Gentoo 2007.0 has been out for some time, but I just now got a chance to setup a few new Gentoo systems. Previously I’ve always installed via the 2006.1 installation media, either the LiveCD or LiveDVD, and used the GTK installer. While the 2006.1 GTK installer was certainly buggy, I was able to get a process worked out that allowed the system to be loaded fairly consistently each time. However, it was *much* more difficult with the 2007.0 LiveCD and DVD.
Here are some of the trials that I ended up going through..
To begin with, Xorg wouldn’t even load. It would crash out with an error stating that it wasn’t able to load a glcore module while starting Xorg. I figured it had something to do with a problem with the VIA drivers that were being used, so I edited /etc/X11/xorg.conf and changed the detected “via” driver to “vesa”. I then ran startx, and everything loaded just fine… except for the fact that the GUI and console installation tools where nowhere to be found. After looking around for them a bit, I decided that I must not have started Xorg the way that the LiveCD intended, so I exited Xorg, and ran a “killall -9 gdm” followed by “gdm”. Then, finally, I was at the spot where I had expected to be when I first booted off of the CD. I’ve also heard that there are the same problems with ATI drivers and trying to use the LiveCD/DVD.
The next step was to start the installer. I decided to see how the GTK installer had changed from the previous one. Everything was going smoothly until I reached the part to select where to pull my stage file from. I intended to pull it off the Internet, but realized I had not yet setup any IP information on my NIC to be able to connect to anything. On a hunch, CTRL-ALT-F1 did indeed drop me back to a root prompt where I was able to run: net-setup. This quick little network config script just walks you through the basic network configuration. However, it’s pretty simple, and you have to make sure you know all of your settings because it won’t calculate or guess anything for you. Most network setup scripts can tell you the broadcast address if you provide an IP and a subnet mask. This one tries to, but after providing a subnet mask of 255.255.240.0, it provided me back a broadcast address that was way off-the-mark. Once I had my network information set, a CTRL-ALT-F7 brought me back in to select and pull the stage file without issue.
Next I went through and selected everything I wanted to install, and after all of that, it began installing. It then errored out and said “Installation Failed” please see the /tmp/install-error-log and report back any bugs. Well there is no /tmp/install-error-log, but there was a /tmp/compile-install-error-log, which told me that you can not install “sendmail” because it conflicts with something else. So I went back through the installation process, and avoided checking sendmail, and the install completed successfully. After a few emerges everything was working quite smoothly.
Granted I could have likely saved myself quite a few headaches by just going through the minimal install CD, and running everything by hand, but I didn’t feel like printing off pages of instructions for each step along the way. I’ve not yet memorized each and every command and step used in the install process, so looking back and forth from my notes to make sure I’m typing every command correctly didn’t sound too appealing.
I’m sure many of you that have decided to take Gentoo installations on have likely run into the same, or similar issues that I have. Hopefully my notes above may help someone else complete their installs successfully as well.