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Linux Gentoo on a new SSD


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#1
enrico68

enrico68

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Hello, 

 

this is my first attempt at running a Linux OS on my computer. I know Gentoo is much harder to configure and run than other more windows like distros, such as Mint, or Ubuntu. But I want to learn it real well, and get my hands dirty while doing it, so to speak. Well, here is my first issue: I currently have a three SSD configuration on my PC: HD0 where Windows 10 is installed, HD1, where other Windows program reside, and HD2, which I just bought to install Gentoo . I formatted HD2 through the Windows Disk Manager, and I see it with Windows Explorer, as Healthy Primary Partition. 

 

First off, when in the Gentoo live cd environment, and use Parted>>>Print, Gentoo will only detect  /dev/sda, which is my Windows OS SSD, the HD0. It shows two partitions, the Boot Partition, of a few MB, and the data Partition, as expected. That is it. The other two SSD are not detected, so I do not know how to make Gentoo detect at least the new,empty  SSD, in order to create partitions on it, and install Gentoo. 

 

Second: for the /dev/sda, disk, it says: Partition Table: msdos. If I wanted to use sda, could I use the LVM partition, or msdos means the sda disk is using MBR, and therefore I can only use MBR partitions? My motherboard has an UEFI firmware, so I believe i can use LVM, or GPT partition tables anyway, but I would like to know if this is correct. 

 

My main concern, for now is how to see the formatted SSD through Parted, until Gentoo live cd sees it, I can't go any further.

 

Thank you for any assistance and support you will provide. 

 

 

enrico   :popcorn:

 

 


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#2
terry1966

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judging by your topic here :- https://forums.gento...37eb3e0c44b9284

 

NeddySeagoon wrote:

  enrico68,

Does Code: ls /dev/sd? show /dev/sda; /dev/sdb; /dev/sdc?

The above command gives: /dev/sda /dev/sdb /dev/sdc , as expected

all 3 drives are seen and usable.

 

so not having installed gentoo myself and not having a uefi pc to test on, i'd suggest either carrying on with that topic and see if they will run you through the install process or if you do want to carry on here instead of in your other topic, i will download the gentoo live cd and see if we can muddle through the install together.

 

personally i'd recommend disconnecting the 2 windows drives and then install gentoo, that way you won't risk losing anything windows related if you make a mistake.

you can always add the 2 windows drives back later and either manually select which drive to boot on start up using your pc's boot device option usually something like tapping F12 key to select which device to boot or you can set the gentoo drive as first boot device and add the windows os to gentoos bootloader menu.

 

personally i'm not to familiar with parted because i usually use fdisk but the command to list all your hard drives is

parted -l

mine looks like this for my 4 drives, what does yours show for that command?

linux-lm5d:/home/leap42.1 # parted -l
Model: ATA KINGSTON SHSS37A (scsi)
Disk /dev/sda: 240GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
Partition Table: msdos
Disk Flags: 

Number  Start   End     Size    Type     File system  Flags
 1      1049kB  43.0GB  43.0GB  primary  ext4         type=83
 2      43.0GB  85.9GB  43.0GB  primary  ext4         boot, type=83
 3      85.9GB  240GB   154GB   primary  ext4         type=83


Model: ATA WDC WD1002FAEX-0 (scsi)
Disk /dev/sdb: 1000GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
Partition Table: msdos
Disk Flags: 

Number  Start   End     Size    Type     File system     Flags
 1      1049kB  999GB   999GB   primary  ext4            type=83
 2      999GB   1000GB  1078MB  primary  linux-swap(v1)  type=82


Model: ATA WDC WD1002FAEX-0 (scsi)
Disk /dev/sdc: 1000GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
Partition Table: msdos
Disk Flags: 

Number  Start   End     Size    Type     File system     Flags
 1      1049kB  999GB   999GB   primary  ext4            type=83
 2      999GB   1000GB  1079MB  primary  linux-swap(v1)  type=82


Model: ATA WDC WD40EZRZ-00W (scsi)
Disk /dev/sdd: 4001GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/4096B
Partition Table: gpt_sync_mbr
Disk Flags: 

Number  Start   End     Size    File system  Name     Flags
 1      1049kB  4001GB  4001GB  xfs          primary

mbr (used mostly with a bios and not uefi. hd addressing size limit of 2TB) you can only have 4 logical partitions, so if you need more than 4 then you need to use an extended partition which will then allow you to add more. on linux the extended partitions starts at sda5, so a drive that shows sda1 and sda5 only has 2 partitions 1 logical one and 1 extended one and not 5 partitions where 2,3 and 4 are invisible, :- https://en.wikipedia...ter_boot_record

 

gpt (used mostly with uefi and not bios. no 2TB hd addressing size limit.) you can add more or less as many partitions as you like. (there is a limit but it's in the hundreds if memory serves.) :- https://en.wikipedia...Partition_Table

 

lvm is a way to manage drives and partitions so you can easily increasing or decreasing space when needed. :- https://en.wikipedia...Manager_(Linux)

 

yes msdos means you are using mbr partitioning and not anything else like gpt. my first 3 drives use mbr partitioning and my 4th drive uses gpt as shown by "Partition Table: gpt_sync_mbr"

 

in linux sda, sdb etc are the different physical drives and the partitions on those drives are shown by a number. so sdb3 is the 2nd hard drive and the 3rd partition on that drive.

 

:popcorn:

 

thinking more about your issue while experimenting with parted, i think you may be getting confused using parted itself so you're not really understanding what's going on.

 

if you just type in parted to start it then it will show you the sda drive by default so that's the drive you're currently using and can make changes to, but you can then change the drive to any of the other drives by using "select /dev/sdb" or "select /dev/sdc" commands

another thing you can do is start parted with the drive you want to make changes to in the first place. eg. for your 3rd drive just start parted with the command "parted /dev/sdc".

 

another way to see all your drives when in parted is to use the command "print list.all"


Edited by terry1966, 21 October 2016 - 11:44 PM.

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#3
enrico68

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Hi terry1966, 

 

first of all, pardon me for getting back a bit late. As a matter of fact, I spent the last few days reading a bit more on Linux, filesystems, fsidk, parted, gparted, etc etc etc. As you correctly say, it was not an issue with my ssds or parted, it was me, I did not really know what I was doing, so I had a little catching up to do, so to speak...

 

Everything you said I kind of learned the past few days, and now I can say it is clear. The reason I went with Gentoo is mainly if not exclusively for the learning part that is involved in installing and configuring it. I can definitely say I learned more on Linux these last few days than I ever thought, it is time consuming, challenging, true, but it allows me to keep asking questions, doing research through Google, and it forces me to really understand what I am doing, something you won't experience if you install a more consumer oriented distro. 

 

Thank you very much for your help, and thorough and exhaustive explanation, which I likely wouldn't have understood just a few days ago. I really appreciate your reaching out and your kindness, thank you, thank you :)

 

enrico


Edited by enrico68, 28 October 2016 - 06:44 AM.

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#4
terry1966

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thank you for the kind words and glad to see your enjoying the learning process.

no "real expert" myself either but like you're doing now i learned a lot over the years just by trial and error and actually using linux.

 

can't say i remember ever using gentoo myself and am really to old and stuck in my ways to change from my os of choice now but who knows i might give it a go one day. 

 

anyway now you've installed gentoo enjoy learning and using it, and don't be afraid to ask about anything your stuck on or don't fully understand i'm sure if i can't help someone else will and of course there's always the gentoo forums which i'd say are always going to be your best place for advice. :thumbsup:

 

:popcorn:


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#5
enrico68

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Hi terry1966,

 

today I am officially done installing and configuring Linux Gentoo! It is my first Linux distribution, and I am very proud of myself. The first few days were very hard, at least for me, and I really had to delve into it to make it all work. I am using the KDE Plasma DE, which I like  better compared to GNOME, but, and this is the real beauty of installing Gentoo, as hard as I struggled, I know I have learned a lot, much more than I thought I would. I have become quite good at working through the terminal, Every time I want to do something with Gentoo, I get on the terminal and always find a way to execute whatever I am after. I invested quite a few hours on this, it was my personal project, I knew from the start I would find parts during the installation where I was lost, or felt like it, not sure what to do, but by determination and by studying the system, I made it.

Would I do it again? Yes, this has been a tremendous way, for me, to get to know Linux, which I have to say, it really is an awesome OS. I will keep working with Linux, as I want to continue to grow and to learn more about it.

In case other users read my comment, and wonder: is it for me? Well, it depends on what you are looking for and what you are after. If all you want or need is an OS that pretty much mirrors Windows, and comes prepackaged and ready to go, you can't go wrong with the more common distributions, which you all know. If you want a challenge, and really want to learn how Linux works and thinks, well, then try with Gentoo, and be ready, if you are a nubie like me, to invest a good portion of your time, and patience, which you will greatly benefit from down the road. I learned the hard way, and trust me, it was worth it, as I can now go deeper into the system, and continue to learn more about this awesome OS that is Linux,

 

enrico ;)


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#6
terry1966

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well done. :spoton:

 

what gave you most problems to install and configure after the initial os install?

 

kde is my desktop of choice too. :D

 

:popcorn:


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#7
enrico68

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Well, let's see....

 

1) The network configuration, it gave me a lot of trouble, it would work for one day, and the next day it wouldn't, I had to really study that part, and make sure it was clear.

 

2) Kernel installation. With Gentoo, you can decide if you want to install what it is called "genkernel", which comes with many options already set up for you, or you can go the hard way, choosing a base kernel that needs to be configured. I took the last road, and at first I was kind of lost, it was all new to me, it took me quite a few days to have a working kernel.

 

3) GRUB 2.0. This is a subject I struggled with, as you have to consider if your system has a UEFI firmware, and most of the times you have to work on your BIOS to make this thing work. That requires you to delve into parts of the firmware you did not even know they are there, like the CSM, UEFI vs Legacy OPROM, the Other OS setting, etc., stuff I did not even know was there.

 

4) The config. files of Linux, what's in there, how to open them, change them, etc.

 

5) The USE FLAG system used by Gentoo, which is very important, during every install or update you perform.

 

6) The Xorg platform and Window Manager settings, which are essential to have a working DE, in my case KDE. It took me days just to figure out the importance and meaning of ~/initrc. Until that init file was properly configured, I could not have a working Desktop.

 

The list is pretty extensive, but I believe those are the parts that I found the hardest to face and solve. Consider that it took me three weeks, starting from scratch, and with no knowledge of Linux, without having ever dealt with a shell, a kernel, the firmware configuration, etc.

All I can say is that I am very happy I chose the hard way, it was a tremendous learning experience; if anyone reads it and just like me is starting from zero and wants to give Gentoo a try, I can suggest:

 

- a lot of patience, and by this I mean a lot. There will be times when you think your setting up that took you well over three hours is properly done, just to find out the shell gives you an error message...

 

- you have to be willing to learn, as there is quite a few reading and searching around for terms you never heard or settings you know nothing about. With Gentoo, there is no installer, always remember, you are the installer...

 

Would I suggest Gentoo? Absolutely, as long as the two above conditions are met, then go for it. The first few days you will feel like you don't know what you are doing, really, but, as you proceed, it all comes back and that's when you start to understand how Linux works.

 

I am glad you are a KDE fan! Before installing the DE, I did a little comparison between KDE and GNOME through reviews and youtube videos, and I have to say I like it, a lot, very clean and efficient.

 

enrico


Edited by enrico68, 14 November 2016 - 01:22 PM.

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#8
terry1966

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very clean and efficient.

gnome fans say exactly the same thing about their de of choice too. :D

 

i'll take kde any day though.

 

glad to hear you never ran into any driver/hardware issues, doesn't happen so often now, but that's probably the most frustrating thing about linux in my opinion, finding out some hardware you have doesn't have any linux drivers or the drivers available only give limited functionality.

 

  :popcorn:


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#9
Puerico

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I'll have to say - great first timer! It's really impressing stuff right there. You got guts, man. It took me 5 years to get to that point, and you just did it the first time. I really don't have much to say, than: 

 

Nicely done, great work! 


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#10
enrico68

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Hi Puerico, 

 

and thank you! When I started, I did not know whether I would make it to the end, but I had the desire to learn, and was ready to fight it out, no matter what. I have learned a lot about Linux, in the process, at least considering what I knew before. It is something I would suggest to anyone, like I said, it takes desire to learn and a lot of patience and research. These days I am writing my first scripts through the command line, I keep studying and learning. My next assignment will be learning a programming language, to be able to delve into the kernel and the drivers, I will likely start with Python, then C, and, once these two are set, I want to move to assembly language, which is my final goal, to really learn how a computer and OS work, it must be fascinating...

 

enrico


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