Useful links and information for budding Gentoo Linux users.

Gentoo web-links and information.

Gentoo is a distribution that is distributed as a Stage3 tarball and the Portage tarball. The Stage3 tarball is simply extracted in a bootable Linux partition you could create with Gparted or cfdisk. Then the user extracts the Portage tarball under /usr in the Gentoo directory tree and the rest of the installation is carried out in a chroot. this can be performed with your Ubuntu terminal and the emerge command pulls source code from the Internet and compiles the rest of the software you install from source according to the settings that the user has defined. This gives the user total control over how the system is installed and compiler flags can be set to tweak the speed of the resulting system. You need to make sure that if you are building a 64Bit Gentoo system that the Live CD or Linux installation you are using the chroot from is also 64Bit so that you will be successful. Building the all of the packages from source to install a customised system as described above is what makes the Gentoo distribution so popular.

That is how I have always built my Gentoo installations and it works very well. You could use a Ubuntu or Linux Mint Live CD or install Gentoo alongside another Linux installation. That would be quicker to boot back up if you needed to fix something with Gentoo. It is easier to use Linux Mint/Ubuntu to build Gentoo in a chroot as you can have Firefox open at the same time to read the Gentoo installation manual whilst Gentoo is busily running emerge and compiling your packages. In my correspondence with Richard Stallman, he called Gentoo a non-free Linux distribution, but I would recommend it to anyone who wants to build their own system from source. It gives a great sense of accomplishment when you finish building the Gentoo system and you finally get to use your Linux desktop.

There is a Gentoo minimal installation CD ISO that can be used to install Gentoo, but I prefer to do it the chroot way.

Installing the Gentoo distribution in a chroot with another Linux distro.

I am using an old Ubuntu partition for this as it is already formatted and bootable. I deleted all of the existing folders and I unpacked the stage3 tarball into that partition. Then I unpacked the portage tarball into the /usr/portage folder. I am using a partition named My Ubuntu, so all commands I am using will refer to this partition. Firstly, following the guide on this page:, I entered the following commands to prepare for the chroot needed to setup Gentoo.

Firstly, we need to mount /proc and /dev so that our chroot efforts will be successful.

sudo mount -t proc none /media/My\ Ubuntu/proc
sudo mount -o bind /dev /media/My\ Ubuntu/dev

Then copy the /etc/resolv.conf file to the target partition so that the nameservers will be resolved correctly, this will make sure that we will be able to access the Internet to fetch packages and to run emerge –sync.

sudo cp -L /etc/resolv.conf /media/My\ Ubuntu/etc/resolv.conf

Then we use the chroot command to enter the Gentoo partition and then we may setup our command-line environment and setup our $PS1. This will ensure that we can tell the chroot shell apart from our usual command-line shell on the host system.

sudo chroot /media/My\ Ubuntu /bin/bash
# env-update
# source /etc/profile
# export PS1="(chroot) $PS1" (chroot)

Then after all of this has been completed, we may then execute the emerge –sync command and this will update the portage tree. I am using the GNU GRUB2 that loads my Linux Mint 13 installation, so I will not need to worry about setting up GRUB with Gentoo. The emerge –sync command will take a long time depending on the speed of your Internet connection, but after this the installation of the software may begin.

Gentoo handbook. The main Gentoo Wiki page with many categories of technical support. Gentoo installation tips & tricks. partitioning and setting up.

First impressions of Gnome 3 in Gentoo.

1 thought on “Useful links and information for budding Gentoo Linux users.”

  1. I am just a Linux user who has been using Linux since Turbolinux and Redhat Linux 6.2 and now I am wanting to give something back to the community.

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