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EasyLFS release

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Joined: 2006-03-28

I am happy to be able to publicly announce the release of EasyLFS 0.2.6.
A few big improvements were made since 0.2.1 and I'd like to give you a little overview about these.

First of all, the bug in shadow, which mostly disabled user-management, has been fixed, alongside with one or two minor bugs.
Some more packages have been included, like screen, ncftp and openssh, to name a few of the new options.

SELinux-support is much better now, but as we found out, not perfect yet, since everything and everybody is running in the kernel-context. That of course does not circumvent the normal access-control of Linux, it just offers no additional security.
But at least it's there already and has a working policy.
By the way, for the next release (0.3) this will also be fixed, init has been properly patched in the meantime and everything is going to run in the right context.

Another big change is the reduction of installation-scripts. Before it was necessary to edit the config-script and then manually start 5 scripts for installation.
To save time and make installation a little more convenient this has been reduced to editing the config-script and starting one script, which in turn will call all the other scripts.

The LiveCD was enhanced with a few scripts for hardware-detection. PCI-devices for which modules are available should be detected and the modules should then be loaded.
Also USB should be detected now so that modules are loaded. This should help with USB-keyboards.
Note that these scripts won't be there in the final system!
Also the LiveCD is only around 2MB bigger than it the previous one, although there's more than 20MB of new packages. That's because the new version of the Linux-Live-Scripts brings along a new version of SquashFS that uses LZMA-compression to create smaller images.

0.3 is currently in production and will more or less feature the same packages, just updated again and only few additions, better (if not full) SELinux-support and resume-support in case the installation fails due to a segfault or something like that.

0.3 will also be the first version that will come with a written documentation (maybe not complete yet, but installation will be covered), downloadable as PDF (and maybe also ODT) and on CD as HTML.

If you test the system please give me a little feedback. Comments of any type are always welcome and help me to improve the system.

You can download the image at http://easylfs.aquanasoft.de/easylfs-0.2.6.iso

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Joined: 2006-03-28
ISO-size

Forgot to mention, the ISO has around 450MB.

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
Downloading now. I'll let

Downloading now. I'll let you know how it went when I go for install.

Nice work! Smiling

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Joined: 2006-03-28
Well, let me know if your

Well, let me know if your USB-keyboard works now.
I guess it should, USB-modules should be loaded during startup.

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
Hi, I am sorry for coming

Hi, I am sorry for coming so late with this. I've tried booting EasyLFS much earlier briefly and my keyboard didn't work then, but I wasn't sure whether this was due to EasyLFS or it not being set properly in BIOS or something.. It was just a quick tryout.

The reason I didn't try for so long again is because I'm literally afraid to boot into something just to leave me with no choice but to force shut down. I still have that problem with turning the computer on (probably due to PSU) and I'm just avoiding shutdowns until I get a new computer.

Anyway, I tried to boot into Solaris 10 tonight, and USB worked. Didn't install Solaris because I didn't have a partition prepared for it. Then I tried EasyLFS and the keyboard didn't work. Since it worked in Solaris my guess is, unfortunately, that EasyLFS still doesn't detect it properly.

I tried unplugging and plugging in to other ports and I could see it detecting this by saying stuff like "new USB device connected" and "new USB device disconnected" specifying the address where it saw it, but keyboard still didn't work. No lights, no response from any key, it was just dead. So it appears that, at least for my keyboard, loading usb modules isn't enough. :\

There ought to be some other thing other distros use to detect these kinds of input devices, in addition to usb modules, or maybe they just have it configured differently.

I might try it in qemu later on, for the installation process, but without keyboard I can't install it full on a partition yet.

Thanks

a thing's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-20
Linux .config

IIRC there's something in Linux's configuration system about USB keyboards.

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Joined: 2006-03-28
The problem here is UDev.

The problem here is UDev. In all versions until the current (0.2.6) not all rules will be installed.
I tried to compensate this with a few scripts for hardware-detection. Since modules for the mainboard, network-card and USB-controller are loaded I thought this should help. But obviously I either have no USB-keyboard-support at all in the kernel, or the module for that doesn't get loaded.

Anyway, all rules will be installed in the next version, which will be 0.3. And already without my scripts all the hardware-detection I did by script before is done automatically by UDev, so then it should really work.

I'll also have a look into the kernel if I find something about USB-keyboards there and activate it it's not active yet.
I'll have to try to get my hands on a spare box and a USB-keyboard after the holiday when I'm back in the office, then I can also test this.

libervisco's picture
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I see. I'll try and

I see. I'll try and hopefully fully install it when you release 0.3. Actually I hope I'll have my new PC by then, because compiling stuff on EasyLFS will be a nice strech out for the new processor. Eye

Cheers

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Joined: 2007-04-10
reptiler wrote: I am happy
reptiler wrote:

I am happy to be able to publicly announce the release of EasyLFS 0.2.6.

Cool! First time I've heard about LFS (Linux from Scratch). That's what I like most about GNU/Linux, it's never boring. I've download it too to see what's it about. Thanks.

EDIT:

The Wiki is not in English?!? Any way to translate it?

libervisco's picture
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Actually, LFS wiki is in

Actually, LFS wiki is in english here: http://wiki.linuxfromscratch.org/lfs/

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The EasyLFS-Wiki is not

The EasyLFS-Wiki is not English yet. A friend offered to host the image and the wiki and installed it German, so I also wrote the texts in German first.
When I find the time I'll see to get it in English too.

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Joined: 2007-04-10
EasyLFS wiki
libervisco wrote:

Actually, LFS wiki is in english here: http://wiki.linuxfromscratch.org/lfs/

Laughing out loud

I was hoping for an easy way to do LFS. Sorry but I'm not yet ready to dive into the deep end of the pool. But we have a Pentium MMX Laptop that's gathering dust. LFS might open new possibilities for it. Thanks for the link.

Hey, I'll be on the look-out for that English Wiki on EasyLFS.

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Joined: 2006-03-28
I've bought a notebook like

I've bought a notebook like that just to test EasyLFS.
It takes around 3 days to install the system. :-)
But the good thing is that you should be able to start it on Friday morning, go to work, go camping over the weekend and come back to set the root password and boot your new system. ;-)

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10cents wrote: Sorry but
10cents wrote:

Sorry but I'm not yet ready to dive into the deep end of the pool.

Sure, that's too deep even for me too. Smiling I tried LFS once, but never got even half through it. Right now I don't see myself going down that road anytime soon, but I would give EasyLFS a go though.

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for fun
libervisco wrote:

I tried LFS once, but never got even half through it. Right now I don't see myself going down that road anytime soon, but I would give EasyLFS a go though.

Gee, if people like you are wary of going through it again, I wonder what's waiting down the road for me. But I find GNU/Linux challenging and fun, a more practical brain exercise than going through cross-word puzzles. Laughing out loud

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Though this might sound

Though this might sound like some marketing-slogan or something but I'd really like to point out that with EasyLFS you don't have all the work you have with LFS, you set a few details and then start it, without having to type tons of commands. That's what makes the "Easy" in EasyLFS. ;-)

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Joined: 2006-03-28
Since I'm approaching

Since I'm approaching EasyLFS 0.3 with big steps I'd like to gather a few oppinions about two points I couldn't quite decide yet.

  1. Should SELinux be in enforcing- or permissive-mode?
  2. Should PAM be included into the default installation?

About 1: I adjusted the reference policy to fit the needs of EasyLFS, well, the targeted policy at least, the strict one will be done for the next bigger step) and everything should run fine with policy-enforcing.
Also SELinux is not really much use in permissive-mode, it'll just show messages when something would be denied in enforcing-mode, but it won't deny the action, so it won't actually block anything unless it's set into enforcing-mode.
I'd like to set it enforcing by default.

About 2: PAM seems to be a good and useful set of libraries. Everything seems to work fine and nicely, and when SELinux is installed PAM also should be installed because otherwise user-restrictions don't seem to work properly (which anyway only seem to work with a strict policy ;-) ).
So I'm thinking to include PAM into the default set of software, anyway, it's used to all distros I ever used.
If it won't be included into the standard-install it for sure will be enabled for installation in the config-script by default. The question just is if I should elevate it to total standard.

I'd be happy to get a few oppinions on this.

tbuitenh's picture
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The more things you include

The more things you include by default, the less true the "LFS" part of "EasyLFS" becomes Sticking out tongue . On the other hand, permissive SELinux doesn't make much sense, so if enforcing mode depends on PAM then including PAM is the obvious thing to do.

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Well, in the scripts I can

Well, in the scripts I can implement dependencies, which I already do where necessary.
For the targeted policy, which is currently provided with EasyLFS (if SELinux is installed), PAM is not necessary, but recommended.

I know that every new standard-package will divert more from the LFS-philosophy, that's why I'm undecided.
Why I consider doing this is that I always said I'll provide more than "only LFS" and PAM, I guess, is a commonly used package.

As for SELinux: I think I'll test a little more with it and if everything works fine I'll go for enforcing.
Anyway, it's still possible to change it back manually.

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Okay, I've made a

Okay, I've made a decision.
PAM will be selected by default, but it will remain an option.
In case SELinux is installed PAM will also be installed, regardless of the setting in the config-script.

Having it this way has a nice side-effect, I can build the system for the LiveCD without PAM, which enables me to keep having no root-password on the LiveCD. With PAM I'd either have to set a password (which I wouldn't want) or enable null-passwords in the PAM-config (what I also don't want because PAM is supposed to increase security).

I'm also thinking to have to look into how to disable null-passwords with the plain shadow-suite, then I could add a setting in the config-script to enable/disable (standard would of course disabled) null-passwords.

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I just wanted to announce a

I just wanted to announce a planned release-date for EasyLFS 0.3: Sunday, May 13th 2007.
Of course this date is not fixed, but I'm sure I won't have such a delay as Debian usually has. ;-)

Just now I'm integrating the latest kernel (2.6.21) and the fresh, recently release, reference policy for SELinux.
If something delays the release, then it'll probably be the latter, since I won't use my policy-patch from the previous version with the new one (I guess too much might have been changed) and might have to redo some or all of my policy-changes to create a new patch.

Although so far everything seems to be running fine (except these two new packages which will be tested this weekend) some more testing of course is necessary before the release.

Today I could get my current test-CD into a box with a SATA-harddrive and it was successfully detected and could be used.
Now I just hope USB-keyboards also work, somehow the one we have in the office disappeared, so I can't test right now, I'll try to find it tomorrow or next week.

So far the new version looks really nice and good, and I hope it'll find some interest.

libervisco's picture
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Great to hear. My new

Great to hear. My new machine is waiting to spin it up and do some compiling for the first time (as I'll unlikely compile anything before EasyLFS 0.3 anyway). Smiling

Btw, does that kernel support smp?

Thanks

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Joined: 2006-03-28
The kernel on the CD so far

The kernel on the CD so far doesn't bring it out of the box, but I'll have a look into it and try if I can deliver it without breaking anything for single-CPU/-core systems.

Great to hear you got your new box, also read it in your topic about it. Nice box, I hope you'll have fun with it.

Currently I'm glueing in the 2.6.21.1 kernel and the reference policy for SELinux and if that's done I can freeze and go for testing.

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Thanks. It's fine either

Thanks. It's fine either way. If second core isn't used it's still quite fast (it's the architecture and 4MB cache which makes core duos fast, not just two cores.). Smiling

Cheers

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Joined: 2006-03-28
I have good news and bad

I have good news and bad news.
The bad news first: The current kernel does not support SMP, only 1 CPU is found in a Multi-CPU-system. I guess it might be the same with Multi-Core, but there I have no test-data.

Now the good news: As said before detection of IDE-, SATA- and USB-storage work, now I also have confirmation that it also works for SCSI and, what should be interesting for you libervisco, USB-keyboards are also supported.

A helpful users from the other forum offered to test the current beta on one of the servers, so that EasyLFS can have exposure to SCSI-discs, SMP and a USB-keyboard.
And as said, everything except SMP worked.

Since now I have some space on my drive again (had to take care of some hours of holiday-videos on request of my wife ;-) ) I continue working on EasyLFS and will probably come to 0.3 by end of this month.
It might feature the brand-new GCC 4.2, but only if it doesn't cause any problems, and the CD might come with two different kernels, one with and another without SMP-support.

libervisco's picture
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Sorry for a late response.

Sorry for a late response. It's good to see you made some progress.. SMP would be good, to take advantage of both cores while compiling, but it would do anyway.

Do keep us updated. Smiling

Cheers

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Joined: 2006-03-28
Two kernels on the CD is no

Two kernels on the CD is no problem, it was some work, but finally I managed to get it done.
That mean that the coming version will also have a kernel with SMP-support, and thanks to the new Live-scripts a nice graphical bootloader-menu to choose kernels. :-)

GCC 4.2 I had to cancel for now since it had a couple of problems compiling and I don't want to waste time now to force it in.
I can better take some time for this after 0.3 and work on it for the next release.

libervisco's picture
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Sounds great! GCC 4.2 just

Sounds great! Smiling

GCC 4.2 just got out I believe so it's not a big rush.

Cheers

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I agree, although it would

I agree, although it would have been cool, especially because I also offer an SMP-kernel.
One big improvement in GCC 4.2 is support for OpenMP, which is supposed to make parallelizing applications quite a lot easier, according to an article I recently read.

Well, it gives me some problems and since I want to release soon I don't think it's worth the headache I'd get when I try to squeeze it in by force.

There are some notable changes in the coming release, like better hardware-support, first time real SELinux-support (the one I had in 0.2.6 was working, but not in the intended way) and SMP-support on the CD to make Multi-CPU/-Core users happy. :-)

I still couldn't manage to get an english Wiki ready, but I'll try to go for that as soon as I finish 0.3, so that my work is accessible by a wider audience.

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Joined: 2006-03-28
EasyLFS 0.3 is here

After two month of work EasyLFS 0.3 is finally finished and available.
You can download it here.
So far I didn't have the possibility to offer an english Wiki, but I hope to change this soon.
I will try to translate the installation manual and post it here on my blog.

Until then a short installation procedure:

  1. Start LiveCD
  2. Select Kernel (with or without SMP-support)
  3. Set keyboard-layout
  4. Partition hard-disc (fdisk or parted)
  5. Change to /lfs-install
  6. Edit lfs-config.sh (vi,nano,joe) (don't uncomment the settings for swap and timezone, these will be done later with the install-script, only the target-partition actually needs to be set, the rest is optional stuff, but worth a look)
  7. Run lfs-install.sh
  8. Wait
  9. Wait some more
  10. Done
libervisco's picture
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Great! Gonna download it

Great! Gonna download it tonight. Smiling

Thanks

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