Which sections of the book do I want?

Unlike the Linux From Scratch book, BLFS isn't designed to be followed in a linear manner. This is because LFS provides instructions on how to create a base system which is capable of turning into anything from a web server to a multimedia desktop system. BLFS is where we try to guide you through going from the base system to your intended destination and so choice is very much involved.

Everyone who reads the book will want to read certain sections. The Introduction part - which you are currently reading - contains generic information. Especially take note of the information in Important Information (Chapter 2, Important Information), as this contains comments about how to unpack software and various other aspects which apply throughout the book.

The part on Post LFS Configuration and Extra Software is where most people will want to turn next. This deals with not just configuration but also Security (Chapter 4, Security), File Systems (Chapter 5, File Systems), Editors (Chapter 6, Editors) and Shells (Chapter 7, Shells). Indeed, you may wish to reference certain parts of this chapter (especially the sections on Editors and File Systems) while building your LFS system.

Following these basic items, most people will want to at least browse through the General Libraries and Utilities part of the book. This part contains information on many items which are prerequisites for other sections of the book as well as some items (such as Programming (Chapter 12, Programming) which are useful in their own right. Note that you don't have to install all of these libraries and packages found in this part to start with, each BLFS install procedure tells you which packages it depends upon so you can choose the program you want to install and see what it needs.

Likewise, most people will probably want to look at the Connecting to a Network and Basic Networking parts. The first of these deals with connecting to the Internet or your LAN using a variety of methods such as DHCP (Chapter 14, DHCP Clients) and Dial-Up Connections (Chapter 13, Dial-up networking). The second of these parts deals with items such as Networking Libraries (Chapter 16, Networking Libraries) and various basic networking programs and utilities.

Once you have dealt with these basics, you may wish to configure more advanced network services. These are dealt with in the Server Networking and Content Serving parts of the book. Those wanting to build servers should find enough information to give them a good starting point here. Note that Content Serving also contains information on various database packages.

The next parts of the book principally deal with desktop systems. We start with a part talking about X and Window Managers. This part also deals with some generic X-based libraries (Chapter 26, X Libraries). After this, KDE and gnome are given their own parts which are followed by one on X Software.

We then move on to deal with Multimedia packages. Note that many people may want to use the ALSA-1.0.4 instructions from this chapter quite near the start of their BLFS journey; they are placed here simply because it is the most logical place for them.

The final part of the main BLFS book deals with Printing, Scanning and Typesetting. This is useful for most people with desktop systems and even those who are creating mainly server systems will find it useful.

We hope you enjoy using BLFS and find it useful.