UK Ginger Cat

Install Gentoo on Raspberry Pi 2 / 3 + USB Hardrive

This method uses a NOOBS install of Raspbian as the host to install Gentoo onto a USB Hardrive. It is quick & simple, providing a working Gentoo install with the least pain in the shortest time possible.

Please read ALL the instructions before attempting this install

This install method leaves NOOBS and Raspbian on the SD Card as the ultimate Rescue Disc (dual boot).

The install is quick and easy, using the stable Raspberry Pi Foundation Kernel off the SD-Card. No Kernel Compile required.

You'll also end up with a machine theoretically fractionally faster because it everything will be compiled for ARMv7a_hardFP unlike other distros which are all compiled for the older ARMv6. I also provide an optional Stage-3 compiled for NEON vpf4 to enable all Hardware Acceleration, current-armv7a_neonvfpv4_hardfp.

What follows is How I Did It .... Every instruction has been copy pasted directly from my install. I then re-installed a couple of times following and these instructions to check they are "correct". If you spot mistakes or can suggest improvements, please contact me.


Over View

The install falls roughly into 3 categories or stages.

  1. Booting Raspbian Desktop to partition & format the USB Hardive
  2. Download Base Files System, portage Package Stuff
  3. chroot to sort the configs, such as set the keyboard, date, and such like.


It is trivial to purchase a suitable SD Card with NOOBS pre-installed. It is also wise, as not all SD Cards are created equal. This method demands NOOBS, as we will use at as an effective replacement for Grub/LILO.



Instructions INDEX

This might look intimidating, but many of these steps only require you too copy paste one or two lines. Some steps are just double checking, or informational.

The next part is Config from inside a Gentoo chroot jail



Gentoo is NOT a Toy

Have you backed up all your data yet ?

Gentoo is nothing like Linux Mint, it is a source based meta linux. It is important to realise, that things like a Working Desktop are not provided by this install. This install will only provide a minimal, raw, tiny, crude, gentoo environment - from which YOU can config and build what ever you want.

I am not, nor ever will be, an elite gentoo hacker or developer. I will never make it as a Technical Author either, being dsylexic with tendencies to aspergers and the social skills of a Ferengi does not help either. So for definitive correct information about all things Gentoo visit the website and take time to read the documentation (RTFM).

For more information, Gentoo has handbooks on Working with Gentoo, Working with Portage and Network configuration. You really should take at least a 5 minute look at the documentation before even considering an install. This install relies upon NOOBS, more comprehensive documentation, including more advanced configuration of NOOBS, is available on GitHub.

Now go away, sleep on it, and then if you still want to have a go, re-read the instructions, back up everything, and follow the instructions with the Official Gentoo Handbook to hand - so that you can see the steps I skipped in an effort to simplify the install.

While I have taken every precaution I could think of, please be aware that installing any operating system is not with out risk.


Elite Linux Combat Rating System

Spot the oxymoron....

The Mac is harmless, everything just works. Windows mostly harmless because they think config means clicking in control panel. Mint is deadly because of package dependency hell, and a flawed release system. Gentoo is down right dangerous, because it is not a toy. Only Linux From Scratch is Elite, and that is the truth of it... LOL :-)

Did you spot the oxymoron ?