GINTOGI: Gintogi Is Not The Official Gentoo Installer

Frequently Asked Questions

What is GINTOGI?
GINTOGI is an effort to replace the Gentoo Linux Distribution's awkward manual installation with an easy to use, step-by-step, menu driven, wizard style installation automation program while still allowing the user as much power as possible.
Why do you call Gentoo's installation "awkward?" What's wrong with it?
Don't get me wrong, the documentation for Gentoo is some of the best documentation I've ever seen. I most definitely tip my hat to those who have worked on the documentation and all other parts of the current install. They've done a great job.

But, the current install method requires each step to be done manually and unfortunatly no matter how good the documentation manual installating can quickly become awkward and confusing especially to those without a lot of linux experience. Even for the experienced it's easy to accidentally miss a step or two. This isn't due to a problem with the documentation, it's just one of the downsides of a manual install.

What do you mean when you say it's not the official Gentoo installer? Will it ever be the official Gentoo installer?
GINTOGI is currently not officially endorsed nor supported by any of the Gentoo Developers. It's a project created and maintained by members of the Gentoo community, not the Gentoo Developers.

However.. Even though none of the Gentoo Developers are officially part of the GINTOGI project, I would like to thank them as they have helped a great deal, and have put up with a large number of questions I had for them ;)

Will GINTOGI ever be the official Gentoo installer? I dunno. If when it's ready, the Gentoo Developers take a look at it and decide they want to use it as the official installer I'd be more than happy for it to be.

Is GINTOGI available in my language?
Currently GINTOGI is only in English. But, when I made the complete split between the GINTOGI backend and frontend(s) a lot of cool things happened, one of which is that because of how the text for messages is going to be handled, creating translations should be very easy, but the langauges will be limited to what I can find volunteers to translate to.
Will GINTOGI work on my PPC/SPARC/Other?
No. GINTOGI is currently for x86 only. One of the big hurdles is that from what what I've seen (which I admit is a small amount) the different archs have a pretty big difference in the install procedure. I also have no way of testing anything other than x86. After GINTOGI gets to v1.0, if someone would like to provide me with a PPC, Sparc, or some other arch that gentoo supports I will do what I can to get a version of GINTOGI created for that arch ;)
Is GINTOGI going to have precompiled packages? Or will it retain the same build from scratch nature of gentoo simply under a more guided interface?
It's going to retain the same build from scratch nature of gentoo simply under a more guided interface.

Saying "simply under a more guided interface" might be a misnomer though. There is actually quite a bit going on under the hood to allow for some exciting options. By allowing the configuration to be done first, and all the compiling to be done at once without user intervention the all too common complaint of having to "babysit" the computer while installing gentoo can be forgotten. An automatted install for rolling out gentoo on a large number of machines is also now possible. There are many many more things that can and probably will be done. BUT, the ability to build a barebones system from scratch with as much control as possible will never be hindered by GINTOGI

I don't mean to say that there won't be any binary capabilities at all, just that Gintogi won't be creating anything new. Gentoo does currently have some binary solutions available such as stage 2/3 tarballs and GRP. Support for Gentoo's stage 2/3 tarballs will be available either in Gintogi v1.0 or shortly after. GRP support will appear sometime post v1.0 but no solid plans exist yet.

Setting up my hardware and making a kernel is hard! Does GINTOGI configure the kernel and all my hardware for me?
Short Answer: Not yet.

Long Answer: It probably will eventually. GINTOGI won't be what's doing the configuration but after I have a chance to look at some things that are in the works I'll try to get some integration working. It's not number one on the priority list but hopefully it will be working and included when GINTOGI v1.0 released.

Is GINTOGI a shell script?
No. GINTOGI is written in c/c++. Although originally planned to be a set of scripts, it became apparent that a lot of plans for GINTOGI would have to have been abandoned if it had been created as a set of shell scripts, so c/c++ was chosen instead.
Is GINTOGI Ncurses based? Or is it graphical? Something else maybe?
All of the above! A great deal of effort was put into seperating the frontend and backend. The result is that creating new frontends for GINTOGI is very simple and easy.

The currently planned frontends include a very plain text based interface which I am making first to use it for testing the backend, an Ncurses interface which I will make when the initial release starts getting close, and although there is no confirmation yet there has already been a volunteer for creating a framebuffer based graphical interface. Hopefully there will also be a volunteer for some sort of X interface before the initial release.

Are there any plans for a progress bar?
Yes, although at the moment details are sketchy. The progress bar is definitely not at the top of the list of things to do and there are things I need to wait
Will GINTOGI have it's own liveCD? Or will I be able to wget it when using the liveCD?
Yes, it will be available to wget after booting into the liveCD, or from inside another system.

Yes, a liveCD will be available in some form. I am trying to figure out how to make a custom liveCD, and if nothing else one of those will be available for download. Hopefully GINTOGI will be available on the official Gentoo liveCD in some shape or form but it's too early to tell.

What happens if I have to quit the install part way through, can GINTOGI resume where I left off?
Not yet, but it will be able to. At first it will only be able to resume at the begining of the last step started, but it may get support for more finetuned resuming later on.. But don't count on it anytime soon.
You didn't answer my question!
Uh.. That isn't really a question but if I did miss your question you can try emailing it to me at and I'll do my best to get it answered. Please make sure to include "gintogi" in the subject line or you'll probably get filtered out by my spam filter.