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creighto
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:24 pm    Post subject: Installing Gentoo onto an old Toshiba laptop. Reply with quote

Booting from USB works fine, but the only working bootable usb stick I have right now complains that the Intel Atom processor looks like a i686 32 bit processor, and the stick kernel is 64 bit. My attempt to put RescueCD onto a usb stick seems to have failed, because it won't boot.

This old laptop only has one gig of memory, and the drive size is yet unknown. So sticking with 32 bit arch isn't a problem for me. I've since learned that Gentoo is the basis for ChromeOS, and considering how well my daughter's new chromebook works for her, I'm now thinking that I'd like to set up my laptop so that one account starts Chromium and runs as a chromebook while another account starts into BlackboxWM for anything else I'd like to do.

So my first question is, what should I do to get started here? My company laptop doesn't permit writing any data out to USB storage, so I can't make a new boot usb image with that. I do have an iMac at home, but trying to use that to create the first RescueCD USB didn't work; so I'm not sure that attempting that again is a fruitful path.

It's kind of a strange chicken & egg problem, I have all this computer gear but it seems that none of it is useful until one is useful.
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skellr
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another option is PXE. Debian still has a network boot install.

They don't have a public TFTP server anymore, so you'll need to set one up. Maybe your iMac has a TFTP server daemon waiting to be used for something?
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creighto
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the suggestion, but I managed to get a programmer at my company to cut me a bootable usb, and he chose Fedora 27. Which installed fine, but runs really slowly. My next step is to cut a couple of my own bootable usb sticks so that I can build Gentoo without interruption. Does anyone have suggestions about how I go about that next step? I've been told that SystemRescueCD is a Gentoo rescue disk that I can start from, but does any one know of a step by step I can refer to in order to make, and then verify, such a boot usb disk? I imagine that I could muddle through if I had too, but in this day an age, I'm sure that there is a howto somewhere.
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The Doctor
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Go back to the system rescue CD. Use their from Linux install and it should work flawlessly. I always have one on hand for whatever.

EDIT: Just use Fedora to install Gentoo. The KISS principle in action.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

creighto wrote:
Thanks for the suggestion, but I managed to get a programmer at my company to cut me a bootable usb, and he chose Fedora 27. Which installed fine, but runs really slowly. My next step is to cut a couple of my own bootable usb sticks so that I can build Gentoo without interruption. Does anyone have suggestions about how I go about that next step? I've been told that SystemRescueCD is a Gentoo rescue disk that I can start from, but does any one know of a step by step I can refer to in order to make, and then verify, such a boot usb disk? I imagine that I could muddle through if I had too, but in this day an age, I'm sure that there is a howto somewhere.

That saved you some time. :)

If you have Fedora installed you could use that to install Gentoo. Do you have enough room to shrink the filesystem and add another partition for Gentoo?
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

skellr wrote:
If you have Fedora installed you could use that to install Gentoo. Do you have enough room to shrink the filesystem and add another partition for Gentoo?

Probably, it was a 200gig hard disk when I started. Unfortunately, I don't know how to do what you are suggesting.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Doctor wrote:
Go back to the system rescue CD. Use their from Linux install and it should work flawlessly. I always have one on had for whatever.

EDIT: Just use Fedora to install Gentoo. The KISS principle in action.


Unfortunately, I don't know how to do that.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Doctor wrote:
Go back to the system rescue CD. Use their from Linux install and it should work flawlessly. I always have one on hand for whatever.
Me, too. The SystemRescueCd is excellent, has 32-bit and 64-bit kernels, and has clear USB stick installation instructions. Highly recommended.

- John
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="creighto"]
skellr wrote:
creighto wrote:


If you have Fedora installed you could use that to install Gentoo. Do you have enough room to shrink the filesystem and add another partition for Gentoo?


Probably, it was a 200gig hard disk when I started. Unfortunately, I don't know how to do what you are suggesting.

That's much more space than I was expecting it to have. Good deal for $20.

You would need to shrink the filesystem Fedora uses so you can then make it's partition smaller. Once the partition is smaller you can add another partition for Gentoo. The downside is you can only extend/shrink from the end of filesystems. You can't change where they start without making a new one.

So, if you get Gentoo installed and you wanted more room you would need to delete/reformat Fedora, copy Gentoo to the partition Fedora was on, then delete the old Gentoo partition so you can extend the new/first one to consume the rest of the space.

Fedora probably has gparted installed, that should get you started.


Last edited by skellr on Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:39 am; edited 2 times in total
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The Doctor
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

creighto wrote:
The Doctor wrote:
Go back to the system rescue CD. Use their from Linux install and it should work flawlessly. I always have one on had for whatever.

EDIT: Just use Fedora to install Gentoo. The KISS principle in action.


Unfortunately, I don't know how to do that.
Install the system rescue CD to usb from linux? They have directions.

Install Gentoo? Follow the handbook. There is a page detailing possible pitfalls and solutions for non-gentoo install media.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Doctor wrote:
creighto wrote:
The Doctor wrote:
Go back to the system rescue CD. Use their from Linux install and it should work flawlessly. I always have one on had for whatever.

EDIT: Just use Fedora to install Gentoo. The KISS principle in action.


Unfortunately, I don't know how to do that.
Install the system rescue CD to usb from linux? They have directions.

Install Gentoo? Follow the handbook. There is a page detailing possible pitfalls and solutions for non-gentoo install media.

creighto has already been down that road. :)
https://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-p-8193922-highlight-.html#8193922
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

skellr wrote:
Another option is PXE. Debian still has a network boot install.

They don't have a public TFTP server anymore, so you'll need to set one up. Maybe your iMac has a TFTP server daemon waiting to be used for something?

"lpxelinux.0" bootloader from syslinux can load kernel and initrd over http.

From very old pxelinux config:
Code:

LABEL installdebian
MENU LABEL Install ^Debian
KERNEL http://d-i.debian.org/daily-images/amd64/daily/netboot/debian-installer/amd64/linux
APPEND url=http://10.0.0.1/debian-preseed.cfg locale=en_US keymap=fi hostname=debian domain=lan vga=788 --
INITRD http://d-i.debian.org/daily-images/amd64/daily/netboot/debian-installer/amd64/initrd.gz
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creighto
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Woohoo! I got mediainstaller to write both a SystemRescueCD iso and the minimal_install iso to two thumbdrives. It took over an hour to do both operations, because Fedora was *so SLOW* on this old laptop; but it seems to have been successful. I rebooted the laptop with the minimal_install drive inserted and am currently running Memtest.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

creighto,

That sounds like a USB 1 data rate issue.
If you really only have USB 1, booting from USB will be painfully slow.
That will encourage you to only do it once. :)

Normality will be restored once you can boot from the HDD.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The laptop is USB2, and it's definitely a Fedora 27 issue. It seems to use a lot of resident memory, which I don't have, and swaps to the swap partition constantly. This Atom process is a single core at 1.6 Ghz, not exactly bleeding edge of anything; but I suppose that was the whole point of rebranding the Pentium II as an energy efficient processor. At the moment, I've chroot'ed and am currently stuck in the "emerge -sync" as the little guy chugs through it all. Up to the "M"'s as I now look. Looking ahead to the next section, it talks about "profiles"; and I'm wondering if a profile exists for a lightweight laptop, and/or a profile for a straight X-server system without all the eye-candy add-ons such as Qt? Can I still function entirely without such libraries? Would Chromium require them?
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Emerge is presently chugging along compiling a set of libraries required for the profile I chose. I chose #4, the plain desktop, because I was guessing that the older profiles would be lighter overall compared to the ..gnome .kde or ..hardened profiles. If I'm way off base here, someone please let me know, so I can change the profile before I get too far along. I have moved the laptop into a secure room going forward, because my 5 year old managed to reboot it while I was brushing her brothers' teeth. Recovering from that wasn't as time consuming as I feared, but I didn't want it to happen again. It's nice to be able to pick up an entire computer system while it's compiling and simply move it to another room before plugging it back in. I still can't figure out how old this laptop is, but it must be pretty old, as it use NiCad battery chemisty; and I thought that all laptops moved to lithium-ion a decade ago...
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

creighto,

When you get to build it, dmidecode will give you some indications as to the age of your system.

Code:
# dmidecode 3.1
Getting SMBIOS data from sysfs.
SMBIOS 2.4 present.
32 structures occupying 1615 bytes.
Table at 0x000E8D50.

Handle 0x0000, DMI type 0, 24 bytes
BIOS Information
        Vendor: INSYDE
        Version: v0.3109
        Release Date: 05/09/2008
...

I've updated the BIOS once too. That's probably 9 May 2008.

If you have selected the profile that ends in /desktop that's correct but there is a trap here.
Gentoo is in the process of moving between the /13.0/ profiles and the /17.0/ profiles.
There is no point in doing a new install on a /13.0/ profile as the switch is a total rebuild.
Firing up my netbook and running emerge --sync, I get
Code:
# eselect profile list
Available profile symlink targets:
  [1]   default/linux/x86/13.0 (stable)
  [2]   default/linux/x86/13.0/selinux (dev)
  [3]   default/linux/x86/13.0/desktop (stable)
  [4]   default/linux/x86/13.0/desktop/gnome (stable)
  [5]   default/linux/x86/13.0/desktop/gnome/systemd (stable)
  [6]   default/linux/x86/13.0/desktop/plasma (stable)
  [7]   default/linux/x86/13.0/desktop/plasma/systemd (stable)
  [8]   default/linux/x86/13.0/developer (stable)
  [9]   default/linux/x86/13.0/systemd (stable)
  [10]  default/linux/x86/17.0 (stable)
  [11]  default/linux/x86/17.0/selinux (stable)
  [12]  default/linux/x86/17.0/hardened (stable)
  [13]  default/linux/x86/17.0/desktop (stable) *
...
so you want the default/linux/x86/17.0/desktop profile.

creighto wrote:
Atom process is a single core at 1.6 Ghz
and we know its 32 bit only too.
That makes it an N270. I still run one of those in a 2008 Acer One Netbook.
It builds things with the help of distcc ... even firefox and libreoffice.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeddySeagoon wrote:

If you have selected the profile that ends in /desktop that's correct but there is a trap here.
Gentoo is in the process of moving between the /13.0/ profiles and the /17.0/ profiles.
There is no point in doing a new install on a /13.0/ profile as the switch is a total rebuild.
Firing up my netbook and running emerge --sync, I get
Code:
# eselect profile list
Available profile symlink targets:
  [1]   default/linux/x86/13.0 (stable)
  [2]   default/linux/x86/13.0/selinux (dev)
  [3]   default/linux/x86/13.0/desktop (stable)
  [4]   default/linux/x86/13.0/desktop/gnome (stable)
  [5]   default/linux/x86/13.0/desktop/gnome/systemd (stable)
  [6]   default/linux/x86/13.0/desktop/plasma (stable)
  [7]   default/linux/x86/13.0/desktop/plasma/systemd (stable)
  [8]   default/linux/x86/13.0/developer (stable)
  [9]   default/linux/x86/13.0/systemd (stable)
  [10]  default/linux/x86/17.0 (stable)
  [11]  default/linux/x86/17.0/selinux (stable)
  [12]  default/linux/x86/17.0/hardened (stable)
  [13]  default/linux/x86/17.0/desktop (stable) *
...
so you want the default/linux/x86/17.0/desktop profile.
Okay, thanks. So I do need to switch the profile, because I chose the 13.0/desktop
Quote:


creighto wrote:
Atom process is a single core at 1.6 Ghz
and we know its 32 bit only too.
That makes it an N270. I still run one of those in a 2008 Acer One Netbook.
It builds things with the help of distcc ... even firefox and libreoffice.


That sounds about right. Is it safe for me to interrupt the current compiling with control-x? Or should I just let it finish first?
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

creighto,

Its safe. I use ctrl-c.

You are going to switch to the /17.0/ profile sometime. It may as well be sooner rather than later.
Do read the news item
Code:
New 17.0 profiles in the Gentoo repository
and act on it.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I killed it with control-c, and now I'm curious as to what the differences between that and control-x are.

Anyway, I've killed it, switched the profile to #13 (the 17.0/desktop(stable) according to my emerge) and now emerge is busy calculating dependencies. That will take a bit, I'm sure.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

creighto,

Follow the news item. You must do the toolchain bits first in the right order.
You can save some time later with the --exclude option. There is no point in building the toolchain bits that you did at the start.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I get what you're saying here. The minimal-install.iso hasn't been updated with the compiler executables to match the .17 profiles; so I will need to do that myself before continuing with the process in the handbook. Otherwise I will have to do it twice anyway. Is this correct?
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The stage may or may not be on the new profile, but best not to assume since that path leads to misery.

I generally recommend recompiling everything anyway so you are not wasting time here.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

creighto,

Correct. LIke The Doctor says, I rebuild everything optimised to my target system too.

Even if the stage tarball you started from was built with the /17.0/ profiles, by building things after selecting a /13.0/ profile, you got yourself in a mess.
Its possible to look at logs and backtrack but its probably faster and better for your install to rebuild everything.

My build everything habit is probably a bad habit I developed a long time a go in the days of the stage1 install.
That's no longer an option.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

* Use gcc-config to select gcc-6.4.0 or later as system compiler


Unfortunately, I don't know how to do what this line is asking of me. I run gcc-config, but there is no option for setting the compiler version that I can find.

Quote:

* Re-source /etc/profile:
. /etc/profile


And when I did this, all it seemed to do was remove my [chroot] flag. I'm fairly certain that it didn't actually affect where root is, just reset the command prompt name, but I'm still concerned.

Quote:

* Re-emerge libtool
emerge -1 sys-devel/libtool

This one is in progress, but I don't know if it matters without setting the gcc-config to 6.4.x first.
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