Linux goes Live on Gentoo CD release

Linux goes Live on Gentoo CD release

Summary: Update: The Linux distro is due to release a version of its operating system that can be run directly off a CD-ROM, so that people can try Gentoo without installing it


The Linux distro is due to release a version of its operating system that can be run directly off a CD-ROM, so that people can try Gentoo without installing it

The next version of Gentoo, due for release in February 2005, will include a Live CD that allows users to run the operating system off a CD, and with a more user-friendly interface.

Gentoo is a distribution of Linux that its developers claim is fully customisable for any application or need. According to a Netcraft survey in July 2004, Gentoo experienced the fastest percentage growth rate out of all Linux distributions over the previous six months, increasing from 0.7 percent of Web servers in January 2004 to 1.0 percent in July.

Chris Gianelloni, the operational manager for Gentoo's Release Engineering group, said the Live CD will be produced for the x86 andAMD64 platform and will be "very similar" to Knoppix, a Linux Live CD which is based on the Debian distribution. Gianelloni said this is the first time that Gentoo has produced a fully functional Live CD -- a "LiveCD" is already available on the Gentoo Web site, but this is primarily an installation CD. However, LiveCD will be a beta release, which contains all the functionality but is still in test mode.

The next version of Gentoo, 2005.0, will also include a more user-friendly installer. This takes the Gentoo handbook apart and integrates into the installer. A future version will include the option of a graphical installer, and will allow users to automatically install the same set-up of Gentoo on multiple machines, according to Gianelloni.

"The graphical installer will have lots of facilities like Red Hat kickstart," said Gianelloni. "You can create a script, containing details on, for example, what packages you want installed. You can then feed the same script to the installer on every machine, so that it will install identically."

The most recent release of Gentoo, which was released last week, focused on bug fixes and improving the release tools, according to the Gentoo Web site. The changes in 2004.3 included a switch to a single kernel for the AMD64 and x86 platforms and a switch to a new version of the GNU compiler collection, GCC 3.4, in the AMD64 and PowerPC platforms.

Gianelloni said that previously the AMD64 and x86 platforms had both the 2.4 and 2.6 versions of the Linux kernel, but Gentoo developers decided to fully switch to the 2.6 kernel as it has now stabilised, and tends to have more stable and up-to-date drivers than the 2.4 kernel.

Gentoo 2004.3 also includes a new release of its package management tool, Portage. Gianelloni said an important new feature in Portage 2.0.51 is an option which gives users more flexibility when enabling or disabling packages. The option allows users to use any dependent package when they have enabled support for a package, while in the past they would have needed to reinstall the dependent packages, according to Gianelloni.

Topics: Apps, Software Development

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  • That kicks ass... I wonder if I'll be able to boot it up on my school's super-fast comps... ::grin::
  • Gentoo it's just great.. Portage it's the one of best application management system i have ever used. I believe Gentoo it's going to be huge, and by the way it's popularity it's growing amongs Linux users that like love the fact that Gentoo, it's a "Meta Distribution" system, We & the rest of the community will know Gentoo ain't no joke..

    Gentoo makes the box good...
  • I've been using Gentoo Linux for a year, and I think it's the best distro. Total control over your system and possibility to configure everything without having tools that force you to do things as they want, as happens in other distros.
    With Gentoo Linux you can have a working system for years with hard Desktop usage and n00b play.
    I wouldn't be able to change back to any other distro.
  • if you looking to build a system based on bleeding edge technology, then Gentoo is right for you.. there is not alot of distros out there that can offer this level of control.
  • Gentoo is simply the best, no doubt it is here to stay and grow. I've tried many distros but Gentoo beats any other system. Occasionally, minor nuissances happen, but if one looks at the overall gentoo's potential, those are negligible (and 'workaroundable'). Gentoot is far ahead from anything else out there.
  • "That kicks ass... I wonder if I'll be able to boot it up on my school's super-fast comps... ::grin::"

    Heh maybe, on my district's comps I disable booting from anything except the hard drive, lock the bios and lock the case. Mainly because teachers don't like to follow rules, reinstall windows on it and get it infected with viri and spyware.

    I have been with Gentoo since 1.4_rc4 (pre 2004.0) and I absolutely love it. by far the most customizeable dist I have used (and I tried quite a few). Glad to see a livecd with X again havent seen one since 2.4.20 with the distcc disk.

    I really hope gentoo grows (more) in popularity so people will stop offering open source software in binary packages.
  • "I really hope gentoo grows (more) in popularity so people will stop offering open source software in binary packages."

    Well I think Gentoo's install time of an entire weekend is the reason why I prefer binary installs, since they only take an hour or so compared to Gentoo's weekend installation time. Plus what are you going to do about the third party software that are proprietary and they don't want to show their source code? You're going to have that for linux just like you do for windows whether you like it or not.
  • Dear Ms. Marson,

    I liked very much your summary of Gentoo in "Linux goes Live on Gentoo CD release", nice work.

    It was not clear if the live demo is also an hard disk installer.

    Kanotix ( has one and it is well received by Windows users. One can do the demo, show how nice FireFox and OO.o are, and if the person likes it, install without ever removing the CD. I have no conneciton with Kanotix (except sometimes TCP/IP).

    My experience is that once one starts rooting about for another CD, or worse bunches of them for the install, more than half the people who were half convinced before are suddenly waiting for another day. It is a small thing but reminds me of the old saying about journalism, as I recall, "Put in a table and lose half the readers, put in a formula and lose 80% of the rest." One less step, all on one CD buys trust and credibility.

    Thanks for the article and thanks for your work,


    James Nickson
  • If you are expecting a Knoppix or Kanotix like 'live demo', be warned and don't waste your time on

    Gentoo has a curious definintion of 'Live', at least compared to Knoppix and Kanotix. The demo I just wasted a CDRW on and an hour downloading
    - dropped into a text prompt,
    - 'startx' was not a recognized command,
    - No help to be had from the brief text intro.

    In short it may be live or bootable CD, but it is certainly not a 'live demo' as nothing was demonstrated.
  • Gentoo looks ok but i still have trouble with my wireless config . I ran Mephis and it even found and configed my Belkin F5D700 card why cant Gentoo do this or at least make it easier for newbies to understand

  • how to installation linux geetoo x86