Perception of LFS

Matthias Benkmann matthias at
Sun Jan 12 03:40:38 PST 2003

On Sun, 12 Jan 2003 21:48:16 +1100 Greg Schafer <gschafer at>

> Hi
> Someone mentioned this on lfs-support. I found this reference and it is
> really quite disturbing:-
> Alan Cox says:
> "I get so many weird never duplicated reports from linux from scratch
> people that don't happen to anyone else that I treat them with deep
> suspicion. Especially because it sometimes goes away if they instead
> build the same kernel with Debian/Red Hat/.. binutils/gcc"

Well, he does have a point. Just look at the stuff we get on lfs-support,
look at the people who are building LFS. If I'm not mistaken, "recompile
gcc and/or binutils" is a very frequent answer on lfs-support.

Just a comparison: If you were working for Ford, would you want to spend
time investigating complaints from someone with unknown expertise who's
handbuilt a car from parts of unknown origin and who (often intentionally)
doesn't provide you with all the information about the issue?

The argument in the thread that LFS has a well-defined manual with
well-defined package versions is silly. It just doesn't work this way.
Think about lfs-support again. How often does it happen that after going
back and forth over a "mysterious" issue the user suddendly says "Could it
have something to do with the fact that I did xxxxxxx instead of yyyyyyy
as told in the book?" or something similar.

> Maybe we should upgrade to HJ's binutils so that we
> are"keeping up with the Jones's" and we are not treated like black
> sheep. And maybe we should start building the kernel with gcc-2.95.x
> like the docs say.. And maybe we should start... etc, etc, etc...

I don't think this is at all necessary. I think that most problems are
caused by the mistakes people make when building LFS. We can't do anything
about those. Even if we instructed people to build the kernel with
gcc-2.95, many people would use gcc-3.x to do it and YOU BET that many of
those wouldn't bother to include this information in a support request,
often on purpose to avoid being told to recompile (which would take
*their* time instead of the time of the time of the people on lfs-support,
and that absolutely must no be).

BTW, you (Greg) are as guilty in all these respects as someone can be.
Think about how your sed couldn't handle binaries and it was only a couple
posts later that you came up with the info that it was not built according
to the book. Think about the loadkeys issue (which some people may well
have reported as a linux kernel bug), wasn't this caused by one of the
hacks/tweaks on your page?

Please, don't take this the wrong way. LFS is made for tweaking. It's the
spirit of LFS, and you are doing a very valuable service to the LFS
community. However, because of what you do, you are the LAST person on
earth to have a right to criticize Alan Cox for refusing to deal with
support requests from LFS users.


He who SHOUTS is always wrong.

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