This handbook has been replaced by a newer version and is not maintained anymore.
[ << ]
[ < ]
[ Home ]
[ > ]
[ >> ]
2. Choosing the Right Installation Medium
2.a. Hardware Requirements
Before we start, we first list what hardware requirements you need to
successfully install Gentoo on your box. This of course depends on your
The HPPA Architecture
Check the following requirements before you
continue with the Gentoo installation:
2.b. Make your Choice
Still interested in trying out Gentoo? Well, then it is now time to
choose the installation medium you want to use. Yes, you have the
choice, no, they are not all equal, and yes, the result is always the same: a
Gentoo base system.
The installation media we will describe are:
Before we continue, let's explain our three-stage installation.
The Three Stages
Gentoo Linux can be installed using one of three stage tarball files.
The one you choose depends on how much of the system you want to compile
yourself. The stage1 tarball is used when you want to bootstrap and
build the entire system from scratch. The stage2 tarball is used for
building the entire system from a bootstrapped "semi-compiled" state.
The stage3 tarball already contains a basic Gentoo Linux system that has
been built for you. As we will explain later, you can also install
Gentoo without compiling anything (except your kernel and some optional
packages). If you want this, you have to use a stage3 tarball.
Now what stage do you have to choose?
Starting from a stage1 allows you to have total control over the
optimization settings and optional build-time functionality that is
initially enabled on your system. This makes stage1 installs good for
power users who know what they are doing. It is also a great
installation method for those who would like to know more about the
inner workings of Gentoo Linux.
A stage1 installation can only be performed when you have a working
||Pros and Cons
Allows you to have total control over the optimization settings and optional
build-time functionality that is initially enabled on your system
||Suitable for powerusers that know what they are doing
||Allows you to learn more about the inner workings of Gentoo
||Takes a long time to finish the installation
If you don't intend to tweak the settings, it is probably a waste of time
Not suitable for networkless installations
Stage2 installs allow you to skip the bootstrap process and doing this
is fine if you are happy with the optimization settings that we chose
for your particular stage2 tarball.
A stage2 installation can only be performed when you have a working
||Pros and Cons
||You don't need to bootstrap
||Faster than starting with stage1
||You can still tweak your settings
||You cannot tweak as much as with a stage1
||It's not the fastest way to install Gentoo
||You have to accept the optimizations we chose for the bootstrap
Not suitable for networkless installations
Choosing to go with a stage3 allows for the fastest install of Gentoo
Linux, but also means that your base system will have the optimization
settings that we chose for you (which to be honest, are good settings
and were carefully chosen to enhance performance while maintaining
stability). stage3 is also required if you want to install Gentoo using
prebuilt packages or without a network connection.
||Pros and Cons
||Fastest way to get a Gentoo base system
||Suitable for networkless installations
||You cannot tweak the base system - it's built already
||You cannot brag about having used stage1 or stage2
Write down (or remember) what stage you want to use. You need this later when
you decide what LiveCD (or other installation medium) you want to use. You might
be interested to know that, if you decide to use different optimization settings
after having installed Gentoo, you will be able to recompile your entire system
with the new optimization settings.
Now take a look at the available installation media.
The Gentoo LiveCDs are bootable CDs which contain a
self-sustained Gentoo environment. They allow you to boot Linux from the CD.
During the boot process your hardware is detected and the appropriate drivers
are loaded. They are maintained by Gentoo developers.
All LiveCDs allow you to boot, set up networking, initialize your
partitions and start installing Gentoo from the Internet. However, some
LiveCDs also contain all necessary source code so you are able to install
Gentoo without a working network configuration.
Now what does this LiveCD contain?
The Gentoo HPPA LiveCD
This is a small, no-nonsense, bootable CD which sole purpose is to boot the
system, prepare the networking and continue with the Gentoo installation. It
does not contain any stages (or, in some cases, a single stage1 file),
source code or precompiled packages.
2.c. Download, Burn and Boot a Gentoo LiveCD
Downloading and Burning the LiveCDs
You have chosen to use a Gentoo LiveCD (if not, then you are reading the
wrong section). We'll first start by downloading and burning the chosen
LiveCD. We previously discussed the several available LiveCDs, but where can you
Visit one of our mirrors and go to
experimental/hppa/livecd which is
the path where the LiveCD(s) of your choice are located. Inside that
directory you'll find so-called ISO-files. Those are full CD images
which you can write on a CD-R.
In case you wonder if your downloaded file is corrupted or not, you can
check its MD5 checksum and compare it with the MD5 checksum we provide (such as
install-hppa-minimal-2004.2.iso.md5). You can check the MD5 checksum
with the md5sum tool under Linux/Unix or md5sum for Windows.
Another way to check the validity of the downloaded file is to use GnuPG to
verify the cryptographic signature that we provide (the file ending with
.asc). Download the signature file and obtain the public key:
Code Listing 3.1: Obtaining the public key
$ gpg --keyserver pgp.mit.edu --recv-keys 17072058
Now verify the signature:
Code Listing 3.2: Verify the cryptographic signature
$ gpg --verify <signature file> <downloaded iso>
To burn the downloaded ISO(s), you have to select raw-burning. How you
do this is highly program-dependent. We will discuss cdrecord and
K3B here; more information can be found in our Gentoo FAQ.
With cdrecord, you simply type cdrecord dev=/dev/hdc (replace
/dev/hdc with your CD-RW drive's device path) followed
by the path to the ISO file :)
With K3B, select Tools > CD > Burn Image. Then
you can locate your ISO file within the 'Image to Burn' area. Finally click
Booting the HPPA LiveCD(s)
If you have problems booting the LiveCD or any other media, please read the
PA-RISC Linux Boot HOWTO.
Boot your HPPA system. During the boot process, you will see a message similar
to the following:
Code Listing 3.3: HPPA boot message
Searching for Potential Boot Devices.
To terminate search, press and hold the ESCAPE key.
When this message appears, press and hold the Esc-key until an option menu
appears. This can take a while, be patient. By default, you should enter the
BOOT_ADMIN console. If you receive an option menu, choose Enter Boot
Administration mode to enter the BOOT_ADMIN console. You should now have an
Put the Gentoo LiveCD in the CD-ROM. If you do not know the SCSI ID of your
CD-ROM drive, your PA-RISC station will search for it when you issue the
Code Listing 3.4: Searching for SCSI ID
Searching for Devices with Bootable Media.
To terminate search, please press and hold the ESCAPE key.
Your PA-RISC station will now display all the available boot media. This is an
example result of this command:
Code Listing 3.5: Available boot media
Device Selection Device Path Device Type and Utilities
P0 scsi.5.0 TOSHIBA CD-ROM XM-3301TA
P1 scsi.2.0 COMPAQ ST32550N
P2 lan.0010a7-06d1b6.3.6 server
To boot from a CD-ROM you need the accompanying Device Path. For instance, if we
want to boot from the TOSHIBA CD-ROM in the above example, we would need to type
the following command:
Code Listing 3.6: Booting from a CD-ROM
> boot scsi.5.0 ipl
The ipl keyword (Initial Program Loader) tells palo (the PA-RISC boot
LOader) to enter interactive mode. This will allow you to change, for example,
the kernel boot parameters.
When the boot is successful, palo will start in interactive mode:
Code Listing 3.7: PALO Interactive Mode
Boot path initialized.
Attempting to load IPL.
palo ipl 1.2 email@example.com Tue Apr 8 12:43:07 CEST 2003
Boot image contains:
0/vmlinux32 4028015 bytes @ 0x1520000
0/ramdisk 834748 bytes @ 0xf800
Current command line:
0/vmlinux initrd=initrd.gz TERM=linux console=tty root=/dev/ram0 init=/linuxrc
Edit which field?
(or 'b' to boot with this command line)?
These parameters are suitable for most situations.
If you need extra features you must add the appropriate keyword(s) to the end of
the command line. To add a keyword, edit the last field, add a space and type
your keyword. The only implemented keyword as of now is cdcache which
tells the LiveCD to load itself into RAM, allowing you to unmount the CD.
Code Listing 3.8: Adding cdcache as boot option
(or 'b' to boot with this command line)? 5
Now that you have tweaked your kernel boot params, boot it.
Code Listing 3.9: Booting the kernel
(or 'b' to boot with this command line)? b
You should have a root ("#") prompt on the current console and can also switch
to other consoles by pressing Alt-F2, Alt-F3 and Alt-F4. Get back to the one you
started on by pressing Alt-F1.
Now continue with Extra Hardware
Extra Hardware Configuration
Most hppa machines have an onboard ethernet card. Old ones use use the lasi
driver which is compiled in the kernel. Newer ones need the tulip driver which
is compiled as a module. To use the latter, you need to load its driver.
In the next example, we try to load the tulip module (support for
certain kinds of network interfaces):
Code Listing 3.10: Loading kernel modules
# modprobe tulip
Optional: User Accounts
If you plan on giving other people access to your installation
environment or you want to chat using irssi without root privileges (for
security reasons), you need to create the necessary user accounts and change
the root password.
To change the root password, use the passwd utility:
Code Listing 3.11: Changing the root password
To create a user account, we first enter their credentials, followed by
its password. We use useradd and passwd for these tasks.
In the next example, we create a user called "john".
Code Listing 3.12: Creating a user account
# useradd -m -G users john
# passwd john
You can change your user id from root to the newly created user by using
Code Listing 3.13: Changing user id
# su - john
Optional: Viewing Documentation while Installing
If you want to view the Gentoo Handbook (either from-CD or online) during the
installation, make sure you have created a user account (see Optional: User Accounts). Then press Alt-F2 to
go to a new terminal and log in.
If you want to view the documentation on the CD you can immediately run
links2 to read it:
Code Listing 3.14: Viewing the on-CD documentation
# links2 /mnt/cdrom/docs/html/index.html
However, it is preferred that you use the online Gentoo Handbook as it will be
more recent than the one provided on the CD. You can view it using links2
as well, but only after having completed the Configuring your Network
chapter (otherwise you won't be able to go on the Internet to view the
Code Listing 3.15: Viewing the Online Documentation
# links2 http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/handbook/handbook-hppa.xml
You can go back to your original terminal by pressing Alt-F1.
Optional: Starting the SSH Daemon
If you want to allow other users to access your computer during the
Gentoo installation (perhaps because those users are going to help you
install Gentoo, or even do it for you), you need to create a user
account for them and perhaps even provide them with your root password
(only do that if you fully trust that user).
To fire up the SSH daemon, execute the following command:
Code Listing 3.16: Starting the SSH daemon
# /etc/init.d/sshd start
To be able to use sshd, you first need to set up your networking. Continue with
the chapter on Configuring your Network.
[ << ]
[ < ]
[ Home ]
[ > ]
[ >> ]
The contents of this document, unless otherwise expressly stated, are licensed under the CC-BY-SA-2.5 license. The Gentoo Name and Logo Usage Guidelines apply.