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1. Introduction

1.1 What's this all about?

I started this document about 6 months ago. I tried a few Linux distributions and came to the conclusion that there's wasn't a distribution I totally liked. Every distribution has it's own advantages and disadvantages, but I was never satisfied with what I had (although Debian comes very close to what I want), so I decided to explore the possibility of building my own Linux distribution using nothing but source code of programs. As I found out there's quite a bit of work involved, but it's also a lot of fun and you really learn a lot by doing it, since you need to configure every single aspect of the system. This forces you to read a lot of manuals on how to configure various software. It also gives you total control over your system (well, that's the idea). You know exactly what software is installed, how it is configured and where all the configuration files reside.

I started writing a series of articles for a Dutch/Belgium E-zine on this subject. Not soon after I got stuck getting a compiler to work. I decided to give this project a rest at that point, since a lot of things at that time needed my attention (I was about to move from The Netherlands to Canada to get married. There were a lot of things to arrange regarding the move abroad and a lot of immigration stuff to sort out).

A few months after my arrival in Canada and getting married, I decided to continue my work on this project. Pretty much starting all over again from scratch and following a different approach, I got things to work out finally. The end result is what you are reading right now.

1.2 New versions

The latest version of the document can always be found at

1.3 Version history

1.4 Contact info

You can reach me, Gerard Beekmans, at

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