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4. Using the Dialog based Gentoo Linux Installer


4.a. Welcome

Before you begin

After you boot the Gentoo Linux Installer LiveCD, it will attempt to load a graphical desktop. If it is unable to do so, it will instead display a command line prompt. To launch the installer, simply type:

Code ListingĀ 1.1: Start the installer

# installer-dialog

The Gentoo Linux Installer (GLI) provides a friendly introduction to the process of installing Gentoo on your computer. Remember to read each option carefully. There is detailed help available for each step of installation at the top of the screen. We recommend that you always read the help provided before making your choices. Note that at any time during the installation process, you can save your configuration progress in case you need to resume your installation at a later time. Use the Tab key (on your keyboard) to move around the menus within a screen and the Enter key to confirm an action.

4.b. Partitioning

Preparing the disks

In order to install Gentoo on your machine, you will need to prepare your disks. The Partitioning screen will show you a list of detected disks and allow you to specify the filesystems you would like to have on your partitions. Selecting Clear partitions will erase all previous partitions on your disk, so be careful with this option!

If you choose to go with the Recommended layout, the installer will create three partitions: 100MB for /boot, a /swap partition up to 512MB in size, and the rest of the available space on the disk is used for /, the root partition.

Warning: As with any partitioning application, you should backup your system before making changes to your partition table, as any possible bugs could cause data loss.

4.c. System Configuration


Study the list and select the region closest to your actual location.


On this screen, you will be able to configure the various network interface devices detected on your computer. Read the available options carefully.

The next screen gives you a choice between DHCP and manual IP address configuration. Once your network interface is properly configured, you will need to create a hostname for your system. Optionally, you may specify a domainname and any DNS server information needed.

Users and groups

First set the root password for the system administrator (the root user).

We strongly recommend that you create a regular user for daily work. Working as root all the time is dangerous and should be avoided! Create your users, set their passwords, and add them to the appropriate groups. You can optionally change their home directories and select their login shell.

Extra Packages

The LiveCD contains a number of available pre-built packages. If you wish to install any of them, check the appropriate box.

Startup Services

This screen allows you to choose various services to load at system boot. Study the available options and their descriptions carefully, and then select your desired services. For example, if you have chosen to install xorg-x11 and want to boot straight into a graphical desktop, then you would select "xdm" from the list.

Other Settings

You now will be able to change various settings, including keyboard layout, graphical display manager, the default editor, and whether to set your hardware clock to UTC or local time.

4.d. Finishing Up

The installer will ask if you want to save your installation profile for later use. The installer will alert you when it has finished. It will then return you to the command prompt. All you need to do to reboot is type:

Code ListingĀ 4.1: Rebooting

# shutdown -r now

Congratulations, your system is now fully equipped! Continue with Where to go from here? to learn more about Gentoo.

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Page updated June 14, 2009

Summary: You also have an option of using our text based installer to install Gentoo. Configure the options you need through an easy to use set of menus and you're ready to go.

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