December 29, 2006

Installing thetao

Filed under: linux,thetao — SiKing @ 2:22 pm


Another kompy Geek. For the time being I have postponed the struggle with etanol, although there is a strong possibility that I am going to get a couple of days early in January to finish him off. In case you’re wondering about the non-sense hostnames (again), read the beginning of this (again).

So, thetao is a work machine, nothing fancy: an old PIII box. I am working on something (as in: getting paid to) at work and this project is finally a good excuse to have a look at Portage (a package management system for Gentoo Linux), which I have wanted to do for some time now. However, installing (or should I say “building” in this case) an entire Linux system on a PIII/700MHz/512MB machine would take me weeks. So along came Kororaa – a “binary version of Gentoo”!

I really played with the install. One weird thing was that I had to use the kororaa-nofb kernel to boot the install CD, but to boot the machine after the install I no longer needed the -nofb?! However, the upgrade after install was a bitch!…

The first time through, I was just exploring things trying to get to a running machine as fast as possible. As soon as I fired up 'emerge --pretend --upgrade world' things started to fall apart: it complained about a whole bunch (like several pages worth) of blocking issues. At least I explored a bit more: I could see other servers on the network, Internet worked, but I had problems connecting to a printer or Windows shares – maybe I screwed up installing cups or samba. At work we do not have single-signon even under Windows, and connecting to anything on the Windows network refused my Windows login credentials – however, this is going to have to wait as I have bigger fish to fry right now. Well, I knew the first install was a throw away anyway.

The next few times through I was a little more careful with my choices especially when selecting packages. I did allow the installer to sync the Portage tree, which I suspect was my first big mistake: it left /etc/make.profile pointing to at a non-existent link. After reading through the Gentoo Upgrading Guide, I did find out that Gentoo 2005.1 (which is what the latest Kororaa installs) is no longer supported – hence the missing link I suspect. I tried pointing the link to x86/2006.0 and updating then x86/2006.1 and updating, as the Upgrading Guide mentioned to make sure your Portage is updated. 'emerge --sync' seemed to have worked. However 'emerge --update portage' complained about a whole bunch of blocking issues, at least 'emerge portage' worked. But I still could not 'emerge --update world'. The one that really boggles my mind, is that Portage complained that I had problems with my world file – it suggested a utility (can’t remember its name) which would tell me what the problem is. Apparently, I was missing several net-wireless packages!? My desktop has absolutely no wireless capabilities, including bluetooth, all of which I did indeed choose to not install. So, I tried to unmerge the conflicting packages until I ended up with a completely non-functional machine.

The last install I took a different approach: I installed everything from the Kororaa package CD, and did not sync Portage. Somewhere along I discovered Kuroo, so I let it update whatever it thought appropriate. It updated almost everything except for two packages which were no longer available. So now I have, what I assume to be, a perfectly functional Gentoo 2005.1 equivalent system. The question is: how do I correctly upgrade it to Gentoo x86/2006.1/desktop, without having to take the time to rebuild things I do not need like wireless support, bluetooth support, and several other large-ish packages? Off to scour the documentation and fora


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