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1. About the Gentoo Linux Installation
First of all, welcome to Gentoo. You are about to enter the world
of choices and performance. Gentoo is all about choices. When
installing Gentoo, this is made clear to you several times -- you can
choose how much you want to compile yourself, how to install Gentoo,
what system logger you want, etc.
Gentoo is a fast, modern metadistribution with a clean and flexible
design. Gentoo is built around free software and doesn't hide from its
users what is beneath the hood. Portage, the package maintenance system
which Gentoo uses, is written in Python, meaning you can easily view and
modify the source code. Gentoo's packaging system uses source code
(although support for precompiled packages is included too) and
configuring Gentoo happens through regular textfiles. In other words,
It is very important that you understand that choices are what
makes Gentoo run. We try not to force you onto anything you don't like.
If you feel like we do, please bugreport it.
How is the Installation Structured?
The Gentoo Installation can be seen as a 10-step procedure,
corresponding to chapters 2 - 11. Every step results in
a certain state:
After step 1, you are in a working environment ready to install Gentoo
After step 2, your internet connection is ready to install Gentoo
After step 3, your hard disks are initialized to house your Gentoo
After step 4, your installation environment is prepared and you are
ready to chroot into the new environment
After step 5, core packages, which are the same on all Gentoo
installations, are installed
After step 6, you have compiled your Linux kernel
After step 7, you have written most of your Gentoo system
After step 8, necessary system tools (which you can choose from a nice
list) are installed
After step 9, your choice of bootloader has been installed and
configured and you are logged in into your new Gentoo installation
After step 10, your Gentoo Linux environment is ready to be explored
When you are given a certain choice, we try our best to explain what the pros
and cons are. We will continue then with a default
choice, identified by "Default: " in the title. The other
possibilities are marked by "Alternative: ". Do not
think that the default is what we recommend. It is however what we
believe most users will use.
Sometimes you can pursue an optional step. Such steps are marked as
"Optional: " and are therefore not needed to install Gentoo.
However, some optional steps are dependent on a previous decision you
made. We will inform you when this happens, both when you make the
decision, and right before the optional step is described.
What are my Options?
You can install Gentoo in many different ways. You can download and install from
one of our Installation CDs, from a distribution already installed, from a
non-Gentoo bootable CD (such as Knoppix), from a netbooted environment, from
a rescue floppy, etc.
This document covers the installation using a Gentoo Installation CD or,
in certain cases, netbooting. This installation assumes that you want to install
the latest available version of each package.
For help on the other installation approaches, including using non-Gentoo CDs,
please read our Alternative Installation
We also provide a Gentoo
Installation Tips & Tricks document that might be useful to read as
well. If you are an experienced Gentoo user and just need a brief installation
checklist, feel free to use our Quick Installation Guide available from our Documentation
Overview if your architecture has
such a document available.
You also have several possibilities: you can compile your entire system from
scratch or use a prebuilt environment to have your Gentoo environment up and
running in no time. And of course you have intermediate solutions in which you
don't compile everything but start from a semi-ready system.
If you find a problem in the installation (or in the installation
documentation), please visit our bugtracking
system and check if the bug is known. If not, please create a bugreport
for it so we can take care of it. Do not be afraid of the developers who are
assigned to (your) bugs -- they generally don't eat people.
Note though that, although the document you are now reading is
architecture-specific, it will contain references to other architectures as
well. This is due to the fact that large parts of the Gentoo Handbook use source
code that is common for all architectures (to avoid duplication of efforts and
starvation of development resources). We will try to keep this to a minimum
to avoid confusion.
If you are uncertain if the problem is a user-problem (some error you
made despite having read the documentation carefully) or a
software-problem (some error we made despite having tested the
installation/documentation carefully) you are free to join #gentoo on
irc.freenode.net. Of course, you are welcome otherwise too as our chat channel
covers the broad Gentoo spectrum :)
Speaking of which, if you have a question regarding Gentoo, check out our Frequently Asked Questions, available from the Gentoo Wiki. You can also view the FAQs on our
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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.