I posted this to the Gentoo forums this morning as well....
Ok... way back when, when I first tried Gentoo, I had a pain of a time doing a stage 1 install because my net connect at home is a slooooow modem (sub-28.8 ). At work, I have a 10mbs LAN connect to a OC-3. Wouldn't it be nice to download the packages at work, take 'em home on CD, and do a stage 1 install wtihout having a 'net connect at all? You betcha!
So this weekend, I got the base install and the stage 1 tarball. Took longer than I care to mention, but it is done. Opened up the /usr/portage/scripts/bootstrap.sh script, replaced all instances of emerge with emerge -fp . Ran the bootstrap.sh script, and redirected output to a file. A little editing, and I have a nice file with all the URLs required for the packages needed to do the bootstrap. (Undo the changes to the bootstrap.sh script now, before I forget...) Went ahead, and without even bootstrapping, did an emerge -fp system >> differentfile. Again, a little editing (to remove the "calculating dependencies" stuff), and I have a file with all the URLs I need to download a base system.
One problem is that for each package, multiple URLs are listed, but they are all on the same line. Easy enough to get around with some scripting (cat file_of_urls | cut --delimiter=" " -f 1 | sort | uniq > file_with_single_urls_only).
At the moment, I'm running :
for i in `cat file_with_single_urls_only`
wget -c --passive-ftp $i
To make this really work, it would be nice if there was a tarball snapshot of the Portage tree available, just so the download would be quicker than the rsync (bz2 compressed tarfile instead of uncompressed text).
If there is interest, I may try and automate this or at least post the download script somewhere on a regular basis - what do y'all think?