Monday, December 14, 2009

From Bully to Bitch

I'm not easily disgusted by plagarism, but Microsoft China blatantly stealing the IP of another company takes me far far down rodeo drive.

I'm not really into IP law, don't even give too much credit to it. Don't even think you can really enforce it. I mean come on. Whatever's reproducible will be reproduced, that's what life is all about, and software is an easy prey in this territory.

I don't even care about Microsoft getting some slashdot-love again, though I really hope this story would generate more buzz than usual!

And I wouldn't even want to be a bitch about acts of stealing, because different societies have different standards and ways on identifying and punishing it.

But come on. Big guys stealing from the little guys on the open street in the darned daylight? That's like unacceptable no matter what, right?

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Being totally new to Debian, this surely will sound funny to my future self, but still, I'm pretty confused by apt/Debian's package management.

So I want to go from stable to testing, which is easy right, it's all laid out in the docs: do an apt-setup noprobe to prepare for your install. Hm. Except that there is no apt-setup on my current system (which is Etch stable). Go look for such, with apt-cache search and dpkg -S and what not -- no luck. Then there's this Google-thing, that leads me to this nice page the content of which is a bit misleading but gives me a good kickstart. Turns out, all I have to do is replace my "stable" entries to "testing" in my source.lst file. Now, do I have to do an apt-get upgrade before my dist-upgrade or is it unnecessary. Official docs say I better do a genuine upgrade before the dist-upgrade, but hell, they even say I should use aptitude instead of apt-get and then I don't know a bit about the difference between the to.

Linux From Scratch -- Success!!

After nearly a month of fiddling with LFS I finally got it working! It's really amazing to finally see the prompt that I built. :)

This is where exactly the journey begins. But before going beyond there are some issues to cope with:

1. An 'iso-8859-1 invalid identified' error after login -- I hope this would not lead to too severe locale-related issues

2. Drives that were hdaX on my previous host system are now named sdaX in the LFS system -- this may have to do something with udev?

3. There is no working eth0 interface which is the most painful part. Maybe this has something to do with the fact that I've compiled the kernel with make defconfig?

Before really starting to do BLFS, I will investigate these issues, which will be easy since I have a snapshot inside the chroot environment with the livecd.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Linux From Scratch -- Revisited

Stuff me in a pink gown and call me Paris Hilton.
Last time my LFS build failed it wasn't even binutils but glibc! After 15 minutes of RMTFing I realized that it's called configparms not configparams, dummy.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Linux From Scratch -- Failure

Oh well, binutils build has failed. I suppose it has something to do with GCC Pass 1? The wording about the first GCC compilation in the book is a bit misleading, because they are talking about bootstrapping but the make target nowhere tells it to bootstrap.
I guess I will have to come back to this one and contact the good guys on the mailing list. Of course I will do my RTFM before flooding public channels.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Linux From Scratch -- Host System

So I have downloaded the minimal LFS LiveCD and popped it into my virtual machine under VMWare Player.

As it is advertised it is definitely a valid host environment for the build process, as checked by

After setting up my main file systems, we need to get the source packages. There is a wget input file in the stable book download directory which comes very handy. My slow internet connection makes me have to wait for all of them to arrive.

Linux From Scratch -- Introduction

I've been a long time casual Linux/Unix user. Back before Ubuntu was hype, I got into Gentoo, but never really got too far beyond installing it and emerging some packages. At my work we use Debian, and on my Vista I sure have Cygwin cause bash and the command line stuff is awesome.

But it always bothered me that I'm not really into Linux. Not into like "I use Ubuntu for my daily browsing and document editing chores" or "I'm the sysadmin of a 50-server heterogeneous *nix farm" but somewhere in between.

I'm pretty much tied to Windows as my main working environment, and can't really afford the hassle to migrate all my stuff to Linux (yeah, going from XP 32-bit to Vista 64-bit was a big enough deal already, thank you), so what do I do?

This is where Linux From Scratch comes into play. I mean. If I just really could build a whole Linux system from scratch, well it would really mean at least something, right?

Well. Jump right into it.

Because I'm a newbie, I start with the latest stable version of the LFS book.

First of all I need a host systems which is a simple 2.6 generic Linux VMware Image created by EasyVMX! and booted up with the LFS LiveCD. Since the latest book version is 6.4 and the latest LiveCD version is 6.3 and I don't need no X and stuff, I'm gonna pick the 32-bit "-min" image.

Since I have a slow internet connection, I guess I will have to hook up on things later.