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Default: Booting the installation CD on an Apple/IBM

Place the installation CD in the CD-ROM and reboot the system. Hold down the c key at bootup. A friendly message will show up together with a boot: prompt at the bottom of the screen.

Hold the left mouse button during the boot process to open the CD/DVD drive tray.

On this prompt, the default Linux kernel (called gentoo) can be booted, which will boot up from the installation CD further.

Some kernel options can be tweaked at this prompt. The following table lists the available boot options that can be added:

Boot option Description
video= This option takes one of the following vendor-specific values: radeonfb, rivafb, atyfb, aty128, nvidiafb, or ofonly. Follow this tag with the resolution and refresh rate that is needed. For instance video=radeonfb:1280x1024@75. When uncertain what to choose, ofonly will almost certainly work.
nol3 Disables level 3 cache on some Powerbooks (needed for at least the 17").
debug Enables verbose booting, spawns an initrd shell that can be used to debug the installation CD.
sleep=N Wait N seconds (where N is an integer number) before continuing. This can be needed by some very old SCSI CD-ROMs which do not speed up the CD quick enough.
bootfrom=X Where X is substituted for a another device name to from a different device.
dosshd Starts sshd. Useful for unattended installs.
passwd=foo Sets the value after the = as the root password. Use with dosshd for remote installs.

At this prompt, hit enter, and a complete Gentoo Linux environment will be loaded from the CD.

IBM pSeries

On the IBM pSeries, the CD should autoboot, but sometimes it does not. In that case, set up the CD-ROM as a bootable device in the multi-boot menu. If a monitor and a keyboard is attached, then the multi-boot menu can be reached by pressing the F1 key on startup. However, if the system is reached through the serial console, then press 1. Press the key when the beginning of the following line on the serial console is visible:

CODE Line at which point '1' should be pressed
memory      keyboard     network      scsi      speaker

The other option is to jump into Open Firmware and do it from there:

  1. Boot into Open Firmware: same procedure as getting into multi-boot (described a few lines above), but use F8 and 8 instead of F1 and 1.
  2. Run the command 0> boot cdrom:1,yaboot
  3. Stand back and enjoy!
If the following output is displayed, then Open Firmware isn't set up correctly. Please use the multi-boot option described above:
CODE Output if Open Firmware is not set up correctly
0 > boot cdrom:1,yaboot
0 >

Setting keyboard layout

On the console, a root (#) prompt will become visible. It is also possible to switch to other consoles by pressing and holding Alt+fn then F2, F3, or F4. Get back to the initial prompt by pressing Alt+fn+F1.

When installing Gentoo on a system with a non-US keyboard, use loadkeys to load the keymap for the keyboard. To list the available keymaps, execute ls on the /usr/share/keymaps/i386/ directory:

root #ls /usr/share/keymaps/i386/

Load the keymap of choice with the loadkeys command:

root #loadkeys be-latin1

Another common option would be the QWERTY PC110 key configuration:

root #loadkeys pc110