Essential Pre-Reading

Richard A Downing richard.downing at
Sat Dec 28 14:38:21 PST 2002

Inspired by recent threads in lfs mailing lists I wrote this.
Comments welcome (unless you are in my killfile in which case...)
Cheers, Richard.
Richard A Downing FBCS
-------------- next part --------------
TITLE:		Essential pre-reading for life with LFS
LFS VERSION:	any and all, including the next one.
AUTHOR:		Richard A Downing <richard.downing at>


This short hint is a list of good documents you can get for free on 
the Internet. They will help you get 'educated' to a level where you can:

1)  build LFS successfully
2)  ask sensible questions on the LFS lists and understand the replies.
3)  stay sane while doing all this.

Please Note: As you'll see, I'm missing a good reference on some stuff, if 
you know of, or find a good one, please write me.   Also I like feedback 


Part 1. Social stuff. (More important)

Many people ask questions badly on the LFS mailing lists.  Sometimes they 
get rude replies.  Read this to stay sane.

Please note that all the LFS mailing lists expect:

1) plain text email.  No HTML.
2) bottom posting.  Add your bit UNDERNEATH the bit you quoted.
3) pruned quotes.  Don't quote everything, just the significant bit.
3) thick skins.  Don't respond to rudeness, just ignore it.
4) zazen.  (Just Sitting) If others have a flame-war, just sit and watch.

Part 2. Technical stuff.

Many people attempt to build LFS without sufficient understanding 
or experience with LINUX.  Get a modern distro and play with it.
Choosing a distro is only hard because of the choice, my advice is to 
choose a cheap one because once you have learned a bit and then built LFS 
you will junk it.  I got mine free with a magazine.
However this may help:

Unlike Windows, Unix requires you to understand what you are doing to get 
anything much out of it.  Both Windows and Unix require deep understanding 
to get the best out of them.  This document is very basic, but will help 
you if you are coming from Windows, or just starting out understanding 

The next one is also good, yes, it's dated, but still worth reading:

Then there are three books that you ought to have on your box for easy 
reference, skim read them now so you know how to use them:

The Linux User's Guide.  (You have to download this as I can't find an 
on-line copy, it's a bit out of date too)!INDEX.html

The Linux Systems Administrators Guide

The Linux Network Administrators Guide, Second Edition

Having got yourself a LINUX system, and played a bit, you now will know a 
little about the subject, but before moving on to the building of LFS you 
should learn how to build packages from source code.  This is an area 
where it's hard to find good references.

This is good:

I also suggest here that you actually install a package from source on your 
distro,  a good choice would be GNU-emacs.  Check out it's homepage at:

Part 3.  Other stuff.

My starting point for any query or gap in my knowledge is google, yours 
should be too.  Go to the google page, and hit the advanced search button.  
Learn the full capabilities of this essential tool, spend at least a whole 
day on this.  Truely, you can't live without it.

There is a whole heap of documentation at the Linux Documentation Project, 
some of which I've quoted above.  Learn to go there regularly and just poke 
about, it's a great storehouse of knowledge.  Beware though a lot of it is 
out of date.

You might want to find some other software for your Linux box.  The 
place to search is:

Good luck,

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