So like Tyler, I’ve decided to run Gentoo. Hey, it seemed like a good idea at the time.
My experience thus far can be summed up with a single word: frustrating. I spent my first day working through the (excellent) Gentoo Handbook. Like Jake, I found it handy to have run lshw on my system prior to installing Gentoo. This provided me with a list of my hardware that I could refer back to during the installation process, and saved me a few headaches.
At first, my live-cd environment lacked a network connection. My machine has two network interfaces in it. One uses the sky2 kernel module, while the other uses skge. I ran:
modprobe skge net-setup eth1 [follow on-screen instructions] ping google.com
and was successful.
On that first day of dicking about, I managed to get all the way to Chapter 10: Configuring the Bootloader. It was at this point, in subchapter 10.d, that I was instructed to reboot the system, as though it would be a relaxing, daisy-scented walk in the park. Not so.
Apparently, the kernel that I’ve managed to compile does not recognize the SATA interface on my motherboard. When I attempt to boot, GRUB hands control off to the kernel, which goes looking for my root partition on /dev/sda3. It then dies with a message like
Kernel panic – not syncing: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on unknown-block(8,3)
This error message is the bane of my existence.
After a great deal of head-vs-desk action, approximately 37 kernel compilations, and a great deal of googling, I managed to find a Gentoo wiki entry that instructs users of my chipset on how to compile their very own working kernel. Tonight, I intend to follow it, in hopes that I can get the system to boot some time soon.
At this rate, I’ll be lucky to have a working desktop by the end of the experiment.