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Cheat-sheet for a networkless install...revamped
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Tux's lil' helper
Tux's lil' helper

Joined: 09 Apr 2004
Posts: 148
Location: Albuquerque

PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:49 am    Post subject: Cheat-sheet for a networkless install...revamped Reply with quote

Cheet sheet for network-less install.

The handbook (found at is an invaluable tool to install Gentoo onto your box. But in a whole it is very general, so I tailored this guide on what I did to install it to my system (Athlon-XP). You can use this as a guide but if you need a more in depth explanation refer back to the handbook.

Since I cannot get online with Gentoo I had to choose to do the network less install. The first step of any of the installs is to download the proper LiveCD for your platform. This guide is tailored for the network less install. Set up the partition you want to use for the install. I have 3 HD’s on my system. I choose to use my first HD to install Gentoo onto and set it up as:

/dev/hda1 ext2 +64m Boot Partition
/dev/hda2 (swap) +512m Swap Partition
/dev/hda3 ext3 Rest Root Partition

(If you don’t know how to use fdisk, refer to the handbook)

Once partitioned, we need to format the drive:

#  mke2fs /dev/hda1
#  mke2fs –j /dev/hda3
#  mkswap /dev/hda2

Once /dev/hdd2 is set as swap activate it with:

#  swapon /dev/hdd2

Now that the disk is set up mount the files so we can install Gentoo. First mount the root and boot:

#  mount /dev/hdd3 /mnt/gentoo
#  mkdir /mnt/gentoo/boot
#  mount /dev/hdd1 /mnt/gentoo/boot

Switch to the Gentoo mountpoint:

#  cd /mnt/gentoo

Now install the stage and the portage off the CD. Since this was a network less install I used the stage3 tarball off the CD. The stage1 or stage2 require a connection to the Internet. And the portage on the current LiveCD is 20040809. To figure out which stage3 or portage you need to install use the handbook (sec 5.C).
#  tar –xvjpf /mnt/cdrom/stages/stage3-athlon-xp-20040413.tar.bz2
#  tar –xvjf /mnt/cdrom/snapshots/portage-20040809.tar.bz2 –C /mnt/gentoo/usr

Section 5.e Configuring the Compile optins shows what each line in the make.conf file is for. For my install I added the line MAKEOPTS=”-j2” and the USE="-gtk -gnome qt kde dvd cdr". To do this type:

#  nano –w /mnt/gentoo/etc/make.conf

Once in the editor, unless you are doing do not change any of the lines just add the makeopts and use line to the end and exit. To exit use ctrl+x, hit “y”, then enter.

We can now enter the Gentoo environment.
#  chroot /mnt/gentoo /bin/bash
#  env-update
#  source /etc/profile

You are now inside the Gentoo Linux environment. Now you need to configure the kernel, install the bootloader (I prefer GRUB), and reboot the system.

First we need to check the time and set the time zone.
(to see the list of timezones)
#  ls /usr/share/zoneinfo

Then enter the information:

#  ln –sf /usr/share/zoneinfo/Pacific /etc/localtime

Next the handbook goes into an explination on the kernels and how to install them. Since this is for a network less install I used the development-sources (for a 2.6.x kernel).

#  emerge  development-sources

Next use the handbook to manually configure the kernel. Enter the env using:
#  cd /usr/src/linux
#  make menuconfig

Set the values that the handbook lists and any other you may need for your system (only you know whats in your box) I had to add Joliet support for my cdrom and MTRR. Every box is different so read through it carefully. The handbook only promises to install a working Gentoo to your system not one that is tailored to “yours”.

Once it is set up save and exit the make menu and install the kernel.
#  make && make modules_install

Now that the kernel is installed copy it over to the files that need it to run.

#  cp arch/i386/boot/bzImage /boot/kernel-2.6.7
#  cp /boot/
#  cp .config /boot/config-2.6.7

Next configure your kernel. I used genkernel cause it is the easiest.

# emerge genkernel
# genkerl all

Now configure the file system. The only thing I had to change in here was to uncomment the floppy drive so that Gentoo could recognize it. For a complete description of fstab look in the handbook.

Next name your computer. I call mine Icehaus so I did:

#  echo Icehaus > /etc/hostname

Now that it is all set up install the bootloader. I spent a couple days figuring out GRUB so I recommend it. If you want to use LILO check out the handbook.

#  emerge grub
#  grub

Now you are in the grub shell. Find your root partion, install grub to it the exit.

#  root (hd1,0)
#  setup (hd1,0)
#  quit

Now GRUB is installed, you need to set up the boot file. You need to know where Gentoo is installed on your system and what else you have on it to boot if you dual boot. My set up is:

/dev/hda Gentoo Linux 2.6.7
/dev/hdb ASUS CDRW drive
/dev/hdc DVD/RW
/dev/hdd [empty]

I had to set up my boot.conf as:

#  nano –w /boot/grub/grub.conf


default 0
timeout 30

title=Gentoo Linux 2.6.7
root (hd0,0)
kernel /kernel-2.6.7 root=/dev/hda3 vga=792

Before you reboot add a system logger and cron daemon (explinations can be found in the handbook) Gentoo offers many but i use syslog and vixie cron. Before you can install the logger the 2004.2 liveCD erronously contain the sysklogd logger. You need to remove this first then install the one you want.

# emerge unmerge sysklogd
# rm /etc/init,d/sysklogd

#  emerge syslog-ng
#  rc-update add syslog-ng default

#  emerge vixie-cron
#  rc-update add vixie-cron default

Now finalize the install. Set the root password and add a user.

#  psswd
#  useradd {your handle} –m –G users,wheel,audio,tty –s /bin/bash
#  passwd {your handle}

Now reboot and go for it.

# exit
# cd /
# umount /mnt/gentoo/boot /mnt/gentoo/proc /mnt/gentoo
# reboot

Remember to set up which ever drive has the bootloader on it as the boot drive in your BIOS.

You now have gentoo installed and need to add the desktop you want to use. Refer tot he other Docs on the main site at The hand book listed there for installing the desktop environment is good.
"In Nomeni Patri Et Fili Spiritus Sancti."
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Joined: 14 Oct 2004
Posts: 1
Location: New York

PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2004 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi acidburn,

First off, thanks for your post, I am currently trying to accomplish that same task you did and in the same manner.

When I get to the part where I have to enter the following command:

# emerge development-sources

I get an error telling me that the emerge command can't be found and that it doesn't exists. Please advice.

many thanks in advance
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