I'd like to demonstrate how it's possible to 'bootstrap' up from a near-bare installation of Linux to something useful and productive. The Tiny Core and LFS projects demonstrate this well. However they are specific images for x86 based systems

Is there a similar project based around ARM based systems, and specifically the Raspberry Pi. If not how would one bootstrap a similar project. It would need to take into account the limited memory, storage and processor speed available and the non-free blob requirements, but should still be possible to build a small custom system.

Bonus points if compilation could be done on a separate host via cross-compiling, or using something like dist-cc over a bunch of Pis.

  • 1
    Is there something wrong with Arch Linux? That's a pretty bare bones distro.
    – Jivings
    Commented Jun 12, 2012 at 22:01
  • 3
    I don't really want a distro as such, but illustrate doing it all from scratch as an educational tool. So rather than installing a bare Arch and doing "pacman install foo bar baz" (or whatever the command is) I want to show getting the source for something, building it manually. Much like LFS and Tiny Core does.
    – popey
    Commented Jun 12, 2012 at 22:05
  • 2
    +1 for the interesting question then. Would make an excellent learning exercise.
    – Jivings
    Commented Jun 12, 2012 at 22:10

4 Answers 4


Yes. There is a CLFS for ARM manual available. Don't be worried by the CLFS name, that is what Linux From Scratch calls the manual for compiling LFS on non-x86 systems.

Cross Linux From Scratch provides the means to cross-compile an LFS system on many types of systems.


I just started a site dedicated to Linux From Scratch on the Raspberry Pi:




There is also a "The Tiny Core" for Raspberry Pi

And here is the link to the image


Look at ttylinux: http://ttylinux.net/ There is a small distribution for BeagleBone, and the entire build system is in GitHub.

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