Linked by Eugenia Loli on Tue 7th Mar 2006 01:37 UTC, submitted by Valour
Gentoo "It's been a while since I last reviewed Gentoo Linux because there haven't been too many significant changes in the past few releases. I've been using it as my primary desktop operating system for a year and a half, though, and I've been running my main Web/email/database server on it since October of 2004. There's a reason why I've stayed with it that long, both as a desktop and server OS - and there's also a reason why I'm writing a review of the 2006.0 release after a long hiatus from Gentoo reviews." More here.
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v Ghost town?
by Tom K on Tue 7th Mar 2006 01:43 UTC
RE: Ghost town?
by situation on Tue 7th Mar 2006 07:54 UTC in reply to "Ghost town?"
situation Member since:
2006-01-10

I think some of the "better things" were modding you down, hehe.
I think Ubuntu has taken the hype flag and run far into the horizon now. I guess there always has to be that "must have" distro.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Ghost town?
by g2devi on Tue 7th Mar 2006 23:41 UTC in reply to "RE: Ghost town?"
g2devi Member since:
2005-07-09

Actually, Ubuntu and Gentoo have more than a few things in common. Ubuntu and Gentoo basically use the same naming convention for versions. Both distros are geared towards rolling upgrades. Ubuntu is also a strong advocate of source based compatibility with Debian, but doesn't necessarily believe in binary level compatibility (except at every major release when things get synced up again). Apparently security patches are also shared with Gentoo. Gentoo and Ubuntu forums are similarly helpful to their target users and both have a strong community with a larger than average percentage of zealots who love their distro.

Reply Score: 1

Get a better name first
by stephanem on Tue 7th Mar 2006 01:44 UTC
stephanem
Member since:
2006-01-11

2006.0? Who's incharge of naming? Are you going to have Gentoo 2006.1 - 2006.12 (one release per month?)

Reply Score: 1

RE: Get a better name first
by Headrush on Tue 7th Mar 2006 03:35 UTC in reply to "Get a better name first"
Headrush Member since:
2006-01-03

Makes sense to me. At least you know how old your version is. Much better than Mac OS X 10.4.5 or some god awful version of Windows and its componenets. eg. IE = 5.5786

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Get a better name first
by Tom K on Tue 7th Mar 2006 17:31 UTC in reply to "RE: Get a better name first"
Tom K Member since:
2005-07-06

Version numbers like OS X's make much more sense for longer-term releases. That, and when I run OS X 10.4.5, I know exactly what version of everything I'm getting.

You can't say the same about Joe's Gentoo system, Susie's Gentoo system, and your mom's Gentoo system.

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: Get a better name first
by JMcCarthy on Wed 8th Mar 2006 17:53 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Get a better name first"
JMcCarthy Member since:
2005-08-12

You're right, but it's impossible with gentoo regardless ;)

All Gentoo is portage. That's basically it. There is no such thing as a standard system. You can make your system comply to certain standards if you wish I guess.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Get a better name first
by Soulbender on Tue 7th Mar 2006 06:31 UTC in reply to "Get a better name first"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

It's a perfectly natural version scheme, much better than versions that go from 3.9 -> 3.10 (good at math? not so much) or artifically inflated version numbers.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Get a better name first
by eggs on Tue 7th Mar 2006 15:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Get a better name first"
eggs Member since:
2006-01-23

It's a perfectly natural version scheme, much better than versions that go from 3.9 -> 3.10 (good at math? not so much) or artifically inflated version numbers.

The period is not a decimal point, it's an arbitrary separator between major and minor version numbers. Just because you already have 10 (0-9) minor versions does not mean that the software is ready for a new major version.

I will, however, heartly agree with you about artifically inflated version... wtf?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Get a better name first
by flav2000 on Tue 7th Mar 2006 06:58 UTC in reply to "Get a better name first"
flav2000 Member since:
2006-02-08

The Gentoo CDs are at most released quarterly so you get Gentoo 2006.0 to 2006.3 or 2006.4

It's better than the other distros really. Can anybody tell me when FC3 or FC4 or when Mandrake 8.0 was released?

At least with Gentoo you can figure out when.

Besides, Gentoo installs are mostly "timeless". A emerge sync later and you'll be installing the latest stable packages anyways even if you're using the 2004.3 CD for example

Reply Score: 4

RE: Get a better name first
by silicon on Tue 7th Mar 2006 11:53 UTC in reply to "Get a better name first"
silicon Member since:
2005-07-30

All clueless people responding to one question. The Gentoo releases are half-yearly so 2006.0 is the first release of 2006 and 2006.1 will be the scond.

Gentoo has been that way since the 1.3 release. Therefore we have 2004.0 , 2004.1 , 2005.0 , 2005.1 and 2006.0 releases.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Get a better name first
by bullsbarry on Tue 7th Mar 2006 12:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Get a better name first"
bullsbarry Member since:
2006-01-27

It is best not to call others clueless in a post where you are incorrect. 2005 had two releases, but the 2004 releases were quarterly. Gentoo switched to the 200x.y naming scheme in 2004, after version 1.4.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Get a better name first
by sapere aude on Tue 7th Mar 2006 14:47 UTC in reply to "RE: Get a better name first"
sapere aude Member since:
2006-03-07

All clueless people responding to one question. The Gentoo releases are half-yearly so 2006.0 is the first release of 2006 and 2006.1 will be the scond.

Gentoo has been that way since the 1.3 release. Therefore we have 2004.0 , 2004.1 , 2005.0 , 2005.1 and 2006.0 releases.


July 26th: 2004.2 is publically released
November 15th: 2004.3 is publically released

Reply Score: 1

Rant
by oldstinkyfish on Tue 7th Mar 2006 02:00 UTC
oldstinkyfish
Member since:
2006-03-04

Yea there was alot of hype. I don't know why they can't have a autoconfiguration of xorg, etc. Why they can't have use flags settings selected for the software that you choose. Its still some elite user software, and if you don't like the way it works then your a idiot. Read there mailing lists. If they put more effort into adding feature requests instead of making noobs feel like retards, i would praise this distro more.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Rant
by Omega Penguin on Tue 7th Mar 2006 02:06 UTC in reply to "Rant"
Omega Penguin Member since:
2006-02-12

Gentoo is like Slackware in the respect they are for advanced users.I mean,there are plenty of distros for newbies,but we can't forget the people who know their way around Linux.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Rant
by sanctus on Tue 7th Mar 2006 03:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Rant"
sanctus Member since:
2005-08-31

I see more the long installation made for beginners or intermediates user who want to learn more about linux (there is also linuxfromscratch).

Personnaly I prefer gentoo for is package system. Portage is amazing. What It's miss, is a cleaner way to build glibc like freebsd does _and_ a fast, uncumbered, graphical installation to get to work as fast as it possible.

I dont see how gentoo is a distro for "advanced user". Avanced user don't necessarily want was a weekend installing a system, nor they want to configure by hand there xorg or what so ever. They already know how to do that, what do they have to prove to themselve? To categorize it as such, is more for the "cool" factor put on the newbies geek.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Rant
by dumbkiwi on Tue 7th Mar 2006 03:52 UTC in reply to "Rant"
dumbkiwi Member since:
2006-01-02

I don't know what mailing lists you are reading, but the gentoo forums are one of the most informative and newbie friendly places I've seen. Gentoo (in my view) has the best, and most readable documentation of any distribution I've tried.

In terms of auto configuration of X, that's not what gentoo's about. Gentoo was originally conceived as a meta-distribution. A distribution from which other distributions are made. Gentoo is a distribution for those that want to configure their system from scratch. If you're not prepared to configure things yourself, then don't use it (and that's not saying you're an idiot - you may have different priorities).

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Rant
by Soulbender on Tue 7th Mar 2006 06:29 UTC in reply to "Rant"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Maybe it's not designed for noobs.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Rant
by flav2000 on Tue 7th Mar 2006 07:04 UTC in reply to "Rant"
flav2000 Member since:
2006-02-08

Um. autoconfiguration works if there are only a couple options. For example, apache has the following flags:

apache2 debug doc ldap mpm-leader mpm-peruser mpm-prefork mpm-threadpool mpm-worker nosuexec selinux ssl static-modules threads

Of the 14 flags, if you ask 10 different people you'll probably bet getting 7-8 answers as to what should be the "default". Gentoo is flexible in this regard and that's its strength.

As for your mailing list comment, I have not seen this in the forums at all. Most Gentoo users use the forums and wiki for information anyways.

Since 2002, I have asked my share of questions and I have made my share of contributions. I even helped out people through email and made a few friends that way. So, if you have met some unpleasant people it's probably more of the exception rather than the norm.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Rant
by dylansmrjones on Tue 7th Mar 2006 09:10 UTC in reply to "Rant"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Well, X.org comes with all kinds of autoconfiguration. Just run the damn scripts. I use auto configuration to set up x.org and afterwards I modify it if necessary (and it is with my monitor).

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Rant
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 7th Mar 2006 11:07 UTC in reply to "Rant"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Yea there was alot of hype. I don't know why they can't have a autoconfiguration of xorg, etc. Why they can't have use flags settings selected for the software that you choose. Its still some elite user software, and if you don't like the way it works then your a idiot.

That's like asking Ferrari to make an affordable 12000E 3 door hatch. It just ain't gonna happen, because that's not the target market for Ferrari.

Get over it.

Reply Score: 5

release engineering is lopsided
by hollovoid on Tue 7th Mar 2006 02:15 UTC
hollovoid
Member since:
2005-09-21

what ive found about gentoo, is that not every group of maintainers is all that dedicated to thier port. some things suffer behind for many months after other distros have moved on (and this is even on ~x86 so I shudder at what stable is at) and the weakly supported projects keep other things that are stable otherwise hardmasked, because they dont support the old, outdated software that the maintainers have failed to keep current. I love gentoo and all, but they need to boot off and ask around more when a project starts slipping, and get it caught up and tested more.

Reply Score: 5

dimosd Member since:
2006-02-10

what ive found about gentoo, is that not every group of maintainers is all that dedicated to thier port.

Yes, and it's a pitty. A few years ago Gentoo meant getting the latest and greatest software on your desktop all the time, now even Debian testing does a better job in some cases. I think Gentoo has been falling behind for some time now, too bad because it's my #2 favourite. But I am sure they can get back on track with a bit of reorganization, like Debian did.

Reply Score: 3

beandog Member since:
2005-10-05

"Yes, and it's a pitty. A few years ago Gentoo meant getting the latest and greatest software on your desktop all the time, now even Debian testing does a better job in some cases. I think Gentoo has been falling behind for some time now, too bad because it's my #2 favourite. But I am sure they can get back on track with a bit of reorganization, like Debian did."

The *real* problem (which anyone who jumped on the dev channels or mailing lists would see) is that the ratio of packages to developers is always growing, as users want more, and less people are volunteering.

If you don't like things the way they are, give them a hand. They really do need it.

Reply Score: 3

flabbah Member since:
2005-11-27

I have to agree with hollovoid - I think my biggest problem with gentoo lately is that they have not hit a sweet spot on the "bleeding edge" vs stability curve. Many packages are out of date, and not necesserily stable either. I wonder if Gentoo's usage of gcc 3.4.4 is the result of old packages not being kept current enough to cleanly compile with gcc 4.x. They just upgraded gcc to 3.4.4 a little while ago, while Fedora Core Test 5 is using gcc 4.1.0. My Ubuntu Breezy install has fresher packages, and it was released many moons ago!

Edited 2006-03-08 05:12

Reply Score: 3

minimal binary installation
by tejaskokje on Tue 7th Mar 2006 02:21 UTC
tejaskokje
Member since:
2005-07-18

I don't understand why Gentoo does not have a precompiled binary packages just for the installation sake (similar to what FreeBSD have). In that way I don't have my computer buy compiling software for a day or two. I can start using by installing minimal binary packages and then recompile packages at my leisure.

Is there a way to do this in Gentoo ?

I tried 2006.0 LiveCD but could not get it to install since my crappy DSL connection gets disconnected once in a day for no apparent reason. Minimal binary installation might help in this case.

Tejas Kokje

Reply Score: 1

RE: minimal binary installation
by mcrumley on Tue 7th Mar 2006 02:49 UTC in reply to "minimal binary installation"
mcrumley Member since:
2005-06-29

I can start using by installing minimal binary packages and then recompile packages at my leisure.

Is there a way to do this in Gentoo ?


Do a stage 3 installation and download the grp CD, which has pre-compiled packages. It needed to download some files for KDE (at least on amd64), but Gnome installed fine without downloading or compiling anything.

Reply Score: 2

RE: minimal binary installation
by berzerko on Tue 7th Mar 2006 04:17 UTC in reply to "minimal binary installation"
berzerko Member since:
2005-11-11

you may want to try this out:
RR4 linux. its basically gentoo, just all the hard work has been done for you. its a liveDVD though, thats the only drawback i think (big download).

http://www.lxnaydesign.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&i...

Reply Score: 2

Angel--Fr@gzill@ Member since:
2005-12-23

!!!!! RR4 - gentoo based

I have tried it and it's very good and cool.

But I think its comppiled for a 586, so in theory it won't be as quick as Gentoo... Isn't it ???

On the other hand I remeber have read in several Post in the Web, something about the compilers in gentoo, and other stuff... (don't remember what), that make that the distro finally installed is NOT as quick as it should be theoretically.

And that finally its not quicker than debian.
Some of them said they had moved to debian; that the speed was the same than in gentoo, so , Why spend so long compiling to get the same results ???

Anyone have any info, idea about that ???

Rational, informative anwsers, please.. Not flames, of Gentoo priests telling me is not true, and that I will burn forever in the linux hell...

Why and how.. ???

Thanks

Angel

Reply Score: 1

Moocha Member since:
2005-07-06

Why do you pay attention to arguments a la "X is better than Y" when it's obvious from the context that people are making emotional rather than rational decisions?
Just try all options and keep what *feels* better to you. This way you won't be disappointed.
For reference, I've been running Gentoo both on my desktop and on several production and mission-critical servers since mid-2003. Never looked back. But that's because it's a distribution that fits me. Do the same - trial and error, while lengthly, will result in the best distribution for you.

Reply Score: 2

gpierce Member since:
2005-07-07

Agreed. There is no reason to follow the online bickering about whose linux distro is superior or faster. If you are going to compare distros you really need to do it on exactly the same hardware and my suspicion is that there just won't be that much of a detectable difference between any of them. This isn't the Windows world where OEMs pack so much useless advertising and unwanted services on the desktops of new computers that suck cpu cycles from what you actually want your machine to do.

I have to always remind myself of hardware differences when I get a little annoyed with my older 1.5GHz Dell (used to have Win Me) with a P4 (but without hyperthreading--I think). My IBM T43 with Ubuntu seems much snappier but it's really not comparable.

Compiling all the software on my computer is still fun for me. But it does come with some drawbacks. For example, a great deal of caution has to be used when including global use flags. Just recently, I spent almost a whole week looking for why networking suddenly stopped working after a recompile of my whole system following a compiler upgrade. The misbehaving package was dhcpcd, the default dhcp client on Gentoo. At some point I put in "debug" in global USE flags and dhcpcd would hang at boot...just hang! Not fail! I couldn't even get to the command line. I used the livecd to correct things. I now know how to specify use flags only for certain packages. Anyway, this experience does point out one of the pitfalls in a system like Gentoo where all the controls are handed to the user. There are so many packages that even an experienced Linux user can not reasonably be expected to know when he might be headed for trouble.

Reply Score: 1

superstoned Member since:
2005-07-07

gentoo has the theoretical advantage of compiling the whole bunch of software specifically for your computer. and you could prevent stuff you don't need from installing and compiling in. and you could optimize packages individually. and easily add unstable stuff to test it (eg you can do 'emerge kopete' and portage will get the latest subversion checkout of kopete and compile it - you can't get more up-to-date, nor easier...).

on the other hand, you WONT have time nor knowledge to optimize it all to the max, while the debian mantainers, having years experience in optimizing and sending in patches if it doesnt work, CAN and DO optimize stuff more than you would.

so in practice, most gentoo users won't get their system much faster than a debian OS.
and with checkinstall and a BIT more work, you can get the latest SVN from kopete yourself...

Reply Score: 2

gpierce Member since:
2005-07-07

I think you are definitely correct. Knowing how to extract the most out of any program (compiling with the right USE flags and optimizations) is nearly impossible for anyone user to do correctly for each package on his system, and this is where the strength of systems like Debian which have experienced package maintainers that wrap things up in nicely digestible .debs lies.

Reply Score: 1

jaypee Member since:
2005-07-28

@ Angel--Fr@gzill@

RR4 is a good idea but, when I tried it, it felt it too limiting (of course, it could have just been me). For some reason, I couldn't do an "emerge -uD world". It would fail.

However, I did find that Kororaa (http://kororaa.org) is a quick way to install Gentoo, if you don't want to do a traditional Gentoo install. I put it on my laptop a little over a week ago and I am very happy with its performance.

Edited 2006-03-07 15:56

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: minimal binary installation
by xuhu on Tue 7th Mar 2006 23:44 UTC in reply to "RE: minimal binary installation"
xuhu Member since:
2006-02-16

You should be able to get away with not downloading the whole ISO by booting with the install initrd and using nbd-http, http://freshmeat.net/projects/nbdhttp/ to mount the ISO over http.

Reply Score: 1

PPC
by sbeehre on Tue 7th Mar 2006 02:42 UTC
sbeehre
Member since:
2005-07-13

Hopefully a liveCD for PPC machines gets out there soon! i want to try it on my G5.

Reply Score: 1

Gentoo Binary Packages
by abhaysahai on Tue 7th Mar 2006 02:44 UTC
abhaysahai
Member since:
2005-10-20

Though I myself do not use gentoo anymore, but can surely say that gentoo has many Binary packages.

Simple googling resulted in
http://gentoo-wiki.com/TIP_Providing_binary_packages

"In order to install the pre-compiled binary packages on your client boxes, you must use the emerge option -k. This option will use binary packages, if available, and will pull and compile the sources otherwise. So instead of using "emerge -uD world" to update your client boxes, you must use "emerge -kuD world".

If you want to see the available binary packages for updating your client boxes, you can run "emerge -pkuD world". This will show you for each package whether an ebuild or a binary package will be used for upgrading. "

Then there is the USE flag( PORTAGE_BINHOST) for binary packages
http://test.gentoo-wiki.com/TIP_Using_PORTAGE_BINHOST .

I myself remember openoffice-bin and (mozilla)firefox-bin as the once I had installed in 2004.

I am sure there are many other ways to get binary packages in gentoo.

Reply Score: 4

Just so everyone knows...
by brewin on Tue 7th Mar 2006 03:08 UTC
brewin
Member since:
2005-06-30

Stage 1 installations are not recommended anymore. The reason being is that it is simply not necessary. The recommended method is a Stage 3 and then (if you want) you can do an "emerge -e system" to recompile your working system. This way, you can get a working Gentoo system up in about an hour and then recompile while you're doing other things. So there is no reason why your computer should be rendered useless for days, like some still believe...

Reply Score: 5

Automated LFS
by siride on Tue 7th Mar 2006 03:22 UTC
siride
Member since:
2006-01-02

Gentoo is automated Linux From Scratch, with some dev support. It's meant for hobbiests and tweakers and people who don't mind waiting a long time for stuff to compile. Most people don't want to do that. Some people (like me), do. To each his own. If you don't like that, then don't use Gentoo.

For production systems, or for users who just want to get work done, Gentoo is not a good distro. But Gentoo isn't, for the most part, trying to be for those people.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Automated LFS
by dumbkiwi on Tue 7th Mar 2006 04:00 UTC in reply to "Automated LFS"
dumbkiwi Member since:
2006-01-02

I don't see why you say it's not for production systems. We have it running here on several servers.

Also compiling from source and "getting work done" are not mutually exclusive. I've never had trouble "getting work done" while compiling.

Personally, I use gentoo precisely because it allows me to get work done. It is so simple to maintain. The quality of the packages seems very high. Very rarely do I run into update issues. I spend a lot less time maintaining my 4 gentoo machines than I do other binary based distributions. The initial time to install is significant, but the resultant system makes up for that in spades.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Automated LFS
by monkeyhead on Tue 7th Mar 2006 06:46 UTC in reply to "Automated LFS"
monkeyhead Member since:
2005-07-11

You say it's for hobbyists and tweakers, but I think that Gentoo is more for control freaks. But like you said... 'to each his own.'

And now on to my own personal musing about gentoo:

I've been using gentoo since around 03 and i'm still happy with it. I've only performed one install, but it's still going strong on the box i'm posting this from. I like knowing what is and isn't installed on my computer. I'm hesistant to try another distro simply because of my reliance on portage.

The forums and wikis are way better for getting to the bottom of problems than any other distro that i've come in contact with. Well other than the 'Off the Wall' forum which i'm currently banned from. heh...

Reply Score: 1

RE: Automated LFS
by dylansmrjones on Tue 7th Mar 2006 09:59 UTC in reply to "Automated LFS"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Well, my father is using Gentoo 2005.1-r1.

I set it up some months ago, and my older brother is maintaining it.

Remember, you don't have to recompile everytime an update is released.

Reply Score: 1

by Mystilleef on Tue 7th Mar 2006 06:52 UTC
Mystilleef
Member since:
2005-06-29

It's also a nice distro for developers who need to compile stuff all the time anyway.

Reply Score: 1

Gentoo and LFS
by csousa on Tue 7th Mar 2006 12:01 UTC
csousa
Member since:
2006-02-04

I have some experience in linux distro, and I play with gentoo... until I found LFS.I think LFS is more educational than gentoo, and gentoo not make sense to me if I can have a personal linux system.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Gentoo and LFS
by tsuraan on Tue 7th Mar 2006 17:37 UTC in reply to "Gentoo and LFS"
tsuraan Member since:
2006-01-16

LFS is a lot of fun, and really great for learning. It gets to be less fun when you actually need to install large, poorly documented packages. I gave up on it after installing Evolution. It was a few years ago, when Evolution had the best palm synchronization, and the html rendering support was brand new. Having to track down the various and conflicting beta gnome packages and finagle them into a working state was such a pain that I resorted to reading gentoo ebuilds so I could figure out what versions of everything were compatible. At that point, I figured I might as well just let portage do the work...

Reply Score: 1