The other day I installed Gentoo on an old Celeron 466MHz and it was quite an adventure.  Today, I’m attempting to install it in a far more useful capacity as a virtual machine under VMware Fusion.  The first thing I did was create a new virtual machine.  There is no template for Gentoo so I tweaked the settings a bit.  I gave it 512MB ram, 30GB hard drive and set it to “generic linux 2.6.X kernel”.  I set it to boot from the minimal ISO that I used to burn the CD for the other day. After I was booted up, I ran a couple of benchmarks.  Thankfully this system is several orders of magnitude faster than a Celeron 466MHz.

Using fdisk, I created my 3 partions:

/boot /dev/sda1

swap /dev/sda2

/        /dev/sda3

Then I did my mkfsing:

mke2fs /dev/sda1

mke2fs -j /dev/sda3

mkswap /dev/sda2 && swapon /dev/sda2

Now it was time to snag my stage file.  This time instead of wget, I used links:


I hit the downloads link, then hit the stages button next to i686 and found the most recent stage3-i686 tar.bz2 file and downloaded it.  After that, I untarred it:

tar -xpjf s<TAB>

Next, I changed snagged the latest portage via links and untarred that:

cd  usr


tar -xpjf p<TAB>

Then it’s time to chroot:

livecd / # mount -t proc proc /mnt/gentoo/proc

livecd / # mount -o bind /dev /mnt/gentoo/dev

livecd / # cp -L /etc/resolv.conf /mnt/gentoo/etc/

livecd / # chroot /mnt/gentoo /bin/bash

livecd / # env-update && source /etc/profile

Then I set the timezone:

cp /usr/share/zoneinfo/America/Los_Angeles /etc/localtime

After that, it’s time to fix up the hostname:

cd /etc

echo “ gentoo localhost” > hosts

sed -i -e ‘s/HOSTNAME.*/HOSTNAME=”gentoo”/’ conf.d/hostname

hostname gentoo

Now for the kernel.  I didn’t do a lot of tweaking with the kernel this time around.  I just added ext2 support and a couple of extra modules I want to experiment with.

emerge gentoo-sources

cd /usr/src/linux

make menuconfig

time make -j2

make modules_install

cp arch/i386/boot/bzImage /boot/kernel

Then I editted the /etc/fstab to look something like this:

/dev/sda1 /boot ext2 noauto,noatime 1 2

/dev/sda3 / ext3 noatime 0 1

/dev/sda2 none swap sw 0 0

Then I installed cron, syslog, grub dhcpcd:

time emerge syslog-ng vixie-cron grub dhcpcd

rc-update add syslog-ng default

rc-update add vixie-cron default

After that it’s time to nano /boot/grub/grub.conf:

default 0

timeout 10

title Gentoo

root (hd0,0)

kernel /boot/kernel root=/dev/sda3

Then I ran grub and entered:

root (hd0,0)

setup (hd0)


After this, supposedly it’s time to unchroot, cross my fingers and reboot:


umount /mnt/gentoo/dev /mnt/gentoo/proc /mnt/gentoo/boot /mnt/gentoo


Alas, it didn’t work.  I’ve yet to nail a Gentoo installation on the first attempt but this time I was much closer.  I ended up finding a wiki on installing Gentoo in a VM.  I rebuilt the kernel with some of the suggestions that were stated in the wiki and that did the trick.

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