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1.  Hardware Requirements

Introduction

Before we start, we first list what hardware requirements you need to successfully install Gentoo on your box.

Hardware Requirements

Sparc System Please check the Gentoo Linux/SPARC64 Compatibility list or the UltraLinux FAQ
CPU Although sparc64 is the only officially supported platform, experimental support for sparc32 is available as well
Memory 64 MB
Diskspace 1.5 GB (excluding swap space)
Swap space At least 256 MB

We currently only provide Installation CDs for the sparc64 architecture. Users of sparc32 can use the experimental netboot images to install Gentoo from. More information about netbooting can be found in our Gentoo Linux based Netboot HOWTO.

1.  The Gentoo Universal Installation CD

Introduction

Gentoo Linux can be installed using a stage3 tarball file. Such a tarball is an archive that contains a minimal environment from which you can succesfully install Gentoo Linux onto your system.

Installations using a stage1 or stage2 tarball file are not documented in the Gentoo Handbook - please read the Gentoo FAQ on these matters.

Gentoo Universal Installation CD

An Installation CD is a bootable medium which contains a self-sustained Gentoo environment. It allows you to boot Linux from the CD. During the boot process your hardware is detected and the appropriate drivers are loaded. The Gentoo Installation CDs are maintained by Gentoo developers.

There currently are two Installation CDs available:

  • The Universal Installation CD contains everything you need to install Gentoo. It provides stage3 files for common architectures, source code for the extra applications you need to choose from and, of course, the installation instructions for your architecture.
  • The Minimal Installation CD contains only a minimal environment that allows you to boot up and configure your network so you can connect to the Internet. It does not contain any additional files and cannot be used during the current installation approach.

Gentoo also provides a Package CD. This is not an Installation CD but an additional resource that you can exploit during the installation of your Gentoo system. It contains prebuilt packages (also known as the GRP set) that allow you to easily and quickly install additional applications (such as OpenOffice.org, KDE, GNOME, ...) immediately after the Gentoo installation and right before you update your Portage tree.

The use of the Package CD is covered later in this document.

1.  Download, Burn and Boot a Gentoo Installation CD

Downloading and Burning the Installation CDs

You can download the Universal Installation CD (and, if you want to, the Packages CD as well) from one of our mirrors. The Installation CDs are located in the releases/sparc/2006.1/sparc64/installcd directory; the Package CDs are located in the releases/sparc/2006.1/sparc64/packagecd directory.

Inside those directories you'll find ISO-files. Those are full CD images which you can write on a CD-R.

After downloading the file, you can verify its integrity to see if it is corrupted or not:

  • You can check its MD5 checksum and compare it with the MD5 checksum we provide (for instance with the md5sum tool under Linux/Unix or md5sum for Windows)
  • You can verify the cryptographic signature that we provide. You need to obtain the public key we use (17072058) before you proceed though.

To fetch our public key using the GnuPG application, run the following command:

Code Listing 1.1: Obtaining the public key

$ gpg --keyserver subkeys.pgp.net --recv-keys 17072058

Now verify the signature:

Code Listing 1.1: 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 <downloaded iso> (replace /dev/hdc with your CD-RW drive's device path).
  • With K3B, select Tools > CD > Burn Image. Then you can locate your ISO file within the 'Image to Burn' area. Finally click Start.

Booting the Universal Installation CD

Insert the Gentoo Installation CD in the CD-ROM and boot your system. During startup, press Stop-A to enter OpenBootPROM (OBP). Once you are in the OBP, boot from the CD-ROM:

Code Listing 1.1: Booting the Installation CD

ok boot cdrom

You will be greeted by the SILO boot manager (on the Installation CD). Type in 2616 to use 2.6.16 kernel or 2617 to use 2.6.17 kernel and press enter to continue booting the system. 2616 was tested more extensively so it's the option you should choose if default 2617 doesn't work for you. If you want to have support for the newer Sun boxes (Niagara, UltraSPARC, T1), you should choose default 2617.

Code Listing 1.1: Continue booting from the Installation CD

boot: 2617

Once the Installation CD is booted, you will be automatically logged on to the system.

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. You will also find a root prompt on the serial console (ttyS0).

Continue with Extra Hardware Configuration.

Extra Hardware Configuration

If not all hardware is supported out-of-the-box, you will need to load the appropriate kernel modules.

In the next example we try to load the 8139too module (support for certain kinds of network interfaces):

Code Listing 1.1: Loading kernel modules

# modprobe 8139too

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 1.1: Changing the root password

# passwd
New password: (Enter your new password)
Re-enter password: (Re-enter your 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 1.1: Creating a user account

# useradd -m -G users john
# passwd john
New password: (Enter john's password)
Re-enter password: (Re-enter john's password)

You can change your user id from root to the newly created user by using su:

Code Listing 1.1: 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 links to read it:

Code Listing 1.1: Viewing the on-CD documentation

# links /mnt/cdrom/docs/handbook/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 links 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 document):

Code Listing 1.1: Viewing the Online Documentation

# links http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/handbook/handbook-sparc.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 1.1: 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).

Page updated August 30, 2006

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