maanantai 28. tammikuuta 2008

Basic Gentoo Installation

As I mentioned before, even the basic Gentoo installation can be a chore. But after installing Gentoo several times, I am starting to see the beauty behind it. Everything is done on command line but in a sense, I have full control of how my system is going to be. Nothing unnecessary gets installed or setup, which is great help when you´re trying to minimize the amount of software.
For example boot process slows considerably by adding more services,
so one should be aware what is actually needed and what can be left out. Also less software means less disk usage, less security issues and most importantly more performance.

Installation process is pretty easy if one follows the Gentoo Handbook and does not deviate much. I decided install to RAID1 array right away to steer clear of the pitfalls of doing it later.
Installation itself was pretty uneventful, but I would not recommend it to any one without proper Linux experience.

There are easier distros to install, or rather, almost all other distros are easier to install. One could go with Ubuntus minimal server installation and make a pretty decent HTPC. Not many however offer you so much control over your OS as Gentoo.

I decided to keep the partiotioning of the disks as simple as possible.
  • /dev/md0 10GB for / (root) partition
  • /dev/md1 290GB for /safe partition, this is used to store important data
  • /dev/md2 4GB for swap partition, yes I know that is pretty much, but I want to be able to Suspend my RAM to disk if need arises.
So far I've emerged (installed) the following additional software.
  • syslog-ng and logrotate
  • vixie-cron
  • grub
  • mdadm
  • xfsprogs (this is needed for my 500GB DVB Recording XFS partition)
  • alsautils

And I have enabled following additional services.
  • sshd
  • syslog
  • eth0
  • mdadm
  • syslog-ng
  • vixie-cron
  • alsasound

I am planning to start the not-critical services in their own runlevel or at least after the HTPC services that are needed to make the Media Center start as fast as possible. Currently the mentioned services still reside on default-runlevel.

Next time, installing Lirc remote control software, Mplayer video player, X the graphical server and Samba for network file sharing and maybe few others.

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