Perception of LFS
mclinden at informed.net
mclinden at informed.net
Sun Jan 12 06:17:12 PST 2003
First of all, let's distinguish between the Linux kernel and LFS. Cox's
comments were in the context of building Linux kernels, not a complete
operating environment. And while there is some merit to his comments,
there is much to criticize, as well. For one, IMHO the Linux kernel has
grown too complicated to make it practical to continue to configure and
build using parsers and stream editors. Like many other packages building
the distro is HIGHLY dependent upon specific implementations of various
tools, compilers, etc. (think of KDE's lack of support for GCC >= 3.0, or
XFree's dependency on bison-1.35). I'm not arguing that this is good or
bad but what I am suggesting is that kernel, itself, is not without
issues; blaming LFS users is a bit disingenuous.
On the other hand, if you have an LFS distro and access to the book, you
have a much better chance of succesfully souce-code upgrading your kernel,
your GLIBC or your GCC than you would with a Red Hat, SuSE or Debian. Add
to that the wealth of information contained in the HINTS, and I think that
LFS wins, hands down, if you need an up to date implementation of the Unix
We support over 30 installations of Oracle 8i, 9i and Oracle Applications
on various LFS configurations. I started the move a few years ago after
RedHat and SuSE bloated their systems so much with interlocking
dependencies that I couldn't easily build a minimal OS distro for a
database server without throwing in the kitchen sink.
RedHat iced the cake for me when one of their releases included an
experimental branch GCC which was compatible with nothing. Since then, I
have never looked back. And since RedHat has recently moved to decertify
Oracle from all releases except their costly "Advanced Server", I'm glad
I'll never have to pay another penny to them to run Oracle on their
platforms. Right now, I can fit the kernel, utilities and libraries, and
Oracle in single CD with which I can boot, install and configure an
Oracle server in less than an hour. Try that with RH or SuSE.
The strength of LFS will never been competition with RH, SuSE or the
others. Nor should it be. To me, LFS is about building what you need to
get the job done, well, not about pandering to the masses.
Outcome Technology Associates, Inc.
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