creation of this directory.

Configuring Cyrus SASL

Config Files

/etc/saslauthd.conf (for saslauthd LDAP configuration) and /etc/sasl2/Appname.conf (where "Appname" is the application defined name of the application)

Configuration Information

See file:///usr/share/doc/cyrus-sasl-2.1.26/sysadmin.html for information on what to include in the application configuration files.

See file:///usr/share/doc/cyrus-sasl-2.1.26/LDAP_SASLAUTHD for configuring saslauthd with OpenLDAP.

See file:///usr/share/doc/cyrus-sasl-2.1.26/gssapi.html for configuring saslauthd with Kerberos.

Init Script

If you need to run the saslauthd daemon at system startup, install the /etc/rc.d/init.d/saslauthd init script included in the blfs-bootscripts-20150924 package using the following command:

make install-saslauthd


You'll need to modify /etc/sysconfig/saslauthd and replace the AUTHMECH parameter with your desired authentication mechanism.


Installed Programs: pluginviewer, saslauthd, sasldblistusers2, saslpasswd2 and testsaslauthd
Installed Library:
Installed Directories: /usr/include/sasl, /usr/lib/sasl2, /usr/share/doc/cyrus-sasl-2.1.26 and /var/lib/sasl

Short Descriptions


is used to list loadable SASL plugins and their properties.


is the SASL authentication server.


is used to list the users in the SASL password database sasldb2.


is used to set and delete a user's SASL password and mechanism specific secrets in the SASL password database sasldb2.


is a test utility for the SASL authentication server.

is a general purpose authentication library for server and client applications.

Last updated on 2016-02-24 00:06:22 -0800


Introduction to GnuPG

The GnuPG package is GNU's tool for secure communication and data storage. It can be used to encrypt data and to create digital signatures. It includes an advanced key management facility and is compliant with the proposed OpenPGP Internet standard as described in RFC2440 and the S/MIME standard as described by several RFCs. GnuPG 2 is the stable version of GnuPG integrating support for OpenPGP and S/MIME.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS-7.9 platform.

Package Information

GnuPG 2 Dependencies


Libassuan-2.4.2, libgcrypt-1.6.5, Libksba-1.3.3, and NPth-1.2


cURL-7.47.1, libusb-compat-0.1.5, an MTA, OpenLDAP-2.4.44, SQLite-3.11.0, texlive-20150521 (or install-tl-unx), and GNU adns

User Notes:

Installation of GnuPG


If you are upgrading from gnupg prior to version 2.1, upstream developers recommend to backup ~/.gnupg, because some additional configuration will probably be necessary, and you could lose your keys. You can find instructions at and

If the top directory path where the source is unpacked contains symbolic links, the openpgp tests might fail. If this is your case and you wish to run the test suite, fix that with:

sed -e 's|\(GNUPGHOME\)=\$(abs_builddir)|\1=`/bin/pwd`|' \
    -i tests/openpgp/

Install GnuPG by running the following commands:

./configure --prefix=/usr \
            --enable-symcryptrun \
            --docdir=/usr/share/doc/gnupg-2.1.11 &&
make &&

makeinfo --html --no-split \
         -o doc/gnupg_nochunks.html doc/gnupg.texi &&
makeinfo --plaintext       \
         -o doc/gnupg.txt           doc/gnupg.texi

If you have texlive-20150521 installed and you wish to create documentation in alternate formats, issue the following commands:

make -C doc pdf ps html

To test the results, issue: make check.

Note that if you have already installed GnuPG, the instructions below will overwrite /usr/share/man/man1/gpg-zip.1. Now, as the root user:

make install &&

install -v -m755 -d /usr/share/doc/gnupg-2.1.11/html            &&
install -v -m644    doc/gnupg_nochunks.html \
                    /usr/share/doc/gnupg-2.1.11/html/gnupg.html &&
install -v -m644    doc/*.texi doc/gnupg.txt \

We recommend the creation of symlinks for compatibility with the first version of GnuPG, because some programs or scripts need them. Issue, as root user:

for f in gpg gpgv
  ln -svf ${f}2.1 /usr/share/man/man1/$f.1 &&
  ln -svf ${f}2   /usr/bin/$f
unset f

If you created alternate formats of the documentation, install it using the following command as the root user:

install -v -m644 doc/gnupg.html/* \
                 /usr/share/doc/gnupg-2.1.11/html &&
install -v -m644 doc/gnupg.{pdf,dvi,ps} \

Command Explanations

--docdir=/usr/share/doc/gnupg-2.1.11: This switch changes the default docdir to /usr/share/doc/gnupg-2.1.11.

--enable-symcryptrun: This switch enables building the symcryptrun program.

--enable-g13: This switch enables building the g13 program.


Installed Programs: addgnupghome, applygnupgdefaults, dirmngr, dirmngr-client, g13, gpg-agent, gpg-connect-agent, gpg, gpg2, gpgconf, gpgparsemail, gpgsm, gpgtar, gpgv, gpgv2, kbxutil, symcryptrun, and watchgnupg
Installed Libraries: None
Installed Directories: /usr/share/doc/gnupg-2.1.11 and /usr/share/gnupg

Short Descriptions


is used to create and populate user's ~/.gnupg directories


is a wrapper script used to run gpgconf with the --apply-defaults parameter on all user's GnuPG home directories.


is a tool that takes care of accessing the OpenPGP keyservers.


is a tool to contact a running dirmngr and test whether a certificate has been revoked.


is a tool to create, mount or unmount an encrypted file system container (optional).


is a daemon used to manage secret (private) keys independently from any protocol. It is used as a backend for gpg2 and gpgsm as well as for a couple of other utilities.


is a utility used to communicate with a running gpg-agent.


(optional) is a symlink to gpg2 for compatibility with the first version of GnuPG.


is the OpenPGP part of the GNU Privacy Guard (GnuPG). It is a tool used to provide digital encryption and signing services using the OpenPGP standard.


is a utility used to automatically and reasonably safely query and modify configuration files in the ~/.gnupg home directory. It is designed not to be invoked manually by the user, but automatically by graphical user interfaces.


is a utility currently only useful for debugging. Run it with --help for usage information.


is a tool similar to gpg2 used to provide digital encryption and signing services on X.509 certificates and the CMS protocol. It is mainly used as a backend for S/MIME mail processing.


is a tool to encrypt or sign files into an archive.


(optional) is a symlink to gpgv2 for compatibility with the first version of GnuPG.


is a verify only version of gpg2.


is used to list, export and import Keybox data.


is a simple symmetric encryption tool.


is used to listen to a Unix Domain socket created by any of the GnuPG tools.

Last updated on 2016-02-26 19:14:42 -0800


Introduction to GnuTLS

The GnuTLS package contains libraries and userspace tools which provide a secure layer over a reliable transport layer. Currently the GnuTLS library implements the proposed standards by the IETF's TLS working group. Quoting from the TLS protocol specification:

The TLS protocol provides communications privacy over the Internet. The protocol allows client/server applications to communicate in a way that is designed to prevent eavesdropping, tampering, or message forgery.

GnuTLS provides support for TLS 1.2, TLS 1.1, TLS 1.0, and SSL 3.0 protocols, TLS extensions, including server name and max record size. Additionally, the library supports authentication using the SRP protocol, X.509 certificates and OpenPGP keys, along with support for the TLS Pre-Shared-Keys (PSK) extension, the Inner Application (TLS/IA) extension and X.509 and OpenPGP certificate handling.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS-7.9 platform.

Package Information

GnuTLS Dependencies




Doxygen-1.8.11, GTK-Doc-1.24, Guile-2.0.11, libidn-1.32, texlive-20150521 or install-tl-unx, Unbound-1.5.7 (to build the DANE library), Valgrind-3.11.0 (used during the test suite), autogen, datefudge (used during the test suite), and Trousers (Trusted Platform Module support)


Note that if you do not install libtasn1-4.7, an older version shipped in the GnuTLS tarball will be used instead.

User Notes:

Installation of GnuTLS

Install GnuTLS by running the following commands:

./configure --prefix=/usr \
            --with-default-trust-store-file=/etc/ssl/ca-bundle.crt &&

To test the results, issue: make check. If a prior version of GnuTLS has been installed, some tests may fail. If /usr/lib/ is removed, all tests should pass and the install procedure restores

Now, as the root user:

make install

If you did not pass the --enable-gtk-doc parameter to the configure script, you can install the API documentation to the /usr/share/gtk-doc/html/gnutls directory using the following command as the root user:

make -C doc/reference install-data-local

Command Explanations

--with-default-trust-store-file=/etc/ssl/ca-bundle.crt: This switch tells configure where to find the CA Certificates.

--enable-gtk-doc: Use this parameter if GTK-Doc is installed and you wish to rebuild and install the API documentation.

--enable-openssl-compatibility: Use this switch if you wish to build the OpenSSL compatibility library.

--without-p11-kit: use this switch if you have not installed p11-kit.


Installed Programs: certtool, crywrap, danetool, gnutls-cli, gnutls-cli-debug, gnutls-serv, ocsptool, p11tool, psktool, and srptool
Installed Libraries:,,, and /usr/lib/guile/2.0/
Installed Directories: /usr/{include,share/gtk-doc/html,share/guile/site}/gnutls

Short Descriptions


is used to generate X.509 certificates, certificate requests, and private keys.


is a simple wrapper that waits for TLS/SSL connections, and proxies them to an unencrypted location. Only installed if libidn-1.32 is present.


is a tool used to generate and check DNS resource records for the DANE protocol.


is a simple client program to set up a TLS connection to some other computer.


is a simple client program to set up a TLS connection to some other computer and produces very verbose progress results.


is a simple server program that listens to incoming TLS connections.


is a program that can parse and print information about OCSP requests/responses, generate requests and verify responses.


is a program that allows handling data from PKCS #11 smart cards and security modules.


is a simple program that generates random keys for use with TLS-PSK.


is a simple program that emulates the programs in the Stanford SRP (Secure Remote Password) libraries using GnuTLS.

contains the core API functions and X.509 certificate API functions.

Last updated on 2016-02-21 12:38:55 -0800


Introduction to GPGME

The GPGME package is a C library that allows cryptography support to be added to a program. It is designed to make access to public key crypto engines like GnuPG or GpgSM easier for applications. GPGME provides a high-level crypto API for encryption, decryption, signing, signature verification and key management.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS-7.9 platform.

Package Information

  • Download (FTP):

  • Download MD5 sum: 60d730d22e8065fd5de309e8b98e304b

  • Download size: 964 KB

  • Estimated disk space required: 23 MB (without the test suite)

  • Estimated build time: 0.2 SBU (without the test suite)

GPGME Dependencies




GnuPG-2.1.11 (used during the testsuite)

User Notes:

Installation of GPGME

Install GPGME by running the following commands:

./configure --prefix=/usr &&

To test the results, issue: make check.

Now, as the root user:

make install


Installed Program: gpgme-config and gpgme-tool
Installed Libraries: and
Installed Directory: /usr/share/common-lisp/source/gpgme

Short Descriptions


is used to obtain GPGME compilation and linking information.


prints fingerprint and keyid with keyservers.

contains the GPGME API functions for applications using pthread.

contains the GPGME API functions.

Last updated on 2016-02-26 19:14:42 -0800


Introduction to Haveged

The Haveged package contains a daemon that generates an unpredictable stream of random numbers and feeds the /dev/random device.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS-7.9 platform.

Package Information

User Notes:

Installation of Haveged

Install Haveged by running the following commands:

./configure --prefix=/usr &&

To test the results, issue: make check.

Now, as the root user:

make install &&
mkdir -pv    /usr/share/doc/haveged-1.9.1 &&
cp -v README /usr/share/doc/haveged-1.9.1

Configuring haveged

Boot Script

If you want the Haveged daemon to start automatically when the system is booted, install the /etc/rc.d/init.d/haveged init script included in the blfs-bootscripts-20150924 package.

make install-haveged


Installed Programs: haveged
Installed Libraries:
Installed Directory: /usr/include/haveged

Short Descriptions


is a daemon that generates an unpredictable stream of random numbers harvested from the indirect effects of hardware events based on hidden processor states (caches, branch predictors, memory translation tables, etc).

Last updated on 2016-02-21 15:08:48 -0800


Introduction to Iptables

The next part of this chapter deals with firewalls. The principal firewall tool for Linux is Iptables. You will need to install Iptables if you intend on using any form of a firewall.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS-7.9 platform.

Package Information

Iptables Dependencies



User Notes:

Kernel Configuration

A firewall in Linux is accomplished through a portion of the kernel called netfilter. The interface to netfilter is Iptables. To use it, the appropriate kernel configuration parameters are found in:

[*] Networking support  --->                                    [CONFIG_NET]
      Networking Options  --->
        [*] Network packet filtering framework (Netfilter) ---> [CONFIG_NETFILTER]

Installation of Iptables


The installation below does not include building some specialized extension libraries which require the raw headers in the Linux source code. If you wish to build the additional extensions (if you aren't sure, then you probably don't), you can look at the INSTALL file to see an example of how to change the KERNEL_DIR= parameter to point at the Linux source code. Note that if you upgrade the kernel version, you may also need to recompile Iptables and that the BLFS team has not tested using the raw kernel headers.

For some non-x86 architectures, the raw kernel headers may be required. In that case, modify the KERNEL_DIR= parameter to point at the Linux source code.

Install Iptables by running the following commands:

./configure --prefix=/usr      \
            --sbindir=/sbin    \
            --disable-nftables \
            --enable-libipq    \
            --with-xtlibdir=/lib/xtables &&

This package does not come with a test suite.

Now, as the root user:

make install &&
ln -sfv ../../sbin/xtables-multi /usr/bin/iptables-xml &&

for file in ip4tc ip6tc ipq iptc xtables
  mv -v /usr/lib/lib${file}.so.* /lib &&
  ln -sfv ../../lib/$(readlink /usr/lib/lib${file}.so) /usr/lib/lib${file}.so

Command Explanations

--disable-nftables: This switch disables building nftables compat.

--enable-libipq: This switch enables building of which can be used by some packages outside of BLFS.

--with-xtlibdir=/lib/xtables: Ensure all Iptables modules are installed in the /lib/xtables directory.

--enable-nfsynproxy: This switch enables installation of nfsynproxy SYNPROXY configuration tool.

ln -sfv ../../sbin/xtables-multi /usr/bin/iptables-xml: Ensure the symbolic link for iptables-xml is relative.

Configuring Iptables

Introductory instructions for configuring your firewall are presented in the next section: Firewalling

Boot Script

To set up the iptables firewall at boot, install the /etc/rc.d/init.d/iptables init script included in the blfs-bootscripts-20150924 package.

make install-iptables


Installed Programs: ip6tables, ip6tables-restore, ip6tables-save, iptables, iptables-restore, iptables-save, iptables-xml, nfsynproxy (optional) and xtables-multi
Installed Libraries:,,,, and
Installed Directories: /lib/xtables and /usr/include/libiptc

Short Descriptions


is used to set up, maintain, and inspect the tables of IP packet filter rules in the Linux kernel.


is used to restore IP Tables from data specified on STDIN. Use I/O redirection provided by your shell to read from a file.


is used to dump the contents of an IP Table in easily parseable format to STDOUT. Use I/O-redirection provided by your shell to write to a file.


is used to convert the output of iptables-save to an XML format. Using the iptables.xslt stylesheet converts the XML back to the format of iptables-restore.


are a set of commands for IPV6 that parallel the iptables commands above.


(optional) configuration tool. SYNPROXY target makes handling of large SYN floods possible without the large performance penalties imposed by the connection tracking in such cases.


is a binary that behaves according to the name it is called by.

Last updated on 2016-02-21 15:08:48 -0800

Setting Up a Network Firewall

Before you read this part of the chapter, you should have already installed iptables as described in the previous section.

Introduction to Firewall Creation

The general purpose of a firewall is to protect a computer or a network against malicious access.

In a perfect world, every daemon or service on every machine is perfectly configured and immune to flaws such as buffer overflows or other problems regarding its security. Furthermore, you trust every user accessing your services. In this world, you do not need to have a firewall.

In the real world however, daemons may be misconfigured and exploits against essential services are freely available. You may wish to choose which services are accessible by certain machines or you may wish to limit which machines or applications are allowed external access. Alternatively, you may simply not trust some of your applications or users. You are probably connected to the Internet. In this world, a firewall is essential.

Don't assume however, that having a firewall makes careful configuration redundant, or that it makes any negligent misconfiguration harmless. It doesn't prevent anyone from exploiting a service you intentionally offer but haven't recently updated or patched after an exploit went public. Despite having a firewall, you need to keep applications and daemons on your system properly configured and up to date. A firewall is not a cure all, but should be an essential part of your overall security strategy.

Meaning of the Word "Firewall"

The word firewall can have several different meanings.

This is a hardware device or software program commercially sold (or offered via freeware) by companies such as Symantec which claims that it secures a home or desktop computer connected to the Internet. This type of firewall is highly relevant for users who do not know how their computers might be accessed via the Internet or how to disable that access, especially if they are always online and connected via broadband links.

This is a system placed between the Internet and an intranet. To minimize the risk of compromising the firewall itself, it should generally have only one role—that of protecting the intranet. Although not completely risk free, the tasks of doing the routing and IP masquerading (rewriting IP headers of the packets it routes from clients with private IP addresses onto the Internet so that they seem to come from the firewall itself) are commonly considered relatively secure.

This is often an old computer you may have retired and nearly forgotten, performing masquerading or routing functions, but offering non-firewall services such as a web-cache or mail. This may be used for home networks, but is not to be considered as secure as a firewall only machine because the combination of server and router/firewall on one machine raises the complexity of the setup.

Firewall with a Demilitarized Zone [Not Further Described Here]

This box performs masquerading or routing, but grants public access to some branch of your network which, because of public IPs and a physically separated structure, is essentially a separate network with direct Internet access. The servers on this network are those which must be easily accessible from both the Internet and intranet. The firewall protects both networks. This type of firewall has a minimum of three network interfaces.


This type of firewall does routing or masquerading, but does not maintain a state table of ongoing communication streams. It is fast, but quite limited in its ability to block undesired packets without blocking desired packets.

Now You Can Start to Build your Firewall


This introduction on how to setup a firewall is not a complete guide to securing systems. Firewalling is a complex issue that requires careful configuration. The scripts quoted here are simply intended to give examples of how a firewall works. They are not intended to fit into any particular configuration and may not provide complete protection from an attack.

Customization of these scripts for your specific situation will be necessary for an optimal configuration, but you should make a serious study of the iptables documentation and creating firewalls in general before hacking away. Have a look at the list of links for further reading at the end of this section for more details. There you will find a list of URLs that contain quite comprehensive information about building your own firewall.

The firewall configuration script installed in the iptables section differs from the standard configuration script. It only has two of the standard targets: start and status. The other targets are clear and lock. For instance if you issue:

/etc/rc.d/init.d/iptables start

the firewall will be restarted just as it is upon system startup. The status target will present a list of all currently implemented rules. The clear target turns off all firewall rules and the lock target will block all packets in and out of the computer with the exception of the loopback interface.

The main startup firewall is located in the file /etc/rc.d/rc.iptables. The sections below provide three different approaches that can be used for a system.


You should always run your firewall rules from a script. This ensures consistency and a record of what was done. It also allows retention of comments that are essential for understanding the rules long after they were written.

Personal Firewall

A Personal Firewall is designed to let you access all the services offered on the Internet, but keep your box secure and your data private.

Below is a slightly modified version of Rusty Russell's recommendation from the Linux 2.4 Packet Filtering HOWTO. It is still applicable to the Linux 2.6 kernels.

cat > /etc/rc.d/rc.iptables << "EOF"

# Begin rc.iptables

# Insert connection-tracking modules
# (not needed if built into the kernel)
modprobe nf_conntrack
modprobe xt_LOG

# Enable broadcast echo Protection
echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/icmp_echo_ignore_broadcasts

# Disable Source Routed Packets
echo 0 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/conf/all/accept_source_route
echo 0 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/conf/default/accept_source_route

# Enable TCP SYN Cookie Protection
echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/tcp_syncookies

# Disable ICMP Redirect Acceptance
echo 0 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/conf/default/accept_redirects

# Do not send Redirect Messages
echo 0 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/conf/all/send_redirects
echo 0 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/conf/default/send_redirects

# Drop Spoofed Packets coming in on an interface, where responses
# would result in the reply going out a different interface.
echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/conf/all/rp_filter
echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/conf/default/rp_filter

# Log packets with impossible addresses.
echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/conf/all/log_martians
echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/conf/default/log_martians

# be verbose on dynamic ip-addresses  (not needed in case of static IP)
echo 2 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_dynaddr

# disable Explicit Congestion Notification
# too many routers are still ignorant
echo 0 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/tcp_ecn

# Set a known state
iptables -P INPUT   DROP
iptables -P FORWARD DROP
iptables -P OUTPUT  DROP

# These lines are here in case rules are already in place and the
# script is ever rerun on the fly. We want to remove all rules and
# pre-existing user defined chains before we implement new rules.
iptables -F
iptables -X
iptables -Z

iptables -t nat -F

# Allow local-only connections
iptables -A INPUT  -i lo -j ACCEPT

# Free output on any interface to any ip for any service
# (equal to -P ACCEPT)
iptables -A OUTPUT -j ACCEPT

# Permit answers on already established connections
# and permit new connections related to established ones
# (e.g. port mode ftp)
iptables -A INPUT -m conntrack --ctstate ESTABLISHED,RELATED -j ACCEPT

# Log everything else. What's Windows' latest exploitable vulnerability?
iptables -A INPUT -j LOG --log-prefix "FIREWALL:INPUT "

# End $rc_base/rc.iptables
chmod 700 /etc/rc.d/rc.iptables

This script is quite simple, it drops all traffic coming into your computer that wasn't initiated from your computer, but as long as you are simply surfing the Internet you are unlikely to exceed its limits.

If you frequently encounter certain delays at accessing FTP servers, take a look at BusyBox example number 4.

Even if you have daemons or services running on your system, these will be inaccessible everywhere but from your computer itself. If you want to allow access to services on your machine, such as ssh or ping, take a look at BusyBox.

Masquerading Router

A true Firewall has two interfaces, one connected to an intranet, in this example eth0, and one connected to the Internet, here ppp0. To provide the maximum security for the firewall itself, make sure that there are no unnecessary servers running on it such as X11 et al. As a general principle, the firewall itself should not access any untrusted service (think of a remote server giving answers that makes a daemon on your system crash, or even worse, that implements a worm via a buffer-overflow).

cat > /etc/rc.d/rc.iptables << "EOF"

# Begin rc.iptables

echo "You're using the example configuration for a setup of a firewall"
echo "from Beyond Linux From Scratch."
echo "This example is far from being complete, it is only meant"
echo "to be a reference."
echo "Firewall security is a complex issue, that exceeds the scope"
echo "of the configuration rules below."
echo "You can find additional information"
echo "about firewalls in Chapter 4 of the BLFS book."
echo ""

# Insert iptables modules (not needed if built into the kernel).

modprobe nf_conntrack
modprobe nf_conntrack_ftp
modprobe xt_conntrack
modprobe xt_LOG
modprobe xt_state

# Enable broadcast echo Protection
echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/icmp_echo_ignore_broadcasts

# Disable Source Routed Packets
echo 0 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/conf/all/accept_source_route

# Enable TCP SYN Cookie Protection
echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/tcp_syncookies

# Disable ICMP Redirect Acceptance
echo 0 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/conf/all/accept_redirects

# Don't send Redirect Messages
echo 0 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/conf/default/send_redirects

# Drop Spoofed Packets coming in on an interface where responses
# would result in the reply going out a different interface.
echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/conf/default/rp_filter

# Log packets with impossible addresses.
echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/conf/all/log_martians

# Be verbose on dynamic ip-addresses  (not needed in case of static IP)
echo 2 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_dynaddr

# Disable Explicit Congestion Notification
# Too many routers are still ignorant
echo 0 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/tcp_ecn

# Set a known state
iptables -P INPUT   DROP
iptables -P FORWARD DROP
iptables -P OUTPUT  DROP

# These lines are here in case rules are already in place and the
# script is ever rerun on the fly. We want to remove all rules and
# pre-existing user defined chains before we implement new rules.
iptables -F
iptables -X
iptables -Z

iptables -t nat -F

# Allow local connections
iptables -A INPUT  -i lo -j ACCEPT
iptables -A OUTPUT -o lo -j ACCEPT

# Allow forwarding if the initiated on the intranet
iptables -A FORWARD -m conntrack --ctstate ESTABLISHED,RELATED -j ACCEPT
iptables -A FORWARD ! -i ppp+ -m conntrack --ctstate NEW       -j ACCEPT

# Do masquerading
# (not needed if intranet is not using private ip-addresses)
iptables -t nat -A POSTROUTING -o ppp+ -j MASQUERADE

# Log everything for debugging
# (last of all rules, but before policy rules)
iptables -A INPUT   -j LOG --log-prefix "FIREWALL:INPUT "
iptables -A FORWARD -j LOG --log-prefix "FIREWALL:FORWARD "
iptables -A OUTPUT  -j LOG --log-prefix "FIREWALL:OUTPUT "

# Enable IP Forwarding
echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_forward
chmod 700 /etc/rc.d/rc.iptables

With this script your intranet should be reasonably secure against external attacks. No one should be able to setup a new connection to any internal service and, if it's masqueraded, makes your intranet invisible to the Internet. Furthermore, your firewall should be relatively safe because there are no services running that a cracker could attack.


If the interface you're connecting to the Internet doesn't connect via PPP, you will need to change <ppp+> to the name of the interface (e.g., eth1) which you are using.


This scenario isn't too different from the Masquerading Router, but additionally offers some services to your intranet. Examples of this can be when you want to administer your firewall from another host on your intranet or use it as a proxy or a name server.


Outlining a true concept of how to protect a server that offers services on the Internet goes far beyond the scope of this document. See the references at the end of this section for more information.

Be cautious. Every service you have enabled makes your setup more complex and your firewall less secure. You are exposed to the risks of misconfigured services or running a service with an exploitable bug. A firewall should generally not run any extra services. See the introduction to the Masquerading Router for some more details.

If you want to add services such as internal Samba or name servers that do not need to access the Internet themselves, the additional statements are quite simple and should still be acceptable from a security standpoint. Just add the following lines into the script before the logging rules.

iptables -A INPUT  -i ! ppp+  -j ACCEPT
iptables -A OUTPUT -o ! ppp+  -j ACCEPT

If daemons, such as squid, have to access the Internet themselves, you could open OUTPUT generally and restrict INPUT.

iptables -A INPUT -m conntrack --ctstate ESTABLISHED,RELATED -j ACCEPT
iptables -A OUTPUT -j ACCEPT

However, it is generally not advisable to leave OUTPUT unrestricted. You lose any control over trojans who would like to "call home", and a bit of redundancy in case you've (mis-)configured a service so that it broadcasts its existence to the world.

To accomplish this, you should restrict INPUT and OUTPUT on all ports except those that it's absolutely necessary to have open. Which ports you have to open depends on your needs: mostly you will find them by looking for failed accesses in your log files.

Have a Look at the Following Examples:

  • Squid is caching the web:

    iptables -A OUTPUT -p tcp --dport 80 -j ACCEPT
    iptables -A INPUT  -p tcp --sport 80 -m conntrack --ctstate ESTABLISHED \
      -j ACCEPT
  • Your caching name server (e.g., named) does its lookups via UDP:

    iptables -A OUTPUT -p udp --dport 53 -j ACCEPT
  • You want to be able to ping your computer to ensure it's still alive:

    iptables -A INPUT  -p icmp -m icmp --icmp-type echo-request -j ACCEPT
    iptables -A OUTPUT -p icmp -m icmp --icmp-type echo-reply   -j ACCEPT
  • If you are frequently accessing FTP servers or enjoy chatting, you might notice certain delays because some implementations of these daemons have the feature of querying an identd on your system to obtain usernames. Although there's really little harm in this, having an identd running is not recommended because many security experts feel the service gives out too much additional information.

    To avoid these delays you could reject the requests with a 'tcp-reset':

    iptables -A INPUT  -p tcp --dport 113 -j REJECT --reject-with tcp-reset
  • To log and drop invalid packets (packets that came in after netfilter's timeout or some types of network scans) insert these rules at the top of the chain:

    iptables -I INPUT 0 -p tcp -m conntrack --ctstate INVALID \
      -j LOG --log-prefix "FIREWALL:INVALID "
    iptables -I INPUT 1 -p tcp -m conntrack --ctstate INVALID -j DROP
  • Anything coming from the outside should not have a private address, this is a common attack called IP-spoofing:

    iptables -A INPUT -i ppp+ -s     -j DROP
    iptables -A INPUT -i ppp+ -s  -j DROP
    iptables -A INPUT -i ppp+ -s -j DROP

    There are other addresses that you may also want to drop:,, (multicast and experimental), (Link Local Networks), and (IANA defined test network).

  • If your firewall is a DHCP client, you need to allow those packets:

    iptables -A INPUT  -i ppp0 -p udp -s --sport 67 \
       -d --dport 68 -j ACCEPT
  • To simplify debugging and be fair to anyone who'd like to access a service you have disabled, purposely or by mistake, you could REJECT those packets that are dropped.

    Obviously this must be done directly after logging as the very last lines before the packets are dropped by policy:

    iptables -A INPUT -j REJECT

These are only examples to show you some of the capabilities of the firewall code in Linux. Have a look at the man page of iptables. There you will find much more information. The port numbers needed for this can be found in /etc/services, in case you didn't find them by trial and error in your log file.


Finally, there is one fact you must not forget: The effort spent attacking a system corresponds to the value the cracker expects to gain from it. If you are responsible for valuable information, you need to spend the time to protect it properly.

Last updated on 2014-08-10 11:18:14 -0700

libcap-2.25 with PAM

Introduction to libcap with PAM

The libcap package was installed in LFS, but if PAM support is desired, it needs to be reinstalled after PAM is built.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS-7.9 platform.

Package Information

libcap Dependencies



User Notes:

Installation of libcap

Install libcap by running the following commands:

sed -i 's:LIBDIR:PAM_&:g' pam_cap/Makefile &&

This package does not come with a test suite.

If you want to disable installing the static library, use this sed:

sed -i '/install.*STALIBNAME/ s/^/#/' libcap/Makefile

Now, as the root user:

make prefix=/usr \
     SBINDIR=/sbin \
     PAM_LIBDIR=/lib \
     RAISE_SETFCAP=no install

Still as the root user, clean up some library locations and permissions:

chmod -v 755 /usr/lib/ &&
mv -v /usr/lib/* /lib &&
ln -sfv ../../lib/ /usr/lib/

Command Explanations

sed -i '...', PAM_LIBDIR=/lib: These correct PAM module install location.

RAISE_SETFCAP=no: This parameter skips trying to use setcap on itself. This avoids an installation error if the kernel or file system do not support extended capabilities.


Installed Programs: capsh, getcap, getpcaps, and setcap
Installed Libraries: libcap.{so,a} and
Installed Directories: None

Short Descriptions


is a shell wrapper to explore and constrain capability support.


examines file capabilities.


displays the capabilities on the queried process(es).


sets file file capabilities.


contains the libcap API functions.

Last updated on 2016-02-21 15:08:48 -0800


Introduction to Linux PAM

The Linux PAM package contains Pluggable Authentication Modules used to enable the local system administrator to choose how applications authenticate users.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS-7.9 platform.

Package Information

Additional Downloads

Optional Documentation

Linux PAM Dependencies


Berkeley DB-6.1.26, CrackLib-2.9.6, libtirpc-1.0.1 and Prelude

Optional (To Rebuild the Documentation)

docbook-xml-4.5, docbook-xsl-1.79.1, fop-2.1, libxslt-1.1.28 and w3m-0.5.3

User Notes:

Installation of Linux PAM

If you downloaded the documentation, unpack the tarball by issuing the following command.

tar -xf ../Linux-PAM-1.2.0-docs.tar.bz2 --strip-components=1

Install Linux PAM by running the following commands:

./configure --prefix=/usr \
            --sysconfdir=/etc \
            --libdir=/usr/lib \
            --enable-securedir=/lib/security \
            --docdir=/usr/share/doc/Linux-PAM-1.2.1 &&

To test the results, a suitable /etc/pam.d/other configuration file must exist.

Reinstallation or upgrade of Linux PAM

If you have a system with Linux PAM installed and working, be careful when modifying the files in /etc/pam.d, since your system may become totally unusable. If you want to run the tests, you do not need to create another /etc/pam.d/other file. The installed one can be used for that purpose.

You should also be aware that make install overwrites the configuration files in /etc/security as well as /etc/environment. In case you have modified those files, be sure to back them up.

For a first installation, create the configuration file by issuing the following commands as the root user:

install -v -m755 -d /etc/pam.d &&

cat > /etc/pam.d/other << "EOF"
auth     required
account  required
password required
session  required

Now run the tests by issuing make check. Ensure there are no errors produced by the tests before continuing the installation. Note that the checks are quite long. It may be useful to redirect the output to a log file in order to inspect it thoroughly.

Only in case of a first installation, remove the configuration file created earlier by issuing the following command as the root user:

rm -fv /etc/pam.d/*

Now, as the root user:

make install &&
chmod -v 4755 /sbin/unix_chkpwd &&

for file in pam pam_misc pamc
  mv -v /usr/lib/lib${file}.so.* /lib &&
  ln -sfv ../../lib/$(readlink /usr/lib/lib${file}.so) /usr/lib/lib${file}.so

Command Explanations

--enable-securedir=/lib/security: This switch sets install location for the PAM modules.

chmod -v 4755 /sbin/unix_chkpwd: The unix_chkpwd helper program must be setuid so that non-root processes can access the shadow file.

Configuring Linux-PAM

Config Files

/etc/security/* and /etc/pam.d/*

Configuration Information

Configuration information is placed in /etc/pam.d/. Below is an example file:

# Begin /etc/pam.d/other

auth            required     nullok
account         required
session         required
password        required     nullok

# End /etc/pam.d/other

Now set up some generic files. As root:

cat > /etc/pam.d/system-account << "EOF"
# Begin /etc/pam.d/system-account

account   required

# End /etc/pam.d/system-account

cat > /etc/pam.d/system-auth << "EOF"
# Begin /etc/pam.d/system-auth

auth      required

# End /etc/pam.d/system-auth

cat > /etc/pam.d/system-session << "EOF"
# Begin /etc/pam.d/system-session

session   required

# End /etc/pam.d/system-session

The remaining generic file depends on wheather CrackLib-2.9.6 is installed. If it is installed, use:

cat > /etc/pam.d/system-password << "EOF"
# Begin /etc/pam.d/system-password

# check new passwords for strength (man pam_cracklib)
password  required   type=Linux retry=3 difok=5 \
                                        difignore=23 minlen=9 dcredit=1 \
                                        ucredit=1 lcredit=1 ocredit=1 \
# use sha512 hash for encryption, use shadow, and use the
# authentication token (chosen password) set by pam_cracklib
# above (or any previous modules)
password  required       sha512 shadow use_authtok

# End /etc/pam.d/system-password


In its default configuration, pam_cracklib will allow multiple case passwords as short as 6 characters, even with the minlen value set to 11. You should review the pam_cracklib(8) man page and determine if these default values are acceptable for the security of your system.

If CrackLib-2.9.6 is NOT installed, use:

cat > /etc/pam.d/system-password << "EOF"
# Begin /etc/pam.d/system-password

# use sha512 hash for encryption, use shadow, and try to use any previously
# defined authentication token (chosen password) set by any prior module
password  required       sha512 shadow try_first_pass

# End /etc/pam.d/system-password

Now add a restrictive /etc/pam.d/other configuration file. With this file, programs that are PAM aware will not run unless a configuration file specifically for that application is created.

cat > /etc/pam.d/other << "EOF"
# Begin /etc/pam.d/other

auth        required
auth        required
account     required
account     required
password    required
password    required
session     required
session     required

# End /etc/pam.d/other

The PAM man page (man pam) provides a good starting point for descriptions of fields and allowable entries. The Linux-PAM System Administrators' Guide is recommended for additional information.

Refer to for a list of various third-party modules available.


You should now reinstall the Shadow-4.2.1 package.


Installed Program: mkhomedir_helper, pam_tally, pam_tally2, pam_timestamp_check, unix_chkpwd and unix_update
Installed Libraries:, and
Installed Directories: /etc/security, /lib/security, /usr/include/security and /usr/share/doc/Linux-PAM-1.2.1

Short Descriptions


is a helper binary that creates home directories.


is used to interrogate and manipulate the login counter file.


is used to interrogate and manipulate the login counter file, but does not have some limitations that pam_tally does.


is used to check if the default timestamp is valid


is a helper binary that verifies the password of the current user.


is a helper binary that updates the password of a given user.

provides the interfaces between applications and the PAM modules.

Last updated on 2016-02-21 15:08:48 -0800


Introduction to libpwquality

The libpwquality package provides common functions for password quality checking and also scoring them based on their apparent randomness. The library also provides a function for generating random passwords with good pronounceability.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS-7.9 platform.

Package Information

libpwquality Dependencies




User Notes:

Installation of libpwquality

Install libpwquality by running the following commands:

./configure --prefix=/usr --disable-static &&

This package does not come with a test suite.

Now, as the root user:

make install


Installed Programs: pwscore and pwmake
Installed Libraries: and
Installed Directories: /etc/security

Short Descriptions


is a simple configurable tool for generating random and relatively easily pronounceable passwords.


is a simple tool for checking quality of a password.

contains API functions for checking the password quality.

is a Linux PAM module used to perform password quality checking.

Last updated on 2015-09-25 08:48:24 -0500

MIT Kerberos V5-1.14

Introduction to MIT Kerberos V5

MIT Kerberos V5 is a free implementation of Kerberos 5. Kerberos is a network authentication protocol. It centralizes the authentication database and uses kerberized applications to work with servers or services that support Kerberos allowing single logins and encrypted communication over internal networks or the Internet.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS-7.9 platform.

Package Information

MIT Kerberos V5 Dependencies


DejaGnu-1.5.3 (for full test coverage), GnuPG-2.1.11 (to authenticate the package), keyutils-1.5.9, OpenLDAP-2.4.44, Python-2.7.11 (used during the testsuite) and rpcbind-0.2.3 (used during the testsuite)


Some sort of time synchronization facility on your system (like ntp-4.2.8p6) is required since Kerberos won't authenticate if there is a time difference between a kerberized client and the KDC server.

User Notes:

Installation of MIT Kerberos V5

Build MIT Kerberos V5 by running the following commands:

cd src &&

sed -e "s@python2.5/Python.h@& python2.7/Python.h@g" \
    -e "s@-lpython2.5]@&,\n  AC_CHECK_LIB(python2.7,main,[PYTHON_LIB=-lpython2.7])@g" \
    -i &&

sed -e 's@\^u}@^u cols 300}@' \
    -i tests/dejagnu/config/default.exp &&

autoconf &&
./configure --prefix=/usr            \
            --sysconfdir=/etc        \
            --localstatedir=/var/lib \
            --with-system-et         \
            --with-system-ss         \
            --with-system-verto=no   \
            --enable-dns-for-realm &&

To test the build, issue: make check. You need at least Tcl-8.6.4, which is used to drive the testsuite. Furthermore, DejaGnu-1.5.3 must be available for some of the tests to run. If you have a former version of MIT Kerberos V5 installed, it may happen that the test suite pick up the installed versions of the libraries, rather than the newly built ones. If so, it is better to run the tests after the installation.

Now, as the root user:

make install &&

for LIBRARY in gssapi_krb5 gssrpc k5crypto kadm5clnt kadm5srv \
               kdb5 kdb_ldap krad krb5 krb5support verto ; do
    chmod -v 755 /usr/lib/lib$
done          &&
unset LIBRARY &&

mv -v /usr/lib/*        /lib &&
mv -v /usr/lib/*    /lib &&
mv -v /usr/lib/* /lib &&

ln -v -sf ../../lib/        /usr/lib/        &&
ln -v -sf ../../lib/    /usr/lib/    &&
ln -v -sf ../../lib/ /usr/lib/ &&

mv -v /usr/bin/ksu /bin &&
chmod -v 755 /bin/ksu   &&

install -v -dm755 /usr/share/doc/krb5-1.14 &&
cp -vfr ../doc/*  /usr/share/doc/krb5-1.14

Command Explanations

sed -e ...: The first sed fixes Python detection. The second one increases the width of the virtual terminal used for some tests, to prevent some spurious characters to be echoed, which is taken as a failure.

--localstatedir=/var/lib: This parameter is used so that the Kerberos variable run-time data is located in /var/lib instead of /usr/var.

--with-system-et: This switch causes the build to use the system-installed versions of the error-table support software.

--with-system-ss: This switch causes the build to use the system-installed versions of the subsystem command-line interface software.

--with-system-verto=no: This switch fixes a bug in the package: it does not recognize its own verto library installed previously. This is not a problem, if reinstalling the same version, but if you are updating, the old library is used as system's one, instead of installing the new version.

--enable-dns-for-realm: This switch allows realms to be resolved using the DNS server.

mv -v /usr/bin/ksu /bin: Moves the ksu program to the /bin directory so that it is available when the /usr filesystem is not mounted.

--with-ldap: Use this switch if you want to compile OpenLDAP database backend module.

Configuring MIT Kerberos V5

Config Files

/etc/krb5.conf and /var/lib/krb5kdc/kdc.conf

Configuration Information

Kerberos Configuration


You should consider installing some sort of password checking dictionary so that you can configure the installation to only accept strong passwords. A suitable dictionary to use is shown in the CrackLib-2.9.6 instructions. Note that only one file can be used, but you can concatenate many files into one. The configuration file shown below assumes you have installed a dictionary to /usr/share/dict/words.

Create the Kerberos configuration file with the following commands issued by the root user:

cat > /etc/krb5.conf << "EOF"
# Begin /etc/krb5.conf

    default_realm = <LFS.ORG>
    encrypt = true

    <LFS.ORG> = {
        kdc = <>
        admin_server = <>
        dict_file = /usr/share/dict/words

    .<> = <LFS.ORG>

    kdc = SYSLOG[:INFO[:AUTH]]
    admin_server = SYSLOG[INFO[:AUTH]]
    default = SYSLOG[[:SYS]]

# End /etc/krb5.conf

You will need to substitute your domain and proper hostname for the occurrences of the <belgarath> and <> names.

default_realm should be the name of your domain changed to ALL CAPS. This isn't required, but both Heimdal and MIT recommend it.

encrypt = true provides encryption of all traffic between kerberized clients and servers. It's not necessary and can be left off. If you leave it off, you can encrypt all traffic from the client to the server using a switch on the client program instead.

The [realms] parameters tell the client programs where to look for the KDC authentication services.

The [domain_realm] section maps a domain to a realm.

Create the KDC database:

kdb5_util create -r <LFS.ORG> -s

Now you should populate the database with principals (users). For now, just use your regular login name or root.

kadmin.local: add_policy dict-only
kadmin.local: addprinc -policy dict-only <loginname>

The KDC server and any machine running kerberized server daemons must have a host key installed:

kadmin.local: addprinc -randkey host/<>

After choosing the defaults when prompted, you will have to export the data to a keytab file:

kadmin.local: ktadd host/<>

This should have created a file in /etc named krb5.keytab (Kerberos 5). This file should have 600 (root rw only) permissions. Keeping the keytab files from public access is crucial to the overall security of the Kerberos installation.

Exit the kadmin program (use quit or exit) and return back to the shell prompt. Start the KDC daemon manually, just to test out the installation:


Attempt to get a ticket with the following command:

kinit <loginname>

You will be prompted for the password you created. After you get your ticket, you can list it with the following command:


Information about the ticket should be displayed on the screen.

To test the functionality of the keytab file, issue the following command:

ktutil: rkt /etc/krb5.keytab
ktutil: l

This should dump a list of the host principal, along with the encryption methods used to access the principal.

At this point, if everything has been successful so far, you can feel fairly confident in the installation and configuration of the package.

Additional Information

For additional information consult the documentation for krb5-1.14 on which the above instructions are based.

Init Script

If you want to start Kerberos services at boot, install the /etc/rc.d/init.d/krb5 init script included in the blfs-bootscripts-20150924 package using the following command:

make install-krb5


Installed Programs: gss-client, gss-server, k5srvutil, kadmin, kadmin.local, kadmind, kdb5_ldap_util (optional), kdb5_util, kdestroy, kinit, klist, kpasswd, kprop, kpropd, kproplog, krb5-config, krb5kdc, krb5-send-pr, ksu, kswitch, ktutil, kvno, sclient, sim_client, sim_server, sserver, uuclient and uuserver
Installed Libraries:,,,,,,, (optional),,,,,, and some plugins under the /usr/lib/krb5 tree
Installed Directories: /usr/include/{gssapi,gssrpc,kadm5,krb5}, /usr/lib/krb5, /usr/share/{doc/krb5-1.14,examples/krb5}, and /var/lib/{,run}/krb5kdc

Short Descriptions


is a GSSAPI test client.


is a GSSAPI test server.


is a host keytable manipulation utility.


is a utility used to make modifications to the Kerberos database.


is a utility similar at kadmin, but if the database is db2, the local client kadmin.local, is intended to run directly on the master KDC without Kerberos authentication.


is a server for administrative access to a Kerberos database.

kdb5_ldap_util (optional)

allows an administrator to manage realms, Kerberos services and ticket policies.


is the KDC database utility.


removes the current set of tickets.


is used to authenticate to the Kerberos server as a principal and acquire a ticket granting ticket that can later be used to obtain tickets for other services.


reads and displays the current tickets in the credential cache.


is a program for changing Kerberos 5 passwords.


takes a principal database in a specified format and converts it into a stream of database records.


receives a database sent by kprop and writes it as a local database.


displays the contents of the KDC database update log to standard output.


gives information on how to link programs against libraries.


is the Kerberos 5 server.


send problem report (PR) to a central support site.


is the super user program using Kerberos protocol. Requires a properly configured /etc/shells and ~/.k5login containing principals authorized to become super users.


makes the specified credential cache the primary cache for the collection, if a cache collection is available.


is a program for managing Kerberos keytabs.


prints keyversion numbers of Kerberos principals.


used to contact a sample server and authenticate to it using Kerberos 5 tickets, then display the server's response.


is a simple UDP-based sample client program, for demonstration.


is a simple UDP-based server application, for demonstration.


is the sample Kerberos 5 server.


is an another sample client.


is an another sample server.

contain the Generic Security Service Application Programming Interface (GSSAPI) functions which provides security services to callers in a generic fashion, supportable with a range of underlying mechanisms and technologies and hence allowing source-level portability of applications to different environments.

contains the administrative authentication and password checking functions required by Kerberos 5 client-side programs.

contain the administrative authentication and password checking functions required by Kerberos 5 servers.

is a Kerberos 5 authentication/authorization database access library.

contains the internal support library for RADIUS functionality.

is an all-purpose Kerberos 5 library.

Last updated on 2016-02-28 02:41:12 -0800


Introduction to Nettle

The Nettle package contains the low-level cryptographic library that is designed to fit easily in many contexts.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS-7.9 platform.

Package Information

Nettle Dependencies


OpenSSL-1.0.2g (for examples)

User Notes:

Installation of Nettle

Install Nettle by running the following commands:

./configure --prefix=/usr --disable-static &&

To test the results, issue: make check.

Now, as the root user:

make install &&
chmod   -v   755 /usr/lib/lib{hogweed,nettle}.so &&
install -v -m755 -d /usr/share/doc/nettle-3.2 &&
install -v -m644 nettle.html /usr/share/doc/nettle-3.2

Command Explanations

--disable-static: This switch prevents installation of static versions of the libraries.


Installed Programs: nettle-hash, nettle-lfib-stream, nettle-pbkdf2, pkcs1-conv and sexp-conv
Installed Libraries: and
Installed Directory: /usr/include/nettle and /usr/share/doc/nettle-3.2

Short Descriptions


calulates a hash value using a specified algorithm.


outputs a sequence of pseudorandom (non-cryptographic) bytes, using Knuth's lagged fibonacci generator. The stream is useful for testing, but should not be used to generate cryptographic keys or anything else that needs real randomness.


password-based key derivation function that take as input a password or passphrase and typically strengthen it and protect against certain pre-computation attacks by using salting and expensive computation.


converts private and public RSA keys from PKCS #1 format to sexp format.


converts an s-expression to a different encoding.

Last updated on 2016-02-21 12:38:55 -0800


Introduction to NSS

The Network Security Services (NSS) package is a set of libraries designed to support cross-platform development of security-enabled client and server applications. Applications built with NSS can support SSL v2 and v3, TLS, PKCS #5, PKCS #7, PKCS #11, PKCS #12, S/MIME, X.509 v3 certificates, and other security standards. This is useful for implementing SSL and S/MIME or other Internet security standards into an application.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS-7.9 platform.

Package Information

Additional Downloads

NSS Dependencies




User Notes:

Installation of NSS


This package does not support parallel build.

Install NSS by running the following commands:

patch -Np1 -i ../nss-3.23-standalone-1.patch &&

cd nss &&

make -j1 BUILD_OPT=1                  \
  NSPR_INCLUDE_DIR=/usr/include/nspr  \
  USE_SYSTEM_ZLIB=1                   \
  ZLIB_LIBS=-lz                       \
  $([ $(uname -m) = x86_64 ] && echo USE_64=1) \
  $([ -f /usr/include/sqlite3.h ] && echo NSS_USE_SYSTEM_SQLITE=1)

This package does not come with a test suite.

Now, as the root user:

cd ../dist                                                          &&

install -v -m755 Linux*/lib/*.so              /usr/lib              &&
install -v -m644 Linux*/lib/{*.chk,libcrmf.a} /usr/lib              &&

install -v -m755 -d                           /usr/include/nss      &&
cp -v -RL {public,private}/nss/*              /usr/include/nss      &&
chmod -v 644                                  /usr/include/nss/*    &&

install -v -m755 Linux*/bin/{certutil,nss-config,pk12util} /usr/bin &&

install -v -m644 Linux*/lib/pkgconfig/nss.pc  /usr/lib/pkgconfig

Command Explanations

BUILD_OPT=1: This option is passed to make so that the build is performed with no debugging symbols built into the binaries and the default compiler optimizations are used.

NSPR_INCLUDE_DIR=/usr/include/nspr: This option sets the location of the nspr headers.

USE_SYSTEM_ZLIB=1: This option is passed to make to ensure that the library is linked to the system installed zlib instead of the in-tree version.

ZLIB_LIBS=-lz: This option provides the linker flags needed to link to the system zlib.

$([ $(uname -m) = x86_64 ] && echo USE_64=1): The USE_64=1 option is required on x86_64, otherwise make will try (and fail) to create 32-bit objects. The [ $(uname -m) = x86_64 ] test ensures it has no effect on a 32 bit system.

([ -f /usr/include/sqlite3.h ] && echo NSS_USE_SYSTEM_SQLITE=1): This tests if sqlite is installed and if so it echos the option NSS_USE_SYSTEM_SQLITE=1 to make so that will link against the system version of sqlite.


Installed Programs: certutil, nss-config, and pk12util
Installed Libraries: libcrmf.a,,,,,,,,,, and
Installed Directories: /usr/include/nss

Short Descriptions


is the Mozilla Certificate Database Tool. It is a command-line utility that can create and modify the Netscape Communicator cert8.db and key3.db database files. It can also list, generate, modify, or delete certificates within the cert8.db file and create or change the password, generate new public and private key pairs, display the contents of the key database, or delete key pairs within the key3.db file.


is used to determine the NSS library settings of the installed NSS libraries.


is a tool for importing certificates and keys from pkcs #12 files into NSS or exporting them. It can also list certificates and keys in such files.

Last updated on 2016-03-08 13:25:37 -0800


Introduction to OpenSSH

The OpenSSH package contains ssh clients and the sshd daemon. This is useful for encrypting authentication and subsequent traffic over a network. The ssh and scp commands are secure implementions of telnet and rcp respectively.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS-7.9 platform.

Package Information

OpenSSH Dependencies


OpenSSL-1.0.2g or LibreSSL Portable


Linux-PAM-1.2.1, X Window System, MIT Kerberos V5-1.14, libedit, OpenSC, and libsectok

Optional Runtime (Used only to gather entropy)

OpenJDK-, Net-tools-CVS_20101030, and Sysstat-11.2.0

User Notes:

Installation of OpenSSH

OpenSSH runs as two processes when connecting to other computers. The first process is a privileged process and controls the issuance of privileges as necessary. The second process communicates with the network. Additional installation steps are necessary to set up the proper environment, which are performed by issuing the following commands as the root user:

install  -v -m700 -d /var/lib/sshd &&
chown    -v root:sys /var/lib/sshd &&

groupadd -g 50 sshd        &&
useradd  -c 'sshd PrivSep' \
         -d /var/lib/sshd  \
         -g sshd           \
         -s /bin/false     \
         -u 50 sshd

Install OpenSSH by running the following commands:

./configure --prefix=/usr                     \
            --sysconfdir=/etc/ssh             \
            --with-md5-passwords              \
            --with-privsep-path=/var/lib/sshd &&

The testsuite requires an installed copy of scp to complete the multiplexing tests. To run the test suite, first copy the scp program to /usr/bin, making sure that you back up any existing copy first.

To test the results, issue: make tests.

Now, as the root user:

make install &&
install -v -m755    contrib/ssh-copy-id /usr/bin     &&

install -v -m644    contrib/ssh-copy-id.1 \
                    /usr/share/man/man1              &&
install -v -m755 -d /usr/share/doc/openssh-7.1p2     &&

Command Explanations

--sysconfdir=/etc/ssh: This prevents the configuration files from being installed in /usr/etc.

--with-md5-passwords: This enables the use of MD5 passwords.

--with-pam: This parameter enables Linux-PAM support in the build.

--with-xauth=/usr/bin/xauth: Set the default location for the xauth binary for X authentication. Change the location if xauth will be installed to a different path. This can also be controlled from sshd_config with the XAuthLocation keyword. You can omit this switch if Xorg is already installed.

--with-kerberos5=/usr: This option is used to include Kerberos 5 support in the build.

--with-libedit: This option enables line editing and history features for sftp.

Configuring OpenSSH

Config Files

~/.ssh/*, /etc/ssh/ssh_config, and /etc/ssh/sshd_config

There are no required changes to any of these files. However, you may wish to view the /etc/ssh/ files and make any changes appropriate for the security of your system. One recommended change is that you disable root login via ssh. Execute the following command as the root user to disable root login via ssh:

echo "PermitRootLogin no" >> /etc/ssh/sshd_config

If you want to be able to log in without typing in your password, first create ~/.ssh/id_rsa and ~/.ssh/ with ssh-keygen and then copy ~/.ssh/ to ~/.ssh/authorized_keys on the remote computer that you want to log into. You'll need to change REMOTE_USERNAME and REMOTE_HOSTNAME for the username and hostname of the remote computer and you'll also need to enter your password for the ssh-copy-id command to succeed:

ssh-keygen &&

Once you've got passwordless logins working it's actually more secure than logging in with a password (as the private key is much longer than most people's passwords). If you would like to now disable password logins, as the root user:

echo "PasswordAuthentication no" >> /etc/ssh/sshd_config &&
echo "ChallengeResponseAuthentication no" >> /etc/ssh/sshd_config

If you added LinuxPAM support and you want ssh to use it then you will need to add a configuration file for sshd and enable use of LinuxPAM. Note, ssh only uses PAM to check passwords, if you've disabled password logins these commands are not needed. If you want to use PAM issue the following commands as the root user:

sed 's@d/login@d/sshd@g' /etc/pam.d/login > /etc/pam.d/sshd &&
chmod 644 /etc/pam.d/sshd &&
echo "UsePAM yes" >> /etc/ssh/sshd_config

Additional configuration information can be found in the man pages for sshd, ssh and ssh-agent.

Boot Script

To start the SSH server at system boot, install the /etc/rc.d/init.d/sshd init script included in the blfs-bootscripts-20150924 package.

make install-sshd


Installed Programs: scp, sftp, slogin (symlink to ssh), ssh, ssh-add, ssh-agent, ssh-copy-id, ssh-keygen, ssh-keyscan, and sshd
Installed Libraries: None
Installed Directories: /etc/ssh, /usr/share/doc/openssh-7.1p2, and /var/lib/sshd

Short Descriptions


is a file copy program that acts like rcp except it uses an encrypted protocol.


is an FTP-like program that works over the SSH1 and SSH2 protocols.


is a symlink to ssh.


is an rlogin/rsh-like client program except it uses an encrypted protocol.


is a daemon that listens for ssh login requests.


is a tool which adds keys to the ssh-agent.


is an authentication agent that can store private keys.


is a script that enables logins on remote machine using local keys.


is a key generation tool.


is a utility for gathering public host keys from a number of hosts.

Last updated on 2016-02-21 12:38:55 -0800


Introduction to OpenSSL

The OpenSSL package contains management tools and libraries relating to cryptography. These are useful for providing cryptography functions to other packages, such as OpenSSH, email applications and web browsers (for accessing HTTPS sites).

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS-7.9 platform.

Package Information

OpenSSL Dependencies


MIT Kerberos V5-1.14

User Notes:

Installation of OpenSSL

Install OpenSSL with the following commands:

./config --prefix=/usr         \
         --openssldir=/etc/ssl \
         --libdir=lib          \
         shared                \
         zlib-dynamic &&

To test the results, issue: make test.

If you want to disable installing the static libraries, use this sed:

sed -i 's# libcrypto.a##;s# libssl.a##' Makefile

Now, as the root user:

make MANDIR=/usr/share/man MANSUFFIX=ssl install &&
install -dv -m755 /usr/share/doc/openssl-1.0.2g  &&
cp -vfr doc/*     /usr/share/doc/openssl-1.0.2g

Command Explanations

shared: This parameter forces the creation of shared libraries along with the static libraries.

zlib-dynamic: This parameter adds compression/decompression functionality using the libz library.

no-rc5 no-idea: When added to the ./config command, this will eliminate the building of those encryption methods. Patent licenses may be needed for you to utilize either of those methods in your projects.

make MANDIR=/usr/share/man MANSUFFIX=ssl install: This command installs OpenSSL with the man pages in /usr/share/man instead of /etc/ssl/man and appends "ssl" suffix to the manual page names to avoid conflicts with manual pages installed by other packages.

Configuring OpenSSL

Config Files


Configuration Information

Most users will want to install Certificate Authority Certificates for validation of downloaded certificates. For example, these certificates can be used by git-2.7.1, cURL-7.47.1 or Wget-1.17.1 when accessing secure (https protocol) sites. To do this, follow the instructions from the Certificate Authority Certificates page.

Users who just want to use OpenSSL for providing functions to other programs such as OpenSSH and web browsers do not need to worry about additional configuration. This is an advanced topic and so those who do need it would normally be expected to either know how to properly update /etc/ssl/openssl.cnf or be able to find out how to do it.


Installed Programs: c_rehash and openssl
Installed Libraries: libcrypto.{so,a} and libssl.{so,a}
Installed Directories: /etc/ssl, /usr/include/openssl, /usr/lib/engines and /usr/share/doc/openssl-1.0.2g

Short Descriptions


is a Perl script that scans all files in a directory and adds symbolic links to their hash values.


is a command-line tool for using the various cryptography functions of OpenSSL's crypto library from the shell. It can be used for various functions which are documented in man 1 openssl.


implements a wide range of cryptographic algorithms used in various Internet standards. The services provided by this library are used by the OpenSSL implementations of SSL, TLS and S/MIME, and they have also been used to implement OpenSSH, OpenPGP, and other cryptographic standards.


implements the Transport Layer Security (TLS v1) protocol. It provides a rich API, documentation on which can be found by running man 3 ssl.

Last updated on 2016-03-01 18:47:59 -0800


Introduction to p11-kit

The p11-kit package Provides a way to load and enumerate PKCS #11 (a Cryptographic Token Interface Standard) modules.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS-7.9 platform.

Package Information

p11-kit Dependencies


NSS-3.23, GTK-Doc-1.24 and libxslt-1.1.28

User Notes:

Installation of p11-kit

Install p11-kit by running the following commands:

./configure --prefix=/usr --sysconfdir=/etc &&

To test the results, issue: make check.

Now, as the root user:

make install

Command Explanations

--with-hash-impl=freebl: Use this switch if you want to use Freebl library from NSS for SHA1 and MD5 hashing.

--enable-doc: Use this switch if you have installed GTK-Doc-1.24 and libxslt-1.1.28 and wish to rebuild the documentation and generate manual pages.


Installed Program: p11-kit and trust
Installed Libraries: and
Installed Directories: /etc/pkcs11, /usr/include/p11-kit-1, /usr/lib/{p11-kit,pkcs11}, /usr/share/gtk-doc/html/p11-kit, and /usr/share/p11-kit

Short Descriptions


is a command line tool that can be used to perform operations on PKCS#11 modules configured on the system.


is a command line tool to examine and modify the shared trust policy store.

contains functions used to coordinate initialization and finalization of any PKCS#11 module.

is the PKCS#11 proxy module.

Last updated on 2016-02-21 12:38:55 -0800


Introduction to Polkit

Polkit is a toolkit for defining and handling authorizations. It is used for allowing unprivileged processes to communicate with privileged processes.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS-7.9 platform.

Package Information

Polkit Dependencies


GLib-2.46.2, and JS-17.0.0

Optional (Required if building GNOME)



docbook-xml-4.5, docbook-xsl-1.79.1, GTK-Doc-1.24, libxslt-1.1.28 and Linux-PAM-1.2.1


If libxslt-1.1.28 is installed, then docbook-xml-4.5 and docbook-xsl-1.79.1 are required. If you have installed libxslt-1.1.28, but you do not want to install any of the DocBook packages mentioned, you will need to use --disable-man-pages in the instructions below.

User Notes:

Installation of Polkit

There should be a dedicated user and group to take control of the polkitd daemon after it is started. Issue the following commands as the root user:

groupadd -fg 27 polkitd &&
useradd -c "PolicyKit Daemon Owner" -d /etc/polkit-1 -u 27 \
        -g polkitd -s /bin/false polkitd

Install Polkit by running the following commands:

./configure --prefix=/usr                \
            --sysconfdir=/etc            \
            --localstatedir=/var         \
            --disable-static             \
            --enable-libsystemd-login=no \
            --with-authfw=shadow         &&

To test the results, issue: make check. Note that system D-Bus daemon must be running for the testsuite to complete. There is also a warning about ConsoleKit database not present, but that one can be safely ignored.

Now, as the root user:

make install

Command Explanations

--enable-libsystemd-login=no: This parameter fixes building without systemd, which is not part of LFS/BLFS. If you use systemd, replace "no" by "yes".

--with-authfw=shadow: This parameter configures the package to use the Shadow rather than the Linux PAM Authentication framework. Remove it if you would like to use Linux PAM.

--disable-static: This switch prevents installation of static versions of the libraries.

--enable-gtk-doc: Use this parameter if GTK-Doc is installed and you wish to rebuild and install the API documentation.

Configuring Polkit

PAM Configuration


If you did not build Polkit with Linux PAM support, you can skip this section.

If you have built Polkit with Linux PAM support, you need to modify the default PAM configuration file which was installed by default to get Polkit to work correctly with BLFS. Issue the following commands as the root user to create the configuration file for Linux PAM:

cat > /etc/pam.d/polkit-1 << "EOF"
# Begin /etc/pam.d/polkit-1

auth     include        system-auth
account  include        system-account
password include        system-password
session  include        system-session

# End /etc/pam.d/polkit-1


Installed Programs: pkaction, pkcheck, pk-example-frobnicate, pkexec, pkttyagent and polkitd
Installed Libraries: and
Installed Directories: /etc/polkit-1, /usr/include/polkit-1, /usr/lib/polkit-1, /usr/share/gtk-doc/html/polkit-1 and /usr/share/polkit-1

Short Descriptions


is used to obtain information about registered PolicyKit actions.


is used to check whether a process is authorized for action.


is an example program to test the pkexec command.


allows an authorized user to execute a command as another user.


is used to start a textual authentication agent for the subject.


provides the org.freedesktop.PolicyKit1 D-Bus service on the system message bus.

contains the Polkit authentication agent API functions.

contains the Polkit authorization API functions.

Last updated on 2016-02-24 00:06:22 -0800


Introduction to Shadow

Shadow was indeed installed in LFS and there is no reason to reinstall it unless you installed CrackLib or Linux-PAM after your LFS system was completed. If you have installed CrackLib after LFS, then reinstalling Shadow will enable strong password support. If you have installed Linux-PAM, reinstalling Shadow will allow programs such as login and su to utilize PAM.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS-7.9 platform.

Package Information

Shadow Dependencies


Linux-PAM-1.2.1 or CrackLib-2.9.6

User Notes:

Installation of Shadow


The installation commands shown below are for installations where Linux-PAM has been installed (with or without a CrackLib installation) and Shadow is being reinstalled to support the Linux-PAM installation.

If you are reinstalling Shadow to provide strong password support using the CrackLib library without using Linux-PAM, ensure you add the --with-libcrack parameter to the configure script below and also issue the following command:

sed -i 's@DICTPATH.*@DICTPATH\t/lib/cracklib/pw_dict@' etc/login.defs

Reinstall Shadow by running the following commands:

sed -i 's/groups$(EXEEXT) //' src/ &&
find man -name -exec sed -i 's/groups\.1 / /' {} \; &&
find man -name -exec sed -i 's/getspnam\.3 / /' {} \; &&
find man -name -exec sed -i 's/passwd\.5 / /'   {} \; &&

       -e 's@/var/spool/mail@/var/mail@' etc/login.defs &&

sed -i 's/1000/999/' etc/useradd &&

./configure --sysconfdir=/etc --with-group-name-max-length=32 &&

This package does not come with a test suite.

Now, as the root user:

make install &&
mv -v /usr/bin/passwd /bin

Command Explanations

sed -i 's/groups$(EXEEXT) //' src/ This sed is used to suppress the installation of the groups program as the version from the Coreutils package installed during LFS is preferred.

find man -name -exec ... {} \;: This command is used to suppress the installation of the groups man pages so the existing ones installed from the Coreutils package are not replaced.

sed -i -e 's@#ENCRYPT_METHOD DES@ENCRYPT_METHOD SHA512@' -e 's@/var/spool/mail@/var/mail@' etc/login.defs: Instead of using the default 'DES' method, this command modifies the installation to use the more secure 'SHA512' method of hashing passwords, which also allows passwords longer than eight characters. It also changes the obsolete /var/spool/mail location for user mailboxes that Shadow uses by default to the /var/mail location.

sed -i 's/1000/999/' etc/useradd: Make a minor change to make the default useradd consistent with the LFS groups file.

--with-group-name-max-length=32: The maximum user name is 32 characters. Make the maximum group name the same.

mv -v /usr/bin/passwd /bin: The passwd program may be needed during times when the /usr filesystem is not mounted so it is moved into the root partition.

Configuring Shadow

Shadow's stock configuration for the useradd utility may not be desirable for your installation. One default parameter causes useradd to create a mailbox file for any newly created user. useradd will make the group ownership of this file to the mail group with 0660 permissions. If you would prefer that these mailbox files are not created by useradd, issue the following command as the root user:

sed -i 's/yes/no/' /etc/default/useradd

Configuring Linux-PAM to Work with Shadow


The rest of this page is devoted to configuring Shadow to work properly with Linux-PAM. If you do not have Linux-PAM installed, and you reinstalled Shadow to support strong passwords via the CrackLib library, no further configuration is required.

Config Files

/etc/pam.d/* or alternatively /etc/pam.conf, /etc/login.defs and /etc/security/*

Configuration Information

Configuring your system to use Linux-PAM can be a complex task. The information below will provide a basic setup so that Shadow's login and password functionality will work effectively with Linux-PAM. Review the information and links on the Linux-PAM-1.2.1 page for further configuration information. For information specific to integrating Shadow, Linux-PAM and CrackLib, you can visit the following link:

Configuring /etc/login.defs

The login program currently performs many functions which Linux-PAM modules should now handle. The following sed command will comment out the appropriate lines in /etc/login.defs, and stop login from performing these functions (a backup file named /etc/login.defs.orig is also created to preserve the original file's contents). Issue the following commands as the root user:

install -v -m644 /etc/login.defs /etc/login.defs.orig &&
for FUNCTION in FAIL_DELAY               \
                FAILLOG_ENAB             \
                LASTLOG_ENAB             \
                MAIL_CHECK_ENAB          \
                OBSCURE_CHECKS_ENAB      \
                PORTTIME_CHECKS_ENAB     \
                QUOTAS_ENAB              \
                CONSOLE MOTD_FILE        \
                FTMP_FILE NOLOGINS_FILE  \
                ENV_HZ PASS_MIN_LEN      \
                SU_WHEEL_ONLY            \
                CRACKLIB_DICTPATH        \
                PASS_CHANGE_TRIES        \
                PASS_ALWAYS_WARN         \
                CHFN_AUTH ENCRYPT_METHOD \
    sed -i "s/^${FUNCTION}/# &/" /etc/login.defs
Configuring the /etc/pam.d/ Files

As mentioned previously in the Linux-PAM instructions, Linux-PAM has two supported methods for configuration. The commands below assume that you've chosen to use a directory based configuration, where each program has its own configuration file. You can optionally use a single /etc/pam.conf configuration file by using the text from the files below, and supplying the program name as an additional first field for each line.

As the root user, replace the following Linux-PAM configuration files in the /etc/pam.d/ directory (or add the contents to the /etc/pam.conf file) using the following commands:

cat > /etc/pam.d/login << "EOF"
# Begin /etc/pam.d/login

# Set failure delay before next prompt to 3 seconds
auth      optional  delay=3000000

# Check to make sure that the user is allowed to login
auth      requisite

# Check to make sure that root is allowed to login
# Disabled by default. You will need to create /etc/securetty
# file for this module to function. See man 5 securetty.
#auth      required

# Additional group memberships - disabled by default
#auth      optional

# include the default auth settings
auth      include     system-auth

# check access for the user
account   required

# include the default account settings
account   include     system-account

# Set default environment variables for the user
session   required

# Set resource limits for the user
session   required

# Display date of last login - Disabled by default
#session   optional

# Display the message of the day - Disabled by default
#session   optional

# Check user's mail - Disabled by default
#session   optional      standard quiet

# include the default session and password settings
session   include     system-session
password  include     system-password

# End /etc/pam.d/login
cat > /etc/pam.d/passwd << "EOF"
# Begin /etc/pam.d/passwd

password  include     system-password

# End /etc/pam.d/passwd
cat > /etc/pam.d/su << "EOF"
# Begin /etc/pam.d/su

# always allow root
auth      sufficient
auth      include     system-auth

# include the default account settings
account   include     system-account

# Set default environment variables for the service user
session   required

# include system session defaults
session   include     system-session

# End /etc/pam.d/su
cat > /etc/pam.d/chage << "EOF"
#Begin /etc/pam.d/chage

# always allow root
auth      sufficient

# include system defaults for auth account and session
auth      include     system-auth
account   include     system-account
session   include     system-session

# Always permit for authentication updates
password  required

# End /etc/pam.d/chage
Other common programs
for PROGRAM in chfn chgpasswd chpasswd chsh groupadd groupdel \
               groupmems groupmod newusers useradd userdel usermod
    install -v -m644 /etc/pam.d/chage /etc/pam.d/${PROGRAM}
    sed -i "s/chage/$PROGRAM/" /etc/pam.d/${PROGRAM}


At this point, you should do a simple test to see if Shadow is working as expected. Open another terminal and log in as a user, then su to root. If you do not see any errors, then all is well and you should proceed with the rest of the configuration. If you did receive errors, stop now and double check the above configuration files manually. You can also run the test suite from the Linux-PAM package to assist you in determining the problem. If you cannot find and fix the error, you should recompile Shadow adding the --without-libpam switch to the configure command in the above instructions (also move the /etc/login.defs.orig backup file to /etc/login.defs). If you fail to do this and the errors remain, you will be unable to log into your system.

Configuring Login Access

Instead of using the /etc/login.access file for controlling access to the system, Linux-PAM uses the module along with the /etc/security/access.conf file. Rename the /etc/login.access file using the following command:

[ -f /etc/login.access ] && mv -v /etc/login.access{,.NOUSE}
Configuring Resource Limits

Instead of using the /etc/limits file for limiting usage of system resources, Linux-PAM uses the module along with the /etc/security/limits.conf file. Rename the /etc/limits file using the following command:

[ -f /etc/limits ] && mv -v /etc/limits{,.NOUSE}


Be sure to test the login capabilities of the system before logging out. Errors in the configuration can casue a permanent lockout requiring a boot from an external source to correct the problem.


A list of the installed files, along with their short descriptions can be found at

Last updated on 2016-03-03 20:09:17 -0800


Introduction to ssh-askpass

The ssh-askpass is a generic executable name for many packages, with similar names, that provide a interactive X service to grab password for packages requiring administrative privileges to be run. It prompts the user with a window box where the necessary password can be inserted. Here, we choose Damien Miller's package distributed in the OpenSSH tarball.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS-7.9 platform.

Package Information

ssh-askpass Dependencies


GTK+-2.24.29, Sudo-1.8.15 (runtime), Xorg Libraries, and X Window System (runtime)

User Notes:

Installation of ssh-askpass

Install ssh-askpass by running the following commands:

cd contrib &&
make gnome-ssh-askpass2

Now, as the root user:

install -v -d -m755 /usr/libexec/openssh/contrib  &&
install -v -m755    gnome-ssh-askpass2 \
                    /usr/libexec/openssh/contrib  &&
ln -sv -f contrib/gnome-ssh-askpass2 \

The use of /usr/libexec/openssh/contrib and a symlink is justified by the eventual necessity of a different program for that service.

Configuring ssh-askpass

Configuration Information

As the root user, configure Sudo-1.8.15 to use ssh-askpass:

cat >> /etc/sudo.conf << "EOF" &&
# Path to askpass helper program
Path askpass /usr/libexec/openssh/ssh-askpass
chmod -v 0644 /etc/sudo.conf

If a given graphical <application> requires administrative privileges, use sudo -A <application> from an x-terminal, from a Window Manager menu and/or replace "Exec=<application> ..." by "Exec=sudo -A <application> ..." in the <application>.desktop file.


Installed Programs: None
Installed Library: None
Installed Directory: /usr/libexec/openssh/contrib

Last updated on 2016-03-02 18:22:08 -0800


Introduction to stunnel

The stunnel package contains a program that allows you to encrypt arbitrary TCP connections inside SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) so you can easily communicate with clients over secure channels. stunnel can be used to add SSL functionality to commonly used Inetd daemons such as POP-2, POP-3, and IMAP servers, along with standalone daemons such as NNTP, SMTP, and HTTP. stunnel can also be used to tunnel PPP over network sockets without changes to the server package source code.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS-7.9 platform.

Package Information

stunnel Dependencies




tcpwrappers and TOR

User Notes:

Installation of stunnel

The stunnel daemon will be run in a chroot jail by an unprivileged user. Create the new user and group using the following commands as the root user:

groupadd -g 51 stunnel &&
useradd -c "stunnel Daemon" -d /var/lib/stunnel \
        -g stunnel -s /bin/false -u 51 stunnel


A signed SSL Certificate and a Private Key is necessary to run the stunnel daemon. After the package is installed, there are instructions to generate them. However, if you own or have already created a signed SSL Certificate you wish to use, copy it to /etc/stunnel/stunnel.pem before starting the build (ensure only root has read and write access). The .pem file must be formatted as shown below:

<many encrypted lines of private key>
<many encrypted lines of certificate>
<encrypted lines of dh parms>

Install stunnel by running the following commands:


For some systems with binutils versions prior to 2.25, configure may fail. If necessary, fix it either with:

sed -i '/LDFLAGS.*static_flag/ s/^/#/' configure

or, if LLVM-3.7.1 with Clang is installed, you can replace ./configure ... with CC=clang ./configure ... in the first command below.

./configure --prefix=/usr        \
            --sysconfdir=/etc    \
            --localstatedir=/var \
            --disable-systemd    &&

This package does not come with a test suite.

Now, as the root user:

make docdir=/usr/share/doc/stunnel-5.30 install

If you do not already have a signed SSL Certificate and Private Key, create the stunnel.pem file in the /etc/stunnel directory using the command below. You will be prompted to enter the necessary information. Ensure you reply to the

Common Name (FQDN of your server) [localhost]:

prompt with the name or IP address you will be using to access the service(s).

To generate a certificate, as the root user, issue:

make cert

Command Explanations

--disable-systemd: This switch disables systemd socket activation support which is not available in BLFS.

make docdir=... install: This command installs the package and changes the documentation installation directory to standard naming conventions.

Configuring stunnel

Config Files


Configuration Information

As the root user, create the directory used for the .pid file created when the stunnel daemon starts:

install -v -m750 -o stunnel -g stunnel -d /var/lib/stunnel/run &&
chown stunnel:stunnel /var/lib/stunnel

Next, create a basic /etc/stunnel/stunnel.conf configuration file using the following commands as the root user:

cat >/etc/stunnel/stunnel.conf << "EOF" 
; File: /etc/stunnel/stunnel.conf

; Note: The pid and output locations are relative to the chroot location.

pid    = /run/
chroot = /var/lib/stunnel
client = no
setuid = stunnel
setgid = stunnel
cert   = /etc/stunnel/stunnel.pem

;debug = 7
;output = stunnel.log

;accept  = 443
;connect = 80
;; "TIMEOUTclose = 0" is a workaround for a design flaw in Microsoft SSL
;; Microsoft implementations do not use SSL close-notify alert and thus
;; they are vulnerable to truncation attacks
;TIMEOUTclose = 0


Finally, add the service(s) you wish to encrypt to the configuration file. The format is as follows:

accept  = <hostname:portnumber>
connect = <hostname:portnumber>

If you use stunnel to encrypt a daemon started from [x]inetd, you may need to disable that daemon in the /etc/[x]inetd.conf file and enable a corresponding <service>_stunnel service. You may have to add an appropriate entry in /etc/services as well.

For a full explanation of the commands and syntax used in the configuration file, issue man stunnel.

Boot Script

To automatically start the stunnel daemon when the system is booted, install the /etc/rc.d/init.d/stunnel bootscript from the blfs-bootscripts-20150924 package.

make install-stunnel


Installed Programs: stunnel and stunnel3
Installed Library:
Installed Directories: /{etc,usr/lib,var/lib}/stunnel and /usr/share/doc/stunnel-5.30

Short Descriptions


is a program designed to work as an SSL encryption wrapper between remote clients and local ({x}inetd-startable) or remote servers.


is a Perl wrapper script to use stunnel 3.x syntax with stunnel >=4.05.

contains the API functions required by stunnel.

Last updated on 2016-02-21 15:08:48 -0800


Introduction to Sudo

The Sudo package allows a system administrator to give certain users (or groups of users) the ability to run some (or all) commands as root or another user while logging the commands and arguments.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS-7.9 platform.

Package Information

Sudo Dependencies


Linux-PAM-1.2.1, MIT Kerberos V5-1.14, OpenLDAP-2.4.44, MTA (that provides a sendmail command), AFS, FWTK, and Opie

User Notes:

Installation of Sudo

Install Sudo by running the following commands:

./configure --prefix=/usr              \
            --libexecdir=/usr/lib      \
            --with-secure-path         \
            --with-all-insults         \
            --with-env-editor          \
            --docdir=/usr/share/doc/sudo-1.8.15 \
            --with-passprompt="[sudo] password for %p" &&

To test the results, issue: env LC_ALL=C make check 2>&1 | tee ../make-check.log. Check the results with grep failed ../make-check.log.

Now, as the root user:

make install &&
ln -sfv /usr/lib/sudo/

Command Explanations

--libexecdir=/usr/lib: This switch controls where private programs are installed. Everything in that directory is a library, so they belong under /usr/lib instead of /usr/libexec.

--with-secure-path: This switch transparently adds /sbin and /usr/sbin directories to the PATH environment variable.

--with-all-insults: This switch includes all the sudo insult sets.

--with-env-editor: This switch enables use of the en