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Joined: 01 Nov 2003
Posts: 252
Location: Loganville, Ga

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 8:04 am    Post subject: How to easily install Gentoo, wireless, etc Reply with quote

I'm posting this cause I'm about a years worth into Gentoo Linux. I don't know everything but I've learned enough on installing Gentoo Linux that I think I can make an "EASY" guide to installing it. If anyone has better ways please post it so we can help everyone get a Gentoo system up and running and find that Gentoo Linux can be so much better then an Windows System. "KNOW' that I did not write these walkthroughs, the only one I wrote is the Easy install. Everything after that is a collection of others Walkthroughs I have found. I apologies to those writers as I didn't copy your names and I can't property site or reference you.

How to Easily install Gentoo linux with 2% failure.


Hey everyone,

I have had a lot of people ask how hard it is to install Gentoo Linux on a computer as your main operating system. I’m here to say it if very easy.

Step 1
Download Gentoo LiveCD from:
Go to a server of your choosing, select http format, releases, x86 (for regular PC’s), 2007.0, livecd, livecd-i686-installer-2007.0.iso. Once this is downloaded burn it to a CD using iso option.
Step 2
Restart computer with boot from CD-Rom first.

Step 3
Click on the option Gentoo Linux Installer (GTK +)

Step 4
Do a Standard install
Click on either eth0 or eth1 for which ever is your "hard line" Ethernet
Unless you want to setup up a Windows partition, just click on "Recommended layout" and it will set up your partitions for you. Then click on /dev/hda3 and in the properties add "/" to the mount point. This is your root directory. If you wish to set up a Windows partition then just click on /dev/hda3 and delete it, then click on the space and set the amount of space you want for you / or root partition. Set the type at primary and the File system as "ext3" and then of course "/" as the mount point. Then on the other space add the rest of your HDD space and set it up as primary, file system "ntfs", and no mount point.
When you come to the "stages" just do the "stage3" with GRP install and Dynamic both checked. Don’t worry we will update your system after it is up and running.
Just keep clicking till you come to "Kernel" and use the "livecd-kernel" as this will have all your hardware already working.
Use "grub" as your boot loader.
Choose your timezone
make sure your network card is set up with dhcp enabled. Then click on the "Hostname/Proxy Information/Other" tab and put in a Hostname and DNS Domain Name of your Choosing. This can be anything you want to name them.
I suggest just using the "vixie-cron" and "syslog-ng" as they have the most stuff.
DO NOT check anything else to be installed as this will break the install and you will be able to emerge these later.
You can check any of these you want to use as your "Startup Services". I would say use, "alsasound, apache, apache2, hdparm, proftpd, sshd, and xdm"
now choose your display manager with "gdm", change your clock to "local", set your console font to "default8x9" and your Keymap to "us" or your language.
Now set up your system root password. Then add a user for your daily use with a password, HomeDir "/home/"username" and click accept changes.
Now click install.

Step 5
When you finish the install, remove the cd during the reboot of the system. You will have to go to Desktop and click on reboot and the CD will only remove during the reboot. Now your system will boot into its new Operating system.

Step 6
Now that you have your new system set up you can now log in as root/rootpassword. Now do an
"emerge --sync"
and this will update your portage tree. Once it is done you can now do
emerge --pretend --deep --newuse world
and this will show you the files that are going to be installed and/or updated. You will first have to remove
emerge -unmerge coldplug
as it is no longer used and will block other programs so do "emerge --unmerge coldplug". Once coldplug is un-installed then you can do
emerge --update --deep --newuse world
and this will update your system. This will take a few hours so go find something to do and you can come back later and check on it. Now your monitor will turn off so just hit the "tab" button and it will turn back on. Once this is done you should do "revdep-rebuild" and remember to do this every time you update your system. First you will have to "emerge gentoolkit" which is the program needed to run "revdep-rebuild".
emerge gentoolkit


Now the install manual says to do
emerge --deepclean
I'm going to say "DO NOT DO THIS!" until you get really good with understanding Gentoo Linux. If you do this before hand, I'm 100% sure you will end up deleting system programs that are needed to run you system and your system will die and you will not recover except with a re-install.

Step 7
Once you have your system up to date you can install your GUI (Graphical User Interface) and
emerge -pv xorg-server
emerge xorg-x11
which controls your visual display properties. Now you can start with the guides on and/or and locate "KDE" "GDM" and "xorg-server" and soon you will be up and running with your system
You also have the choice of Fluxbox, Gnome, Xfce, and other GUI to choose from.
Once "xorg-server" had finished, you can do:
Xorg -configure
and this will generically set up you X server or Graphics you will need.
X -config /root/
and this should show a blank window with the "X" courser and you will have to do "Alt-Clrt-Backspace". If everything is good, then its time to download you GUI that you want to use.

Step 8
Now you can emerge the GUI. You have many choices, but if you want one that come with tons of stuff get either Gnome if you are more used to the Apple GUI and KDE if you are more used to the Windows GUI.

emerge -pv kde
and it will show all the files for KDE that need to be installed.

 emerge -pv gnome
and it will show all the files for Gnome that need to be installed.

"As long as you don't have any "red" or blocked files at the bottom, you are okay to install them."

okay, now you have a GUI up and running.

Now you need to set up a log in GUI. I recommend using the "gdm" log in.

You will have to emerge gdm.
emerge --pretend gdm

with no blocked files you can:
emerge gdm

Go to /etc/conf.d/xdm and make sure you have you Displaymanager set to "gdm" and that it is not commented out, that means there is no # in front of it.
nano -w /etc/conf.d/xdm

Once you have gdm emerge you need to first add it to your startup process by doing
rc-update add xdm default

now start/restart xdm by doing
/etc/init.d/xdm restart

now the log in manager should start. If it does just use you "not root" user and password to log in.
also at the bottom there is a blank window that has you different GUI's or kde/gnome/fluxbox.
choose one of them and use your user name and password to log in.

Now when you restart you computer you will get the log in GUI and then it will log you into you GUI KDE/Gnome/Fluxbox.

This is for people that want to try out Gentoo Linux but don't understand all the steps needed in the "install guide".

I hope this helps.

Now that you have your system up and running, if you want access to root as a user you need to go to
nano -w /etc/group
and add your user name to


and now in a console you can go

"root password"

and now you have root access in your user account and you can emerge programs

Now that you have your system up and running you may want to print. I have it set up to printer a windows computer that has a printer attached to it. This was very hard for me to find and put together so I'm going to place it here to make it a little easier for other people.

Printing to a Windows computer w/printer attached to it.

In this thread I'm gonna try to explain, how to use a shared printer, that is connected to a Windows XP machine in your LAN.
It isn't hard at all but it took me hours to get it working cause I couldn't find a good tutorial, that's why I decided to write this one.

I'll try to explain it with the help of what I've done here:

1. My computers:

a) My windows XP computer is called "MOTHERSHIP", the ip is, the standard user is guest ( pass xxxxxxx ) and the connected printer is an HP F4135 all-in-one printer.

- share the printer by right-clicking on it and give it a simple name, in my case "hpf4135".
- disable any firewalls ( you can configure it later but first we will make sure that printing will work at all ).

b) My Gentoo machine is a Custom Built Micro-Desktop, called MOTHERSHIP, the IP address changes regularly so I'm going to add address 192.168.1.? from .100 to .115 so that I don't have to change it in the future.

2. the requirements:

make sure that your Windows XP machine is in your /etc/hosts. I couldn't get it working with the IP address only.

in my case it is:
Code:         MOTHERSHIP

".100 thru .115"

optionally you can add "cups" to your USE-Flags, but this is not necessary.

the programs we need:

emerge samba
emerge cups
emerge psutils
emerge ghostscript
emerge gnome-print (said to be optional but isn't in portage anymore)

It seems that you need the "HP Inkjet server for Ghostscript", if you have a Hewlett Packard printer.

emerge hpijs

If this is not in portage do the following
locate hpijs

If you see a bunch of them when locate is running then hpijs is already installed.

Now you need a driver for your printer. you can either go to to get the .ppd file for your printer ( in my case HP-DeskJet_F4100-hpijs.ppd ), or you can

USE="ppds" emerge gimp-print

to get all available gimp-print drivers.
else just do

emerge gimp-print

If you choose to just download the file from, then you have to copy it over to


( strangefully i experienced, that the downloaded driver for my printer from prints faster than the driver from the gimp-print package. even with the same settings ... )

3. the installation

now we start cups:

/etc/init.d/cupsd start

open your favorite browser and go to http://localhost:631/
go to "manage printers". if you're asked for a password type in your normal root account info. The first three informations (name, location, description) can be filled just like you want. I choose to name it hpf4135 but I don't think it is needful that this name is the same one that you gave your printer on the XP machine. click continue. choose "Windows Printer via SAMBA". click continue.
then tYpe in the location:


in my case this is


and this worked 100% of the time so I recommend doing this. You may have to activate your Windows XP Guest account. I didn't but if you don't get it printing then try is activated.

Maybe it is working with the normal guest account so i suggest you'll try this first before using your normal login.


click continue.
choose the vendor of your printer ( in my case HP ), continue
choose your printer model or use the file you downloaded and use it.

if I didn't forget something and everything went well, you should now be able to print the test page.

the last thing is to add cups to run level default so that the printer works every time you reboot.
rc-update add cupsd default

Also in Windows you will need to set your Windows printer propertied and then go to "Ports" tab and un-check "Enable bidirectional support" as this will send back a request to your Gentoo Linux system that it will not reply to and your printer will not print. Once this is un-check you should be able to print.

When you have to printer installed you may want to try a "print test page". I hate to say, but this doesn't always work, so go to openoffice or abiword or simply a web site and try to print a page. I don't know why "print test page" doesn't work all the time, but if you can get it to print from anything else, its up and running.

In the Printing to Windows walkthough section I need to give full credit to the author and site this walk through

Printing from Gentoo to a shared Windows XP printer via Cups
Sun Oct 26, 2003 8:40 pm

Now some people have wireless cards that they need a Windows driver for. The next walkthrough is going to show just how easy it is to get it up and running.

I'm going to use:00:0b.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4318 [AirForce One 54g] 802.11g Wireless LAN Controller (rev 02) as my example

First you need to emerge ndiswrapper
emerge -av ndiswrapper

nano -w /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist

In this you will check it and see something like this
# replaced by tulip
blacklist de4x5

you will need to write this in that the bottom
#broadcom native driver
blacklist bcm43xx

save and close the file.

Now you will run the following commands
rmmod bcm43xx
rmmod ndiswrapper
modprobe ndiswrapper
ndiswrapper -l

Now you need to remove any drivers that are currently loaded.
ndiswrapper -e Wsd33x
ndiswrapper -e Win32x
ndiswrapper -e Red12x
ndiswrapper -e Blue2sx

now you need to put your windows drivers on your computer. I recommend you place them in a folder called "Windows Drivers" in /home/yourusernamehere/"Windows Drivers"

cd /home/yourusernamehere/Windows\ Drivers/
ndiswrapper -i BCMWL5.INF
ndiswrapper -l
ndiswrapper -m

Now your wireless card should be working. Make sure you load the proper windows driver. make sure the restart you computer.

If you need to you can
modprobe ndiswrapper
if you need to manually get it up and running.

Now you can do
iwconfig wlan0
iwconfig wlan0 channel
ifconfig wlan0 up

If you upgrade your kernel past linux-2.6.22? you probably won't be able to get the modprobe to load and work, so just use an older version of your kernel. I found this out through trying it but if this gets fixed in ndiswrapper in a future release then we should be able to use a more updated kernel.

I hope this will help a lot of people get into using Gentoo Linux.

If you have any questions please post them and if you have anything to add to help First time uses please post as you many also help me find something else new to do

Thanks in Advance,
Sometimes you have to take that leap, then build your wings on the way down.

Last edited by Icethepenguin on Wed Apr 23, 2008 5:18 am; edited 1 time in total
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Joined: 03 Jun 2004
Posts: 333

PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, we do have installation docs, don't we?
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Joined: 01 Nov 2003
Posts: 252
Location: Loganville, Ga

PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yea, but some people look at it like its written in greek.
Sometimes you have to take that leap, then build your wings on the way down.
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Joined: 19 Jul 2004
Posts: 334
Location: NJ

PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks man, I used gentoo steady back in 04, and then stopped once I got a mac, and I just returned to the gentoo/linux world and this guide is extremely helpful for refreshing my memory, its very down to earth.
Bladdo formerly >Milo< - scripting and design
Creator of AIM Bot: Tiny Tiny Bot - the bot that learns
distro: gentoo | window manager: pekwm
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Posts: 424

PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 4:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

great guide, thanks
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