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Gentoo 12.0 LiveDVD Frequently Asked Questions


1.  FAQ


The Gentoo hybrid LiveDVD is made by the community for the community. It was created with the help of Gentoo developers from around the world and users alike. Thank you all for your contributions and suggestions!

Your Gentoo LiveDVD Team

Please note that this is simply a list of common questions. Please read the handbook and man pages to gain a greater understanding of how Gentoo works. For answers to questions which may not be answered here, please visit the forums, bugzilla or #gentoo-ten on freenode

Getting Started

Tips & Tricks

More Information

2.  Getting Started

Download the correct ISO for your hardware

The livedvd-x86-x86_64 ISO will work on 32-bit x86 or 64-bit x86_64. If your architecture is x86, boot with the default. If your arch is amd64, boot with gentoo64.

The livedvd-amd64 ISO is only for x86_64. Boot with the default.

Root privilages

Code Listing 2.1: How do I become root?

$ sudo su -

You can use passwd to change the password for the user you are logged into. As root, you can change any user password by issuing the command passwd username For extra options and setting, please man passwd.

Can I copy the image to a usb stick?

Yes. To determine your device before you plug it in, open a terminal and read /var/log/messages:

Code Listing 2.2: Determine Device

# tail -f /var/log/messages

Note: You will need at least a 4GB device!

Code Listing 2.3: Copy the image

# dd if=image.iso of=/dev/sdb

Important: Do not point to a partition number!

Warning: Not all BIOS support booting from USB devices. Consult your motherboard documentation first!

Can I resume the autologin?

To resume the KDM autologin, you need to press the ESC key and wait for the timeout to pass or just hit the enter key to login.

3.  Tips & Tricks

Can I install firmware for my wireless card?

Yes. You just need to copy the firmware to /lib/firmware and reload your wireless card's kernel modules. The example below installs the firmware for a Ralink RT2501USB wireless LAN chipset. It requires non-free firmware, which cannot be included on the Live DVD because of license issues. The firmware is copied from a 2GB usb stick.

Code Listing 3.1: Install the firmware

(First mount the USB stick)
# mkdir /mnt/pin
# mount /dev/sdb1 /mnt/pin
(Copy the firmware)
# cp /mnt/pin/firmware/rt73.bin /lib/firmware
(Reload modules so that the firmware is included)
# modprobe -r rt73usb  rt2x00usb  rt2x00lib
(Time to insert modules amd load firmware)
# modprobe rt73usb
(Restart wicd to pickup the interface)
# rc-service wicd restart

How can I set up and enable persistence?

For USB Linux users, a persistent Linux install is one that allows it's user to save data changes back to the USB storage device instead of leaving the information in system RAM. This data can then be recovered and used again on subsequent boots, even when booting from different machines.

Booting with the 'persistence' boot option will allow you to retain your $HOME changes on a separate removable device or if you have space left on the usb that the image is booting from, you can then create a partition on there then:

Note: In my testing I ran out of space on a 4GB stick. I ended up using two 4GB sticks, one for the image and one for persistence. I booted with the option "persistence persistence_mb=2G", and all was well.

  • Create a FS (extfs,reiserfs,xfs etc..)
  • Create an empty file named 'persistence-mode'

This partition will be used to create a loopback image that will allow persistent data on reboots.

There is an optional boot parameter which can set the image size you wish for $HOME which is persistence_mb=300 for example, will make a 300M size image for your persistent data. The minimum requirement is 256M for now which is the default setting.

Is there a list of packages on the DVD?


4.  More Information

What if my question has not been answered?

Come join us on our IRC channel, #gentoo-ten. You can also help us fix some bugs!


Page updated April 10, 2012

Summary: This FAQ is a collection of questions and answers collected from the mail list and from IRC.

David Abbott

Fernando V. Orocu

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