Linux From Scratch Experience

hiddenknight821hiddenknight821 The whole Shebang!Member Posts: 1,209 ■■■■■■□□□□
This is my first time with LFS. crash.gif But first, I gotta rant as I have just wasted 6 days of my life trying to successfully build Hardened LFS. My biggest complaint about it is how the guide left out details that I needed to know in an event the build got interrupted before I can even finish. I was almost done (I was on Chapter 7), and then I accidentally ejected the DVD drive. For some reasons, my LiveCD distro froze. I thought it would resume as soon as I close the drive as everything is running in the RAM but it didn't.

But the weird thing is once I got to Chapter 7 and 8, I was unable to install GRUB, because the /dev/sda is not mounted which confused me. I tried checking using the fdisk command, but there was no output and it said it couldn't open anything in the /proc directory. I could have sworn I installed all packages as I was copying and pasting every texts in the book up to that point, and I was already done with the package installations in Chapter 5 and 6 before I had to reboot it. I wonder why couldn't I get the fdisk command to work properly in the environment that I chrooted in? I even remounted the partitions back the way they were and chrooted back in the system with the commands at the end of Chapter 6, and I still feel like I am missing an important set of instructions.

I'm done with LFS for a while. Not going back to it sometimes soon. My biggest mistake with HLFS is trying to manually type in every text with the terminal-only live distro the first four days when I can get through 5 and a half chapter in a day. I thought I would learn more from the first approach I did, but I don't feel like I am learning a lot from it other than knowing the minimum package requirement to run it. If I were you, I would just run the darn thing in VM. If only today isn't the 13th, I probably wouldn't have to deal with this.

Comments

  • paul78paul78 Senior Member Member Posts: 3,016 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Sorry to hear about your difficulties with LFS. I hope you do go back to it. I took a look at the current docs and it's actually quite good compared to 5-6 years ago when I started with it. As I recall, back then there was no such thing as a livecd. And troubleshooting meant going through Makefiles, scripts, and source code of packages that I wanted to install and configure. There are probably still ares where you may need to do that.

    If you enjoy using Linux, the effort really is worth it. I got some great satisfaction and to this day, I roll my own distro for my own needs. I still use my original floppy based version built with a 2.4 kernel.

    If you want to get into it slowly - perhaps build your distro by bootstrapping it with another. Especially, if your intent is to build a version for your desktop. About 3 months ago, I decided to dust off my own linux lab and I pulled out a bootstrap floppy that I built several years back. I ended up using Gentoo (you can probably use Arch as well) as a bootstrap instead trying to update my old Linux distro. The primary reason is that the newer version of Xorg is modular and it's really not efficient to build X from scratch unless you really want to learn X internals. (I did an X windows port about 13 years ago so I've had my fill of X Windows icon_surprised.gif) Once I had Gentoo portage setup with X - I then replace the packages that I care about from source to customize as I see fit. My goal is to build a custom desktop distro and then run VMPlayer or some other - and then run the various desktops OS that I am interested in exploring.

    I hope you continue with your exploration and good luck.
  • brownwrapbrownwrap Senior Member Member Posts: 549
    I started my 2nd go round on LFS:



    brownwraps-linuxfromscratch.blogspot.com

    I think its a great learning tool. I got to the point I had a bootable working system, but left off at trying to bring up X. Got involved with another certification, HBSS, and never got back to it. I still recommend it though.
  • hiddenknight821hiddenknight821 The whole Shebang! Member Posts: 1,209 ■■■■■■□□□□
    @paul78: You sound a lot hardcore than I am. If I were to rate my Linux knowledge, I would say I only know half of the Linux+ exam objectives. I'm no computer scientist or a serious programmer. I was only doing the LFS for a project that I had to come up with, and I'm gonna write up a paper on it soon.

    I do not plan to abandon the LFS project completely, but I will revisit once I gain more knowledge from my cert study. I plan to study for the Linux+ starting with this UNIX guide but I'm debating skipping it and go straight to the RHCSA. Not sure if that's a wise thing to do. Should I pay $348 for 2 certs or $400 for a well-reputable RHCSA?

    I wish I did not start with the outdated unstable HLFS version, but I can see how frustrating it can be to roll out your own distro when you have to keep up with the patches and updates. Did you have a package manager? I know the LFS and BLFS won't help with that. Next time, I plan to use the updated version of the basic LFS then do the BLFS. I think I will get back to it next year when I'm probably ready.
  • paul78paul78 Senior Member Member Posts: 3,016 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I do like playing around with Linux and while I do know a lot about it's workings, to be honest, I probably would not qualify as a Linux engineer. None of my experience is with any of the commercial distros that would be used in a business enterprise. And I only explore what happens to interests me with regard to Linux so I only install what I need (I like knowing what every file in my OS does icon_lol.gif). For me, Linux is a diversionary hobby as I have worked primarily in Microsoft shops for most of my career.
    I do not plan to abandon the LFS project completely, but I will revisit once I gain more knowledge from my cert study.
    That's great to hear. Good luck next time around.
    I plan to study for the Linux+ starting with this UNIX guide but I'm debating skipping it and go straight to the RHCSA. Not sure if that's a wise thing to do. Should I pay $348 for 2 certs or $400 for a well-reputable RHCSA?
    Hmm. I really don't know enough about how the job market at those certs. With the RHCSA being more vendor specific, I don't know if that's better. But there are lots of companies that use Redhat. Perhaps someone who does Linux admin/engineering can comment...

    BTW - I looked at that the book preview. It actually looks to be a great overview of UNIX and probably is a good way to learn UNIX and not just Linux. You may be able to get a lot of it. The way that I learned a lot about Linux was to start with something similar (4.3 BSD and MINIX).
    Did you have a package manager?
    I've never used a package manager before until recently. The current version of Xorg is highly modularized and the source code is no longer packaged into a single version. So for the latest desktop distro, I bootstrap-ed with Gentoo's portage so I could easily load X.
  • AceRimmerAceRimmer Member Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 41 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I do not plan to abandon the LFS project completely, but I will revisit once I gain more knowledge from my cert study. I plan to study for the Linux+ starting with this UNIX guide but I'm debating skipping it and go straight to the RHCSA. Not sure if that's a wise thing to do. Should I pay $348 for 2 certs or $400 for a well-reputable RHCSA?


    About the book, a bit pricey but good (I got 2nd ed. International). You can go for International Edition from ebay:
    INTERNATIONAL EDITION Your Unix/Linux: The Ultimate Guide 3rd Das 9780073376202 | eBay
    It's basically the same stuff. Same print quality, different cover. Also true for any other McGRAW / Pearson (text)book.
  • hiddenknight821hiddenknight821 The whole Shebang! Member Posts: 1,209 ■■■■■■□□□□
    @AceRimmer: Yes it is. I would never listed that book if I did not have it on my bookshelf. icon_wink.gif The book is actually a course textbook used by the universities. It wasn't originally mine. I got it from a friend who was required to take a introductory UNIX class during her freshman year when she was a bioinformatic major but later switched her major. So she didn't need it anymore.
  • AceRimmerAceRimmer Member Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 41 ■■□□□□□□□□
    No, it's still 3rd edition. Just Kindle.
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Mod Posts: 4,502 Mod
    ...

    .... I plan to study for the Linux+ starting with this UNIX guide but I'm debating skipping it and go straight to the RHCSA. Not sure if that's a wise thing to do. Should I pay $348 for 2 certs or $400 for a well-reputable RHCSA?...

    Go for RHCSA directly. Skip Linux+. You can always read the Linux+ books anytime you want. RHCSA is a lab-based cert, much more valued than Linux+, and you will learn more studying for RHCSA.
    Certs: GSTRT, GPEN, GCFA, CISM, CRISC, RHCE

    Check out my YouTube Channel!

  • hiddenknight821hiddenknight821 The whole Shebang! Member Posts: 1,209 ■■■■■■□□□□
    brownwrap wrote: »
    There is a new version of the book

    I did not see this edition coming. Thanks for the heads up. I guess I better hurry up finishing up the edition that has been sitting on my shelf. I am sure many topics in the book are still relevant. The only differences I can think of now are the new boot loader and the file system.
    UnixGuy wrote: »
    Go for RHCSA directly. Skip Linux+. You can always read the Linux+ books anytime you want. RHCSA is a lab-based cert, much more valued than Linux+, and you will learn more studying for RHCSA.

    Thank you. This is exactly what I need! An advice from an experienced certified Linux admin! I guess I will have to prepare carefully and throughout for the RHCSA. Failing the exam would be a huge gamble for me. I am not trying not to violate the NDA, but I hope I am not asking too much here. If I made one little mistake on the exam such as using the chmod 744 permission instead of 644 on a file, would I automatically fail the exam or will I see a warning or hint before the end of the exam? I would love to take the exam demo tutorial sort of like what Cisco does before you begin your exam so I can get a better idea what the test looks like.
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Mod Posts: 4,502 Mod

    ..Failing the exam would be a huge gamble for me...



    Don't think like that. I know it's an expensive exam, but it is a difficult exam and the failure rate is not small. when I took the exam I had 5 years of experience in Unix (not Red Hat or Linux), and I kind of ignored the RHCSA part and focused on the RHCE part..guess what, I failed the RHCSA part and got 94% in the RHCE part, go figure icon_rolleyes.gif This is my exam review:

    http://www.techexams.net/forums/lpi-rhce-sair/62016-passed-rhce.html

    It's a difficult and expensive exam, but it's REALLY worth it. You will learn a lot, and the certification is really respected. It will open new doors for you :)

    ... If I made one little mistake on the exam such as using the chmod 744 permission instead of 644 on a file, would I automatically fail the exam or will I see a warning or hint before the end of the exam?


    You will not get warnings for mistakes, but you should test these things your self. This is the beauty of a practical exam. For example, if you were asked to create a user, then it is easy to test that your creation is successful by simply logging in using that user. This is how you do it in the real world. I get asked to create a user and give it certain permissions, so as a habit I create it, and I login using that user and try to access files that I'm not supposed to see if my access control is working or not.

    When you attach your machine to a naming services machine (say NIS for example), it is easy to test that as well. This is part of the exam, and part of your learning experience (something you never get to learn if you study for a multiple choice exam like Linux+).


    I would love to take the exam demo tutorial sort of like what Cisco does before you begin your exam so I can get a better idea what the test looks like.


    There's nothing like that. While studying you must create a server and multiple clients and DO everything practically and test/verify it is working. This is how you prepare for this exam.

    If you can afford it, then enroll in Red Hat official training classes. They're an excellent preparation for the exam and you WILL learn a lot! If not, then you can always take Red Hat's crash course right before the exam (after you've prepared properly of course).


    Let me know if you need further help :)
    Certs: GSTRT, GPEN, GCFA, CISM, CRISC, RHCE

    Check out my YouTube Channel!

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