2.3. Creating a New Partition

Like most other operating systems, CLFS is usually installed on a dedicated partition. The recommended approach to building a CLFS system is to use an available empty partition or, if you have enough unpartitioned space, to create one. However, if you're building for a different architecture you can simply build everything in “/mnt/clfs” (or whatever directory you want to use) and transfer it to your target machine. If you do not plan to use a separate partition for building CLFS, you can skip the rest of this chapter and continue on to Packages and Patches.

A minimal system requires around 6 gigabytes (GB). This is enough to store all the source tarballs and compile the packages. The CLFS system itself will not take up this much room. A large portion of this requirement is to provide sufficient free temporary storage. Compiling packages can require a lot of disk space which will be reclaimed after the package is installed. If the CLFS system is intended to be the primary Linux system, additional software will probably be installed which will require additional space (2-10 GB).

Because there is not always enough Random Access Memory (RAM) available for compilation processes, it is a good idea to use a small disk partition as swap space. This is used by the kernel to store seldom-used data and leave more memory available for active processes. The swap partition for a CLFS system can be the same as the one used by the host system, in which case it is not necessary to create another one.

Open Firmware and the Mac OS's impose certain requirements on partitioning. This is discussed in Appendix E. In particular, you cannot use fdisk, you will need an apple_bootstrap partition, and that should precede any OSX partition.

Start a disk partitioning program such as parted with a command line option naming the hard disk on which the new partition will be created—for example /dev/hda for the primary Integrated Drive Electronics (IDE) disk. Create at least an apple bootstrap partition, a Linux native partition, and a swap partition, if needed. Please refer to parted(8) if you do not yet know how to use the programs.

Remember the designation of the new partition (e.g., hda5). This book will refer to this as the CLFS partition. Also remember the designation of the swap partition. These names will be needed later for the /etc/fstab file. You will also need to know the designation of the apple_bootstrap partition for the yaboot.conf when you set this up before you run ybin.