Desktop Installation

After installation you should follow this guide if your computer is to be used as a desktop. Lots of useful stuff in that guide like setting up samba shares, mice, and mail. Let me point out that emerging kde and/or gnome takes a very long time. Although I usually use gnome, I wanted to test out KDE3.1 since it recently was released. Nevertheless emerge kde mozilla gnome took over 16 hours on my Athlon1700. Make sure to do an emerge -p name_of_program to see what portage will install. If everything is working correctly, you can easily install new programs as root.

# emerge name_of_program
GDM at boot up
Let's get gdm to start up automatically when we boot up. I use gdm, but you may want something else so edit /etc/rc.conf appropriately. You can configure gdm with gdmsetup or interactively when gdm is running assuming that you have the root password. Now do this to get gdm started up automagically next time you reboot.
# rc-update add xdm default
Startup stuff
Settings for hdparm are not saved between reboots (I think). Do not blindly try the following command without reading the hdparm man page. RTFM. Change the parameters accordingly. YMMV. I put this in /etc/conf.d/local.start
# hdparm -a 16 -d 1 -A 1 -c 1 -m 16
  I added this to /etc/conf.d/local.start
Time sync
After I installed, I noticed the time was off quite a bit. It's nice to have your system time synced with a internet ntp server. I use rdate for this. In /etc/conf.d/local.start place a line like the following to sync your system time whenever you boot.
rdate -u -s $your_ntp_server
Find a suitable $your_ntp_server from this list of public ntp servers.