Gentoo Offline Install


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.

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Chasing The Penguin

When people first use heroin, it’s said to be the best high, best feeling. But every time they use the drug afterwards, it’s not quite the same as the first time. But that could be said for many things really, not just drugs.

Like food, the first time I tried pumpkin pie as a child, I thought it was fantastic. Much better than I had imagined, and certainly better than it looked. But the second time eating pumpkin pie was not as good as the first.

When people use heroin, they continually have to use more of the drug trying to attain that first experience, it’s what is called “chasing the Dragon”. From how the smoke looks like a dragon as the drug burns in whatever device it’s smoked in.

Gentoo Linux is a lot like heroin, it can be addictive for some, and with so many ways to configure and change most if not all aspects of the operating system. It’s almost like chasing the Dragon.

I prefer to call it “Chasing the Penguin” in regards to Linuxes Mascot, I remember when I first got a perfect running base system, how it felt to see the boot screen roll by listing all the processes that had successfully loaded, and finally saw the login screen. it was very exciting.

But soon I realized I could improve my boot time by making some changes in the Kernel and that’s where it started. Going from 90 seconds to 45 seconds felt good especially on antique hardware. But when I got down to 08 seconds boot time on the same box I was really impressed.

It is all too easy to get caught up in configuring and changing the system, to the point where nothing else matters. Seeing things improve with a few keystrokes, or altering one config file feels all empowering.

You couldn’t do the same thing on a Windows machine, and maybe not on OS X either. But sometimes it’s better to step back, and think “what’s the best way too use Gentoo for my needs” and once that is discovered, then move in that direction.

Remember drugs should be used in moderation, even if it’s Gentoo

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2 Good Windows Programs

I don’t know where to begin, it was a big mistake stopping this blog. I remember knowing how to do posts and uploading, and adding images, and now, it’s like I’m starting from scratch.

Oh well, lets crack-on as they say.

I prefer Windows XP, and currently use it in my daily life. But i also use Gentoo Linux, as my main Linux of choice. I have become disillusioned with Linux ever since I realized that I could not eradicate systemd from the linux distros I encountered it on.

There are ways to replace systemd, on many Linux distros. But I think going around or over systemd is the better choice for me. At least the easiest choice in my opinion.

I’ve noticed, a large number of new Linux window managers come on the scene lately. And it seems to me that they are just copies of other window managers.

Like ion, or pekwm or wmii. they all look similar fluxbox,blackbox and openbox. Have similar looks and feel. Is it really necessary to have so many. Wikipedia lists 38 and I know there’s more that are not listed.

But todays post is about two good (i think) Windows XP programs. The first is called Mobaxterm and it supports a number of networking protocols.


I am using the ssh feature to administer my Gentoo box, and I really like it


It has proven very useful, for getting things done on my Gentoo box, as far as I know it’s free to use for home or personal use, but they ask that you purchase it for office/commercial use.


The next one is something I just discovered today.    WakeMeOnLan

WakeMeOnLan is a neat little program that lets you start a Computer on your network, it is simple to use and you only need to set the target Computer in the BIOS to wake on lan (look in power management) and then know what your target computers MAC address is, and the target Computers IP address is.


This is not a security risk (a little) because wake on lan (WOL) can only be used on wired networks (cat5e) so no one on wireless can start your Computer.

I’m trying to run Gentoo from the console only, and since I can do most things from textmode that I can do from a GUI it might be less involved and I should be able to get more done.

if you have hung on this far, you might be wondering “how do I turn off my computer remotely. With MobaXterm under ssh. MobaXterm does not allow root logins, but you can (on Linux) login as a user and then su to root, at least that’s how I do it. I hope this post has been useful to someone.


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Arthur Irvine Rice   11/08/51 – 01/16/15Arthur Rice 12-15-14

( This was composed on 02-08-15) I just was not sure if i should post it
or not, it was not done for sympathy, or to hurt anyone’s feelings.

I did this mainly so Arthur’s family and friends would Know what

The word cancer, can mean different things to different people. There are different types of cancer, and different types of treatment, some can be mild and some severe.

Cancer can affect people in many ways, from fear to terror, and beyond. some cancers can kill and some can maim or disfigure.

Cancer is a trying ordeal for both the patient, and the caregiver.

The reason I have not been posting to this blog more frequently than usual, is a very close friend suffered with cancer.

Arthur found out he had cancer in June of 2013, we went through the feelings that most people would have denial,acceptance,fear,terror.

We could not accept that it was cancer, Doctors are sometimes wrong, it must be something, anything! else, but no in the end it was confirmed through a biopsy.

Arthur was ready to survive his cancer, he never cried, or got down about what was to come, and was ready and eager to start his treatment.

Arthur was scared, but not deterred about what had to be done, by October 2013 we both knew about what treatment he would be receiving.

On October 7th 2013 Arthur had a Power port placed above his heart, so that the chemotherapy could more easily be done. The procedure was a simple outpatient affair and Arthur went through it fine.

Arthur’s Chemotherapy began on the 8th of October and continued for eight sessions of one day a week.

On the day of his treatment Arthur and me would go to the treatment place, and he would check in. then after a short amount of time, he would be taken back and have his port accessed which consisted of a worker placing a port needle in his port. A power port has three dots in a triangle, and the port connector is in the center. A small syringe with a tube attached and a clamp on the tube completed the setup they used heparin (you could always tell by the yellow stripe on the side of the small syringe) to flush the port and then we came back out to the waiting area. the power port was painless to access (only slightly sometimes) the room where the treatment took place was large with many areas (pods) which had a heated reclining chair for the patient and a comfortable chair for a second person (husband,wife,caregiver) also there was a television hanging from the ceiling (lcd) so it was quite cozy.

Arthur had two iv bags of chemo fluid which he needed to receive, (the names of which I can’t remember) one took an hour to go in, and the other took 45 minutes. they had snacks and even served lunch, I always felt embarrassed about eating anything because I thought it was mainly for the patients. ( it’s for anyone who comes with the patient as well) I wanted to make sure Arthur had everything he needed or wanted, and would do without things if he needed something, often I would pay for his medication, so he would have more money to buy things he liked. I bought him several stuffed animals (he liked lions and tigers) because I knew it would cheer him up.

Arthur had other problems besides cancer, he had COPD and had a heart condition. Arthur had two rounds of Chemotherapy and one round of Radiation, Arthur’s cancer was called “Carcinoma squamous of the oral cavity at the base of the tongue”.

The first round of Chemotherapy was fairly easy for Arthur, and after only three treatments he was showing marked improvements.

but the second round with the Radiation was worse, The Radiation treatment scarred the inside of his throat and caused thick mucus to form, Arthur was severely claustrophobic, and could not be in a room with the door closed. so he was given a tranquilizer injection before every treatment his treatments were 35 in all (monday thru friday) because of Arthur’s cancer location he had to have a feeding tube (g-tube) installed. he went through enormous pain afterwards for a week, when they put a g-tube in they have to fill your stomach with air so they can place the g-tube correctly.

That was the problem, Arthur could not get rid of the air. Arthur’s always had a problem with air in his stomach, or heartburn. But when he went for his first treatment of chemo, (second round) they gave him benadryl, and zofran the benadryl was because some people can be allergic to the chemo drugs and zofran for nausea.

Something did the trick, all of a sudden he belched so loud, that everyone in the room turned to look, he said the pain in my stomach is gone. I was glad, because I got little sleep for that week prior, because I was so worried about him I came downstairs, from my apartment and slept on the floor of his living room in case he needed me.

Arthur weighed 150 pounds when he started his second round of chemotherapy plus radiation, by the time he finished the treatment he weighed 103 pounds. he never dropped below 98 pounds and never got above 106, they said his cancer was in remission and that his pt scan was clear. but he developed other problems, for one he could never take more than 4 cans of jevity 1.5 in a 24 hour period, even though they wanted him to take 5 cans. but the 4 cans worked well and I tried adding anything I could think of that he could swallow (or through the tube) to put on the calories.

But his weight stayed the same.(moving a little up or down) Arthur’s treatment ended the end of April 2014 but he was in and out of the hospital (ER or admitted ) most of 2014 with a host of problems from diabetes to high blood pressure to afib and others, mostly to do with anxiety and copd (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder) I went with him every time and even pushed him several times in his wheelchair to the ER (during summer or good weather) hoping that the fresh air might negate a need to go to the ER (sometimes it worked, most times not) after a while I noticed problems of my own.

I was born with asthma and now it’s turned into copd, I was born with my left leg shorter (1.3/4“) than my right leg and I have constant pain in my back and left leg (the right leg is as strong as a ox) but over the years (47) I have learned to deal with it, and some days are better than others.

Arthur’s anxiety got much more severe, and I had to stop going out altogether, as long as i was in his apartment, he was relatively calm. I did everything from the internet rather than go to the store to get what was needed.

I did everything for Arthur, helping him get dressed or cleaning up and helping him feed himself.

But I started getting pains around my heart and under my shoulder blades, and having numbness in my hands and feet, I never told Arthur about it, to keep him from worrying. (which he did’nt need to do)

Around December 2014 our city had a flu epidemic, everyone was sick. and Arthur was diagnosed with double pneumonia they kept him for two days and gave iv antibotics. and I paid for his take home prescriptions.

January 11 2015 I went to the ER with Arthur (breathing troubles) and checked myself in. They said I had pneumonia, (not serious) and I got worried that I might not be able to care for Arthur much longer.
We, me and Arthur came up with the solution, that he could stay for a short time in a nursing home near where we live (within walking distance) everything was setup two days ago.

But it was not to be.

Arthur was in the Hospital the 13th – 15th for breathing problems, they transfered him to the nursing home. I called both places to see if everything was o.k. and was told yes.

When I went on the 16th to visit Arthur and take him some clothes, I was informed that he had passed away, just minutes before I arrived.

I always told Arthur “ I’ll take care of you for as long as you need me to I won’t abandon you and I’ll be here if you need me.

But it wasn’t enough.

Arthur was my close friend for 23 years I will miss him forever.

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Cow Computing No More

I can’t see continuing this blog any further, my posts have dwindled down from every day to once a month.

I’ve been caring for a friend who had Cancer, and recently my friend passed away.

We were friends for 22 years, and I will miss them greatly.

To everyone who visited this site, Thank you! I hope you found the information useful


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Ideas for 2015

I have had an idea for some time. Try to use a USB drive for a swap partition, with USB 2.0 and now 3.0 commonly avaliable, it seems like a good idea.

Try to install Gentoo Linux, on the Imac. Mac OS X is not what i remembered. Back then it was on a Power-Mac G4, so maybe that’s why it seems so “less” powerful now on the Intel Imac.

I have been looking at tablet computers, I currently have a cheap tablet which I have nicknamed “frustration” because I can’t get the hang of the touchscreen interface, ( I’m a keyboard kid) but maybe a mini Bluetooth keyboard, will help. also I have been toying with the idea of making a tablet, from a Arduino board.

Take a old (one of the pentium IIIs) computer and turn it into a internet radio. I had a server (in home) that I had my movies and music on my network years ago so it should not be too much trouble to do something similar for internet radio.

And after all that, I need to get back to where I was before computers, I used to read books, (actually quite a lot) and had craft projects that I occupied my time with. I have been involved with computers for 31 years, I don’t intend to spend Another 31 years with them.

I won’t abandon computers completely, but will use them more as a information service.

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Back With Mac

I have finally, got my hands on a apple computer. The last time I had one was in 2007, back then it was a Powermac G4 733 Digital Audio.

I found the G4 at a second hand computer store, and was told that it had a dead power supply, and a crack on the processor.

But with some help from the internet I was able to use a ATX modified power supply, and managed to get it working. Everything worked except the standby power for the mac display.

I really liked my G4 (even though it weighed a ton) and still miss playing Halo CE on it, the graphics were more stunning and better than the same game on a pentium-4 (which I also had at the time)

But that’s in the past, a couple of days ago I found a Imac Core duo 17” online for $119.00 USD and decided to again take the plunge. (links below)

The last version of OS X that I was familiar with was OS X 10.4 (powerpc) back then my G4 was equal to or better than a pentium-4 (2.0Ghz) with 512 mb of ram and a 256 mb video card.

Now my Imac has 1Gb ram a 160gb hard drive and 128mb video and a dual core processor at 1.83 Ghz.

It came with OS X 10.4 pre installed, all around I think I made a good deal. Credit goes to Other World Computing

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