*** WARNING COMPLETELY DISREGARD THIS POST***
I apologize, for a bad post, while it is true you can do a offline Gentoo base-install from your saved distfiles from a previous install. nothing can be changed, and unless your real good at editing EBUILDS (i’m not) then it’s best not to try this. I just found out the hard way that I may have spent 4 months downloading for nothing. again sorry
Do Not try this.
Sometime back, I did a post concerning a Debian offline install using DVD ISOs. Which was very successful, but while I like Debian, I also like Gentoo.
So it got me thinking, was it possible to do a offline Gentoo install in a similar manner as Debian. Turns out that it can be done, although not as easily as Debian.
First, why would anyone do a offline install of Gentoo, the base install is relativity easy, and can be done without an internet connection albeit with some preparation before hand. Downloading the stage3 and portage snapshot and placing them on a flash drive, but near the end of the install there is the gentoo-sources and a few tools (syslog-ng and vixie-cron in my case) but all these can be added to the flash drive as well.
What got my interest in this was two things, one when you first learn how to install and use Gentoo, you may do many installs over a short period of time. and two syncing your portage more than once a day is frowned upon. So I figured there had to be a solution, I noticed that once I had a base install done that there was a /distfiles folder in the /usr/portage folder, with all the packages that I had emerged, I also noticed that on the mirrors for Gentoo there was a /distfiles folder in the top directory.
Could these two folders be connected somehow, after reading more about Gentoo and doing more installs, I realized that when you emerge something, it downloads from the /distfiles folder on the mirror and saves to the portage distfiles folder. And compiles and installs from there. (or near abouts)
So i did a test, I copied my distfiles folder from my install, and copied my stage3 and snapshot to a usb flash drive and did a fresh install without internet. It worked well since my distfiles folder had all my emerges included, the install went a little quicker.
But…, what about doing a new install without a saved distfiles folder, a new install, would it work. Yes is the answer, First if you follow my directions, it may or may not work for you. I take no responsibilities for your actions.
One you need a hard drive large enough to hold all the gentoo distfiles folder which is around 250GB in size.
Two you need a “fast” internet connection, or access to a fast internet connection.
Three time to kill.
Even if you have a fast internet connection, it took me 4 or 5 months to download all the distfiles folder, on a 3gb speed DSL line.
Heres how i did mine I have a 2TB external hard drive which I have partitioned with 3 ntfs partitions, one of these is for operating systems (isos,files,howtos) I made a Gentoo folder with a distfiles sub folder, then with my current (at the time) Gentoo install I remerged Midnight Commander with sftp support and used that to transfer the distfiles to my computer. I did all of this from the command line no gui (less distractions) starting midnight commander (mc) I pressed F9 for the pulldown menu and connected to the ftp mirror, I was hampered by my computer hard drive size, so thats what took so long. I would download a small chunk at a time and using MC would transfer the downloaded files to the external drive.
Doing the install is easy, you just follow along with the handbook (also downloaded in txt and html form) and after unpacking the snapshot, make a distfile folder in usr/portage. as to emergeing packages, first do emerge -pv and using a second terminal find the packages and copy them from your saved /distfiles folder to your install distfiles, then emerge again as normal.
If your thinking “Why” well I’m thinking about dropping the internet, I’m tired of all the misinformation on the net. Years ago the internet was a good place to find useful information, now It’s a cesspool of shit.
This could be useful for someone that has high speed internet at work, or at the office but may not have internet at home.
the internet is a big time waster, in some ways. but it’s still somewhat useful, in others. Gentoo on the other hand is never (in my opinion) been wasteful, it gives you a benefit in learning how Operating systems work. and how a Linux system should work.
And if your thinking what about security updates or my system will be insecure, the computer is not “connected” to the internet “ever” is the best answer I can give.
I have heard people say “a computer can’t be useful without the internet” I call bullshit on that statement.
I lost the internet recently due to a storm, still had electricity, but no net. I could have done, any of these things.
watched a movie on my computer without internet
played a game on my computer without internet
edit photos on my computer without internet
print photos on my computer without internet
write a blog post on my computer without internet
play music on my computer without internet
read a e-book on my computer without internet
install Gentoo on my computer without internet
administer Gentoo on my computer without internet
The point I’m trying to make is, you can do many things on a computer without the internet, and many more than what’s listed above with Gentoo or a few other Linux/BSD distributions. as to what I did during the storm, I folded laundry and cleaned my computer room.