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My First Experience With Gentoo

February 10, 2009

gtop-wwwWell, I’d heard good things about running Gentoo Linux (it’s fast, it’s fast, and it’s fast), so I figured I’d give it a go.  I downloaded the 2008.0 minimal ISO for my arch and fired up VirtualBox.

First off, this is not for the Linux newbie, or the faint of heart.  If you’re fairly comfortable in Linux (by which I mean the command line), and you’re pretty good at following directions…. you have a chance of getting a working system installed on the first go.  I would consider myself to be a little more experienced than a newbie and I’ll admit; I FAILED!

There is extensive documentation on how to install Gentoo.  I followed the Gentoo Handbook step-by-step.  Part way through step one, my thoughts were along the lines of, “This is absolutely ridiculous!  Who in their right mind would bother doing all this when it’s so easy to set up (nearly) every other Linux distro out there?”  But I pressed on.  Somewhere around steps 3 or 4 I started thinking, “Well, this is kinda cool. I like knowing that the install will be absolutely specifically how I want it.  It’s also fun to watch verbose output of compiling everything from scratch.”  Then I got to the final step and the reboot.  “Kernel panic: vfs not syncing….”  WHAT?!?  I DID ALL THAT FOR NOTHING?!?!?  Ok, no need to panic (har, har).  Google tells me I probably didn’t include support for one of my file systems in the kernel.  I got back in, tweaked away with ‘make menuconfig’ some more.  No luck.

That brings me to where I am now.  I’m not sure what to do next, but I think I’m going to start clean and try one more time, this time using the Quick Install guide.  If anyone has any tips, I’m happy to take them.  I really like the idea of a totally customized system, and if I get comfortable enough with it, I may even consider making it the main OS on my laptop (for a month or two, anyhow).

2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 10, 2009 11:37 am

    Sounds like the root= line in grub might be wrong.

  2. matt permalink
    February 10, 2009 12:49 pm

    Cool. Thanks for the tip. Unfortunately, in my impatience, I’ve already deleted the .vdi for that install. I wonder if it was weird because it was a VM. Well, I’ll have another go at it, and if I get the error, I’ll know where to look first. Thanks again!

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