Install the Gentoo Image

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Current Kurobox Gentoo Image Date: 2006/09/07

Using this method, you can install an entire Gentoo image complete with portage and overlay in about 15 minutes. The images were created immediately following a deep world update by russK. There are two versions and MD5 checksum files. One set for users with the stock bootloader and one set for those using U-Boot. They are stored in the Gentoo Downloads Section. Download the particular image for your installation.

Preparing for Install

Download needed files

You will need to download the desired gentoo image and the EM mode utilities from With the gentoo image, you have two images to choose from, depending on your bootloader.

Note, with a factory fresh box, you still might want to consider flashing uboot, as it offers the advantage of booting 2.6 kernels (without resorting to module tricks) and running a more current system. Read up on uboot on the wiki and the forums before you decide, as it could save you from re-doing things later. Some people might be perfectly happy sticking with the stock firmware while others would prefer to jump in and flash the uboot firmware. Please heed the warnings about making a brick before proceeding. To be absolutely carefree about flashing, you should have JTAG capability.

Install EM mode utilities

Start by using any FTP client to upload EM_mode_binaries.tar.bz2 (you can download it from to /tmp on the Kuro (hint: Windows may change the extension of the file when you download it from the internet).

Switch the box to EM mode (see the Frequently Asked Questions for details on how to do this), then login to kuro using a telnet client.

Kroutoshikou KURO-BOX (IETSUNA) 
kernel 2.4.17-kuro-box on ppc 
KURO-BOX-EM login: root 
Password: kuro (kuroadmin on HG)

Lets see what we've got

# df
Filesystem 1k-blocks Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/ram0 9677 5102 4575 53% /  
# ls /tmp

Change to the root and untar the binaries.

# cd / 
# tar xvzf /tmp/EM_mode_binaries.tar.gz 
bin/sfdisk bin/fdisk bin/bzip2 bin/date bin/chroot #

Check and set the date.

# date 
Fri Feb 1 12:37:03 JST 2006 
# date 02032238 
Thu Feb 3 22:38:00 JST 2006

Partitioning & Formating the HDD

Note: The /etc/fstab file that comes with the Gentoo image is configured to work with 
this hard drive partitioning scheme. If you want to use a different partitioning scheme
you must edit /etc/fstab accordingly. The flash contains the standard visual editor, vi.
instructions for using vi are available at . 

We run fdisk and create partitions. I use four partitions: hda1 for /, hda2 for the swap space, hda3 for /var, and hda4 for data storage (/datafiles). This section from the Gentoo Handbook explains how to prepare your hard disk (create partitions). For most users, 10gb each for / on hda1 and /var on hda3 is adequate. 512mb is good for a swap space on hda2 and use the remainder for /datafiles on hda4. However, you can decide which way you want to break up your hard disk. Remember you need to mount all of the drives (except the swap and /datafiles) before you untar the image (More on that later).

# fdisk /dev/hda 

Once the partitions are created we format the partitions. Here we format the first partition on /dev/hda (the hard drive is /dev/hda).

# mke2fs -j /dev/hda1 
mke2fs 1.22, 22-Jun-2001 for EXT2 FS 0.5b, 95/08/09 
Filesystem label= 
OS type: Linux 
Block size=4096 (log=2) 
Fragment size=4096 (log=2) 
1251712 inodes, 2502115 blocks 
125105 blocks (5.00%) reserved for the super user 
First data block=0 
77 block groups 
32768 blocks per group, 32768 fragments per group 
16256 inodes per group 
Superblock backups stored on blocks: 
32768, 98304, 163840, 229376, 294912, 819200, 884736, 1605632 

Writing inode tables: done 
Creating journal (8192 blocks): done 
Writing superblocks and filesystem accounting information: done 

This filesystem will be automatically checked every 29 mounts or 
180 days, whichever comes first. Use tune2fs -c or -i to override.

We do this for all of the partitions we plan to use.

# mke2fs -j /dev/hda3 
# mke2fs -j /dev/hda4 
Next we create the swap space
# mkswap /dev/hda2 
Setting up swapspace version 1, size = 518184960 bytes 

Install Gentoo Image

Mount new partitions

This will allow us to create the gentoo system on the hard drive instead of in the flash ram disk. We will create the directoy /gentoo mount /dev/hda1 there, then create /gentoo/var and mount /dev/hda3.

# mkdir /gentoo 
# mount -t ext3 /dev/hda1 /gentoo
# mkdir /gentoo/var 
# mount -t ext3 /dev/hda3 /gentoo/var 

Extracting the Image

We now use our FTP client to upload the gentoo image we previously downloaded from to the /gentoo directory on the kuro.

We then change directories to /gentoo and untar the image in what will be our root directory

# cd /gentoo
# tar xvjf <gentoo-image-name>

Once the image is untarred we can delete the image from /gentoo.

# rm *.bz2 

Next we change add GENTOO_MIRRORS and SYNC lines in /etc/make.conf to suit your location. Pick the three nearest sites listed at for your GENTOO_MIRRORS line. For Your SYNC line, your choices are namerica, samerica, europe, asia and au (australia) in place of namerica in my SYNC line.

# cd /gentoo/etc 
# vi make.conf
GENTOO_MIRRORS="<site 1> <site 2> <site 3>"

Configure Network

Next we configure the network. If you want to use DHCP, you can skip this step as the image is configured for DHCP.

# cd conf.d 
# vi net 

If you want a static IP address you need to uncomment a couple of lines. Scroll down to the section INTERFACE HANDLERS and uncomment the following lines. In the example I have set the IP address to, the network mask to, and the gateway to Do not uncomment the default via 4321:0:1:2:3:4:567:89ab". You will want to change the IP address, subnet mask, and gateway address to suit your network.

config_eth0=( netmask
broadcast ) 

"default via" 
# "default via 4321:0:1:2:3:4:567:89ab" 

Now, you have to configure your DNS servers in resolv.conf file:

# vi /etc/resolv.conf

Example for /etc/resolv.conf:


You might need to get a kernel now

You can ignore this section if you do not use U-Boot.

If you are installing the image for U-Boot you will need to place a uImage formatted kernel into the directory specified in the hdfile environment variable in U-Boot.

If you are looking for a kernel at this point, Sylver has several pre-compiled kernels in his debian downloads area.

Clean up and Reboot

Unmount everything

# cd / 
# umount /gentoo/var 
# umount /gentoo 

Set the box to boot to the new system. By the way, that device is FL3 in lowercase.

# echo -n "OKOK" > /dev/fl3 

and then restart the system

# shutdown -r now 

Wait a few minutes and then log onto your kuro with putty. The first time the system boots it will take about 3 minutes as it needs to generate the certificates used by sshd.

Login as root with the password: kuroadmin.

Post Installation Tasks

First we set the root password and create a new user who is a member of wheel so they can su to root.

kurobox ~ # cd /
kurobox # passwd 
New UNIX password: 
Retype new UNIX password: 
passwd: password updated successfully 
kurobox # useradd dtaylor -m -G users,wheel -s /bin/bash 
kurobox # passwd dtaylor 
New UNIX password: 
Retype new UNIX password: 
passwd: password updated successfully 
kurobox #

Now would be a good time to update everything.

 kurobox / # emerge --sync && emerge -uNDv world 

Last, if anything was updated and portage says we need to update our config files we run etc-update. Don't do this blindly as you can easily break your brand new system. You need to understand what the configuration files mean and choose what lines you want to edit.

kurobox / # etc-update

That's it. You're done. You should consider going to the Administrate Your Gentoo System page and installing some system utilities.