Gentoo Linux Installer Frequently Asked Questions
Will the installer run from the 2006.1 minimal/universal CD?
No. At the minimum, the installer requires parted, pyparted, and pythondialog
which are not (and never will be) on anything but the Installer LiveCD.
Is the installer done?
No, it will be done when it's done. We're only getting started! There are a
lot more architectures to support and a lot of features we plan on adding.
Does/will the installer support architecture X?
The current release of the installer supports x86 and amd64. There are plans
to support sparc, hppa, and ppc, and other arches in the future.
Does/will the installer support LVM/RAID?
If you are using true hardware RAID, the installer will see the array as a
normal drive (because the kernel sees it this way too). As for LVM and fake
RAID/md, the installer does not currently support them, but it will in the
future. Patches are welcome ;)
Why doesn't the installer do such and such?
The installer is designed for optimal flexibility, but is only in its early
releases. Our intention is to support everything you can do from the
commandline in the installer itself. If you have time and are willing to help
on a feature, see the section titled "How can I help?"
I like the manual install. Why are you forcing me to use a graphical
The current install method will always be an option. The installer will be
distributed on a true LiveCD that contains xorg, Gnome, firefox, and
other goodies. There will still be a minimal CD that has just enough stuff
to boot and install by hand. You can still also do a manual install from the X
Will the gentoo installer configure my such and such hardware for me?
No. The installer will only do what is covered in the install guide. The only
thing that may be configured for you is xorg. When the LiveCD boots into
X, a xorg.conf is automatically generated. If you choose xorg-x11 (or anything
that depends on it) as an extra package to install, the /etc/X11/xorg.conf from
the LiveCD will be automatically copied into your new install.
Where can I find more information about the installer?
On the project pages. Currently, there is no documentation. You can either read
the source or ask in #gentoo-installer. If you ask any questions covered by this
FAQ, you will most likely be ignored.
What's wrong with the current installation method?
Absolutely nothing. The goal of the installer is to make installations faster,
not easier. The original intention was to make an installer for doing automated
deployments. While we still have this in mind, the end user aspect took
precedence (mainly because it's prettier).
What language is the installer written in?
COBOL, of course! (it's actually python)
Does the installer have localization support?
Some basic code for localization of the frontends has been written, but it has
not been integrated yet.
How can I help?
If you are good with python, take a look at the various TODO lists in the
latest CVS snapshot. Otherwise, we'll accept good bug reports
(/tmp/installprofile.xml and /var/log/installer.log.failed included from
What is the root password on the X LiveCD?
The root password (and the password for the 'gentoo' user) is randomized on
boot. You can get root from the X environment by opening up a terminal and
doing 'sudo su -'.
Where do I file bugs?
It depends on if it's a bug with the installer itself or the LiveCD that it's
on. If it's an installer bug, file it under Gentoo Linux in the GLI component
on bugs.gentoo.org. If you had an install failure, include the
/tmp/installprofile.xml and /var/log/installer.log.failed files from the LiveCD
(you'll need to grab these before you reboot). If it is a bug with the LiveCD,
file it under "Gentoo Release Media", choose 2006.1 from the version list, and
put "X LiveCD" or "installer LiveCD" somewhere in the summary.
Can I update the installer on the LiveCD?
There is a script provided that will download the latest CVS snapshot and
extract it into the current directory. To get the latest version and start the
GTK frontend, do the following:
- open a terminal
To update the dialog frontend, do the following:
- open a terminal
I found a bug. What should I do?
Since we are still in the early releases of the installer, there are bound to be
bugs (hey, we're not perfect). If you've found a bug, the first thing you
should do is follow the directions above for grabbing and running the latest CVS
snapshot. If you can reproduce the bug there, you should go to
bugzilla and do a search for the
problem that you're running into. If there isn't an existing bug (open or
closed), you can file a new bug under in the "Gentoo Linux" section in the GLI
component. Be sure to save /tmp/installprofile.xml and
/var/log/installer.log.failed from the livecd after your installer run. These
files are essential for us to be able to debug the problem properly. Keep in
mind that an error compiling a package is not an installer bug.
My install failed on the installing extra packages step. Do I have to start
the install over again from the beginning?
No. At this point, your install will be bootable and most steps will be
complete. The only things that will not have happened are emerging the rest of
the packages in the list after the one that failed and adding your selected
services to the default runlevel. These can both be done after you boot into
your install for the first time.
How long will my install take?
There is no definitive answer to this question. It depends on many factors such
as the stage you started at, the extra packages you selected, internet
connection speed, whether you selected GRP or not, speed of your processor, the
amount of memory, the speed of your disk, etc. We have seen installs as fast as
8 minutes, but that was on a very fast machine doing a very minimal install. On
a slower machine with lots of extra packages installed, it could take literally
days to complete.
How can I get voice in #gentoo-installer?
Asking a question covered in this FAQ will probably get you kicked from the
channel. Abusive behavior will get you kicked and possibly banned from the
channel. Any general install questions should be taken to #gentoo. We do not
care that you think the installer is stupid, will ruin Gentoo, etc. Once you
have read through this FAQ, just join the channel and '/msg gibot voiceme' to
get voice. Please do not get voice just to have voice.
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