The Gentoo Linux Installer team would like to announce version 0.3 of the
installer. This release will be an official part of the 2006.0 Gentoo release.
The old universal and package CDs have been replaced by the Installer LiveCD for
the x86 architecture. An experimental AMD64 Installer LiveCD will also be
released under /experimental, and will have similar capabilities, but it is not
As always, there are many improvements (and bugfixes) since the last version.
* Improved support for preserving existing partitions (many, many bugfixes)
* Complete rewrite of the GRP handling code: We no longer use quickpkg and
'emerge -K', which has cut the install time for GRP about in half.
* GTK+ frontend redesign: the listing of steps that was previously in the
separate panel on the left has been replaced by the "Future Bar" (as named
and designed by blackace). This allows more space for each screen, and it
prevents the problem of the steps going off the bottom of the screen.
* More sub-progress reporting: any install step that takes more than a few
seconds will now report on its progress in a secondary progress bar (or as
part of the main progress bar in gli-dialog). Included is stuff like
partitioning, downloading a tarball, unpacking a tarball, emerging packages,
* Recommended partition layout: If you have at least 4GB of consecutive
unallocated space, the installer can create a partitioning layout for you
consisting of a 100MB /boot, a swap with a size calculated based on amount
of physical memory, and a / taking up the remaining space.
* Graceful cleanup after install failure in both frontends
As always with improvements, there are new bugs created to go along with them.
If you do encounter a bug, make sure to save your /tmp/installprofile.xml and
/var/log/installer.log.failed from the LiveCD right after the install fails.
File a bug at http://bugs.gentoo.org/. Select the "Gentoo Linux" product and the
"GLI" component. If you can't find that, just use the following link:
With the installer, we have set a new world speed record for a Gentoo install.
Using gli-dialog, a local (on disk or on a local ftp/http server) stage3
tarball, the portage snapshot on the LiveCD, and the GRP option, we have
completed an install in just under 7 minutes. This was in VMWare on a box with
an Athlon64 3200+, 1GB of memory (512MB allocated to VMWare), and a SATA disk.
The same install in the GTK+ frontend took 10:40 on a Athlon64 4200+ with 1GB
of memory (384MB allocated to VMWare) and a SATA disk, but the GTK+ frontend
does a few things (displaying the install logfile and compile output) that the
dialog frontend does not do.
There are updated screenshots of both frontends available at
http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/releng/installer/screenshots/. There are also
some videos of different types of installs using both frontends. The videos
should be available via the Gentoo bittorrent tracker at
http://torrents.gentoo.org/. The three install types are:
* basic: minimal install, dynamic stage3, GRP for logger, cron, and bootloader
* gnome GRP: dynamic stage3, GRP option, gnome added to extra packages
* speed test: minimal install, local stage3 tarball, GRP for logger, cron, and
The first two types are both networkless.
As mentioned in the release announcement for 0.2, there is also a web-based
frontend in the works. It is the profile creation component of the network
deployment system called GLIMD (Gentoo Linux Installation Management Daemon).
GLIMD is designed to deploy multiple machines (optionally with different
profiles) simultaneously. While we have had a few successful test installs with
this method, it is still *extremely* alpha.
Andrew Gaffney http://dev.gentoo.org/~agaffney/
Gentoo Linux Developer Installer Project
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