I have some basic knowledge about Linux OS like it consist of Kernel.The kernel is core of Linux , It manages all processes, device drivers, and I/O.But My Question is what Linux consists of beside Kernel , Binaries , Device Files and Libs ? Linux Distro's are Open Source so how do I compile whole distro myself ? Like Compiling Whole Arch Linux or Ubuntu Linux on my own then installing it on my computer ?

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  • 3
    You should consider to star with something like linux from scratch to understand better the concept of linux distribution. – Kiwy Feb 26 '14 at 8:23
  • Linux is just the kernel, or it is the whole distro (better called Gnu/Linux). – ctrl-alt-delor Feb 20 '15 at 12:37

Linux Distro's are Open Source so how do I compile whole distro myself ?

Compiling your own is an excellent way to learn what it consists of. Fortunately, there are linux distributions that are designed to be compiled by end-users and it would be easier to start with one of those. There is a list of such distributions here. Gentoo is probably the most popular among them.

  • What about other distro's ? – Sigma Feb 26 '14 at 8:19
  • @Sigma If you pick a distro that was designed for binary distribution, like Ubuntu, it would still be possible to compile it yourself but it would be a whole lot more effort and, likely, frustration on your part than if you picked a distro that is designed from scratch for end-user compilation. – John1024 Feb 26 '14 at 8:28

If you want to learn something about linux and how to setup a system from scratch I would recommend you LSF (Linux From Scratch). It is nothing more than a manual on "How to build your own linux". Even Arch Linux was build from this manual, if you check the history.


Compiling the whole shebang by yourself will only teach you how to stare at the screen. A Linux distribution is some 30 million lines of code, getting to grasp that is a job for more than a lifetime. Better select some part of it that particularly interests you, and get involved in it's development.

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