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Stuck with one fullscreen console while installing Gentoo.
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Athenian200
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2016 11:51 pm    Post subject: Stuck with one fullscreen console while installing Gentoo. Reply with quote

I have a dual monitor setup, but it's essentially useless in the situation where I feel that I need two monitors most, due to console mode sticking me with full screen applications that can only do one thing at a time. I keep having to swap between virtual terminals to read the Handbook in Links, and it's a bit of a pain because I can't see the Handbook while typing out commands or reading about the syntax. Sometimes I have to swap back and forth five or six times per command if there's a very long process.

I've come up with some workarounds over the years. What I used to do was setup CUPS and then print off pages of the Handbook as I went along, but that wasted a ton of paper. Another thing I've tried is setting up SSH and then logging in remotely on my laptop, but this means I have to keep hopping between my laptop and the computer I'm installing Gentoo on as I restart the system and occasionally need to see the boot process if anything goes wrong. There's not enough room on the desk for my laptop because of the second monitor.

Are there any better solutions to this? It can be a fairly long road to getting X setup and installed, and getting through the entire initial setup this way can become noticeably inconvenient if you setup Gentoo often.

It's not exactly a deal-breaker, worst-case scenario I keep having to setup an SSH session that lets me into the installation environment from another machine. I'm just wondering if there's an easier way to get the ball rolling that I'm missing here.
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jonathan183
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2016 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Use a live cd/dvd with X, systemrescuecd or the gentoo livedvd should do the job.
I'm back down to one screen after my daughter 'borrowed' my 2nd monitor after her only monitor failed :roll: so I can't double check at the moment.
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Athenian200
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2016 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jonathan183 wrote:
Use a live cd/dvd with X, systemrescuecd or the gentoo livedvd should do the job.
I'm back down to one screen after my daughter 'borrowed' my 2nd monitor after her only monitor failed :roll: so I can't double check at the moment.


You mean you can install Gentoo from a LiveDVD? I always thought LiveCDs were for seeing what Gentoo was like as a preview or something. I thought you had to use the Installation CD to actually install Gentoo on the computer. If I could somehow have X from the beginning, then I could easily get by with TWM and a few XTerms, whether I had one monitor or two. Raw console mode is just really limited.
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pilla
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2016 12:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, you can use Live CD/DVD/USB, not necessarily Gentoo ones.
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guitou
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2016 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello.

Otherwise, you may also stick to console mode and switch console using Alt+F1, Alt+F2, etc...
Then, you can type your commands in one shell while browsing in another.
In addition, starting gpm service might be helpful too for copy/paste purpose.

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nativemad
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2016 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is also the possibility to split the shell with screen or tmux! :wink:

It doesn't matter which live-medium you use for the install as long as you can chroot...

But I wonder why you install that often!?
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jonathan183
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2016 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nativemad wrote:
There is also the possibility to split the shell with screen


Monitor 1 - web browser open - for example handbook open in links doing an install

Monitor 2 - text editor/shell - editing config files/installing packages/making notes etc

Having different information on each monitor is useful but only looks to be practical if X is available.

Using screen and displaying 2 or more terminals on a single monitor looks to be useful (thanks for the tip) but the information displayed will be smaller than a terminal on each monitor.

DirectFB looked as though it was developing this sort of capability through sawman but I'm not sure it is still being developed.
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audiodef
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2016 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SystemRescueCD makes an excellent Gentoo install boot medium. You can select your boot arch, startx, open a browser, and many other things.
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cwr
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2016 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've developed the habit of installing a second OS on the same drive as Gentoo
to act as an emergency recovery / fsck base. Ubuntu is easy to install, and fits
into 8 GB, which is nothing on modern drivers.

If you install Ubuntu first, once Gentoo is installed the separate /boot partition
can be overwritten with Gentoo's grub, and the Ubuntu install add to grub.conf,
so Ubuntu becomes just another boot option.

I find Ubuntu awkward to use, but for a maintenance system that doesn't matter.

Will
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