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4:25 PM
Hi! i've just installed debian 11.2.0 cinnamon and I'm trying to follow the instructions for "Linux From Scratch". I'm at a point have to run mkfs, but mkfs doesn't appear to be available in this distro. what should I do instead? is there a way to install it?
 
Oh wow, welcome to the dark side, Matt!
 
hi :D thanks!
 
but are you on Debian or are you making Linux from Scratch or both?
 
both. the LFS instructions tell me I need a working linux system to start with
 
in order to make anything from scratch one must first invent the universe
 
4:27 PM
so I'm on debian trying to run mkfs and I'm getting "command not found"
 
Right. So, on Debian, I think you need to install partcong-mkfstab
 
or install linux I guess
 
So you want sudo apt install partconf-mkfstab and that should install the mkfs command.
 
thanks! I'll give it a try
 
Also have a look at the output of apt-cache search mkfs (I don't have a Debian machine available to play with, but it should tell you what packages mention mkfs)
 
4:30 PM
@terdon sadly apt can't find the package
 
There are a variety of mkfs on Debian, but the one you want is in e2fsprogs.
 
apparently I have the "util-linux" package already, but it's not given me mkfs
 
That's the right one for ext4, at least.
 
@FaheemMitha can't find that package either :(
 
dlocate $(which mkfs)
 
4:35 PM
wonder if I can get the deb
 
or
dpkg -S $(which mkfs)
 
@FaheemMitha which won't help if it isn't in the PATH
 
would show you your options.
 
@FaheemMitha the package already needs to be installed for that to work
 
@terdon If what isn't?
@StephenKitt Which is why I mentioned an option.
 
4:36 PM
Not if it isn't in the path, which ill simply have no output. mkfs isn't in Matt's path, so which mkfs will return nothing.
 
@FaheemMitha neither option works if the packages aren’t installed
so they can’t be used to find a package which isn’t installed
 
@StephenKitt Agreed. He'd need to use apt-find.
@terdon Right. I assumed he was on root. That's where I do my searching.
My mistake.
 
@FaheemMitha either way: if the executable isn't installed or isn't in the PATH, which won't help.
 
@FaheemMitha apt-file
 
@MattE.Эллен Try apt-file search mkfs. Though you'll need to install apt-file and run apt-find update first. If memory serves.
 
4:38 PM
Also, my suggestion earlier was wrong, @MattE.Эллен. partconf-mkfstab is the wrong package even though it was the only one I found on packages.debian.org weirdly enough.
 
@StephenKitt Oops. Some of my brain cells have died prematurely. Sorry about that.
 
@StephenKitt isn't mkfs installed by default? If it isn't, do you know what package will bring it?
 
I tink something is screwy with my install. it can't find any packages
well,, any being sugegsted here
 
@terdon it’s in util-linux, and yes, it should be installed by default
 
@MattE.Эллен does apt-cache search e2fsprogs return anything?
 
4:39 PM
yes!
 
@MattE.Эллен Does it return e2fsprogs?
 
@MattE.Эллен during this conversation, if anything Faheem or I say contradicts what Stephen says, believe Stephen. Faheem and I dabble, but Stephen's knowledge runs deep.
And believe Faheem over me, he actually uses Debian.
What do you have in /etc/apt/sources.list?
 
it might be useful to know I'm running debian in virtualbox
 
@MattE.Эллен I think I remember you from the ELU chat room.
Unless I've confused you with someone else.
 
@FaheemMitha yes! I thought your name was familiar
 
4:43 PM
@MattE.Эллен Just for clarity are you trying to do stuff with ext4 filesystems, or something else?
 
18 mins ago, by Matt E. Эллен
Hi! i've just installed debian 11.2.0 cinnamon and I'm trying to follow the instructions for "Linux From Scratch". I'm at a point have to run mkfs, but mkfs doesn't appear to be available in this distro. what should I do instead? is there a way to install it?
 
Because the answers would differ, depending on your fs. And you did not specify.
 
yes, I want to make an ext4 partition
 
@terdon Yes, I read that. No filesystem mentioned.
@MattE.Эллен OK. Thank you for the confirmation.
 
@FaheemMitha ah, true.
 
4:45 PM
I'm trying to show the output from apt-cache, but I can't upload the image. I'll try restarting the vm with c/p enabled
 
You could try a screenshot from the host OS maybe.
 
@MattE.Эллен apt-cache policy will show all your package sources.
 
@terdon yeah, that's what I've done. but I can't upload the file. chat is being weird
 
You could do one of those paste thingys. I like gist-paste.
gist-paste {Output of apt-cache policy}.
apt-cache policy > apt-cache-policy-output.txt
gist-paste apt-cache-policy-output.txt
Though I'm not sure if that will work if you don't have a GitHub account. Probably not.
 
I'll take a look, thanks
 
4:50 PM
Though these days everyone and their cousin has a GitHub account.
 
is it possible to reinstall the util-linux package?
 
sudo apt reinstall util-linux
 
gist-paste actually creates a Git repos, so it's handy if you want to edit your paste. Which isn't an option with other pastebins (or whatever they're called) AFAIK.
@MattE.Эллен BTW, any specific reason why you're installing Debian, and doing the LFS thing? I assume you're not already a Unix user.
 
@StephenKitt thanks! sadly still not got mkfs
 
@MattE.Эллен That's rather unlikely to help. And if it makes a difference you've got worse problems.
 
4:53 PM
@FaheemMitha I use ubuntu a fair bit. I picked debian to try something different
 
@MattE.Эллен Excuse me being nosey.
@MattE.Эллен I see.
 
@MattE.Эллен you mean ls -l /sbin/mkfs doesn’t find anything?
 
@MattE.Эллен That's an odd choice if you're actually looking for something different.
Since Ubuntu is basically Debian.
 
the LFS is because I want to try to make a simple Linux distro to try to replace something at work that isusing windows 10 on a tiny single board PC and struggling
 
I once described it as Debian with some bugs added.
@MattE.Эллен There are specific distributions for that kind of thing.
Oh, is it a custom board?
 
4:55 PM
@FaheemMitha yeah, but still x86
 
I guess I'm thinking of a premade computer thingy.
 
@FaheemMitha have you ever tried Ubuntu?
 
well, actually might not be custom.
 
@terdon From time to time, yes.
I've installed it for other people. But not recently.
 
It's an off the shelf board.
 
4:55 PM
I've not used it myself much.
@MattE.Эллен Ah, then I would check for existing distributions. Unless you really want to make your own. Not really recommended unless you're in serious learning mode.
This is something I know almost nothing about, but I do know they exist.
@MattE.Эллен Something like BeagleBone?
 
@FaheemMitha yeah, something like that
 
Or it that BeagleBoard?
@MattE.Эллен OK.
 
I don't think I'm allowed to reveal the internals of our product :D
 
@MattE.Эллен Did you do a search for your board along with linux?
 
@FaheemMitha that's a good idea
 
4:57 PM
@MattE.Эллен Huh? You just said it was off the shelf.
The board, I mean.
 
@FaheemMitha yeah, but we're putting it in a product
so, I don't think I can specify the particular board
publicly
 
@MattE.Эллен Ah. Well, the Linux kernel will still be running on that board.
 
maybe I can.
 
@MattE.Эллен OK. Whatever, just check if there exists something for the board already.
@MattE.Эллен BTW, note the following (from the mkfs man page)
> In actuality, mkfs is simply a front-end for the various filesystem builders (mkfs.fstype) available under Linux.
The filesystem-specific builder is searched for via your PATH environment setting only. Please see the filesystem-
specific builder manual pages for further details.
So if you want for a specific FS, you need to install that specific package.
E.g. xfsprogs is needed for xfs. Just in case you're not already aware of that.
 
i see. thanks, I didn't know
 
5:03 PM
@MattE.Эллен Incidentally, util-linux must be on your system. It's priority "Required".
 
yes. it is installed. but mkfs is not in it somehow
 
Also, e2fsprogs is priority important, so it should be there too.
@MattE.Эллен What's the output of dpkg -L util-linux?
 
@MattE.Эллен again, are you sure ls -l /sbin/mkfs doesn’t show anything?
 
@StephenKitt sorry, I must have missed your message first time around
yes, that actually shows it :|
 
5:06 PM
OK, so it is installed, and the reason you can’t find it is probably that you’re not running as root or you’ve not got /sbin on your PATH
same goes for mke2fs
 
ah! thank you
I will add it to my path
 
You probably want to be doing this as root anyway. I'd be surprised if root isn't required for something as dangerous as mkfs
 
@terdon all it needs is write access to wherever you’re creating the file system
so you can run it as yourself if you create an image file and mkfs that
truncate -s 1G myfs.img && /sbin/mkfs -t ext4 myfs.img
 
Right, true, but if you want to write to a /dev/foo file, that'll need root.
 
@terdon that depends on the permissions on the node in /dev :-P
 
5:18 PM
Dunno how relevant that is in the context of LFS though. For all I know, you're supposed to create an image.
@StephenKitt pedant! Fine, fine, but the permissions of /dev in a new Debian install will be relatively restrictive.
 
if you’re in the disk group (which is a very bad idea) you can write to /dev/sda etc. in most distros
 
terdon@tpad ~ $ ls -ld /dev
drwxr-xr-x 22 root root 4240 Jan 21 13:41 /dev
terdon@tpad ~ $ stat /dev
  File: /dev
  Size: 4240      	Blocks: 0          IO Block: 4096   directory
Device: 0,5	Inode: 1           Links: 22
Access: (0755/drwxr-xr-x)  Uid: (    0/    root)   Gid: (    0/    root)
Access: 2022-01-21 13:41:37.572628155 +0200
Modify: 2022-01-21 13:41:34.972712127 +0200
Change: 2022-01-21 13:41:34.972712127 +0200
 Birth: -
And:
 $ stat /dev/sda
  File: /dev/sda
  Size: 0         	Blocks: 0          IO Block: 4096   block special file
Device: 0,5	Inode: 158         Links: 1     Device type: 8,0
Access: (0660/brw-rw----)  Uid: (    0/    root)   Gid: (    6/    disk)
Access: 2022-01-21 13:41:01.279459900 +0200
Modify: 2022-01-21 13:41:01.226126565 +0200
Change: 2022-01-21 13:41:01.226126565 +0200
 Birth: -
Stephen's right. Again. Sigh.
 
Yup, see, 6/ disk
 
aye
 
TYL and my mission here is concluded ;-)
 
5:21 PM
heh :)
 
TIL a ton of stuff too but around multi-arch container builds
 
@MattE.Эллен You might also want to check if LFS is actually suitable for production usre. AFAIK, it's mostly intended as a learning tool.
The menu for gscan2pdf includes "Title" and "Subject". I'm not sure how to distinguish these two. Mostly I go with putting the same text in both.
 
@terdon yeah I've been working as root, because for some reasno my user wasn't added as a sudoer
@FaheemMitha ah. good point. I will look into this and suitbale distros that ready to go
 
@MattE.Эллен So you work professionally with Linux-related things?
 
@MattE.Эллен Yeah actually, that's a very good point. You're probably better off starting with an existing minimal distro and adapting it to your needs.
Unix & Linux should be a good resource, we have quite a few regulars who work with embedded systems.
 
5:25 PM
@FaheemMitha not at the moment. I work professionally with vxworks and windows. I have been a web dev in the past with docker and all that
 
@MattE.Эллен I see.
 
Oh, you're no longer a web dev?
 
I've thought of buying one of those boards in the past. One can use them for backup systems and other stuff. I knew someone who set one up as a TV recording thingy. He was doing PhD procrastination.
 
Also, are you looking for a job? We are hiring for various things at the moment and will have more dev positions open soon. If you're thinking of a change, let me know @MattE.Эллен and I'll pass your CV (and a recommendation) along.
 
@terdon well. sort of. our GUI is actually a web page (chrome in kiosk mode) but the meat and potatoes is all in vxworks
 
5:28 PM
huh
 
@terdon thanks! I'm quite happy at the moment
 
Good on you then! :)
 
@StephenKitt On further reflection, I think I was conflating the specific case of transitions with the general case. I.e. Python 2 -> 3. Or an ABI change in the GNU toolchain.
In that case, I think they start with a "should" and gradually transition to a "must".
 
5:45 PM
Thanks for your help everyone. time to call it a day!
 
 
2 hours later…
7:37 PM
Random poll: has anyone here read the novel "The Kraken Wakes"? Particularly relevant these days.
They really should make it into a movie. But with more explosions and guns going off, presumably. And perhaps more monsters.
 
 
4 hours later…
11:20 PM
I was so happy when I apprehensively checked the docs. It said that the non-configurable behaviour would be in my favour. NOPE.
it seems to do what it says when I copy a selection to a different sheet, but not when I copy to a different document
 

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