basic philosophy (not a flame, just curious)

John Arrowwood John.Arrowwood at merant.com
Thu Sep 7 10:16:17 PDT 2000


-----Original Message-----
From: brendan strejcek [mailto:brendan at cs.uchicago.edu]
Sent: Wednesday, September 06, 2000 1:31 PM
To: alfs-discuss at linuxfromscratch.org
Subject: basic philosophy (not a flame, just curious)

> one last point - if writing and debugging the xml directives
> for the alfs install is as much work as installing by hand, why
> not just install by hand? and if you are just going to have some
> "well-tested" config files, how is this any different than
> just downloading debian (save that it takes longer because you
> are compiling everything) ?

Why use LFS rather than a pre-packaged distribution?  Control, and
optimization.  

I don't know about Debian, but with RedHat, there are some packages that you
just don't have a choice of.  I tried doing a truely MINIMAL install of
RedHat 6.2, and it was almost 200 meg, thanks to all the unwanted packages.
I suspect that LFS will be MUCH smaller, though I've allowed myself to get
distracted by details and therefore haven't actually FINISHED an install yet
in order to find out.

Also, you get to control whether there is debug information in the
executables, and you get to specify a higher optimization level (when it
works).  And you get to compile explicitly for your processor, which also
means it should go faster than the generically compiled binaries of a
standard distribution.  That alone should be a plus if you are trying to run
a system on older, slower hardware.  Then there is the issue of patches...
You get to decide what patches get applied to specific packages.  

Need I go on?

-- John
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