Gentoo 2008.0 Desktop – Stable now


    Due to my busy schedule of the previous week, it actually took me roughly a week to finally get my Gentoo 2008.0 Desktop and configured.  This is the first time in over two years that I actually got a fully functional Gentoo system.  I even got 3D direct rendering working with nvidia and xorg which in the past I was too lazy to set up 🙂

    Installing Gentoo this time took longer than expected since I had some SATA2 drive problems.  Turns out I needed to enable AHCI in bios to get the SATA2 hard drives (I use two of them now)  to work properly.  The Gentoo Linux x86 Handbook has been updated making the installation process go a little more faster (A Newbie should have no problems installing Gentoo now if they are willing to spend some time reading).

    As in the past, I decided to use Daniel Robbin’s stage 3 tarbells.  It took me a couple hours to actually complete the installation due to poor bandwidth here in Vietnam last Sunday.  I did have some USE flags problems in the beginning but I was able to fix them and compile the kernel for this system.  I spent some time researching online on the various kernel options I would need before compiling.  In the end, it worked out and I got a working kernel.  My .config was an edited version of a .config created by Linux Mint that worked on my system (it also worked with Ubuntu).

    After I finished my initial Gentoo system and got it working, I had several kernel panics before I realized I needed to enable AHCI in bios as I mentioned above.  Then I booted into Gentoo BUT I could not log which forced me to reboot with the Gentoo LiveCD and chroot into my system so I could change the password.  After that I had little problem.

    xorgX11 was easy to install.  Again I just edited a previous xorg.conf that was generated by Linux Mint.  I booted up into X and then started to emerge and compile all the programs I wanted.  I chose the Gnome desktop this time around.  This will be my first time using Gnome on a Gentoo system.  I did not want to deal with the qt3 qt4 library problems I had in the past.

    I did not finish configuring my system until late Friday night.  Along the way I had many, yes many, USE flag problems.  I never really paid attention to the USE flags documentation so I decided to give it a read for once.  Wow, it is highly recommended.  It turned out that I could not get some gtk programs to run since I disabled the gtk USE flag by adding -gtk in /etc/make.conf.  I spent part of yesterday reviewing it and now, I am happy to say, I finally got Gentoo stable enough to even watch DVDs, a feat I was never successful in the past year.

    Before I went to sleep last night, I was able to get 3D direct rendering to work with xorg.  I crossed my fingers, restarted X and did not get the same crash that I was expecting.

    So for now, I am happy.  I already compiled all the software that I normally use in a Linux system.  I will add some web apps this week to start my development work again with Plone and Django.

    Since I have resolved my battery problem, I hope that this Gentoo system will last longer than in the past 🙂

    My Gentoo System Specs:

    • Intel Core 2 Duo 2.66 GHx Processor CPU
    • Gigabyte Intel P35 (P35-D3P)  Motherboard
    • Kingmax 1GB DDR2 Memory (Total 4 GB)
    • Gigabyte GeForce 7300GT 16X, 256DDR2 Graphics Card
    • Western Digital SATA II 250 GB Hard Drive (main)
    • Samsung Plus SATA II 250 GB Hard Drive (backup)
    • Asus DRW-2014LIT DVD-RW
    • Creative Blaster Audigy Sound Card
    • Cooler Master Power Supply – 460W
    • Cooler Master Elite Case
    • .config
    • /etc/make.conf
    • xorg.conf

    Gentoo Linux 2008.0 - Vietnam


    • LAMP with PHP, Perl and Python installed with little problems
    • oscommerce installed 🙂
    • Zope installed but I cannot add a Plone site


    1. Which again comes to show that you definitely don’t choose Gentoo for stability. I mean, come on, one full week to get a fully stable desktop…

      Don’t take me wrong, I totally undestand that you enjoy the challenge, and the warm feeling of success when you get it to work.

      But it’s easy to see why most people would go for something like Ubuntu for day to day. I just don’t have the time to tackle something like what you describe right now, and so Ubuntu makes my life easy, when “it just works” 🙂

      Congratulations in your successful installation, in any case. Does it feel faster?

    2. Hey Urko,

      Total time, it took about 8 hours, due to bandwidth, to get a fully running system based on my preference. I mentioned it took me a week because I was working and preparing for a presentation.

      I am not your average user as are those who decide to choose Gentoo, Sidux, or Arch. We just like to fiddle around. I hear a lot of people complaining about compiling or messing with the configurations. Yeah, go with Ubuntu if you want but if a problem arises and it can’t be solved, who do they turn to for help? Yep, the Gentoo community even today.

      Sent you an email. Talk to you soon.


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