Complete Handbook/Plug and play
Identify your needs
Nothing is automated at first
When you first use your system, you'll notice that you need to perform various steps manually which could be done automatically. Gentoo Linux doesn't put its development effort in making a system user-friendly in the sense of allowing everything. Not only can it cause instability on some systems, far from all users appreciate us touching the configuration of their system and it might cause security issues on some environments.
So, if you want certain tasks automated, you'll need to lend your system a hand at first. But you can't help your system if you don't know what you want. Next is a list of automation tasks we'll cover in the next few sections. This list is far from complete, but should give you a good impression on the possibilities. Ask around on our IRC channel or mailing list if you want to automate other tasks.
- Removable media covers the automated mounting of removable media like floppies, CD/DVDs, USB storage devices, cameras, ... on your system.
- Network detection explains how to configure your network card (wireless or not) to automatically discover networks and run a certain configuration based on the network it finds.
- Data synchronisation describes how to synchronise files and directories on your system with other systems, laptops or PDAs, and also the synchronisation of your journal, address books, etc.
- Power consumption informs you how you can decrease the power consumption of your system (probably a laptop) by automatically putting the hard disk to sleep, disable wireless if it isn't needed, adjust the screen settings to use less power, etc.
What you can and can't do
If all your networks are nice enough to provide DHCP services, then you just need to set up DHCPCD. However, if you need to provide static IP addresses for a few networks, then you need to add those data to the configuration.
However, when you are using wireless networks, most of them do provide network identification using the ESSID. The wpa_supplicant tool allows you to pick wireless settings based on the ESSID and is well managed by DHCPCD. The Gentoo baselayout package allows for ESSID-specific network settings.