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up_running
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:55 am    Post subject: installing Gentoo on VMWare Workstation 12 journey Reply with quote

I am a beginner with computers and am attempting to get Gentoo working on VMWare Workstation. I hope it's ok for me to post my questions here as they come up.

I have a book called "VMWare Workstation - No Experience Necessary" that will hopefully teach me the VMWare part. I will use the Gentoo handbook for the Gentoo install.

My first question is which operating system do I select in the "Select a Guest Operating System" option for the configuring VMWare Workstation wizard? It lists Linux and then I have to choose a Version but Gentoo isn't listed anywhere.

I also tried clicking "Other" but Gentoo isn't there either. The Gentoo Handbook says that Gentoo is a Linux OR FreeBSD based operating system. So, I'm not sure how I should proceed here. Help please?
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

VMware is asking because it has various collections of default settings baked in and tries to appropriately select one for you, so just pick some kind of generic linux like the latest redhat or fedora, and the details likely won't matter too much, you can always adjust the settings later.

The one exception to that is that if you are using a linux hypervisor I suggest you use "virtio" hardware in the guest wherever possible and enable to appropriate options in the guest kernel, if your hypervisor is windows then just use the defaults.

Gentoo is normally linux based, and if you follow the standard handbook you will end up with an up to date linux kernel with the gentoo patchset applied.

Odds are you won't get everything exactly right first try but VMs are an easy way to try without the annoyance of having to keep rebooting back and forth to test things. Don't be afraid to try things and be sure to keep notes so you know where you have been and what worked :)

Have fun, and welcome to Gentoo!

-Telemin-
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have selected “Linux” with the version being “Fedora 64-bit”. Hopefully this is close to Gentoo.

I think I should list my computer specs now. My desktop computer is:
MS Windows 10 Pro 10.0.15063 Build 15063
x64-based PC
i5-4670 CPU@3.40GHz, 3401 Mhz, 4 Core(s), 4 Logical Processor(s)
BIOS: UEFI
Asus Z87m motherboard
8GB RAM


Please let me know if I missed anything important.


Telemin wrote:
The one exception to that is that if you are using a linux hypervisor I suggest you use "virtio" hardware in the guest wherever possible and enable to appropriate options in the guest kernel, if your hypervisor is windows then just use the defaults.

I had to look up the meaning of hypervisor.
http://searchservervirtualization.techtarget.com/definition/hypervisor

It is basically something that I would use if I were supervising multiple VMs being used by multiple users. This would be in a group/business environment or if there is more than one person involved in running VMs. Is my understanding correct?

Also, you said a “Linux hypervisor” meaning that I would be using the VMWare Workstation on a Linux computer. My computer is Windows 10 Pro so that is not me either.

Re the last paragraph, I just want to understand as much as I can and not get too confused because there are so many terms, concepts, etc. that I don’t understand. I want to understand what I’m doing and why things work so I can better utilize my computer and time better. While and get some kind of volunteer/paid job too. lol.

Question for this post:

Q #1.
I assigned the VM 1 processor and 1 core per processor with 1024MB of RAM. Is this a good set-up?

^ Why these amounts? The VMWare book I'm using instructs not to allocate more processors and cores than the host machine has. So, my computer has four processors and cores so allocating one to the VM seems correct. As for the RAM, the book instructs that the host computer should have 2GB. Subtract this amount from the total available amount of RAM that the host computer has and the total VM RAM amount should not exceed the remainder. So, I figure 1024MB is ok but I could assign it 3000MB. But I figure 1024MB should suffice especially since I'm trying to use Gentoo. Thoughts on all the above?
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 1:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Usually, hypervisor is not restricted only to the complicated deployments you describe, but refers to the virtual machine management software even if you're just virtualizing one machine for personal use. You're correct that your hypervisor is not Linux-based, since your host computer is Windows 10.

Generally, Linux guests are quite tolerant of post-install changes to number of CPUs and amount of RAM. If you get it wrong, you can shutdown the guest, fix the settings, and start it again. Some Windows versions are overly touchy and would declare themselves not genuine if you changed the virtual hardware too much, leading to persistent nags that Windows Genuine Advantage was unhappy. Personally, I would devote more resources to the guest, but it depends a lot on what you want to do with the guest and how much work the host will be doing. If you plan to run no other Windows programs while you are using your Gentoo guest, that will leave you more resources that could be given to the guest. Conversely, if you intend to leave the guest open and busy while you use demanding programs on Windows (mainly games, but potentially some of the heavier data processing tools too), you should not give the guest a large allocation of resources.

Regardless of your usage model, do not oversubscribe the system's resources. Don't give the guest more RAM than your host. Don't give the guest more cores than your physical machine. Each guest core runs on a host core, so oversubscribing your cores will mean multiple guest CPUs contending for time a single host CPU. This will, at best, degrade performance for no gain. If the hypervisor is well-written (and for this purpose, I think VMware is) and the guest kernel is well-behaved (and, properly configured, Linux will be), an idle guest core requires very little CPU time on the host. A busy guest core, as will happen when you compile packages, will require corresponding time on the host.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hu wrote:
Usually, hypervisor is not restricted only to the complicated deployments you describe, but refers to the virtual machine management software even if you're just virtualizing one machine for personal use.

Ah, ok. Hypervisor is another way of saying ‘virtual machine software’. Ok, thank you.

Re the rest of the post, my configuration is fine then. Great! On with the installation.

The next area of the installation and book is selecting the Network Type. I know nothing of Networking so read two links. First this:
http://techgenix.com/understanding-virtual-networking-vmware-workstation-9/

From my understanding of the three, what I should is the default NAT network type.

Why NAT? Because the VM is safer with NAT in regards to connecting with the Internet. The VM works within your host network and under the protection/oversight that the host computer has. Now, one can always just shut down a VM and restart. That would be ok for the experts out there but from what I’ve read about Gentoo (and similar OSes ie Arch, LFS) just getting it installed is going to be very painful (albeit a great learning experience). Not something to be done again right away if possible.

Inbound connections have to be manually configured though. A scenario for this is if I wanted to connect to the VM on my iPad from school.

Why not Bridged? Because natively it has no protection. Here, the VM works alongside the host network. So, it requires it’s own protection and this equates to more time in the install/setup stage.

Why not Host-only? Because I’m not testing software. I actually would like to see if I can get Gentoo up-and-running as quickly as possible and make it work well enough to be the OS of my host computer. This is also great for sharing files as only the VM and the host is involved in the transfer of data.

In the article, there is a last option called “Private Networks”. Please correct me if I’m incorrect but I think the option in the install wizard that represents this is “Do Not Use a Network Connection”.
Why not this option? Because again I’m not testing software. But with this option, the real reason to select this would be if you desired totally privacy when working within the VM meaning that the VM is not connected to absolutely anything. I don’t understand this last option well honestly. My guess is that with computers nothing is really 100% private but this last option is the most secure in the VMWare Workstation privacy spectrum.

Please correct me if I’m misunderstanding all this.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also would like to implore the experts here to remember I’m an absolute beginner with computing when explaining things. I’m trying my best to catch up though. It is very hard and confusing. Here is an example from the second of the two links I mentioned I read today to learn about Networking so I can continue the VMWare wizard to set up a VM for installing Gentoo.

Here is the second link I found after I thought I should try to get a broad understanding of Networking in general:

https://betterexplained.com/articles/a-simple-introduction-to-computer-networking/

TCP relies on lower levels and can send binary data, but ignore that for now

‘lower levels’ ?
^ these two words are hyperlinked to “Internet Protocol” page:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Protocol

very first sentence of page: datagram (word is hyperlinked ->
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datagram

very first sentence of page: packet-switched network (word is hyperlinked ->
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Packet-switched_network

- very first sentence of page: three words
-- packet (word is hyperlinked ->
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_packet

basically says a ‘packet’ is a formatted unit of data.
^ not sure what “formatted” means here though. Possible meaning is “arranged a certain way”. I search ‘format’ in the dictionary and it read “to set the format of (input or output)” so specifying a “formatted unit of data” as opposed to just a “unit of data” means that the data has to manipulated a certain way first.

-- header (makes sense = no further digging necessary, phew!)
[url]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Header_(computing)[/url]

-- payload
[url]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Payload_(computing)[/url]
a. learned about:
- metadata via page link, three types
- transportation meaning of ‘payload’

b. in Networks section
[url]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Payload_(computing)#Networks[/url]

- “framing bits” (word is hyperlinked ->
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Framing_bits

-- “frame” (make sense)

-- “syncword” (word is hyperlinked -> makes sense )
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syncword

- “frame check sequence” (word is hyperlinked ->
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frame_check_sequence

a. “error-detecting code” (word is hyperlinked ->
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Error-detecting_code

a1. explanation doesn’t make sense to me
a2. but i feel my understanding of this is sufficient for now, so no further digging into links

b. “Frames are used to send upper-layer data”
- “upper-layer data” ?
^ i think this refers to the “Internet Protocol” page way up at the beginning of my Wiki digging search for today. This would mean it’s referring to “Application layer” data.


So, this is how the learning is going for me until I can better understand all the computer jargon and concepts. I just wanted to illustrate how hard it is to follow what's being written here at times. It is very complicated but I'm hanging in there so far. Thank you.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No worries, we all started out completely lost and clueless. Though the amount you are reading I think you are going to know more than most of us pretty soon :P

Networking is always horribly complicated, and especially so for VMs as there are all sorts of complicated "virtual" things you can do. There are advantages and disadvantages to the various layouts that you can have, but they usually matter for more complicated setups with lots of VMs that need to talk to each other. For now, I suggest you let VMware set up a "NAT" connection for you. This should "just work", and let you get your gentoo VM connected to the internet so you can download packages and start compiling.

(NAT stands for "Network address translation", and means that your host computer will act as an intermediary between the VM and the rest of the world, passing the information back and forth as needed. It is not the most efficient way to do things, but it is least likely to go wrong and easiest to set up.)

-Telemin-

PS I suggest you look at this article if you want a simple introduction to the "layers" of networking (known as the OSI model), but don't worry too much about the details, they are not going to matter too much unless you want to start doing complicated networking things.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 1:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Each of NAT and bridged should be acceptable here. NAT is probably easier to use, since it delegates more work to VMware. Bridged would mean you need to worry about whether your local DHCP server is in good order. NAT lets VMware act as a DHCP server (among other things) to the guest.

I wouldn't worry about the alleged security benefits of NAT for Gentoo. It's true that NAT will interfere with inbound connections, but two factors make this unimportant in my view. First, you're probably already protected from the Internet by a NAT on your home router. Second, the standard Gentoo install procedure doesn't open up anything; if you aren't shielded by your home router, you're probably at greater risk running Windows 10. Microsoft is notorious for leaving things running in case they might be needed. Although not NAT related, Windows 10 is also a problem for its obnoxious phone home misfeatures (which are not blocked by NAT since they're initiated from inside the house).
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Below are some questions that I have written in my notes from when I started reading the VMWare book. I was going to save them for later but I feel I should ask them now since this thread is progressing nicely so far and I don't feel alone in this journey.

Question #1
On page 6, the text explains CPU allocation and that I want to avoid the computer "swapping to disk" at all times. I was just curious what this means in layman's terms. I've read some links but nothing that really explains it simply.

Question #2
On page 17, the text explains the Preferences section and if I should check these two boxes:
1st box "Take snapshots in the background when possible"
2nd box "Restore snapshots in the background when possible"

My thoughts:
The text explains about "snapshots in background = changes only applied when VM if off" But what does this mean? What changes? I thought the snapshot is just a backup of the VM. Does this mean that the backup will only occur when the machine is off regardless of when I instruct it to do so since it only performs the snapshots (aka ‘backups’) in the background?

Is the "restore snapshots in background" the same thing? So, it would only restore the backup (aka ‘snapshot’) only when the VM is powered off/exited out of?

Question #3
On page 24, the text discusses "Select I/O Controller Types" and "Select a Disk Type". I read some links on this a bit.

This link says choosing the correct OS will automatically select the correct SCSI controller.
https://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2014/02/vscsi-controller-choose-performance.html

^ I have to admit I changed the setting from what I initially set it to (Linux Fedora-64). I changed it to "Other, other". I did this because that is what the VMWare User Manual instructs to do if the desired OS is not present. This did not affect what what was recommended by VMWare in the "Select I/O Controller Types". VMWare recommended "LSI Logic" for both settings but for the "Select a Disk Type" setting it was different. With the Fedora-64 setting, it recommended SCSI but with the "Other, other" setting, it recommends IDE. I'm not sure which to choose for Gentoo. The VMWare manual and the book both say SCSI is Recommended but I haven’t been able to find a link that really explains why in layman’s terms.

For the "Select I/O Controller Types", this link states the system Recommended “LSI Logic” option is the one to choose.
https://superuser.com/questions/559534/scsi-lsi-logic-vs-sas

The book says that "LSI Logic SAS" is the default option and offers better performance but on the other hand, the copyright of this book is 2013 and the version that was used for the book must have been VMWare 9. I'm using VMWare Workstation 12, the most recent version available now.

Question #4
4a. On page 25, it discusses "Select a Disk".

The options are new virtual disk, existing virtual disk, or physical disk. I believe the option I should choose is physical disk since the book states:
page 25 of book wrote:
If you want to use physical disks as the storage backend of your virtual machines, consider using a Linux host operating system.

I think this is referring to users who will be installing a Linux OS and not users who are working on Linux OS. Correct?

I have to rewind for a moment though. On page 6 of the book, this is written:
page six of book wrote:
If you're looking for good performance, just having the available disk space is not enough. This is because you don't want the virtual machine disk file to be fragmented. To avoid fragmentation, it is recommended that you use a machine where a separate disk is dedicated to the storage of VMDK files. The benefit of this that you can avoid fragmentation, and you'll have one disk that is dedicated to the operating system and another disk that is dedicated to handling virtual machine I/O requests.


And on page 19 of the book, this is written:
page 19 of book wrote:
“Before you start the actual installation of virtual machines, you should set the default location where the virtual machine disk files are going to be stored. If you don't do this, they will get stored in the home directory of the user that uses VMware Workstation. There's nothing wrong with that, but if you're setting up an environment where many virtual machines are going to be used, you probably want to store all virtual machine disk files on a dedicated hard disk.”


In my situation, I just happen to have a completely empty 1TB external HDD drive connected to my computer. After reading the above, I created a folder called “Virtual Machines” on this empty drive. Are both p6 and p19 referring to the same thing?

The confusion now, after reading the “Disk Type” section on page 25, is the question of whether page six, page 19 and page 25 are referring to the same place/the same thing, namely the empty 1TB drive?

Unfortunately, the book does not explain how to prepare to use a physical disk. It says to refer to the software documentation. I downloaded it and reading the pertinent section now. It says I have to configure my computer for using a physical disk before I even start the “new virtual machine wizard”. So, I exited out of the wizard and started following the steps listed.

The first step is to unmount disk or partition. Before I do this (follow the steps), what does this actually mean to “unmount a disk”. In my understanding, this refers to when I turn on the external HDD my computer detects it and it is present in the “This PC” folder on my computer. When I unmount the HDD, I don’t turn it off, I follow the steps listed in the manual and the HDD will no longer be seen or detected by the computer. I would have to mount it again if I wanted to access it. Is this correct?

4b. Step 2 of the procedure to "Prepare to Use a Physical Disk or Unused Partition" from p48 of the manual reads:
page 48 of manual, step 2 of procedure wrote:
Check the guest operating system documentation regarding the type of partition on which the guest operating system can be installed.


I searched Google with “gentoo partition type guest os”

Two links jumped out at me but after reading them I don’t understand.
http://elatov.github.io/2014/11/running-gentoo-as-a-guest-in-virtualbox/
https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Handbook:AMD64/Installation/Disks

4c. Step 4 of the procedure reads:
page 48 of manual, step 4 of procedure wrote:
If you use a Windows host IDE disk in a physical disk configuration, verify that it is not configured as the slave on the secondary IDE channel if the master on that channel is a CD-ROM drive.


I don’t know what this means at all. I’m not sure how to ascertain if I use a “Windows host IDE disk in a physical disk configuration”. But I searched Google anyway. I used this search phrase “Windows host IDE disk physical disk configuration windows 10”. No links jumped out at me particularly.


Last edited by up_running on Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:33 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@ Telemin - Thank you for the link. I was going to dig through all the hyperlinked words but as you said, don’t worry about the details for now. That’s a relief.

@Hu - If it’s something that I will eventually have to learn then I’d rather go ahead and get it out of the way now. If the Bridged option is “harder” and is a better learning experience then perhaps I should go that route? I just don’t want to take the “easy” route since my goal in this grand Gentoo journey is learning as much as I can. The book does says:
In Chapter 3, Working with Virtual Machines, you'll learn how to set up virtual networking in much more detail. If you're not sure about what to do, select Use network address translation (NAT) and continue

I think I’ll go with Bridged just so I can learn more.

Hu wrote:
you're probably already protected from the Internet by a NAT on your home router.

I don’t know but I will list my more details of my computer specs here:
wireless router (for connecting my iPad to wifi): Asus RT-N66U Double 450Mbps Dual N Band Router
internet modem: motorola sb6141

Hu wrote:
Although not NAT related, Windows 10 is also a problem for its obnoxious phone home misfeatures (which are not blocked by NAT since they're initiated from inside the house).

I read about this issue with Windows 10 before I upgraded. I found this guide but I haven’t had time to go through it and do all of the steps one-by-one. What do you think?
https://hackernoon.com/the-2017-pentester-guide-to-windows-10-privacy-security-cf734c510b8d
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't read that VMware book, nor worked with VMware in several years. I'll take a guess at some of the VMware-specific answers if you don't get better help within a couple of days (remind me if I don't). I'll address the non-VMware questions now.

  1. Swapping means saving a page of RAM to disk, so that the page can be repurposed and the original contents recovered later. It lets you allocate more memory than you have RAM, but comes at a terrible performance cost if you swap too often. Even the best spinning hard drives are orders of magnitude slower than main memory, so you absolutely want to avoid an application needing to page in data frequently. See Wikipedia: Virtual memory for background.
  2. VMware-specific - will wait to see if someone more familiar can handle this.
  3. Switch back to telling VMware that you are using Fedora. Based on your description, Other/other causes it to pick a lowest-common-denominator choice: something extremely compatible, but comparatively simple and low-performing. Fedora is a much closer match to Gentoo. As far as I know, virtualizing IDE devices requires more traps between guest and hypervisor than does virtualizing SCSI. Traps are expensive. You want to minimize them. The main virtue of IDE is that it is old and simple, so almost everything knows how to operate IDE drives, but not everything will necessarily operate recent SCSI hardware.
  4. No, it means you should be using Linux on your hardware ("host"), not Linux in your virtual machine ("guest") if you want to use physical drives. I don't know why they recommend that. Perhaps they had bad experiences trying to do direct drive access on Windows hosts.

    Yes, I think page 6 and page 19 are both addressing the same concern. I also suspect that the performance penalty for ignoring them is not sufficient to matter for your use case. Page 25 is describing a different way to store the data. Your choices are to store the data in a filesystem or directly on a block device. The latter is less flexible because you don't get the benefits of a filesystem (easy copy/rename, dynamic sizing among all competing virtual drives), but you also avoid the overhead of a filesystem.

    I recommend you not attempt to use a block device ("physical disk", in their phrasing). It is more trouble, will teach you nothing useful, and improper use can much more easily lead to data loss.

    Unmounting is typical Linux terminology, though the concept is operating system agnostic. It refers to telling the operating system to make the filesystem idle, cease all use of it, and make it unavailable to applications. In this case, it is necessary because you will be overwriting its contents, and your system would become confused if the filesystem disappeared off the drive while the kernel still had it open for use. Yes, you would need to mount it again to access it. However, once you dedicate it to VMware, it will no longer have the required metadata for you to be able to mount it. After dedication, you cannot, for example, copy system backups to a spare directory on it, because there will be no directories, spare or otherwise. This also leads into one reason I advise against doing this. I cannot comment on Windows 10, but older versions of Windows had a nasty habit of noticing that the drive had no recognized Microsoft filesystem on it (because it's a VMware special-purpose blob, in this case) and encouraging the user to create a Microsoft filesystem on it. If the user accepts the encouragement, the prior data is overwritten. You would lose the virtual machine. (Remember also that it is not enough for you to be aware of this danger; you also need all other users who might use your computer to be aware of it and avoid falling for this trap. This can be challenging if you have children.)

    For now, I am skipping 4b and 4c because I do not have good answers and, if you take my suggestion, the answer will be irrelevant (at least in the short term). I can try to research these for you later, if needed.


I recommend against bridged. It is unlikely to teach you anything you need to learn in the short term, and it will cost time that could be better spent learning Gentoo. :)

No comment on your Internet modem, sorry. I am not familiar with it.

Regarding privacy, I am of the belief that supported methods will never make Windows 10 adequately respect your privacy. It must be denied Internet access if you want to be sure.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2017 6:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hu wrote:
Swapping means saving a page of RAM to disk…See Wikipedia: Virtual memory for background.

Ah, ok. So, the technique Swapping uses is ‘virtual memory’. Now that is confusing, ‘virtual memory’ isn’t memory but a technique.

Hu wrote:
As far as I know, virtualizing IDE devices requires more traps between guest and hypervisor than does virtualizing SCSI. Traps are expensive.
so almost everything knows how to operate IDE drives, but not everything will necessarily operate recent SCSI hardware.


A couple of questions here.
Question #1
What are you referring to when you write “everything” can operate IDE drives but not always with SCSI hardware?

Question #2
I looked up “traps”:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trap_(computing)

Q 2a. But it has a number of meanings. Which meaning is used in your sentence?
Q 2b. What do you mean by “expensive”?

Hu wrote:
I recommend you not attempt to use a block device

Ok, I will select “new virtual disk” then.

Hu wrote:
I can try to research these for you later, if needed.

No need for now since I’ll take your advice, ty.

Hu wrote:
It must be denied Internet access if you want to be sure.

Question #3
I should block it via my firewall (Kaspersky KIS 17) then?
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2017 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The following set of questions returns to the Gentoo Handbook. I have just finished reading and researching the section of the Handbook entitled "Choosing the right installation medium". The questions I have are from the page of the Handbook.
https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Handbook:AMD64/Installation/Media

Note: I'm going to just use Q for question since there are a lot of questions here. I do research for each question I have and I know that most of my guesses are incorrect but if there are a few that I get correct, you can just copy & paste "correct". Thank you.

Questions

Q1.
the handbook reads wrote:
Swap space At least 256 MB

Q1a. Is this “swap space”?
http://www.softwareok.com/?seite=faq-Windows-10&faq=52

Q1b. From following the link above, I see that 1920MB is the setting for “Currently allocated” in my Virtual Memory settings area. I assume I’m good to go here if I’m understanding this correctly..?

Q2.
Q2a. The install .iso for Gentoo is called the “minimal installation CD”? That’s confusing.
Q2b. Also, it requires an internet connection to install Gentoo? I think this presents a problem for me because as I mentioned above when discussing the VMWare Tools section Gentoo won’t have an internet connection for now. OR is this referring to only needing an internet connection to obtain the .iso file and then it’s not necessary thereafter? I can make the internet connection available though if absolutely necessary.

Q3. I would like to check that I've downloaded the files that I need. I’ve downloaded this file “amd64 aka x86_64“. I downloaded the “Minimal Installation CD” .iso and the .asc file.
http://distfiles.gentoo.org/releases/amd64/autobuilds/20170727/install-amd64-minimal-20170727.iso
http://distfiles.gentoo.org/releases/amd64/autobuilds/current-install-amd64-minimal/install-amd64-minimal-20170727.iso.DIGESTS.asc

From "Verifying the downloaded files" section
the handbook reads wrote:
The checksum itself can be verified using the Hashcalc application

Q4. The link for the Hashcalc application isn’t working. I found this link but I’m not sure if it’s the correct application.
http://www.slavasoft.com/hashcalc/

I’m also not sure if the advice in the guide for using that application is outdated. I say this because the Hashcalc in the link above only mentions support for XP. I don’t Windows 10 anywhere.

From "Burning a disk" section
Q5. I intend to install Gentoo to the VM with a USB drive. I don’t see a guide for this in this section of the handbook so I googled “install gentoo iso usb” and found this link:
https://www.pendrivelinux.com/put-gentoo-10-1-live-dvd-on-usb-from-windows/

Alternatively, I do have blank CD-R cds and an optical drive to burn CDs with. So, that is an option if you really feel that is what I should do…

------------------------------------------

In this next section is the questions from the "Booting" section of the Handbook. I researched every setting and posted about it. This took a long time but Gentoo is for learning so I'm happy to learning even if only a bit.

This is from the "Kernal choices" heading of the Booting section.
I don’t know “framebuffer support” so did a search for “does my computer need ACPI”. I found this link:
https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Framebuffer

Then, I used this link to ascertain what my video card is since the explanation of Framebuffer mentions this.
https://help.sketchup.com/pl/article/36253

Q6. I assume ‘graphics card’ is the same as ‘video card’..? My graphics card is “Intel(R) HD Graphics 4600”. I don’t know how to tell if this is an “older video card” but I found this wiki link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_HD_and_Iris_Graphics#Haswell

Q7. So, it seems this card is from 2012 but I don’t know how to definitely find the release date. Do I need gentoo or gentoo-nofb? I guess I’ll do the memtest86 as well, couldn’t hurt I suppose.

This is from the "Hardware options" heading of the Booting section.
the handbook reads wrote:
acpi=on

I don’t know so did a search for “does my computer need ACPI”. I found this link:
http://www.pcrepairnorthshore.com/2010/11/image-via-wikipedia-call516313-1077-jo.html

Q8. I followed the steps and my computer reads “ACPI x64-based PC”. This means I have to select “acpi=on”, correct?

I also did some reading about APM:
http://www.differencebetween.net/technology/software-technology/difference-between-apm-and-acpi/
https://www.computerhope.com/jargon/a/apm.htm

APM makes sense from what I’ve read. It’s the predecessor to ACPI.

I also did some reading on Hyperthreading:
http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/hyperthreading-technology-explained/
https://www.techwalla.com/articles/how-to-tell-if-my-cpu-is-hyper-threading

When I read the second link, I checked the my Task Manager program and I only saw one CPU graph in the Performance tab.
Code:
CPU
   Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-4670 CPU @ 3.40GHz

   Maximum speed:   3.40 GHz
   Sockets:   1
   Cores:   4
   Logical processors:   4
   Virtualization:   Disabled
   Hyper-V support:   Yes
   L1 cache:   256 KB
   L2 cache:   1.0 MB
   L3 cache:   6.0 MB


Q9. Above are my specs from the Performance tab. It says I have four cores and four logical processors. As the example in the second link states, I should see eight graphs even though I only have four cores. I’m confused here. Does my i5 processor have Hyper-Threading or not?

the handbook reads wrote:
console=X

I don’t know so did a search:
https://www.computerhope.com/jargon/s/serial-console.htm
http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/Remote-Serial-Console-HOWTO/intro-why.html

Q10. I still don’t really understand but the second link helped somewhat. My guess is that I do need it because the second link says serial console access is useful for “system admin of remote computers”. Am I correct?

the handbook reads wrote:
dmraid=X

I don’t know so did a search:
https://access.redhat.com/documentation/en-US/Red_Hat_Enterprise_Linux/6/html/Logical_Volume_Manager_Administration/device_mapper.html
http://www.staff.uni-mainz.de/neuffer/scsi/what_is_raid.html
https://superuser.com/questions/150344/what-is-a-raid-sub-system

Q11. I still don’t get it. Do I need this?

the handbook reads wrote:
doapm

Don’t need ‘acpi=off’ so don’t need this either.

the handbook reads wrote:
dopcmcia

I don’t know so did a search:
https://www.computerhope.com/jargon/p/pcmcia.htm
http://digital.ni.com/public.nsf/allkb/E5B3AF49752B754A862578950065DEB6

Q12. These are both for laptops (portable computers). One is older (PCMCIA or PC Card) and the other is newer, Cardbus. I don’t require either since my computer is a desktop.

the handbook reads wrote:
doscsi

Q13. From the Gentoo handbook description, I may require this because I plan to install Gentoo via USB. Thoughts?

the handbook reads wrote:
sda=stroke

Q14. I assume my computer doesn’t have an “older BIOS” since it boots with UEFI. So, I don’t need this.

the handbook reads wrote:
ide=nodma

I don’t know so did a search:
http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/7104

Q15. I don’t know if I need to do anything with this. I’m not sure how to ascertain if my computer has an IDE chipset and/or CDROM drive that requires this either…?

the handbook reads wrote:
noapic

I don’t know so did a search:
https://www.computerhope.com/jargon/a/apic.htm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Programmable_Interrupt_Controller

Q16. I like wikipedia’s writeup better even though I understand very little of it. The first link mentions nothing of interrupt controllers (or hyperlinks) in the main writeup, surprising from computerhope.com, it seems. Anyway, I assume that I need this enabled since my motherboard (ASUS Z87m) is newer. Correct?

the handbook reads wrote:
nodetect

Q17a. In the Gentoo handbook description of this, CD means ‘compact disc’, correct?
Q17b. The description states this is useful for debugging. Is this referring to only when booting Gentoo from a CD drive? And the reason for this being good is because the boot process would have to be done manually and thus I could perform commands for the CD to examine its errors?
Q17c. I assume the above question would apply to drivers also since drivers are involved in the boot process and with “nodetect” enabled they would have to be manually started as well thus allowing for examination via cli, correct?

the handbook reads wrote:
nodhcp

I checked what my network card is here:
http://www.dummies.com/computers/pcs/how-to-check-network-interface-card-nic-status-using-windows-7-or-vista/

Q18. Mine is: “Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller” amd the description reads this is useful on “networks with only static addresses”. I only have a static address as far as I know it on my home computer. I searched Google just to be positive but I didn’t find any links so I assume that my IP is static. So, I think I need this enabled..?

the handbook reads wrote:
nodmraid

Q19. I don’t know so did a search for “my computer IDE/SATA RAID controller”. But didn’t find anything that explains this.

the handbook reads wrote:
nofirewire

Q20. I vaguely remember something about the term Firewire when I was getting help online building my desktop computer. But I don’t even think Firewire is on my computer. Of course, I could be incorrect. I assume I don’t need to worry about this?

I ran a search for “my computer firewire”.
http://smallbusiness.chron.com/computer-firewire-55378.html

I checked Device Manager and saw no entry for “IEEE 1394 Bus Host Controllers” so as I thought there is no Fireware on my computer from what I can see.

the handbook reads wrote:
nogpm

I don’t know so did a search:
https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/GPM

Q21. This is for if I don’t want to use the mouse component in Gentoo, I think. I’m not sure why I wouldn’t want to use the mouse though..?

the handbook reads wrote:
nohotplug

I don’t know so did a search:
https://www.bangmoney.org/posts/2004-10-08-hotplug.html

I didn’t read all of it but it explains it enough to where I think I understand it. But then I didn’t know what an “init script” was, so more searching:
https://wiki.openwrt.org/doc/techref/initscripts

So, a “hotplug init script” is a script that starts the hotplug system when the system starts up.

Did another search for “cold plugging”:
https://www.techopedia.com/definition/26474/cold-plugging

Q22a. The link explains it to where I can understand it. But I do have a question though. When would you want both cold and hotplugging unavailable? My guess is when you want nothing connected to any driver that you want to examine.
Q22b. Having these init scripts disabled means nothing will be connected to any device and it can be examined without interference. Is that correct?

the handbook reads wrote:
nokeymap

I work with a number of different languages and I use many different language keyboards besides English so I definitely don’t need this enabled.

the handbook reads wrote:
nolapic

I know APIC from my readings above and I know what “uniprocessor” means as a word but I had to search to see what would actually use only one processor:
https://www.quora.com/What-are-some-examples-of-uniprocessor-systems

Q23. There are some good examples in that quora answer but I wonder how that relates to me installing Gentoo on my system..? In other words, what would/could I do to necessitate consideration of this setting?

the handbook reads wrote:
nosata

I don’t know so did a search:
https://www.computerhope.com/jargon/s/sata.htm

Q24. I remember connecting these cables when I built my computer. I didn’t know they had their own ‘modules’. The guide uses “Serial ATA modules” and “SATA subsystem” but isn’t this referring to the same thing? How would I know if their subsystem or module whatever was having issues?

the handbook reads wrote:
nosmp

I don’t know so did a search:
https://www.computerhope.com/jargon/s/smp.htm

The explanation seems to explain it ok, I guess but I searched more to see if my computer had SMP or not:
https://www.quora.com/Is-my-personal-computer-considered-an-AMP-or-SMP-system

I couldn’t find any link for this so I’m not sure if my computer is SMP or not..?
^ But I did find this Amazon link for my motherboard after I searched “asus z87m plus smp”:
https://www.amazon.es/Asus-Z87M-PLUS-C2-Z87M-Plus-Placa/dp/B00E5YO3U0

Q25. If you hit ctrl+F and type “smp” then it says my computer has one. But I could be misreading that…

the handbook reads wrote:
nosound
nousb
slowusb

I don’t think I need to research for these three. Finally, something I have an idea about already.

the handbook reads wrote:
dolvm

I don’t know so did a search:
https://www.howtogeek.com/howto/36568/what-is-logical-volume-management-and-how-do-you-enable-it-in-ubuntu/

Q26. I think I need this because in the link there’s a section called “When Should You Use LMV?” and it mentions combining multiple HDDs into one (at least that’s what I think it’s saying). I have more than one HDD so I think I need this enabled, correct?

the handbook reads wrote:
debug

I understand what this means and I assume this is what I use when I finally need to debug something.

the handbook reads wrote:
docache

Q27. I understand ‘cache’ and ‘runtime portion of the CD’ I think means the commands that are used to boot the CD (aka startup init scripts, I think) but I don’t understand the description of this option and when I would use it. Why would I need to take the startup boot information from one CD and use it for another one? Wouldn’t I just burn the information to that CD? Or is this a way to save myself from having to burn multiple CDs and just use one.

the handbook reads wrote:
doload=X

This was interesting reading about RAMDisk.
https://www.howtogeek.com/171432/ram-disks-explained-what-they-are-and-why-you-probably-shouldnt-use-one/

Q28. When would I need to use this to load a module(s) though?

the handbook reads wrote:
dosshd

I don’t know so did a search:
https://www.lifewire.com/solid-state-hybrid-drive-833451

Q29. I wonder why is there specifically a command for sshd as opposed to ssd or just traditional HDDs..? Also, I’m not sure when/why I’d do an unattended install. I think this is more for large-scale installations if I’m not mistaken.

the handbook reads wrote:
passwd=foo

I think I will need to set this up because passwords are mandatory.

the handbook reads wrote:
nonfs

I don’t know portmap so did a search:
http://www.tutorialspoint.com/unix_commands/portmap.htm
https://www.techopedia.com/definition/10306/port-mapper

Then did a search for RPC:
http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/R/RPC.html

Q30. So, portmap enables RPC. I would use RPC if/when I start working with servers, I think..?

Then I searched nfsmount:
http://www.dummies.com/programming/networking/exploring-nfs-in-unix/

Q31. I think I understand these but I’m not sure when I would need to consider this setting..?

the handbook reads wrote:
nox

Q32. I don’t know this so did a search for “X-enabled LiveCD”. But couldn’t find any links explaining this.

the handbook reads wrote:
The bootable media will check for no* options before do* options, so that options can be overridden in the exact order specified.

Q33. I have no idea what this means..?

the handbook reads wrote:
A root prompt is displayed on the current console, and one can switch to other consoles by pressing Alt+F2, Alt+F3 and Alt+F4.

Q34. Does “console” here mean “command line interface” or basically the “command prompt” ?

the handbook reads wrote:
It may be more efficient for the seasoned Linux enthusiast to use screen to view installation instructions via split panes rather than the multiple TTY method mentioned above.

Q35. Should I go ahead and learn “GNU Screen” before continuing with the installation? I have an iPad and can use that to continue with the installation following the Gentoo handbook if you feel that Screen is too advanced for me currently.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 05, 2017 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

up_running wrote:
Ah, ok. So, the technique Swapping uses is ‘virtual memory’. Now that is confusing, ‘virtual memory’ isn’t memory but a technique.
Swap is the most common way to implement virtual memory. One could argue that techniques such as zram implement virtual memory without swapping, since zram does not need to write to disk.
up_running wrote:
A couple of questions here.
Question #1
What are you referring to when you write “everything” can operate IDE drives but not always with SCSI hardware?
Everything is probably a slight overstatement, but not much. Any non-toy operating system you're likely to get your hands on will probably have an IDE driver because IDE is simple and old. SCSI is less old and less simple, so some non-toy systems might not have a SCSI driver. For any recent Windows and for any properly configured Linux, a SCSI driver should be available.
up_running wrote:
Question #2
I looked up “traps”:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trap_(computing)

Q 2a. But it has a number of meanings. Which meaning is used in your sentence?
Q 2b. What do you mean by “expensive”?
In this case, the hypervisor interrupts the guest, examines what the guest was trying to do with the virtual hardware, and changes state accordingly. If the guest tried to read from a virtual hard drive, the hypervisor is responsible for creating the appearance that the read happened. Expensive refers to the overhead associated with pausing the guest, making the hypervisor active, letting the hypervisor determine what the guest was trying to do, and making it happen. Consider the naive implementation of multiplication: a loop that adds the left side into an accumulator and repeats until the number of loop iterations equals the right side. That is an expensive way to do multiplication, but it works. Similarly, emulating virtual hardware and letting the guest pretend that the hardware is present is expensive, but works. More elaborate designs reduce the overhead by giving the guest a device that is easier for the hypervisor to provide.
up_running wrote:
Question #3
I should block it via my firewall (Kaspersky KIS 17) then?
Assuming the offending components use enough of the normal network stack that a software firewall can block them, and that you can identify which components to block, you could rely on blocking via software. Personally, I'd wipe Windows 10 off the disk entirely. That would make it somewhat difficult for you to run, though.
up_running wrote:

Q1.
the handbook reads wrote:
Swap space At least 256 MB

Q1a. Is this “swap space”?
http://www.softwareok.com/?seite=faq-Windows-10&faq=52

Q1b. From following the link above, I see that 1920MB is the setting for “Currently allocated” in my Virtual Memory settings area. I assume I’m good to go here if I’m understanding this correctly..?
The handbook is about giving the Linux kernel swap space on the drive. Any swap you have on the Windows host may help Windows overcommit memory to the guest as extra virtual RAM, but is independent of the Linux kernel's swap.
up_running wrote:

Q2a. The install .iso for Gentoo is called the “minimal installation CD”? That’s confusing.
Q2b. Also, it requires an internet connection to install Gentoo? I think this presents a problem for me because as I mentioned above when discussing the VMWare Tools section Gentoo won’t have an internet connection for now. OR is this referring to only needing an internet connection to obtain the .iso file and then it’s not necessary thereafter? I can make the internet connection available though if absolutely necessary.
It makes sense to me. ;) The minimal installation CD is one possible install method. You can use any reasonbly current featureful Linux environment. SystemRescue CD is a popular choice.

You need an Internet connection because much of what you will need during the install is not on the minimal installation CD. The minimal CD is just enough to create the environment in which you can download what you need.
up_running wrote:

Q3. I would like to check that I've downloaded the files that I need. I’ve downloaded this file “amd64 aka x86_64“. I downloaded the “Minimal Installation CD” .iso and the .asc file.
http://distfiles.gentoo.org/releases/amd64/autobuilds/20170727/install-amd64-minimal-20170727.iso
http://distfiles.gentoo.org/releases/amd64/autobuilds/current-install-amd64-minimal/install-amd64-minimal-20170727.iso.DIGESTS.asc

From "Verifying the downloaded files" section
the handbook reads wrote:
The checksum itself can be verified using the Hashcalc application

Q4. The link for the Hashcalc application isn’t working. I found this link but I’m not sure if it’s the correct application.
http://www.slavasoft.com/hashcalc/

I’m also not sure if the advice in the guide for using that application is outdated. I say this because the Hashcalc in the link above only mentions support for XP. I don’t Windows 10 anywhere.
That is the right download ISO. Sorry, no idea if that is right tool for verifying by digest on Windows.
up_running wrote:

Q5. I intend to install Gentoo to the VM with a USB drive. I don’t see a guide for this in this section of the handbook so I googled “install gentoo iso usb” and found this link:
Is the USB drive your physical drive or are you attaching a virtual drive to the guest via USB? In the former case, it's irrelevant. The guest will see it as whatever type the hypervisor says. Most likely, it will be SCSI or possibly IDE. As long as you are working with VMs, you shouldn't need to know or care about any physical media types.

up_running wrote:

This is from the "Kernal choices" heading of the Booting section.
I don’t know “framebuffer support” so did a search for “does my computer need ACPI”. I found this link:
https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Framebuffer

Then, I used this link to ascertain what my video card is since the explanation of Framebuffer mentions this.
https://help.sketchup.com/pl/article/36253

Q6. I assume ‘graphics card’ is the same as ‘video card’..? My graphics card is “Intel(R) HD Graphics 4600”. I don’t know how to tell if this is an “older video card” but I found this wiki link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_HD_and_Iris_Graphics#Haswell
Yes, video and graphics are used interchangeably. As above, your real hardware doesn't matter here. You only need to care about what emulated hardware VMware presents to the guest. Your real hardware will matter if you someday decide to use Gentoo as the host and Windows as a guest (or not at all).
up_running wrote:

Q7. So, it seems this card is from 2012 but I don’t know how to definitely find the release date. Do I need gentoo or gentoo-nofb? I guess I’ll do the memtest86 as well, couldn’t hurt I suppose.
Use gentoo if it works. Use gentoo-nofb only if necessary. Skip memtest86 for virtual hardware.
up_running wrote:

the handbook reads wrote:
acpi=on

I don’t know so did a search for “does my computer need ACPI”. I found this link:
You need ACPI. Any consumer hardware from within the last 5-10 years likely needs it.
up_running wrote:

Q8. I followed the steps and my computer reads “ACPI x64-based PC”. This means I have to select “acpi=on”, correct?
Yes, although again, you should (for now) be looking at the virtual hardware from VMware, not the hardware your host Windows sees.
up_running wrote:
When I read the second link, I checked the my Task Manager program and I only saw one CPU graph in the Performance tab.
Task manager may elect to show you a summary of all CPUs in a single graph, rather than providing per-CPU graphs.
up_running wrote:

Q9. Above are my specs from the Performance tab. It says I have four cores and four logical processors. As the example in the second link states, I should see eight graphs even though I only have four cores. I’m confused here. Does my i5 processor have Hyper-Threading or not?
You might have support for it in hardware, but have it disabled in the BIOS. Check Ark for definitive statistics on your CPU.
up_running wrote:

the handbook reads wrote:
console=X

Q10. I still don’t really understand but the second link helped somewhat. My guess is that I do need it because the second link says serial console access is useful for “system admin of remote computers”. Am I correct?
Don't use any parameters until you know you need them. Try with a very basic command line first. Let the kernel resolve everything it can on its own.
up_running wrote:

the handbook reads wrote:
dmraid=X

Q11. I still don’t get it. Do I need this?
No.
up_running wrote:

Q12. These are both for laptops (portable computers). One is older (PCMCIA or PC Card) and the other is newer, Cardbus. I don’t require either since my computer is a desktop.
Right conclusion, wrong explanation. You don't need it because VMware is not emulating a laptop.
up_running wrote:

the handbook reads wrote:
doscsi

Q13. From the Gentoo handbook description, I may require this because I plan to install Gentoo via USB. Thoughts?
Do you mean you're using a USB key to install Gentoo on real hardware?
up_running wrote:

the handbook reads wrote:
sda=stroke

Q14. I assume my computer doesn’t have an “older BIOS” since it boots with UEFI. So, I don’t need this.
I don't know.
up_running wrote:

the handbook reads wrote:
ide=nodma

Q15. I don’t know if I need to do anything with this. I’m not sure how to ascertain if my computer has an IDE chipset and/or CDROM drive that requires this either…?
Omit this.
up_running wrote:

the handbook reads wrote:
noapic

I don’t know so did a search:
https://www.computerhope.com/jargon/a/apic.htm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Programmable_Interrupt_Controller

Q16. I like wikipedia’s writeup better even though I understand very little of it. The first link mentions nothing of interrupt controllers (or hyperlinks) in the main writeup, surprising from computerhope.com, it seems. Anyway, I assume that I need this enabled since my motherboard (ASUS Z87m) is newer. Correct?
Omit this.
up_running wrote:

the handbook reads wrote:
nodetect

Q17a. In the Gentoo handbook description of this, CD means ‘compact disc’, correct?
Q17b. The description states this is useful for debugging. Is this referring to only when booting Gentoo from a CD drive? And the reason for this being good is because the boot process would have to be done manually and thus I could perform commands for the CD to examine its errors?
Q17c. I assume the above question would apply to drivers also since drivers are involved in the boot process and with “nodetect” enabled they would have to be manually started as well thus allowing for examination via cli, correct?
It's for dealing with systems that don't boot well or at all with the default auto-detection. You don't need this.
up_running wrote:

the handbook reads wrote:
nodhcp

I checked what my network card is here:
http://www.dummies.com/computers/pcs/how-to-check-network-interface-card-nic-status-using-windows-7-or-vista/

Q18. Mine is: “Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller” amd the description reads this is useful on “networks with only static addresses”. I only have a static address as far as I know it on my home computer. I searched Google just to be positive but I didn’t find any links so I assume that my IP is static. So, I think I need this enabled..?
If you are in NAT mode, VMware should provide a DHCP server. You don't need this option.

up_running wrote:

the handbook reads wrote:
nodmraid

Q19. I don’t know so did a search for “my computer IDE/SATA RAID controller”. But didn’t find anything that explains this.
Omit this.

up_running wrote:

the handbook reads wrote:
nofirewire

Q20. I vaguely remember something about the term Firewire when I was getting help online building my desktop computer. But I don’t even think Firewire is on my computer. Of course, I could be incorrect. I assume I don’t need to worry about this?
Omit this.
up_running wrote:

the handbook reads wrote:
nogpm

I don’t know so did a search:
https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/GPM

Q21. This is for if I don’t want to use the mouse component in Gentoo, I think. I’m not sure why I wouldn’t want to use the mouse though..?
GPM is the console mouse. Mouse in X is handled separately.
up_running wrote:

the handbook reads wrote:
nohotplug

Q22a. The link explains it to where I can understand it. But I do have a question though. When would you want both cold and hotplugging unavailable? My guess is when you want nothing connected to any driver that you want to examine.
No situation comes to mind.
up_running wrote:

Q22b. Having these init scripts disabled means nothing will be connected to any device and it can be examined without interference. Is that correct?
I don't know. I've never experimented with disabling them.

up_running wrote:

the handbook reads wrote:
nolapic

Q23. There are some good examples in that quora answer but I wonder how that relates to me installing Gentoo on my system..? In other words, what would/could I do to necessitate consideration of this setting?
I don't know. I've never experimented with disabling this.
up_running wrote:

the handbook reads wrote:
nosata

Q24. I remember connecting these cables when I built my computer. I didn’t know they had their own ‘modules’. The guide uses “Serial ATA modules” and “SATA subsystem” but isn’t this referring to the same thing? How would I know if their subsystem or module whatever was having issues?
SATA issues manifest in various ways, all of them extremely unpleasant. You don't need this option.
up_running wrote:

the handbook reads wrote:
nosmp

I couldn’t find any link for this so I’m not sure if my computer is SMP or not..?
^ But I did find this Amazon link for my motherboard after I searched “asus z87m plus smp”:
https://www.amazon.es/Asus-Z87M-PLUS-C2-Z87M-Plus-Placa/dp/B00E5YO3U0
Q25. If you hit ctrl+F and type “smp” then it says my computer has one. But I could be misreading that…
You have SMP if you have more than 1 logical core. Your host is SMP. Your guest might or might not be, depending on how you configure the virtual hardware.
up_running wrote:

the handbook reads wrote:
dolvm

I don’t know so did a search:
https://www.howtogeek.com/howto/36568/what-is-logical-volume-management-and-how-do-you-enable-it-in-ubuntu/

Q26. I think I need this because in the link there’s a section called “When Should You Use LMV?” and it mentions combining multiple HDDs into one (at least that’s what I think it’s saying). I have more than one HDD so I think I need this enabled, correct?
No. You only need LVM if you want to present multiple storage devices as a single logical block device. If you accept presenting them as separate block devices, you do not need LVM. In any case, this is unlikely to matter in your VM.

up_running wrote:

the handbook reads wrote:
docache

Q27. I understand ‘cache’ and ‘runtime portion of the CD’ I think means the commands that are used to boot the CD (aka startup init scripts, I think) but I don’t understand the description of this option and when I would use it. Why would I need to take the startup boot information from one CD and use it for another one? Wouldn’t I just burn the information to that CD? Or is this a way to save myself from having to burn multiple CDs and just use one.
This is to support the case that you need to mount a CD other than the minimal install CD. This moves the minimal install CD into RAM so that you can remove it from the drive bay and place another CD there.

up_running wrote:

the handbook reads wrote:
doload=X

Q28. When would I need to use this to load a module(s) though?
When you need a module for correct early operation and the system fails to recognize that on its own.
up_running wrote:

the handbook reads wrote:
dosshd

I don’t know so did a search:
https://www.lifewire.com/solid-state-hybrid-drive-833451

Q29. I wonder why is there specifically a command for sshd as opposed to ssd or just traditional HDDs..? Also, I’m not sure when/why I’d do an unattended install. I think this is more for large-scale installations if I’m not mistaken.
This is the openssh daemon sshd, not hardware. In this context, unattended might be better phrased as physically absent. Use it if you want to install on a system that you don't want to sit at while you work.

up_running wrote:

the handbook reads wrote:
nonfs

I don’t know portmap so did a search:
http://www.tutorialspoint.com/unix_commands/portmap.htm
https://www.techopedia.com/definition/10306/port-mapper

Then did a search for RPC:
http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/R/RPC.html

Q30. So, portmap enables RPC. I would use RPC if/when I start working with servers, I think..?
Yes. Omit this.

up_running wrote:

Then I searched nfsmount:
http://www.dummies.com/programming/networking/exploring-nfs-in-unix/

Q31. I think I understand these but I’m not sure when I would need to consider this setting..?
As above, these are all tuning options. If you don't know you do need them, it's safe to assume you don't need them.

up_running wrote:

the handbook reads wrote:
nox

Q32. I don’t know this so did a search for “X-enabled LiveCD”. But couldn’t find any links explaining this.

the handbook reads wrote:
The bootable media will check for no* options before do* options, so that options can be overridden in the exact order specified.

Q33. I have no idea what this means..?
nox prevents starting the X server. Use it if the X server makes a mess when started.

up_running wrote:

the handbook reads wrote:
A root prompt is displayed on the current console, and one can switch to other consoles by pressing Alt+F2, Alt+F3 and Alt+F4.

Q34. Does “console” here mean “command line interface” or basically the “command prompt” ?
You get a command prompt on any logged in console.

up_running wrote:

the handbook reads wrote:
It may be more efficient for the seasoned Linux enthusiast to use screen to view installation instructions via split panes rather than the multiple TTY method mentioned above.

Q35. Should I go ahead and learn “GNU Screen” before continuing with the installation? I have an iPad and can use that to continue with the installation following the Gentoo handbook if you feel that Screen is too advanced for me currently.
Skip screen. You can use your host to read instructions in parallel.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 6:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hu wrote:
up_running wrote:
A couple of questions here.
Question #1
What are you referring to when you write “everything” can operate IDE drives but not always with SCSI hardware?
For any recent Windows and for any properly configured Linux, a SCSI driver should be available.

Ok, I will go with SCSI then, thank you.

Hu wrote:
up_running wrote:
Question #2
I looked up “traps”:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trap_(computing)

Q 2a. But it has a number of meanings. Which meaning is used in your sentence?
Q 2b. What do you mean by “expensive”?
Consider the naive implementation of multiplication: a loop that adds the left side into an accumulator and repeats until the number of loop iterations equals the right side.

Oh no, not math! I had to look up “naïve implementation”:
https://www.reddit.com/r/cpp/comments/5lm9c2/what_the_hell_is_a_naive_implementation/

I had to look up “loop” and “loop iterations” as well but I know what multiplication means in the mathematical sense so unless you’re referring to computer science specific meaning then I kind of understand what you mean here, a bit.

Hu wrote:
up_running wrote:
Question #3
I should block it via my firewall (Kaspersky KIS 17) then?
Assuming the offending components use enough of the normal network stack that a software firewall can block them.

Q1. Does this mean that software is only detected by a firewall dependent upon how much network resources it uses (in other words, how much connection from the internet it utilizes)? If true, wow! I never knew that.


Hu wrote:
The handbook is about giving the Linux kernel swap space on the drive. Any swap you have on the Windows host may help Windows overcommit memory to the guest as extra virtual RAM, but is independent of the Linux kernel's swap.

Ah ok, I understand what you mean. Then, I will assign 256MB of swap space as the Handbook recommends.

Hu wrote:
It makes sense to me. ;) The minimal installation CD is one possible install method. You can use any reasonbly current featureful Linux environment. SystemRescue CD is a popular choice.

Ok, I’ll just follow the Handbook and use the “minimal installation CD”.

Hu wrote:
Sorry, no idea if that is right tool for verifying by digest on Windows.

I think this tool might work:
http://www.igorware.com/hasher/download

Hu wrote:
up_running wrote:

Q5. I intend to install Gentoo to the VM with a USB drive. I don’t see a guide for this in this section of the handbook so I googled “install gentoo iso usb” and found this link:
Is the USB drive your physical drive or are you attaching a virtual drive to the guest via USB? In the former case, it's irrelevant. The guest will see it as whatever type the hypervisor says. Most likely, it will be SCSI or possibly IDE. As long as you are working with VMs, you shouldn't need to know or care about any physical media types.

Q2. I’m sorry I don’t understand this. I have a 32GB USB thumbdrive (Sandisk Extreme USB 3.0) that I was going to put the Gentoo .iso file on and then install Gentoo with that. I thought I could just install Gentoo this way in the same manner that I installed Windows 10.

But if installing via a thumbdrive is troublesome, then I don’t mind at all using a CD-R to continue with the Handbook instructions.

Hu wrote:
up_running wrote:

Q8. I followed the steps and my computer reads “ACPI x64-based PC”. This means I have to select “acpi=on”, correct?
Yes, although again, you should (for now) be looking at the virtual hardware from VMware, not the hardware your host Windows sees.

I now understand the difference but since I haven’t set up a VM yet no virtual hardware exists if I’m understanding this correctly.

Note: My plan is to read through everything while taking notes and ensure that it all makes sense to some degree before I start experimenting.

Hu wrote:
Task manager may elect to show you a summary of all CPUs in a single graph, rather than providing per-CPU graphs.

Yep. I Googled how to change this and found the solution:
https://superuser.com/questions/493827/windows-8-task-manager-single-core-cpu-graph-only

Hu wrote:
You might have support for it in hardware, but have it disabled in the BIOS. Check Ark for definitive statistics on your CPU.

Nope, according to Ark, I don’t have Hyperthreading available for my processor.
http://ark.intel.com/products/75047/Intel-Core-i5-4670-Processor-6M-Cache-up-to-3_80-GHz

Hu wrote:
up_running wrote:

the handbook reads wrote:
doscsi

Q13. From the Gentoo handbook description, I may require this because I plan to install Gentoo via USB. Thoughts?
Do you mean you're using a USB key to install Gentoo on real hardware?

Q3. I had to Google “usb key” but I see that you’re just using another way of saying “thumbdrive”. Also, I see your point now that is being iterated in this post reply. I am installing Gentoo on a VM (aka virtual hardware) not on my computer aka real hardware. So, to reply to your question, no. I am referring to installing Gentoo via my thumbdrive on VMWare.

With that said, I don’t need this then?

Hu wrote:
up_running wrote:

the handbook reads wrote:
sda=stroke

Q14. I assume my computer doesn’t have an “older BIOS” since it boots with UEFI. So, I don’t need this.
I don't know.

Ok, I won’t do anything with this then.

Hu wrote:
Omit this.

Ok, so I just won’t do anything with the parameters you marked “omit this”. I’ll leave them all alone.

Hu wrote:
GPM is the console mouse. Mouse in X is handled separately.

Q4. I don’t understand the meaning of “console mouse” and “mouse in X” but did a search:
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/console_mouse_support
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xmouse

Then, “console mouse” refers to using the mouse in VM. I see that the meaning of “mouse in X” means “Xmouse” so I assume you mention this to show me a scenario where someone would desire utilizing this parameter. They would use this parameter to be able to use Xmouse. Thank you.

Hu wrote:
up_running wrote:

Q22b. Having these init scripts disabled means nothing will be connected to any device and it can be examined without interference. Is that correct?
I don't know. I've never experimented with disabling them.

Q5. Well, theoretically speaking, would that be potentially feasible scenario, you think?

Hu wrote:
You have SMP if you have more than 1 logical core. Your host is SMP. Your guest might or might not be, depending on how you configure the virtual hardware.

So, I just leave this parameter alone then.

Hu wrote:
up_running wrote:

the handbook reads wrote:
docache

Q27. I understand ‘cache’ and ‘runtime portion of the CD’ I think means the commands that are used to boot the CD (aka startup init scripts, I think) but I don’t understand the description of this option and when I would use it. Why would I need to take the startup boot information from one CD and use it for another one? Wouldn’t I just burn the information to that CD? Or is this a way to save myself from having to burn multiple CDs and just use one.
This is to support the case that you need to mount a CD other than the minimal install CD. This moves the minimal install CD into RAM so that you can remove it from the drive bay and place another CD there.

Q6. I still don’t understand why I would need to do this though. I would have the minimal install CD loaded in the optical drive for the purpose of installing Gentoo, why would I need another CD during this install?

Hu wrote:
up_running wrote:

the handbook reads wrote:
doload=X

Q28. When would I need to use this to load a module(s) though?
When you need a module for correct early operation and the system fails to recognize that on its own.

Q7. I don’t know what “correct early operation” means and Google did yield any links. But I think I don’t need this, so I’ll leave it alone.

Hu wrote:
up_running wrote:

the handbook reads wrote:
dosshd

I don’t know so did a search:
https://www.lifewire.com/solid-state-hybrid-drive-833451

Q29. I wonder why is there specifically a command for sshd as opposed to ssd or just traditional HDDs..? Also, I’m not sure when/why I’d do an unattended install. I think this is more for large-scale installations if I’m not mistaken.
This is the openssh daemon sshd, not hardware. In this context, unattended might be better phrased as physically absent. Use it if you want to install on a system that you don't want to sit at while you work.

Ah ok. Then it refers to the below:
https://linux.die.net/man/8/sshd

As such, I don’t need it for now.

Hu wrote:
nox prevents starting the X server. Use it if the X server makes a mess when started.

I will leave this alone as well because I’m not using the LiveCD, I’m use the minimal installation CD.


Last edited by up_running on Sun Aug 06, 2017 9:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 6:36 am    Post subject: ="the handbook reads" Reply with quote

I've read the "Configuring the network" webpage but I think I need to actually do that section physically because it could be really easy if everything goes smoothly ie if the network "just works".

So, I moved on to the next section entitled "Preparing the disks". Here are my questions from this section.

the handbook reads wrote:
Block devices

I had to search ‘block disks’ and partitions.
https://askubuntu.com/questions/190436/what-is-a-block-device
https://www.howtogeek.com/184659/beginner-geek-hard-disk-partitions-explained/
https://www.howtogeek.com/172580/how-to-create-a-separate-data-partition-for-windows/
https://www.lifewire.com/what-is-a-partition-2625958

Q1. So, a ‘block device’ refers to the HDD or SSD in my computer. It also refers to my USB thumbdrive also.

the handbook reads wrote:
The block devices above represent an abstract interface to the disk. User programs can use these block devices to interact with the disk without worrying about whether the drives are IDE, SCSI, or something else.

Q2. The block device is the entire HDD/SSD itself (the disk AND the encasing mechanism) but the disk refers to the magnetic disk inside the HDD (only the disk). Correct?
http://searchstorage.techtarget.com/definition/hard-disk

the handbook reads wrote:
GPT also takes advantage of checksumming and redundancy.

Q3. I don’t know “checksum” so did a search:
http://www.online-tech-tips.com/cool-websites/what-is-checksum/

This seems like a good enough explanation. After reading it, I tried to find the checksum of a random file on my computer, a pdf file. I don’t see it anywhere. Then, I tried downloaded a random file from filehippo to see if I could find the checksum value in the download box. Once again, I don’t see it anywhere. What’s going on here?

the handbook reads wrote:
Using UEFI

Q4. For this section of the Handbook, I don’t know if this applies to me because my system does use UEFI to boot but this setup will done via a virtual machine.

Note: I see this distinction between my computer (host) and the environment I will be working in (the VM 'guest') continues to come up. I'm not sure if I have enough information to go ahead and at least set up the VM now. There are still some questions above that neither you or I were familiar with regarding setting up the VM in VMWare but I guess I can proceed anyway if it needs to be done.

the handbook reads wrote:
it is important that an EFI System Partition (ESP) is created

I don’t know so did a search for “EFI” and “EFI System Partition”:
http://www.farstone.com/articles/what-is-uefi.php
https://www.wondershare.com/recover-data/all-you-need-to-know-about-the-efi-system-partition.html

Q5. I think I understand these two now a bit. I think I need to create this partition.

the handbook reads wrote:
Default partitioning scheme

Code:
Partition    Description
/dev/sda1    BIOS boot partition
/dev/sda2    Boot partition
/dev/sda3    Swap partition
/dev/sda4    Root partition



Q6. Do you think this default scheme that the book uses suffices? It seems fine to me.

the handbook reads wrote:
Creating the partitions
Now create a 2 MB partition that will be used by the GRUB2 boot loader later. Use the mkpart command for this, and inform parted to start from 1 MB and end at 3 MB (creating a partition of 2 MB in size).

Q7. I don’t understand the numbering formula for the parted command to correctly size the partitions..?

the handbook reads wrote:
Creating file systems

Q8. There are a number of terms here that I don't understand. I'm not sure if I should post my questions about this here now OR is there a standard default filesystem setup that I should use when choosing to go with the "default partitioning scheme" that the book uses?

the handbook reads wrote:
Use the mount command, but don't forget to create the necessary mount directories for every partition created.

Q9. What does this mean “create the necessary mount directories for every partition”? The Handbook says “don’t forget” but I believe this is the first time I’ve read something about mount directories needing to be created…?
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 4:15 pm    Post subject: Re: ="the handbook reads" Reply with quote

up_running wrote:

Q1. Does this mean that software is only detected by a firewall dependent upon how much network resources it uses (in other words, how much connection from the internet it utilizes)?
No, but there are different ways that a software firewall can monitor traffic. It could hook individual applications, hook the kernel network driver at any of several layers, or it could register with the kernel to be notified at any of those layers. Higher layers provide better context, but can be bypassed by something that skips the higher layer and uses the lower layer directly. I do not know which layer(s) your software firewall uses. Microsoft's general conduct with regard to Windows 10 privacy and Windows 10 automatic updates makes me distrust that they would make it easy for software to block these things.
up_running wrote:

Q2. I’m sorry I don’t understand this. I have a 32GB USB thumbdrive (Sandisk Extreme USB 3.0) that I was going to put the Gentoo .iso file on and then install Gentoo with that. I thought I could just install Gentoo this way in the same manner that I installed Windows 10.

But if installing via a thumbdrive is troublesome, then I don’t mind at all using a CD-R to continue with the Handbook instructions.
Either of those should work for installing Gentoo on your physical machine. I thought we were discussing installing it in a virtual machine under VMware. If so, then you can save the ISO to your Windows home directory and tell VMware to present that as a virtual CD drive to the guest.
up_running wrote:

Q3. I had to Google “usb key” but I see that you’re just using another way of saying “thumbdrive”. Also, I see your point now that is being iterated in this post reply. I am installing Gentoo on a VM (aka virtual hardware) not on my computer aka real hardware. So, to reply to your question, no. I am referring to installing Gentoo via my thumbdrive on VMWare.

With that said, I don’t need this then?
Right. Until you try to install on physical hardware, there's no reason to use physical components for any of the data that is only consumed by the VM.

up_running wrote:

Then, “console mouse” refers to using the mouse in VM. I see that the meaning of “mouse in X” means “Xmouse” so I assume you mention this to show me a scenario where someone would desire utilizing this parameter. They would use this parameter to be able to use Xmouse. Thank you.
No. All this is about using the mouse in Gentoo. GPM lets you use your mouse while at the Linux text console. The X graphical environment lets you use a mouse to interact with X11 applications, and works regardless of whether you use GPM.

up_running wrote:

Q5. Well, theoretically speaking, would that be potentially feasible scenario, you think?
I don't know. I've never looked at these scripts at all.

up_running wrote:

Q6. I still don’t understand why I would need to do this though. I would have the minimal install CD loaded in the optical drive for the purpose of installing Gentoo, why would I need another CD during this install?
In most cases, you don't. You might need this if you have some other CD that has data you need, and you cannot or will not put it onto a customized minimal CD, and you cannot or will not get the data into the booted Linux system any other way. For example, maybe you have a network card that is inoperable without special firmware not available on the minimal CD, but you have a separate CD with that firmware. Since it is a network card, you cannot copy the firmware in over the network and must deliver it through CD (or USB or other storage media). This is intended to support even exotic cases, such as having no computers other than the target soon-to-be-Gentoo anywhere nearby.

up_running wrote:

Q7. I don’t know what “correct early operation” means and Google did yield any links. But I think I don’t need this, so I’ll leave it alone.
If something breaks badly enough that you need this, it'll be pretty clear that something is broken.

up_running wrote:

Q1. So, a ‘block device’ refers to the HDD or SSD in my computer. It also refers to my USB thumbdrive also.
Yes.

up_running wrote:

Q2. The block device is the entire HDD/SSD itself (the disk AND the encasing mechanism) but the disk refers to the magnetic disk inside the HDD (only the disk). Correct?
http://searchstorage.techtarget.com/definition/hard-disk
The block device is the abstraction that wraps the underlying storage. The system neither knows nor cares what kind of case the storage is in. User programs need not know or care how the hardware implements the storage; they care only that it can record data and return that data on demand.

up_running wrote:

the handbook reads wrote:
Using UEFI

Q4. For this section of the Handbook, I don’t know if this applies to me because my system does use UEFI to boot but this setup will done via a virtual machine.

Note: I see this distinction between my computer (host) and the environment I will be working in (the VM 'guest') continues to come up. I'm not sure if I have enough information to go ahead and at least set up the VM now. There are still some questions above that neither you or I were familiar with regarding setting up the VM in VMWare but I guess I can proceed anyway if it needs to be done.
If the host is UEFI based, you will need to care if or when you install Gentoo on the host. Until then, you only need to care whether VMware presents a UEFI-based guest.

up_running wrote:

the handbook reads wrote:
it is important that an EFI System Partition (ESP) is created

Q5. I think I understand these two now a bit. I think I need to create this partition.
If you use UEFI, then yes. Otherwise, no (but a similar concept is often used on BIOS-style systems).

up_running wrote:

Q6. Do you think this default scheme that the book uses suffices? It seems fine to me.
Yes, it should be fine.

up_running wrote:

the handbook reads wrote:
Creating the partitions
Now create a 2 MB partition that will be used by the GRUB2 boot loader later. Use the mkpart command for this, and inform parted to start from 1 MB and end at 3 MB (creating a partition of 2 MB in size).

Q7. I don’t understand the numbering formula for the parted command to correctly size the partitions..?
What do you need explained?

up_running wrote:

the handbook reads wrote:
Creating file systems

Q8. There are a number of terms here that I don't understand. I'm not sure if I should post my questions about this here now OR is there a standard default filesystem setup that I should use when choosing to go with the "default partitioning scheme" that the book uses?
Here is fine.

up_running wrote:

the handbook reads wrote:
Use the mount command, but don't forget to create the necessary mount directories for every partition created.

Q9. What does this mean “create the necessary mount directories for every partition”? The Handbook says “don’t forget” but I believe this is the first time I’ve read something about mount directories needing to be created…?
Filesystems are mounted on directories. Directories do not spring into existence to support filesystems (though there are some uses cases where this would be extremely convenient if it worked that way). Before running mount src dst, you need to mkdir dst if dst does not already exist as a directory.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hu wrote:
Either of those should work for installing Gentoo on your physical machine. I thought we were discussing installing it in a virtual machine under VMware. If so, then you can save the ISO to your Windows home directory and tell VMware to present that as a virtual CD drive to the guest.

Getting accustomed to “installing on VM” and not thinking in terms of my computer is proving difficult. Yes, we are still discussing installing it on VMWare. I have a hard time figuring out how to change the Handbook instructions to accommodate this.

Q1. Also, you mentioned using the “Windows home directory”. Currently, I have the .iso file saved to a directory on one my HDDs that is not my main SSD drive where the main Windows files are. Do you recommend moving the .iso file there because the SSD file is much faster than my older HDDs? OR does it not matter all that much where I place the .iso file?

Hu wrote:
No. All this is about using the mouse in Gentoo. GPM lets you use your mouse while at the Linux text console. The X graphical environment lets you use a mouse to interact with X11 applications, and works regardless of whether you use GPM.

Ok, I think I understand now. I found a better link than the ones I posted earlier.
https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Guide_to_X11/Introduction

You were just explaining to me that GPM only refers to disabling the mouse in the text console or Bash but that it would still be available in other areas such as X. In effect, it wouldn’t be totally disabled in Gentoo.

Hu wrote:
In most cases, you don't. You might need this if you have some other CD that has data you need, and you cannot or will not put it onto a customized minimal CD, and you cannot or will not get the data into the booted Linux system any other way. For example, maybe you have a network card that is inoperable without special firmware not available on the minimal CD, but you have a separate CD with that firmware. Since it is a network card, you cannot copy the firmware in over the network and must deliver it through CD (or USB or other storage media). This is intended to support even exotic cases, such as having no computers other than the target soon-to-be-Gentoo anywhere nearby.

Q2. Ah ok, so in the above scenario, you would not want to interrupt the installation process so you place the data from the minimal install CD into RAM, remove the CD, and then insert the other CD for the network card in order to continue the installation smoothly.

Hu wrote:
up_running wrote:
the handbook reads wrote:
Creating the partitions
Now create a 2 MB partition that will be used by the GRUB2 boot loader later. Use the mkpart command for this, and inform parted to start from 1 MB and end at 3 MB (creating a partition of 2 MB in size).

Q7. I don’t understand the numbering formula for the parted command to correctly size the partitions..?
What do you need explained?

Nevermind, I understand it now. I just had to look at it again after sleeping on it.

Hu wrote:
up_running wrote:

the handbook reads wrote:
Creating file systems

Q8. There are a number of terms here that I don't understand. I'm not sure if I should post my questions about this here now OR is there a standard default filesystem setup that I should use when choosing to go with the "default partitioning scheme" that the book uses?
Here is fine.

Q3. What I don't understand is some of the terms used in describing the different types of filesystems. I will just list the terms and the link(s) I used to read about them.

the handbook reads wrote:
A next generation filesystem that provides many advanced features such as snapshotting, self-healing through checksums, transparent compression, subvolumes and integrated RAID.

Q3a. subvolume
https://btrfs.wiki.kernel.org/index.php/Manpage/btrfs-subvolume
^ still don’t totally understand

the handbook reads wrote:
There is now quite a selection of newer-generation journaled filesystems that can be checked for consistency very quickly and are thus generally preferred over their non-journaled counterparts. Journaled filesystems prevent long delays when the system is booted and the filesystem happens to be in an inconsistent state.

Q3b. “inconsistent state”
I couldn’t find a good link to explain this.

the handbook reads wrote:
The journaled version of the ext2 filesystem, providing metadata journaling for fast recovery in addition to other enhanced journaling modes like full data and ordered data journaling.

Q3c. full data journaling and ordered data journaling
http://www.linuxplanet.com/linuxplanet/reports/4136/5
^ I did a search both of these but didn’t see anything that explained them well.

the handbook reads wrote:
It uses an HTree index that enables high performance in almost all situations.

Q3d. HTree
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTree
^ I still don't quite get it.

Wikipedia HTree article reads wrote:
They are constant depth of either one or two levels, have a high fanout factor, use a hash of the filename, and do not require balancing.

Q3d1. balancing
http://searchnetworking.techtarget.com/definition/load-balancing
^ Is this the correct definition of “balancing” from the explanation of “HTree” on the wiki page above?

the handbook reads wrote:
Instead of the classic ext2/3 bitmap block allocation ext4 uses extents, which improve large file performance and reduce fragmentation.

Q3e. file extent
http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-an-extent-file-system.htm
^ I’m not really sure I get it.

Quote:
Ext4 also provides more sophisticated block allocation algorithms (delayed allocation and multiblock allocation) giving the filesystem driver more ways to optimize the layout of data on the disk.

Q3f. delayed allocation and multiblock allocation
https://ext4.wiki.kernel.org/index.php/Frequently_Asked_Questions#What_is_delayed_allocation_.28delalloc.29.3F_What_are_its_advantages_in_Ext4.3F
https://ext4.wiki.kernel.org/index.php/Frequently_Asked_Questions#What_is_multiblock_allocation_.28mballoc.29.3F
^ still don’t totally understand

the handbook reads wrote:
JFS is a light, fast and reliable B+tree-based filesystem with good performance in various conditions.

Q3g. B+tree
http://searchsqlserver.techtarget.com/definition/B-tree
^ still don’t totally understand

[s]Q4. Although, I do get the feeling that the Handbook recommends that beginners use ext4 for all partitions. Should I follow suit and do the same?[/s]

EDIT to Q4.
I think the "Default partitioning scheme" section lists the filesystems to use for all partitions directed at beginners who are following the Handbook step-by-step. I missed this earlier and had to go through my notes again to catch this. (I have a lot of notes)


Last edited by up_running on Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:04 am; edited 3 times in total
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Getting accustomed to “installing on VM” and not thinking in terms of my computer is proving difficult. Yes, we are still discussing installing it on VMWare. I have a hard time figuring out how to change the Handbook instructions to accommodate this.


This is quite simple actualy. None of your hardware (real PC) and the way it works or boots or whatever actualy matters for the VM.
The VM is a total and complete virtual PC. It has its own boot procedure and exposes to the guest system a list of virtual hardware (which depends on vmware options), and that's all the guest OS has to know or bother about.
The 'hardware' (note the quotes) the linux will see depends on what you select at VM creation, and that's where selecting the proper OS helps vmware telling you what's possibly best (for gentoo, I use other linux or other linux 64 bits depending if I install a 64 bits linux or i686 one)(I've read somewhere they suggest using SCSI over sata/whatever because SCSI has bigger queues and that makes I/O a bit faster).

That being said, VMWare doesn't use EFI unless you manualy set that in config files, so everything the gentoo handbook says about EFI boot is unused, just select all paragraphs that talks about legacy/non-efi boot.

About the different filesystems.
All these are very technical and complex things, it's a life's work and you really shouldn't try to dig into all those, specialy not the gory details on how they work internaly.
A few things are worth knowing, but not all the details; mainly the 'features', what do they bring to the tables that other FS don't.
But most importantly how 'stable' they are. They're going to store your files aka everything of importance on the computer. Some are good at 'recovering' in case of troubles, but I'd rather not have troubles in the first place.
The TL/DR on filesystems is some of them perform a bit better in some situations. Some offer a few features that others don't. End of day, the best choice is the FS that is stable and has the features you need.
As you're doing a VM for testing purpose (no important data), you can go full funky stuff, but your VM might be unusable soon enough and that's a waste of time. Imho you should install the system on something stable and then add more virtual disks, do funky partitioning and filesystem tries on that, w/o any impact on the system.
This is a VM. The true power of a VM is to be very easily modifiable and therefore the perfect place to test this kind of stuff; but not having to re-do the whole base system installation might be worth it.

I'm late on the discussion and I admit I didn't read everything (too long :p) but I'll try to come see in the next few days; I use gentoo on VMs (vmware/hyper-v) on a daily basis and may have a few useful infos for you.

One of those: I think I saw in one of your posts that your CPU virtualization capability is turned off.
This is bad news on a performance point of view.
It's generaly a switch in your BIOS settings on the host PC. Name varies with vendor. Might be something about 'virtualization' or intel vt-something (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X86_virtualization).
You want this 'on' because it allows vmware to work a lot better.
As far as I remember, i5 from that generation were capable of that, so provided your motherboard has a setting that should be possible to enable it.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

These questions are from this (web)page of the Handbook, "Installing the Gentoo installation files"

Downloading the stage tarball
Q1. For this, do I download the file titled “Stage 3” under the “amd64 Stage archives” section on the Downloads page (NOT the “Advanced choices and other architectures” section), correct?

Q2. Also, I would like to try and download the above file following the instructions under the “Command-line browsers” section. Is this easy enough for a beginner to follow along and complete. It seems simple enough.

the handbook reads wrote:
CFLAGS and CXXFLAGS
We will not explain all possible optimization options. To understand them all, read the GNU Online Manual(s) or the gcc info page (info gcc - only works on a working Linux system). The make.conf.example file itself also contains lots of examples and information; don't forget to read it too.


Q3. Should I read the two files mentioned here right now? Or is this something to do much later as I get more comfortable with Gentoo after installing it completely?
- GNU Online Manual
- make.conf.example file
- also these two articles “GCC optimization” & “Safe CFLAGS

Q4. For the optimization of these two files, I just use the code from the example in the Handbook, correct? (I’ll list it again below)
Code:
CFLAGS="-march=native -O2 -pipe"
# Use the same settings for both variables
CXXFLAGS="${CFLAGS}"


Q5. If my guess above is correct and I’m supposed to implement the default settings from the Handbook then I’m good to go regarding CFLAGS and CXXFLAGS. But I clicked the link for the article titled “Safe CFLAGS” anyway. My question is what do the names under “3.1 Intel” mean? I was just curious where my processor fits in the list on that page but after searching Google I’m still not sure. My guess is my processor falls under section 3.1.7 Intel Core but I’m not sure. I checked Ark and the code name is “Products formerly Haswell”. So, it’s either “Intel Core” or “Haswell”, it seems..?

the handbook reads wrote:
The MAKEOPTS variable defines how many parallel compilations should occur when installing a package. A good choice is the number of CPUs (or CPU cores) in the system plus one, but this guideline isn't always perfect.
Code:
MAKEOPTS="-j2"

Q6. Again, I copy the example here. My processor has four cores so it would actually be “-j5” for me, correct?

--------------------------------------------

These questions are from this (web)page of the Handbook, "Installing the Gentoo base system".

Optional: Selecting mirrors
Distribution files

Q7. This section mentions selecting the fastest mirrors but I assume Portage will do this automatically?

Configure locales
Q8. On my computer, I have five or six languages in use with their separate keyboards and what not. To me, this heading does not refer to adding languages but refers to the one language that a user wants his Gentoo system to use to communicate with him in. So, this would mean menus, Bash, options, settings, etc. as opposed to the languages I can switch to via the language bar on Windows, correct?

the handbook reads wrote:
We made a full Localization guide to help the user guide through this process. Another interesting article is the UTF-8 guide for very specific information to enable UTF-8 on the system.

Q9. Do I need to follow these two guides or continue with the Handbook?

--------------------------------------------
These questions are from this (web)page of the Handbook, "Configuring the Linux kernel"

the handbook reads wrote:
The Linux kernel configuration has many, many sections. Let's first list some options that must be activated (otherwise Gentoo will not function, or not function properly without additional tweaks). We also have a Gentoo kernel configuration guide on the Gentoo wiki that might help out further.

Q10. Do I follow the “Gentoo kernel configuration guide” article now or continue with the Handbook?

Q11. For the sections in code entitled “Enabling devtmpfs support“ and “Enabling SCSI disk support”, am I supposed to type the code in Gentoo or is that GUI instructions? I was hoping to do everything via the CLI since that is also how LFS is.

the handbook reads wrote:
If PPPoE is used to connect to the Internet, or a dial-up modem, then enable the following options (CONFIG_PPP, CONFIG_PPP_ASYNC, and CONFIG_PPP_SYNC_TTY)

Q12. How do I know if I require this setting?

the handbook reads wrote:
The two compression options won't harm but are not definitely needed, neither does the PPP over Ethernet option, that might only be used by ppp when configured to do kernel mode PPPoE.

Don't forget to include support in the kernel for the network (Ethernet or wireless) cards.

Q13. The Handbook doesn’t list what is shown on the CLI in order to enable these options, correct? I don’t see it anywhere.

the handbook reads wrote:
It is possible to enable parallel builds using make -jX with X being an integer number of parallel tasks that the build process is allowed to launch.

Q14. I couldn’t find a link to explain “parallel builds”..?

the handbook reads wrote:
In order to enable specific support in the initramfs, such as LVM or RAID, add in the appropriate options to genkernel.

Q15. I assume I need to do this as well..?

Optional: Installing firmware
Q16. I assume I should go ahead and do this also?

--------------------------------------------

These questions are from this (web)page of the Handbook, "Configuring the system"

the handbook reads wrote:
While not always true for partition labels, using a UUID to identify a partition in fstab provides a guarantee that the bootloader will not be confused when looking for a certain volume, even if the filesystem would be changed in the future. Using the older default block device files (/dev/sd*N) for defining the partitions in fstab is risky for systems that are restarted often and have SATA block devices added and removed regularly.

The naming for block device files depends on a number of factors, including how and in what order the disks are attached to the system. They also could show up in a different order depending on which of the devices are detected by the kernel first during the early boot process. With this being stated, unless one intends to constantly fiddle with the disk ordering, using default block device files is a simple and straightforward approach.

Q17. This is a confusing section. Are these two paragraphs contrasting “older default block device files” and “default block device files”?

the handbook reads wrote:
Some users don't want their /boot/ partition to be mounted automatically to improve their system's security. Those people should substitute defaults with noauto. This does mean that those users will need to manually mount this partition every time they want to use it.

Q18. Do you feel it worth it to set this setting to “noauto” to get accustomed to manually mounting all partitions?

Fstab

Code:
/dev/sda2   /boot        ext2    defaults,noatime     0 2
/dev/sda3   none         swap    sw                   0 0
/dev/sda4   /            ext4    noatime              0 1
 
/dev/cdrom  /mnt/cdrom   auto    noauto,user          0 0

Q19. Should I just follow the outline here for my “fstab” settings?

the handbook reads wrote:
This is also recommended for solid state drive (SSD) users, who should also enable the discard mount option (ext4 and btrfs only for now) which makes the TRIM command work.

Q20. Since I have my C drive on a SSD drive then the fourth column of the /dev/sda4 line for my fstab should read “noatime,discard”, correct?

the handbook reads wrote:
Second, if a domain name is needed, set it in /etc/conf.d/net. This is only necessary if the ISP or network administrator says so, or if the network has a DNS server but not a DHCP server. Don't worry about DNS or domain names if the system uses DHCP for dynamic IP address allocation and network configuration.

Q21. How do I find out this information?

the handbook reads wrote:
If the network connection needs to be configured because of specific DHCP options or because DHCP is not used at all, then open /etc/conf.d/net:

Set both config_eth0 and routes_eth0 to enter IP address information and routing information:

To use DHCP, define config_eth0:

Q22. How will I know if I need to complete these steps?

--------------------------------------------

These questions are from this (web)page of the Handbook, "Installing system tools"

Q23. You think “sysklogd” is the best option for me starting out?

the handbook reads wrote:
Accelerating log rotation can be very useful to setting up log rotate.

Q24. What are good config settings for logrotate?

the handbook reads wrote:
Next is the cron daemon. Although it is optional and not required for every system, it is wise to install one.

Q25. Any recommendation here?

the handbook reads wrote:
Optional: File indexing
Optional: Remote access

Q26. I will do these two options unless you feel it’s unnecessary.

the handbook reads wrote:
If serial console access is needed (which is possible in case of remote servers), uncomment the serial console section in /etc/inittab:

Q27. I’m not sure if I need to do this or not but I don’t think I need to because your earlier advice regarding consoles to leave them alone until I know I need them.

the handbook reads wrote:
If PPP is used to connect to the internet, install the net-dialup/ppp package:

Q28. I don’t think this is me so I will skip this step. How would I know if I use PPP though?

Make sure the EFI system partition has been mounted before running grub-install.
Q29. What is the code for this to check if something has been mounted?

Verify the ESP is mounted before running the following commands.
Q30. Same question as #29.

--------------------------------------------

These questions are from this (web)page of the Handbook, "Finalizing"

the handbook reads wrote:
Therefore it is strongly recommended to add a user for day-to-day use.

Q31. For this “daily” user that I’m going to create, I assume I should assign him all the groups that are listed in the Handbook since I’m pretty much the only person using this computer. So, it would be “audio,cdrom,floppy,games,portage,usb,video,wheel” correct?

Q32.
Side note: To learn more, I guess I could create a user for my gf to start learning how to be an administrator. In this case, I would think the access group she would need is something that just allows her to browse the web. She doesn’t do any audio/video tinkering work nor does she use thumbdrives or CDs. So, she would probably just require the “users” group, correct?
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

skaloo wrote:
One of those: I think I saw in one of your posts that your CPU virtualization capability is turned off.
This is bad news on a performance point of view.
It's generaly a switch in your BIOS settings on the host PC. Name varies with vendor. Might be something about 'virtualization' or intel vt-something (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X86_virtualization).
You want this 'on' because it allows vmware to work a lot better.
As far as I remember, i5 from that generation were capable of that, so provided your motherboard has a setting that should be possible to enable it.

You are referring to the code I posted in question #8 from this post:
https://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-p-8100510.html#8100510

I just perform a restart on my computer and enabled "Intel Virtualization Technology". It was really easy after I found "virtualization" in the motherboard's user manual. Thank you for the tip.
skaloo wrote:
I'll try to come see in the next few days; I use gentoo on VMs (vmware/hyper-v) on a daily basis and may have a few useful infos for you.

I look forward to learning more with you. Gentoo is a challenge but I'm trying my best to accomplish installing it and getting used to it enough to where it can become my host OS. LFS is next. :)

@skaloo - Also, since you seem to be quite comfortable with using VMWare, would you perhaps have any insight to the VMWare questions I posted above that Hu and I did not have an answer to?
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tried to go through 'vmware' specific questions, saw some about I/O controler that I think I already answered (go with the suggested one for linux: SCSI).

About the disk, do a 'new' virtual disk for each VM, check the box to store it as a single file, do not check the box to fully allocate now (wasted room) and give it a fair size so you don't have to bother with resizing when your VM grows up.
If you have a real time antivirus, add the VM location to the whitelist/exclusion list whatever they call it; aka make it so the antivirus doesn't spend its life slowing down the VM (can have up to a high impact on performance).
Using a 'physical disk' is a midly dangerous option that gives the whole disk to the VM as if it was virtual, in a try at optimizing I/Os. Doing that you loose most of the benefits of being in a VMs though and the disk is not accessible for the host anymore. You said you have a full free HDD, just store VMs and their virtual disks (it's just a file really) in there and you'll be fine.

About CPU cores: as said, avoid going over what your physical CPU has. it's quite ok to give them all though, as the VM will use them only when needed. an idle linux doesn't eat up anything. but at least, when you need power (to compile gentoo for instance), they're available. Only lower that if you need to save some power for activities on the physical computer while you compile gentoo for instance. This can easily be changed at any time anyway (just need to stop the VM). Avoid going below 2, it's generaly better to have at least 2 cores in the VM.

About the network:
- bridge: this is basicaly the same as having just another (physical) computer on your network, the VM is part of your LAN with no restriction.
- NAT: your physical computer acts as a router for the VM, applying NAT. which means no traffic can be initiated TO the VM (not from the internet, not from other computers on your LAN). thanks to NAT though, the VM can initiate communications to anywhere.
- host-only: a private network is made between your physical computer and the VM. they can 'talk' to each other but the VM doesn't have access to your LAN or the internet at all.

Personaly I always use bridged, because I need the varied computers on my LAN to have access to the VMs, and I have a physical router/firewall that protects the whole place anyway.
NAT is the safe course if you don't need any of the features it removes (aka being able to talk to the VM from any other computer than the host). It's also easier to configure in that VMWare does the job for you while bridged requires an external DHCP and possibly other things.

Swap in the guest: as said somewhere, swap is used in case the system doesn't have enough memory. but that's slow even on a physical computer. swapping in a VM is a nightmare. I prefer not to do any swap at all in my VMs and if ever something requires more memory, I just allocate more to the VM.

EFI: as I said earlier, VMWare is not using EFI unless you explicitly do it manualy in configuration files. it's not so much useful to a VM anyway, so don't do it, just follow instructions in the handbook considering you have an 'old PC' that uses 'old BIOS mode'.

With those last two points, you can simplify the partitions in the VM to the max: 1 partition for gentoo root filesystem / and you're done. grub will have no trouble installing himself in the MBR and everything is much more simple.
As I said earlier, when you want to experiment with more complex things, you can do that on additional disks you add up post-installing. This way you can keep your base system stable and functional while doing all kind of funny tries.

An example of the last VM I installed 2 days ago:

Code:
nux-build-box-x64 ~ # fdisk -l
Disk /dev/sda: 20 GiB, 21474836480 bytes, 41943040 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disklabel type: dos
Disk identifier: 0x84200e42

Device     Boot Start      End  Sectors Size Id Type
/dev/sda1  *     2048 41943039 41940992  20G 83 Linux

nux-build-box-x64 ~ # df -h
Filesystem      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda1        20G  2.9G   16G  16% /
tmpfs           396M  3.3M  393M   1% /run
dev              10M     0   10M   0% /dev
shm             2.0G     0  2.0G   0% /dev/shm
cgroup_root      10M     0   10M   0% /sys/fs/cgroup


Install from USB, CD, DVD, ...:
you don't need all this.
add a virtual CD/DVD drive to the VM (type doesn't matter much), and point it to the .ISO file you downloaded (gentoo minimal install thing).
you can later change the settings for this CD/DVD drive to the physical one if you need to, or to another ISO, or anything. that's the VM power: total flexibility.

kernel parameters: as someone mentioned, don't use anything unless you need to (aka unless the default doesn't work). those settings are mostly there to fix problems with certain hardware configurations not working properly.

framebuffer: this is slightly slow on VMs but doesn't matter much, you're only installing gentoo in the first place, and that's pure text mode, so it'll be fine
keep in mind this is only the installation environment, not your 'final' one

-- more later, out of time :p --
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 12:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@skaloo - Thank you for the tips. They are very helpful.

My main problem for now though is I continued the installation process despite the questions I have posted in my last 2-3 posts. I got all the way to the end of the installation process at the section titled "Rebooting the system". After I did the steps and performed the reboot, I received this error:

Code:
>> Determining root device…
!! Could not find the root block device in UUID=5716d863-8c83-4f5d-bf57-6a435854139e.
!! Please specify another value or:
!! - press Enter for the same
!! - type “shell” for a shell
!! - type “q” to skip…


I have read some past threads here on the forum about this common problem but I'm still not sure how to fix it. Thoughts? (I may need to start a new thread as this one is long..)


Last edited by up_running on Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:00 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

up_running,

Code:
>> Determining root device…
!! Could not find the root block device in UUID=5716d863-8c83-4f5d-bf57-6a435854139e.

means that the filesystem with that UUID could not be found.

We need some more information to work out why.
Get back to that message and follow the
Code:
!! - type “shell” for a shell
instruction.
Now you can look around.

First step, can the kernel see your hard drives?
Does
Code:
ls /dev/sd*

No output is a bad sign. Things like /dev/sda, /dev/sdb are the whole drives
/dev/sda1, /dev/sda2 and so on are the partitions.
If that failed, we need to fix that first.

Next, try the
Code:
blkid
command.
Is UUID=5716d863-8c83-4f5d-bf57-6a435854139e listed?
I'm expecting not, or the kernel would have found it. However, a few slow devices are not ready when the kernel tries to mount root and appear afterwards. Its too late then.

You can compare the output of the ls /dev/sd* and blkid commands with the output from the livecd. They need not be identical but both should need to show your root.
_________________
Regards,

NeddySeagoon

Computer users fall into two groups:-
those that do backups
those that have never had a hard drive fail.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@NeddySeagoon - Thank you for the reply but I have already gotten this sorted out. I have successfully gotten Gentoo installed.

I am now reading the next section of the Handbook "Working with Gentoo". I have a number of questions already but I'm going to read through the entire section and gather all my questions together before I post again.
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