5. Constructing a Temporary System

5.1. Introduction

This chapter shows how to compile and install a minimal Linux system. This system will contain just enough tools to start constructing the final LFS system in Chapter 6 and allow a working environment with more user convenience than a minimum environment would.

There are two steps in building this minimal system. The first step is to build a new and host-independent toolchain (compiler, assembler, linker, libraries, and a few useful utilities). The second step uses this toolchain to build the other essential tools.

The files compiled in this chapter will be installed under the $LFS/tools directory to keep them separate from the files installed in the next chapter and the host production directories. Since the packages compiled here are temporary, we do not want them to pollute the soon-to-be LFS system.



Before issuing the build instructions for a package, the package should be unpacked as user lfs, and a cd into the created directory should be performed. The build instructions assume that the bash shell is in use.

Several of the packages are patched before compilation, but only when the patch is needed to circumvent a problem. A patch is often needed in both this and the next chapter, but sometimes in only one or the other. Therefore, do not be concerned if instructions for a downloaded patch seem to be missing. Warning messages about offset or fuzz may also be encountered when applying a patch. Do not worry about these warnings, as the patch was still successfully applied.

During the compilation of most packages, there will be several warnings that scroll by on the screen. These are normal and can safely be ignored. These warnings are as they appear—warnings about deprecated, but not invalid, use of the C or C++ syntax. C standards change fairly often, and some packages still use the older standard. This is not a problem, but does prompt the warning.



After installing each package, delete its source and build directories, unless specifically instructed otherwise. Deleting the sources prevents mis-configuration when the same package is reinstalled later. Only three of the packages need to retain the source and build directories in order for their contents to be used by later commands. Pay special attention to these reminders.

Check one last time that the LFS environment variable is set up properly:

echo $LFS

Make sure the output shows the path to the LFS partition's mount point, which is /mnt/lfs, using our example.