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Myth
18-08-2005, 10:03 AM
I am seriously considering giving Gentoo a go (have already downloaded the Universal CD iso image - 2005.1). Am looking at downloading other image (applications cd) in next few days.

Before I make this move into a more intermediate distro I want to clarify some concerns:

Main concern; I have Windows on a 40 GB harddrive, as well as a 30GB FAT32 partition as the first partition on an 80GB drive. The remaining 50GB will be either for Linux, or I am thinking of resizing the 30GB partition to make it larger (and storing linux files on it - kinda like a /home). Will the Gentoo bootstrap loader (is it Lilo or Grub) see the Windows O/S and auto-configure itself?

Would I be better trying a stage one tar, or for the first time should I just do stage 3?

Does Gentoo have issues with nVidia drivers? I have GeForce MX440 grafix card.

Basically; on a more advanced distro, what should I expect as far as installing it and configuring it?????

p.s. I have been using FC4 as main O/S almost since it came out, was using FC3 as experimental journey into Linux, have briefly tried other distros (Mandrake, Ubuntu etc).ei

vinref
18-08-2005, 12:56 PM
Main concern; I have Windows on a 40 GB harddrive, as well as a 30GB FAT32 partition as the first partition on an 80GB drive. The remaining 50GB will be either for Linux, or I am thinking of resizing the 30GB partition to make it larger (and storing linux files on it - kinda like a /home). Will the Gentoo bootstrap loader (is it Lilo or Grub) see the Windows O/S and auto-configure itself?

It is the install process that sees the other partitions, and GRUB uses that info. The Gentoo install process, while looking very hideously difficult, is quite good.


Would I be better trying a stage one tar, or for the first time should I just do stage 3?

The stage 1 install is more difficult than the later stages, and is not recommended for beginners. But why not give it a try. The worst thing that could happen is that you learn something new. Just watch you don't kill the Windows partitions.


Does Gentoo have issues with nVidia drivers? I have GeForce MX440 grafix card.

It is not Gentoo or any other distro itself (though not always true), it is the version of X. Currently, the nVidia driver is supposed to be pretty good, as opposed to the ATI driver.


Basically; on a more advanced distro, what should I expect as far as installing it and configuring it?????

Expect to spend a lot of time getting the darn thing to work. Try and set up a net connection asap and install a browser - preferably lynx or links - so you can view the very good Gentoo handbook whilst you are completing the installation.


p.s. I have been using FC4 as main O/S almost since it came out, was using FC3 as experimental journey into Linux, have briefly tried other distros (Mandrake, Ubuntu etc).ei

Those distros are all very GUI-centric and Gentoo may buzz you out, but persistence counts for a lot. Good luck.

jcr1
18-08-2005, 05:29 PM
I certainly don't consider myself a dab hand with Linux.
And as you can see from a recent post I get stumped with what would be a simple problem for the likes of vinref, Jen or Chill.

However last Feb, I installed a stage 3 Gentoo and while it wasn't easy I found the process interesting, I think I learnt a lot and there was a definite feeling of achievement when I had completed it.

I did have to wrestle with some aspects of it; in particular the bootloader, Grub.
But once I got X windows configured and KDE up & running, what a buzz and its a distro I consider to be very good and customisable for the user, you don't have to have all the extraneous junk that comes with other distros.

Previously I have played around with Libranet, which I thought was very good and it got good reviews as well; but I believe Gentoo is better.

I would like to try a stage 1, one day but as vinref would realise from my post about probs I'm having with Portage, there's probably some gaps in my knowledge that need to be addressed.
But from the tone of your post I'd say you'd have a good enough understanding to give it a go. :thumbs:

Jen
18-08-2005, 06:14 PM
I've done a stage one install of Gentoo, and while the handbook is excellent for instructions, having a bit of know-how (basic troubleshooting) for the points where things don't go to plan is handy. A stage1 is pure command line and it is one way of getting used to finding your way around the system without any GUI's. A stage1 also starts from scratch so you will be compiling/configuring all your system files (plus anything else you want) from source code. This will take time and it will mean you will not be able to use that machine until you have finished that session. Once I had the system at the equivalent of a stage3 and started on the GUI's, from memory, compiling a basic Gnome plus a few apps to start with took about 18 hrs alone for that stage. This was on a P3 933 MHz with 384 MB RAM. A recent emerge world (updating the entire system) took about 56 hrs to download all the updated source code and recompile the system.

Don't let this put you off, as it is a great way to learn. However, seeing the machine dual boots with XP expect it to be out of action for a couple of days during the installation processs. I also believe you are on a 1GB data cap for your ADSL ... well a stage1 involves downloading all your source code for the entire system which can add up very fast. Just keep this in mind. :)

My recommendation would be to try a stage3 first so that you can see what is involved and it means the minimum downtime for your machine, or if you don't mind having no machine (as possibly losing Windows) for a longer period of time then just go for gold and try a stage1 (or a stage2 as a mid-way point) :thumbs:. Have a read of the Gentoo installation document so that you can see what is involved. :)

As jcr1 mentioned, it is a real rush to see your system boot into full life for the first time knowing that you built it from scratch. Same sort of feeling you get when your first computer you built boots into life without anything blowing up and works first pop. :D

Graham L
18-08-2005, 06:27 PM
I'm intrigued by this. Gentoo is great because you get to compile all the system utilities and applications. This makes for a more efficient system.

How many years of running this fast efficient Gentoo system will it take to save the hours it takes to compile? And what if you don't get it right the first time, and have to do it again? Or if the second time isn't quite as efficient as you hoped? :D

This is like the time when Air New Zealand were told to buy Rolls Royce engines. I think this was Rob Muldoon, trying to please Thatcher. The PR said this would save $1 million a year in fuel. The extra cost involved in the RR deal was $40 million.

As far as I'm concerned, I will recompile a kernel to (perhaps) get a faster boot time. I'll compile a driver module. I'll compile the odd package which doesn't come as a binary. (I'll even be compiling gcc with patches so I can build a linux for Dreamcast console ... )

But life is too short to compile all the code. I can find more interesting things to do than that. Like compiling my own code. There's nothing to be learned by compiling bash.

vinref
18-08-2005, 06:44 PM
I'm intrigued by this. Gentoo is great because you get to compile all the system utilities and applications. This makes for a more efficient system.

How many years of running this fast efficient Gentoo system will it take to save the hours it takes to compile? And what if you don't get it right the first time, and have to do it again? Or if the second time isn't quite as efficient as you hoped? :D

From experience building Gentoo, Slackware, FreeBSD and NetBSD from source, the marginal gain in speed is "good" only for machines slower than 300 - 400 MHz. This marginal speed gain rapidly disappears the faster the machine and the more the applications you install and compile.

However, if you choose your compile-time options carefully, it does result in a more secure, stable, more consistent and simpler machine.


As far as I'm concerned, I will recompile a kernel to (perhaps) get a faster boot time. I'll compile a driver module. I'll compile the odd package which doesn't come as a binary. (I'll even be compiling gcc with patches so I can build a linux for Dreamcast console ... )

But life is too short to compile all the code. I can find more interesting things to do than that. Like compiling my own code. There's nothing to be learned by compiling bash.

There are tricks around it. My favourite is fetching, compiling and installing stuff whilst I am asleep or at work.

Jen
18-08-2005, 06:48 PM
How many years of running this fast efficient Gentoo system will it take to save the hours it takes to compile? And what if you don't get it right the first time, and have to do it again? Or if the second time isn't quite as efficient as you hoped? :DYou are quite right Graham. I did ponder this as I watched the hours tick by during compilation ... However, you do get a lean machine with only the apps you want on it and no other extra's. While my machine booted like greased lightning, and I compiled using appropriate optimised CFLAGS and CHOST variables etc, for everyday use it seemed not that a significance difference in speed compared to a binary based OS that took less than an hour to install. Even updating Firefox was a 4 hour compilation compared to seconds using a binary RPM :p.

Don't overlook the g33k factor and the knowledge you gained by doing things the slow way. I couldn't stop smiling for hours when my system did its first full boot to X and there was my desktop, seen for the first time :D


But life is too short to compile all the code. I can find more interesting things to do than that. Like compiling my own code. There's nothing to be learned by compiling bash.Yeah, the actual compilation is done by the compiler so you just watch it work away. You do however learn how to tweake the optimisation flags to compile a more efficient application that is tailor-made for your system and needs. And if you break it, well then you get to learn how to fix it again ... and again.

Chilling_Silence
18-08-2005, 07:22 PM
The grub.conf.example file will work fine with WinXP, it has the example you just have to specify the partition...

There's only an extra couple of commands between a stage1 & a stage 3, but start with Stage3 for a first-time user :)

nVidia driver has no problems with the gentoo-kernel (Soley 2.6.* now)

I agree, but the speed increase when using optimised CFLAGS compared to normal CFLAGS (generic/none) is noticeable. As was mentioned, overnight installs are good.

Interactivity is something I noticed was better when running with nice CFLAGS. You can also use LDFLAGS for more gain!!

Give it a shot, Im sure you wont be disappointed.

NOTHING beats the Gentoo documentation. The handbook is massive and covers all the bases

Jeremy
18-08-2005, 07:26 PM
Remember that you don't always learn much when you just follow very good step-by-step instructions.

Chilling_Silence
18-08-2005, 08:02 PM
Same can be said for LFS.... But you'd be surprised.

You're right, usually you learn when stuff breaks :D

Myth
18-08-2005, 10:04 PM
OK... looks like a stage 3 initial install until I get used to Gentoo and its install/use.
I don't mind using FC4, its just that I know theres a heap of stuff in here I am never going to use (i.e. Mozilla).
The thought of practically building my own O/S seems daunting, but then I thought that once about building computers.

Just one more thing....
I read on Gentoo.org that I should have a 32MB(?) /boot partiton. Is this really necessary, or not?
What is the purpose of the /boot partition? I don't use one for FC4

Chilling_Silence
19-08-2005, 09:12 AM
Yeah, daunting for sure... But same can be said when you first compile your own kernel, when realistically its dead simple!

/boot isnt _needed_, but its best if you have it :) it means that when you come to the time to install GrUB etc the documentation matches with what you're trying to accomplish :)

Myth
19-08-2005, 09:28 AM
Ok, let me see if I have this correct... the /boot partition is just for storing the linux boot config files??
Its not a partition that will hijack the computer and tell the MBR 'oi, forget looking for Windows, you should be looking over here...'
I don't want to lose the ability to logon to Windows if I need to (which isnt often but can be handy sometimes)

If in this install I get stuck, I have the lappie which I will hook up and go to the online manual

Oh; and Jen; my partner and I opted for the 3GB plan a month or so ago :)

FoxyMX
19-08-2005, 09:49 AM
I don't want to lose the ability to logon to Windows if I need to (which isnt often but can be handy sometimes)
Hi Tazz :)

Have you thought about getting a spare hard drive to put either Linux or Windows on so that you can have a dedicated HDD for your Linux experiments?

Since you use Linux almost exclusively now you could probably get away with having the Linux drive semi-permanently connected rather than in a hard drive caddy that can be physically switched around as required, though the latter is the most convenient.

After my near-disaster when trying to upgrade my dual booted Fedora Core 1 to Core 2 I vowed never again to dual boot with Windows and got removable drive caddies so that Linux couldn't touch my Windows setup. Doing it that way is far less stressful. :p

Just thought I would mention it. ;)

Chilling_Silence
19-08-2005, 05:18 PM
No, it just stores the kernel etc.

It makes life easier when setting up GrUB if you have /boot, thats why they recommend it.

If you:
mv /boot/grub/grub.conf.sample /boot/grub/grub.conf

Then ### out or remove all the unwanted lines

Adjust the Windows entry so it works, remember that (hd0,1) is HDD #1, Partition #2.

Any queries, read the documentation, it rocks!

Myth
19-08-2005, 10:27 PM
* >>Compiling 2.6.12-gentoo-r6 modules...
_

Opted to use genkernel first time round, just to make sure it went smoothly.
Decided to bite the bullet and wiped FC4 off the drive. If Gentoo install gets mucked up, I always have the lappie (even if it is Windows).
If I don't like Gentoo; FC4 can be up and running in a couple of hours.

Note to self, I hate posting with the laptop, I think I need to kill the mousepad and use the mouse

Myth
20-08-2005, 08:09 PM
Ok... changed all drives etc round, can dual boot Windows and Gentoo :)
BTW had a slight issue, googled it and found a post with Chilling replying to rcmb which helped me solve the issue (how to get back to fstab and grub.conf without redoing the entire setup again ... Thanx soo much for that :D)

Now I do have a slight issue... I tried an emerge but portage says it can't resolve dns addresses (when I had FC4 I had DNS of my ISP listed, which gave me a connection). How do I do this in Gentoo.
I am soo lost without a GUI, I got Gnome off the apps disc I d/loaded before all this, how do I get a GUI to run?

eth0 has a static IP btw (set by me on setup) and shows as ok on ifconfig

Jen
20-08-2005, 09:57 PM
What happens when you ping with IP's rather than domain names?

Try running net-setup eth0 and double check all your settings.

Chilling_Silence
21-08-2005, 09:30 AM
What you need is:
echo "nameserver 202.27.184.5" >> /etc/resolv.conf

Just as a "FYI" in case you ever need, to bring the network connection up you'll need a few basic commands:
ifconfig eth0 192.168.0.2
route add default gw 192.168.0.1
echo "nameserver 192.168.0.1" > /etc/resolv.conf

This brings up the network card with the IP Address 192.168.0.2 (Which can obviously be changed)
Then it adds 192.168.0.1 as the default Gateway IP Address (Just like you'd specify in Doze)
Lastly it sets the DNS Server for resolving IP Addresses when using the internet :)

Funny how Googl'ing finds my posts on PressF1, Im honored :)

Dont forget you can always boot back off the LiveCD and: emerge dhcpcd

Cheers


Chill.

Myth
22-08-2005, 08:23 AM
Ok, just an update as to where I'm at....
Jen: ran net-setup eth0 and got the no such command error

However, went over my steps in the Handbook and found out I had missed a step in the network setup (as Chilling suggested, the /etc/resolv.conf file).
Did that and emerge works perfect :)

Discovered why I had an issue with GUI (had missed the xorgconfig step). Ran xorgcfg and it picked up everything but the usb mouse, searched online (again) and managed to find the fix.
So now have gui (gdm :))

I do notice one thing though... this morning when I logged on, all GUI settings have gone to default (1400*1050 screen res, no screensaver (although I have emerged xscreensaver) etc).

Obviously theres a config file around somewhere,,,,, which one is it?

Other than that... Portage rocks :D. Ok its command line, but it works!!, and works well. Even Synaptic had some issues, I've yet to discover any with Portage

Even although I did the easy Gentoo install (stage3, genkernel etc) have managed to learn quite a bit thus far config/command line-wise :)

Thanx for the help peoples :cool:

Oops... just one or two things about Portage, I notice that it sometimes comes up with "You have 3 files that need updating..." how do I find out which files its referring to, and how do I update/fix that file?

Also, I understand this is a result of Portages file protection.. is it safe to turn this off?

Chilling_Silence
22-08-2005, 09:15 AM
It actually says after an emerge that you need to run: etc-update
;)

emerge guitoo or porthole (I cant remember which I liked, GuiTOO IIRC, I just use bash)

gdm? the login manager?

You need a real WM/DE emerged before anything will kick in. Try emerge openbox to get you started if you're in a hurry and work your way up from there :)

Jen
22-08-2005, 05:51 PM
It actually says after an emerge that you need to run: etc-updateWhile I still use etc-update (when I do find time to boot up Gentoo), I see that it has been superseded by dispatch-conf (http://gentoo-wiki.com/TIP_dispatch-conf) now. You do have to be careful with etc-update as you can hose your system easily with it if you do not pay attention. When you run etc-update, you will see all the config files that got changed with your last emerge update (or previous emerges if you haven't dealt with them). It gives you the option of viewing the changes between each file, so that you can see what the change was. You then can then decide to replace the old file with the updated one, or keep the original file. For many files, it is OK just to let the original file be replaced, however, if you ever see any file which you have personally modified eg fstab, grub, xorg etc and also any file which is related to permissions and security, then be very, very careful with replacing it as you will lose your customisations. Take this from experience :D

If you have heaps of files awaiting update, then you can just browse through the list and manually check out the ones which may be adversely affected with being replaced, and once they have been sorted you can do a mass accept the changes for the rest.

Chilling_Silence
22-08-2005, 08:22 PM
Word of advice:
Dont update your fstab
I did and it changed what it thought my / partion was - Not good
;)

Superseded? Shows how often I actually use the bl00dy thing :p

Myth
23-08-2005, 09:42 AM
OK, I have mounting issues... Helpppp

This is what I have done....

# mkdir /mnt/wfat32
# mount -t vfat /dev/hda3 /mnt/wfat32
mount: /dev/hda3 is not a valid block device

In /etc/fstab I have....

/dev/hdb1 /boot ext2 defaults,noatime 1 2
/dev/hdb3 / ext3 noatime 0 1
/dev/hdb2 none swap sw 0 0
/dev/cdroms/cdrom0 /mnt/cdrom iso9660 noauto,user,rw 0 0
/dev/fd0 /mnt/floppy auto noauto,user,rw 0 0
/dev/hda3 /mnt/wfat32 vfat auto,users,rw,owner,umask=000 0 0

This gives me the same message (/dev/hda3 is not a valid block device)

What have I done wrong?
Incidentally the /etc/fstab line is exactly the same as it was in FC4

This is a dev I have tried to mount after I have installed Gentoo (not during).

Also, I am having issues with my CDRW, whats it supposed to be called in fstab? I only have the cdrom listed which works fine

Myth
23-08-2005, 10:02 AM
Edit:... while looking for the answer; just stumbled across fdisk -l command, discovered why it wouldn't mount /dev/hda3

For some reason it sees the third partition on the other drive as hda6 ???

As far as the cdrw is concerned, should I use submount?

Chilling_Silence
23-08-2005, 02:49 PM
/me uses SubFS :)

Im not sure if you emerge subfs or submount, but its there somewhere

Graham L
23-08-2005, 03:55 PM
The /dev/hdX assignments usually aren't in a simple sequence. /dev/hda1, /dev/hda4, /dev/hda5, /dev/hda6 might be typical. In that case, /dev/hda1 would be an ordinary partition. /dev/hda4 would be an extended partition containing the other two.

Chilling_Silence
24-08-2005, 01:19 AM
cat /proc/partitions is your safest bet to find them ;)

Myth
24-08-2005, 09:29 AM
Hmmm, seems my Gentoo experience has become unstuck....
I couldn't get Xmms to show up after installation (via Portage)
Then K3b refused to download and install (got to about 4 of 15 then sprang an error)
Then Samba (Couldn't find a file from various sites) :(

Decided to uninstall Gentoo, and opted for FC4 again (which I really did'nt want to do as Gentoo was growing on me).

However, the experience wasn't a complete waste of time (learnt heaps about linux), and Gentoo will get another lookin (definately) when I get more linux time under my belt (while keeping an eye on Gentoo.org as far as new developments).

After using Gentoo, I can see why FC4 is considered a noob distro lol

Jen
24-08-2005, 06:46 PM
It is a shame you decided to stop at this point with your Gentoo experience. This is where a spare computer to experiment on comes in handy, or using removable hard drive caddies so that your routine computer use is not disrupted too much during this learning phase. :)

Out of interest, with xmms not "showing" up, did you try launching it from the command line with the command "xmms" (or with ALT-F2) rather than looking for it on the Gnome menu?

Installing k3b on a Gnome desktop can be a little problematic due to the dependencies associated with not having a KDE base installed. It should work though, but you do end up with a nice collection of essentials also downloading. :p

From your samba error and problem with k3b, it does sound like your mirror selections for the ebuilds or your USE flags might of needed checking out. Samba is common, and there shouldn't of been a problem finding the required ebuilds. :)


However, the experience wasn't a complete waste of time (learnt heaps about linux), and Gentoo will get another lookin (definately) when I get more linux time under my belt (while keeping an eye on Gentoo.org as far as new developments).Good on you. :)

Myth
25-08-2005, 10:53 AM
Hmmm, seems Gentoo grew on me more than I realised.
When I went back to FC4 and watching it set up and install, then run; I thought 'How boring'

Seems I miss the fixing-it-up and get-it-going aspect, as well as the satisfaction of 'creation' (probably a throwback to my mIRC scripting days).

Back on the horse I get ... :D

BTW.. what can anyone tell me about curl, when compiling openoffice I got a configure: curl not functioning or non-existant error. Will play with it later I suppose

Jen
25-08-2005, 07:16 PM
BTW.. what can anyone tell me about curl, when compiling openoffice I got a configure: curl not functioning or non-existant error. Will play with it later I suppose
cURL (http://curl.haxx.se/)

Areas to look at when troubleshooting that error:
USE Flags
Whether curl is installed
emerge --pretend --verbose openoffice

Were you trying to emerge openoffice or openoffice-ximian?

Myth
25-08-2005, 08:12 PM
OK, I managed to get OpenOffice complie working earlier today (updated portage then emerged curl). Having done that, OO compiled with no issues (took ages, hence why I have only just got back).

One issue I did discover last night, and I am curious about...

When Grub did its thing, I went to the Windows partition just to make sure it would, and that all was ok (which it was). I then restarted the computer, and let Grub take me to Gentoo. When Gentoo was booting up, I got (and kept getting on each restart) an error similar to this:

'usb 2-1: device descriptor' then something like 'read/64, error -71'

I searched online for a fix but couldn't find anything of help.
I then shut the computer down (not restart), let it sit for 10 seconds, then booted up - no error. I then restarted a few more times, still no error.
Has anyone heard of this issue? Can I stop it from happening again if I go from Windows to Gentoo on a restart? (i.e. is there a patch?)

Jen
25-08-2005, 08:54 PM
A USB device is causing that error, so what USB devices do you have attached to your computer? Any that might not of initialised fully during a restart? Try removing the ones you can and then see if you can reproduce the error.

Linux loves logs :D

Time to check out what they are saying about all this. Look at them out after receiving that error:
dmesg | grep usb
tail -20 /var/log/messages [note: the '20' specifies the last 20 lines in that log - adjust accordingly]

Myth
25-08-2005, 09:42 PM
Incidentally, the issue I WAS having with K3b is outlined here.... (http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-p-2269363.html)

Just tried this idea and it seems to be working :)

Xmms issue is sorted as well .... just need to get the mp3 codec (if its still available).
Otherwise might have to get rid of it and see if I can get Xine working (to play mpeg and mp3)

Myth
25-08-2005, 10:40 PM
Actually the issue with k3b continued, however I got it fixed with the help of a mod in an IRC room and this site (http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-321340-highlight-.html)

Chilling_Silence
25-08-2005, 11:48 PM
Give amaroK a whirl, it integrates a lot nicer than Xmms :)