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GenQ
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Joined: 08 May 2017
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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 8:46 pm    Post subject: Installation Media/Procedure Question Reply with quote

Greetings.

Intrigued by the promise which the Gentoo distribution model may hold for my use case, I find myself in need of a few pieces of information to bring the puzzle together before beginning work. For various logistical reasons, this installation will need to proceed offline in the initial stages.

Specifically, I wanted to know if it is feasible to affect an installation from the available downloadable ISO(s) to provide enough basic threshold functionality to allow completion of all subsequent setup operations on the target via a secure tunnel connection (OpenVPN) over wifi. A basic UI at this point (XFCE) which would allow interaction with the system without the inevitable hours of typo-driven issues would, of course, be preferred.

Also, since network access during primordial setup on the target would not be available, is there a PDF or single-page HTML installation handbook (for X86) available for immediate offline reference as well?

Thank you; and have a great day.
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Jaglover
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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suggest you read the Handbook first. Then you'll understand there is no Gentoo install media. You can use any Linux liveCD/DVD to perform the install. You need to download stage 3 tarball, it will be your initial base system until you rebuild it with your CFLAGS. For additional packages you need to download the archives and put them where portage can find them, location is set in /etc/portage/repos.conf/gentoo.conf. But first read the Handbook to get better understanding of installation process.
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John R. Graham
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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 9:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Installation Media/Procedure Question Reply with quote

Hi GenQ,

Welcome to Gentoo! :)

GenQ wrote:
Specifically, I wanted to know if it is feasible to affect an installation from the available downloadable ISO(s) to provide enough basic threshold functionality to allow completion of all subsequent setup operations on the target via a secure tunnel connection (OpenVPN) over wifi.
The current Gentoo LiveDVD (available on the downloads page) does include openvpn and also supports a full GUI (KDE Plasma), but you'd be somewhat on your own bringing up the tunnel. I use the somewhat lighter weight SystemRescueCD (which also includes openvpn and uses Xfce) for all of my installs. However, you still need the means to load the Stage tarballs, Portage snapshots, and package source tarballs (none of which are included on any of the install media). This can be accomplished with sneakernet.

GenQ wrote:
Also, since network access during primordial setup on the target would not be available, is there a PDF or single-page HTML installation handbook (for X86) available for immediate offline reference as well?
See the Full Sections entries on the Handbook main page.

One more note. Jaglover has provided you with good advice. Sometimes that's more important than answering your questions. ;)

- John
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GenQ
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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the input. After having looked over the initial documentation, I still had these install-related questions; as it seemed as though there was something else I was missing. Thank you for passing along a rough outline for moving ahead.

Of immediate relevance, I also saw the "sneakernet" post before dropping in; but the information so given being nearly 11 years old caused me to think it all might be quite outdated. It didn't seem complete, either; so I was reaffirmed in my desire to present my missive.

I also found a single-page installation instruction from several years ago through a maze of forum posts over at archive.org. This seemed to be a facile and lucid approach to the procedural complications which can arise in an installation scenario such as this. Had a hard time believing there wasn't a similar resource still up for immediate offline reference...

Overall, this looks to be quite a challenging undertaking. I am not dissuaded by that particular fact, if I can consolidate all of the baseline materials/procedures for quick reproduction on future targets. I do not, however, wish to reinvent the wheel over and over again further down the road.

To the point, I spent a year of spare time reverse engineering and cleaning up the last distro I worked with (Xubuntu) to both streamline and remove the "beta testing" fingerprints of Canonical's profit-driven side. The scripted and streamlined end product was utterly reliable and well suited for users of most skillsets; and was shared with others within my sphere. After some hard considerations, I now come here to eliminate the periodic loss of my work which is associated with traditional ongoing release cycling.

In any event, I will attempt to distill what I can here; and see if there will be a good fit for my purposes moving forward. I don't have a year's spare time for this effort; and I am hoping that the work at hand will yield a reliable system which can be deployed at will bearing on localized resources.

Thank you again --
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The Doctor
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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 1:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I may, there is a door number 3 which you may find more to your liking. You can do your first install in a vm. Virtualbox and vmplayer are both excellent choices. This should solve your immediate network problem and allows you to learn in a risk free environment. From there you can use tar to create a stage 4 tarball and install that to your actual hardware. You can also use this method to create multiple identical installs.

You may also want to look into creating a binary host if you will be administering multiple boxes.
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GenQ
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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@The Doctor:

Thank you for that tip.

It always helps to have an inside trick or two from those with direct experience...

Addendum--
Just saw this:

http://www.tutorials.chymera.eu/blog/2014/05/18/mkstage4-stage4-tarballs-made-easy/

Would the script listed here still be suitable for the work?

From the linked page:

Quote:
Making a stage 4 tarball - while in principle as simple as tar-ing a Gentoo system - requires you to remember a long list of directories to exclude and a number of tar options. The Gentoo Wiki used to have a guide for this process, which has since been removed from the official webpage...

Is there a current Gentoo link to updated material for this procedure available?
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shrike
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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Suggest avoiding a 'hardened' installation environment such as the current Gentoo DVD (Crispy Belgium Waffle?). 'permission denied' at the 'mount /boot' step is a deal breaker.

http://www.system-rescue-cd.org/ is the oft recommended install environment.

shrike
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GenQ,

That sneakernet guide needs to be read with the handbook. It explains the extra steps to perform a partial or complete Gentoo install with no network on the install target.

Maintenence is rinse and repeat. The first section about changing some default locations is to make maintainance or an air garrd install simpler.
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The Doctor
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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The script looks okay to me, but I'm certainly not good with tar. I actually used rnsnapshot when I did this. In my case using rsync made more sense because I use it for backups and my install was literally a restore test to validate the backup as well as an initial install.

EDIT: Arch has some good documentation. Just be aware that there are a few Arch specific exclude directories. https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Full_System_Backup_with_tar
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Apologies if I take a while to respond. I'm currently working on the dematerialization circuit for my blue box.
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GenQ
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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you all, once again, for the helpful input. Noted and filed.

At this point, I just need some "down time" to put it all together (life happens).

Looking forward to moving forward...

Cheers; and have a great day --
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