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indienick 08-21-2006 09:59 AM

Installing Gentoo - A By-the-book Failure
I'm trying to install Gentoo 2006.0 from the Minimal Install disc (ie. the one without a graphical interface), and I've failed miserably.

I've even followed the Quick Installation Guide to a "T". I'm by no means the village idiot when it comes to Unices (especially Linucies), on the same hand, I'm by no means a guru (that's what my dad is for - Bell systems administrator).

I poured through the Gentoo 2006.0 Handbook, and dismissed it because it seemed to focus on the graphical installer, rather than the more pleasantly archaic text-based installation of the Minimal Install CD.

So, Minimal Install CD and x86 Quick Install Guide by my side, I attempted the first run of installing Gentoo; failed.

I tried a couple more times, failing each time. So, I decided to try the graphical installer, which proved to be even less fruitful. At home, I have an ADSL through PPPoE connection. The graphical installer doesn't support PPPoE connections. Now, I could do the "networkless install", but then I would be stuck without networking; seeing as I would need networking to emerge rp-pppoe - which isn't included on the LiveCD.

So, I tried once more with the text-based install - which has ADSL through PPPoE support - and again failed.

Where do I keep failing? It's not as though I'm mis-reading the same instruction again and again, I just don't think the instruction in the x86 Quick Install Guide does on other systems as they would like it to do. I'm almost certain, that the problem - for me - is originating at the kernel building section.

To make the kernel, the Guide says to issue:

# make -j2; make modules_install
and it seems to do what it's supposed to: take care of the dependencies, compile the modules, and all that other good stuff.

The next step specifies to copy the brand-spankin'-new bzImage from /usr/src/linux/arch/i386/boot/ to the /boot directory on a separate partition.

I do so, and add the kernel to GRUB's menu.lst, and do the whole GRUB-updatey-thing (ps. I have Mandriva 2006 as my default install).

*BAM* Kernel panic.

I suppose this means I need an initrd of some sort, but where is it?

I'm just so incredibly lost at this point. By the next step, I'm supposed to have this beautiful Gentoo installation purring, but so far, it seems to be snorting like a warthog in heat (ie. not good).

Any help with this would be greatly appreciated.

mebrelith 08-21-2006 10:22 AM

Theres no way the guide says

To make the kernel, the Guide says to issue:
# make -j2; make modules_install
and it seems to do what it's supposed to: take care of the dependencies, compile the modules, and all that other good stuff.

make && make modules_install

weibullguy 08-21-2006 11:21 AM

The x86 Quick Install Guide never tells you to issue make and make install as a compound command, let alone what you tried. This is what it says,

linux # time make -j2

(Elapsed time depends highly on the options you selected)
real  3m51.962s
user  3m27.060s
sys  0m24.310s

linux # make modules_install

Don't use the Gentoo 2006.0 Handbook since you have an ADSL connection. The Gentoo website has this to say about the 2006.0 Handbook.

Welcome to the Gentoo Linux 2006.0 Handbooks. These handbooks ... contain the necessary installation instructions to install Gentoo Linux 2006.0 without an internet connection.
Use the Gentoo Handbook (no 2006.0) for your architecture. These are not focused on the graphical installer. The only place the Handbook even mentions the graphical installer is in one paragraph describing the Gentoo Installation CD (which also has the console based installer). The rest of the instructions assume a console-based installation.

An initrd is not required if you follow the instructions in the Gentoo Handbook.

indienick 08-21-2006 11:39 AM

Thanks for the reply guys, and I'm sorry if I offended anyone with this thread - it wasn't intentional.

As for issuing "make -j2; make modules_install" I know it's not printed as so in the Quick Install Guide, but I just didn't see a problem with chaining the two commands together.

And as for the kernel panic/initrd issue, what I'm going on about is that I've followed the Quick Install Guide (not the x86 Handbook, mind you), and there isn't anything I've left out - and from what I understood, it was a guide to get a stage3 Gentoo install up and running, quickly. And I would assume that they would supply the necessary commands to make everything work.

As I'm posting this, I'm printing off the Gentoo Linux x86 Handbook as well as the Gentoo Linux 2006.0 x86 Handbook. We'll see how this goes, I guess.

weibullguy 08-21-2006 03:24 PM


Originally Posted by indienick
I just didn't see a problem with chaining the two commands together.

But && and ; are not the same. The && won't execute the second command unless the first exits successfully. The ; will execute the second command regardless of the exit status of the first. Try both with a command you know won't work (like cp foo bar) as the first and a good command second (like ls -l), you'll see the difference.

Are you sure make exited without error?

The Gentoo config, unless you deviate from the Handbook, will build a kernel that doesn't require an intrid.

syg00 08-21-2006 05:13 PM

Gentoo has the best doco around.
And the (original style) handbook is part of that - don't try and use the quick guide until you've "been there, done that".

Personally I think the graphical installer was a mistake.

indienick 08-21-2006 05:15 PM

I'm absolutely positive the kernel compilation is exiting without an error.

The first 2 or 3 times I tried to install Gentoo, I issued each command on its own - no command chaining, whatsoever - and I made sure everything went ok; I didn't get a single make:error message of any sort.

indienick 08-21-2006 05:40 PM

Thanks for the reply syg00. :)

tp11235 08-24-2006 04:46 AM

The handbook does work - but...
I am nearing the end of a very smooth install of Gentoo.

I also dumped the graphical LiveCD - but my problem was that it would not drive my old Voodoo3 card correctly and I thought my poor old monitor was going to blow up.

I switched to the minimal install CD and never looked back. I used the handbook here:

I also got the sense it was meant for the graphical install - I don't know how it does this, but I agree with you. In fact it is not. It comprises a set of explanations and "Code Listings". The "Code Listing" sections are the heart of it and they are for the command line in the minimal install environment.

I know it is irritating to be told - "it worked for me"!! but my advice is to go back and follow the instructions exactly - it is pretty quick.

I used the manual kernel configuration because I am fairly familiar with it - did you do this or use Genkernel?

I also got some problems related to my old SuSE install and booting, which may be relevant to you given your existing Mandriva. I used an old W98 boot disk (sorry!)with FDISK to zap the partitions on the drive and really start from scratch. It should be possible to use FDISK from a linux startup disk to do the same. In fact the install CD allows you to clear partitions and that is probably the same thing in the end.

Also, to put my oar in: Code Listing 14 does say
"make && make modules_install" ;)

There is a fairly rambling account of my install on my blog if want to look.



indienick 08-24-2006 11:22 AM

thanks for the reply, tp11235. :D
someone who understands where I'm coming from.

I made the kernel by hand. I got pretty familiar with making kernels a couple on months ago - I was working on installing ALSA (as the ALSA that ships with Mandriva 2006 doesn't include the drivers for my sound card). I decided just to make my own BASH script to do it all for me.

As for using a linux bootdisk (w/ fdisk) to format a drive - of course it should work...I don't see why it wouldn't. Personally, I just use the Mandriva install disk to re-partition my drives because it has a nice little feature (the SuSE installer might do it too - I'm not sure) where if you extend the size of a partition, it re-arranges any existing data on the partitions for you, so you don't lose any data.

And thanks man, I'll definitely check out your blog.

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