Anyone Rolled Their Own Linux O.s?


Well-Known Member
Oct 26, 2009
Hi Guys!

As above - Anyone rolled their own Linux OS before?
I've never tried it. A few years ago, I made some boot code to boot on an X86 (many moons ago), but thats the only O.S type of thing I've ever done.

I've named my OS "The Oddball OS" which is kind of suited nicely toward me :D

I'll pop up some images if I get the chance tonight.
It's a SUSE (JEos) base with XFCE and GNOME.


Well-Known Member
Oct 26, 2009
I'm with ya!! I got the thing damn thing to boot and its in iso/live cd form.
It boots up, but obly to command line and I can't start X!! Just fails.

No clue on what to do in Linux!! I rebuilt another just using XFCE (and EVERY XFCE package that's required; or even anything to do with desktop and crap) and could not get into any graphical GUI.
I have grub installed. I can't get into it.

It's gonna be fun if I can get it to work.

Oddball Linux!!


"I Know. We're going for a ride."
Jan 6, 2009
WARNING: Retro geek stuff
Are you really sure you want to continue reading this reply?
I've rolled one for my AST PowerExec 4/25SL - 8 MiB of RAM, 25Mhz 486SL.
I quite liked the process, though it took "a while" (IIRC some six months on and (mostly) off) - and I dont think its 100% even now.

The base was a buildroot built uClibc+busybox based userspace and a custom kernel. Then i just built everything I needed for the system around that - mostly in a chroot on my Sempron. I enforced the host build and target triplets to the correct i486-linux-uclibc and had -mcpu=i486 in CFLAGS, seems to work well enough.

The system is also capable of building stuff on its own, it just takes some time. I built GRUB 1.95 - some old dev version of GRUB 2 for it on it, and actually patched it (on it) to be able to boot from the 1GiB CF i have as a hard disk (the BIOS has some issues with the CF because it wont allow to read more than 4 sectors as a single request... Attempt to read a full "track" and it will freeze).

HW specs:
- CPU: 25Mhz 80486SL
- RAM: 8MiB
- HDD: 1 GiB SanDisk CF
- VGA: WD90C26L - 512KiB of VRAM - it can drive 800x600 256-colors on the VGA out
- LCD: 640x480 256-color active-matrix
- Network: PCMCIA 3Com 3C562 10Mbps Ethernet+33.6k Modem combo (i only use ethernet, obviously)

Well... what do i have now SW wise:
- Modified Linux kernel
- XFree 3.3.6
- Fluxbox
- Dillo
- Links (text,X,svgalib)
- ssh client
- proftpd
- conky
- The Ace Of Penguins, aka minesweeper, taipei, etc...
- tmsnc (used to work, fuck M$...)
- emelFM
- SciTE
- Beaver
- GCC 3.3.6 - C compiler only (original compiler)
- GCC 4.1.2 - C and C++ compilers
- zgv
- xzgv

A package manager would have been nice since I dont remember everything I have on this anymore.

Just so you know who to ask if you want tips on how to make your 486 into an useless geek toy.


Child of the 80s
Dec 30, 2003
Wellington, NZ
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I recently installed a base FreeBSD system and configured it from there.. e.g. choose desktop [XFCE], window manager, wifi, etc.. no sense in re-inventing the wheel if the base parts work ok.

Your xorg.conf file will need a fair few monitor types and resolutions etc listed as well as configuring the window manager to load it on boot - easiest with gdm set to autoenable, but can be done by hacking xdm.

Oh yeh and links web browser from command line is awesome. Its the Internet unplugged :p