Complete Handbook/Finishing off

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Rebooting the system

Exiting the chrooted environment

The base Gentoo installation is almost finished. Right now, you'll need to exit from the chrooted environment, unmount all mounted file systems and reboot. Then we'll find out if the boot procedure settings are correct: if you can log on to your system, great. If not, well, no worries - you don't need to redo everything all over again.

To manually exit the chrooted environment, type exit. When you get back at the installation CD environment, find out what file systems are mounted at the /mnt/gentoo location and unmount them one by one. You can't unmount a file system that still has mounted file systems in it, meaning that you can't unmount /mnt/gentoo before /mnt/gentoo/proc and others are unmounted.

root #exit
root #mount | grep /mnt/gentoo
/dev/sda3 on /mnt/gentoo type ext3 (rw,noatime)
proc on /mnt/gentoo/proc type proc (rw)
/dev/sda1 on /mnt/gentoo/boot type ext2 (rw,noatime)
root #umount /mnt/gentoo/boot /mnt/gentoo/proc /mnt/gentoo

Next, reboot the system and hope for the best:

root #reboot

Don't forget to remove the installation media from the system, otherwise you'll boot right into the installation environment again. This is especially true on VirtualBox which has a bug preventing the installed VM to boot.

Boot failed?

If the reboot failed, you need to dig through the error messages you receive to find out what went wrong. You'll find that the Gentoo Forums represent a wonderful knowledge base with solutions to many problems.

To help you get back, we'll explain how to return to the installation environment so that you can fix whatever fault is causing the error.

  1. Reinsert the installation medium and reboot your system so that you are back inside the installation environment, just like you were in the beginning of the Gentoo installation.
  2. Load up any drivers you need and configure your network just like you did with the Gentoo installation.
  3. Instead of taking a stab at the storage configuration, immediately mount all your file systems at /mnt/gentoo. Don't forget to mount the proc file system as well. You never know when you'll need it and it is often forgotten.
  4. Chroot into the Gentoo installation (chroot /mnt/gentoo), run env-update and source /etc/profile so that your session environment is configured correctly.
  5. Now fix whatever needs to be fixed.
  6. Exit the chrooted environment, unmount the partitions and reboot to retry.

Finishing off the base installation

USE flag changes and rebuilding

If you didn't alter your USE flags during the installation, this is a good time to do it. Log onto your system as root (using the password you supplied previously) and edit the USE variable inside /etc/portage/make.conf using your favorite editor (nano is available by default) and reread the information we gave you about USE flags earlier in this book in the chapter on Building the System.

Once you've updated your USE flags, we'll tell Portage that it needs to rebuild the tools that are affected by your USE flag change. To verify what Portage wants to do, we'll first ask it to show it to us without actually performing the rebuild. The emerge command has an option called --pretend (or -p in short) that does exactly that. When we add the --verbose (or -v in short) option we'll also ask it to display why it wants to rebuild the packages. And of course, we need to ask Portage to do all that just for the packages that are affected by the USE flag change (--newuse, or -N in short).

In this example, we've changed the nls USE flag:

root #emerge --pretend --verbose --newuse @world
These are the packages that I would merge, in order:

Calculating world dependencies ...done!
[ebuild   R   ] sys-apps/man-pages-2.11  -nls* 0 kB 
[ebuild   R   ] sys-apps/grep-2.5.1-r8  -build -nls* +pcre -static 0 kB 
[ebuild   R   ] media-sound/alsa-utils-1.0.10_rc3  -nls* 0 kB 
## (...)

If you are okay with whatever Portage proposes, drop the --pretend so that the packages can be rebuilt.

Orphaned packages

Some packages are installed on your system as dependencies of a tool if certain USE flags are set. When you unset the affecting USE flag, Portage will not unmerge the dependency even though the original package is rebuilt. Such dependencies which aren't needed by any package on the system anymore but are still present are called orphaned packages.

You can ask Portage to find such orphaned packages and remove them from the system. The method is called depclean (which stands for dependency cleaning):

root #emerge --pretend --depclean

Take a look at the packages Portage wants to remove. If you want to scroll through the list, try pressing Ctrl + PgUp or filter the list through the less utility:

root #emerge --pretend --depclean | less

If you're satisfied with the list, drop the --pretend and let Portage sort the packages out.

Updating the system

Finally, update your system so it uses the latest versions of all packages. First, let Portage obtain a more recent snapshot of the Portage tree:

root #emerge --sync

Next, ask Portage to update the packages that have a more recent version available. We'll use the --update argument for emerge to inform Portage that we want to update them, but also the --deep argument so that not only those packages you have installed (using emerge <packagename>) and their immediate dependencies are updated, but also the dependencies of the dependencies. You'll also notice we use the --newuse argument again. That is because Gentoo might add a USE flag to the default USE set, either because of a profile update, or because you installed a package that "provides" a USE flag.

root #emerge --update --deep --newuse @world

Installing additional software

Some recommendations...

Now that your base system is available, you'll still left in the dark as you don't have many tools at your disposal. No graphical environment for the desktop users, no services for the servers, no development tools (apart from the toolchain) for the developers.

Your next stop should be to investigate the Portage tree for software you want to have. You can just browse through /usr/portage and use emerge for every tool you want, but better would be to follow one or more guides from our web site that help you install and configure the tool.

For instance, Gentoo has a nice Xorg Configuration Guide for those who want to set up their Gentoo installation as a graphical environment desktop or workstation. The xorg-x11 tool is the service that provides windowing features and other graphical possibilities to the various desktop environments.

Possible desktop environments are KDE, GNOME or fluxbox who also have configuration guides at the Gentoo web site (KDE Configuration Guide, GNOME Configuration Guide and Fluxbox Configuration Guide).

For those interested more in services should take a look at the Gentoo Security Handbook which helps you harden your system configuration.

Other interesting resources are the Gentoo Forums, Gentoo IRC channels and mailing lists.