Compiling Gentoo

Is Gentoo really worth this? This gnome desktop profile has been running for 14hrs
now. Started out with 275 apps to compile, I know it is past 200, but the longest compiles
are the last ones. Have yet to compile the kernel, and most likely will use genkernel on
this VM. Hoping I have learned my lesson, because this is my third try!!!

Here it is, Gentoo running XFCE. After almost six days of compiling, I
am now a confirmed Gentoo user. If you want to build your own Linux, well
here it is. It takes time, patience and perserverance, but once the
Gentoo install grabs you, then nothing else will do.
Have a ton of questions for other Gentoo users.

I have Gentoo install on /dev/sdd1 28G partition, which is on a 120G SSD.
I just mounted /home and swap on a SSD that is running Mint. Will add /home
and swap to the /sdd drive later on.

The make conf file, the heart of Gentoo. I can’t say it is right, but it is working


Depends on who you ask. :wink:

Ironically, putting all this into a VM with even less resources than your computer has, will make it MUCH slower. Perhaps it could still take a couple of days, depending on how much of the necessary resources you assigned to the VM and how resourceful the host computer is.

Therefore, you created a self-fulfilling prophecy here. You really need to use all the power you have at your disposal for making Gentoo. Squeezing this monster into a VM and then complaining about how long the whole process takes does not really make sense.


@Akito …Not complaining!!! I knew all that beforehand, just will not install Gentoo on a drive
until I learn something about Gentoo. Do you have any useful info to pass along?

I think the best thing you can do at this stage is staying strictly patient. Do not expect it to finish within a certain timeframe. Do not interrupt the process, or you will have to start over, again. Just let it do its job and check on it once a day.

@Akito …I also have it compiling on a 120GB SSD and it is going much faster. Thank you
I will try and be patient. Have you ever compiled Gentoo?

No, but I compiled kernel headers and kernel modules on a Raspberry Pi Zero W. Took a long time and the device wasn’t able to be used the entire time it compiled.

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Please excuse my obvious ignorance, but why are you compiling distros? In 20 years of using Linux, I’ve never had a need to compile anything. And that’s good, because I wouldn’t know where to start. Not criticizing, just curious.

because I want to try!!!

The whole point of Gentoo is ultimate customization and DIY, i.e. you have to compile everything from source. So in the case of Gentoo, you don’t really have a choice.

Then you probably never needed exotic software or the newest alpha/beta version of any software you ever used in your life.

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I have a booting CLI, but I need to fix a few issues, and the main one is no eth0 for internet.

Kee-rect! I’ll leave that to you geniuses.

In 25+ years of using Linux - this is how we did things on Slackware 3.0…

You want sound from that lovely 16 bit ISA card from from Creative Labs?

Know your IRQ and your DMA for the card and do something like “make zimage” or something (can’t remember the exact details it was 25 years ago)…

You want ethernet (and WHO WOULDN’T?) - get a supported ISA or PCI NIC (Intel were pretty much ubiquitous back in the last decade of the last millenium)? Know your IRQ and DMA (and if you had an EEpro card, you could boot from an MS-DOS disk and set those values via software) - and “make zimage” (or what ever it was)…

That was how it was done back then… On a 386 - after answering all the questions the compiler asked you (from the make file) - I’m guessing it was about an hour to compile a kernel - maybe 2 hours - maybe longer if you wanted it to do more (e.g. SCSI, or two NICs etc)… then you’d hope and pray you got EVERYTHING right too! :smiley: … I’m thinking probably an hour from memory, it was kernel 1.2.13, and it was positively tiny compared to today’s kernel (some might say bloated, and Linus would probably agree).


You sure answered my question about what, but not about why. I don’t change my own oil any more, work on the engine any more, and damn sure do no brake or exhaust work any more. My retirement was from all things possible, so I can focus on enjoying what is already functioning. And I love it!


Yeah - I don’t do that any more either :smiley: - don’t run Arch or Gentoo (or Slackware which sits somewhere between Arch and Gentoo)… I run Ubuntu, and rely on plug and play 95%…

My Harley needs a new gasket (inner primary) - but I can’t be arsed doing it myself (once upon a time I did nearly everything myself) - so I’m outsourcing that, when I get around to it…