Fri, 23 Feb 2007
I use J-Pilot as a desktop PIM application for synchronizing with my Palm. Few days ago I found that it apparently leaks memory (J-Pilot bug entry, Fedora bug entry). The response to the J-Pilot bug entry was that the bug cannot be reproduced on the author's Gentoo, so it has to be a Fedora bug. So I have decided to install Gentoo in a virtual machine to test J-Pilot under it.
So far the installation was pretty straightforward, I created a
virtual disk image, created a filesystem on it, mounted, unpacked
stage3 tarball and Portage snapshot to this filesystem,
and in the rest I have followed the
pretty closely (omitting steps which are not necessary for
chroot or virtual machine environment, such as building
my own kernel). In fact, since the Gentoo install runs in the
the virtual machine is not necessary when everything you want to do
is to compile and test a single GUI application. So I am compiling
the packages in
chroot instead of the virtual machine
(it is faster that way).
We have some Gentoo servers here, so I am already somewhat
familiar with the
emerge command and
So far I did not ran into bigger problems, just few annoyances
(some of which may definitely be an user error, as I am new to Gentoo):
stage3does not contain a text editor! Every UNIX has to include
- The network setup mentions that either
ip(8)can be used in the network scripts. I wanted to use the later, but
emerge iproute2has failed because of missing (or different) kernel headers. I had 2.6.20 unpacked in <chroot>
/usr/src/linux, as this is what I currently run. I think the dependencies for
iproute2should be fixed.
- Gentoo Linux is apparently not
FHS-compliant: it has its Portage
/usreven though this directory is often written to.
- When I tried to run "
USE=gtk emerge -p -v jpilot" (or something like that), the dependencies tried to install not only the X libraries (which is expected from the X app), but also the X server package together with ~20 graphics hardware driver packages. I don't need an X server there, it is a headless virtual machine!
stage3is huge. The whole system before my first
emergecommand had 1.6 GB. Of course, 600 MB of it was
/usr/portage, but a gigabyte is still a lot for a minimal (essentially empty) system.
/etc/conf.dsucks. I had to symlink it as
/etc/sysconfig, because I tend to use the later name anyway.
Now I am waiting for the compile to finish. When I am at it,
I want to explore the inner workings of their startup scripts
rc-update and friends) and other Gentoo specialities as well.
I also wonder how they do SELinux
and how their default security policy look like.