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Gentoo!

Discussion in 'LOS Archive' started by robmiller, 2 Aug 2004.

  1. robmiller

    Capodecina

    Joined: 26 Dec 2003

    Posts: 16,522

    Location: London

    Now, what with having lots of time 'til school starts, I'm going to throw myself in at the deep end and go with a Gentoo system.

    I'm feeling brave, so I plan on going right from step 1 and compiling everything myself. Do you think this is too much? I plan on following the Gentoo Handbook to the letter, but does it still require uber-advanced knowledge?

    Secondly, how long will the install and compilation take? I don't particularly mind it being long, but I'd like a rough idea (if that's even possible). I'm on a Barton 2500+ with a gig of RAM :)

    I've chosen the "universal" boot CD, and am also burning the packages disc, but I'll also have a network connection during the install so I should be ok with that.

    So, what do you think? Have I overlooked some drastically important step? I'll probably end up posting in this thread if I have problems during the installation, as I can use my sister's laptop :)
     
  2. _xPk_

    Gangster

    Joined: 31 Mar 2003

    Posts: 292

    Location: london

    you should be fine mate, and good luck.

    It took me a few go's and it's worth reading andf understanding the docs, especially on Kernels.

    Did it with the exact same spec system too, beware of bad overclocks though, compiling will definitely fail if you are unstabily oc'ed!:rolleyes:

    great choice of distro anyway, and the Gentoo forums are great!

    :D :D
     
  3. robmiller

    Capodecina

    Joined: 26 Dec 2003

    Posts: 16,522

    Location: London

    Yeah, I've been lurking in the Gentoo forums for the last few days soaking up the knowledge. There's some really intelligent people in there :)

    Another thing; what kernel should I use? The default 2.4 "gentoo", or the 2.6 one?
     
  4. dav1d

    PermaBanned

    Joined: 4 Oct 2003

    Posts: 650

    It took me a few go's to get it how I wanted and set up properly.

    I would suggest you use your network connection to download the packages when you emerge them, rather than using the packages disc (as that disc had really old packages on when I used it).

    Also, use a 2.6 kernel, it is so much better and has a lot more support for modern hardware. I use either the gentoo-dev-sources or development-sources kernel, but learn how to customise it for your hardware as well.

    I've never bothered with compiling any more than doing a basic stage 3 install, never seen much point really. If it's your first time, I'd definately suggest doing no more than that.
     
  5. robmiller

    Capodecina

    Joined: 26 Dec 2003

    Posts: 16,522

    Location: London

    Okie doke, I'll just download the packages then.

    *cancels download*
     
  6. doaa

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 12 Dec 2002

    Posts: 1,032

    Location: ::1

    My one bit of advice is configure the kernel yourself rather than use genkernel, I've never been able to get a genkernel kernel to boot.

    It shouldn't take long to get a working system, as long as you don't want kde/gnome you should be able to have X running with a light weight wm in less than six hours.
     
  7. mortals

    Mobster

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 3,116

    Going from a stage1 is how I did it :) was my first go at installing gentoo.
    As long as you print out the guide etc you should be ok.
    I did see a nice howto somewhere on how to use a livecd to do a quick gentoo install without any compiling :). Once you've done a nice stage1 install you will feel so proud hehe and possibly learn along the way.

    Before going to gentoo I had ran mandrake/corel/redhat/suse/slackware tho. Had been running slackware for quite some time before gentoo.

    I think stage1 took about 7hrs :eek: on my old p4 1.6a@2.4 the main time was taken up by compiling X and KDE :(
     
  8. robmiller

    Capodecina

    Joined: 26 Dec 2003

    Posts: 16,522

    Location: London

    I plan on installing pekwm and fluxbox I think, which don't take that long to compile from past experience.

    I'm getting all excited :p
     
  9. FishFluff

    Soldato

    Joined: 7 Nov 2003

    Posts: 5,344

    Location: Deepest, darkest Leeds

    Gentoo is great, I've installed it a few times now but have at last managed to successfully stick with it instead of running back to windows when I have a problem (deleting my windows partition has helped a lot with this ;))

    Installing Gentoo is not anywhere near as hard as rumour would have it. The install instructions are very good and since you have a laptop you can use as well, you'll be laughing :)

    The most important thing to remember is that it takes a fair bit of time to get everything set up and running how you like it, it's taken me the best part of a weeks worth of evenings to finally get my desktop how I want it and I'll probably spend the same amount again getting apache, mysql and php set up. :p
     
  10. robmiller

    Capodecina

    Joined: 26 Dec 2003

    Posts: 16,522

    Location: London

    As I said I don't mind putting the time in for the benefits of learning a lot more about Linux. If I don't get my hand held as much, I'll be forced to learn how things work, no matter how daunting they seem :p
     
  11. Mpemba Effect

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 7,097

    Good luck mate (Not that you really need it, the handbook is excellent). Definately use the 2.6 Kernel. Installing tips:

    Tip 1. Open up several virtual consoles. Upon booting the CD type
    Code:
    passwd
    and give "root" a password. You can now press ctrl-alt-F2 and enter a second console. It's useful because a) You can use links or lynx browser (console web broswer) and open up the URL for the handbook. Saves you from running up and down between two machines to follow the instructions or printing the handbook out. b) It also allows you to prefetch source file (more on this later).

    Tip 2. Before you install decide on your make.conf optimisations (CFLAGS / CXFLAGS and USE settings). It's pointless to do a stage1 install if you do not make any of these changes since the end product will be identical to the stage3 builds. My CFLAGS are simply
    Code:
    CFLAGS="-march=pentium4 -Os -pipe -fomit-frame-pointer"
    My USE flags I specifically make sure certain things are chosen and specifically make sure certian things are not installed if possible
    Code:
    USE="mmx sse sse2 alsa flac dvd -cups -ipv6 -qt -kde -gnome -arts -nls -java"
    Tip 3. You can speed up the stage1 and stage2 install process by prefetching the source files. The way you do it is different for stage1 and stage2 and you will need access to a second virtual console (chrooted into your new gentoo install). Here how you do it:

    a) Follow the docs up to "6.c. Progressing from Stage1 to Stage2" of the handbook. When you reach this section open up a second virtual console and type
    Code:
    chroot /mnt/gentoo/ /bin/bash
    env-update
    source /etc/profile
    cd /usr/portage
    scripts/bootstrap.sh -f
    Leave that downloading for a few minutes, completely downloading the first couple of apps, then switch back to your original virtual console and type
    Code:
    cd /usr/portage
    scripts/bootstrap.sh
    Whats happening here is that one console is downloading the files and the other is compiling simutaniously (rather than the normal download, compile, download, compile etc). To do this you need a fast net connection (broadband) so that you download the sources faster than you compile them which is usually the case.

    Stage2 prefetch follows the same principle. When you come to "6.d. Progressing from Stage2 to Stage3" of the handbook switch to the second virtual console (the one you used for prefetching) and type
    Code:
    emerge -f system
    let it download a few apps, switch back to original virtual console and type
    Code:
    emerge system
    This really speeds up the install process.

    Tip 4. Compile your own kernel rather than use the Genkernel way.
     
  12. robmiller

    Capodecina

    Joined: 26 Dec 2003

    Posts: 16,522

    Location: London

    Thanks for the tips, I'm sure they'll come in handy and speed things up :D
     
  13. arty

    Soldato

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 6,663

    Location: Cambridge

    robmiller, have you considered keeping a sort of journal of your Gentoo install? I've seen it done by a few other people installing distros and it's often quite interesting, particularly for n00bs like me and others wanting to install the same one. You could post up a sort of log of the install and what you did, what problems you came across etc. in a thread in here :)

    Just a thought - Gentoo does seem to be getting quite popular. If you only have the one machine then it might obviously be rather tricky trying to install it and typing up a log at the same time, though ;)

    arty
     
  14. riven

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 9 Mar 2004

    Posts: 2,024

    Location: York

    Definately use 2.6 Kernels
    Definately use Pekwm, but use the CVS version not 0.1.3
    Definately use links (the newer versions arn't spelt lynx mpemba) theres a post on the forum somewhere that i did from links whilest installing gentoo

    If your processor is an athlon XP then just use that live cd and do a stage 2 install because bootstrapping takes ages apparently and it will give you pretty much the same result.

    With compiling the kernel, most hardware problems you will have will be because you forgot to compile something into the kernel. So make sure you know what you need, although you can always recompile later.
    Heres a few things to remember
    RAID drivers?
    IDE chipset?
    agpgart
    AGP chipset?
    Sound Card Drivers?
    Network Drivers?
    Read the bit about cd burners and SCSI drivers in the install manual.

    have fun, and give us a post once you get links running
     
  15. Mpemba Effect

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 7,097

    links and lynx are different apps. lynx came out first but links is more advanced and originally lynx was packaged on the gentoo livecd (well actually the livecd never had a text web browser untill 1.4rcx). I just wasn't sure if the newer gentoo CDs had switched to links yet, I still use my original Gentoo 1.2 CD ;)
     
  16. riven

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 9 Mar 2004

    Posts: 2,024

    Location: York

    ah, didnt know they were different, but yeah the more recent ones use links2. you can even use it in X before you emerge firefox by adding -g it renders images and everything!
     
  17. robmiller

    Capodecina

    Joined: 26 Dec 2003

    Posts: 16,522

    Location: London

    The Gentoo package manager sounds darn tasty, I can't wait to get my filthy hands on it :p
     
  18. robmiller

    Capodecina

    Joined: 26 Dec 2003

    Posts: 16,522

    Location: London


    Didn't see this post until just now :)

    I'll happily keep a little log of what I do, but it'll probably be incredibly similar to the Gentoo handbook :p
     
  19. arty

    Soldato

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 6,663

    Location: Cambridge

    You don't have to, it's ok ;) Was just a thought really - if I'm the only one who'd be interested in it then don't waste your time! :)

    arty
     
  20. burns

    Mobster

    Joined: 1 Nov 2002

    Posts: 3,708

    I'm trying to instal gentoo at the moment, I haven't even got a boot disk working yet though so it's a bit of a non starter at the moment. I don't suppose it's possible to boot from a floppy then use the LiveCD is it?