Linked by Doug M. Swain on Sat 3rd Apr 2004 23:17 UTC
Gentoo Doug Swain takes a look at the Gentoo Linux installation and offers a quicker guide than the available online documentation of the distro.
Order by: Score:
2-3 hours?
by Gabriel Ebner on Sat 3rd Apr 2004 23:41 UTC

How is this possible? I don't see any mention of GRP in the article and reading can't take that long to make a whopping difference of ~23 hours.

My opinion on CFLAGS
by Anonymous on Sat 3rd Apr 2004 23:43 UTC

I've installed Gentoo about 4 or 5 times, and I varied my CFLAGS a little bit each time, I found out it's better to be a little more conservative on the CFLAGS then putting every optimization you can. Too many optimizations will lead to extra bloat which will increase the programs load time because it's more to load to the memory. I use this on my Athlon-XP machine:

CFLAGS="-march=athlon-xp -02 -pipe -fomit-frame-pointer"

That's all and it works rather well, it feels as fast or faster than adding "-msse -mmmx -m3dnow -ffast-math etc". Well that's my 2¢.

yup
by stray on Sat 3rd Apr 2004 23:43 UTC

Yup, it's that simple...Can be even more complete if the GRP disc is used too (problem is that distributed binaries aren't updated enough, which they should be).

Official Gentoo quick install guide
by Anonymous on Sat 3rd Apr 2004 23:45 UTC

Maybe you should read the Gentoo quick install guide. It's more complete and concise.
http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/gentoo-x86-quickinstall.xml

@ Gabriel Ebner
by stray on Sat 3rd Apr 2004 23:47 UTC

How is this possible? I don't see any mention of GRP in the article and reading can't take that long to make a whopping difference of ~23 hours.

Hmm, he's probably assumming a fairly up to date machine. Xfree and a WM doesn't really take too long to compile (relatively speaking).

Re: Gentoo
by Kingston on Sat 3rd Apr 2004 23:48 UTC

Just my opinion, but Gentoo is only really good for distro makers and geeks, because the amount of effort required to read enough documentation to get it going is well, nuts.

This guide does seem quite better, but I don't see Gentoo ever becoming one of the more popular distributions. Too time consuming, even starting with stage three.

It does have some snazzy features though.

The x86 quick install guide is just x86!

Though the article wasn't exactly non-x86 either.

RE: @ Gabriel Ebner
by Gabriel Ebner on Sat 3rd Apr 2004 23:52 UTC

> fairly up to date machine

Yeah, I've got an AMD64 laptop too, I know, but he was talking about cutting down from 20-30 hours to 2-3 hours.
Maybe he should've mentioned that he achieved that by changing machines. ;)

@Kingston
by stray on Sun 4th Apr 2004 00:16 UTC

Just my opinion, but Gentoo is only really good for distro makers and geeks, because the amount of effort required to read enough documentation to get it going is well, nuts.

Well, I'm not a geek (I swear!), just someone who's a little obsessive-compulsive about what goes into my computer (in other words, a geek ;)

You're probably right though. I see the value in things being super easy and automated, but to me, the docs are pretty darn good, and Gentoo's a cinch (I started screwing around with Linux when it was still pre-1.0, so anything's a cinch coming from that I guess). Portage itself could be the easiest and less time consuming method around, with less headaches -- there just needs to be more support for people who want binaries (I'd help do it myself, but I'm too busy).

Slackware is more in this direction I suppose, but I guess Slack could use a few improvements as well.

yay amd64
by lv on Sun 4th Apr 2004 00:18 UTC

semi-off topic, but xfree86 takes 20-30 minutes to compile on the lowest of low end athlon64 boxes. a full functional install in 2-3 hours without GRP would certainly need an amd64 ;)

a tip of use flags
by dizz on Sun 4th Apr 2004 00:49 UTC

i would like to recomend the -Os insted of O2 or 03
as i understand Os optimize the binires but just if they dont get to large so you get small binaries with a small memmor imprint compiling goes alot faster than O3 and pherhaps a litle slower than o2.

Gentoo docs and the ever-present binary discussion
by Abraxas on Sun 4th Apr 2004 00:50 UTC

The docs are excellent for Gentoo. I don't see how it is nuts to have to read them. They are clear and concise. It may not be as easy to set up as another distro but it is much easier to keep it going. I probably spent more time actually looking for rpms on other distros than I spent compiling on Gentoo. Also I can do other things while I am compiling instead of looking for rpms. With that said, while Gentoo is very popular, it is not for everyone. I would recommend againt using it with dialup although quite a few people do. I also wouldn't recommend it on a very low spec machine because it could take forever. I have installed it on a PIII 450 without hassle but anything less than a PIII is going to take damn near forever.

Gentoo has binaries for very large packages and I think that is acceptable. I think Gentoo is no longer Gentoo if it is completely binary, even if that is in addition to source. The reason is because the USE flags are one of the most important features of Gentoo. The USE flags are what give you control over your system. Precompiled binaries will either support options that you want or not. It is not possible to support every single itineration. It is not practical for even the largest of corporate software vendors, nevermind a community driven distro. If you want a binary distro then I think Gentoo is the wrong place to look for it. That's just my opinion.

Re: yay amd64
by Gabriel Ebner on Sun 4th Apr 2004 00:52 UTC

> xfree86 takes 20-30 minutes

Oops, I think I can correct you: x11-base/xfree takes 43 minutes here

Either I have to tune my CFLAGS a bit (default seems to be very sub-optimal) or I've got a _very_ low end machine.

v New site design.
by Jimbo on Sun 4th Apr 2004 01:16 UTC
v jimbo
by Eugenia on Sun 4th Apr 2004 01:21 UTC
My Gentoo experience from 12 hours ago
by Zenja on Sun 4th Apr 2004 01:27 UTC

I've honestly tried, but alas, Linux and I just cannot coexist. I downloaded the 2004-1 Live CD yesterday, as well as GRP packages CD for my Athlon XP. After printing out the install how-to, I set myself all of saturday afternoon for Gentoo.

Issue 1: No mention in the docs on how to deal with extended partitions if you have 2 or more partitions prior to installing Gentoo.
Issue 2: Linux still doesn't offer a kernel autoconfig tool, one which will scan all my devices and create a kernel configuration specific for me. Instead, I still have to manually decipher what I need and dont need.
Issue 3: The kernel ATI radeon driver fails to compile due to unresolved externals. Strike 1.
Issue 4: The kernel FrameBuffer driver chockes on another unresolved external. Strike 2.
Issue 5: The kernel showlogo section has more errors due to unresolved functions. Strike 3.
Basically, I was unable to make my own kernel from the gentoo tree. (Kernel 2.6.3-Gentoo-R1).
Move the kernel and system map to the new boot partition.
OK, now I disable all of these modules complaining (and have to recompile from scratch every single time) and come to the boot loader.
Issue 6: After configuring Lilo (remember the extended partitions issue), I reboot and get a "this partition is missing boot signature" - WTF?
Go back, create boot floppy.
Issue 7: For some reason, my new system has missing cdrom from the /dev table, even though the live CD had it. Cannot mount any CD's, so I can forget about using the packages CD.
Issue 8: OK. lets try emerge and the famed portage system. "emerge nforce-audio". Dies during compilation due to missing header file.
Final issue: emerge ati-drivers. 75 minutes later, after grabbing god knows how many packages (XFree, Freetype, etc), it dies because of a missing file (font). Arrrgggghhhh.

At this point, I've already had enough, since I know that from here things only get worse. I've honestly tried to give Linux a go, back with RedHat 6.x, Suse 6 and 7, LinuxPPC99, PPC2000, RedHat 8.1 etc, and I always ended up pulling my hair out with issues with XConfig, dependancies, misconfigured system etc. Gentoo 2004-1 has just joined the list of systems I'll stay away from for a year or two.

Posting from Zeta. It just works. And keeps my hair from turning grey/bald.

RE: My Gentoo experience from 12 hours ago
by DarkStalker on Sun 4th Apr 2004 01:33 UTC

Yeah, it sounds like you had the same problem quite a lot of people have when installing Gentoo. I-Don't-Read-Every-Line-Of-The-Install-Docitis.

I am a long time Gentoo user, so take what I say with a grain of salt, but I believe that as hardware gets faster, it makes sense to migrate to a largely source-based Linux system. Binary packages encourage inconsistency and incompatibility, whearas source encourages unified development frameworks and integration. Projects like gentoo are a Good Thing for Linux because the operating system begins to look more like a development and runtime framework rather than a distribution of binary packages that have been made to work together.

Gentoo encourages timely identification of bugs in new software, roots out problems with library/dependency compatibility, and enables many experienced Linux users to make the jump from end-user to ebuild-hacker to developer.

Todays modern computers can compile the largest (and ugliest) packages like xfree86 in 43 minutes. A gentoo system from stage3 can be built with gnome and a full complement of desktop and server software (from source) in about 5 hours, even on a 1 Ghz machine. Compare this to Mandrake, and you're only stuck for a couple extra hours while mozilla compiles. Try building from knoppix or over SSH for maximum convenience.

It is not that gentoo is too hard for anyone other than "geeks," it's that not all computer users need or want the power and control that gentoo allows. Gentoo in no way forces this power and control on its users: there are two or three graphical gentoo installers out there, and even "distributions" that consist of a long emerge line to paste once rebooted. Genkernel makes it easy to install a copy of the LiveCD kernel, eliminating the kernel configuration step. Despite what you may have heard, the Portage tree is very reliable if you don't accept the "~x86" packages, and on such machines, emerge sync && emerge -Du world rarely breaks anything (certainly nothing that revdep-rebuild won't fix.)

And yes, when I installed Gnome 2.6 last night, it started with a single blank panel at the bottom and three icons. It took me all of 15 minutes to add a window switcher, pager, clock, applications menu, and launchers exactly where I wanted (and to choose from the gnome-themes-extras). I can't say I want those 15 minutes back, because this DE is finally sweet.

PS: This isn't a particularly good quick install guide, readers with the prerequisite knowledge assumed here will be better off reading the quick install guide at gentoo.org.

Well, I was put off with Gentoo...
by Luke McCarthy on Sun 4th Apr 2004 02:32 UTC

...when it took almost a week to install onto an older machine. Won't make that mistake again. Also, emerge sync takes a rediculously long time and if you update a lot the system tends to break. Nice idea, but C is a far too complicated language to be compiling megabytes of software on a regular basis :-(

Re: My Gentoo experience from 12 hours ago
by Jimbo on Sun 4th Apr 2004 02:38 UTC

Well said, is ice to see an objective review once in a while rather than the all-positive pollitical fluff from the people that only like Linux becasue they don't like Microsoft. Gentoo is one step forward and 2 steps back. It fixes the package problems of RPM great, but at what cost? It is good to see someone point out that Gentoo is not perfect.

Good comments
by Doug Swain on Sun 4th Apr 2004 02:51 UTC

These comments are all true: you can do a good, and probably better install from the gentoo docs, but what I required to know shouldn't be too tough to know and understand. Also, I believe it's much more printer friendly compared to the many pages of the Gentoo installation guide. I've never seen the gentoo quick install myself, so I have no doubt at all that official installation guidance is much better than what I wrote. I would say if you have done an installation of Gentoo, possibly a few times, my guide will be alright just for quick reference. Once again, thanks for the comments (I guess my other article went over a bit better, but that's alright)

genkernel
by Adam on Sun 4th Apr 2004 03:05 UTC

You forgot to mention genkernel. It uses the same config as the gentoo livecd, which allows autodetection of most hardware. If you can follow the instructions, you don't need to know much about your computer. As I recall:

1. genkernel all (--menuconfig if you want more control)
2. edit /boot/grub.conf according to the instructions after genkernel exits
3. emerge hotplug
4. rc-update add hotplug default

Adam

RE: the ever-present binary discussion (my 2 cents)
by foobar on Sun 4th Apr 2004 04:02 UTC

Gentoo has been great for me on a 1ghz laptop, which had to have a linux specific commercial X server (meaning I couldn't use anything but linux to get it working). The install is well documented, and I had no problems setting it up. It has been in use for a little over 5 months now with no problem. I cannot follow through with installing it on the main desktop that I have though, because I am impatient with some things.

I consider a "barebone" requirement for my workstations to be X Server, twm, Emacs, Mew or Wanderlust, Mozilla or Netscape, Canna/Kinput2 (Japanese), perl and rxvt. After all this is set, I have absolutely no problem installing/upgrading/compiling everything from source and I actually prefer that method for the control I have. But the time it took to build this "barebone" state on gentoo was not worth it compared to the optimizations/control that I got with the gentoo way, atleast for a machine that I consider to be my main env.

I know people would say "use the binary set" at first, and I cannot complain about it becase I have not tried it. But I wish gentoo had a /stand/sysinstall type menu for initial package installations (or vanilla installations) instead of all the binaries being thrown in a repository/cdrom, just to get a barebone system done, and we could reap the benefits of portage after that.

The system install aspect (stage 1 to 3) is not a problem for me personally, but the application setup is... Once a barebones/usable system is installed upgrading everything via portage is a snap, and I leave it running overnight. Just my personal opinion.

gentoo...
by Anonymous Coward on Sun 4th Apr 2004 04:36 UTC

Well, it took a <em>long</em> time to install, but I've got KDE running on a Toshiba 2060CDS (AMD K6-2 266Mhz) I also use distcc (now ;) ) for updating stuff, just using the desktop rather than the both of them...(a 1.4Ghz Athlon also running Gentoo) The one other linux computer runs Adamantix (used to be known as trusted debian, trademark issues forced a name change)

Gentoo Advocates Please!
by root on Sun 4th Apr 2004 05:11 UTC

I think Gentoo advocates should stop sharing their wonderful Gentoo experiences in the hope of impressing other computer users. Trust me, it’s doing more harm than good.

Gentoo is primarily targeted at experienced Linux geeks, knowledge users, with a strong affinity for simplicity, customization and optimization. To be blunt, Gentoo’s audience is the LFS or Slackware users.

The majority of computer users doesn’t fall into this category. They don't care for simplicity, customization and optimization, and hardly find Slackware or LFS attractive or usable. Hence, Gentoo becomes a no-go area.

Instead of wasting our time expounding the flawless virtues of Gentoo, it is wiser if we spent our resources helping users who have found our hidden treasure. Lets become teachers, helpers and contributors, not evangelist, mindless fanatics and rabid zealots.

In brief, don’t tell people to use Gentoo, let them discover it themselves. At best, provide interested users with as much resources as they need to ensure their migration is painless and smooth.

Yes, Gentoo is the best source based distro I know of, but I wouldn’t suggest it to anyone except the person is a hardcore Unix geek, or someone open minded and persistent enough to learn a new digital culture.

Unfortunately, Unix geeks are rare and dying. The world of “point and clicky” is taking over.

That wasn't my goal...
by Doug Swain on Sun 4th Apr 2004 05:36 UTC

My goal was just to take a good distibution and make it slightly shorter to install. I never claimed that Gentoo is the best distro, as there is no best distro, but I do understand your point, as people should explore things for themselves and not have somebody do it for them. And honestly, I don't see why anyone with some basic knowledge could not install Gentoo, another reason why I wrote it. I'm not forcing anyone to think Gentoo is the best distro ever, I'm just trying to give them a chance to see if they want to approach it.

I wish, I wish.
by gentoowannabe on Sun 4th Apr 2004 05:46 UTC

I wish Gentoo had a good, robust hardware scanner that probed my system, compared it to a list of tested optimizations and configurations then automatically set the make.conf settings/flags, set up an optimized kernel, and downloaded all of the necessary packages to support my hardware.

Heck, I'd let some of my machines run through automated testing scenarios for months if I knew the data could be put to good use by an automatic configuration system once the optimal configuration is determined.

Unlike the early days of Linux, this is actually an achievable goal these days. 10 years ago, motherboards had nothing built in. Everything had to be added. Drive controllers, serial ports, video cards, etc. Today, about the only thing that isn't built into the motherboard is video. And even that's integrated into some systems. Heck, my Via M10000 motherboard has everything built in. Find the optimal configuration for that, put it in a database accessed by a hardware probe, and every M10000 user can have a perfect setup without having to do any work.

If an unknown motherboard is detected, give the user the option of "helping the cause" by letting the installation system run their machine through a number of configurations, benchmarking at each stage in an attempt to determine the optimal configuration. Once it's tweaked as well as it can be, add the configuration to the database. Same with any additional hardware detected. Automate the whole thing so users just need to hit "Y" and let their machine chug away for a couple of weeks. Eventually, a heck of a database will be compiled which could be used to improve the efficiency of ALL linux distributions and installations.

After all, that's what this open source thing is all about, right? ;)

RE: That wasn't my goal...
by root on Sun 4th Apr 2004 05:48 UTC

Actually, my comment wasn't directed at you at all, but at some of the comments on the comment section. You are doing a great job. Nice guide, by the way.

Anaconda for Gentoo
by Anonymous on Sun 4th Apr 2004 08:08 UTC

I installed Gentoo a couple of days ago using the Anaconda installer. The implementation of Anaconda still needs a bit more work, it's got too many RedHat-specific features and it's a bit buggy. But, honestly, I would have never got Gentoo installed if there wasn't this Anaconda installer. (And that would have been too bad because Gentoo is a very nice distro.) Oh, and the Anaconda/Gentoo installation didn't take two hours in my low spec machine - it was much, much quicker. ;-)

Re: My Gentoo experience from 12 hours ago...
by Devon on Sun 4th Apr 2004 08:18 UTC

--- "Issue 1: No mention in the docs on how to deal with extended partitions if you have 2 or more partitions prior to installing Gentoo."

Im not sure what you mean here, but you did read this right?

http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/handbook/handbook-x86.xml?part=1&chap=...

--- "Issue 2: Linux still doesn't offer a kernel autoconfig tool, one which will scan all my devices and create a kernel configuration specific for me. Instead, I still have to manually decipher what I need and dont need."

You are wrong. It does, and has for a while.

http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/handbook/handbook-x86.xml?part=1&chap=...

--- "Issue 3: The kernel ATI radeon driver fails to compile due to unresolved externals. Strike 1."

Thats very unusal. Do you mean the ATI drivers or the kernel radeon drivers? It sounds like you mean the kernel one, but did you try the Gentoo user forums? They are very helpful, and I have always found answers their simply by searching previous posts. In particular, there are a number of posts dedicated to helping people get ATI drivers working, some with hundreds of replies.

--- "Issue 4: The kernel FrameBuffer driver chockes on another unresolved external. Strike 2."

See above.

--- "Issue 5: The kernel showlogo section has more errors due to unresolved functions. Strike 3.
Basically, I was unable to make my own kernel from the gentoo tree. (Kernel 2.6.3-Gentoo-R1).
Move the kernel and system map to the new boot partition.
OK, now I disable all of these modules complaining (and have to recompile from scratch every single time) and come to the boot loader."

First of all, my kernel takes all of 30 seconds to compile each time. What do you mean by recompile from scratch? You do know that the entire Gentoo install process can be resumed from any point right? Once you get somthing done, you never have to do it again if you don't want to. Also, answers to all your issues are, once again, in the user forums. Search, and then post. If you are polite, you'll have Gentoo installed in no time.

--- "Issue 6: After configuring Lilo (remember the extended partitions issue), I reboot and get a "this partition is missing boot signature" - WTF?
Go back, create boot floppy."

First, what issue are you having with your extended partition? You never said what it was. Second, I highly recomend GRUB over LILO. Either way, make sure you have it configured correctly:

http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/handbook/handbook-x86.xml?part=1&chap=...

--- "Issue 7: For some reason, my new system has missing cdrom from the /dev table, even though the live CD had it. Cannot mount any CD's, so I can forget about using the packages CD."

Sounds like your kernel is not configured properly. Probably the same reason for your radeon and framebuffer problems above. Either use genkernel or hit the user forums. Getting a good working kernel is alot easier then you think! Personally, I just went through the whole kernel and viewed the help for every single item. I learned alot, and made sure I had exactly what I needed.

--- "Issue 8: OK. lets try emerge and the famed portage system. "emerge nforce-audio". Dies during compilation due to missing header file."

This is very strange too. I can't help but wonder if there isn't somthing wrong with your current install. Once again, the guys at the forums would have got you through this as well. Could be a simple configuration matter.

--- "Final issue: emerge ati-drivers. 75 minutes later, after grabbing god knows how many packages (XFree, Freetype, etc), it dies because of a missing file (font). Arrrgggghhhh."

You should always use the -p (pretend) switch to see whats going to be installed before you emerge (emerge -p ati-drivers). The system did exactly what it was supposed to though. You're the one who set the USE flags! As for the failure to compile, its probably related to your other issues.

My suggestion based on all the problems as a whole would be to repartition and reinstall, and actually read the documentation this time. Its excelent and thorough!

http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/handbook/index.xml

Starting over is probably not necessary, but if you're having some trouble with your partition table, its probably a good idea. And please use the user forums! They are as much a part of the Gentoo install as the documentation.

P.S. Heres how my partitions are setup, if it helps:

1: Linux Swap - 640mb
2: Ext2 - 100mb (/boot)
3: NTFS - 40gb (C: for Windows XP)
4: Extended Partition:
5: ReiserFS - 20gb (/)
6: ReiserFS - 20gb (/home)
7: FAT32 - 29gb (storage accesible from both OSes)

I do have an especially large drive, but I still recomend the basic pattern. Swap, /boot. Windows. /, /home, storage, in that order. Good luck!

I feel sorry for gentoo users
by capitalist on Sun 4th Apr 2004 09:00 UTC

Because they are some of the most unproductive people on the planet. There is no benefit to compiling your bootstrap from source, none. There is no benefit in compiling XFree86 from source. If any of my employees were to waste company time compiling all day for every server, thier ass would be outsourced. Like some one already posted, Gentoo is one step forward and two steps back. If you want a package system so bad use FreeBSD, at least they use the BSD license.

Well...
by tbscope on Sun 4th Apr 2004 09:34 UTC

Quote: Because they are some of the most unproductive people on the planet. There is no benefit to compiling your bootstrap from source, none. There is no benefit in compiling XFree86 from source.


At some point, it had to be compiled from source, even for your rpm packages.
So to say it has no benifit, is not true.

I agree with most that Gentoo is to difficult for the common pc user. Nobody in my family will be able to install it, even if they follow the really wonderful install guides.

I installed it because I would like to see what it takes to install an operating system and to learn more about all the different components.

On my PentiumII 233MHz, it took about 5 days to install (this includes XFree, full KDE).
But it was worth it.



Personnaly, I think Gentoo "asks" more interaction from the users, meaning a better develoment system, while rpm based distributions are point and click, with almost no interaction with the creators.

Does ANYONE "Get" It???
by ilovegentoo on Sun 4th Apr 2004 10:03 UTC

Gentoo is not about running Linux. It is not about having a distro. It is not about ease, simplicity, power-user or geek.

Geezus this really ticks me off. I absolutely love Gentoo. The number one exclusive reason why some people "get" it and some don't is this: LEGO's!!!

Some kids prefer manufactured toys. Some kids like to build their own. That is why you can buy regular molded toys and why you can buy Lego's and Erector Sets.

Gentoo utilizes the same principles. It's not about "wasting time" or "being unproductive." It is a freaking GEEK HOBBY for Christ's sake. I can install a distro or I can set and doodle and fiddle and fumble and compile piece by piece a Linux system all by myself.

Am I the only person who understands this? The author of this article seems to. He likes to build things too and came up with his own guide. Heck, as a kid building with Lego's I used to use graph paper to make my own instructions for building simple forts and cars.

Gentoo is for the guy (or girl) who likes to stick peg A in hole B and clap their hands when it fits and get warm fuzzies over their great accomplishment. For this alone I "waste" countless hours compiling and recompiling Gentoo. Sure beats watching endless reruns of "Friends." And in the end I know exactly why Linux uses a certain file structure and what specific files are needed to boot the system and run the system and what makes what do what (what?).

A terrible article
by gsdali on Sun 4th Apr 2004 10:14 UTC

The Gentoo installation handbook is one of the best pices of open source documentation out there by a long way. From a standing start, knowing almost nothing about linux, I learnt more about linux and and computing in general by installing than any amount of poking around with SuSE or Debian. One of the best things about gentoo is it's documentation and this article does nothing to help promote the distribution.

Re: My Gentoo experience from 12 hours ago...
by Karl on Sun 4th Apr 2004 11:06 UTC

Ok. If you have already decided to not put anymore time into getting Gentoo to work you may safely ignore what I am writing here.


"Issue 1: No mention in the docs on how to deal with extended partitions if you have 2 or more partitions prior to installing Gentoo."

RE:
Extended partitions are not dealt with differently from normal partitions-on my machine I have a completely insane setup-with an extremely complicated partition table(fedora,suse/knoppix/debian/gentoo x2/winxp x2)
here is what fdisk -l reports for my first drive and second drive:
fdisk -l /dev/hda

Disk /dev/hda: 40.0 GB, 40000000000 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 4863 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/hda1 * 1 766 6152863+ 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/hda2 767 1016 2008125 1b Hidden W95 FAT32
/dev/hda3 1017 4863 30901027+ f W95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/hda5 1017 1937 7397901 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/hda6 1938 2454 4152771 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/hda7 2455 2951 3992121 b W95 FAT32
/dev/hda8 2952 3840 7140861 83 Linux

fdisk -l /dev/hdb

Disk /dev/hdb: 80.0 GB, 80026361856 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 9729 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/hdb1 * 1 1216 9765976+ 83 Linux
/dev/hdb2 1216 5472 34180272 f W95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/hdb3 5472 7903 19531512 c W95 FAT32 (LBA)
/dev/hdb4 7903 9729 14670400+ 83 Linux
/dev/hdb5 1216 2189 7812976+ 83 Linux
/dev/hdb6 2189 2298 879448+ 82 Linux swap
/dev/hdb7 2298 3514 9765976+ 83 Linux
/dev/hdb8 3514 3624 879448+ 82 Linux swap
/dev/hdb9 3624 5083 11718976+ 83 Linux
/dev/hdb10 5083 5114 249448+ 82 Linux swap
/dev/hdb11 5114 5472 2873776+ 83 Linux


/dev/hda1 is my first partition on my first drive and is formated using ntfs-it is a winxp partition. The GRUB bootloader is installed to roo (hd0,0). The GRUB configuration files are located on /dev/hdb1-ie. the /boot directory-which happens to be on my SuSE partion. The kernel and System.map for my Gentoo install(s)(I have two-one for personal use-another as a mirror of an LTSP server I administer for the local university) are located on there own partition-/dev/hdb10.

As you can see it's rather complicated-but it works. I always use GRUB and cannot stand LILO. AS you can see hda1 and hda2 are primary partitions. hda3 is the extended partition-not a partition itself but logical partition which holds all of the extended partitions-ie. you cannot do anything with hda3(hda5 -hda11 are the actuall individual locgical partitons in THE extended partition-hda3).

[i]"Issue 2: Linux still doesn't offer a kernel autoconfig tool, one which will scan all my devices and create a kernel configuration specific for me. Instead, I still have to manually decipher what I need and dont need. "[i]

genkernel works fine for first time kernel compilation, although I have only used it a few times with 2.4, it now supports 2.6-simply "emerge gentoolkit" and take the time to read up on how to use and configure it....It should at least get you going

[i]Issue 3: The kernel ATI radeon driver fails to compile due to unresolved externals. Strike 1.
Issue 4: The kernel FrameBuffer driver chockes on another unresolved external. Strike 2.
Issue 5: The kernel showlogo section has more errors due to unresolved functions. Strike 3[i]

Personally I would worry about framebuffer and logo support after I have a working system-neither are necessary for a working system-just eye candy. Have you spent time in the forums(forums.gentoo.org) ? There is whe you will find the best infor regarding ATI binaries and setting up framebuffer.
http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic.php?t=105524&highlight=ati+binar...

should help you get your ATI binaries working.

I also recommend using developer-sources-these are vanilla 2.6 kernels-should be fine -I use the "love" and "evil" sources-patched beyond comprehension


[i]Issue 6: After configuring Lilo (remember the extended partitions issue), I reboot and get a "this partition is missing boot signature" - WTF?
Go back, create boot floppy.
Issue 7: For some reason, my new system has missing cdrom from the /dev table, even though the live CD had it. Cannot mount any CD's, so I can forget about using the packages CD. [i]


Don't use LILO unless you have to-LILO is greta for certain obscure configurations(eg. IDE + SCSI) but GRUB has proven itself time and time again to provide less hassle for me. Your system is not missing you cdrom-you just don't know where to find it. You may need ide-cd in your kernel and a line in GRUB/LILO (hdc=ide-cd) -once you boot with this you should see /dev/ide/*all drives* and /dev/cdrom. Kernel 2-6 organzies thing differently from 2.4-and devfs is quite different from udev-I still use devfs, works for me without problems....


hope this helps....

Gentoo is a meta-distribution
by Karl on Sun 4th Apr 2004 12:17 UTC

(sorry for failing to close the last italics tag in previous post....)

RE: Doug- good concise article, clearly illustrating how quick one can get a functioning Gentoo install up and running-helps to debunk the myth that Gentoo installs will consume all of ones time.

Gentoo is not an ordinary Linux distribution. Almost all Linux distributions have specific targeted audiences-winbloze coverts/enterprise server administrators/noobs/desktop users/multimedia users/etc..Gentoo is, by far, the most customizable, configurable, adaptable and custom tailor-able distribution which exists(aside from perhaps LFS). Gentoo is great for the desktop, but also great for headless routers, for LTSP servers, but also for game servers, etc.

The weakness of Gentoo is it's strength. It is not the absolutely ideal distribution for any specific use-because it was not designed with any particular use in mind-it's weakness of not being tailored to exactly one use(ie. Lindows) is why it is more suited to such a ridiculous range of different usage scenarios.

Everything in Gentoo-Land is stock.KDE comes, as is, from KDE, just as GNOME, ICEWM or Fluxbox-or apache, mplayer etc.If you need the specific modifications which SuSE makes to KDE -then go with KDE. But if you want a stock install of KDE-your best be is with Gentoo. Most distributors make most decisions for you-and this *is* good for many, many people in *typical* usage scenarios. Gentoo gives choice where others offer already-made-for-you-choices.

Is Gentoo perfect ? -of course not, it is a work-in-progress. Some people prefer the bliss of ignorance-what is going on behind the scenes shall forever remain a mystery-others prefer to understand, grasp, GROK how and why the system functions the way it does, being able to control behavior and determine outcomes. Not all people are the same, not all people have the same needs and desires. Believe it or not there are plenty of Gentoo users who never invest the time to udnerstand things-for them it just works-ie. not all Gentoo users are comprehension fanatics.

Gentoo is really best suited for absolute minimalists-ie. USE="-xxx -yyy -zzz". But I am the opposite-my USE line is very,very long. As we speak Catalyst is being developed by Gentoo-it is already usable, when this package becomes feature complete-people will be able to roll their own distro's like never before.(I think morphix has a similiar goal).

Do you have multiple machines ?-network them with DISTCC-and you have a virtual super-computer(I once had a dual Athlon-2.4 + a 2.4 GHZ Celeron + 1.2 Ghz Pentium III working together with DISTCC-damn was that fast-xfree ~20 minutes, KDE-libs ~30 minutes, OpenOffice ~90 minutes.) Do you develop software ? Gentoo is probably the best development platform out there. Do you like bleeding-edge kernel stuff(reiser4fs etc.)-in Gentoo you can easily manage 20 different kernel configurations.

I have used SuSE, Redhat, Fedora, Knoppix/Debian and Mandrake. I will never be content with binary distributions-if I want binaries -I roll them myself-I have installed Gentoo on new machines in less than 2 hours with KDE/GNOME/OpenOffice-Ximian/Mozilla etc. I just compile the stuff for the target machine in advance-"nice -n -10 emerge -B foo".

This of course takes a while, but in the interim I can do anything I want--write documents, browse internet, play music or movies, I can even play FPS games at full speed -all while the machine is compiling the binaries for the target install. When the packages are dones-I either mount the directory containing them via NFS or I burn them to CD/DVD. Catalyst takes this to the next level-automating this process-with Catalyst I can create my own boot CD's with the various stages and custom-tailor my own distribution to the exact specifics of a particular machine.

I will never ever again be dependant upon the binary packages provided for me by some distributors. Oh, there is no ebuild yet for this new package- usually I can write my own ebuild in less than an hour for a completely new package-for a revision update, less than 10 minutes. And no I am not a current programmer-it's been 15 years since I last programmed.

After 2 years of Gentoo usage I can now confidently say that there are no problems which I cannot master-if something goes wrong with an installation I can always repair it-I only do new installs when I really want to start from scratch again. The Gentoo community is the friendliest and most helpful community which exists in the Linux world.

For me Gentoo is perfect. For you, perhaps not. What is really strage about Gentoo is this: people who like it or dislike it keep constantly refering to Gentoo-when in reality we are refering to Linux. With othert distro's when you have problems they are problems with Redhat or with SuSE or with Lindows.

But if you have problems with Gentoo you have problems with Linux. That's because with Gentoo you have returned to the source. Some people just don't like Linux-but Redhat is *Good* or SuSE is *great*-for them the farther they are removed from Linux-from the kernel and the GNU(GPL)build environment-that which makes Linux what it is, the better.

With Gentoo the build environment and kernel becomes your best friends and the meaning of source becomes fully
apparent. Have I had problems with Gentoo-yes I have had many packages and functionalities which either did not work correctly or which provided me with many difficulties-but in almost all cases these were problems with the source(kernel/application source).

It takes time to master Portage, and I have had some pretty intense struggles with Portage before. But Portage has evolved tremendously over the past couple of years-and the changes that are now being planned are, simply put, monumental changes.

The only real gripes I have with Portage are when the Gentoo developers decided to change the default layout-this can cause confusion- and the fixed-paths/dependencies tied to the ebuilds themseleves. But Portage(Gentoo) gives me the choice to manage my own Portage tree, which I do, allowing me very fine level control over the entire system.

Did I mention the forums? One can learn more from the Gentoo forums than all of the other Linux forums rolled into one. If there is one group of people which Gentoo is not particularly well-suited for-it is the group of Linux users who have no desire to comprehend how and why their system works like it does. Being confronted with stuff for comprehension when one does not want to understand is, well, frustrating. My only complaint about Gentoo is that it has caused me to neglect all of the other distro's which I have installed on my machine-in fact I forgot my winxp password-cause I haven't felt the urge to boot winxp in over 18 months......(rofl).

Nice Article, but some dumb comments
by ralph on Sun 4th Apr 2004 12:23 UTC

but you really should have mentioned grp-packages. Using those you will have a working system (including Xfree KDE/Gnome Mozilla)in even less time.

And to all those complaining about gentoo, because it doesn't target Joe User. There isn't a rule, that everything has to target Joe User, is there?

Gentoo is a great distro for those who know a little bit about linux, or those who want to learn more about how linux works. It gives you an amount of control over your system few if any other distros give you and it is, believe it or not, very easy to use, once you have learned how it works.



Modem
by Anonymous on Sun 4th Apr 2004 12:32 UTC

Is it possible to run an up-to-date copy of Gentoo without having broadband access.

I have broadband access in college, is there any way of downloading the packages that I require onto CD and then install them onto my PC at home. Because it would take hours/days to install stuff over a modem!!

It's possible...
by tbscope on Sun 4th Apr 2004 13:27 UTC

Quote:
"Is it possible to run an up-to-date copy of Gentoo without having broadband access.

I have broadband access in college, is there any way of downloading the packages that I require onto CD and then install them onto my PC at home. Because it would take hours/days to install stuff over a modem!!"


Yes, it's possible, read this section in the install manual, it explains the types of "install" cd's you can download:
http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/handbook/handbook-x86.xml?part=1&chap=...

RE: Modem
by ralph on Sun 4th Apr 2004 13:37 UTC

Also take a look here:
http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic.php?p=426470#426470

It explains how to use sneakernet to keep your system up to date.

Wow
by Doug Swain on Sun 4th Apr 2004 18:02 UTC

Quite a bit of comments, awesome. I would say it is possible to do it without broadband, maybe not plesantly, but possible. As for GRP, well I've never done it myself, and I find (or assume) that building from source is better than binary packages, even if it is optimized for your cpu. And like I've said before, everyone is right about the Gentoo installation guides, they're great, spectacular. It isn't like I didn't use them myself, I lived off of them. I did my first probably 4 installs with them. Trust me, I know they're good, but my goal was just the idea of being able to get it up to speed faster than the official instructions. And the installation instructions I had were PAGES long, a good 35+ pages. So I figured that bringing down the time a good amount and the amount of pages would really help. I'm not putting down Gentoo Install Documents at all, and I'll be honest, if its your first installation, you should probably use them. So don't take me wrong, I know the offical docs are better than what I wrote, but I figured this would be good for a small reminder and possibly tip guide.

Some opinions on Gentoo
by flieslikeabeagle on Sun 4th Apr 2004 18:41 UTC

As a Linux desktop user for a couple of years, and a relatively recent Gentoo user, here are a few of my thoughts on Gentoo, both pro and con:

1)Gentoo has probably the best documentation of any Linux I've tried.

It is most definitely *not* perfect documentation, often the documentation is not updated as fast as the software. Case in point: the section on setting up anti-aliased fonts in X, part of the desktop documentation.

IMHO, the Gentoo documentation is still better than most other Linux documentation I've run across. Part of this is down to the Gentoo developers choice of formatting - XML with colour coding and decent white-space makes it easier to read than pages of text output from a "man" command in a terminal.

FreeBSD, on the other hand, has some very good documentation: some of it is in the FreeBSD handbook, but the best FreeBSD documentation I've found is the string of articles written by the talented Ms. Drusilla Lavigne (search Google for "FreeBSD" and "dru lavigne").

2)When it's working correctly, portage is wonderful. The same is true of the FreeBSD ports system which inspired it. Debian users don't have anything to be envious of, either, with the goodness of apt-get. It seems to me that some of the other package management systems out there have the elegance of a Heath Robinson contraption.

3)I've found my share of bugs and inconsistencies. Genkernel is supposed to create a kernel that's "like" the one on the LiveCD. However in late 2003 there was a period when Genkernel compiled a kernel without including ReiserFS support, while the LiveCD kernel included it. I (and many other newbies) experienced the joy (!) of spending days creating new Gentoo systems, then finding they would not boot because the kernel didn't understand the file-system.

Currently I'm dealing with a bug that seems to be related to using CUPS with Samsung laser printers. My Mepis Linux box has no trouble talking to my Samsung printer using CUPS, but one of my Gentoo boxes has very, very flaky print behaviour.

3)The advantage of Gentoo/portage over FreeBSD/ports and Debian/apt-get is the ability to get bleeding-edge software.
FreeBSD is wonderful, but its pace of development is a lot slower than Linux, and in recent years Linux hardware support has vastly outstripped that of FreeBSD. Debian users will immediately bring up Debian Unstable, but my experience with it has been that, well, it's unstable! By contrast Gentoo had KDE 3.2.0 in the stable tree within hours of the official KDE release, ditto for KDE 3.2.1 (which I'm currently running).

4)With FreeBSD, you have to manually configure a choice of download mirror. With Mandrake/urpmi, you have even more complicated choices to make, as there is no single location where all the software you want is to be found (eg. DVD decrypting libraries and other stuff technically not legal in the USA). With Gentoo, you do not have to do any manual intervention: portage "knows" where to get files from.

5)Gentoo proponents sometimes talk about how it's a good way to "learn Linux". In my opinion, installing Gentoo does not prove you know anything about Linux, only that you know how to blindly follow instructions without understanding them. I speak for myself - I don't think I "understand Linux" much better than before I started using Gentoo. Of course, it's debatable whether it's worth "understanding Linux" in that sense at all, unless you're a Linux developer.

6)Can we all just get along? You say Mandrake, I say Gentoo, you say urpmi, I say emerge, what difference does it make in the big picture?

Use whatever Linux makes you happiest. Heck, if Windows makes you happiest, use it (even though it makes you an enslaved subject of the evil Overlords :-) ).

-flieslikeabeagle

RE: Some opinions on Gentoo
by Gabriel Ebner on Sun 4th Apr 2004 19:45 UTC

> Debian unstable is unstable

Where did you get that from? I've never had any stability problems with debian unstable (before I switched to gentoo). OK, except the kde 3.2 packages being only partially uploaded to the mirrors.

> portage "knows" where to get files from.

Yuck! I had to strip my /usr/portage/profiles/thirdpartymirrors file leaving mostly Austrian mirrors a few hours ago because I wasn't able to connect to some mirrors (and didn't want to strip it again).

That's the price for non-configuration. Not to mention that I had to manually (mirrorselect only differentiates between continents when selecting an rsync mirror) modify /etc/make.conf to get to German rsync mirrors (they're the only ones I can get acceptable download rates from Austria).

PS: Forgive me any mistakes, but it isn't exactly easy to write comments in an 25 columns width links2(framebuffer of course)-textarea while installing Gentoo on my shiny new AMD64 laptop.

Re: Some opinions on Gentoo
by Daan on Sun 4th Apr 2004 20:35 UTC

First: the first time I tried Gentoo (1.4 RC blabla) I got fed up waiting two days for X to compile so I switched back to Debian. I heard that you can install a binary of X now, however.

4)With FreeBSD, you have to manually configure a choice of download mirror.

In sysinstall, you can easily pick one from a list. Just go to Configure->Packages and a nice list (Germany #1, Netherlands #1, Netherlands #2 etc.) appears. After that it presents you with a nice list of precompiled packages.

Installing KDE 3.2.1 required some work by hand as it only exists in an unofficial package repository (compiling would take too long for me)

The only real problem with FreeBSD for me is that it doesn't support my sound card - it should be SB compatible; Linux and NetBSD recognise it as such, but FreeBSD doesn't. And FreeBSD is the only OS that doesn't support DMA on my chipset. Yes, NetBSD does.

People need to chill these days, jeesh...
by OutsourceMaterial on Sun 4th Apr 2004 22:05 UTC

"If any of my employees were to waste company time compiling all day for every server, thier ass would be outsourced"

Glad I don't work for your company. Sounds like you don't know how to hire people. If I had people that were interested in how the OS works, and what is needed to make it work more efficiently, productively, and securely for my company, I'd be giving them raises. Thanks for contributing to the downfall of the "American Economy" -- A whole other topic...

The point is being missed here. Gentoo is about choice. The choice of what "I" want to use. Not what someone else says I have to use. I "choose" to use Gentoo. Just I like I "choose" to not use MS products. Does that make me a zealot? Just ask the 4+ co-workers I've been helping get Gentoo up and running with just a quick demo ;) We aren't talking WinAdmins here either. We are talkin hardcore UNIX folk.

If you can't take the time to RTFM then Gentoo is probably not for you. If you can spare the 2700 seconds to read through them, and then start back at the beginning BEFORE you do the install, then you should be pleasantly surprised.

My $0.02. Flame away...

Oh one more quick thing, very quick thing...
by OutsourceMaterial on Sun 4th Apr 2004 22:07 UTC

My AMD64 machine can bootstrap, compile X, Gnome, and FireFox in just about 3 hours or so. If that's not fast enough for ya, I got this spaceship for sale....

You forgot...
by Joe on Sun 4th Apr 2004 23:36 UTC

to source /etc/profile after the chroot.

@Stray
by Joe on Mon 5th Apr 2004 00:38 UTC

" Portage itself could be the easiest and less time consuming method around, with less headaches"

least time consuming with fewer headaches...

Recent 2004.0 install
by smitty_one_each on Mon 5th Apr 2004 01:04 UTC

I journaled about subject experience elsewhere:
http://slashdot.org/~smitty_one_each/journal
Overall, I'm deeply impressed.
The issues I had stemmed from trying a vanilla 2.6.4 kernel, and there is bugs in the network system somewhere, possibly my USB rtl8150 device. Runs a while (15 minutes), dies. FTP or HTTP. The rtl8150 is wildly intolerant of a second USB device plugged in. Emailed the maintainer at his sourceforge address.
These problems were self-imposed by an ALLOW_KEYWORDS="~x86" emerge, and cleaned up by reverting to 2.4.24, which also supports the wheel mouse. Kernel module configuration was the hardest part.
Learned a lot, love it.

Anaconda On Gentoo
by Doug Swain on Mon 5th Apr 2004 04:04 UTC

Myself personally: I can't see Anaconda running on Gentoo. It just doesn't seem like something feasable, then again, anything is with Linux these days I suppose.

Gentoo
by Jochen Maes on Mon 5th Apr 2004 06:37 UTC

Alas,

this dox isn't that correct, as said before it lacks the non-X86 info, and it doesn't even say a word about GRP.

Zenja: RTM (left out the F :p) The manual doesn't explain how to work with partitions indeed, because GEntoo isn't a partition tool. If you want more info on partition disks maybe go to the fdisk homepage ar try google.
About the kernel thing you just said, why not use genkernel (generates a kernelconfig exactely like the liveCD witch does recognize your devices).

What about it dies the compilations dies, come on, set your ACCEPT_KEYWORDS ok, put in the CORRECT CFLAGS, use the USE flags.
Weird that there are more people who have gentoo working if i hear you. Btw i have it working on a Powerbook ppc (brand new, even the radeon works :p) sun ultra 5, compaq proliant 3000R, and normal x86 systems.

Gentoo is for the people who aren't willing to loose the control of their system... nuf said ...


greetings to all

If this Gentoo newbie were to write an Installation Guide...
by RideGuy on Mon 5th Apr 2004 15:16 UTC

...it would not claim to a 2 hour install.

Here's what I would add to the guide:

Step one:
If your new to Linux, don't start here! Go play with one of the self installing distros like Suse or Mandrake first. Come back when you feel you have a grasp of what Linux has to offer.

Step two:
Go to the Gentoo site, and read the entire Installation guide before attempting an install. Go threw each step, and look up any questions you have in the Gentoo Forum. YOU WILL HAVE QUESTIONS.

Step three:
Now your ready to install Gentoo. FOLLOW THE INSTALLATION GUIDE EXACTLY! There is nothing in that guide that can't be changed at a later time, so follow the guide now, and make improvements later.

RE:Jochen Maes
by Doug Swain on Mon 5th Apr 2004 21:06 UTC

Yes, you're right, the document is not aimed for non-X86 instruction, and no I did not use GRP for two reasons:

1. I've never used it, all from source, every installation
2. It isn't nessisary, a stage3 installation is possible without GRP

And finally, good points, mine are just good notes I would say, and you're right, it is good to read through the official documents, as I've posted numerous times on this comment board.

Also
by Doug Swain on Mon 5th Apr 2004 21:08 UTC

These are good things to know. Maybe not the most encouraging thoughts, but they're good to know so I can improve anything I may write later, to make sure I am more specific towards certain things, and maybe in some cases less specific towards certain things.

Re: My Gentoo experience from 12 hours ago
by David on Tue 6th Apr 2004 11:38 UTC

Issue 1: No mention in the docs on how to deal with extended partitions if you have 2 or more partitions prior to installing Gentoo.

The guide cannot mention every possible existing setting that you have. Not sure what you mean here as you should still be able to see the partitions through fdisk. If you want to keep your data, don't touch them. Installing a system is not to be taken lightly, and careful planning is necessary.

Issue 2: Linux still doesn't offer a kernel autoconfig tool, one which will scan all my devices and create a kernel configuration specific for me. Instead, I still have to manually decipher what I need and dont need.

Not sure what you mean by auto-detection. The kernel autodetects everything, and if you use genernel then you don't need to manually compile the kernel. You will just have the kernel on the live cd that auto-detected everything when you booted it. Read the instructions on the bootloader carefully.

Issue 3: The kernel ATI radeon driver fails to compile due to unresolved externals. Strike 1.

ATI drivers are problematic sometimes, but that is ATI as they are binary only. Plenty of people have ATI cards though so post the messages you are getting rather than throwing your arms in the air.

Issue 4: The kernel FrameBuffer driver chockes on another unresolved external. Strike 2.

Again, what error? The framebuffer support is in the kernel so is the kernel bombing out with an error? Plenty of people have framebuffer support, and some without even realising it, so there should be no problems if you have enabled it. Are you using a test development kernel?

Issue 5: The kernel showlogo section has more errors due to unresolved functions. Strike 3.

No idea why that should be happening as this should merely be one option in the kernel config. What does it say?

Basically, I was unable to make my own kernel from the gentoo tree. (Kernel 2.6.3-Gentoo-R1).
Move the kernel and system map to the new boot partition. OK, now I disable all of these modules complaining (and have to recompile from scratch every single time) and come to the boot loader.


So you have got your kernel compiled. The above doesn't really apply then, does it?

Issue 6: After configuring Lilo (remember the extended partitions issue), I reboot and get a "this partition is missing boot signature" - WTF?

Does your kernel get found and booted? If it does then what filesystem are you using on your boot partition? Support for this needs to be added into the kernel otherwise it can't read it. Check your /etc/fstab file to make sure partitions are getting mounted right.

Issue 7: For some reason, my new system has missing cdrom from the /dev table, even though the live CD had it. Cannot mount any CD's, so I can forget about using the packages CD.

Check your /etc/fstab file and mount your cdrom correctly.

Issue 8: OK. lets try emerge and the famed portage system. "emerge nforce-audio". Dies during compilation due to missing header file.

Do you actually have an nForce board? I have to ask. If you haven't done all the above correctly then you will probably get errors.

Final issue: emerge ati-drivers. 75 minutes later, after grabbing god knows how many packages (XFree, Freetype, etc), it dies because of a missing file (font). Arrrgggghhhh.

What missing font file? It will not die because of a missing font file.

At this point, I've already had enough, since I know that from here things only get worse. I've honestly tried to give Linux a go, back with RedHat 6.x, Suse 6 and 7, LinuxPPC99, PPC2000, RedHat 8.1 etc, and I always ended up pulling my hair out with issues with XConfig, dependancies, misconfigured system etc. Gentoo 2004-1 has just joined the list of systems I'll stay away from for a year or two.

Well, I think there is something wrong with what you are doing on a fundamental level. The Suse installers are all graphical and very simple, and they are a heck of a lot easier for most than a Gentoo install. Suse is a plain bog-standard install - you don't need to configure fontcong, X or anything at all! Quite what you're fiddling with that for I don't know? You still need a basic understanding of partitions etc. with the installers though. If you can't install one of these then you shouldn't even be installing Windows to be honest.

Posting from Zeta. It just works. And keeps my hair from turning grey/bald.

What just works?

With Gentoo you need to follow the guides carefully, set aside some time, don't panic, be laid back and drink some coffee. If you do you'll learn a heck of a lot about Linux. I haven't been near a command-line in years and I had no problems whatsoever taking this attitude and approach.

I can't say this any other way really. This just sounds like a post from someone who wants to tell us that Linux isn't ready, but he has tried to do the more complicated involved stuff without reading and without planning ahead. Installing an OS is not something to be taken lightly and most people will never have to do it. It sounds like you shouldn't be really. If you have problem try buying a machine with Linux pre-installed.

Re: I feel sorry for gentoo users
by David on Tue 6th Apr 2004 11:48 UTC

Because they are some of the most unproductive people on the planet. There is no benefit to compiling your bootstrap from source, none. There is no benefit in compiling XFree86 from source. If any of my employees were to waste company time compiling all day for every server, thier ass would be outsourced.

That's why you learn to make images ;) , and compiling in LDAP support for Samba etc. is sometimes very necessary for a server. For a desktop, yes, use a packaged binary distribution where necessary because using source isn't necessarily practical, but as an IT professional you'd make a considered decision on that - right ;) ? Besides, I've seen companies and outsourcers waste an absolute tonne of time on Windows because they don't even know what they're doing with that. You call that productive? We need to put skills back into IT quite frankly, because many people are incapable of making coherent decisions about the tools they are using.

Like some one already posted, Gentoo is one step forward and two steps back. If you want a package system so bad use FreeBSD, at least they use the BSD license.

Doesn't make any sense. You've just dissed source based distros and I don't know what the BSD license has to do with anything.

RE: My Gentoo experience from 12 hours ago
by Anonymous on Tue 6th Apr 2004 12:04 UTC

>Issue 1: No mention in the docs on how to deal with extended partitions if you have 2 or more partitions prior to installing Gentoo.

Ok, that could be better, but it cant be expected to give every explanation.

>Issue 2: Linux still doesn't offer a kernel autoconfig tool, one which will scan all my devices and create a kernel configuration specific for me. Instead, I still have to manually decipher what I need and dont need.

WRONG - its called genkernel, its in the docs.

>Issue 3: The kernel ATI radeon driver fails to compile due to unresolved externals. Strike 1.

What radeon? Dont emerge the driver if its less than a 9200, use the xfree one. 3d works perfectly well.

Issue 4: The kernel FrameBuffer driver chockes on another unresolved external. Strike 2.

Might relate to the above. Never had an issue.

Issue 5: The kernel showlogo section has more errors due to unresolved functions. Strike 3.


>Basically, I was unable to make my own kernel from the gentoo tree. (Kernel 2.6.3-Gentoo-R1).

I have that kernel on 4 PCs here, one I built last night with that kernel.

>Move the kernel and system map to the new boot partition.
>OK, now I disable all of these modules complaining (and have to recompile from scratch every single time) and come to the boot loader.

Why did you select them if they are wrong? Unselect them, rebuild and then work your way through the issues. Its the same on any Linux if you compile the kernel yourself.

>Issue 6: After configuring Lilo (remember the extended partitions issue), I reboot and get a "this partition is missing boot signature" - WTF?
Go back, create boot floppy.

Well.. these days, Grub is easier and is recommended by Gentoo. If you must use LILO, then at least follow the instructions.

>Issue 7: For some reason, my new system has missing cdrom from the /dev table, even though the live CD had it. Cannot mount any CD's, so I can forget about using the packages CD.

Check your kernel config.. you've missed something probably.

>Issue 8: OK. lets try emerge and the famed portage system. "emerge nforce-audio". Dies during compilation due to missing header file.

For what motherboard? I have never touched nforce-audio and just used ALSA in the kernel and audio works perfectly on my nforce2 ASUS A7N8X.

>Final issue: emerge ati-drivers. 75 minutes later, after grabbing god knows how many packages (XFree, Freetype, etc), it dies because of a missing file (font). Arrrgggghhhh.

As above.. depending on your card you may not even need them.....

Now.. as above..

I rebuilt my Athlon 2600 last night with a new hdd and different partition arrangement. I had Gentoo booting on its own in 3 hours and emerging KDE, not a single issue to note and not a single problem. I admit I had a previously working kernel config and had all my source packages (which is just a download.. not something I had to deal with), but everything else I had to do again and the Gentoo manual is straightforward and pretty easy to follow.

Ok, its a bit more manual to set up but its a hell of a lot easier to manage and Just Works (TM).

Gentoo Installation
by Roy on Wed 7th Apr 2004 04:31 UTC

Shouldn't anything be this hard to install. I have been trying off and on for almost a year and have yet to succeed in any distribution of Gentoo installed on my machine. I have simply thrown in the towel on Gentoo and decided to stay with Suse.

RE: Gentoo Installation by Roy
by Jochen Maes on Wed 7th Apr 2004 12:50 UTC

well good on you... :p
I'm sure you'll be happy and satified using Suse as it's a good distribution.

have fun...


ps what did you contribute to the discution?

Re: Gentoo Installation
by RideGuy on Wed 7th Apr 2004 20:34 UTC

I am a Linux beginner, and a Gentoo newbie. I am convinced if you are having trouble installing Gentoo, it's because you are not following the install guide correctly.

My first try was a disaster, because I was alraedy trying trying to mess with Gentoo before I was even done the installation. Forget that!

Install just the basics for your first time. I mean don't install ANYTHING that is not in the guide. You can always go back and recompile the kernel, add 3D support, add sound, add X, etc. after you already have a working install.