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by lunarg on March 26th 2007, at 20:48

Did (again) a reinstall of my laptop to get rid of all the funny unused packages and software (which was quite needed). Well, the other real reason was for me to test out a new filesystem. While my original plan was to go with XFS, I decided to try on Reiser4.

Installation was not a real easy task: while Gentoo can be installed through virtual any LiveCD (yeah Gentoo), there are not much livecd's out there with new enough (2.6.17+) reiser4 support, and even less cd's that are on top of that 64bit. In fact, I found none.

Since it's impossible to chroot into a 64bit system when running a 32bit kernel, I had to pull some stunts to get my reiser4 installed on Gentoo.

I used these resources:

The steps I followed is roughly said:

  1. Do a base Gentoo install with the AMD64 disc, using whatever filesystem (I used reiserfs 3).
  2. Follow the installation through, using the Reiser4 patched kernel. Make sure that you have at least your boot partition separated from the root partition, because otherwise, it may unnecessarily complicate things. Don't forget to install reiser4progs as well for fsck and the likes. Continue the installation all through the bootloader. I used GRUB, but I'm sure LILO will work as well. Install GRUB so the kernel (with reiser4) is already in place, and makes the install much easier.
  3. Outside of the chroot of your installation (but still in the amd64 livecd), create a stage4 (a complete tarball of your installation, excluding the /boot partition), and copy it to a safe (remote) location.
  4. Boot with RIP-Linux, mkfs.reiser4 the partition(s), copy the stage4 tarball back, and unpack it. Don't forget to adjust fstab to use reiser4.
  5. Reboot and enjoy.

I had the problem with the first boot that no services got started for some reason. I rebooted again, and this fixed the problem.

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