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This FAQ attempts to answer all of the questions (even the stupid ones) that people ask over and over.


Will the installer run from the 2006.1 minimal/universal CD?

No. At the minimum, the installer requires parted, pyparted, and pythondialog which are not (and never will be) on anything but the Installer LiveCD.

Is the installer done?

No, it will be done when it's done. We're only getting started! There are a lot more architectures to support and a lot of features we plan on adding.

Does/will the installer support architecture X?

The current release of the installer supports x86 and amd64. There are plans to support sparc, hppa, and ppc, and other arches in the future.

Does/will the installer support LVM/RAID?

If you are using true hardware RAID, the installer will see the array as a normal drive (because the kernel sees it this way too). As for LVM and fake RAID/md, the installer does not currently support them, but it will in the future. Patches are welcome ;)

Why doesn't the installer do such and such?

The installer is designed for optimal flexibility, but is only in its early releases. Our intention is to support everything you can do from the commandline in the installer itself. If you have time and are willing to help on a feature, see the section titled "How can I help?"

I like the manual install. Why are you forcing me to use a graphical installer?

The current install method will always be an option. The installer will be distributed on a true LiveCD that contains xorg, Gnome, firefox, and other goodies. There will still be a minimal CD that has just enough stuff to boot and install by hand. You can still also do a manual install from the X LiveCD.

Will the gentoo installer configure my such and such hardware for me?

No. The installer will only do what is covered in the install guide. The only thing that may be configured for you is xorg. When the LiveCD boots into X, a xorg.conf is automatically generated. If you choose xorg-x11 (or anything that depends on it) as an extra package to install, the /etc/X11/xorg.conf from the LiveCD will be automatically copied into your new install.

Where can I find more information about the installer?

On the project pages. Currently, there is no documentation. You can either read the source or ask in #gentoo-installer (webchat). If you ask any questions covered by this FAQ, you will most likely be ignored.

What's wrong with the current installation method?

Absolutely nothing. The goal of the installer is to make installations faster, not easier. The original intention was to make an installer for doing automated deployments. While we still have this in mind, the end user aspect took precedence (mainly because it's prettier).

What language is the installer written in?

COBOL, of course! (It's actually Python.)

Does the installer have localization support?

Some basic code for localization of the front-ends has been written, but it has not been integrated yet.

How can I help?

If you are good with python, take a look at the various TODO lists in the latest CVS snapshot. Otherwise, we'll accept good bug reports (/tmp/installprofile.xml and /var/log/installer.log.failed included from failures).

What is the root password on the X LiveCD?

The root password (and the password for the 'gentoo' user) is randomized on boot. You can get root from the X environment by opening up a terminal and run:

user $sudo su

Where do I file bugs?

It depends on if it's a bug with the installer itself or the LiveCD that it's on. If it's an installer bug, file it under Gentoo Linux in the GLI component on If you had an install failure, include the /tmp/installprofile.xml and /var/log/installer.log.failed files from the LiveCD (you'll need to grab these before you reboot). If it is a bug with the LiveCD, file it under "Gentoo Release Media", choose 2006.1 from the version list, and put "X LiveCD" or "installer LiveCD" somewhere in the summary.

Can I update the installer on the LiveCD?

There is a script provided that will download the latest CVS snapshot and extract it into the current directory. To get the latest version and start the GTK front-end, do the following:

user $/opt/installer/misc/updategtkfe

To update the dialog front-end, do the following:

user $/opt/installer/misc/updateglid

I found a bug. What should I do?

Since we are still in the early releases of the installer, there are bound to be bugs (hey, we're not perfect). If you've found a bug, the first thing you should do is follow the directions above for grabbing and running the latest CVS snapshot. If you can reproduce the bug there, you should go to Bugzilla and do a search for the problem that you're running into. If there isn't an existing bug (open or closed), you can file a new bug under in the "Gentoo Linux" section in the GLI component. Be sure to save /tmp/installprofile.xml and /var/log/installer.log.failed from the liveCD after your installer run. These files are essential for us to be able to debug the problem properly. Keep in mind that an error compiling a package is not an installer bug.

My install failed on the installing extra packages step. Do I have to start the install over again from the beginning?

No. At this point, your install will be bootable and most steps will be complete. The only things that will not have happened are emerging the rest of the packages in the list after the one that failed and adding your selected services to the default runlevel. These can both be done after you boot into your install for the first time.

How long will my install take?

There is no definitive answer to this question. It depends on many factors such as the stage you started at, the extra packages you selected, internet connection speed, whether you selected GRP or not, speed of your processor, the amount of memory, the speed of your disk, etc. We have seen installs as fast as 8 minutes, but that was on a very fast machine doing a very minimal install. On a slower machine with lots of extra packages installed, it could take literally days to complete.

How can I get voice in #gentoo-installer?

Asking a question covered in this FAQ will probably get you kicked from the channel. Abusive behavior will get you kicked and possibly banned from the channel. Any general install questions should be taken to #gentoo (webchat). We do not care that you think the installer is stupid, will ruin Gentoo, etc. Once you have read through this FAQ, just join the channel and '/msg gibot voiceme' to get voice. Please do not get voice just to have voice.

This page is based on a document formerly found on our main website
The following people contributed to the original document: Andrew Gaffney (author), Blackace (editor) on June 9, 2006
They are listed here because wiki history does not allow for any external attribution. If you edit the wiki article, please do not add yourself here; your contributions are recorded on each article's associated history page.