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Gentoo on i386 Macintosh [solved]
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shoelesshunter78
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 12:34 am    Post subject: Gentoo on i386 Macintosh [solved] Reply with quote

I want to put Gentoo on an Intel iMac. The architecture of the machine is listed as i386. The handbook states Gentoo is only supported for i686 and up. Will the currently available builds for x86 work on this machine? I get conflicting information regarding the compatibility if i368, i686, and x86 in my searches.

Last edited by shoelesshunter78 on Thu Dec 23, 2010 1:48 am; edited 1 time in total
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TJNII
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 12:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 386 is from 1985. Are you 100% sure it is a 386 and not something newer? If it is a 386 your performance is going to be very poor, you probably won't be able to use it for anything beyond a thin client.

What you can do is get another x86 PC and build your install on that. Take the i686 build and recompile it for i386. I've never tried this myself, but it should work.

You should probably do the compiling on another box anyways for safety. I've heard rumors of people burning out air-cooled iMacs with Gentoo.
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shoelesshunter78
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 1:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bought the machine brand new in 2006. It is an intel core duo currently running a 32-bit OSx 10.6. I did have Sabayon installed on it at one time. As for the cooling with Sabayon, I would set the fan speed manually to 3000 rpm. I was going to go ahead and do a Gentoo installation, but when I ran
Code:
arch
in the OSX Terminal, it read i386. I wanted to be sure. Other i686 distros worked on this machine, but I wanted to be certain before embarking on a long installation and compiling.
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TJNII
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 1:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, if the arch is wrong you won't even be able to chroot into your install or boot the livecd. If your box can't run i686 binaries you'll find out long before you start compiling. If the box is from '06 you should be fine. Like I said, i386 is from '85. Nobody was putting them in desktop boxes in '06. (You can still buy them for use as embedded procs, though.)
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shoelesshunter78
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 1:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm . . when I jumped into Linux not long ago, I was trying all sorts of distros. I have definitely run 686 Linux binaries on this machine, and the Gentoo x86 Minimal CD boots-- I got very far into an installation, chrooted, etc but lost power and went with Sabayon instead of finishing the Gentoo installation. Call it ADD. I failed to mention I used Gentoo on a nearly identical machine for a while, but it was setup by someone else . . . I couldn't maintain it and stopped using the machine anyway.

I don't know why this machine is saying 386. My Apple laptop, purchased at the same time and bearing the same processor, reads 686. ???

I think I'll give it a go on a partition. Thanks for the help. This has been by far the most pleasant distro forum I've used.
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keet
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 1:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the architecture that it's posting isn't quite accurate. According to the information in http://developer.apple.com/library/mac/#DOCUMENTATION/Darwin/Reference/ManPages/man1/arch.1.html , it's just a general description of your CPU type, or maybe just the installation type:

Quote:
i386 32-bit intel
ppc 32-bit powerpc
ppc64 64-bit powerpc
x86_64 64-bit intel


From this, 'i386' means only that it's a 32-bit Intel C.P.U. By the way, is your computer a Core Duo, or a Core 2 Duo? It it's the latter, it will support AMD64 (I'm not sure about the former). In any case, a Core Duo will definitely support an i686 installation. If there was such a thing as a dual-core 386, man, I wish that I had had one of those back when I was trying to play Strike Commander and Privateer. :)
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shoelesshunter78
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 1:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks keet. that clarified a lot for me. this machine is Core Duo and indeed 32 bit. The 64-bit models were just coming out when I got this one, hence the good price on it.

I've always ran on that assumption of a 32-bit processor and been using 686 binaries for months. But when Terminal spat out 386, I thought to check with you folks first.

I am darn* impressed with the speed and quality of the responses. I've been to many forums, and I've never had "support" like this on the spot and accurate. I hope I can get a Gentoo going and contribute likewise.

I'll mark this solved.
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