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astor86
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2016 5:40 pm    Post subject: Installing gentoo on running linux distro Reply with quote

Hi all,

maybe it is just a silly question. I am currently running arch and I would like to switch to gentoo. My question is:

can I make a directory (e.g., ~/gentoo) and install gentoo there and once finished (and sure that everything is working) do
Code:

# cp ~/gentoo /
?

If so, could you give me some tips on how to proceed? Or have you better ideas :D ?

I would like to install gentoo in the few spare time I have and this approach seemed to be reasonable.

Thanks in advance!

Alberto
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szatox
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2016 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's more or less how you do that. Except that copying it over doubles the work.
Create a partition you will use for your new root and work directly on it, unless you have a really good reason not to.
And make friends with Gentoo installation guide, it's really good and answers almost every question. You will need it for the first time.
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2016 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

astor86,

Welcome to Gentoo.

You could do what you suggest but its a bit of a waste. There is no need for the copy operation.
Do a normal dual boot install of Arch and Gentoo.

To follow the handbook, you will need one extra step.
Boot Arch and do
Code:
mkdir /mnt/gentoo


Once you are happy with the dual boot, you can make the space occupied by Arch /home or something like that, in your Gentoo.
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astor86
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2016 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for hints. I'll go for a dual boot.

I currently have two partitions (maybe not an optimal design)
one for / and one for /home.

What would you suggest to do?

do you have any link where it is explained how to make the dual boot from existing linux?

Thanks
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2016 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

astor86,

You shrink one of your partitions to make room for Gentoo.
If you intend to keep dual boot, make two partitions, for a total of four.
That's boot, gentoo, arch, and home.
That's not a complete stand alone guide. You will still need the Handbook

boot is to hold the boot files for all of your installs. You don't nee a boot partition but you will be driven mad if you don't do it that way for long term multi booting.
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szatox
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2016 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You need at least 2 partitions for dual boot. One for each system. If you put /home on a third one, you can easily share it between both.
You already have a bootloader, so just add another entry to its config file, and point it to your new partition. Check the manual for your bootloaded for the details, there are many of those out there and every single one of them works in different way.
Of course it is possible to have several systems on a single partition, but it would be a very unusual setup so better go classic for now, until you learn the ropes ;)
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2016 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

astor86,

Be wary of sharing /home between distros unless you use different usernames on bath distros.
It mostly works but where you have different versions of the same package on the different distros, the versions may not agree on the contents of per user config files that are saved in /home/<username>/
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psycho
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2016 5:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeddySeagoon wrote:
Be wary of sharing /home between distros unless you use different usernames on both distros.

Amen. This is a recipe for problems.

Sharing *data* makes sense...it's the configuration files under .config and so on that will give you headaches. When I'm multi-booting lots of systems I give them all their own /home directories...but symlink the data (text, photos, audio, videos, etc.). In other words there's just one set of data in the same place always, but each system mounts or has symlinks to that data under a unique /home. This way you can continue working on the same files regardless of which system you boot into...but you're never screwing with another system's setup by changing settings.

Of course if you do it this way you need to use the same UID/GID on all systems. Often if you're the first normal user you'll be assigned 1000:1000 anyway, so this will work with the same set of data regardless of what you call yourself (otherwise just give yourself a consistent UID and GID...it doesn't matter what so long as it's the same across all your systems). The only minor inconvenience with this approach, in comparison with a fully shared home, is that you'll need to copy configuration files across manually (or configure each system separately) if you're using the same DE/apps and have lots of custom keyboard and menu and tool settings and so on. This is a very minor inconvenience though: you can script the copying of the relevant files so that it's a task of a few seconds on each new system; and if you're playing around with different DE's, you're going to want to configure them separately anyway.

You can also strike a balance somewhere in between the extremes of a shared home and separate homes by symlinking *some* of the configuration files/directories. Also, it's worth remembering that some apps hide their data under dotted directories along with their configuration files. So Thunderbird email, for example, can be shared across multiple systems (even with different versions of Thunderbird using different configs) if you symlink to a single Mail folder (obviously you have to delete the new Mail folder created by each Thunderbird install and then symlink your shared Mail folder to there).

Gentoo is much, much more flexible than Arch. It still irritates me, all these years later, that someone at Distrowatch copied and pasted "unparalleled customisation and tweaking options" directly from the description of Gentoo to the description of Arch when they replaced Gentoo with Arch on their "Top Ten Distributions" page. That claim is simply false, and surely its author must have known this: Arch did not magically gain Gentoo's unparalleled customisation and tweaking options when it became more popular than Gentoo with Distrowatch visitors! As you'll discover with pleasure, Gentoo completely blows Arch away in terms of flexibility and tweaking options: Arch doesn't come close. It's a nice distro, and I do like the fact that it's simpler...but Gentoo is more complex because it's much more sophisticated: you can create radically different systems with ease in a way you can't with Arch or any other distro. If you stay long enough to get comfortable with it, I doubt you'll go back to Arch :)
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