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2. Choosing the Right Installation Medium
2.a. Hardware Requirements
Before we start, we first list what hardware requirements you need to
successfully install Gentoo on your box.
A list of supported hardware can be found on the PA Team website. You may find
additional information about your box in the Parisc-Linux Hardware Database and
the processor list on
If you don't know which version of PA-RISC your box is using, please check the
links above to find out whether you're using version 1.1 or 2.0. You will need
this information later on.
||1.5 GB (excluding swap space)
||At least 256 MB
2.b. The Gentoo Universal Installation CD
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.
2.c. Download, Burn and Boot the Gentoo Universal Installation CD
Downloading and Burning the Installation CD
You can download the Universal Installation CD from one of our mirrors. The Installation CD is located in
the releases/hppa/2006.1/installcd 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 3.1: Obtaining the public key
$ gpg --keyserver subkeys.pgp.net --recv-keys 17072058
Now verify the signature:
Code Listing 3.2: 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
file> (replace /dev/hdc with your CD-RW drive's device
With K3B, select Tools > CD > Burn Image. Then
you can locate your ISO file within the 'Image to Burn' area. Finally click
Booting the Universal Installation CD
If you have problems booting the Installation CD or any other media, please
PA-RISC Linux Boot HOWTO.
Boot your HPPA system. During the boot process, you will see a message similar
to the following:
Code Listing 3.3: HPPA boot message
Searching for Potential Boot Devices.
To terminate search, press and hold the ESCAPE key.
When this message appears, press and hold the Esc-key until an option menu
appears. This can take a while, be patient. By default, you should enter the
BOOT_ADMIN console. If you receive an option menu, choose Enter Boot
Administration mode to enter the BOOT_ADMIN console. You should now have an
Put the Gentoo Installation CD in the CD-ROM. If you do not know the SCSI ID of
your CD-ROM drive, your PA-RISC station will search for it when you issue the
Code Listing 3.4: Searching for SCSI ID
Searching for Devices with Bootable Media.
To terminate search, please press and hold the ESCAPE key.
Your PA-RISC station will now display all the available boot media. This is an
example result of this command:
Code Listing 3.5: Available boot media
Device Selection Device Path Device Type and Utilities
P0 scsi.5.0 TOSHIBA CD-ROM XM-3301TA
P1 scsi.2.0 COMPAQ ST32550N
P2 lan.0010a7-06d1b6.3.6 server
To boot from a CD-ROM you need the accompanying Device Path. For instance, if we
want to boot from the TOSHIBA CD-ROM in the above example, we would need to type
the following command:
Code Listing 3.6: Booting from a CD-ROM
> boot scsi.5.0 ipl
The ipl keyword (Initial Program Loader) tells palo (the PA-RISC boot
LOader) to enter interactive mode. This will allow you to change, for example,
the kernel boot parameters.
When the boot is successful, palo will start in interactive mode:
Code Listing 3.7: PALO Interactive Mode
Boot path initialized.
Attempting to load IPL.
palo ipl 1.5 root@hope Sat Apr 23 18:06:47 CEST 2005
Boot image contains:
0/vmlinux32 6241293 bytes @ 0x3904000
0/vmlinux64 8352719 bytes @ 0x3ef8000
0/ramdisk 1007589 bytes @ 0x105800
Information: No console specified on kernel command line. This is normal.
PALO will choose the console currently used by firmware (serial).Current command line:
0/vmlinux initrd=initrd TERM=linux root=/dev/ram0 init=/linuxrc cdroot looptype=squashfs loop=/livecd.squashfs hda=scsi console=ttyS0
<#> edit the numbered field
'b' boot with this command line
'r' restore command line
'l' list dir
These parameters are suitable for most situations.
If you need extra features you must add the appropriate keyword(s) to the end of
the command line. To add a keyword, edit the last field, add a space and type
your keyword. The only implemented keywords as of now are cdcache which
tells the Installation CD to load itself into RAM, allowing you to unmount the
CD, and noload=module1[,module2[,...]] which allows you to explicitly
disable loading of particular modules.
Code Listing 3.8: Adding hdb=scsi as boot option
(or 'b' to boot with this command line)? 9
Now that you have tweaked your kernel boot params, boot it.
Code Listing 3.9: Booting the kernel
(or 'b' to boot with this command line)? b
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.
Now continue with Extra Hardware
Extra Hardware Configuration
Most hppa machines have an onboard ethernet card. Old ones use the lasi driver
which is compiled in the kernel. Newer ones need the tulip driver which is
compiled as a module. To use the latter, you need to load its driver.
In the next example, we try to load the tulip module (support for
certain kinds of network interfaces):
Code Listing 3.10: Loading kernel modules
# modprobe tulip
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 3.11: Changing the root 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 3.12: Creating a user account
# useradd -m -G users john
# passwd john
You can change your user id from root to the newly created user by using
Code Listing 3.13: 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 3.14: 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
Code Listing 3.15: Viewing the Online Documentation
# links http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/handbook/handbook-hppa.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 3.16: 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.
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