The Bootstrapping Process

The purpose of the bootstrapping process is to use the host system to build a Linux/GNU system we can boot into.

The bootstrapping process for KaarPux is based on Linux From Scratch. See in particular LFS: Toolchain Technical Notes.


A toolchain is the set of tools needed to build an executable program from C source file(s).

The KaarPux toolchain consists of

  • gcc C compiler
  • linker from binutils
  • glibc (including linux headers)


A chroot changes the apparent root directory, so we are running inside a jail, where the root is bounded by the directory specified when entering the chroot.

This is used to build KaarPux on the host system.

Bootstrap steps

Bootstrap step 1 and 2 use the host system to create a new toolchain. This toolchain is found in the tools directory, which is linked as /tools in both the host environment and the chroot environment. Bootstrap step 3 to 7 use the /tools toolchain.

Bootstrap step 3 uses the new toolchain to compile a number of utilities needed in the chroot.

Bootstrap step 4 compiles a new glibc (including linux headers) in a chroot, using /tools.

Bootstrap step 5 now compiles a new gcc after building a handfull of dependencies.

Bootstrap step 6 builds bash after building a handfull of dependencies.

With the new toolchain under dash, bootstrap step 7 now builds a lot of useful GNU/Linux packages into the chroot. After bootstrap step 7 we do not need the /tools anymore, as everything needed is now installed in the main chroot.

In the main chroot, bootstrap step 8 now builds the rest of the packages needed to build the bootable GNU/Linux system, in particular the Linux kernel and grub.