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Gentoo on Acer TM 4650

I installed Gentoo on my brand new work laptop last week. It was a little tricky that one because the Gentoo Live CD does not work well out of the box. For some stupid bug the system will not be able to access the CD-ROM from the LiveCD. Be sure you still have a Windows partition. Download and save the CD image there. Also burn a CD from it. Then boot the LiveCD. First the framebuffer driver turns your screen pitch black. So use the gentoo-nofb boot option. Then the APIC makes the kernel hang at boot. So turn APIC off with the noapic option.

Now the CD boots and finally fails to mount the CD-ROM. Go into shell mode and create the device files for the hard drive manually. The first Windows partition is /dev/hdc2 which has a device number of 22 2. Now mount the windows partition. Create device nodes for some loop back devices. Now mount the CD-Image via the loop device. Copy the compressed image off the mounted CD. Mount the compressed image via a second loop back device. Finally chroot into that file system. Now use fdisk to create your partitions. Be sure not to touch the first Windows partition as you are currently using it. Format your new partition. Copy your complete environment onto the new Linux partition. Exit and unmount everything. Then reboot into the LiveCD.

Go into shell mode again. Create the device file for your Linux partition. Exit. Enter the name of the device file. Now init will boot from your new Linux partition - which is now writable. From here create a new directory somewhere, unpack the stage1 tarball there and chroot into it. Continue the installation as usual. Exit when the environment is ready for booting and move everything out of the subdirectory to the top level. Reboot.

This is all a bit annoying but it works finally. I still have to figure out why the IDE drive does not want to go into DMA mode. This slows down the computer terribly: unable to work while updatedb is running or unpacking a kernel tarball. Wifi works great with the fwb2200 drivers and firmware.

posted on 2005-07-25 18:06 UTC in Code | 0 comments | permalink