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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

Apple NewWorld Machines Power/PowerPC microprocessors (G3, G4, G5) such as iMac, eMac, iBook PowerBook, Xserver, PowerMac
Apple OldWorld machines Apple Machines with an Open Firmware revision less than 3, such as the Beige G3s, PCI PowerMacs and PCI PowerBooks. PCI-based Apple Clones should also be supported.
Genesi Pegasos I/II, Open Desktop Workstation, Efika
IBM RS/6000, iSeries, pSeries
Memory At least 64 MB
Diskspace 1.5 GB (excluding swap space)
Swap space At least 256 MB

Be sure to read the Gentoo PPC FAQ for help with some common installation related issues or if you're unsure as to just what's in that PowerPC machine you've got sitting on your desk right now.

1.  The Gentoo Installation CD

Gentoo Minimal Installation CD

The Minimal Installation CD is a bootable CD 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 CD is maintained by Gentoo developers and allows you to install Gentoo with an active Internet connection.

The Minimal Installation CD is called ${min-cd-name} and takes up around ${min-cd-size} MB of diskspace.

The Stage3 Tarball

A stage3 tarball is an archive containing a minimal Gentoo environment, suitable to continue the Gentoo installation using the instructions in this manual. Previously, the Gentoo Handbook described the installation using one of three stage tarballs. While Gentoo still offers stage1 and stage2 tarballs, the official installation method uses the stage3 tarball. If you are interested in performing a Gentoo installation using a stage1 or stage2 tarball, please read the Gentoo FAQ on How do I Install Gentoo Using a Stage1 or Stage2 Tarball?

Stage3 tarballs can be downloaded from ${release-dir}current-stage3/ on any of the Official Gentoo Mirrors and are not provided on the LiveCD.

1.  Download, Burn and Boot a Gentoo Installation CD

Downloading and Burning the Installation CD

You have chosen to use a Gentoo Installation CD. We'll first start by downloading and burning the chosen Installation CD. We previously discussed the Installation CD, but where can you find it?

You can download the Installation CD from one of our mirrors. The Installation CD is located in the ${release-dir}current-iso/ directory.

Inside that directory you'll find the ISO file. This is a full CD image which you can write on a CD-R.

In case you wonder if your downloaded file is corrupted or not, you can check its SHA-2 checksum and compare it with the SHA-2 checksum we provide (such as ${min-cd-name}.DIGESTS). You can check the SHA-2 checksum with the sha512sum tool under Linux/Unix or Checksums calculator for Windows.

Note: The tool will attempt to verify the checksums in the list, even if the checksum is made with a different algorithm. Therefore, the output of the command might give both success (for SHA checksums) and failures (for other checksums). At least one OK needs to be provided for each file.

Code Listing 1.1: Verifying the SHA-2 checksum

$ sha512sum -c <downloaded iso.DIGESTS>

Note: If you get the message that no properly formatted SHA checksum was found, take a look at the DIGESTS file yourself to see what the supported checksums are.

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 keys whose key ids can be found on the release engineering project site.

Code Listing 1.1: Obtaining the public key

(... Substitute the key ids with those mentioned on the release engineering site ...)
$ gpg --keyserver subkeys.pgp.net --recv-keys 96D8BF6D 2D182910 17072058

Now verify the signature:

Code Listing 1.1: Verify the files

$ gpg --verify <downloaded iso.DIGESTS.asc>
$ sha512sum -c <downloaded iso.DIGESTS.asc>

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/sr0 <downloaded iso file> (replace /dev/sr0 with your CD-RW drive's device path).
  • With K3B, select Tools > Burn CD Image. Then you can locate your ISO file within the 'Image to Burn' area. Finally click Start.

Default: Booting the Installation CD with Yaboot

On NewWorld machines place the Installation CD in the CD-ROM and reboot the system. When the system-start-bell sounds, simply hold down the 'C' until the CD loads.

After the Installation CD loaded, you will be greeted by a friendly welcome message and a boot: prompt at the bottom of the screen.

We provide one generic kernel, ppc32. This kernel is built with support for multiple CPUs, but it will boot on single processor machines as well.

You can tweak some kernel options at this prompt. The following table lists some of the available boot options you can add:

Boot Option Description
video This option takes one of the following vendor-specific tags: nvidiafb, radeonfb, rivafb, atyfb, aty128 or ofonly. You can follow this tag with the resolution refresh rate and color depth you want to use. For instance, video=radeonfb:1280x1024@75-32 will select the ATI Radeon frame buffer at a resolution of 1280x1024 with a refresh rate of 75Hz and a color depth of 32 bits. If you are uncertain what to choose, and the default doesn't work, video=ofonly will most certainly work.
nol3 Disables level 3 cache on some PowerBooks (needed for at least the 17")
dofirewire Enables support for IEEE1394 (FireWire) devices, like external harddisks.
dopcmcia If you want to use PCMCIA devices during your installation (like PCMCIA network cards) you have to enable this option.
dosshd Starts sshd. Useful for unattended installs.
passwd=foo Sets whatever is after the = as the root password. Use with dosshd for remote installs.

To use the above options, at the boot: prompt, type ppc32 followed by the desired option. In the example below, we'll force the kernel to use the Open Firmware framebuffer instead of the device specific driver.

Code Listing 1.1: Force the use of the Open Firmware framebuffer

boot: ppc32 video=ofonly

If you don't need to add any options, just type ppc32 at this prompt, and a complete Gentoo Linux environment will be loaded from the CD. Continue with And When You're Booted....

Alternative: Booting the Installation CD on a Pegasos

On the Pegasos simply insert the CD and at the SmartFirmware boot-prompt type boot cd /boot/menu. This will open a small bootmenu where you can choose between several preconfigured video configs. If you need any special boot options you can append them to the command-line just like with Yaboot above. For example: boot cd /boot/pegasos video=radeonfb:1280x1024@75 mem=256M. The default kernel options (in case something goes wrong and you need it) are preconfigured with console=ttyS0,115200 console=tty0 init=/linuxrc looptype=squashfs loop=/image.squashfs cdroot root=/dev/ram0.

Alternative: Booting the Installation CD with BootX

If you have an OldWorld Mac the bootable portion of the livecd can't be used. The most simple solution is to use MacOS 9 or earlier to bootstrap into a Linux environment with a tool called BootX.

First, download BootX and unpack the archive. Copy the the BootX Extension from the unpacked archive into Extensions Folder and the BootX App Control Panel into Control Panels, both of which are located in your MacOS System Folder. Next, create a folder called "Linux Kernels" in your System folder and copy the ppc32 kernel from the CD to this folder. Finally, copy ppc32.igz from the Installation CD boot folder into the MacOS System Folder.

To prepare BootX, start the BootX App Control Panel. First select the Options dialog and check Use Specified RAM Disk and select ppc32.igz from your System Folder. Continue back to the initial screen and ensure that the ramdisk size is at least 32000. Finally, set the kernel arguments as shown below:

Code Listing 1.1: BootX kernel arguments

cdroot root=/dev/ram0 init=linuxrc loop=image.squashfs looptype=squashfs console=tty0 

Note: The kernel parameters in the yaboot section above are also applicable here. You can append any of those options to the kernel arguments above.

Check once more to make sure the settings are correct and then save the configuration. This saves typing just in case it doesn't boot or something is missing. Press the Linux button at the top of the window. If everything goes correctly, it should boot into the Installation CD. Continue with And When You're Booted...

And When You're Booted...

You will be greeted by a root ("#") prompt on the current console. You 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. Due to the keyboard layout, you may need to press Alt-fn-Fx on Apple machines.

If you are installing Gentoo on a system with a non-US keyboard, use loadkeys to load the keymap for your keyboard. To list the available keymaps, execute ls /usr/share/keymaps/i386.

Code Listing 1.1: Listing available keymaps

(PPC uses x86 keymaps on most systems.)
# ls /usr/share/keymaps/i386

Now load the keymap of your choice:

Code Listing 1.1: Loading a keymap

# loadkeys be-latin1

Now continue with Extra Hardware Configuration.

Extra Hardware Configuration

When the Installation CD boots, it tries to detect all your hardware devices and loads the appropriate kernel modules to support your hardware. In the vast majority of cases, it does a very good job. However, in some cases it may not auto-load the kernel modules you need. If the PCI auto-detection missed some of your system's hardware, you will have to load the appropriate kernel modules manually.

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 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.

You can view the handbook using links, once you have 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/${online-book}

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

Note: If you (or other users) log on to the system, they will get a message that the host key for this system needs to be confirmed (through what is called a fingerprint). This is to be expected as it is the first time people log on to the system. However, later when your system is set up and you log on to the newly created system, your SSH client will warn you that the host key has been changed. This is because you now log on to - for SSH - a different server (namely your freshly installed Gentoo system rather than the live environment you are on right now). When you hit that warning, follow the instructions given on the screen then to replace the host key on the client system.

To be able to use sshd, you first need to set up your networking. Continue with the chapter on (Configuring your Network).

Page updated April 12, 2014

Summary: You can install Gentoo in many ways. This chapter explains how to install Gentoo using the minimal Installation CD.

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