Alternate system configurations

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Introduction

Gentoo can be installed and configured to suit the users needs. While the handbook provides an officially supported installation and configuration method a number of users find alternate installation and configuration methods useful. For alternate methods of installation see here, Olde Fashoned Gentooee is an interesting approach- see link below.

Discussions regarding the following information can be found on the user forums, with this page aimed at providing a brief overview with links to relevant details. The pros and cons of a particular approach can be found in the links, discussions on the user forums, and through web searches. What works best will vary from person to person, and use case to use case.

Following the handbook, using default selections will result in a system installed with three partitions /boot, swap, and / a root partition. It can be useful to have separate partitions for one or more of /var /tmp /usr /home /opt.
Although all init systems should support a separate /home partition, care is required to ensure other partitions will be correctly mounted and available during system boot.

The use of encryption, lvm, raid and which parts of the filesystem you choose to put on separate partitions can influence the approach required to ensure the system will boot using a particular init system.
In some instances an initramfs will be needed to boot the system, in other cases it may be recommended but may not be essential. A separate /usr partition is an example where some prefer not to use an initramfs ... example forums thread HOWTO: udev/eudev, sep /usr, no initramfs.

Note: Suggested & recommended methods are just that, and you are free to use an approach which suits your particular use case ... but you get to keep all the pieces if it breaks - in all cases you own the pieces ;-)


System init

There are a number of systems which can be used to initialize a system a comparison of these is available comparison of init systems

Device managers

There are a number of alternatives available for device managers, these include udev, eudev, mdev ... Information on each of these can be found on wiki pages for example

udev

eudev

mdev

Or you could use sys-fs/static-dev, in which case you need to unmerge udev and disable kernel maintain devtmpfs option.

Consolekit and polkit free systems

It is possible setup a secure system without the use of consolekit, polkit or PAM - and some users prefer this approach. USE flags -pam -consolekit -polkit will help with this. Example thread.

Other stuff

To prevent systemd from being installed add sys-apps/systemd to /etc/portage/package.mask.

Olde Fashioned Gentooee is an interesting approach to installing a system, but requires a Gentoo install to borrow from ;) see also this thread.

To do ... still most of this wiki page ...