Linked by Eugenia Loli on Sat 17th May 2003 23:56 UTC
Gentoo "The 'meta-distro' Gentoo makes it possible to compile and configure everything on your system exactly the way you like, providing you with more structure and tools to ease the process and automate updates. Do I still like Debian? I absolutely love it. But until further notice, Gentoo is now my flavor of Linux." Read the review at LinuxWorld.
Order by: Score:
by elver on Sun 18th May 2003 00:07 UTC

I started using Gentoo rather early during the first 1.2 versions. Back then, it wasn't very popular yet. Now, everyone's using Gentoo. The installation has become a bit easier, portage has become bigger and the number of users has grown a lot - it has lost it's "geek feeling" for me.

Anyone know of any similar less-used distros? ;)

Or yes, I could roll my own with LFS ;)

gentoo and similar distributions are the future of open linux
by Michael on Sun 18th May 2003 00:14 UTC

With Linus building in Big Brother DRM stuff into the kernel, anyone who wants to use a non-1984ware Linux distro will likely have to build their own from source.

Gentoo and the other source distributions are in a great position as all the people who don't want a DRM system monitoring what they do on the computer will be forced to move to Gentoo.

I'm glad Gentoo is getting attention as Gentoo is the way a trusted OS should be built -- from code, not from some signed binaries that a giant corporation hands out.

And since the OS is built from code, it's much harder for anyone to use the DMCA and Super-DMCA laws against you or your company for changing the OS. When the kernel moves to signed binaries, you will possibly face felony charges and up to 5 years in prison for subverting or changing these binaries.

Umm, you could try Source Mage
by Alex on Sun 18th May 2003 00:14 UTC

That's still geeky and not as used as Gentoo, but has virtually all the advantages Gentoo does except its easier.

Gentoo "emerges" victorious
by Dave on Sun 18th May 2003 00:29 UTC

Unintentional Pun? That is what I read into it at least ;-) I tried Gentoo before but I am just not that patient to let my system compile for several hours before I can use it.

Re: Hmm...
by Anonymous on Sun 18th May 2003 00:30 UTC

So would it be correct to assume that using an OS that makes you feel more geekier (cooler?) is more important than having a productive operating system?

And Micheal:
Linus has not said he is building DRM stuff into the kernel, just that he is open to the idea. DRM services only affect DRM content, so there is nothing to worry about.

Linus and DRM
by Michael on Sun 18th May 2003 00:36 UTC

Linus is building DRM into the kernel. That is WHY he made the statement that he did.

Why is it that everything must be spelled out, step by step, for so many geeks? Is it autism? Geeks seem somehow brain damaged when it comes to looking at the real world vs. the virtual world.

Huh? Beside the fact that not even a single DRM patch has not been submitted to Linus, and assuming there existed a distro that had DRM in the kernel, you would not have to use gentoo to avoid it, just re-compile the kernel without DRM.

Anyway, if you want a trusted OS, remember *you* could be the person who signs the binaries, not some 'giant corporation'. DRM is a tool, can be used for good or bad reasons, I am glad that I could be in control of it.

The Gentoo sources may soon be signed anyway as a security measure... MD5 is not enough...

I started using gentoo out of frustration with resolving dependencies when installing software with Mandrake, and stayed because it turned out to be easier to use.
You still have to get your hands dirty with the command line in Linux on occasion, and it's much easier to do this with a clean distro like Gentoo than Mandrake.

Gentoo is hype
by IFightMIBs on Sun 18th May 2003 00:48 UTC

As someone mentioned above, Sourcemage is nicer. And it uses SysV, which for someone coming from most of the other Linux distros, will make sense.

My problems with Gentoo:

1. The screwed up way it deals with config files in etc.
2. Not enough good binary packages for big things that take a long time to compile.
3. BSD init.

For what it's worth, I don't see any reason to run Gentoo over FreeBSD. BSD's ports still works better.

Re: Gentoo is hype
by Rayiner Hashem on Sun 18th May 2003 00:58 UTC

1) I disagree. It's config mechanism is much more straightforward than comparable systems in RedHat and Mandrake.

2) Gentoo isn't a binary distribution. It's not supposed to be. It's like complaining that your Porsche can't haul your trailer. As for compile time, most Gentoo users have learned to plan ahead to minimize the impact of compile times. I compiled all my software once, and do an emerge world every few nights. Unless you like to fuss with your software every few hours, there is no disadvantage. Besides, since ebuilds are so easy to make, Gentoo often has packages out days if not weeks before other distributions get RPMs or debs out. So Gentoo users actually get their software first anyway ;)

3) Gentoo's custom init system is a nice compromise between the monolithic quality of BSD init and the over-engineered modularity of SysV init. And unlike other distributions, Gentoo uses pretty much the same mechanism for init, configuration, environment, and module scripts.

Yes why do you have to spell everything out for geeks ? Here I'll spell it out for you: Linus has not announced any patches for DRM in the Linux kernel. Linus has announced that "DRM is perfectly OK with Linux." What you said is your inference into the article and not true. You are also assuming it will be DRM like "I can't burn ISOs, I can't copy MP3s off of Fasttrack" etc, but the type he refers to in the article is for signing binaries. Read it, enlighten yourself, and then come back and spout off about people who don't understand the topic.

The danger of DRM
by Rayiner Hashem on Sun 18th May 2003 02:05 UTC

The danger of DRM goes far beyond the simplistic "doom scenarios" many tech users are predicting. The danger with DRM is the ability to turn open content into closed content. Take, for example, Word documents. Right now, I can read Word documents from my teachers just as easily as any Windows user. However, what if my teacher decides to use a "no forwarding" DRM feature to keep students from spreading class material outside the campus? If I want to access this content, I'm effectively forced into running a DRM-friendly platform. Who wants to take bets that my custom compiled Gentoo distro will fall into the "non-DRM friendly" catagory. Especially if Microsoft has it's way and makes "DRM-friendly" synonymous with "Windows."

Linus has no problem with DRM because Linus is a pragmatist. He cares about the code, not the ideology. However, history has proven that pragmatists are hardly the best people to rely on when liberties and higher philosophical concerns are at stake. Take, for example, the atom bomb project. The scientists just cared about the science, not the philosophy. Many of them regretted it in the end.

Nice call
by Anonymous on Sun 18th May 2003 02:12 UTC

Linus has no problem with DRM because Linus is a pragmatist. He cares about the code, not the ideology. However, history has proven that pragmatists are hardly the best people to rely on when liberties and higher philosophical concerns are at stake.

Excellent point, nice to see somebody say it. i thought i was the only one who found the amorality of utterly pragmatic tech-types revolting.

back on topic
by Foo on Sun 18th May 2003 03:21 UTC

The most ironic thing I find about Gentoo is that although it'll scare a lot of n00bs away, it really is easier to run than any other distro I have tried yet. The installation can be a bear, especially on a slow system, but once you're up it's the most rewarding experiences I've had with Linux. I'm trying to get a little familiar with Debian now and I find a lot to like. I like to think of Gentoo as taking the best parts of OSes and giving the end user as much control as he or she cares for...

And I believe it WILL get easier to install as time goes on :-)

by atici on Sun 18th May 2003 03:33 UTC

If you want sth. good and not aimed for n00bs, why not use BSD instead?

My Gentoo experiance
by tr3y on Sun 18th May 2003 05:18 UTC

It took about 5 days to install base system, X and fluxbox... no usefull applications were ever installed.

I noticed that some packages were upgradable, so, while still using the "stable" branch, I performed emerge world on my system... 2 days later, I came back to a screen that was entirely filled with what looked like unicode...

I had been using Debian for about a year, so I am not a n00b by any means. The total time it took to install this system, IMO is rediculous. The total time spent upgrading is also rediculous. Granted the oppertunity to configure everything to your liking is nice, but my first emerge world rendered the system unusable. If I want to compile all day long, I can use LFS, if I want hard drive space wasted by port[s|age], I can install FreeBSD etc... Gentoo is relatively fast, but only cuz everything is compiled for your system, if you are using an i686 machine in comparison to a system compiled for i386, you will undoubtedly notice differences... but when you take into account compile times, how much of a real difference will you see over the entire life span of the OS on your system? I would guess very little. The difference is far to little to justify compiling all day long.

In conclusion, anyone reading this article and thinking "Maybe I should try Gentoo", take into account the ~1 week your system will be basically useless, and plan around it... If you think I am being sarcastic, ask the people in #Gentoo on ... they will confirm the compile time for the system, and perhaps even report longer compile times...

Re: My Gentoo experience
by Androo on Sun 18th May 2003 06:30 UTC

Gentoo is a distro for modern machines with modern processors (1GHz or above) and modern software. If you have a 486 of some sort, you might want to check elsewhere. If you have a Pentium or Pentium II or perhaps even a Pentium III, you might want to check elsewhere.

In my case, getting this 1.5GHz system to a useable Gentoo took around 30 minutes. This was because I used a stage 3 tarball and didn't have to compile a thing. Of course I wanted to update my system to newer versions, so going through the process of recompiling took a little over a night.

I typed "emerge sync && emerge -u world && emerge -u kde", went to bed, went to work, came home and everything was finished. And after compiling KDE, there's not a single piece of software that seems to take too long to compile.

I have no idea how other people use their systems, but these long compile times seem only to affect me in the initial install. On a 1.2 GHz Celeron with 384 MB of RAM it takes me approximately 60 hours, total, to get a working system with a WM installed. Of that, perhaps 30-45 minutes is interactively sitting at the keyboard and typing (The rest is just letting it go). The amount of time it takes to compile things seems to be a common complaint, but I simply haven't ever had that issue. I install updates and large software packages overnight; I start the emerge before I go to bed, and the next morning the app is ready. And I don't re-install the whole OS every other day either.

I also compile from source (partly out of habit, partly because it makes me feel better for some reason) on FreeBSD.

I've tried lots of other distros, but there's nothing quite like Gentoo. I have found Gentoo to be clean, stable, and easy to maintain, and I've turned several people onto it, who seems to feel the same way. I certainly have no interest in running something like Red Hat anymore.

Generally when I compile/install an application, I do it in an xterm window, and background it. I don't install 50 new apps every day of the week, so if you do that, maybe Gentoo isn't the best choice.

I will say that Gentoo is more like FreeBSD than Gentoo is like most other binary-based distros (That was my experience; I got FreeBSD installed and configured in a snap, because it seemed so familiar). One question that was asked is "If you're going to run Gentoo, why not run FreeBSD?" For most users the inverse is also a good question, "If you're going to run FreeBSD, why not run Gentoo?" There are advantages to each (from what I've read), and depending on what kind of system you run, you're going to choose one or the other. I think most users can gain mostly the same benefits from each. I know more about Gentoo than FreeBSD, which I'm kind of new to, but I doubt you'll find anything but FreeBSD or Gentoo running on my machines any time soon. I could frankly run either on all of my machines and be happy.

The difficulty in installing Gentoo is also overstated; if you're here - that is, if you're interested in operating systems as a whole, you probably have enough interest to be able to get through a Gentoo install. I can do an install in my sleep now, and before I ran Gentoo, I only had any extensive experience with Mandrake. I've said it before, and I'll say it again - unless you have some really weird hardware, the Gentoo install is *manual*, not *difficult*. And Gentoo will force you to get your feet wet with things other distros tend to "hide" - you'll be down in several configuration files, you'll be compiling your own kernel. The knowledge you gain here is useful on other distros.

Gentoo's support forums are also incredibly friendly, as is the support on IRC. I just like it. Not because it's "l33t", but because it's logical and well-designed. And because it's forced me to understand what's going on my system more.

I ran Debian for a short period of time and had a pretty good experience with it as well. Its philosophy is different. I liked it okay. Just not as much as Gentoo. I liked it better than Mandrake or Red Hat though and Debian's software collection is huge. Way, way, huge. Something to keep in mind. If I didn't have access to Gentoo or FreeBSD, Debian would definitely be my choice.

We've passed the point now where Gentoo is simply flavor of the month, or the distro people use just to feel smart. It's a well-designed, useful distro, and one of the easiest to maintain. If you are constantly installing a lot of software, several packages a day, maybe it's not optimal. If you don't care about Linux much and just surf the web, maybe it's a bit much. If you want rock-stable, aggressively tested software, maybe Debian-Stable would be a better bet.

I think though for most average desktop users, it's incredible. I've read a lot of criticisms of it, and maybe some of them are valid, especially for people who use their computers differently than me. I use computers 10 hours a day, 8 for work and usually at least 2 for my own projects - that includes basic PERL and PHP scripting, recreation, basic web development, graphics, light web and ftp serving duties, log crunching and reporting, and Gentoo has been spot-on for all of my needs. It's not a religious thing or anything, but man, I just really really dig it. Been running it coming up on a year now. Not for everyone, but probably for more people than is commonly thought.

Debian, FreeBSD, and Gentoo ought to compliment each other in a work environment, not compete with each other. All three are, in my opinion, vastly superior to something like Red Hat or Mandrake. Easier to maintain than those, and just better designed. But you know, that's just my opinion based on my own experience. However if I never see a RPM again it will be too soon!

RE: Androo
by Matthew Baulch on Sun 18th May 2003 09:20 UTC

> I typed "emerge sync && emerge -u world && emerge -u kde"

You should type "emerge -u system" before "emerge -u world" because the "world" heavily relies on the "system" and an out of date "system" could prove incompatible with an up to date "world".

Re: Linus and DRM
by Jim on Sun 18th May 2003 10:00 UTC

"Why is it that everything must be spelled out, step by step, for so many geeks? Is it autism? Geeks seem somehow brain damaged when it comes to looking at the real world vs. the virtual world."

That may just be the coolest comment I have ever read.

Re: Hmm... (and other matters of Gentoo)
by elver on Sun 18th May 2003 10:39 UTC

I remember when #gentoo or gentoo forums used to be a place where you got help, now it's just full of trolls and newbies. That's why I'm thinking about switching distros.

Re: My Gentoo experience
by UUi on Sun 18th May 2003 10:39 UTC

It took about 5 days to install base system, X and fluxbox... no usefull applications were ever installed.

Maybe you should upgrade your system. Gentoo took 27 hours on my machine.

In conclusion, anyone reading this article and thinking "Maybe I should try Gentoo", take into account the ~1 week your system will be basically useless, and plan around it...

This is totally untrue.

I used my system during it's 27 hour compile... How? Easy.

Use an existing Linux installation and chroot into Gentoo from there. You can have Gentoo compiling while you still use your computer. Get a decent -ck kernel running on your existing Linux installation, and you're laughing.

Don't believe me? Maybe you should check the Gentoo documentation more then.

Re: My Gentoo experience
by UUi on Sun 18th May 2003 10:43 UTC

Sorry, don't think I made myself clear... ;)

Maybe you should upgrade your system. Gentoo took 27 hours on my machine.

Was meant to read:

Maybe you should upgrade your system. Gentoo took 27 hours to install the base system, X, fluxbox, KDE, and some misc applications (like XChat, Gaim, mplayer, etc).

"Gentoo isn't for n00bs" is crap. I was a 'n00b', but thanks to Gentoo, I now know more about Linux than I ever would have learnt from any other distro.

RE: Androo
by Ian Smith on Sun 18th May 2003 10:51 UTC

> You should type "emerge -u system" before "emerge -u world" because the "world" heavily relies on the "system" and an out of date "system" could prove incompatible with an up to date "world".

Rubbish. The emerge world is supposed to order the upgrades so that the system stuff is done first anyway. Otherwise it's a bug in Portage.

27 hour compile
by Anonymous on Sun 18th May 2003 12:49 UTC

That's just mind boggling that that is considered *good*.

I'll give up the Gentoo optimizations and cutting edge software for Xandros' 20 minute install and rock solid stability. Maybe I'll give Gentoo another try, but at 27 hours to install, it won't be any time soon.

Re: 27 hour compile
by Greg on Sun 18th May 2003 13:20 UTC

Source distros are known for stability. Besides, if you want a desktop distro, you're not looking for that anyway. Also: It doesn't have to be a contiguous 27 hour compile. You can easily break it up into night--or--workday-sized chunks.

However, if you think you have bad RAM, don't do this. Trust me. Don't go through the pain I'm going through.

Long install
by Arne on Sun 18th May 2003 13:28 UTC

I used a stage3 tarball optimized for athlon xp. It took a couple of hours to install X with fluxbox, opera and xmms, and I was ready to go. Wow, how can I survive without my pc for 2 hours? Emerge mpg123, irssi and links first, and you can listen to music, surf the web and chat while it's compiling X.

If you want KDE, compile it during the night, and use fluxbox or some other fast wm while you wait. I don't have any problems with compiling while using the pc. The mouse can jump around sometimes, but that doesn't bother my much.

The install is what you make of it, if you jump onto the biggest compiles first, then you can blame yourself!

If you start with a stage1 tarball, that's your choice. You have to accept the long bootstrap process. Remember that you can start with a state3 tarball, and recompile the whole system when you want with the optimizations you want at any time.

I miss my gentoo
by Anonymous on Sun 18th May 2003 14:02 UTC

I had gentoo on a Celeron-366 (not a high end machine by any stretch) and while it did take a while to compile large packages by itself, i was able to take advantage of distcc to use the other machines on my LAN to help out.

I imagine as more people have these 'mini-grids' at home, this type of distributed compile/computing will make previously difficult tasks like 'compile every piece of software you use' trivial and routine.

However, gentoo is only useful in a broadband-connected environment. Since I moved to the UK I have been stuck with only my P-166 laptop, running Redhat, and have been missing gentoo greatly.

However, it would just be stupid to install it on this machine, as it would take weeks to download and install a decent desktop setup.

I really found gentoo the easiest distro to use after installation. The user really does not need to know the packages are being compiled from source, and 'emerge update world' before bed each night kept my system in a completely up-to-date state.

As someobody who loves to play with the latest stuff, I have found no better way to make the whole process of staying current easier than gentoo's emerge.

I can't say enough good things about gentoo, and as soon as I get a decent machine and connection , gentoo will be the only thing i consider putting on it.

if it ain't broke don't fix it
by debman on Sun 18th May 2003 17:06 UTC

while I am interested in Gentoo academicly I will not be trying it out untill I get my box in the basement working again (wish I had the cash...or should I say wish my wife would let me :-) )

anyway, I run debian with a mix of testing and unstable apps. I have all the multimedia working great, I have the ck kernel going which allows me to turn the Arts audio buffer down to 8 ms with no crackles or drop outs ever!!! (just make sure you dpkg-reconfigure xserver-common and set the nice of x to 0)

I have xine running perfectly. I love my system K3B is probably the best burner software on Linux.

at any rate, I see no way that Gentoo could speed up my system any more than what I have on debian.

Gentoo is great except on laptops or remote machines, so...
by Gentoo'd on Sun 18th May 2003 17:06 UTC

I'm a newby that tried all the distros, and settled on Gentoo. After doing several installations I learned that there are many tricks to speeding up the compile times, including not compiling at all by using the stage 3 tar-balls.

Eventually I came to the concolusion that I did not want to run *any* non-core software that took 24 hours to compile. I began to seek out a minimalist Gentoo system. I eventually found out about many of the 'light-weight' apps that you can use in place of monolithic suites like KDE and Gnome. I built Fluxbox in 10 minutes, where KDE took exactly 14 hours. I installed the ROX filemanager in about 3 minutes, Phoenix in 5 minutes, xine in 20, slrn, mutt, procmail, postfix, fetchmail, etc etc.

At the end of the day, my Gentoo system was super fast, lean, mean, and had all the best apps. I prefer console apps so I can shell in and use them via SSH from work or friends machine.

The one weakness of Gentoo, is that it is not ideal for laptops and remote machines. It will beat a laptops HD literally to death, and I have not been able to find a rentable remote system that supports Gentoo.

Being a newb, I found Slackware frustrating, especially because of the horrific behavior of the 'experts' in the slackware newsgroup. What a bunch of jerks they are. The Gentoo forums are the complete opposite, and is one of Gentoo's great strengths.

When all was said and done, I wanted to run linux on my laptop, and be able to eventually rent a server - so I decided to use Debian. Debian turned out to be very tough to install, so I bought Libranet.

Libranet is my "training wheels" until I get the hang of Debian, then I will re-install pure Debian. Libranet is amazing, it feels like an improved Redhat, but remains 100% Debian compatible. SO I can use the GUI to admin things, and use the CLI tools as I become familiar with them.

The times I installed Debian before, I ended up with ancient (albeit stable) software. Libranet is considered in the "unstable" branch of Debian (I think). What I do know is, it automatically detected and configured my video, sound, cd-burner, and DVD. I didn't have to do anything weird to get VMWare to work, either.

The Debian crowd can be mean sometimes, but I hear the Libranet crowd is nice like the Gentoo crowd, but then I havent needed to ask for help yet - since Libranet works so well!

After I know Debian inside out, on both workstations and servers, I will go back to Gentoo. Then I will use Gentoo on workstations, and Debian on local and remote servers.

Gentoo is great, and Libranet is great so far.

2 tricks for installing Gentoo on a laptop.
by Gentoo'd on Sun 18th May 2003 17:17 UTC

My previous post mentioned installing Gentoo on a laptop can literraly beat the HD to death. I did read about two tricks to prevent this.

#1 is to buy an adapter so you can plug an external regular (IDE) HD into the latop, and do the install on that drive. This will save the latops internal HD from taking the abuse of all the builds. AFter the build, you copy the system to the internal HD, and reboot.

#2 is to use the distcc application, which allows you to do distributed compiliations. I've read where people with a desktop and a laptop where able to install Gentoo signifigantly faster on to the laptop - because the desktop was doing most of the compiling. You would do a stage-3 install on to the latop, and then emerge distcc on the 2 machines. After they were in sync with distcc, you could rebuild the world on the latop.

first taste of gentoo
by Simon on Sun 18th May 2003 19:43 UTC

i just started using gentoo been running it a 2 weeks now. Yes it took 2 days to get running. But once it was up and running ill have to say its the easyest distro ive ever used. If your looking for a small footprint linux distro that you create your self gentoo is the way to go.

Funny that...
by Maynard on Sun 18th May 2003 19:47 UTC

When I want software, I fire up apt-get for redhat, or synaptic, and leave the room to buy o coke, and when I come back, I can use the new proggie. I install new stuff and have come to the conclusion that Linux is now ready for the desktop because I don't have to compile everything I need. Actually, in the interests of keeping my system in order, I do NOT compile software anymore.

RE: Funny that
by chazwurth on Sun 18th May 2003 20:24 UTC

Gentoo isn't about "Linux is ready for the desktop." And the fact that some distro is ready for your desktop doesn't mean another isn't ready for someone else's. Yes, Gentoo took me 3 nights to get running, starting from a stage 1 tarball (full bootstrap/compiling of the entire system, from binutils/gcc/glibc to X and KDE). That said, most of the compiling was done while I was asleep; I put very little work into it myself. And when it was done - it was blazing fast and had exactly what I wanted it to, and nothing more. No bloat, no garbage other than what I wanted it to have.

When installing new software, yes, compiling is time-consuming. It is also super-easy, as portage solves dependencies as well as apt does, and the compiling is "automated" so to speak -- you type 'emerge (package)' and the package is downloaded and compiled, and everything ends up where it belongs. No intervention necessary on the part of the user. The benefit? If you're willing to wait until you go to sleep to install big software, you get a high-performance, customized system that does exactly what you want it to.

Having played with Gentoo over the last couple months, I'm finding myself using it more and more. I'm pretty certain at this point that it will become my main distro. The funny thing is - even though it sounds intimidating, it's surprisingly easy. This is partly because of the intelligence with which it is set up, and partly because the documentation at is understandable and to-the-point.

by Good Grief on Mon 19th May 2003 00:03 UTC


Linus is building DRM into the kernel. That is WHY he made the statement that he did.

Why is it that everything must be spelled out, step by step, for so many geeks? Is it autism? Geeks seem somehow brain damaged when it comes to looking at the real world vs. the virtual world.

Um.. buddy? I don't know if you noticed, but YOU ARE A GEEK (if not a very studious one). How many non-geeks know a kernel from a DRM from a Croissan'wich?

A little advice: there are 2 essential steps to being a successful smartass. Step 1 is being smart. Ah well, at least you have Step 2 mastered.


And for you people who complain about compile times -- you can't spend a few consecutive hours away from your computer? Am I the only one who is amused that the same people who find the Gentoo process too 'geeky', can't be without their computer for a long week-end without going into convulsions?

re: good grief
by Michael on Mon 19th May 2003 01:08 UTC

Alas poor GG,

Sounds like you've got a bad case of Binary Blindness. This is one of the well known symptoms of geekitis. Posting dumb jokes is another common symptom (see /. for reference).

Although you may not be able to perceive it, there is a vast world of intelligent life in between geekdom and the mindless masses. Knowing a few computer terms doesn't make someone a geek.

Only an ignorant and autistic geek like Linus would think building the implements of imprisonment is a good thing to do. And just as it took Oppenheimer and his pals didn't understand at first they were creating something abhorrent to humanity, Linus will have to create something evil before he understands he has done something wrong. Geeks just do not comprehend the real world.

Linus might profit from actually reading what Oppenheimer had to say about closed/open technology before mindless spouting off an incorrect reference.

First, on creating the bomb:

We knew the world could not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried. Most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad Gita: "I am became Death, the destroyers of worlds." I suppose we all thought that, one way or another.

Second, on retaining open access to information:

The open society, the unrestricted access to knowledge, the unplanned and uninhibited association of men for its furtherance - these are what may make a vast, complex, ever growing, ever changing, ever more specialized and expert technological world, nevertheless a world of human community.

The other thing about geeks is that out of their own intellectual arrogance, they rarely check facts before they speak. Is DRM at all consistent with Oppenheimer's views? No.

I don't think the world will be all too sorry when all the geeks are gone, victims of their own incompetence. People will be able to breathe easier knowing some misguided geek isn't inventing some doomsday technology and thinking it's "just technology".

portage issue
by lx3hf on Mon 19th May 2003 01:52 UTC
portage issue - that was an 0401 joke
by Gentoo'd on Mon 19th May 2003 02:02 UTC

read past the headline dude:

"Note: This is an April Fool's joke."

Goofy title
by Mark on Mon 19th May 2003 03:19 UTC

It's tiresome to read countless articles in which operating systems (and software in general) are described in terms more suited for warfare than computer science : "shoot out", "emerges victorious", "battle field", "front", "bloody", ...

New Scientist says we're on our last century
by Michael on Mon 19th May 2003 04:13 UTC

There is a reason that the US is going after the oil, the undersea deposits, the water, etc. The party is coming to an end soon.

So it only makes sense that to end things, we're going for full out raging war on everyone!

Get with the program, CITIZEN!

Oh by the way, Canada will be 'RACKED soon. We need the natural resources!

Debian q from a Gentoo user
by Felix on Mon 19th May 2003 10:07 UTC

Is Debian a meta-distro like Gentoo is? Apparently you can't run testing and stable side-by-side? Have I misunderstood something about it?

(My experiences of Debian involved dependency hell. So I went back to Gentoo or FreeBSD or Slackware, can't remember which. I mean to give it another try one day just to see what it's acutally like when you *don't* have one-in-a-million-chance bad luck...)

Building distrbutions is bad news
by Jordan on Mon 19th May 2003 15:17 UTC

After dealing with several buggy compilers, a major libc switch, a binary format change, a switch to shadowed password files, a switch to pam, a switch in directory layout, several changes of init, a host of unstable kernels and more, I will never, ever, ever build my own distribution from source again.

I want nice tested binaries built in electromagnetically shielded rooms on machines with ECC memory so that there is little to no chance my machine becomes 90% unusuable and I have to reinstall the whole thing over again. I don't have time to go tweaking every little configuration setting and verifying my last upgrade left my machine in a stable position.

And I sure as hell wouldn't use this in a corporate environment. That would be plain irresponsible.

Then again, maybe I'm just old enough to remember all the pain of recompiling everything over and over and over and over. It never stops. The constant crunching of your hard drive just sucking its already low life time away. Your CPU drawing maximum power causing your power bill to go up $20/month. Your PSU straining because every damn component in your system is asking for more power.

Never again.

RE: Building distrbutions is bad news
by chazwurth on Mon 19th May 2003 17:27 UTC

Well, I figure I make up for the electric bill with the insane heat my CPU puts out, warming my room to toasty perfection...err, wait, it's not winter anymore, dammit...

Gentoo thoughts from a N00B
by GMFTatsujin on Mon 19th May 2003 18:12 UTC

I'd considered using a Linux distro for about 2 years. I tried Red Hat and Mandrake, and while they installed and ran fine, I just wasn't satisfied with them somehow, because all the terminology was alien to me. I didn't understand what all the main folders did (/etc, /usr, /bin, and so on) because I never had to touch them... until something went wrong that there wasn't a GUI utility with which to fix the problem. It seems to me that Red Hat, Mandrake and the like all seem to shield the user from having to know anything, assuming that there'd be some system admin floating around my home to fix what I'd screwed up during install and configuration. At that point, I would have to go dredging around, blindly following outdated HOW-TOs and half-guessed support suggestions from the message boards.

In short, I felt as out of control and ignorant of the OS's inner workings as I did while using Windows 2K and XP. Which was precisely the reason I wanted to leave those systems behind!

Gentoo came along and I figured I'd give it a shot. I figured I'd be in for a nightmare of compilation options, make cleans, five-line-long command line entries, and other nuts-n-bolts hassle, but I thought that if I survived, I'd come out with some really useful knowledge.

I'm surprised and delighted at how close Gentoo gets me to the heart of my system without actually having to be a cardiologist (to extend a stretched metaphor). I don't consider Gentoo to be a r33t distro at all -- what it succeeded in doing was to show me the relationships between all the parts that make up my system without actually putting me to work at repetitive tasks like "make configure", chasing down dependencies, and all that.

Gentoo is a great learning tool. I describe what kind of system I want in strokes of arbitrary granularity, explore what kind of functionality I want, bring apps up, wipe apps out, and generally tinker without fear of blowing my machine up by forgetting some stupid detail, by forgetting which GUI tool I need for a particular configuration task (and hoping it has the options I'm looking for), or by typoing a command line option.

All in all, I've now got a reasonably powerful and useful computer. And I even know how it *works*. Which means I can probably figure out what went wrong if it breaks. I never had that experience with Red Hat or Mandrake, and certainly not with Windows2K or XP. Gentoo is beautiful. Gentoo has given me confidence in Linux and in OSS in general. Long live the G!

Customize and tweak
by digitalb0y on Mon 19th May 2003 19:05 UTC

yep nothing like i386 optimized binaries created on someone else's computer not even Optimized for Athlon-XP My Processor.

I dont kow what compliler your using but gcc 3.3 works great. Most all computers (made in the last two years) use ECC memmory, unless there really cheap. I like gentoo so much I have it on two of my pc's Athlon XP 1900 and Dual P2-400mhz even the 400mhz is extremely fast. Most Bianary apps aren't compiled for SMP, so when I compile my stuff using SMP it fully utilizes both proccessors.

I used to be a BIG redhat fan for years (I'm still using an Customized Redhat kernel on my AthlonXP Gentoo Box) But I hated RPM's and there damn dependances. Thats where Gentoo , Debian and others Shine! It's truely an great minimalist distro, with out all the clutter.