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Thread: what is "bootstraping" the system

  1. #1

    what is "bootstraping" the system

    i was installing gentoo linux and "bootstraping" the system by their directions but to me it seemd like the system was compiling something..

    so can someone tell me what it is

  2. #2
    AntiOnline Senior Member souleman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Flint, MI

    1. <operating system> (From "to pull oneself up by one's bootstraps") To load and initialise the operating system on a computer. Normally abbreviated to "boot".

    See bootstrap loader.

    2. <compiler> (From "to pull oneself up by one's bootstraps") to use a compiler to compile itself.

    The usual process is to write an interpreter for a language, L, in an existing language, M. The compiler is then written in L and the interpreter is used to run it. This produces an executable for compiling programs in L from the source of the compiler in L.

    This technique is often used to verify the correctness of a compiler. It was first used in the LISP community.
    \"Ignorance is bliss....
    but only for your enemy\"
    -- souleman

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    In computers, to bootstrap (or "to boot") is to load a program into a computer using a much smaller initial program to load in the desired program (which is usually an operating system).
    Souleman beat me to it. Nice work .

    Note : Read souleman's it's way better.

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  4. #4
    so let me see if i got this right

    why was i able to chroot into the new system before even compiling the kernel

    i still don't understand what "small" program loads what "bigger" program

    the only thing that bootstraping consisted of was mounting the "proc" and chrooting into the new OS... but how the hell could i do all this when i didn't even compile the new kernel

  5. #5
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    United Kingdom: Bridlington
    You may have answered your own question?

    You said:

    "but to me it seemd like the system was compiling something.. "

    The Kernel perhaps? I am afraid that I do not know that distro

    The "small" and "big" programs might be a bit misleading as you were probably running boot and installation programs, and they probably loaded and installed all sorts of other programs?


  6. #6
    AO Curmudgeon rcgreen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Welcome to Gentoo Linux! Gentoo Linux can be installed in many different ways. Those who are looking for a rapid install can use pre-built packages, while those who want the ultimate in customizability can compile Gentoo Linux entirely from the original source code. The method you choose is up to you

    I guess you boot from a generic kernel, install a compiler, and then this
    "small" system proceeds to compile the rest of the OS.
    It sounds like the ultimate system for experts.
    I came in to the world with nothing. I still have most of it.

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