Mini Gentoo installation log

Tags: gentoo, install

This article is more of a note to self. Would help me install Gentoo a little bit faster whenever I choose to do that again (not anytime soon :) ). More probably, I’ll use this as a reference to remember what’s in my system etc.

And what about you? So I’ve often had to tell people how to do stuff. I like to keep all my instructions online. Saves time ;) . Feel free to refer to this in case you plan to jump on the Gentoo ship.

NOTE: This article is not meant as a replacement for the awesome Gentoo wiki. Infact this is a super condensed version of the steps written there, and may not work for everyone. But would certainly help if you’re having some trouble getting something to work (for example: the bootloader).


  • Make bootable with dd command.
  • Ping internet

Make partition

  • parted -a optimal /dev/sda
  • unit mib
  • Exact same steps as on []
  • Created swap space of 9.5 GB
  • Mounted into directories.

Stage 3

  • Downloaded tar.gz from iitk mirror.
  • Unpacked it.
  • Wrote all my USE flags (copied from laptop. See section on other notes)


  • Mounted all proc,sys,dev etc as written on Gentoo Wiki.
  • Did chroot and sourced etc/profile
  • Did emerge-webrsync
  • Selected plain systemd profile


  • Symlinked: ln -sf /proc/self/mounts /etc/mtab
  • Set root password


  • echo “Asia/Kolkata” > /etc/timezone
  • emerge –config sys-libs/timezone-data
  • Added locales in /etc/locale.gen
  • locale-gen
  • Set locale to en_US.utf8 using eselect
  • Installing vim


  • emerge gentoo-sources
  • Did genkernel for now.
  • genkernel –menuconfig all to add inkernel support for ext4
  • Required kernel parameters: root=/dev/sda4, rootfstype=ext4
  • Realized that I should’ve let my boot partition be ext2
  • Did that. Recreated the boot partition and regenerated the kernel.
  • Realized I should’ve just made a backup of the previous build of the kernel.


  • Edited /etc/fstab file and mounted root with noatime
  • Set root passwd
  • emerged linux-firmware
  • emerged net-misc/netifrc
  • Removed udev
  • Installed systemd
  • Did emerge -avDN @world
  • Enabled systemd-networkd service using systemd
  • Installed ssh, dhcpcd
  • Installed eix to be able to query packages
  • SUDO!
  • useradd
  • EDITOR=vim visudo and give myself permissions


  • Installed grub and os-prober
  • BIOS: grub2-install /dev/sda
  • Set this line in /etc/default/grub: GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="init=/usr/lib/systemd/systemd"
  • grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg
  • Change of plans, go with UEFI.
  • Used my Arch bootable (which had a dual, UEFI and Legacy boot) to boot into a UEFI environment which had the EFI variables. Gentoo bootable wasn’t UEFI for some reason.
  • Did the regular gentoo liveUSB style chroot into my gentoo installation.
  • Add entry in make.conf to install efivars: GRUB_PLATFORMS="efi-64 efi-32 pc emu"
  • Mount /dev/sda2 to /boot
  • Mount /dev/sda1 to /boot/efi and format it as vfat
  • Now do the grub UEFI install steps
  • Enable systemd-networkd on boot


  • Installed x11-base/xorg-x11
  • Installed ghc and xmonad
  • Installed i3 and dmenu
  • Copied xinitrc from /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc to ~/.xinitrc
  • Startx runs i3 (added exec i3 to .xinitrc)!


  • Installed pulseaudio (fixed unmet use flags)
  • alsa-utils
  • Relogin


  • rxvt-unicode and urxvt-perls
  • networkmanager
  • Emacs and started its daemon to download packages
  • Vim and installed neobundle and vim-plug, followed by installation of my vim packages
  • elinks
  • firefox-bin-43.0
  • google-chrome-unstable
  • x11-misc/xclip
  • zsh fortune-mod cowsay
  • cabal
  • taffybar
  • i3lock
  • setxkbmap and xmodmap for keyboard layouts
  • arandr and xrandr
  • unrar, pcmanfm
  • gentoolkit, genlop

Set up ssh key

  • ssh-keygen -t rsa -C -b 4096 "your_email"
  • Set strong password
  • eval "$(ssh-agent -s)"
  • ssh-add ~/.ssh/id_rsa
  • Preferably add this to your xinitrc as follows: exec ssh-agent i3 (or whatever DE you use)


  • Installed ghc and xmonad
  • Now sudo layman -a haskell
  • Installed taffybar
  • xmonad-contrib
  • Installed taffybar again
  • Installed ghc-mod (hell) using: emerge -av --oneshot --keep-going ghc-mod --backtrack=30
  • Failed. Did haskell-updater


  • Installed virtualbox-bin

Other notes:

Here are my USE flags:

USE="bindist mmx sse sse2 udisks systemd X acl alsa gtk bindist mp3 mp4 unicode jpg xft 256-color unicode3 fading-colors jpeg bluetooth science truetype mtp png xvmc imagemagick libass fontconfig pulseaudio x264 gd gtk3 dbus"
Author's picture

Saksham Sharma

Hacker. Programmer. Geek.

3rd year Undergrad, Computer Science and Engineering

Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur