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A stage tarball is an archive containing a minimal Gentoo environment, suitable
to continue the Gentoo installation using the instructions in this manual.
Previously, the Gentoo Handbook described the installation using one of three
stage tarballs. While Gentoo still offers stage1 and stage2 tarballs, the
official installation method uses the stage3 tarball. If you are interested in
performing a Gentoo installation using a stage1 or stage2 tarball, please read
the Gentoo FAQ on How do I Install Gentoo
Using a Stage1 or Stage2 Tarball?