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neonl
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 1:16 pm    Post subject: "Cloning" (but not exactly) Gentoo installations Reply with quote

Hi all

I'm doing fresh Gentoo installs on a few (chemistry) lab computers, some of which with different hardware configurations (AMD, Intel, Nvidia, stock intel, etc.) but the end product ought to be the same; i.e., same packages (in the same versions) installed.

Keeping the configuration files equal is easy, but the hard drives/filesystems can't be exactly cloned via dd or rsync, since compiled binaries with -march=native flags may not comply with target CPU, or kernel .config files may need to adjust to different graphics card, network interfaces, etc.

However, the installed ebuilds should be same (GNOME, office suite, simulation software).

I'm wondering, thus, what strategy is recommended for me to use in such a case, to sync world files but compile separately on each machine, keeping generic config files, but installing drivers manually?

Thank you!
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eccerr0r
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sometimes in this case, a one sized fits all would be better, and building the install image with generic options would be better?

The question is, are you planning for each machine to be distcc and emerging the world for updates or will each machine do its own updates or are you go rsync updates to all machines? What is your long term plan for keeping all the machines up to date - are each going to be their own entity or they all going to remain clones of each other? /etc/make.conf sounds like it may need to be different for each machine, and /var/lib/portage/world may need to be different too because the Intel graphics machines surely doesn't need nvidia-drivers.

Then again having ati-dirvers installed on a machine with only nVidia graphics tends to not be detrimental, it just won't use it.
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neonl
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi eccerr0r! Thanks for your reply.

make.conf would be different only on C(XX)FLAGS and VIDEO_CARD, because the rest of the software installed should be the same, even in the long term.

I'm thinking every now and then doing a emerge -uD world on every machine (which shall be using the stable branch).

As deep, instruction-level optimization is not needed, what you suggest is that I install on one box with rather generic CFLAGS (I don't know the x86_64 equivalent to -march=i686), emerge genkernel and do an image to install on other boxes (and then manually set up the graphics drivers, e.g.)?
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eccerr0r
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you have fairly standard hardware on all machines (just a single monitor, all kernel input evdev, etc.) you may even be able to get away with no xorg.conf, emerging all the drivers, and let xorg server pick the right driver.

You could try -mtune=generic instead of -march=??? (or completely leave it out) and see if that works. However once you copy it over to the machines -march=native sounds like the better option.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'ld suggest you make a generic install (-mtune=generic, if it's an x86 install) first and copy that over to the systems.

Use a generic kernel from a distro, and generic Xserver with all opensource drivers.

After installation, do hardware specific tuning (like custom kernel and propitiatory drivers), and maybe change to -mach=native and emerge world.

To update, you may like to execute the same command on all the system via ssh.
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