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3. Using the GTK+ based Gentoo Linux Installer


3.a. Welcome

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 look to the left of each screen. 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.

There are three types of installation modes available. Choose Networkless to begin installing Gentoo Linux.

Note: Selecting Networkless will make some later configuration options unavailable.

3.b. Partitioning

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 erase any previous partitions on your disk and 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.

Warning: As with any partitioning application, you should backup your system before making changes to your partition table, as any possible bugs could cause data loss. Any changes you make to your partition table will be performed by the installer immediately.

3.c. 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 supported.

3.d. make.conf

USE flags

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 finished system.


You should, however, select your processor type in the CFLAGS section along with any custom optimizations you may want, such as -O2 and -pipe.


Any other options you wish to set for future use should be selected now. 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.

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.e. Timezone

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 time.

3.f. 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.

3.g. Networking

Device information

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 if needed.

3.h. Daemons

Cron daemon

Cron daemons are helpful programs that run tasks at scheduled times. While you do not need to install one, they can be quite useful. Since this is a Networkless installation, you are limited to vixie-cron or no cron daemon.

System logger

A system logger is a necessity for any Linux operating system. Since this is a Networkless installation, you are limited to syslog-ng or no logger.

3.i. Bootloader

This screen allows to you choose your bootloader and, optionally, specify additional kernel parameters that will be used at bootup. Since this is a Networkless installation, you are limited to grub or no bootloader.

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.

3.j. Users

Adding users and groups

First set the root password for the system administrator (the root user).

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.

3.k. 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.

3.l. 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.m. Other Settings

Miscellaneous options

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.

3.n. Finishing Up

At this point, you're done. You can reboot into your new Gentoo system at any time.

Congratulations, your system is now fully equipped! Continue with Where to go from here? to learn more about Gentoo.

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Page updated June 6, 2007

Summary: You now have an option of using our graphical installer to install Gentoo. Configure the options you need through an easy to use GUI and you're ready to go.

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