6.1. Introduction

In this chapter, we enter the building site and start constructing the LFS system in earnest. That is, we chroot into the temporary mini Linux system, make a few final preparations, and then begin installing the packages.

The installation of this software is straightforward. Although in many cases the installation instructions could be made shorter and more generic, we have opted to provide the full instructions for every package to minimize the possibilities for mistakes. The key to learning what makes a Linux system work is to know what each package is used for and why you (or the system) may need it.

We do not recommend using optimizations. They can make a program run slightly faster, but they may also cause compilation difficulties and problems when running the program. If a package refuses to compile when using optimization, try to compile it without optimization and see if that fixes the problem. Even if the package does compile when using optimization, there is the risk it may have been compiled incorrectly because of the complex interactions between the code and build tools. Also note that the -march and -mtune options using values not specified in the book have not been tested. This may cause problems with the toolchain packages (Binutils, GCC and Glibc). The small potential gains achieved in using compiler optimizations are often outweighed by the risks. First-time builders of LFS are encouraged to build without custom optimizations. The subsequent system will still run very fast and be stable at the same time.

The order that packages are installed in this chapter needs to be strictly followed to ensure that no program accidentally acquires a path referring to /tools hard-wired into it. For the same reason, do not compile separate packages in parallel. Compiling in parallel may save time (especially on dual-CPU machines), but it could result in a program containing a hard-wired path to /tools, which will cause the program to stop working when that directory is removed.

Before the installation instructions, each installation page provides information about the package, including a concise description of what it contains, approximately how long it will take to build, and how much disk space is required during this building process. Following the installation instructions, there is a list of programs and libraries (along with brief descriptions of these) that the package installs.



The SBU values and required disk space includes test suite data for all applicable packages in Chapter 6.

6.1.1. About libraries

In general, the LFS editors discourage building and installing static libraries. The original purpose for most static libraries has been made obsolete in a modern Linux system. In addition linking a static library into a program can be detrimental. If an update to the library is needed to remove a security problem, all programs that use the static library will need to be relinked to the new library. Since the use of static libraries is not always obvious, the relevant programs (and the procedures needed to do the linking) may not even be known.

In the procedures in Chapter 6, we remove or disable installation of most static libraries. In a few cases, especially glibc and gcc, the use of static libraries remains essential to the general package building process. Usually this is done by passing a --disable-static option to configure. In other cases, alternate means are needed.

For a more complete discussion of libraries, see the discussion Libraries: Static or shared? in the BLFS book.