[GLLUG] Installing Gentoo

Jeremy Bowers jerf at jerf.org
Wed Nov 5 10:36:58 EST 2003

Seth Bembeneck wrote:
 > What do I do with the config files that are different then the
 > originals? Do I over write them, interactive merge them, or skip that 

It depends. (Sorry. ;-) )

Generally, if you haven't changed the configuration files manually 
(i.e., you don't recognize it), you should overwrite it.

If you have made changes, this is your chance to either blow your old 
changes away, completely keep your old settings, or, if you feel you 
understand the configuration file enough to understand what's going on, 
interactively merge the two. (I recommending using an xterm and 
expanding the window to twice the usual width; the output will make more 
sense then.)

About 95% of the config files can be just overwritten. (You can reduce a 
lot of the REALLY stupid ones by setting eu_automerge="yes" in your 
/etc/etc-update.conf file. I don't know if this takes care of the 
internationalization files (which drove me nuts and sometimes hosed my 
terminal), but I haven't seen them in a while.)  A couple of files 
pretty much always have the old version kept, like /etc/fstab. (Until 
the format changes on that, which will probably a Very Long Time (TM), 
there's no good reason to blow away your current settings if nothing has 
changed; it's very likely the Gentoo default won't work for you at all.)

A very few files will need to be dynamically merged. Generally I try to 
merge /etc/make.conf; it is OK to throw out the new file usually but 
since the help in the comments is often the only and best place to know 
about some of the more exotic features, I try to merge the new comments 
with the old settings. And sometimes they change the format of something 
on you (though I haven't seen that in quite a few months). If you REALLY 
don't want to do this with the diff interface (of any kind), save a copy 
of your current make.conf and merge it completely by hand later; since 
you only need your CFLAGS settings and a couple of other lines, it's 
pretty easy. If you generally stick with defaults (which is probably the 
case if you don't run servers), then this is the only file I can think 
of off the top of my head that you might want to manually merge.

Sorry there's no simple answer, but this level of control over the 
configuration files is one of the attractions of Gentoo to me.

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