Monday, 30 April, 2001
Building a Linux System from Scratch
Well I settled on a new short-term project. Now that the Kylix book is done, I can play with the Linux system to learn a little more about the OS. I'm going to see just how hard it is to get a Linux system up and running from scratch. Here's what I'm going to try:
From my Windows box, download a bootable Linux diskette image. There's probably somewhere I can get such a thing along with a program that will create a bootable diskette. I'll then pop that into my P200 and power up. That should boot Linux on the machine. Can I reformat the hard drive from this point, or do I need more stuff first? I want a minimal system: just enough so that I can download enough stuff to recompile the kernel. Once I get the kernel optimized for my system, I'll download and install whatever programs I need to create the system that I want. This will include a mail program (sendmail, or similar program), an FTP server and client, Perl, Apache web server, etc. As much as possible, I want to work from the lowest level possible--the source. I want to see how easy it is to do this.
I expect that experiment to take some time. I can probably get a working system with a customized kernel running in a weekend. But finding, downloading, and installing everything else from sources I expect to take quite a while. Obviously, I'll have to download an executable bash shell, gcc, make, and a few other utilities. From there, I should be able to rebuild all of my tools.
It'll be an interesting experiment.