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snap monkey
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 8:45 pm    Post subject: Installation for a Linux newbie Reply with quote

So, hypothetically speaking, would installing gentoo for a novice Linux user (me) be a bit of a stretch? I perused the installation handbook a while ago and it seemed pretty descriptive. However, a lot of the installation, it seems, involves editing/tweaking configuration files to talor the OS for you specific needs, which is great, but confusing. Any general suggestions before starting out? Is this the wrong distribution for someone who doesn't know all that much about Linux? Is all of the above covered in another thread?
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halo14
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes.. the handbook is very descriptive.. yes there is much help on freenode at #gentoo IRC.. and yes these forums (as well as LinuxQuestions.org) are great.. and yes gentoo will seem very difficult for a newbie...untilyou get it installed..

there's a post from within the hour abotu using vidalinux to set up a clean gentoo install.. then work from there.. it's just a modification of gentoo.. which uses a red-hat style installation routine..

this might be the way to go for you.. I don't know..

also, a stage3 install will take much less time than a stage 1 install which could take around 2 weeks or better to accomplish..

good luck
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Rudy1066
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think installing gentoo is that difficult of a task...provided you read the installation manual and follow the steps closely. That was my problem for the first two installations I did. I finally learned to "RTFM" and it became alot easier. (It took me less than 24 hours to put a stage 2 installation on my laptop this time.) I would recommend using the LiveCD and doing a stage 1 installation--yes, it is more complicated, but it is valuable experience. The most difficult task is selecting the right options for the kernel, but the forums and the LiveCD help with that. Worse case, you just have to recompile the kernel. You will never learn linux until you install it by hand.
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JCBIgler
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a fairly novice Linux user, and someone who is trying to learn Gentoo, here's my take:

If you are serious about actually learning Linux, then yes, Gentoo is the right choice. If you are just casually interested in Linux in general, or want to move away from Windows, then find a different distro.

I started out with Suse about a year and a half ago. Basically, it's like Windows. It gives you a GUI and a mouse and icons, and familiar looking ways of doing things. I was able to get it up and running in about an hour, and it was usable at that point.

But, I'm now more interested in being a compotent Linux user, so I have moved to Gentoo to find out how everything is really done. When you don't have a GUI and no icons and have to specify everything via the comman line, you really learn where you weaknesses are.

The one best piece of advice I can give is to NOT dual boot. Get a cheap older machine (mabey you even have one lying around). Use that to learn on. That way, if you mess everything up, then you still have your working Windows (or other Linux) box so you can get to the web and find help, or finish typing the paper you should have been working on.

I just this week got a second machine to install Gentoo (and whatever else I feel like) on and have learned more in the last two days than I have in a year and a half--because I had to do everything with the comman line, and was still able to find help with my working Windows box. (KVM switches are great devices!!)

And yes, print out the manual, and then follow it. In almost all cases you will have a running bax at the end.

Just my take,

-Justice
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Irvinion
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 11:01 pm    Post subject: Give it a shot Reply with quote

Ditto for the previous post, I installed Gentoo over my winter break, and while it did get a little frustrating at time, to be able to boot up and know that you told the computer what to do to do that is pretty darn rewarding. I am also a newb and just figuring out the whole linux system, and to be able to really tailor-make your OS is a good experience to have. So, from another newb to the other, if you got the will to do it, you can do it.

P.S. - Never be afraid to ask questions on the forum if you get stuck (just make sure it isn't in the handbook), because there are some really good Gentoo people that have got your back :wink:
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evader
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was a pretty big linux noob to start with, I had messed around with a couplf of shell accounts and only ever installed Mandrake and RedHat for other people.

Gentoo was my first distribution. I messed up the first install. But tried it again and got there...

Stick to the manual, do a stage 3 network install if possible, use a gentoo-dev kernel.

After the install doco' continue on with the Portage documenation, then browse through the rest. The gentoo wiki is excellent too.

If you want any help, from someone who is a bit of a noob, but willing to help, come to #lodestar on irc.austnet.org and look for me.

I'll be happy to assist installing via ssh or irc.

You'll learn ALOT in the install and from just trying things in the documentation.
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snap monkey
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, luckily I have a spare pc and a kvm switch available to work with, so hopefully that will take care of some potential headaches. I would not put my current Windows box at risk without a backup. :D

Basically I'm trying to learn Linux for future employment/personal use, and a friend of mine highly recommended looking into gentoo, mainly because portage apparently makes things a lot easier (I've heard that RPMs can be painful to work around).

Anyway, I plan on doing some more reading on how Linux works in general before I give this a go, but I really appreciate the feadback. I'm glad to see the forums are indeed a valuable resource. Thanks.
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Bob P
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i was also a SuSE user for a bout a year before i moved to Gentoo. i used Mandrake before that. distributions like MDK and SuSE are great for beginners, and they tend to offer-up a highly useable platform with quick installation. they're great choices for people who want a windows alternative to be up and running as quickly as possible. they're not necessarily the best choices, though, for people who want to learn linux from the inside out. gentoo will force you to do that.

regardless of which Stage gentoo installation you choose, with Gentoo you are going to have to learn alot about linux from the ground up. there's no way around that with gentoo, so if you don't want to have to learn linux in detail, gentoo may not be the best option for you.

for a beginner -- especially one experimenting with a spare PC or older hardware -- i would recommend a Stage 3 install. the other stage installs take a lot of CPU cycles to compile, which can take up to a week on some older hardware.
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