LFS commands, backslashed line continuations, and fileutils

Kelledin kelledin+LFS at skarpsey.dyndns.org
Sat Apr 19 03:13:31 PDT 2003

Lately, I'm frequently seeing a lot of people having problems 
with certain Ch5 LFS packages (notably fileutils), where static 
linking doesn't occur like it should.  Of course, these people 
are positive they've followed the book to the letter, normally 
because they cut-and-paste the commands with their mouse.

I'm betting that when these unfortunate souls cut-n-paste the 
commands, the CnP operation is putting whitespace after the 
backslash in LDFLAGS=-static.  So of course, the backslash 
doesn't have the intended effect, ./configure doesn't inherit 
the right LDFLAGS, the package gets linked dynamically, and 
users wonder why the commands break in Ch6.  And since the extra 
whitespace is invisible on a terminal (duh), the user's going to 
have one hell of a time seeing what he did wrong...

I see three things we can do about this:

1) export the proper LDFLAGS on a line by itself, then unset it 
when the relevant commands are done.  The disadvantage is that 
if a user neglects to unset LDFLAGS for some reason, the wrong 
LDFLAGS could get applied to other packages.

2) don't break lines--just put the entire command on one line.  
The disadvantage being that people LFS'ing from a bog-standard 
80-column tty are going to find certain long commands to be 
rather uncomfortable reading.

3) let it be, and continue to put up with poor benighted souls 
griping on lfs-support about "exact-to-the-letter" LFS commands 
that don't work...

"If a server crashes in a server farm and no one pings it, does 
it still cost four figures to fix?"
Unsubscribe: send email to listar at linuxfromscratch.org
and put 'unsubscribe lfs-dev' in the subject header of the message

More information about the lfs-dev mailing list