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3. Using the GTK+ based Gentoo Linux Installer
Before you begin
Once the Gentoo Linux Installer (GLI) has finished loading, you will be
greeted by the welcome screen. It provides a friendly introduction to the
process of installing Gentoo on your computer. Remember to read each option
carefully. There is detailed help available for each step of installation;
just click Help in the lower left corner of the installer. We recommend that
you always read the help pages before making your choices. Note that at any
time during the installation process, you can save your configuration
progress in case you need to resume your installation at a later time.
3.b. Pre-installation Configuration
Optional: Manual Network Configuration
In the next section, you are required to configure your network. The Installer
should have already detected and set up your network for you, but if it didn't,
you can manually configure your network. On the Misc. tab, you can
specify a location of your choice or keep the default of
/var/log/installer.log where the Installer will store its logs.
Optional: Remote Installation
If you wish to enable SSH access to the machine, you can start sshd and
specify a root password.
Optional: Load Additional Kernel Modules
If you need to load more kernel modules to support your hardware, enter their
names into the appropriate line, each separated by a space.
Do not change the Install mode selection to anything besides
Normal. This feature is still experimental and changing it will leave you
with an unbootable system!
Preparing the disks
In order to install Gentoo on your machine, you will need to prepare your
disks. The Partitioning screen will show you a list of detected disks and
allow you to specify the filesystems you would like to have on your
partitions. Clicking Clear partitions will erase all previous partitions on
your disk, so be careful with this option! It is also possible to resize
certain partition types.
If you choose to go with the Recommended layout, the installer will
create three partitions: 100MB for /boot, a /swap
partition up to 512MB in size, and the rest of the available space on the disk
is used for /, the root partition. If you have more than 4GB of
unpartitioned space, using the "Recommended layout" will automatically configure
your partitions without destroying any data on any existing partitions.
3.d. Network Mounts
Optional: Define network mounts
This screen lets you set up and use any existing network mounts during and after
installation. Click New to begin configuration. At this time, only NFS is
3.e. Stage Selection
Dynamic stage generation
Since you are performing an installation without an internet
connection, you must check GRP Install as well as Dynamic
from the options present. Everything you need to build your system will
then be generated from the files on the LiveCD.
Do not select options other than those specified above when you are
installing without an internet connection.
3.f. Portage Tree
Obtaining a Portage tree
You must choose Snapshot on this screen. The installer will automatically
install a Portage tree from the LiveCD once you select Snapshot; you do not
need to specify a snapshot URI.
Since you are performing a GRP/networkless install, you will not be allowed
to select USE flags before installation. However, you are free to set your own
USE flags in /etc/make.conf after you have rebooted into your
You should, however, select your processor type in the CFLAGS section along
with any custom optimizations you may want, such as -O2 and
Any other options you wish to set for future use should be selected now. Use
unstable (~arch) will allow you to use packages from the unstable branch of
the Portage tree. Build binary packages creates ready-to-install binary
tarballs of all packages you compile on your system. DistCC allows you
to share the burden of compiling with another computer via your network
connection. ccache saves compiled code for later use, and thus can
greatly speed up compilation time if you re-install the same package.
You will not be allowed to change your CHOST, as this can seriously damage
your installation. In MAKEOPTS you define how many parallel compilations
should occur when you install a package. A good choice is the number of CPUs
in your system plus one, but this guideline isn't always perfect. On a
uniprocessor system, -j2 might be used.
3.h. Kernel Sources
Using the LiveCD kernel
You must use the kernel present on the LiveCD for the GRP/networkless install.
This is merely a gentoo-sources kernel compiled by genkernel,
Gentoo's automated kernel compilation utility and will give you a kernel that
automatically detects and configures your hardware upon boot.
If you want to have a nifty background image during system boot, select the
Enable bootsplash option.
Making your choice
This screen allows to you choose your bootloader and, optionally, specify
additional kernel parameters that will be used at bootup.
You may specify which disk to boot from by choosing the appropriate option
from Boot Drive. In Linux, the first IDE disk in your system is called
hda, the second IDE disk is hdb, and so on. If you have SATA or
SCSI disks, they will be called sda, sdb, etc. Please make the
correct selection for your system.
If you need to pass any additional options to the kernel, such as video and/or
VGA statements, simply add them to the "Extra kernel parameters" section.
If you jumpered your harddrive because the BIOS can't handle large harddrives
you'll need to append hdx=stroke. If you have SCSI devices, you should
add doscsi as a kernel option.
Choose your timezone
Study the map and select the region closest to your actual location. Later,
you will be asked to select if you want your clock to be set to UTC or local
On this screen, you will be able to configure the various network interface
devices on your computer. Read the available options carefully.
On the Hostname/Proxy Information/Other tab, you will need to choose a
hostname for your machine. You may also specify proxy server and DNS settings
Cron daemons are helpful programs that run tasks at scheduled times. While you
do not need to install one, they can be quite useful.
A system logger is a necessity for any Linux operating system. Make your
selection from the available choices.
3.m. Extra Packages
Optional: installing extra packages
The LiveCD contains a number of available pre-built packages. If you wish to
install any of them, check the appropriate box.
As you are installing Gentoo without an internet connection, you cannot add
any extra packages other than those shown in the installer.
3.n. Startup Services
This screen allows you to choose various services to load at system boot.
Study the available options and their descriptions carefully, and then select
your desired services. For example, if you have chosen to install
xorg-x11 and want to boot straight into a graphical desktop, then you
would select "xdm" from the list.
3.o. Other Settings
Now you will be able to change various settings, including keyboard layout,
graphical display manager, the default editor, and whether to set your
hardware clock to UTC or local time.
Adding users and groups
First set the root password for the system administrator (the root
We strongly recommend that you create a regular user for daily work.
Working as root all the time is dangerous and should be avoided! Create
your users, add them to the appropriate groups, and set their passwords. You
can optionally change their home directories, select their login shell, and
set helpful comments.
Please take the time to double-check each step of the installation process,
ensuring that your system is properly configured. When you have finished
reviewing, you may save your progress and exit, or click Install to begin
automatically installing Gentoo.
You are free to browse around on the LiveCD while the installation proceeds.
The installer window will alert you when it has finished. At that point, can
close the window by clicking the x in the top right corner. When you are
ready, you may log out and reboot. Make sure you remove the LiveCD during the
Congratulations, your system is now fully equipped! Continue with Where to go from here? to learn more about
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