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IamAnonymous
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2015 12:29 am    Post subject: How to make Gentoo my Primary OS? Reply with quote

Hello,

I am new to this so please bare with me. I recently just got a new laptop (A Lenovo Think pad T420) and I want to install Gentoo as my primary OS. However, I have Windows 7 and I want to get rid of it and just have Gentoo as my primary. Can anyone help me with that? Any information is much appreciated. Thanks in advance!


Laptop Specs:
i5-2540M 2.6 GHz
8GB Ram
Windows 7
250GB SATA HDD
Intel HD Graphics 3000
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The Doctor
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2015 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to Gentoo.

As first questions go, this is one of the easiest, by far. To make Gentoo your primary, use Gentoo more often!

Okay, you probably meant in boot order. This is trivial either way since you will have to use a boot loader. While all of them are configured slightly differently they will all give you plenty of information on how to set the boot order.
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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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IamAnonymous
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2015 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, thank you. My next question is, If I install Gentoo on a bootable USB, do I need to use that USB everytime I want to boot into Gentoo? Or can I somehow make it go into the hard drive? Sorry I am a noob. Like I said I am new to Linux, and how to install ect.
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The Doctor
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2015 1:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you install to a USB, it will only be available on the USB.

For a successful install, you should first do a complete backup of the laptop as it is now, use windows to make all the free space you want and do your reading. The Gentoo Handbook is the complete set of instructions to use and install Gentoo. The only thing I can add to that is to use the system rescue CD as your installation media instead of the Gentoo minimal CD. The Gentoo CD is exactly what it says: minimal. The System Rescue CD is identical except it has extra features, like working wifi and web browser.

As a first time Linux user you have your work cut out for you. Expect it to take some time to figure out and some mistakes. That is why backups are so important, as is study.
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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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txykumat
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

since you have thinkpad after installing bootstrap, it will create an entry in your bios, you get to move gentoo on top then thinkpad will boot gentoo everytime
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mi_unixbird
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a lot easier to install only Gentoo than to dual boot with Windows, and it's harder to dual boot with windows than it is to dual boot with another Unix.

That said, some words of advice:

- Many people will tell you that it's not a good idea to use Gentoo as your first Linux, I disagree with that idea. However Ubuntu works easily right away, while installing Gentoo is not hard provided you're not stupid and can read, it is time consuming as hell. You may even take days upon days doing research and figuring it all out if it's your first Linux.
- You probably want to put /home on a separate partition.

Also, may I ask why you choose Gentoo over all the other distros? If you choose Gentoo because it's the first you heard of then it's probably not a good idea to install Gentoo since it serves a very specific set of use cases including but not limited by:

- You want to learn how a Unix system and kernel is built up and gain a greater understanding of it.
- You have a specific use case requiring certain performance
- You have old hardware and require a system that can be kept minimal
- You just have an obsession with theoretical elegance to the point that it doesn't serve practicality any more (this would be I)

If you just want to install Gentoo because it's the only Linux you heard of, it's probably a bad idea. Gentoo is not a very practical every day system, it's however a great way to learn about Unix and if you're motivated to read a lot and learn stuff then Gentoo (or Arch) is the way to go.

Also, to answer some of your specific quaestions:

- The bootable USB is simply a primitive form of Gentoo installed on a USB. A USB stick is a drive like a hard drive, it can contain an operating system, you will in the installation process use that operating system s a base to install the actual operating system on your hard drive. Installing Gentoo actually does not require any specific operating system, just any. Gentoo's installation is completely manual, you use another operating system as the host to work in to install Gentoo itself. You can for instance if you want use the operating system on one drive/partition to install Gentoo on another as well.
- I believe people are misunderstanding what you want, you want to get rid of Windows entirely right? Not dual boot into it?

Now, to make you ready and explain at a high level what the Gentoo install process is going to look like.

First, there are two important concepts you must understand about unix, the kernel and the root filesystem. The kernel, in this case Linux, is the basic program that remains loaded in memory for the entire duration of the OS's executation that provides an interface to the hardware, the root filesystem is simply a folder with other folders into it which is hooked up to the kernel. Together they make up your operating system, the root filesystem needs to have a certian structure with certain essential hardcoded files into it for the kernel to make sense of it.

You are going to from a command line interface only having no GUI available first partition and format your disk drive how you want using the OS hosted on the USB stick. Then you will take your new drive and download an a file called the "stage 3 tarball", this is basically a zip archive that contains the basic files of the Gentoo system, you're going to place those files on the newly partioned disk to make your root file system. Then you will perform the chroot or "change root", this basically fools the kernel of the USB stick you are running to take on a new root filesystem, as in, your partitioned disk. As such you're running as an OS your new to-be root file system on the drive with the kernel of the USB stick, you then dive into this virtual OS, and use the kernel from the USB stick to install the basic system. But the problem is that it doesn't have its own kernel, so the final step will be to use the kernel of the USB stick to compile your own kernel and place it into the root file system.

Then finally, you manually install the bootloader, this program will find the compiled cmpressed kernel image at boot inside the root file system. Load it, execute it, and then tell it to use the root filesystem it found itself in to boot the OS. This entire process is going to do be done from a commandline, so if you're sure this is what you want, which will take several days of reading the installation process to understand what you are doing then you might want to try Gentoo. Again, if this is not what you are interested in then I suggest another distro like Ubuntu or Mint which automate the entire process I described above for you as well as installing by default several essential things like a GUI.
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