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Gentoo 2004.1 Installation Sensation

06 May 2021 - faintshadows

A few months ago, I went on the Internet Archive, in search of Gentoo. I came back with quite a few ISOs actually,

I intend to install a vintage Gentoo on my Athlon 64 X2 build as well, and I'm talking with someone else who wants to get a ~2006 vintage Gentoo repository, portage tree, and such set up. He's using it on an Athlon XP, so I'll get to deal with whatever support amd64 Gentoo had (or didn't) for the time.

Disclaimer: this is not a tutorial, just my ramblings. I will contradict myself and say one thing works then change my mind without updating the prior mention. Again, not a tutorial, but if this does help you, do drop me a line, I'd like to hear about it!

The computer I'm subjecting to this poor fate is a Toshiba Satellite I had with a NetBurst (yuck) based Celeron chip. It wasn't my first choice. I'd much rather use one of my Pentium III laptops, but both of those have their own issues. One has a Trident AGP video card, and has basically no Linux support as far as I can tell. The other has an issue with the video cable, where certain shades of colour will become very blue. Also the CD/DVD drive doesn't work anymore.

Today though, I'm gonna focus on the 2nd iso that I have, the 2004.1 DVD. I am writing this as I go through the install process, and currently I am at the stage in a Gentoo install where you get your Portage repo set up. Due to this being a DVD that includes distfiles, I am copying over everything into /usr/portage/distfiles. However, there were two subfolders, base and full. A third folder existed, binary, which after translating the Polish text on the DVD, is supposed to go to /usr/portage/packages. I don't think I'll use these binaries, since they'll likely be in Polish.

I was concerned that the stage3 provided on this DVD will also be in Polish, but hopefully that's something I can figure out and fix, because otherwise I will have to install from a stage1, which I have no experience with and do not intend on figuring out right now.

With the distfiles copied over, it's time to edit our make.conf. Being a NetBurst chip, we set -march=pentium4. This laptop has 1.25GB of RAM, so I added -pipe as well, we can handle that. This is a single core machine, so I'm not adding any MAKEOPTS.

The handbook next states to add mirrors to the make.conf, but as all my distfiles are already copied over, I will also skip this step. For USE flags, I'm going to mostly follow what the book says for a KDE system, as that is what I will be running anyways. `USE="-gtk -gnome qt kde alsa".

One thing I find odd, is that for stage3's, this version of the handbook has you going straight to configuring the kernel, not updating @world. Doing as the handbook says, we're setting my timezone and emerging gentoo-sources. As expected, with all the distfiles in place, no downloads were needed. The version of the kernel package included here was 2.4.26-r3. 2.6 is available, though under this version it is development-sources. As of the 2004.1 handbook release, the following kernels are available.

*These are not included on Gentoo media, and required a download.

There is no eselect, so one would have to manually symlink their new kernel version. Thankfully that wasn't needed for me, though the handbook does show you how.

Kernel configuration time. menuconfig for old kernels is nothing like what I'm used to in the 4.x and 5.x days. Still works the same, but all the options are kinda in the main menu, it's not as hierarchical as modern kernels are. Was as straightforward as any kernel is, just pick what applies to you, say no to anything else. I've prefixed time to the make bzImage modules modules_install command, so I can see how long a 2GHz NetBurst Celeron can make a 2.4 kernel, my guess is I'm going to be waiting for a while.

6m47s. Compared to my desktop, which makes 5.10.27-gentoo in about 3 minutes flat. Not that bad actually.

Next follows the usual fstab and hostname. I was pleasantly surprised to see that rc-update follows the same syntax as in modern Gentoo.

Onto the bootloader, I'll begrudgingly use GRUB this time (I prefer SYSLINUX these days). This is before the GRUB2 times, actually even before 1.0, 0.94 is what we're using here. I don't think I ever had to install grub manually and I'm kinda glad, writing up a GRUB configuration from scratch looks like a pain. But alas I will push through, as my experience with LILO is poor, it doesn't seem to like most of my hardware.

GRUB, syslog-ng, fcron, and the all holy zsh installed. User account created, time to reboot. I don't think I messed anything up, I have had my fair share of Gentoo installs.

This is nutbust.(none) (Linux i686 2.4.26-gentoo-r3)


Next is the big one, KDE. Portage showed it had to download some things which isn't a good sign. That tells me that the distfiles on the DVD weren't complete or the portage tree that they used was slightly updated past what the distfiles were. I set it to merge all 91 packages anyways, (again, with time before it), and I'll just have to watch it and see if it fails when trying to download a package. I can just tell it to use a version that is included in the distfiles if that is the case. It didn't need to download anything, so I don't know what that was about.

XFree86 took just under an hour to compile, 54 minutes. So far that was the longest one and it was 10 of 91, uh oh. Things were fine, then Qt 3 came up. I didn't make note of the time it started like I did XF86, but it's been a while with no signs of stopping. When it did finish, I saw it was only 18 of 91. Oh… GTK+ took a fraction of the time, though it's GTK+ 1.x, so I can't imagine it was that complex back then.

Just under 13 hours and the compile is done. 748m13s was the total time. Since we now have XFree86, I made two configuration files. One using /usr/X11R6/bin/xf86config (the recommended way), and one with XFree86 -configure. With the former, I was able to start KDE 3.2.2, and everything seemed well, though after trying to run glxgears, I saw that I had no acceleration. Peeking the two config files showed me that the xf86config file just didn't enable DRI or GLX. Uncommenting those and I'm greeted with a KDE desktop that has full acceleration. Soemthing I did notice though, is with DRI and GLX enabled, glxgears runs fastest, ~580fps, but the mouse stutters and so does window movement. With DRI not properly enabled (there was a little section of the config file that had the DRI mode commented out, I missed it the first time) the mouse wasn't choppy, but I was getting about half the FPS on glxgears. Running glxgears -info confirms, our GL_RENDERER is Mesa DRI Intel(R) 852GM/855GM 20021115, OpenGL 1.2, Mesa 4.0.4.

Next up is ALSA. Having used newer kernels, when I built my kernel I built in the sound support for the Intel chipset audio. That turns out to not be the case, as ALSA has its own drivers (in alsa-driver) that it installs as kernel modules. For the chipset audio, ALSA_CARDS needs to be set to intel8x0. The Gentoo page for ALSA recommends building the alsa-driver package as a binary so it can be re-emerged when the kernel gets recompiled. I went ahead and did this, why not.

Well, it didn't work initially, I skipped steps, and after redoing them again, it still didn't load the sound module. snd-intel8x0.o: init_module: No such device That's no fun, but perhaps a reboot is finally in order (I haven't rebooted it since the first reboot). After a reboot, still no sound :( But kdm starts up!

Looking through the internet archive for ALSA pages, it looks like instead, the ICH4 needs intel8x0m. After a recompile of alsa-driver, and some fiddling with config files, we have sound!

It's not perfect. KDE uses ARTS to allow multiple programs to use the sound server at once, and while in theory that would work, XMMS doesn't like that, and won't play anything but the CD-ROM. KDE sounds do work, and so does JuK (though it doesn't like FLACs all that much).

The handbook said that kernel 2.6 was available, though the CD I got doesn't have any Gentoo patches for 2.6, but a vanilla source tree. Ideally I'd like a -gentoo kernel. I looked on my 2005.0 Live CD, and behold, 2.6 gentoo-sources. to be precise, or at least that's what came out after I compiled it. menuconfig didn't get changed, so I probably didn't patch it correctly, but oh well. It works.

I chose to go to a 2.6 kernel (though my primary is 2.4) because 2.6 changes how ALSA works, no longer needing the external alsa-driver package for device drivers. It booted, though the OSS compatibility is required for KDE sound to work at all. I haven't tried ALSA programs outside of KDE/X11, will update whenever I do try that.

Last thing I compiled was KOffice and Mozilla (not Firefox). 193 minutes for those two (and their dependencies, of which there were 6).

It's been about 24 hours since I started this, and I think I did pretty good on time, all things considered. Many things are left to do with this, but for now I'm going to call it done. Updates to this post or a part two will follow next time I get around to it.