Saturday, 18 June 2011

Bootcharting Gentoo baselayout 2

In this post I shall share my experience of yet another Gentoo installation. I keep coming back to this distribution for its stability, wonderful package management and the experiencing fine grained control.

I have been using KDE for over six years now. I wanted to try GNOME 3. However, as I found out GNOME 3 is not yet stabilized in Gentoo so I had to be content with GNOME 2. They are stabilization by the next release. I believe that it for good reason. Well GNOME 3 does not support Compiz. There are no multiple timezone clocks.

Having prior experience in installing Gentoo linux, I knew that following the handbook strictly you have to wait for downloads while there is compilation going on and vice versa. So this time I chrooted not from a single terminal but from multiple terminals. I could run package downloads separately using

emerge -f <package name>

and compile concurrently on a different terminal using

emerge <different package>

After installation, when I booted the system hung up.

Hung up Gentoo bootscreen

I read a line saying

Ext3-fs: couldn't mount because of unsupported optional features(240)

Adding the following to the kernel line solved the issue.


However, I was still getting a hung up system. If I inserted or removed USB drives, I was getting appropriate messages printed on screen; but the system was not responding to any keystrokes or mouse, neither was it loading X. Only the error line was gone. So, I understood that it was not the filesystem issue that was causing it. Asking on #gentoo I found that it was a common issue caused by the switch to baselayout 2. Instead of old init scripts Gentoo had started using openRC. Last time  heard about it was about a couple of years ago. It was a nice project started by Roy Marples. However, now it was stable and I was happy to be using it. My issue was solved following Alex's suggestions for the issue.

I wanted to see the boot time with baselayout 2 and openRC so after I had other installations I did a boot chart to find much faster boot than my previous installation on the same machine.
Also noteworthy was the fact that X worked out of the box and I was surprised to see Firefox 3.6.17 in stable tree. I was expecting Firefox 4.0. Well I hope it is stabilized soon.

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