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stormblade
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:49 pm    Post subject: Installing Gentoo on a laptop with HDD and SSD Reply with quote

Hello everyone, I'm going to install Gentoo on my HP Pavilion laptop with 1000GB HDD and 128GB SSD and thus I have some questions related to the partitioning of the disks.
1) Which partitions should I use on HDD and SSD? Is there any preferrable configuration of these?
2) What file systems are mostly suitable for each partition? (depending on whether it is on HDD or SSD)
3) Should I consider using a swap partition? I have 8GB RAM.
Also, I'm pretty new to Gentoo and only once had some experience of installing it on another machine (I didn't finish because I couldn't handle some problems with grub2 installation in the very end). So, any explanations are welcome, as I'm still learning all the stuff now
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charles17
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Presumed the computer has UEFI, you should have an ESP on each disk used for booting. Partition table should then be gpt. Creating a BIOS boot partition depends on whether you want to install grub2 or go with rEFInd.

Filesystems for the partitions depend on your preferences. There was a recent topic here in the forum about using F2FS for the SSD.
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fedeliallalinea
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I never used a hybrid system with SSD/HDD, then wait another real user exerience.
Anyway, in my opinion, in ssd disk I'd put root partition while in hdd home partition.
A swap can help with compilation of bigger packages if you have only 8GB RAM,
also if you want hibernate swap can be used for this purpose (not strictly required since you can use a swapfile).
Now I'm not sure if swap space it's better in hdd or ssd.
Another thing to keep in mind is /var/tmp/portage (TMPDIR) how portage unpack,
compile and install package before merge in the real paths. Usually is more safe (for hdd/ssd) add this in a tmpfs,
but if you don't wont add this in tmpfs maybe is better put in hdd (not sure) for reduces ssd access.
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HungGarTiger
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
1) Which partitions should I use on HDD and SSD? Is there any preferrable configuration of these?


In general partition cnfiguration is up to the preference of the user but a few varitations are explained in that portion of the guide. When considering a mix of HDD and SSD, if it were me I would keep the full installation on the SSD (partitioning /boot, swap and /) and just mount the HDD unpartitioned as /dev/sdb for storage. The only other way I would consider is using the HDD as /home but, not having the experience I don't know what problems (if any) you'd run into.

Quote:
2) What file systems are mostly suitable for each partition?

I go with
- /boot - ext2
- / - ext4
- /home - ext4

as these are tried and tested and I don't really feel the need to be creative with my file systems.

Quote:
3) Should I consider using a swap partition?

I always use one, even if it's just 512KB like on my home server but, if it's a laptop you'll need it for hibernation. With 8GB, I'd probably just use 1GB swap and leave it at that.
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nokilli
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would consider using bcache if I were you. It's now part of the kernel.

Device Drivers -> Multiple Devices Driver Support (RAID and LVM) -> Block device as cache

I've been using it now for about a month and can report great success (caveat: I'm running exclusively in writethrough mode so far). I'm using a 1TB HDD as backing device and a 128GB SSD partitioned 32GB for swap and the rest as a cache device. Dramatically simplifies how you partition your drives because now performance simply isn't a factor and you can just roll with what you need, as you need it. Excellent documentation at Documentation/bcache.txt.

Of course you will need your own initramfs if you put root on the bcache. I don't know if genkernel & co. support bcache yet but if you already have your own init script it's really just adding a few extra lines of bash. That does mean however if you choose to put other distros on the same bcache (perhaps on their own lv's) you'll need to sort out how they work that stuff out to fully integrate because you'll probably have to add support for bcache yourself (seems to be that way with Ubuntu for instance) and the other distros aren't Gentoo so there's alchemy involved I'm sure.

It's been such a successful experience that I'm considering going back to a RAID5 for root. I would probably want to go writeback mode then.

And continue making backups. :wink:
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mrbassie
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a pavillion with the same disk layout, I put / on the ssd and /boot (50G), swap (8G) and /home (rest of disk) on the spinning rust. Grub2 installed to the big disk.

As for filesystems you probably don't want to go with anything too exotic to begin with, perhaps something like ext4 for / and xfs for /home. Or maybe just ext across the board
You can always back up and change later on.

Good luck with your install.

EDIT: If you've got the same optimus setup as my laptop has prepare yourself for at least a week of headaches trying to get a machine that can run games without running insanely hot all the time (I should be able to help you there with posting configs and such)
If you're not interested in games go all intel for gfx.
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stormblade
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for advice guys, however I faced some other problems during the installation. My laptop has uefi-csm interface (I can disable uefi features like secure boot and activate legacy bios), so I first tried to install gentoo with the minimal cd. It is said in the handbook that by the 20th of april of this year the minimal cd can't boot in uefi mode, so I disabled secure boot, activated legacy and tried to boot. However, the usb flash drive wasn't even seen by the laptop as a bootable device, which seems really strange to me. I then tried activating uefi back, flashing the minimal cd .iso on the flash drive once again with some other options (first mbr for devices with bios/uefi, then gpt for devices with uefi), but all useless - the flash drive is not shown as a bootable device neither in bios nor in uefi mode. I think that it is not, however, the problem of the flash drive as I used it for linux installations before successfully.
After having not found information about the causes of my problem, I decided to use the 2Gb hybrid .iso. However, the usb flash wasn't shown as a bootable device again, but I was able to boot it using the recovery option in win10 parameters (it said that this is a efi device, probably because I used the gpt partitioning when flashing the .iso on usb flash drive. It didn't work, however, with the minimal cd). As far as I understand, I am supposed to do quite the same things as those written in the handbook. However, i had some issue - the ifconfig command (and other similar commands) didn't show me the wireless interface as an available one, only "lo" and "eno1", so i couldn't proceed with the installation. This is, again, seems strange to me as during the previous try of gentoo installation I configured the wireless interface on another laptop with no problems.
So, my question is - why was I facing so much problems with the usb drive and how am I supposed to configure the wireless network if the system can't detect the wireless interface?
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charles17
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

  • You should have used a sysresccd USB stick as installation medium. It does boot from UEFI and has support for (almost) all wifi hardware.
  • Legacy boot should be off
  • For wifi device, see https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Wifi
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mirekm
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use such a config.
on SSD I have:

    /
    /boot
    /boot/efi
    and backingstore files for virtual machines


and on HDD:

    /usr/src
    /usr/portage
    /home
    /tmp
    /var
    /var/tmp
    /mnt/.....


the root partition I mount with ro options, so there are several tricks more to keep system running.
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stormblade
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

charles17 wrote:
You should have used a sysresccd USB stick as installation medium. It does boot from UEFI and has support for (almost) all wifi hardware.


As far as I understand, this distro is for support purposes only and will help with network configuration, disk partitioning and so on to be then followed up by gentoo. Am I right? If not (or even if I am right), would you mind describing the steps more precisely, please?
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HungGarTiger
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stormblade wrote:
charles17 wrote:
You should have used a sysresccd USB stick as installation medium. It does boot from UEFI and has support for (almost) all wifi hardware.


As far as I understand, this distro is for support purposes only and will help with network configuration, disk partitioning and so on to be then followed up by gentoo. Am I right? If not (or even if I am right), would you mind describing the steps more precisely, please?


It is a support system, as such it has comprehensive suit of tools available. To install Gentoo you only need a functional Linux environment, this works perfectly. You could install Gentoo from a Debian environment or any other distro. It's important to recognise that Gentoo isn't really a distribution, it is a suit of tools (specifically those included on System Rescue CD) that you use to build your own working Linux environment. System Rescue CD is far more comprehensive than the Gentoo minimal .iso, which is why it is recommended here as the go to bootable Gentoo medium.

- network confit
- disk partitioning
- loading and configuring the Gentoo stage 3 Tarbell

Is pretty much the installation process, so System Rescue CD does this very well.
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stormblade
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HungGarTiger wrote:

network config

Same problem with network configuration on systemresccd.
I type
Code:
lspci -k

and then see the following:
Code:
Network controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. Device d723
Subsystem: Hewlett-Packard Company Device 8319

And no kernel drivers or modules listed here. So as far as I get it I need to manually deal with the drivers or modules, and frankly speaking I have little understanding of how to do it. I tried listing all the network drivers(or are they modules?):
Code:
ls /lib/modules/`uname -r`/kernel/drivers/net

but what are the needed ones among all of them? I tried installing several ones during modprobe just for test but got the same error:
Code:
modprobe: FATAL: module <module's name>  not found in directory /lib/modules/4.9.47-std510-amd64

After all of that I have no idea what to do next :(
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charles17
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stormblade wrote:
I type
Code:
lspci -k

Please lspci -nnkv so we can see vendor id and product id.
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DONAHUE
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you boot a current sysresccd and see the following
run
Code:
root@sysresccd /root % uname -r

see result:
4.9.47-std510-amd64
run
Code:
root@sysresccd /root % ls /lib/modules/`uname -r`/kernel/drivers/net/wireless/realtek/rtlwifi/rtl8723*

see result:
/lib/modules/4.9.47-std510-amd64/kernel/drivers/net/wireless/realtek/rtlwifi/rtl8723ae:
rtl8723ae.ko
/lib/modules/4.9.47-std510-amd64/kernel/drivers/net/wireless/realtek/rtlwifi/rtl8723be:
rtl8723be.ko
/lib/modules/4.9.47-std510-amd64/kernel/drivers/net/wireless/realtek/rtlwifi/rtl8723com:
rtl8723-common.ko
run
Code:
root@sysresccd /root % ls /lib/firmware/rtlwifi/rtl8723*root@sysresccd /root % ls /lib/firmware/rtlwifi/rtl8723*
see result:
/lib/firmware/rtlwifi/rtl8723aufw_A.bin /lib/firmware/rtlwifi/rtl8723bs_nic.binroot@sysresccd /root % ls /lib/firmware/rtlwifi/rtl8723*root@sysresccd /root % ls /lib/firmware/rtlwifi/rtl8723*
/lib/firmware/rtlwifi/rtl8723aufw_B.bin /lib/firmware/rtlwifi/rtl8723bs_wowlan.bin
/lib/firmware/rtlwifi/rtl8723aufw_B_NoBT.bin /lib/firmware/rtlwifi/rtl8723bu_ap_wowlan.bin
/lib/firmware/rtlwifi/rtl8723befw_36.bin /lib/firmware/rtlwifi/rtl8723bu_nic.bin
/lib/firmware/rtlwifi/rtl8723befw.bin /lib/firmware/rtlwifi/rtl8723bu_wowlan.bin
/lib/firmware/rtlwifi/rtl8723bs_ap_wowlan.bin /lib/firmware/rtlwifi/rtl8723fw_B.bin
/lib/firmware/rtlwifi/rtl8723bs_bt.bin /lib/firmware/rtlwifi/rtl8723fw.bin
/lib/firmware/rtlwifi/rtl8723aufw_A.bin /lib/firmware/rtlwifi/rtl8723bs_nic.bin
/lib/firmware/rtlwifi/rtl8723aufw_B.bin /lib/firmware/rtlwifi/rtl8723bs_wowlan.bin
/lib/firmware/rtlwifi/rtl8723aufw_B_NoBT.bin /lib/firmware/rtlwifi/rtl8723bu_ap_wowlan.bin
/lib/firmware/rtlwifi/rtl8723befw_36.bin /lib/firmware/rtlwifi/rtl8723bu_nic.bin
/lib/firmware/rtlwifi/rtl8723befw.bin /lib/firmware/rtlwifi/rtl8723bu_wowlan.bin
/lib/firmware/rtlwifi/rtl8723bs_ap_wowlan.bin /lib/firmware/rtlwifi/rtl8723fw_B.bin
/lib/firmware/rtlwifi/rtl8723bs_bt.bin /lib/firmware/rtlwifi/rtl8723fw.bin

Assuming a working sysresccd 5.1.0 giving results as above:
You should be able to run lsmod and see rtl8723be and rtl8723com in the output.
You should be able to run lspci -k and see rtl8723be as module and driver in the output.
If as module but not driver try modprobe rtl8723be.
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keremCozin
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fedeliallalinea wrote:
I never used a hybrid system with SSD/HDD, then wait another real user exerience.
Anyway, in my opinion, in ssd disk I'd put root partition while in hdd home partition.
A swap can help with compilation of bigger packages if you have only 8GB RAM,
also if you want hibernate swap can be used for this purpose (not strictly required since you can use a swapfile).
Now I'm not sure if swap space it's better in hdd or ssd.
Another thing to keep in mind is /var/tmp/portage (TMPDIR) how portage unpack,
compile and install package before merge in the real paths. Usually is more safe (for hdd/ssd) add this in a tmpfs,
but if you don't wont add this in tmpfs maybe is better put in hdd (not sure) for reduces ssd access.


I'm using a hybrid system with SSD/HDD and i haven't experienced any performance issues. Here is my /etc/fstab :

Code:
/dev/sda1       /boot                   ext2            defaults                                                0 2 *HDD
/dev/sda2       /usr/portage            reiserfs        defaults,noatime,notail                                 0 2 *HDD
/dev/sda3       /var                    reiserfs        defaults,noatime,notail                                 0 2 *HDD
/dev/sda4       /media/extras           xfs             defaults                                                0 2 *HDD
/dev/sdb1       /                       ext4            defaults,relatime,discard                               0 1 *SSD
/dev/sdb2       none                    swap            sw,discard                                              0 0 *SSD
tmpfs           /var/tmp/portage        tmpfs           size=4G,uid=portage,gid=portage,mode=775,noatime        0 0


The only trouble i had was GRUB, it wasn't recognizing my SSD then i installed LILO and it solved my issue.
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stormblade
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

charles17 wrote:
stormblade wrote:
I type
Code:
lspci -k

Please lspci -nnkv so we can see vendor id and product id.

Code:
Network controller [0280]: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. Device [10ec:d723]
Subsystem: Hewlett-Packard Company Device [103c:8319]


Quote:
Assuming a working sysresccd 5.1.0 giving results as above:

It does give the same results as you mentioned, but no rtl8723be and rtl8723com appeared neither in the output of lsmod, nor in the output of lspci -k
A then tried modprobe rtl8723be, and then several modules appeared in the lsmod output: rtl8723be, rtl8723_common, rtl_pci, rtlwifi. However, still nothing when I type lspci -k
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DONAHUE
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://github.com/lwfinger/rtlwifi_new/issues/267 Realtek has not provided linux driver and firmware for the rtl8723de (Device [10ec:d723]) so the kernel driver does not exist yet.
Suggest a cheap usb nic until the de driver exists.
Good question charles17
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stormblade
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DONAHUE wrote:
https://github.com/lwfinger/rtlwifi_new/issues/267 Realtek has not provided linux driver and firmware for the rtl8723de (Device [10ec:d723]) so the kernel driver does not exist yet.
Suggest a cheap usb nic until the de driver exists.
Good question charles17

So no Linux installation possible because I have no network until the driver exists. Seems really crappy. However, it would have been possible if there were some drivers for older versions of Linux kernel , so that I could have compiled an older kernel and used these drivers, right?
P.S. what is a usb nic? You mean USB-to-Ethernet?

UPD: maybe it is possible to make other similar drivers work for my network adapter?
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry I should not have used nic, caused confusion
do a google search for "usb wifi adaptor" you will see what I meant to say, Should be able to see serviceable items from US $10 and up.
then find a local shop, take the laptop with the sysresccd there and try until you get one that works. For laptop use the mini 150mbps ones are good as the adaptor can stay in the laptop without fear of physical damage.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As per Larry Finger (maintainer), the RTL8723DE driver can be expected by the end of this year quoting RealTek. https://github.com/lwfinger/rtlwifi_new/issues/270

I would like to know, if there's any other hack to get the card to work including Ndiswrapper. Any luck?
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stormblade
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

praka123 wrote:
As per Larry Finger (maintainer), the RTL8723DE driver can be expected by the end of this year quoting RealTek. https://github.com/lwfinger/rtlwifi_new/issues/270

I would like to know, if there's any other hack to get the card to work including Ndiswrapper. Any luck?

As far as I understand from ndiswrapper wiki, it has no support for this network card. I tried emerging it during a systemresccd installation, though, but with no result - it said that there is no such package (although it is https://packages.gentoo.org/packages/net-wireless/ndiswrapper available)
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