Unix & Linux Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of Linux, FreeBSD and other Un*x-like operating systems. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I just quickly read the Linux From Scratch book and found it very interesting.

However I don't understand the role of the temporary system (Chapter 5). It is built from a working distribution, and then we use it to build the final system.

Couldn't we just make a partition and build a system on it ?

share|improve this question
Then, it won't be building from "scratch" ;) – yasouser Jan 31 '11 at 21:58
How do you build ground without any ground? – uSeRnAmEhAhAhAhAhA Dec 1 '13 at 9:52
up vote 5 down vote accepted

You could use a partition on an existing Linux system. That would be the same as using the temporary system. However, assuming you are using an empty system, you will need something to build the LFS software with. You can't just drop a compiler on a partition and start churning away. You need a little more than that. A kernel, for example, and a boat load of libraries :)

share|improve this answer

I don't have a copy of that book, but I can explain why a two-step process might be desirable if you're building a complete distro.

When building packages, it sometimes happens that properties of the build system creep into the binaries that you build. There are library paths, configuration variables etc, etc. At Sun/Oracle the standard process for building Solaris is that you need to build biweekly build 17 on a system that's running biweekly 16 (for example).

For example, there are many fields and structures in header files, you need to make sure that you're building the binaries using the header files that will be delivered on the system. But some of the packages you are building deliver their own header files. And those headers are used by other packages.

Hopefully I've given you an idea of how the system you are building can subtly depend on the system used to build it. So you would usually want to build on a system that is as close to the system you're building as possible.

share|improve this answer
The book is available for gratis on the web. – Tshepang Feb 9 '11 at 9:23

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.