Another request concerning the book.

Don Smith don_smith at
Fri Jun 14 09:40:27 PDT 2002

Hi Bill,

Bill Maltby LFS Related wrote:
> On Fri, 14 Jun 2002, Don Smith wrote:
> > Bill Maltby LFS Related wrote:
> > >
> > > On Fri, 14 Jun 2002, David BOURIAUD wrote:
> > >
> > > > It would be great to
> > > > have a chapter in the book concerning the kernel configuration.
> > >
> > > I agree. For new users, at least a guide to proper CPU, experimental,
> > > module support. Maybe not a whole chapter, bat a few paragraphs. But
> > > *only* enough to allow LFS installation. *No* advanced topics. Those
> > > belong in hints or BLFS.
> > >
> > Unfortunately, I don't think it is possible to have a short chapter on
> > kernel configuration. Remember that Lniux can be compiled to run on many
> > completely different architectures. LFS couldn't possibly tell you how
> > to configure your particular kernel.
> That's not what I had in mind. What I had in mind was along the lines
> of "... be careful of the CPU you select. The wrong one can..." and
> "... you may need to look at the experimental if you are doing ..."
> and so on. I agree that no "cookbook" approach is reasonable in the
> (B)LFS book - just a guide to how to properly use the config, things
> to watch out for, *known* problem areas in the current LFS ...

There are way too many things to watch out for. I still believe kernel
configuration is a separate issue from build LFS.

How about a suggestion to use the config from your host distribution?

In reality, one should try tailoring the kernel of the host distribution
a few times before diving into LFS. Maybe a suggestion like that could
be made.

And what happens when the config options completely change? Time to
rewrite the book even though the steps have not changed.
> >
> > The help screens in menuconfig are usually helpful and tell you what you
> > should do if you don't understand the help.
> There are *some* that speak of things in a way that a relatively new
> user might have trouble understanding. If there were some notes about
> those, like "... most folks dont need to worry about this unless...".

I agree  with this, that's why I qualified that statement with

> I realize even that *might* be too much, but when you think about it,
> a lot of posts to the lists are a result of "newness" to *IX/LFS. Of
> course a lot are because people have not read what is available too.
> Sometimes they don't know it available because they don't even read
> the (B)LFS chapters - just cut/past/run. No hope/help for them, I guess.

No, we on the lists must continually educate newbies on how to get the
answers they need. I think most people just don't know where to look.
The Resources section could use some beefing up and then mention the
section in several places in the book. How about a poll for things to
put in the resources section?

Those people who refuse to read the instructions will not be helped by
handholding because they'll never be able to do anything with their
systems once they are built. It would be better for them to just stick
with one of the distro's.
> >
> > LFS tells you which packages to build and in what order. The "how to
> > build" instructions are distilled into a set of generic commands that
> > work for just about everybody. That would be impossible to do for a
> > kernel configuration which is why they just say to run menuconfig and
> > let you figure out the rest for yourself.
> Some people teach kids to swim that way. Not necessarily the best way
> though. :)

True, but how to fix it without putting in about 1000 pages of
explanation? I say leave it as is.
> The major concern on my part would be what gains for the effort and
> how to keep current. Only reasonable, IMO, if it very general in nature
> and doesn't discuss all actual settings, but highlights some things
> deemed worthy of a FAQ. Then of course, it should be in a FAQ. But
> since *some* folks seem to have trouble with the concept of FAQ as a
> resource...

I've made a suggestion that may alleviate that somewhat. I noticed that
the section called "How to ask for help" did not mention the FAQ. It's
now in the latest version of the book.

> *sigh*
> >
> > Don
> Bill Maltby
> billm at
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