Compiling LFS on machine 1 for machine 2

Gerard Beekmans gerard at
Thu Jun 29 20:42:09 PDT 2000

> What I want to do is get Linux on an old 386 portable I have. It's only
> got a 40MB disk so I can't get all the sources on there and just leave it
> to build them over the course of the next year or so! So I'd like to
> 'make' all the stuff on my Pentium and then copy them accross. I should
> be able to link the two machines with network cards and boot the portable
> with Tom's Root Boot to prepare it.
> All I want it to do is boot Linux with my preferred settings, I'm
> intending using it as a terminal for my main box that I can take outside
> on nice days so I can carry on reading news and mail and maybe some
> hacking. What I mean is: everything will be run on the server, the
> portable will just be a display.

How 'display-ish' is your portable going to be? Is it going to be a dumb
terminal (read a system that doens't have or uses a harddisk. All data
goes through the server and your laptop literally is a display. It
doesn't actually run software). Or do you intend to install some basic
software and run major programs on the server.

If you intend to install some basic software on the 386 you can compile
those just fine on your pentium. Just make sure you don't compile the
packages for 486 or higher (like the kernel. It will compile for your
platform, unless you tell it not to by changing the CPU options). 

Do make sure that laptop and pentium both run the same Glibc version
else you'll run into trouble (software compiled on pentium and linked
against glibc-2.1 won't run too great on a glibc-2.0 machine (which is
recommended for your laptop since it's smaller in size. Glibc-2.1
without debugging symbols takes roughtly 20MB. That doesn't leave you
with much room for other stuff).

Perhaps you want to look into, what somebody else already said, remote
booting. That way you don't need a harddisk. The kernel boots, it
connects via NFS to the server and mounts your laptop's root file system
(which is actually a directory like /usr/nfs-exports/laptop-root on the
pentium) and all programs are run on server and you are just the
display. Think connecting using ssh or telnet to a server. All you do is
being a display. The execution of the software is actually done

Without going into too much detail right now and giving too many
options, using ssh (or telnet if you aren't concerned with security)
could be a good solution. Just install glibc-2.0 on your notebook and
some basic programs (most programs from chapter 5 from LFS-BOOK but you
can leave out several packages like shadow password, man, groff,
binutils, gcc and other big ones) like fileutils, sh-utils, util-linux
and ssh into your pentium and do what you want to do.

Gerard Beekmans

-*- If Linux doesn't have the solution, you have the wrong problem -*-
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