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 (http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/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 irc.linuxfromscratch.org. You can find more details about all of these in the Introduction section of the book.
Enjoy using BLFS.
markh <at> linuxfromscratch.org
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 <at> linuxfromscratch.org
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, funtional software system from the source code contibuted 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 resoure 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.
bdubbs <at> linuxfromscratch.org
BLFS Editor (June 2004–Present)
Version 6.0 is a major milestone in the evolution of BLFS. This version provides installation instructions for 357 packages and an additional 21 sections covering configuration and customization of different aspects of your system.
Changes and upgrades to the individual packages are detailed in the Change Log. There you will see literally hundreds of changes made since the last edition. In this change log, one name that you will see over and over is Randy McMurchy. Without his efforts this release would not have been possible. I want to take this opportunity to thank him for the hundreds of hours he has worked to produce this release. I also want to thank the other editors, both past and present, whose insight and effort have made this current version possible. Last, but certainly not least, I want to thank our resident XSL wizard, Manuel Canales Esparcia, whose ability to format a complicated document such as BLFS is truly amazing.
There are two other areas of change that are worthy of note. First, the license that BLFS is released under has changed significantly. In fact, it is now released under two licenses. The first license, the Creative Commons License, covers the descriptive text in the book. The second, the Academic Free License v. 2.1, covers the instructions actually used to build and install the packages. These licenses, along with the book itself, represent our ongoing commitment to open and free sofware.
The final area of change is the addition of an Index. This section of the book is still incomplete, but as the book continues to be developed, will become an excellent resource for finding programs, libraries, configuration files, and references to kernel configuration requirements. I hope you find it useful.
March 17, 2005