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 Post subject: My Gentoo Experience
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 10:46 am 
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Yesterday, as I was battling a cold, I decided to do something to make myself feel better, so I set about installing Gentoo on my main home machine.

I downloaded a universal LiveCD, and went about a stage2 install. Everything went really well, as near as I can tell. Their documentation is the best I've ever seen, from how to format your drives, to compiling the kernel, to configuring fstab and the different init levels. I love that they tell you why you're doing something instead of just telling you to type some indecipherable command. Hell, I even thought I had a good grasp on getting grub working!

Of course, I was wrong about grub. The system I'm installing on has a cobbled together storage rig, which made the grub config really challenging, and of course it wouldn't boot. I've got a pretty good idea what the problem is though, so I'll let you know how that goes tomorrow.

///Will


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 12:36 pm 
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heh...just when you thought you were cruising... :)

I had the same experience, only issue I really have though is....it takes so freakin long to get up to a GUI.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 2:23 pm 
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Seven hours is a little kooky.

I wish that emerge would warn you before it starts compiling something that's going to take a long time, so that you know how long to go away for.

I found myself going back and checking on it every 10 minutes for compiles that took more than an hour...

I'll be interested to see if it all works when I get the system booting.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 5:21 pm 
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You could of just used VidaLinux 1.0 which is Gentoo stage 3 install with a nice gui.

http://www.xboxnps2.com/POD/vidalinuxdesktop.jpg


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 Post subject: Re: My Gentoo Experience
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 5:22 pm 
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WillSmith wrote:
Yesterday, as I was battling a cold, I decided to do something to make myself feel better, so I set about installing Gentoo on my main home machine.

I downloaded a universal LiveCD, and went about a stage2 install. Everything went really well, as near as I can tell. Their documentation is the best I've ever seen, from how to format your drives, to compiling the kernel, to configuring fstab and the different init levels. I love that they tell you why you're doing something instead of just telling you to type some indecipherable command. Hell, I even thought I had a good grasp on getting grub working!

Of course, I was wrong about grub. The system I'm installing on has a cobbled together storage rig, which made the grub config really challenging, and of course it wouldn't boot. I've got a pretty good idea what the problem is though, so I'll let you know how that goes tomorrow.

///Will


Yeah, it can be a bit of a pain to install, but the docs do make a difference. To give you an idea of how much Gentoo has taught me about Linux, my Linux install went bonkers because I was too careless when I updated my config files. Nothing worked - fstab didn't see my drives, rc.conf kept booting to xdm, and my /etc/conf.d/net file just went to hell.

So, I took my universal CD, booted into it. I mounted my /dev/hda3 drive as /mnt/temp then proceeded to chroot into it (chroot /mnt/temp /bin/bash like in the install) and then went ahead and edited my config files. After it was all said and done, I managed to revive my Gentoo box - I even reseted the root password and added another user. Now, my Gentoo laptop works again.

Gentoo is probably one of the best ways to learn Linux, IMHO.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 5:23 pm 
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Jawa78 wrote:
You could of just used VidaLinux 1.0 which is Gentoo stage 3 install with a nice gui.

http://www.xboxnps2.com/POD/vidalinuxdesktop.jpg



Yeah, but that would take all the fun away :P

Besides, Vidalinux is just Gentoo prettied up, I like to use Gentoo itself. A stage 2 install makes the difference, IMHO.


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 Post subject: Re: My Gentoo Experience
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 5:35 pm 
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WillSmith wrote:
Their documentation is the best I've ever seen, from how to format your drives, to compiling the kernel, to configuring fstab and the different init levels. I love that they tell you why you're doing something instead of just telling you to type some indecipherable command. Hell, I even thought I had a good grasp on getting grub working!


This is one the main reasons that I love Gentoo. Technical documentation is particularly important to me (it is my trade, after all) ... and it is nice to see an organisation that 'gets' it. Communication is the most important thing in the world. :)

Hope you feel better, Will.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 6:33 pm 
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There was as flag for emerge you cuold use to where you could just download stuff and not compile.

Damned if I can remember what the flag was now.

I used that, and then compiled the whole shebang overnight. Saved me some sanity.

And contrary to what I remember in the docs, I also found it easier to just get up and going with a base system with some sort of command shell and then build a gui from there.

Played the old nethack for hours while everything compiled in the background :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 7:03 pm 
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furball146 wrote:
There was as flag for emerge you cuold use to where you could just download stuff and not compile.

Damned if I can remember what the flag was now.

I used that, and then compiled the whole shebang overnight. Saved me some sanity.

And contrary to what I remember in the docs, I also found it easier to just get up and going with a base system with some sort of command shell and then build a gui from there.

Played the old nethack for hours while everything compiled in the background :)


Are you referring to emerge --fetchonly <packagename> ?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 7:28 pm 
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that doesn't ring a bell...might be.

I seem to remember it as a one letter switch.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 8:03 pm 
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furball146 wrote:
that doesn't ring a bell...might be.

I seem to remember it as a one letter switch.


Code:
emerge --fetchonly <packagename>


and

Code:
emerge -f <packagename>


are synonymous. Both do exactly what you said. :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 8:04 pm 
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Dude...I haven't farted with Gentoo..in like, over a year. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 8:15 pm 
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Farted with? :lol:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 9:28 pm 
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Jipstyle wrote:
Farted with? :lol:

focus people! We were talking about me here :P

I got the boot partition working. I don't understand why the hell Grub uses the (hd0,0) notation for your drives, when the rest of the system uses the /dev/hda or /dev/sda without any problems.

How do you batch a bunch of emerges together? Is that with
Code:
emerge package && emerge package
?

I think the documentation breaks down once you boot into Gentoo though. Unless I missed a link someplace, there's nothing about emerging Xorg, Gnome, KDE or any of that stuff... I managed to figure it out, and get my xorg config setup, but it was kind of a letdown after the great docs for the install. This is the first time I've been able to configure a kernel myself and get grub talking to it, which I blame solely on the docs.

I'm still kind of looking for my SATA RAID array, but I'm sure it will turn up soon enough...

///Will


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 1:26 am 
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WillSmith wrote:
How do you batch a bunch of emerges together? Is that with
Code:
emerge package && emerge package
?

The && is a conditional that is equivalent to saying "now do this IF the first thing finished w/o an error".


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 5:35 am 
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WillSmith wrote:
Jipstyle wrote:
Farted with? :lol:

focus people! We were talking about me here :P

I got the boot partition working. I don't understand why the hell Grub uses the (hd0,0) notation for your drives, when the rest of the system uses the /dev/hda or /dev/sda without any problems.

How do you batch a bunch of emerges together? Is that with
Code:
emerge package && emerge package
?

I think the documentation breaks down once you boot into Gentoo though. Unless I missed a link someplace, there's nothing about emerging Xorg, Gnome, KDE or any of that stuff... I managed to figure it out, and get my xorg config setup, but it was kind of a letdown after the great docs for the install. This is the first time I've been able to configure a kernel myself and get grub talking to it, which I blame solely on the docs.

I'm still kind of looking for my SATA RAID array, but I'm sure it will turn up soon enough...

///Will


Here's the docs you're looking for:

http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/desktop.xml

Anyhow, at the end of the Gentoo install docs, there is a page called "Where do we go from Here?" go there, and click on the "Gentoo Desktop Documentation Resource." It's hidden, which I don't get, but come to find out that it's actually part of the handbook (probably appendices or something).

Anyhow, to emerge a Desktop Environment, just emerge X.org or Xfree, run the config script. Now, go ahead and open up /etc/rc.conf and towards the bottom, edit the following:

#DISPLAYMANAGER = "xdm" to DISPLAYMANAGER="kdm"

I'll assume you're working with KDE, otherwise, change xdm to gdm.

#SESSION="Gnome" to SESSION="kde-3.3.0" or SESSION="Gnome"

In both instances, you are going to uncomment them (remove the # sign) and then change it to the display manager that you want as well as the default desktop session.

Now, if you want to boot into KDE/GNOME, just add xdm to the run-level. rc-update add xdm default . It is very easy.

As for batch emerges, I just do emerge <p1> <p2> <p3> .... <pn>

As far as GRUB is concerned, you can also use LILO. Personally, GRUB is nice, but if you're not comfortable do use LILO.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 5:54 am 
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furball146 wrote:
that doesn't ring a bell...might be.

I seem to remember it as a one letter switch.


You might want to try man emerge it holds a many secrets of Gentoo. ;) :twisted:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 7:08 am 
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WillSmith wrote:
focus people! We were talking about me here :P


Yep...thats it..it's all about you man.. :)


WillSmith wrote:
I got the boot partition working. I don't understand why the hell Grub uses the (hd0,0) notation for your drives, when the rest of the system uses the /dev/hda or /dev/sda without any problems.


It's basically how grub works as that is not going to see any of those up front. I beleive you actually want to look in your system.map to change those around.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 8:04 am 
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WillSmith wrote:
focus people! We were talking about me here :P


:lol: Sorry! :P

WillSmith wrote:
I got the boot partition working. I don't understand why the hell Grub uses the (hd0,0) notation for your drives, when the rest of the system uses the /dev/hda or /dev/sda without any problems.


"'Cause that's just the way we do it!"

I have no idea, but I find it annoying as well.

WillSmith wrote:
How do you batch a bunch of emerges together? Is that with
Code:
emerge package && emerge package
?


Well, as you know,
Code:
emerge <package>
will emerge the package, and any dependencies. In a way, this is a bunch of emerges. However, if you are asking how to emerge disparate packages in sequence, you are asking about shell scripting. :) Say, for example, you want to go home for the weekend and emerge both KDE and Gnome on your system while you are away:
Code:
  emerge KDE;  emerge Gnome
should do the trick.

A semi-colon tells the shell interpreter that the first command stops there, and it will execute the next statement when control returns to the shell. In other words, the line
Code:
emerge A; emerge B; emerge C
will emerge A, then B, and then C.

Of course, you'd better hope that each emerge works properly!

As Gadget pointed out, using && will execute the second command if the first one terminated properly. This is a good way to compile multiple packages in sequence if you want the process to stop if any of the compiles fails.

Finally, as DJ pointed out,
Code:
emerge A B C D E
will emerge each package in sequence. This is the same as:
Code:
emerge A; emerge B; emerge C;  emerge D;  emerge E


However, it is important to know both ... shell scripting is your friend! :D

WillSmith wrote:
I think the documentation breaks down once you boot into Gentoo though. Unless I missed a link someplace, there's nothing about emerging Xorg, Gnome, KDE or any of that stuff... I managed to figure it out, and get my xorg config setup, but it was kind of a letdown after the great docs for the install.


While the docs are great, the website is less than intuitive and it is sometimes difficult to find the information that you need. Having said that, the info you are looking for does exist ... right here

WillSmith wrote:
I'm still kind of looking for my SATA RAID array, but I'm sure it will turn up soon enough...


There are some threads in the Gentoo forums that might help, and this thread in particular might be helpful. :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 9:26 am 
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Thanks for all your help and comments guys. I've really learned a bunch!

After I looked at it again this morning, I was able to find the "How-to install X" docs pretty easily. It might have helped that I was using a graphical browser instead of links.

I think I'm going to toss a shell scripting sidebar into the story too. Aside from the | && >> and ; that I should tell folks about?


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