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Linux From Scratch
Linux From Scratch is not a distribution in the traditional sense. It is a project documenting how to build your own installation from source. As such, the degree of control afforded is unparalleled. Obviously, such an endeavour is not for the novice, or the faint of heart. This type of Linux installation is more complex than Arch or Gentoo, even though experience with either (or both) would greatly benefit the attempting user. If one was to think of LFS within the distro paradigm, it would be a "source based" distro, in that every package is compiled from source with a minimal set of patches, giving it a very close feel to upstream.
The core LFS book itself teaches little more than compiling a base system, comparable to barebones Debian or Arch. For expanding the system with X and other custom packages, the BLFS (Beyond Linux From Scratch) book would benefit the user. There are several other variants of LFS, such as CLFS and ELFS, both of which are tailored to custom embedded/non-x86[_64] systems but can be compiled just the same as LFS.