Gentoo on the Framework Laptop

Batch 3 DIY reporting in! I’ve been charged, and – fingers crossed – my Framework Laptop should arrive next week. :smiley:

I’m very excited to install Linux as my primary OS. I’ve been considering options for distros while I wait. I had been leaning towards Arch for most of this time (and got some good practice in installing to VM’s, USB stick). I really dig the Arch wiki and rolling release system.

I’m now strongly considering Gentoo Linux. The main reason I am considering this is to improve my understanding of how to put together a Linux system, but also because I appreciate the minimalism and customization that Gentoo seems to offer.

Here are my questions:

  1. Could anyone speak to their experience installing and using Gentoo on the Framework as a daily driver? (Any major known issues?)
  2. Is this a good choice given my reasons?
  3. Would the i7-1165G7 support fast compilation times with Portage? Would I be looking at minutes, hours, or days to compile something like Firefox?

Thanks for reading!

I’d suggest sticking with Arch, you will still learn a ton about Linux, and you get some of the same build from source benefits, but you can use AUR to get new software more quickly, and their wiki really is top notch.

Hey, long time Gentoo user here, and plan to install Gentoo on mine.

As an ex-long time Arch user, I cant agree that you get the same source benefits with Arch at all. Use flags are great, and something Arch cant offer. Also the AUR has problems with packaging, such as AUR packages breaking on system updates, which is not a problem on Gentoo. And Gentoo software updates are quick too if you are on ~arch.

As for your specific reasons:

  • Arch wiki is nice, and using Gentoo does not preclude you from borrowing from it
  • Gentoo’s rolling release model is better IMO as it allows for partial upgrades and flexible stable/unstable channels. Using ~arch (unstable) globally is basically like Arch, except you can still set packages to stable or lock certain package versions.
  • As for your understanding of Linux systems, Gentoo offers probably not much more than Arch, though there are more choices to make when building system, such as which init, which logging daemon, etc.
  1. As for installing on the Framework specifically, I have not yet, though I’ve installed Gentoo on many laptops without issue.
  2. I would think it is a good choice, though depends on if the conveniences Gentoo offers are more important to you than the convenience of binary package distros.
  3. Compile times should be fine. Certain packages like GCC and Firefox will take long, but binary packages are also available for those if you would rather not compile them. I would guess the compile times for Firefox/GCC/etc to be half and hour to an hour, though I might be wrong. Regardless I would let updates run overnight or in the background. You dont need to wait for them to complete.

IMHO, if you have not used Linux as a daily driver I would recommend AGAINST Gentoo. Gentoo’s mission is great but it’s for sure not beginner friendly. If you are thinking about using Gentoo then install it in a VM and work on getting it up and running, and use it daily so you can experience the needs of getting software and doing the updates.

Personally I would recommend something like Arch or even NixOS before recommending Gentoo if you are looking for something minimal. Even just using Debian or Ubuntu Server install could be a better route for starting out minimal. I use Ubuntu Server and NixOS as a starting point for most of my personal machines.

Good Luck and congrats on the purchase!

Just a side note, the company I work for we use Gentoo as a production OS for our infrastructure, so I have some experience in using Gentoo :slight_smile:

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As a former Gentoo Guru myself, I would like to support @digitalknk statement… Gentoo has a big ramp up / learning / preparation curve, which might be too much for someone stepping into Linux.
It is true that in terms of customization it is excelent and really allows you to squeeze the orange to a level other distros don’t allow you to, but it is too steep for a learner.
Unless you have a LOT of free time and you’re ready to really dive into documentation and learn A-Z on the preparation for Gentoo deployment… Go for something else… Arch is a good option.
My 2 cents… hope someone had give me the same advise a few years ago :smiley:

I don’t think Gentoo is that difficult to use. I think the main obstacle for most people is a lack of documentation, which Gentoo and Arch both provide.

Hi folks! Thanks for all of the replies and opinions. I just wanted to follow up here in case I left anyone hanging in suspense.

My Framework arrived this week, and I decided to start out with an Arch install on the NVMe. Have it configured with some LUKS encryption and GNOME (but learning Sway). It is treating me quite well!

I am still very interested in a Gentoo install down the road, just to experience the sadistic pain of install and try out the OS. It’s really tantalizing to build all of my software configur-ably from source – maybe I’m crazy! I may either wipe my internal drive to do that or otherwise pick up a storage expansion card from the marketplace when it opens up. If and when I do this, I’ll follow up on this thread to share my experience.

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Congrats on getting the framework and a successful install! YAY :tada:

You can always install Gentoo in a VirtualBox VM like I mentioned in my original reply, that way you can keep a stable OS that you can use day to day and get your experience in with gentoo without having to sacrifice the laptop and your time.

Then when you are ready you can go all out and install it on the framework laptop on the actual hardware.

It’s how I learn and stage my linux installations, when it looks good I move it over to hardware.

Good luck and again congrats!

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If you really want to install gentoo the compile times arent that bad just don’t rage

Hello, wanted to report that I have successfully installed Gentoo on my i7 1260P framework laptop. Apparently, Intel wifi card wasn’t detected when I was using minimal ISO boot media. Using bigger 4GB LiveGUI USB image helped, and I managed to connect to the internet easily, and to install everything needed. It was my first successful Gentoo installation and it went surprisingly well

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Thanks for sharing your success in installing Gentoo. Great to hear it worked out well. :blush:

Can you tell us how long the initial compilation took on your system? Did you used any *-bin packages? Did you compile a custom kernel? Did you follow the guide at Framework Laptop - Gentoo Wiki? Anything worth updating there?

Thanks in advance :blush:

Initial compilation was decently fast. I compiled a custom kernel while following the

and it didn’t take long(I don’t remember how long exactly but it felt like 7-9 minutes), but the kernel wasn’t configured well, so I decided to compile gentoo-dist kernel instead, which was much heavier but I assume that it always works. It took 12 minutes to compile gentoo-dist. By the way, I didn’t install any *-bin packages yet.
Also, as it turns out, Intel graphics driver wasn’t installed, yet the system still managed to run smoothly. I’m currently trying to get the driver to work

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I’m batch 3 for a 12th gen and I’m debating between Arch (what I currently run) and Gentoo. I think I’ll shoot for a Gentoo install first just for funsies, and I’ll update here.

I put funtoo on mine. Haven’t used it a whole lot yet, but haven’t run into any issues.

LiveUSB iso is burnt to a USB stick, world is waiting to be emerged!


Let’s go!

One piece of advice - don’t use minimal installation CD as that seems to be lacking wifi firmware necessary for FW laptop.

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https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Framework_Laptop#Firmware

Yeah, looks like that’s already noted on the wiki

Can somebody share a make.conf file with all the necessary cflags, cxxflags and other useful settings, please?

I’ve got the base system running, but I can’t get startx working. Any tips about setting up the graphics driver (kernel, xorg.conf settings, xinitr, etc.) ? I feel like the guide in gentoo wiki is incomplete.