Sakaki's EFI Install Guide/Installation Prerequisites

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The installation process described in this manual has a small number of prerequisites, which are listed below.

Make sure that you have everything before starting out!

What You'll Need

To work through this install, you will need:

  • A target, UEFI PC with Windows-10 (or 8 or 8.1) pre-installed (for example, an Ultrabook). I'm going to assume you have already set up Windows, that you have an admin account (the first user on the machine automatically has admin rights), and that you haven't used up all the disk space on C: yet.
    Obviously, you can adapt the following instructions to create a single-OS Gentoo system very easily, if you don't have Windows, or want to wipe it. However, I'm only going to deal with the dual-boot scenario in this tutorial, as it is the more complicated case.
    At the time of writing, it appears that machines designated as "Designed for Windows 10" do not have to provide the option to turn off secure boot, as Windows 8 certified machines did.[1][2] It remains to be seen how this will pan out, and whether OEMs will continue to provide the option. However, this option is necessary to complete this tutorial (because, although we will use secure boot ultimately, to do so we will need to add our own custom keys into the keystore, a process which is done from an unsecured UEFI-booted session), so if you intend using a PC that has the "Designed for Windows 10" mark, please check before proceeding that its BIOS still affords you the option.
  • Two USB keys, one of at least 300MB, and the other of at least 128MB:
    • the larger one is for the initial Gentoo minimal-install disk image, which we'll use to get the ball rolling; and
    • the smaller one is where we'll place our compiled, UEFI bootable Gentoo Linux kernel and keyfile (we'll refer to this as the boot USB key throughout the rest of the tutorial).
It is of course possible to boot from a burned CD, DVD etc., but in the modern day USB keys tend to be ubiquitous (and many laptops have no optical drive), so that's the route I'll take here. By the way, it's no problem if your USB keys are bigger, even much bigger, than the minimum sizes stipulated above: and indeed it is probably a good idea for the boot USB key to be 256MB or greater in size, to allow for kernel backups and so on.
  • A working subnet to which the install target machine can be connected. To be concrete, I'm going to assume a subnet, but yours may of course be different, in which case modify the instructions accordingly. There must be a gateway on the network providing Internet access, and a DHCP server. Furthermore, your target PC must have either:
  1. a wired Ethernet adapter with driver support in the Gentoo minimal-install image (most do). This is the simplest option from an installation perspective, even if you intend going wireless once the system is up and running. WiFi routers usually have ports on the back into which you can plug Ethernet cables directly; or
  2. a WiFi modem with driver support in the Gentoo minimal-install image (many do). The tutorial covers setting up such a connection over WPA/WPA2, since this is the most common modern use case.
It is of course still possible to perform an install in other network configurations (for example, where you wish to use an open WiFi network, static IP addresses, proxies etc.). Please refer to Chapter 3 of the Gentoo Handbook for more details, where necessary during the tutorial.
If your machine's WiFi is not operational under the minimal-install image, and it has no Ethernet port of its own, you could consider buying an inexpensive USB-to-Ethernet adaptor (for example, I have used this one successfully on a number of Gentoo netbook installs).
  • A second, 'helper' PC, running Linux, on the same subnet. Of course, this is not strictly required - you can do everything on the target machine itself. However, having a second machine really helps, because:
    • once the initial, minimal-install image has booted, you can ssh in to it from this second box, and run screen; this gives you the ability to copy and paste commands and scripts from this tutorial, and to disconnect when lengthy processes are running, reconnecting later; and
    • creation of the initial USB images etc. is easier from Linux than from Windows; although you can create the setup disks using Windows, I won't be covering the necessary steps here.
You don't have to run Gentoo Linux natively on this second box either. For example, if you are starting from an 'all Windows' configuration, you could create a bootable Ubuntu live USB key[3] and boot your helper PC from that (it will allow you to work without damaging anything on the machine's hard drive).

Commencing the Install

Got everything? Then click here to go to the next chapter, "Preparing Windows for Dual-Booting".


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