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Newton
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2003 6:35 pm    Post subject: Let`s do it now... Reply with quote

Hello to all,
I just registered to the Gentoo.org forums, but I`ve been reading you guys for a while. I am a mandrake user, I tried redhat befor that. I`m quite new to the linux world, I`ve been using it for 1 month now. I have dual boot with XP to make the transition from the microsoft world to linux easier. After reading a lot about most popular distributions, I finally chose gentoo. I have not tried it yet but I`m pretty sure I`m gonna like it (Altough I plan to try Slackware...). I have a exam tomorow, so to prevent me to play on my computer, I though of installing Gentoo from stage 1, I`ll be able to study while it is compiling.

I plan to post back directly from my gentoo box so I guess it will take some time..!!

See you later!
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2003 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hopefuly you get this prior to the finishing everything, but if you wouldn't mind, I'd be curious of your impressions of the installation (aside from forcing you to do everything)... eg, areas where you had problems, areas that the documentation wasn't clear, etc.
For those who are toying around w/ the idea of doing an installer for gentoo, knowing the hang-up's for those new to linux hit would be invaluable. Other then that, welcome and viel gluck w/ the installation.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2003 7:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Let`s do it now... Reply with quote

Newton wrote:
I though of installing Gentoo from stage 1, I`ll be able to study while it is compiling.


Sounds like a good plan. I hope you like it!
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2003 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ferringb wrote:
Hopefuly you get this prior to the finishing everything, but if you wouldn't mind, I'd be curious of your impressions of the installation (aside from forcing you to do everything)... eg, areas where you had problems, areas that the documentation wasn't clear, etc.
For those who are toying around w/ the idea of doing an installer for gentoo, knowing the hang-up's for those new to linux hit would be invaluable. Other then that, welcome and viel gluck w/ the installation.


hmm, an idea perhaps.
I havent installed it yet (will tomorrow) but there is something i always try to do when making a program: to keep the most system-critical things as safe and easy as possible.
For example, like disk partitioning and bootloader installation, perhaps these could be converted to a gui version? (just an idea from one who just comes from mandrake though ;) )
I honestly dont care if using gentoo afterwards included more commandlines, but my philosophy is that installation procedure should always go (if requested) like a piece of cake.
I say this because i took a few readings through the installation guide and the sweat started to overcome me from fear to ruin my partitions it shouldnt touch, or misconfiguring hardware/kernell
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2003 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

as a previous slackware users, i have to say that gentoo beats it by far. i liked the "minimalist" nature of slackware, and have found that gentoo not only provides this, but offers better security features out of the box. if you are trying gentoo, don't bother with slack, you will only be disappointed
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2003 1:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

incubator wrote:
For example, like disk partitioning and bootloader installation, perhaps these could be converted to a gui version? (just an idea from one who just comes from mandrake though ;) )
I honestly dont care if using gentoo afterwards included more commandlines, but my philosophy is that installation procedure should always go (if requested) like a piece of cake.
I say this because i took a few readings through the installation guide and the sweat started to overcome me from fear to ruin my partitions it shouldnt touch, or misconfiguring hardware/kernell

You basically hit it on the head- the installer would be a *nice feature* (and by-passable if the user doesn't want to use it). For disk partitioning, there are other apps then fdisk- bootloader, I don't personally know of anything.
Basically I'd like to hear where people really hit snags- getting the appropriate modules loaded (nic), configuring a bootloader, and kernel configuration are some of the more major snags I've noticed that newcomers come across repeatedly. Anybody else know of any other common 'gotchas'? For anyone who wants to attempt an installer, it at least gives them an idea of where to focus their efforts...
My own opinion is that the actual installation is actually much less painful then it sounds, but the configuring of everything is usually what gets people by the balls...
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2003 6:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DrkPlague wrote:
as a previous slackware users, i have to say that gentoo beats it by far. i liked the "minimalist" nature of slackware, and have found that gentoo not only provides this, but offers better security features out of the box. if you are trying gentoo, don't bother with slack, you will only be disappointed


i don't know about that, i've used slack since like 1999 and i've been using gentoo for a little while now and i still much prefer slack over gentoo. although emerge is nice, it just feels like gentoo isn't aimed at people who like a more UNIX-based linux distro.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2003 6:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

foshdawg wrote:
it just feels like gentoo isn't aimed at people who like a more UNIX-based linux distro.

I don't follow you on that one... elaborate? Mind you I'm a young-un, and my experience w/ the unix family/relatives consists purely of linux, (open|free)bsd, and solaris w/in the last 4 years, so I don't have any *true* experience w/ the likes of AIX for instance. That and I've never dealt w/ a slackware installation, so basically I'm kind of clueless about what you mean there...
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2003 7:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

UNIX is its pure glory (despite what you use whether it be Solaris, AIX, IRIX, SCO UNIX, et al) is a difficult thing to master. now, linux can be as hard as you make it but it can also be as easy thanks to 'certain' distributions trying to emulate windows as much as possible. i've used slackware, redhat, the BSDs, lindows (what a load of hype that was), SuSE, SCO Linux and a few others and most are just so simple to use. if you ever used DOS, you remember how damn difficult it was to remember the multitudes of commands you had to use, this is what slackware is like. there's no easy to use, widely distributed package manager (rpm, deb). slack uses it's own package manager and it's pretty easy to make packages with it but you don't just see the packages everywhere on sf.net or fmII (it uses special .tgz/.tar.gz packages for packaging). there's no pretty, customized window manager (unless you use dropline-gnome for slackware) unless you install it (even then, it's not customized). when you work with slack, it'll punch you in the face, laugh at you and then smile when you come back for more. and aside from the BSDs, slackware is the most UNIX-like distro i've ever used which is something i want. if i wanted to use something windows-like, i wouldn't use redhat or mandrake, i'd just use windows instead (no sense in using a wrench for a hammer when you have a hammer close by).

i really like gentoo, it's a very stable and fast distro (if configured right that is) and it can be extremely secure. if someone was trying to learn linux, gentoo would be a great start for them because of the simple wealth of things it gives you out of the box. but to me, i like having to sit there and configure everything, i like doing my own ./configure;make;make install (although...emerge is extremely nice, it's the shining point of gentoo for me). i'm just that type of person who likes to know exactly what's going on, why it's happening and how it's being done and that's why i choose slackware over pretty much anything else.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2003 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moved from Installing Gentoo.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2003 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For me, and others have expressed this as well, the beauty of the Gentoo install method is its hands-on approach, and it teaches you exactly what you have to know afterwards. This is the exact opposite of what a graphical installer does.

The gentoo install is user friendly. It does something Good to the user. Graphical installers do not. They leave you clueless, as most of them are more or less completely unrelated to the system they produce. (YaST probably being an exception).

After installing other distros, you don't even know which program to use to install packages, have no idea where your network settings are, and are where likely to start to learn to do everything using nice X-based wizards.
Out come linux users who fire up KDE to set their system clock.

If you use linux you will be spending time at the command line. You will have to know about you partitioning layout. You will have to recompile your kernel. You will have to be comfortable editing config files.
Why not go over this right at the start? It makes you feel better if you're through.

The gentoo install process is easy. All you have to do is follow the guide step-by step. If you look around in the forums at threads where people have problems, most of them fall into two categories:
a) Hardware not recognised (NICs mostly). Definitely a showstopper, but this would also be true for a graphical installer,
and b) user left out some step in the install guide. Sorry, dude, the forums will help, but next time, RTFM.

(Sorry for the slightly off-topic rant, but I shun, hate and fear installers since I saw the light at the start of the gentoo tunnel, and I want to impede and prevent any movements in that direction if possible.)
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2003 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to agree with nephros...
I tried various linux distributions over the years and none of them kept me as a user, I always ran back to windows because I thought windows was just so much easier. It wasn't until I realized that my problem with usability lied more in my unfamiliarity with *nix and my inability to make it just what I want and nothing more, rather then the systems themselves that I began looking into other distros...which is when I found Gentoo.
I learned more in the first hour of the Gentoo install then I had in years of off and on trying Redhat, Mandrake, and SuSe and their nice "user friendly" installs. And now that I've got at least a basic understanding of how my computer works under *nix I couldn't be happier. Windows no longer has a place on my machine (although I admit I've thought about setting it up to dual boot so I can play more games)
What it comes down to is, Gentoo teaches you. It made me a convert BECAUSE it taught me.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2003 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well this idea got into my head when i started to read a lot of good stuff about gentoo, i am to a fairly new user of linux ive used Rh (7.1,8.0), SuSE, and used a linux based firewall/proxy/router called ipcop . My experience has been great with a lot of challanges , and i think its time to my full change to a complete linux based system , ive had dual boot for about a year now .I only need to buy some need hardware and start , this summer vacations im getting a new job sow i can start the complete change ... :D

well see u around people and thanx for the help :)
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2003 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Im with foshdawg here, I also still use Slackware. In one desktop and one server at home that is. My first experience with linux was RH 7.2 and I have to say I didn't really like. Don't know why. Then a friend of my brother told me to try Slack, it was his favo distro so I did. I was hooked at the second I booted it up for the first time. Slack is a really good distro, and I'll probably never give it up. Just love it. Ofcourse abit maybe, but it is the most *NIX like distro I've seen.
Don't get me wrong I really like Gentoo, the package managment is a dance on roses and the community is better than any other I've ever seen. Im gona keep using these two distros because they are my absolute favourites.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2003 7:32 pm    Post subject: gui config Reply with quote

In response to peoples' curiosities about problems with installing gentoo..

I'd have loved to have some kernel configuration .configs.. some templates to work from. perhaps gentoo-sources or the gaming kernel, for example would come with some templates designed around desktop machines..
- OR

I'd have loved to have had some sort of "pre-configure" program. an ncurses (or even just a textfile and script) program with an interface mirroring menuconfig's interface (for consistancy's sake).

The goal of this program would be to simplify kernel configuring. It would do this by creating a template .config that you load when you use make menuconfig. It creates this template by posing a series or questions.. it'd be like a super-generic make menuconfig

For example:
Code:

[  ]  Laptop
[  ]  Desktop
[  ]  Server
--> Hardware
   [  ]  SCSI
   [  ]  USB
   [  ]  Lan


The amount of options available would be very generic, very limited. ..
but, I could, for example, check off "desktop" and not server, and i'd get sound support, scsi-ide emulation.. if i checked laptop, it might default with some powermanagerment modules or whatever.. I'm making this up as I'm typing without really going over it first...

**startramble

I guess the main reason I would have liked this was because I had to recompile my kernel several times because I overlooked a few things.. since until I used gentoo, I had only compiled kernel maybe a dozen times.. (as opposed to the gentoo custom of compiling bi-daily :) ) Kernel config (especially during OS install) is something that most people are not used to; the amount of options and decisions and new words and big flashing lights that warn you about damaging your hardware and setting off nuclear weapons are a little much for someone new to the system (especially if they're used to windows.)(I mean, I've been used linux desktops for quite a while now, and use them exclusively.. and I still screw up my kernel configs half the time. :) ..most distros don't document kernel recompilcation and seem to discourage it or something ;)) and this program (since it doesn't have to be distro-specific) could be easily widely maintained.

**end-ramble
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2003 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

a very usefull idea perhaps for a future gentoo kernel:

include n_hdlc by default.
I have major difficulties for setting up my adsl connection because n_hdlc isnt there by default. Even the deveolpers of the drivers can´t help me with this problem.
And if I cant get my connection up, I can´t do an emerge sync to download the portage tree and i will therefore never be able to install gentoo (let aloone use it :( )
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2003 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the genkernel program targets at the kernel compilation problems. I hope the improved it since I tested it, the kernel it generated then was so bloated and lacked some (for me) important features. The main problem with the kernel config is the layout, it is already a lot better in the 2.5 series. Also the default config is a bit strange, I don't think the default user has a SMP system with several SCSI controllers. It would be nice if the kernel ebuilds would provide a default config that is better suited for home users.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2003 12:19 am    Post subject: Re: gui config Reply with quote

toobobfortv wrote:

I'd have loved to have had some sort of "pre-configure" program
[...]
Kernel config (especially during OS install) is something that most people are not used to; the amount of options and decisions and new words and big flashing lights that warn you about damaging your hardware and setting off nuclear weapons are a little much for someone new to the system (especially if they're used to windows.


You are absolutely right.

I admit that I overlooked this in my rant above.
Compiling a new kernel is too complicated to include it in the install process. There are just too many possibilities to go wrong, especially as the kernel help tends to be quite un-understandable (wording...). This should really be optional.

The possibility of copying a gerneric kernel image should be in the gentoo install process, like all the other distros do too.

(The reason I did not recognise that was simply that I have by now configured so many kernels that I might go over it blindly (I started at 2.0.19, mind you) )
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2003 12:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A very useful thing for beginners at compiling the kernel would be a document with all of the kernel options in outline format organized as they are in menuconfig. That way, a beginner can go through and check off the options that correspond to their hardware at leisure. I know I sure could have used one of these documents.

The other thing would be to make sure that each emergeable (is that a word?) kernel source available through portage has all of the required options for Gentoo set. The install docs state that "Prompt for development and/or incomplete code/drivers", "Virtual memory file system support (former shm fs)", "/proc file system support", "/dev file system support (EXPERIMENTAL)", "Automatically mount at boot" all be turned on for Gentoo, and "/dev/pts file system for Unix98 PTYs" be turned off -- at least for the 2.4.xx kernels. If kernel patches can be put into an ebuild, why can't a .config file with the required Gentoo settings that emerges with the kernel package be included -- especially for gentoo-sources?
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2003 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is it me, or do people just like the easy way out. :) I know a guy who has been using Redhat for years now and doesn't know how to compile a kernel. That's rather shameful for (U)(L)inux user.

Agreed, there's nothing wrong in having more well designed, well written and well documented guidelines or manuals. But I think there are already tons of them out there. People just don't want to intellectually stimulate their minds anymore.

Admit it, we want to be spoon fed. Believe me, I'm all for improvements and contructive changes to Gentoo and Linux, in general. But only improvements that are pertinent, for example automatic hardware detection for all hardware types or upgrade to a more intelligent portage code, as opposed to those that are trivial, I need bells and whistles while installing gentoo or I need a graphic user interface with vioce activation and color coding, should be supported.

I apologize for my rant. But I believe there is a ridiculous amount of documentations, guidelines, howtos, tutorials etc for those who are patient and those want to learn how and why things work, with regards to Gentoo and Linux, that is. :)

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2003 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ferringb wrote:
You basically hit it on the head- the installer would be a *nice feature* (and by-passable if the user doesn't want to use it). For disk partitioning, there are other apps then fdisk- bootloader, I don't personally know of anything.
Basically I'd like to hear where people really hit snags- getting the appropriate modules loaded (nic), configuring a bootloader, and kernel configuration are some of the more major snags I've noticed that newcomers come across repeatedly. Anybody else know of any other common 'gotchas'? For anyone who wants to attempt an installer, it at least gives them an idea of where to focus their efforts...
My own opinion is that the actual installation is actually much less painful then it sounds, but the configuring of everything is usually what gets people by the balls...


I installed Gentoo about a week ago, and encountered very few problems with the installation process. A few of the more notable 'snags':

    Firstly, I'm probably not the only one here who wanted to install Gentoo on a brand spanking new computer with one single NTFS partition eating the whole hard drive. Since I didn't have a copy of PartitionMagic lying around, and was not willing to spend $70 for a one-time re-partitioning, I had to use ntfsresize to split my drive. This program (to the best of my knowledge) isn't included in the Gentoo installation, and isn't mentioned in the installation guide. But with more and more PCs coming off the assembly lines with XP pre-installed these days, it's definitely something the Gentoo guys should consider adding to the installation CDs.


    I've compiled a lot of kernels in my time, and I had to re-compile my Gentoo kernel no less than three times before I got it right. OK, two of those were my own fault :oops: but the first time, I didn't include DevFS support. Only after booting into Gentoo for the first time and having the kernel complain about no DevFS support did I realize that I needed it. I don't think this was stated clearly enough in the installation guide. I agree with the others here, that a sensible .config is needed in the emergeable kernel sources, as well as removing the ominous "(EXPERIMENTAL)" labels from necessary features like DevFS.


Other than that, I thought that installation went smoothly, and is certainly in no need of graphical installers and menus (being a former LFS user, my opinions on this may be a little biased :)
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2003 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not attempting to start a war here, but a few counterpoints-
Mystilleef wrote:
Is it me, or do people just like the easy way out. :) I know a guy who has been using Redhat for years now and doesn't know how to compile a kernel. That's rather shameful for (U)(L)inux user.

Why do people use windows? Cause it works, they don't have to dink around with anything. If users are able to *just use* linux without having to spend their time debugging/tweaking/fixing the operating system, I view that as a good thing. Not all users like to hack away at their systems... It's the same thing w/ cars, people view linux/vehicles as a tool/means of transportation, they just want it to work so they can do what interests them.
Mystilleef wrote:
Admit it, we want to be spoon fed. Believe me, I'm all for improvements and contructive changes to Gentoo and Linux, in general. But only improvements that are pertinent, for example automatic hardware detection for all hardware types or upgrade to a more intelligent portage code, as opposed to those that are trivial, I need bells and whistles while installing gentoo or I need a graphic user interface with vioce activation and color coding, should be supported.

Only comment I'd make, is that what is viewed as pertinent is completely a matter of perspective- I personally want an installer for gentoo, doesn't mean the next gentoo-ite would consider it a good use of time. Basically, I guess I'm trying to point out the is the fact that people develop it on their own time, and they give it away free. They're going to scratch whatever personal itch they may have- if auto-hardware is a particularly bothersome itch to you, there is no gurantee that another dev has that same itch.
Related to auto-detection, have you considered attempting to integrate kudzu (or a similiar project) into gentoo?
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2003 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tphamm wrote:
Other than that, I thought that installation went smoothly, and is certainly in no need of graphical installers and menus (being a former LFS user, my opinions on this may be a little biased :)

Heh... I'm not so much interested in the eye-candy, as ironing out those gotcha's if at all possible. That and if you think about a fair portion of the installation, there are areas that could quite easily be automated out, or simplified down a bit so those new to linux/gentoo don't get stuck as easily...
Other then that, danke schon for the snag info.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2003 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ferringb wrote:
Heh... I'm not so much interested in the eye-candy, as ironing out those gotcha's if at all possible. That and if you think about a fair portion of the installation, there are areas that could quite easily be automated out, or simplified down a bit so those new to linux/gentoo don't get stuck as easily...
Other then that, danke schon for the snag info.


I agree that some type of hardware detection would be nice; at the very least, something which would spit out a list to the screen (or a file) telling the user "I have detected the following hardware on your computer. I recommend loading the associated modules (listed with the hardware)." Even for long-time Linux users, these kinds of tools can be very helpful for reminding us what we've got on our system -- especially newer systems which we haven't tinkered with much :)

As for simplifying some steps for newcomers to Linux, I was under the impression that source-based distributions like Gentoo were geared more for the experienced Linux users, those who have played around with other distros like Mandrake or Debian and are ready to wade a little deeper into the system. Those people who are uncomfortable with tools like fdisk and mkfs, and editing files in /etc, should really stay with the other, "easier" distros, tinker around with the tools there and get more experience in their use before tackling a source-based distro.

On the other hand, I've found that the real learning experience begins when you've really f???ed up your system and need to take extraordinary measures to fix it :wink:
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2003 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

for the installer, i have a better solution than a GUI, and (I think) better than what we have now.

a simple script, that asks Yes or No questions, based on the installation manual. for instance....

User boots up...

"Would you like to enter the Install Wizard? [Y]" (Those of you who have played with Cisco routers know the brackets surround the default choice, IE, hit enter, is the same as hitting "Y" + enter.

Hit yes there, and you go onto some descriptions of what you will do to your computer (ripped from the installation guide) and then it will help you do that.

"Would you like to partition your hard drive(s)? [Y]"

Explain hard drives, how they're accessed (/dev/hdxy) etc, then ask simple questions that explain the basics of Linux/Gentoo, while not fustrating the user.

Then of course, for the advanced user, hit "N" at the beginning, and get dropped into a command prompt. free to your own devices.

This is actually ripped from Cisco IOS, which is used to control routers. If you need to reconfigure a router, you can use their wizard, or do it by hand. it's easy to implement (compared to a GUI) as it could be a simple bash script. (simple is relative)
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