1 (edited by sakaki 2016-10-15 00:17:55)

Topic: Bootable Gentoo Images Released (4.7.2, Xfce, Firefox 49, libre+std)


Would you like to try Gentoo Linux on your Novena, without the usual "three-days-compiling" initiation ceremony ^-^?

If so, you may be interested to know that I've just released two bootable Gentoo images for the Novena on GitHub (here).

You can burn either image (both ~800MiB compressed) to a microSD card (>=8GB), then boot your Novena from it.

Update 11 Oct 2016: it appears that there is a boot issue with the 4.7.2 kernel, affecting the eDP daughter card (thanks to veleiro for reporting). If you have a "just the board" spec Novena, and are using an HDMI monitor, you can try out these existing images without problem, but, if you are on e.g. a laptop spec machine, please hold off until the eDP issue has been resolved (when I will issue a new release). Thanks!
Update 14 Oct 2016: The kernel/boot issue mentioned above has been addressed (see this post for details) and I have now released a version 1.0.1 of the gentoo-on-novena images (both libre and regular variants). If you have a laptop, desktop or heirloom Novena, and the 1.0.0 release failed to boot correctly for you, please try again with this 1.0.1 release: it should now work correctly. Apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused ><

Both images contain a complete (OpenRC-based) Gentoo system (including a full Portage tree) - so you can run emerge operations immediately - and both have a reasonably populated userland (Xfce v4.12, Firefox v49.0, Claws Mail v3.14.0, Thunderbird v45.3.0, VLC v2.2.4, abiword v3.0.1 etc.) so that you can get productive without having to compile anything first (unless you wish to do so, of course ^-^).

Additionally, both images contain the full set of Novena-specific apps (novena-eeprom-gui etc.), ported across from xobs' Debian packages for your convenience (including the custom armada X.org video driver).

The images differ from each other in that one is full-libre (including a deblobbed 4.7.2 kernel), and the other has a non-deblobbed 4.7.2 kernel (and includes sys-kernel/linux-firmware, so Bluetooth works).

Full instructions are on the project's GitHub page linked above.

If you get a chance to try either image, please let me know how you get on ^-^

Best, sakaki

PS: running either of these images will not affect any existing Debian system you may have installed to your Novena's hard drive (if fitted) (unless you explicitly perform mount, fdisk or similar operations targeting the HDD, of course). Assuming you choose to write your chosen Gentoo image to a separate microSD card, when you are finished using Gentoo, you can simply power off, swap back to your old Debian card, reboot, and your system will be just as it was before you started.

Re: Bootable Gentoo Images Released (4.7.2, Xfce, Firefox 49, libre+std)

Apologies for the double post (URL limit!), but here's a screenshot taken from an instance of the (libre-variant) Gentoo image, running on one of my husband's Novenas:


Best, sakaki

Re: Bootable Gentoo Images Released (4.7.2, Xfce, Firefox 49, libre+std)

sakaki wrote:

the usual "three-days-compiling" initiation ceremony

Is it really that bad? Maybe running from micro SD really hurts it?

My main machine is a Core 2 Duo P8600, and my ballpark-comparison numbers indicate it should  be about the same speed as the Novena, assuming you can load up all of the cores. That's running Gentoo, and it definitely doesn't take 3 days to rebuild everything. Maybe a day (if you start in the morning, you can use it in the evening). I seem to recall that in a really quick and unscientific compilation test I did the Novena was a little slower, but definitely not 1/3 the speed.

Of course, that's building a pretty minimal system, and I don't recall if that includes things like Firefox. Firefox, Chromium, and LibreOffice are in their own league for build time... I think Firefox is at least 3 hours, and Chromium/LibreOffice are more than that, each.

Have you tried adding distcc with a cross-compiling desktop?

As always, thank you SO MUCH for doing this. I might be hardheaded enough to just install from a stage3 image, though...

Re: Bootable Gentoo Images Released (4.7.2, Xfce, Firefox 49, libre+std)

No, it isn't that bad really, it just feels like three days when you're in the middle of it ^-^

I did in fact build the images on a distcc/crossdev setup, using a 32-core (PC) cluster to do the majority of the work, so even Firefox wasn't that bad to build (once I'd figured out how to stop it segfaulting at the install phase: turns out mozconfig.eclass doesn't stop arm trying to build at -O3, like it does for amd64, grr). The original armv7a_hardfp stage3 image I re-bootstrapped on the Novena itself.

As for storage, I used an SDD root when creating the initial image, then assembled the final microSD images using a loop mount.

My main reason to do it was to get a libre image out there for the Novena, seems a shame not to have one given that a) everything but Bluetooth works and b) it's in keeping with the Novena's philosophy.