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Gentoo Linux Installer 0.1 Release Announcement

Content:

1.  Version 0.1 (a.k.a. "the alpha")

We are happy to announce GLI 0.1 (a.k.a. "the alpha") along with a real LiveCD (usable X environment with goodies) as opposed to the normal minimal or universal "LiveCD". It is currently available from the mirrors under /experimental.

The LiveCD contains most of the standard GRP set as usable packages. This includes (but isn't limited to):

  • GNOME
  • Firefox
  • Thunderbird
  • OpenOffice.org (Ximian goodness)
  • sylpheed
  • xmms
  • gaim
  • xchat
  • mplayer

Obviously, the installer will also be included. In GNOME, there is even a handy desktop launcher for the GTK frontend! We have strived to allow you to do anything with the installer that you could do if installing with the current method. Keep in mind that this is only a first release, and there is a lot of room for improvement.

2.  Known Limitations & New Features

Here are some known limitations:

  • No /etc/portage customization support in the frontends.
  • No way to modify runlevels for services in the frontends.
  • Only supports x86 and probably amd64 (other arches are in the works).
  • The GTK frontend's make.conf screen only offers a few options.
  • No way to custom configure a kernel without a premade .config.
  • No lvm or software raid support.

Of course, to offset these bad things, we have a few features that are available with the installer that were not available previously:

  • livecd-kernel - the installer will install the kernel from the LiveCD into the new install so that you don't have to wait for genkernel to do its thing. It is installed as a package with emerge so that certain dependencies are satisfied (virtual/alsa for example).
  • GRP w/o an extra CD - the installer will quickpkg and emerge -K packages from the LiveCD instead of using prebuilt binary packages. This obsoletes the GRP CD, which will probably disappear in the next release.
  • dynamic stage3 - the installer can build a stage3 equivalent in the chroot directory from the packages on the CD. This will be useful down the road for networkless installs. Currently, there is no snapshot on the LiveCD for space reasons, but play with it anyway.

3.  Dialog Frontend

Along with the GTK frontend, there is also a dialog-based frontend. This is useful for doing remote installs via SSH. gli-dialog also supports some things that the GTK frontend doesn't and vice versa. If not using gnome, the installer can be started by running 'installer' from a terminal. This will try to launch the GTK frontend first with the 'installer-gtk' script. If this fails, it will fall back to the dialog installer with the 'installer-dialog' script. If you wish to use the dialog frontend, you can run 'installer-dialog' directly.

Other features of the dialog frontend include "standard" and "advanced" installation modes, where in the "standard" mode the default input for common steps will be automatically given. The dialog frontend also includes a detailed explanation of all steps for those not as experienced with installing Gentoo. It also supports custom kernel uri's and will load a list of mirrors for the stage tarball selection. Internationalization support is almost complete for this frontend.

4.  Reporting Bugs

Now, for the most important part...reporting bugs. Gentoo's bugzilla has a special sub-section for the installer. When you click the link to enter a new bug report, select "Gentoo Linux" and then "GLI" from the "Component" list. Please search for the bug you're reporting before creating a new bug. We would much rather see "me too" comments, or even the much more silent act of adding yourself to the bug's CC, than having to deal with tons of duplicate bugs. When you do encounter an error in the installer, try to grab /tmp/installprofile.xml and /var/log/install.log from the LiveCD environment. We may request them when you file a bug.



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Page updated 08 Aug 2005

Summary: Information regarding the 0.1 release of the Gentoo Linux Installer.

Andrew Gaffney
Author

Blackace
Editor

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