Install Gentoo: Day One

**warning** this is gonna be a bunch of geek talk that will consist of such words like cfdisk, emerge, mount, grub and other countless similar words so please do not read any further if you don’t want to hear yourself saying, “wtf?” or a big “huh”. You have been warned.

This is going to be a temporary journal as I share my experience installing Gentoo Linux onto my Shuttle XPC computer. I developed an itch to play with Linux again after one of my friends told me about it. He works at Google and they use Linux to power all of their approx. 250,000 servers to run the search engine. The last time I played with Linux was a Redhat 6.0 distro a while back in college when I was taking system administration class at RIT and one on my computer. Then I got into web development, designing websites with CSS, PHP and MySQL, then I worked with Microsoft Access and Excel in my internships (they were for government and they’re ruled by Bill Gates and Michael Dell), so I slowly forgot about Linux and I needed more disk space to store mp3 songs, movies, and games. Another reason, during that time, it wasn’t exactly eye-catching or something to impress your friends and I hate that damn squarish boxes in Linux.

Since then, new steps has been made in the Linux development and by now, there are more than 100 different Linux distros. Linux has really grown since I “abandoned” them. Being a visual guy, I need something that will blow me away and then I see this screenshot, and this mac-like flavor. That’s more than enough to convince myself and my turn to make my friends jealous. :-) And I’ve quit playing games on computer, especially CS, as I’ve had enough of getting splattered constantly. Besides, I already have a hacked xbox where I can rip off games (just don’t tell Microsoft). Time to devote my time to the Linux World!

Last night, I was in a hurry mood, although I was aware that this type of installation can take a long time especially if you fall into “unexpected events” and you’re struggling to find what’s causing it. I was itching to get it up and running, seeing Gentoo in action. I downloaded a distribution copy of Gentoo and burn it to a CD as a boot CD plus installation. Then, I opened up Partition Magic 8 software to make room for Linux and I have one primary partition plus two logical drives in an extended partition. I decided to reduce the size of the primary partition, leaving the logical drives intact. As per instruction online, I created a new Linux boot partition, swap, and root partition. What appeared to be all good, I let the program made changes to the HD, although I have a queasy feeling that something would go wrong. The change made is done and time to reboot. Then I got this error message in the boot-up screen, “Missing Operating System.” Oh shoot, the program has altered the Master Boot Partition and is now missing an operating system. So, I went into cfdisk off a gentoo boot cd and ahh, I see no boot asterisk next to /dev/hda1 NTFS, so I put the asterisk on that, then reboot.

You think I’d be out of the jungle and save my ass but not so quite. Now, I can see the Windows Professional boot screen and that dots moving right, then all of a sudden, it said “autochk.exe not found”, then I get the infamous blue screen of death with code that said Session Manager is fucked up, something like that. “Ohh f**king great.” I’m in a big trouble and that’s what u get for not taking the time and doing research before you start the installation process. Problems began to mount and I don’t have a laptop to google for problems/solutions and I need to ask my roommate if I could borrow his laptop but he’s gone out somewhere with his new girlfriend. So, I f**ked it, called it a night, plopped on my bed, watched some NBA playoffs game (Go Miami, Houston Rockets, and the Spurs) and got some sleep.

While in my sleep, “worse to worse, and you are hanging on the cliff on your fingertips somewhere in the Grand Canyon, luckily, you still have two logical drives, which mean you can boot into Windows Recovery Console and copy important files (mostly porno movies actually) over to the logical drives, and then do a clean wipe and reinstall Windows XP. At least you’ll be free of porno pop-up ads that you can’t seem to get rid of, even after you used Ad-aware, Spybot, etc. Or you go to work tomorrow and to kill some time, look for solutions online, write notes, print out papers, then you go home and try out the solutions to fix the blue screen of death. If not, clean wipe it and save your porno.”