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Old 08-23-2017, 07:53 AM   #1
xahodo
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Questions regarding configuration in regards of hardware and networking


Ok, I find myself more and more often thinking about switching to Gentoo. In the past I have had good experiences with Gentoo and it seems my video device (RadeonHD 6650M) is well support and has hardware acceleration available (Turks chipset). On top of that my wifi is also supported.

But I figured that out with another distribution (Solus) and now I need to figure things out for real, if I'm going for a gentoo install.

So, I have some questions:
1) How do I figure out exactly what hardware I've got. No, I'm not just talking about PCI and PCIe, but also the sensors, etc.
2) Is it dangerous to not have everything enabled in the kernel on my laptop or will the BIOS/UEFI keep things ok? I ask this to check whether it's possible to get a working system first, before I start telling it about all the sensors. Is lm_sensors still the way to go?
3) Is there a reasonable way to get wifi configured? I may have to travel with the laptop, and I may need a way to get my wifi set up quickly (i.e. select wifi, enter password and go)? I am not looking for any dependencies on gnome or a gazillion added packages.
4) Systemd. I do not want it on my system. Can it be avoided seeing what I asked for in question 3?
5) I'm looking at separating /, /boot (to protect the kernel and grub from corruption), /home (to keep my data separate from the rest), /usr/portage (lots of small files), /var/tmp (again, lots of small files) and /var/log (files which are constantly changing and growing). Is this overkill? If so, what's a better idea? What are suggested normal sizes for everything except /home (which would get the remaining space)?

Last edited by xahodo; 08-23-2017 at 08:29 AM. Reason: Added a question
 
Old 08-23-2017, 12:31 PM   #2
Emerson
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1. Get creative, use lspci -knn and lsmod from install disk - use SystemResqueCD for install.
2. You need hard drive controller support, partition table support and root filesystem support enabled. This will allow you boot into your kernel. Then you can configure away and do all the fine tuning you desire.
3. I use wicd. If you have 3G hardware you may want to use NetworkManager.
4. No systemd is Gentoo default. I have no idea why someone would think systemd is required for wireless.
5. Overkill for a laptop. You need separate boot for EFI. I personally mount portage over NFS, so there is no local portage in my laptop.
 
Old 08-24-2017, 01:52 AM   #3
i92guboj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xahodo View Post
1) How do I figure out exactly what hardware I've got. No, I'm not just talking about PCI and PCIe, but also the sensors, etc.
Running lsmod in your current distro should give you an exact idea about what kernel modules you'll be needing, provided both kernel versions are close enough. Or you can just select all sensor modules as 'M' in your kernel, and let it do the autodetection, or use lm_sensors if you find something's missing. Anyway, if you know what modules you'll be using, it's much easier to just select those in-kernel.

If you know the kernel modules, you can press '/' in the kernel menuconfig screen, and it will tell you the path to the matching module(s).

Quote:
2) Is it dangerous to not have everything enabled in the kernel on my laptop or will the BIOS/UEFI keep things ok? I ask this to check whether it's possible to get a working system first, before I start telling it about all the sensors. Is lm_sensors still the way to go?
Your hardware would have to be quite deficient and buggy for that to happens. So, yes: it's safe enough to just set up a basic system and polish it afterwards. The BIOS and probably some other layer(s) or firmware will throttle your cpu as needed, and even shut the board off if the temperature rises above healthy levels for any unsafe period of time.

Quote:
3) Is there a reasonable way to get wifi configured? I may have to travel with the laptop, and I may need a way to get my wifi set up quickly (i.e. select wifi, enter password and go)? I am not looking for any dependencies on gnome or a gazillion added packages.
To get *any* wifi daemon working, the first thing you need is to A) identify the adequate driver for your chip and B) identify whether you need or not a firmware file for it. In Gentoo, most of the firmwares you'll need today are in linux-firmware, so just emerging that should get you going. But you should check the wikis etc. for your concrete chip on Gentoo.

After that, just pick your choice. All the high-level daemons are based on wpa_supplicant, one way or another, so you'll be using that anyway, but they manage things differently. I've been using connman along with connman-gtk for a long time, and it works well without much bells and whistles, but most people seem to prefer wicd for some reason.

You can also use networkmanager outside kde and gnome, I can't help you with that, though.

Quote:
4) Systemd. I do not want it on my system. Can it be avoided seeing what I asked for in question 3?
I have USE=-systemd from day zero. No problem with wifi or anything else.

Quote:
5) I'm looking at separating /, /boot (to protect the kernel and grub from corruption), /home (to keep my data separate from the rest), /usr/portage (lots of small files), /var/tmp (again, lots of small files) and /var/log (files which are constantly changing and growing). Is this overkill? If so, what's a better idea? What are suggested normal sizes for everything except /home (which would get the remaining space)?
[/quote]

I had similar schemas in the past, with uberoptimized fs for each purpose, and found it not worth the trouble for a personal machine at all. I just separate /home from / nowadays (again, for a personal machine; a server of any kind would be a fully different story). But it depends on your usage patterns. If you plan to use the same kernel for more than one distro you might want to separate /boot, otherwise, for personal usage it's more a burden than anything else.

Again, it all depends on usage patterns and personal preferences, but, provided you use something like ext4 for a fs, a computer that's not from 20 years ago and you have enough free space, this is not going to make much difference performance-wise or stability-wise.

I hope this helps.
 
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