NEWS 230109 about exGENT (Gentoo) 64 bit
I’ve made a new version of exGENT with only a few necessary packages pre-installed. It uses LXQt 1.2 (latest version) as Desktop Environment and kernel 5.15.80-gentoo-x86_64 (Gentoo’s original kernel). The ISO file is of 3450 MB. Despite this exGENT version 230109 runs surprisingly fast from DVD or a USB stick. Even in VirtualBox and VMware. Faster than most other Linux live systems I would say. I call my new version exGENT 2023 LXQt Live DVD/USB. It replaces version 210122. All installed packages in exGENT have been updated to the latest available version by 230109 using Gentoo’s repos. Study the full package list.
NOTE: As you can see it is almost two years since the previous version of exGENT was released. That’s because everything with Gentoo is extremely time consuming. Installing Gentoo the “Gentoo way” can take several days to perform.
NEWS 230121 about exGENT (Gentoo) 64 bit
I’ve made a new extra version of exGENT with only a few necessary packages pre-installed. The system is built from “scratch”. I.e. installed the “Gentoo way” following the Gentoo Handbook. It uses LXDE as Desktop Environment and kernel 5.15.80-gentoo-x86_64 (Gentoo’s original kernel) while running the system live (from a DVD or a USB stick). After a hard drive installation kernel 6.1.7 (latest stable kernel version) will be used. The ISO file is of only 2050 MB compared to exGENT LXQt Build 230109, which is of 3450 MB. Study all installed packages in Build 230121. This exGENT build is not a replacement for Build 230109.
What’s new in exGENT Build 230109?
The boot loader Grub Legacy has been replaced by Grub2. In exGENT versions before 170309 the file system wasn’t writable when running exGENT live (from DVD). Now you can emerge (install) new programs/packages even while running the system from a DVD or USB stick. If you do that and later decide to install exGENT to hard drive all your changes will follow! (That is if you use the install scripts in /root/install). Furthermore you can install/transfer exGENT to a USB stick with the dd command in Linux or use Rufus or Etcher in Windows. Such installations were impossible before. NOTE: I have not installed Google Chrome. It’s not needed anymore, since Netflix nowadays runs very well in Firefox. About the LXQt Desktop environment: LXQt is a lightweight Qt desktop environment. It will not get in your way. It will not hang or slow down your system. It is focused on being a classic desktop with a modern look and feel. MOST IMPORTANT: Now you can install exGENT to hard drive in two ways. You can still use the install scrips in /root/install. That is the best way to install exGENT on non UEFI computers for example VirtualBox and VMware. The second way is to use Calamares Installer- see below. See this screenshot below when the install scripts are used in VMware.
You can also watch a screenshot showing how it looks when the install scripts are used in VirtualBox…
In exGENT Build 230109 I’ve also included the Calamares Installer (latest). Use it preferably if you need to install Grub on UEFI computers. You can, however, also use Calamares in VirtualBox and VMware. See a slideshow below when I have used Calamares on a UEFI computer to install exGENT on a USB stick. Using Calamares you can install exGENT in your own language.
If you can’t watch the slideshow in your browser watch this animated GIF.
NOTE re. Calamares/USB
Running exGENT after a Calamares install to a USB stick is not the best way to run exGENT. The system will then be very slow/unresponsive. The best way to run exGENT is from hard drive or from a USB stick when Rufus has been used for the installation. When running from such an USB stick most of the system will be loaded into RAM. Thus very fast.
UEFI or non UEFI computers
On a non UEFI computer you will see this boot menu.
On a UEFI computer the boot menu looks like this.
exGENT Build 230109 is a non Systemd system
exGENT uses OpenRC 0.45.2 init system instead of Systemd. Comparison of different init systems: Read this article.
Quick install to Hard Drive
exGENT Linux can be installed to hard drive in 3 – 20 min. (Depending on computer type). This means that all of you who might hesitate to perform a normal Gentoo installation – which can take up to a couple of days – now have the chance to get this great Linux system (Gentoo) installed on your computers very easy. Read my instruction about how the installation works.
UPGRADE the System
The exGENT System (Build 230109) is in very good shape, since I, without problems, have been able to update the whole system with the following commands:
# emerge –ask –update –newuse –deep –with-bdeps=y @world
# emerge –depclean
NOTE 1: Before running the above three commands you’ll have to run the commands emerge –sync followed by emerge –oneshot portage.
NOTE 2: After a hard drive installation of exGENT you should run the above commands at least every month (to keep the system in good shape). I you don’t do that it can be (almost) impossible to upgrade the system. As regards “old” Gentoo systems you could try to follow the advice’s stated here.
Notes about running exGENT in VirtualBox
When running exGENT live (i.e. directly from the ISO file) you can do that in full screen. Watch this screenshot. VirtualBox Guest Additions are pre-installed by me in Build 230109.
NOTE about exGENT LXDE Build 230121: This version of exGENT can’t run in VirtualBox in Windows 11. The system runs very well in VMware Workstation 17 Player though. Watch this screenshot.
Notes about running exGENT in VMware
When starting up exGENT live in VMware the boot process is very slow. It can take up to 20 minutes before you reach SLiM’s login screen! (I don’t know the reason for this strange behavior). It will look like the boot process has stopped (but is has not!) – see below.
After a virtual hard drive installation the boot process is normal. You can run exGENT in full screen by going to LXQt/LXDE Settings and change the screen resolution. Watch a screenshot when I’m using 1920×1080.
Notes about running exGENT in QEMU in Linux
Running exGENT (and other Linux live systems) in QEMU is possibly the best way to to enjoy Linux if you don’t want to do a real hard drive installation. The systems runs faster in QEMU than in VirtualBox and VMware. Watch a screenshot when I’m running exGENT Build 230121 in QEMU in Debian.
Gentoo/exGENT is a rolling distribution, which implies that once you have installed the system on the hard drive there is no need for re-installations (which otherwise is common in the Linux world).
The default language (locale) is set to English.
The default keyboard layout is American (us). Change it by running the command setxkbmap se (for Sweden).
Install exGENT to hard drive
Please read this INSTRUCTION.
Install exGENT to a USB stick
Please read this INSTRUCTION. This can be done in the same way as a hard drive installation.
Login and passwords re. Build 230109
When you start up your computer from the DVD/USB stick you will end up at SLiM’s login screen. Log in as the ordinary user gentoo with password gentoo or as root with password root. To have sound you’ll have to log in as the ordinary user gentoo. (Pulseaudio won’t run if you log in as root). Screenshot of the login screen – see below.
Login and passwords re. Build 230121
Log in to LXDE from SLiM’s login screen as the ordinary user gentoo with password Linux2023$$ or as root with password exGENT$$$. The passwords are a bit complicated because Gentoo won’t allow simple passwords like gentoo or root.
NetworkManager make it easy to configure wireless connections. Give your WEP/WAP password and connect. That’s it! You’ll find the NM-applet to the right in the panel. Watch this screenshot. You may have to add nm-applet to Application Autostart as the screenshot shows. Then logout and back again.
You can connect to your Windows computers in your Home Network with this (example) command:
mount -t cifs -o username=arne //192.168.0.35/LINUX /mnt/share
NOTE: LINUX is my shared folder on one of my computers. You’ll find your IP-address by opening up a terminal on your Windows computer and run the command ipconfig. Watch a screenshot showing the whole thing. In exGENT Build 230121 you can use PCManFM for the Samba connection. Watch this screenshot…
Using SSH (Secure Shell)
You can connect to other Linux computers in your Home Network using SSH. Watch a screenshot when I’m running Ubuntu on one computer connected to exGENT running on another computer. And a screenshot when I’m upgrading Exton|OS (Ubuntu based) from exGENT running on another computer. To start LXTerminal from exGENT on the Exton|OS computer I used the command ssh -Y firstname.lastname@example.org lxterminal. I got the correct IP address by running the command ifconfig on the Exton|OS computer.
Who is exGENT/Gentoo for?
Experienced Linux users or those who really want to learn Linux. (Perhaps also for people who are bored with mainstream distributions like Ubuntu).
1. exGENT Build 230109 – gentoo’s Desktop
2. exGENT Build 230109 – root’s Desktop
3. Running Calamares in VMware
4. exGENT running in VirtualBox in full screen
5. exGENT running showing a Samba connection
6. Showing a WiFi connection
7. Calamares Installer is running
exGENT Linux Build 230109/230121 (two versions) can be downloaded from SourceForge.net – Fast, secure and free downloads from the largest Open Source applications and software directory.
andex.exton.net – latest is AndEX 11 (with GAPPS), AndEX 10 (with GAPPS) and AndEX Pie 9.0 (also with GAPPS)!
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