When I finally accepted that you cannot do serious work on a single-core 1,3GHz notebook machine with 500MB RAM (running Xubuntu, to save compilation and manual disk encryption setups) I started looking for a notebook fast enough to really run Gentoo.
I was looking for ..
- a Lenovo machine
- Intel dual-core 2GHz or more
- 4GB RAM or more
- 14.1'' 16:10 display with more than 1024x768
- CD/DVD drive
- 200GB disk or more
- any non-NVIDIA graphics card
- 3x USB or more
Variations of T400, T410 and T400s seemed to be my options. I went to buy a T400 and started feeding Gentoo to it. These details may be interesting:
~amd64system, stable GCC, XFCE, and a bunch of KDE4 apps mixed in
- Full disk encryption (including swap)
/var/tmp/portageon 2GB tmpfs
- WLAN works, sound works, even camera works. (Card reader, FireWire, modem, GPU switching, and hibernation untested)
On the hardware
- Machine fast enough for Gentoo compilation fun (Core 2 Duo T9400 @ 2.53GHz, 4 GB RAM). See compile times below.
- Good keyboard (both typing and layout)
- Rather low noise so far
- Excellent Linux support so far
- Small keyboard (buffering?) issue still to be resolved. May be on software level though, no idea.
- No fingerprint reader
Things I learned
- Setting up disk encryption (LVM over dm-crypt) on the shell.
- Building an initramfs using genkernel. Awesome pointer by rbu, thanks!
- How li-io batteries like to be treated and what tp_smapi can do to help.
- Setting up NetworkManager.
- ThinkWiki and Gentoo Linux Wiki have useful bits of information, e.g. on WLAN.
- XFCE does not depend on HAL anymore?!
Traps I hit
- Forgot to install DHCP client first time.
- Entered non-ASCII passphrases with wrong keymap activated. No fun.
Odds I came across
"dokeymap keymap=de" boot options are not documented LUKS="yes" genkernel config is not documented
- Without "export TERM=linux" not even
htopworks on a Xubuntu 10.10 live. No, really.
gentoo-sourcesis licensed under the "freedist" license?
Kernel module auto-loading does not work here. Still need to figure out why.EDIT: The line
/etc/conf.d/modulesdid the trick. As the installation handbook only covers baselayout-1.x, that's sadly not documented.
- 03:31:02 — OpenOffice 3.2.1-r1
- 00:25:29 — GCC 4.4.4-r2
- 00:06:27 — Linux Kernel 2.6.36-r3
title Gentoo GNU/Linux + genkernel initramfs LATEST root (hd0,0) kernel (hd0,0)/vmlinuz dolvm dokeymap keymap=de \ crypt_root=/dev/sda2 real_root=/dev/gentoo/root initrd (hd0,0)/initramfs