Home > Gentoo > Gentoo Installer: Comin’ Along Gentoo Installer: Comin’ Along Submitted by Asteria 2005-12-16 Gentoo 67 Comments Asteria Solutions Group, Inc. has taken the latest gentoo installer for a test drive. It’s not finished yet, but promises to bring the powerful distribution to a larger base of users. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 67 Comments 2005-12-16 2:18 am Celerate Is there a reason they specifically mention that it’s a GTK+ frontend in the installer instead of simply saying “graphical frontend”, you can see it on one of the first few screenshots. If they only had one I would imagine they wouldn’t care about mentioning toolkits, so do they have another frontend using a different toolkit? 2005-12-16 2:22 am Yep, there’s a curses-based one. The gtk one is just what most people would probably use in the future. 2005-12-16 2:46 am drLog Ahh, gentoo has come along way. I installed it on my box from stage 1. This will make it easier for begeinners and after doing the stage 1 install, its not really worth it 2005-12-16 3:17 am klynch Gentoo has a great system. I’m glad to see that they are doing something to make it easier to install. I’ve always loved the system and the tools gentoo provides, but I’ve always had difficulty remembering the order of installation through the command line. 2005-12-16 9:07 am ompalaster In case you would like to know, stage 1 install is no longer in the handbook, although it still exists. This is due to the fact that installing from stage 3 and running ’emerge -e system’ followed by ’emerge -e world’ is a far better way to do it and won’t cause as many problems as a stage 1 would. (stage 1 is known to cause problems such as circular dependancies) 2005-12-16 3:52 pm klynch I never followed the official guide anyway. I always though the guides at Gentoo Wiki were much better and cleaner. http://gentoo-wiki.com/Index:HOWTO#Installation_Methods 2005-12-16 3:11 am ompalaster I love the current Gentoo installation. 2005-12-16 3:29 am If you are not able to remember the commands by their logical order you should forget comlex distributions like gentoo *freaky linux user* I think graphical tools to install such a comfortable distribution are kicking linux closer to the point where everyone (exept of Gates and Jobs) wants them to have (former Gentoo now MacOsX user) Linux is Crap (WinXP User without the nowledge ’bout the power ofwhat linux can/could become) 2005-12-16 4:14 am Varg Vikernes I have no idea what the f–k you said, but I can assure you many people will leave Gentoo purely because of this installer. Most users running Gentoo are 13-16 year old kids, because they think it’s cool that you have to read a book before installing and compiling everything from source. 2005-12-16 4:43 am Celerate “Most users running Gentoo are 13-16 year old kids, because they think it’s cool that you have to read a book before installing and compiling everything from source.” Of all the people I know personally who run Gentoo, almost every last one of them is an adult who first learned how to install Gentoo by doing it with the help of the installation documentation. Besides, who’s to say people go with a hard distribution because they want to be cool, maybe they’re doing it because they want to learn more about Linux and don’t feel they can when there’s a user interface covering all of what’s going on under the hood. 2005-12-16 6:02 am Varg Vikernes Of all the people I know personally who run Gentoo, almost every last one of them is an adult who first learned how to install Gentoo by doing it with the help of the installation documentation. Then they are probably not the ones posting on the Gentoo forums. Besides, who’s to say people go with a hard distribution because they want to be cool, maybe they’re doing it because they want to learn more about Linux and don’t feel they can when there’s a user interface covering all of what’s going on under the hood. I didn’t say that. What I said is that most users use it for that purpose. I agree, Gentoo is a good sitro for learning, but that’s about it. Come on, any “serious” user (or mature for that matter) won’t wait 4 hours for KDE to compile. 2005-12-16 10:54 am I would. 2005-12-16 6:06 am That’s pretty much why I did it – to learn, not to look cool. I run Ubuntu on my Laptop because it makes more sense there, but my home PC has been Gentoo for a while now – and I have to say I know a lot more about the guts of how Linux actually functions than I did before using it. As far as the “most users are 13-16 year old kids” comment, well, that doesn’t even deserve a rebuttal; it’s just stupid. 2005-12-16 3:50 pm Ikshaar You really think that people would leave Gentoo because an optionnal package helps people installing Gentoo… get down on earth please. 2005-12-16 4:05 pm DigitalAxis Anyone who leaves Gentoo purely because it now has a GUI installer shouldn’t be using Gentoo in the first place. Those 13 to 16 year old kids who think it’s better because it’s harder are probably also the ones using hideously misguided CFlags (like trying to enable AMD 3DNow instructions on a Pentium III, or things known to break systems) in pursuit of imperceptable performance gains. 2005-12-16 5:00 pm I couldn’t agree more. The old install method will still be default, anyways. The new installer will just be another OPTION. Wow, leave Gentoo for giving you options… how mature… 2005-12-16 7:53 pm DigitalA: Hm I’m 16 yo and? I installed Gentoo. Yep, my first GNU/Linux..Why? I’M so lazy Ok, cuz I found a lot of secrets of linux. Yup I read forum, manual (man), G00gle etc. before I ask. Yes a HATE stupid questions. And like u said: ‘try to enable 3Dnow ins. on P3’ yea this is funny, but for “kids” like me it isn’t cuz I’m HardWare man. So, if u don’t like 13 yo n00bs ask them, if they compilled Gentoo from stage 1 or installed with Installer go on! btw I must say, that I know a lot of older ppl who dont have idea what is linux or how it works, but they use it daily..amazing and that is true. 2005-12-16 5:32 pm Sphinx I could see the loss of cache’ as a marketing hook could make an impact but I don’t think it would be that great. People thought that when you could buy a harley already customized the joy of chopper building/owning would just die off but now it’s enjoying a renaissance with even it’s own tv shows. 2005-12-16 4:16 am tbostick78 Oh seriously, cmon! It isn’t that Linux is good or bad, or productive or “crap”. GNU/Linux is a unix derivative; It’s a workstation (development) class platform! The whole KDE/GNOME/installer crap doesn’t matter as much as what GNU/Linux is really used for. Yes, Linux is still crap for a cohesive desktop platform with all the latest proprietary plugins and novelty apps. And XP is crap if you want a powerful shell, free compiler et al, multi-platform dev tools, command line scripting utils, and secure computing. Have you considered the embedded environments? How about thin clients, clusters, DSP, integration with other *nix’s (NFS, NIS, etc), real time systems, licensing costs, academics, drivers, anything? Power is in the tools by diversity and openness and flexibility. Try this, search your C: drive for a file modified in the last week with execute permission set and containing the pattern /^s*as*href=”localhost./. While your at it try writing a 10-line script to continuously monitor the system interupts for a given PCI card. The list could go on for a LONG time…. *nix is developers’ tools (and MAC made a desktop system out of them… check it out). 2005-12-16 5:37 pm Sphinx Damn shame I can only mod that up 1 point. 2005-12-16 3:41 am tbostick78 Something about a 45 degree clockwise rotation of a bubbly and purple number 9 just doesn’t do justice to an open source compilation of rigorous mathematical and computational accomplishment. It seeems to suggest “rainbow friendly environment” to me. Ok, whatever. Shane 2005-12-16 2:28 pm How daaaaaaaaaare you. Are you suggesting that ricers don’t like cheerful eyecandy? The artwork I’d seen on Gentoo desktops was one of the draws for me. That ‘g’ motif is currently in Matrix-style (only blue!) on mine, but maybe tomorrow… rusty metal unnderwater? Creamy reflective monolith among a forest of 2001-esque dark pillars? Big crudely-drawn cow’s head? Choices, choices… It’s also got the best-organised website of any distro I’ve encountered. Forget for a moment the “you’ll have to put the work in” factor, it’s a big BIG confidence-booster when you see that the vendor has put major commitment into the online resources. 2005-12-16 3:47 pm Ikshaar Not sure you should have commented on that… LOL, you did not see it was a “G” for Gentoo … ?!! 2005-12-16 8:51 pm Real system admins wrote their own installer in vim, using bash scripts and the standard commands. 2005-12-16 4:38 am I’ve done a number Gentoo installs; While I don’t mind doing it the hard way for servers, I think this will help make it easier to deploy Gentoo as a desktop. Go Gentoo! 2005-12-16 5:57 am k Sry for all those typos, i was (‘m) totally drunk .. BUT for all of you who took the crap i wrote serious: </ironie> 🙂 I like gentoo … an I like to read a f–k’in book (or a 12 page manual) before installing/compiling my linux distribution 2005-12-16 6:22 am To me it seems kind of a tease to make the installation all graphical and easy … it just sets up your typical newbie for miserable failure when it comes time to maintain that installation. Just installing programs and doing things like updating config files with etc-update or dispatch-conf can be a complicated and failure-prone process if you don’t know what you’re doing (and I say this as a committed Gentoo user). Gentoo is just way too untuned and complicated to turn loose on someone who can’t or doesn’t want to go through the current manual (but pretty much cookie-cutter) installation process. For those people, the current install serves a pretty important weed-out function. It keeps them from wasting time and getting a bitter taste in their mouths when Gentoo isn’t the right distro for who they are or what they want to do. Now, making a graphical install that’s designed for advanced Gentoo users, primarily to save them time and automate repeated installs, now that would be great. The worst part about the current install is that it’s 5 minutes of doing something followed by a half-hour of compilation, then repeat for a few hours — ideally you could do the 20 minutes or so of actual decision-making all at once, and then the install would run unattended from there. 2005-12-16 6:35 am The Gentoo installer is absolutely awesome. As soon as it supports Reiser4 I’ll only use the installer. Especially when you install several machines it saves you ALOT of time and guarantees that you don’t make any small typo and have to start all over. The installer makes Gentoo alot more user friendly and attractive to many more people. 2005-12-16 8:50 pm Not this again, we all know Reiser4 isn’t even in the mainline kernel. Ergo Gentoo won’t support something that’s totally experimental, vanilla-kernel wise. 2005-12-16 7:06 am Nice, but: 1 What exactly does one learn from using gentoo that can’t be learned using slackware or debian? 2 Is there a real, measurable advantage of compiling everything instead of using binaries? would it make a really big difference? Anyway, you can also compile from source code on almost any disto in case you can’t find a *deb *tgz or *rpm I’ve been tempted to try gentoo myself, but the time spent and the failure to see a real advantage has discouraged me so far, but i agree it must be cool to run a totally “from source” disto, would LFS teach you more or same as gentoo? Peace 2005-12-16 8:57 am source code is good when u want to compile it with extra/optimised settings and, ofcourse, when u want to include/exclude parts of a program. And, yes it takes alot of time to build kde or gnome but i dont think that you’re doing it everyday. Thats y we prefer gentoo 2005-12-16 2:52 pm I do think Gentoo encourages – nay DEMANDS – learning. I did a rush job of my first attempt, and broke many, many, things. So I went to the handbook, the forum, and external docs about GCC, and figured out what I’d been doing wrong. I’ve come to understand a lot more about how to tailor builds for my system, for one example the trade-off between faster compiles and smaller binaries (important for low-cache or slow-disk systems). It’s also great to have, with Portage, at-a-glance mapping of all the dependencies of any package, not to mention all the other packages it can optionally support. This is a great way of eliminating cruft from your system. They also allow a totally stripped-down KDE install, with only the essentials and the apps you NEED. No more bloody KTeaTimer by default! 2005-12-16 5:43 pm Sphinx If you’re looking to learn you can’t beat LFS/BLFS but you are *not* going to be up and running in a day. Maybe take a week, but by the end you will have mastered it and approach Linux from that day forward without fear or trepidation. The pride of ownership alone is almost overpowering. 2005-12-16 8:59 am Gentoo is nice but it is a bit hard to install for newcomers in the linux world. A few years ago gentoo was more popular but has lost a few users and keeping many from using it since of the “hard” installer. The thing that I like about gentoo is the selection to choose from a stage 3 (precompiled) and build everything from source stage 1. And the amount of pakages is amazing and the way to install it from source is easy and it keeps all the dependencies. 2005-12-16 9:04 am Why the hell else would you use it? 2005-12-16 9:04 am ompalaster Because it is better. 2005-12-16 9:07 am because i dont like blue screens 2005-12-16 9:53 am but it uses gnome!! linus said we should use kde now :/ 2005-12-16 9:57 am Linus also said FXXK” 2005-12-16 9:56 am Trollstoi WHATT? GRPHICAL INSTANLERR? I QUIT USEING GENTOO NOW (( 2005-12-16 11:34 am sanctus ?? is that serious? First – as for the stage1 and 2, they didn’t kill it for people who want to learn. It would be the same thing for this, optional geekish useless command line installation, curse installer, and graphical. Second – everything that is done in command line to install gentoo from stage3 can easily be done with a graphical installer without compromising any of the advantage of gentoo. I used gentoo for 2 years and a haft now and I am please to see that coming. Portage is the most amazing package system I have used so far. But really, passing through 8 pages of procedure to do what? Using the “date”, “chroot”, editing some files with nano, copying files and portage, ohh yes editing the fstab file and you have to know the mount command. What a power user! Every single thing in the installation can be done with a dropdown box and some option, even compile in background speeding the installation process. Seeing such comment make me think that those who are the most reluctant to this, are those who are scared to see a bigger adoption because they will lose the status they acquired without even achieve an administrator level. Or simply put as said before, to think they’re cool. 2005-12-16 11:20 am Charles A Landemaine I quit using Gentoo like 2 years ago, because I was taking too much time to install it each time I needed. Now I might just try it again for fun I was expecting it, that’s reallt cool… 2005-12-16 1:02 pm brother bloat As a non-gentoo user who is interested in possibly giving this a try over the next few months (I will be on winter break soon), how easy is it to install Gentoo with the new installer? Also, compared to, say, Fedora/Mandrake/Debian/Ubuntu, how easy (and fast) is it to install, uninstall, and update packages on a Gentoo system (it looks like I’d be aiming for a level 3 install, if that changes anything later on in the system’s life). Basically, in your opinions as Gentoo users, what makes you use Gentoo over “noobie-friendly” distro’s, if anything other than “because it’s 1337.” I use my linux install (currently Ubuntu 5.10) regularly for coding for school, and I need my system to be reliable/stable, fast, with little down time. Thanks! 2005-12-16 2:04 pm I need my system to be reliable/stable, fast, with little down time. Gentoo is not for you. 2005-12-16 1:31 pm Kris I first installed Gentoo, because I like to try new things and because the documentation is good. While a lot of people claim that portage is what makes Gentoo great I have to say if it was only portage that would make the difference I’d use *BSD instead. What I like about Gentoo is that it is Linux (although there’s BSD/Gentoo iirc.) wich means you’re more likely to find the exotic/interesting stuff to play with. And the real win-over for me is that they have a very intuituie and nice file layout and it simply feels “done right”. The installer is another step into the right direction. Keep in mind that I have only used it for laptop/desktop use (PPC and x86 architecture). Also I don’t mean to bash (pun not intended) the BSDs since I run OpenBSD on my laptop and like it as well. 2005-12-16 1:46 pm I couldn’t find a mirror with an /experimental area. 2005-12-16 1:50 pm CPUGuy It’s just not the same installing Gentoo without a printed manual directly in front of you. Looking good. 2005-12-16 1:55 pm Keep up the good work! I like curses installs because of you can use them to install your dist on a toaster but a good GUI installer is still nice. Just on question, will the GUI installer take away from bragging rights? Getting Gentoo is after all a lofty perch. -nX 2005-12-16 2:08 pm Make sure you run there are new scripts to make running a cvs version easier. Just open up a terminal and run ‘/opt/installer/misc/updategtkfe’. This procedure has been updated in the FAQ as well. This gives the latest beta version of the installer that is newer than the one on the disk 2005-12-16 2:25 pm Please, for enterprise users we need the option to setup OpenLDAP authentication from the installer. I don’t know if our installer is going to group packages into user cases, such as “Server”, “Workstation”, or “Developer” – but if we do, the server option should include the ability to setup an OpenLDAP server for authentication, DNS, and DHCP. No distro does this – but Gentoo is all about choice. We need this choice. That would definitely make Gentoo my choice for the enterprise. 2005-12-16 2:40 pm Hi, just a couple of question from a Mac user… 1) Some time ago there were rumors of Gentoo working to port it on a PPC, and with it even portage. Does anyone know how/if that is still going? 2)If so, will there be a graphical installer even for PPC? 2005-12-17 5:10 pm Kris I used to run Gentoo on my powerbook. There’s a ppc version. 2005-12-16 3:07 pm Rapsey http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/handbook/index.xml As you can see there is a PPC and PPC64 version of the intallation handbook. So yeah you can get gentoo on a mac. 2005-12-16 3:21 pm People complain that Slackware only uses a curses installer but people and praising the curses in Gentoo. 2005-12-16 4:00 pm Anonymo You can use emerge on Slackware http://emerde.freaknet.org/ 2005-12-16 5:17 pm I use gentoo for 3 yeas now. The reason is simple : it was the first linux that worked on my pc out of the box without any quirks unlike suse or redhat i tried befor that. The compilation time is os mich a MINOR issue that its not worth mentioning. Only 13 year old kids as you name them do install gentoo every do so it might be a problem for them. Even if i compile something once a month or so it runs somewhere in background with 10 nice so i actually am productive and do some other task in this time so that is so MUCH NON ISSUE that u can shut the f–k up already about it. It just getting old. The the problems gentoo is running into is python. Since it is is not a compiled language the whole portage system becomes more laggy whith each year. Also i think 460 mb of /usr/portage directory , which are ONLY ebuild text files is an overkill. I think it would be nice to encapsulate time critical portage funcions in a small portable library coded in c or something like that so the portage wont feel like openoffice on 128 mb ram. On the other side i like the flexibility of gentoo and how it doesn’t get in my way. The forums are nice are very friendly but are not always very competent(still much more competent than ubuntu ones imho) 2005-12-16 7:13 pm DigitalAxis Someone did just that for a school project or something. It was called sportage, and was basically a rewrite of the emerge utility in C. It was (s)peedy but not feature complete last I heard of it. And I think I’ve heard buzz from time to time about distributing the portage tree in a .tar.bz2 ball… I’m not sure how much overhead there’d be in trying to update it with diff files, or unpacking the ebuilds… 2005-12-16 5:49 pm Sphinx I simply do not believe in Linux distros should depend on anything besides C and a shell to build themselves. I refuse to accept Python as a basic requirement. For me LFS builds a much nicer system. 2005-12-16 7:29 pm Bending Unit Your’re weak. Real Men only use sticks and stones. 2005-12-17 10:25 am butters “I simply do not believe in Linux distros should depend on anything besides C and a shell to build themselves. I refuse to accept Python as a basic requirement. For me LFS builds a much nicer system.” You’re massively underestimating the complexity of building real software projects. Why do you think that LFS has you build things in a certain order? Because not too many projects will build without sed, awk, install, and various other tools. Not to mention make, ld, ar, and other essential build tools that have nothing to do with the C programming language per se. So where do you draw the line? Sit back and think about the question: what tools should Linux distros depend on? Whatever tools the developers of the packages you want to install require as build-time dependencies. Gentoo builds a base package set (system), which contains the most basic utilities you would expect for a text-mode *nix environment and the tools required to build them. The system is then standalone in the sense that you have everything you need to rebuild the system. Install additional software with additional build dependencies, and it pulls those in as well. In the case of Gentoo’s dependence on python for the base system: emerge -pe system > temp; grep “$(equery depends python)” temp; rm temp [ebuild N ] dev-java/java-config-1.2.11-r1 [ebuild N ] dev-python/python-fchksum-1.7.1 [ebuild N ] sys-apps/portage-2.0.53 So it’s mainly portage, the same brilliant system that makes such powerful stuff as the above command possible. 2005-12-16 7:01 pm who says the gentoo is for expierence people, hell my frist and last linux distro was gentoo. been using it for around 2 years. I had no clue what linux was and decided why not start from the bottom up. My gawd what a learning experience. I will say its not for all newbies to start….i use to use dos only for everything even used it for windows 98. so it wasnt much of a transation, just had to learn a few new commands and i was off. 2005-12-16 8:30 pm How long till there will be a Ubuntu style Gentoo distribution which is easy to install and use, and be able to compete with Ubuntu? I’ll give it 12 months. i bet i’m right. 2005-12-17 10:39 am butters I’m not sure about “able to compete with Ubuntu,” but there are the following Gentoo-based distributions with installers and binary packages for installation: Kororaa – http://www.kororaa.org/ RR4 LiveDVD – http://www.lxnaydesign.net/ VLOS – http://desktop.vidalinux.com/ 2005-12-16 11:05 pm Current applications are big and take a long, long time to compile even on very fast systems. This basically limits Gentoo to a hobby OS… So chances are, the people using it won’t need or want a graphical installer. 2005-12-17 1:24 am re_re I have run Gentoo almost execlusively on my various home boxes for a couple years and I think this graphical installer is fine and dandy for experienced Gentoo users (yes, I said experienced), however I don’t think it is good for the newb. Installing manually from the command line teaches them a lot about administering their system. Lets face it, Gentoo is a very powerful os for the experienced user, but to the inexperienced user a graphical installer will not help them when they realize they have to change all their settings from the command line and edit text files to get it to mount their second hard drive, they will be lost. Gentoo is not a newb distro and unless they develop graphical utilities to do 99% of system administration and install all of it by default, it will never be a newb distro. In using a graphical installer they actually are sending mixed signals as to what group of users they are marketing to. 2005-12-17 1:33 am re_re Gentoo has been available on ppc for some time, I personally know somebody who runs it on his old g4 with no problems As for the gui installer, I would imagine it would be a simple recompile for the developers and maybe a few tweaks to code, so yeah, probably. 2005-12-17 12:03 pm HelloWorld82 I use gentoo for 1 and half year now. It was not so hard to install, and I learnt a lot. But of course, Gentoo is not for newbye, and will neither be. look at Ubuntu, or Mandriva, if you want an easy to use distribution. I will list now what I really like about gentoo. Btw, I know, gentoo also has drawbacks. But for me, it is exactely what I need. i) I’m a developer. Because you _have_ to compile everythink with gentoo – you also got a great developement platform, with all header files you need, documentation, example source code, tools. This can be set with the use flag “doc” and “examples” I develop with python, C++ and java and I couldn’t be happyier with gentoo. It’s a dream for a me. ii) Writing ebuilds is not too difficult. iii)Gentoo repository has lot of packages, and regular updates : There is nothing like releases or so. Suse Release cycle : | | | | | Ubuntu releases cycle: | | | | | gento : |||||||||||||||||||||| I can always got new packages, then either I want them. I don’t need to wait 6 months. iv)flexibiliy : As said above, I’m a programmer. I need sometime to recompile some applications for a given library. This offers me flexibiliy I could not get from binary distribtions. v)The community : look at gentoo-forums : http://forums.gentoo.org in irc (#gentoo, at freenode) there are always 800-1000 peoples (!!!). You always got help.