Any modern computer will handle Gentoo Studio and professional audio, as long as it’s a multi-core processor with 16+GB of RAM. You also need a hard drive with a minimum speed of 7200 RPM. An SSD work drive is helpful but not necessary.

Acquire a boot medium. The recommended boot medium is SystemRescueCd. You can use any boot medium that gives you access to your hard drive, allows you to chroot and supports bash.

If you wish to dual-boot, please visit the Gentoo forums if you need help.

Only the amd64 architecture is supported. There are no plans to include any other architectures.


To use the installer, boot up with SystemRescueCD and once at the prompt, type:

chmod +x

Note that you need an EFI system for the installer, along with a dedicated hard disk that your system’s BIOS is expecting to boot with. Let me know if there are any issues. I hope to make this the recommended way to install Gentoo Studio.

Manual Install

For dual-boot users, you will need to handle the partitioning scheme on your own and adjust these instructions accordingly. Note that if you are dual-booting, you do not want to mklabel, you may or may not be able to apply partition names, and your boot label may or may not already be set. User takes all responsibility for the results of performing these steps.

DO NOT COPY AND PASTE. Type these instructions into your terminal and double-check for typos.

  1. Once you’ve booted with your boot medium, you need to prepare the hard drive using the following steps:
    1. parted -a optimal /dev/sda
    2. mklabel gpt
    3. unit mib
    4. mkpart primary 1 3
    5. name 1 grub
    6. set 1 bios_grub on
    7. mkpart primary 3 131
    8. name 2 boot
    9. mkpart primary 131 643
    10. name 3 swap
    11. mkpart primary 643 -1
    12. name 4 rootfs
    13. set 2 boot on
    14. print
      • You should see this:
        Number Start  End    Size   File system    Name  Flags
         1     1049kB 3146kB 2097kB                grub  bios_grub
         2     3146kB 137MB  134MB  ext2           boot  boot, esp
         3     137MB  2235MB 2097MB linux-swap(v1) swap
         4     2235MB 2000GB 1998GB ext4           rootfs
    15. quit
    1. If you have a BIOS system: > mkfs.ext4 /dev/sda2
    2. If you have a UEFI system: > mkfs.fat -F 32 /dev/sda2
  2. mkfs.ext4 /dev/sda4
  3. mkswap /dev/sda3
  4. swapon /dev/sda3

Now mount the hard drive and install the base system:

  1. mkdir -p /mnt/gentoo/boot
  2. mount /dev/sda4 /mnt/gentoo (The mount point does not matter. Just substitute whatever you use here.)
  3. mount /dev/sda2 /mnt/gentoo/boot
  4. cd /mnt/gentoo
  5. wget
  6. tar xvjpf stage4-amd64-latest.tar.bz2 --xattrs --numeric-owner
  7. rm stage4-amd64-latest.tar.bz2

Chroot into the base system and configure:

  1. cp /mnt/gentoo/usr/share/portage/config/repos.conf /mnt/gentoo/etc/portage/repos.conf/gentoo.conf
  2. cp -L /etc/resolv.conf /mnt/gentoo/etc/, y to overwrite
  3. mount -t proc /proc /mnt/gentoo/proc
  4. mount --rbind /sys /mnt/gentoo/sys
  5. mount --rbind /dev /mnt/gentoo/dev
  6. mount --make-rslave /mnt/gentoo/sys
  7. mount --make-rslave /mnt/gentoo/dev
  8. mount --bind /run /mnt/gentoo/run
  9. mount --make-slave /mnt/gentoo/run
  10. chroot /mnt/gentoo /bin/bash
  11. source /etc/profile
  12. emerge-webrsync (If you happen to install a Gentoo Studio tarball that was produced that day, you may get a warning that the timestamps are the same. This is fine. Proceed to follow the next steps.)
  13. eix-sync
  14. ls /usr/share/zoneinfo
  15. timedatectl set-timezone (your_timezone) (Example: timedatectl set-timezone America/Anchorage or timedatectl set-timezone Europe/Amsterdam)
  16. grub-install:
    1. If you have a BIOS system: > grub-install /dev/sda
    2. If you have a UEFI system: > grub-install --target=x86_64-efi --efi-directory=/boot --removable
  17. nano /etc/fstab
    • If you have a BIOS system, make sure the line for /dev/sda2 has filesystem type ext4
    • if you have an EFI system, make sure the line for /dev/sda2 has filesystem type vfat
    • Either way, your fstab should look something like this (Ctrl-o to save, Ctrl-x to exit):
      • /dev/sda2      /boot      ext4      defaults,noatime      0 2
        /dev/sda4      /             ext4      noatime                    0 1
        /dev/sda3      none      swap     sw                            0 0
  18. If you are dual-booting with Windows, emerge os-prober
  19. grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg
  20. passwd (Sets root password.)
  21. useradd -m -G users,wheel,audio,plugdev -s /bin/bash (username) (If you get an error about a mailbox file, ignore it.)
  22. passwd (username)
  23. cpuid2cpuflags >> /etc/portage/make.conf
  24. nano /etc/portage/make.conf and edit the CPU_FLAGS_X86 line so it looks similar to this: CPU_FLAGS_X86="mmx sse sse2"
  25. While you’re editing make.conf, add these lines:
    MAKEOPTS="-jN" (where N is the number of cores in your CPU)
  26. emerge -auDN --keep-going --with-bdeps=y --backtrack=250 @system @world This recompiles any packages that use CPU-specific flags. Also note that while it’s tempting to skip this step and boot into your system, this world update helps make sure your system is updated and working correctly on first boot. If you encounter Portage errors such as conflicts and blocks and can’t scroll up, it’s fine to reboot into your new system and try it again there.
  27. reboot
  28. On your first login, you will need to change the session to Xfce using the login manager menu in the upper right corner.

You should now have a working Gentoo Studio workstation.


  • Do NOT update /etc/security/limits.conf. Those settings are there for a reason.
  • If you dual-boot with Windows and need to re-install Windows, you will need to chroot into Gentoo Studio, re-install grub and run grub-mkconfig again. Windows installs its own bootloader and you will need to blow it away with Grub.