Anyhow, the instructions for doing the proper installation were rather unclear as they didn't really tell much details about creating the database. They referred to a "Chapter 6", which didn't exist at all. I guess they referred to these instructions, which were more helpful. Anyhow, below is a brief summary.
The setup is done here using the database root user. Some Liferay example used that though I don't really see why. Creating a separate Liferay user might be nicer. Well, I have Liferay running as a root anyhow to get it running in port 80, so the database user probably doesn't make it significantly safer.
Shut down the server
...and wait for a bit.
Move the 7Cogs demo data generator away
# mv tomcat-6.0.29/webapps/sevencogs-hook/ .
Create the database with a database command and not using the mysqladmin to be able to set the character set. It's probably important.
# mysql -prootpassword
mysql> create database lportal character set utf8;
Query OK, 1 row affected (0.00 sec)
The MySQL configuration stuff is explained in this wiki.
Create a portal-ext.properties file in the Liferay installation directory with content:
Start up the server
Follow that it starts OK
# tail -F tomcat-6.0.29/logs/catalina.out
- When first logging in, create a new user account with your own name. Then log out and log in as user "firstname.lastname@example.org" with password "test" (this information was not really obvious in the instructions either). Go to Control Panel -> Users and give yourself the Administrator role. You need to remove or disable the "test" account at some point...