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10. Installing Necessary System Tools


10.a. System Logger

When we mentioned what stage3 was, we said that it contained all necessary system tools for which we cannot provide a choice to our users. We also said that we would install the other tools later on. Well, here we are :)

The first tool you need to decide on has to provide logging facilities for your system. Unix and Linux have an excellent history of logging capabilities -- if you want you can log everything that happens on your system in logfiles. This happens through the system logger.

Gentoo offers several system loggers to choose from. There are sysklogd, which is the traditional set of system logging daemons, syslog-ng, an advanced system logger, and metalog which is a highly-configurable system logger. Others might be available through Portage as well - our number of available packages increases on a daily basis.

If you can't choose one, use syslog-ng as it is very powerful yet comes with a great default configuration.

To install the system logger of your choice, emerge it and have it added to the default runlevel using rc-update. The following example installs syslog-ng. Of course substitute with your system logger:

Code listing 1: Installing a system logger

# emerge syslog-ng
# rc-update add syslog-ng default

10.b. Optional: Cron Daemon

Next is the cron daemon. Although it is optional and not required for your system, it is wise to install one. But what is a cron daemon? A cron daemon executes scheduled commands. It is very handy if you need to execute some command regularly (for instance daily, weekly or monthly).

Gentoo offers three possible cron daemons: dcron, fcron and vixie-cron. Installing one of them is similar to installing a system logger. However, dcron and fcron require an extra configuration command, namely crontab /etc/crontab. If you don't know what to choose, use vixie-cron.

We only provide vixie-cron for networkless installations. If you want another cron daemon you can wait and install it later on.

Code listing 2: Installing a cron daemon

# emerge vixie-cron
# rc-update add vixie-cron default
(Only if you have chosen dcron or fcron) # crontab /etc/crontab

10.c. File System Tools

Depending on what file systems you are using, you need to install the necessary file system utilities (for checking the filesystem integrity, creating additional file systems etc.).

The following table lists the tools you need to install if you use a certain file system:

File System Tool Install Command
XFS xfsprogs emerge xfsprogs
ReiserFS reiserfsprogs emerge reiserfsprogs
JFS jfsutils emerge jfsutils

If you don't need rp-pppoe to connect to the Internet, continue with Finalizing your Gentoo Installation. Otherwise continue with Optional: Networking Tools.

10.d. Optional: Networking Tools

If you need rp-pppoe to connect to the net, you need to install it.

Code listing 3: Installing rp-pppoe

# USE="-X" emerge rp-pppoe

The USE="-X" will prohibit xorg-x11 to be installed as a dependency (rp-pppoe has graphical tools; if you want those enabled, you can recompile rp-pppoe later on or have xorg-x11 installed now -- which takes a long time to compile).

Now continue with Finalizing your Gentoo Installation.

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