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GTXcube
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2012 11:39 pm    Post subject: [Solved] Perfect gentoo installation Reply with quote

Hello everybody. I am gentoo user for more then 2 years but always when I installed my system, I felt like system it's dirty. You know what I mean. Many packages I don't really need. Many USE flags and kernel modules or build in parts with the same problem. For example I've never been succesful with my ppp modem. I did everything like on a wiki but some stuff isn't there. Another example with my wifi adapter. I did everything as there but also I had to activate one more thing that I needed help with. And that's my problem. I like things perfect and that's why I started using gentoo. Building own system is amazing experience but how can I be sure I install just packages I really need ? how can I know if it's better to select part of a kernel as build in or as a module ? Can someone skilled and feeling like a boss of gentoo describe me those stuff shortly ? what else should I do during installation ? thanks for help :)

Last edited by GTXcube on Tue Jan 01, 2013 12:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
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duby2291
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 1:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Installing Gentoo is really a trial and error learning experience. I've been using it as my main operating system since 2004 and I still get stumped. One thing I learned the hard way with gentoo is that you dont want to change too much things from default. If you need some package that you want xxxxx use flag, then enable it for that package,, not globally etc... In gentoo the more conservative you are the more success you'll have. Dont enable a bunch of use flags, or cflags etc. Keep it simple and things will work out better.

Kernel setup is a bag of worms. Everybody has a different opinion. For myself I prefer to compile only what I need into the kernel, not modules. But if you are going to be using this installation on more than one computer, then you probably do want to compile as modules... It really just depends on your preference and usage.

For wifi it should just be a matter of configuring the kernel properly, which varies depending on the wifi adapter you have, and then emerging your favorite wifi gui. I like wicd for its awesome gui.

Also for keeping a lighter system make sure you choose a profile made for lighter installs. Describe your usage habits and ask around which profile would be best for you. The desktop profile may not be the best one.

But if you have something specific that you want help with, then step us through exactly what you need and we'll try our best to help.
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The Doctor
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 1:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My approach to build the "minimal" system is two fold. First, I use a kernel seed from http://kernel-seeds.org/. Second, I take a close look at my emerge --info after rebooting and look at all the flags that are active and research what they do here: http://www.gentoo.org/dyn/use-index.xml. I then use emerge -e system before building anything else. Anything that affects a few packages should go in package.use. Make.conf takes the general flags. package.mask is also handy if you want to keep something like consolekit out and you don't entirely trust the use flags (I don't.)

I also am ridiculously careful about how I emerge so as not to pollute my world file. You can do this by using emerge -av -1 <atom>.

My advice on kernel modules is as follows: wireless should always be a module. External firmware and such functions best this way. Any filesystems, hardware, etc that you may want to use, but not all the time should be a module. Anything that is always used (hard drive, video, etc) should be built in. Of course, speak to 10 people about this and you will get 10 different answers. There is very little that must be a module or must not, so it is personal preference more than anything else.

There is also no particular reason why you can't clean up your current instillation. If your world file has become polluted, you can move it to a backup location. Add anything you want to keep back to the world file using emerge --no-replace <atom> then run emerge -pc to see what it would be removed. After you are satisfied that all the important packages will remain, let depclean do its work. You can also clean up the old kernel files in /usr/src and their modules in /lib/modules/, but be very careful not to remove your current modules.
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First things first, but not necessarily in that order.

Apologies if I take a while to respond. I'm currently working on the dematerialization circuit for my blue box.
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 2:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GTXcube,

For the kernel, start with kernel-seeds.org. Its a lean meand .config you add your hardware support to.
There are a few rules of thumb for the kernel.
1) items needed to boot should be nuilt in.
2) items you don't need should be off
3) almost everything else should be <M> as that allows trial and error module parameter testing
4) if you don't understand the help - keep the defualt setting

The other thing about Gentoo is "baby steps". Make it work first, make it shiny/faster/better later.
Now when it breaks, you can back out your most recent change. This keeps the problem space small and makes debugging easier for both your and your helpers.

Your ideal Gentoo will evolve with both your understanding and your needs both of which change with time.
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Computer users fall into two groups:-
those that do backups
those that have never had a hard drive fail.
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fpemud
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 2:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you encounters a problem, just ask it.
If you don't know the usage of a USE or something, still search it or ask it.
You don't need a boss of gentoo for these.

What I want to say is about the perfect system idea:

I have being doing the same thing as you are, and i think it will never reach an end.
It doesn't start from gentoo installing, but from an earlier and more foundational stage -- choosing the hardware.

In this process, I think the most important thing is: knowing what a perfect system is.
"feeling like system it's dirty" is far from enough, you need to "know exactly what is dirty and why it's dirty".
You must have a deep knowledge to every package, every cfg file, every use flag in you system to archieve this.
You'll find solving the problems you're now facing is the easy part.

And, be prepared to develop projects of your own.
You will find you don't agree with the design or the philosophy of a project.
it's easy to accept it, but what you want is perfect!
After you start this, you'll again find the "knowing" part is easy.

Yeah, it's like climbing an infinitely high mountain.
Good news is, you don't need to reach the final peak to get the happiness.
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GTXcube
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So you recommend to choose USE locally for each package separatly ? And what about keywords ? I like to use ~amd64 but I don't know if it's safe to use it globally in make.conf or just for each package like USE flags. What do you think ?
Now another question. In a handbook is part about kernel modules. Should I write all of them in to the /etc/conf.d/modules, modules="... " or just let it empty ? Should I select all modules in menuconfig like livecd lsmod shows ?
Another example. At all, I prefer "build in" so, do I destroy something if I change modules instead "build in" when I configure my mobile internet modem ?
Code:
http://en.gentoo-wiki.com/wiki/Huawei_E173
I am not sure if i understand diference between modules and "build in" well. I imagine it like "build in" is a part of kernel and module is something like external part of it but more customizable.
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GTXcube,

Mixing ~arch and stable takes a lot of management.
Set FEATURES="buildpkg" to save binary rarballs of everything you compile and use a full testing system.

You will get the odd nasty surprise but you will be able to downgrade quickly with emerge -K to recover. I've had three in 10 years running ~SPARC ~x86, ~amd64 and now ~arm.

Never prune your /usr/portage/packages.

There is little point in setting USE flags per package unless the flags are debug related.
Set a flag globally (make.conf) run
Code:
emerge -uDNav @world
If you don't like the changes, then set the flag on a per package basis.
Look at the green flags* to see whats changed.

Kernel modules can be 'built in' so that they become a part of the kernel binary, stored in /boot and are loaded by your boot loader. The Functionality is always available. The can also be made as loadable modules, stored in /lib/modules/... Modules like this can be loaded and unloaded at any time. The catch is that root must be mounted to read them. Hence its a VeryBadThing to make your hdd controller module as a module as it must be loaded to mount root but its stored on root so can't be loaded until root is mounted ... if you see what I mean.
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Computer users fall into two groups:-
those that do backups
those that have never had a hard drive fail.
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GTXcube
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok so I will try to manage my system with all those tips and fall to love with reading more docs they explain probably everything. If I will have problem with anything about installation, should I start a new specified thread or can I continue in this one ?
<3 gentoo 8)
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2012 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GTXcube,

Start a new thread for each specific problem. That way it appears in the Unanswered Posts serach.
If you continue to post in this thread, it will appear in the View My Posts search for the users who have posted in this thread.

This means you get more attention for an unanswered post. by the same token, edit your post until it has a response - do not make a reply as it will then drop out of Unanswered Posts.
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NeddySeagoon

Computer users fall into two groups:-
those that do backups
those that have never had a hard drive fail.
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