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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Gentoo "quick" install

I'm playing around with different distros in VirtualBox, and happened to try Gentoo. Boy, what a fun that was :-)

The first indication that something is wrong was the fact that they had a quick install guide, which didn't seem all that quick...

After failing to make it start (twice), I searched around and found this blog post: HOWTO: Create a Gentoo Guest OS within VirtualBox. Even though it was referring to an older version of Gentoo, I managed to pull trough. One thing you have to change is the name of the "package" (I'm not 100% that this is the correct terminology) for the DHCP client. Now it is simply named dhcp (rather than dhcpcd), so you should do "emerge dhcp". BTW, the same mistake is present in the official Gentoo "quick install" documentation!

After installing Gentoo, I wanted to create a minimal Apache + PHP setup. Again, I was hitting walls, because Gentoo seems to have changed the package names referring to PHP and all the instructions out there kept using the old names. Finally I found this link (sorry, it is in Romanian). The gist of it is:

The packages are in "dev-lang/php". When installing it you have the following options:

  • cgi - install PHP as CGI
  • cli - install PHP CLI
  • apache - install mod_php for Apache 1.3.X
  • apache2 - install mod_php for Apache 2.0.X (no Apache2.2 support?)

Specify the options you need separated by spaces:

USE="cli apache2" emerge 'dev-lang/php'

Conclusion: Gentoo is one of those distros which is hard to install and has many hard edges. IMHO my experience shows the need for documentation, or at least an active user community (if your community isn't large enough, people won't try to do the same thing over and over, and thus the information available on the web will get outdated).


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