Gentoo 0.0.3

June 11, 2009

Posted by: PlopperZ


We’ve come a long way from where we started. Six months ago, neither viridior or I had any idea of what we were getting ourselves into. Nevertheless, we survived, and in the meantime we’ve created our first truly usable Gentoo release.

If someone could boot it up and play with it and make sure the essentials work (emerge can build new packages, internet works, and so on) we’d be extremely grateful. We want someone to pick through it like the average Gentoo user might, so knowledge of Gentoo would be helpful. If Gentoo experience is lacking, that isn’t a big deal. Simply trying to emerge (install) a package we haven’t already installed or pre-built would be great!

So, whoever wants to try it out can get a copy of the latest release here. Since the latest is 0.0.3, you probably just want to go straight to 0.0.3‘s page. Pandora testers will want to select the plain 0.0.3 “base” variant, while BeagleBoard users might want to use the “base-beagle” variant. Be sure to read the “Install a Pre-built Image” page for installation instructions.

We’re looking for feedback on your entire experience! Was the website easy to use? Where might we improve? How about the image itself? Are there any tweaks we should’ve included? Everything is still under heavy development, so it will be relatively easy to change things now rather than later.

Here’s a big thanks to the testers who use precious time out of their day to test our images! We really appreciate it! smile.gif




  1. this is good news, but I wish that the recent dry spell could’ve been broken by a new video announcement. Are y’all gonna update this post when someone tests Gentoo?

  2. If I had a Pandora, I’d totally help beta test this for you.

  3. Works on Beableboard as well… cool! I just got one. I’ll give it a test.

  4. Sorry rabidpoobear, I would love to see a new video too, but this is still a great thing for the community (I’ll try not to be too biased…)

    One big advantage over the default OS is that you can build your own OS from the ground up quickly and easily from our -base images. You want to use e17, Opera, GPE/OPIE/Qt/Gtk/, thats all ok.

    We will also be making a -desktop variant which will be fairly similar to what we expect from the default OS on launch. Web browser, connection tools, basic office software, libpnd, maybe a few emulators, but we haven’t set any requirements yet so if you have any ideas this is a great time to give us your input. Cheers!

  5. I don’t know if its just me but I think Gentoo looks alot nicer and more futuristic compared to Angstrom. Unless this will be a different version.

  6. Shaun,

    I think that they both have their perks. Angstrom is probably better at fitting more software in a smaller environment (they have to fit the entire OS on 512MB NAND) whereas we are running from SD and have set a < 1GB limit. Both Angstrom and Gentoo have very large software libraries. Angstrom, at this time, as more prebuilt binaries. Gentoo allows a lot more customize-ablility. So to each his own, truthfully I see this as a way to encourage more community envolvement.

  7. The more OS choices the better!
    When i get my pandora i’m gonna install it for sure.
    I might even look into the desktop version to get to know Gentoo a bit

  8. I must admit, I might run this too 😉

    Try to keep lib presence (and even version) parity with the main distro; will make .pnd’s a lot easier if we don’t have to have devery dev include a few dozen versions of libs in there to cover the various OSes.

  9. Dual boot: Angstrom on the built in NAND and Gentoo on an SD card.

  10. skeezix and all,

    I can’t make any promises that I will be able to maintain binary compatiblity since I don’t know exactly what they will be using, but I’m pretty sure we are using very similar toolchains and should work as-is now. If not, the Gentoo library is more-or-less as big (possibly bigger) then the angstrom library so getting the same software shouldn’t be a problem anyway. The advantage at the moment is that Angstrom has more precompiled binaries then we have, and I don’t know what they plan on releasing.

    With that all in mind, the -desktop variant that we are starting to work on can be bundled with whatever software we have available now. Its open for everyone to look at and make comments on what software they would prefer. If you don’t like it then you can always branch from us and I would be more then happy to help you reach your goals. The hard part is mostly done, most (not all) of the remaining work is editing config files and testing. Please join us in IRC if you are interested. Cheers!

  11. Any screenshots?

  12. ummmm i dont understand why use gentoo in a “static” board… and recompiler something big with this board must be funny 🙂 u can play a long civilization game 🙂

  13. Gentoo looks better then Angstrom? The different dists has nothing to do with it- which window manager is running under xorg is.

    So too say that x dist looks better then y is in my opinion wrong because it has to do with which wm you choose too use…

  14. r00tw00t,

    When I read his comment I didn’t get the impression he was actually talking about graphics. More about the impression that we are outputting our progress and letting the community envolved and describing our process along the way. For the official distro its not the same. That doesn’t make it worse, it just different appearances.

  15. Hey viridior ..

    You guys folding libpnd (and pndnotifyd) into your dist? You tried any of that stuff yet?

    (And if so, let me know .. we’ve not had a lot of time for testing beyond ‘yay it works’ .. let me know if it seems to work for you 🙂 (BTW, it does work on desktop boxes as well.)

    Its got a few cheap hacks in it that I need to flesh out more, but seems to ‘more or less work well’ 😛


  16. skeezix,

    Sorry, not yet, but it is on the top of the list for things for us to add onto the official ‘-desktop’ variant. We usually hang out on Freenode#gentoo-pandora Once we have a working xorg-server w/ WM I’m sure that will be one of the next things we add and I’m sure I’ll be looking around for you for any potential problems.

  17. I wouldn’t make it for desktop build.. make it for standard build. I mean, it ought to be the normal way for people to run applications .. most apps should be PXML-apps or .pnd apps (hopefully .pnd apps), so they can just run from SD without needing installing, and without needing to sit on flashram, etc.

    So aim for it to be the norm, not the exception 🙂

  18. [21:40:29] *** You are now participating in the #gentoo-pandora discussion. Checking for current participants…
    [21:40:29] *** Users on #gentoo-pandora: @skeezix_
    [21:41:41] *** skeezix_ is now known as skeezix.

    empty 😦

  19. skeezix,

    Sorry, probably should give you a little background. gentoo-pandora-x.x.x-base is basically a Gentoo stage3 env with boot capability to a command prompt. This is for the Gentoo-knowledgeable individuals that want to build their own system in the traditional way. We updated and optimized the binaries so that from start you should be immediately build anything you want. Our gentoo-pandora-x.x.x-desktop is the -base system with an added xorg-server, WM, and apps that we will include to allow individuals not familiar with Gentoo to start using their device and add/remove functionality as they see fit. We also have set up and have resources to allow feedback images that we will be more then happy to rehost, so for instance if I take the -base/-desktop image, modify it for speed-ups and further optimizations and then change the WM from matchbox to e17 I can then call it gentoo-pandora-x.x.x-viridior (or e17, or something cute) and then offer it back (similiar to how Ubuntu naming-scheme works).

    Strange that #gentoo-pandora isn’t populated, usually 6 to 10 people in there… you sure you were on FreeNode, not EFNet?

  20. ah, twas efnet.

    Include libpnd regardless, as it includes many features — mounting of pnd files, but also thigns like control code and functions to change clockrates and such. I expect a lot of apps will want it, and it might be easier to include than to have as a package and make everything depend on it. *Shrug*

    Instead of calling it -desktop, why not call it -fat or -gui or something; it is a tough one to name though I suppose, but with -desktop it suggests to me it is for ‘desktop styled’ builds (we have a pandora-desktop branch too).

    ie: I look at it like..

    A base (as you have it), and then a desktop branch and a handheld branch; the handheld norm ‘production’ branch is with gui etc, but the apps and themes and such chosen for the handheld nature (a fast small WM, not a bloated pig one one), where the -desktop branch is usually the fatyter stuff… your mobile distro but somerthign you could actually use on a desktop, or if you want a full desktop experience on the handheld. (Can actually be useful if you use a monitor and keyboard jacked in, say, etc.)

    Anyway, your distor, do as you will 🙂

    anyway, tyr to fold libpnd in, as there will doubtless be lib and console packages and you can always pnd-run.sh them to fire them up, even without a gui. (We’ve only talked about lib packs and such, but it seems a good idea technically.. have a few .pnd’s in a specific path searchset, and then the system could automount those and ut them in LD_LIBRARY_PATH say). Keeping libpnd (pndnotitifyd and libpnd.so and the shell scripts) and possibly some /etc/init scripts might help the gentoo port (and others) work like the other distros, withotu sacrificing any functionality.

    But then maybe I’m just pushing it since I built most of it, I dunno 🙂

    Theres nothign wrong with a pnd-less distro either, but I really like .pnds 🙂


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