Linked by Eugenia Loli on Thu 4th Dec 2003 20:45 UTC
Gentoo "When I mentioned to a friend that I was going to install Debian on a system so I could learn more about Linux, he suggested I try the Gentoo distribution." Read the review at LinuxJournal.
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Unable to read article
by C. J. Reynolds on Thu 4th Dec 2003 20:56 UTC

When I clicked on the link in the writeup it states:
'Unable to select database'.

RE: Unable to read article
by Eugenia on Thu 4th Dec 2003 21:03 UTC

Retry later. They seem to have probs atm.

Gentoo indeed is quite the distro
by Anonymous on Thu 4th Dec 2003 21:14 UTC

I'm not saying that Gentoo is the best distro for everyone, it's main for experianced Linux/Unix people, who have a good feel for what they are doing and don't feel threatened by a CLI, though there have been complete new people who have gotten Gentoo up an running with some assistance.

I use to use a few different distros, Red Hat, Mandrake, SuSE, and Slackware. Once I blew up my computer, I did read about Gentoo, and I thought it was a cool distribution, and I figured I'd try it myself when I got my Quad Xeon machine built. So I downloaded the ISO from a mirror, and booted up the Live CD. I started from a Stage 3 install, and I didn't really know what I was doing. I did follow the manual, I didn't pick the best of cflags(they were more conservative for my taste), but none the less I installed it. Well, I most definatley installed it incorrectly. I wouldn't boot. I felt after that experiance to do a little more research into the appropriate cflags for my system, so once again I booted the LiveCD, and followed the instructions. This time it was a little smoother of an operation than it had been previously. The installed booted up, and I was set. So far after that time I had installed Gentoo about 2 times, mainly because I got new SCSI drives, and I broke it once. It wasn't because Gentoo was too bleeding-edge, it was a mistake I made.

It's been quite a long while since I've used Linux. I belive the last version of Linux that I used on a daily basis was Slackware version 3.4 or something like that. I think at tha time I was using Linux kernel version 2.0.35 or something like that.

At that point was when I tried FreeBSD version 2.2.2 which gave me alot of problems at first, but it was highly recomended to me by a MIT student. Eventually, I got it to install and everything. Since then I gave up using Slackware Linux and used FreeBSD as my server and workstation.

I know find myself in a position where it would probably be advantageous to learn Linux once again. Although, this is a task I'm not really looking forward to since I'm such an avid FreeBSD fan. Although, I do what I must.

I too have chosen to give Gentoo a try only because I read that it's very BSD-like. I don't know how true that is though. I've also read that it has something similar to the FreeBSD ports tree and that most things are configured by hand just like FreeBSD (unlike other distributions where they use tools to hide how things are configured).

I figure this would be a good way to reintroduce myself to Linux. Then perhaps I can move onto distributions such as RedHat. I mention RedHat only becuase that is what IBM seems to be standardizing on and IBM products are the sole reason why I'm willing to give Linux another shot.

I hope I'm making the right decision on distribution. We'll see how things go.

v Religion
by Boris on Thu 4th Dec 2003 21:51 UTC
RE: Religion
by sjlinux on Thu 4th Dec 2003 22:01 UTC

After using RedHat for many years (since 4.1), and then finding out what they were up to, I needed to find a new distro. I tried them all, and had a few unfortunate attempts at Gentoo. I think it is a great distro, and I wouldn't put it down, but Debian has been my GOD, and Gentoo, my Jesus Christ (I hold no affiliations with any known religions) ;)

But it is a religious finding to find the right distro.

still down
by none on Thu 4th Dec 2003 22:12 UTC

Just giving people a count down. Still down as of 4:00 pm (central us) or -600 gmt. I think the gmt is correct.

RE: still down
by Anonymous Coward on Thu 4th Dec 2003 22:14 UTC

It's now 4:10 PM CST (-600 gmt) and it works just fine...

v Hmm
by df on Thu 4th Dec 2003 22:22 UTC
RE: Hmm
by Anonymous on Thu 4th Dec 2003 22:23 UTC

Have they fixed their hacked rsync server yet?

No, they haven't. They are waiting for you to troll more.

Honest question
by df on Thu 4th Dec 2003 22:31 UTC

It was an honest question. I haven't heard any followups here or Slashdot. Did they find out who did it? They said they had file integrity checkers and logs.

RE: RE: still down
by AcidTripp on Thu 4th Dec 2003 22:36 UTC

4:26PM CST and I can't log onto the page.

On a completely different note,
I started using linux RIGHT before Slackware 8.0 came out, and I was very satisfied with it.
Later, my friends started to experiment with freeBSD, and I decided that I might as well toy around with it, also. I ended up using it as my desktop machine until about 6 months ago.
Nearly every one of my friends (and myself) all HATE 99% of the linux distros on the market (Collectivly, we've tried SuSe, RedHat, Debian, Sorcerer, Slackware, and Mandrake, among many others that I don't even think are around anymore), but each and every one of us now have at least some respect for Gentoo.
It's everything that we want for a desktop system: The ability to have a minimal ammount of software installed, while still being able to have the "bleeding-edge" from linux.
Don't get me wrong, I would NEVER run a server on anything but a BSD (They are still my love), but gentoo provides the best windows replacement for a desktop (coming from a BSD standpoint, anyway) that we've found.
New software is put into portage on a daily basis, and it's cake to upgrade (emerge sync && emerge -u world). And, if you're anything like me, and have a few extra computers lying around, setting up distcc makes the compile times negligable.

Final Verdict:
Gentoo on the desktop, for it's ease of use.
(Open|Net|Free|Dragonfly)BSD on the server for it's rock-hard stability.

RE: Honest Question
by AcidTripp on Thu 4th Dec 2003 22:42 UTC

Yes, check the gentoo main page.
The exploit is fixed in rsync version 2.5.7

Gentoo is pretty nice
by The Chief on Thu 4th Dec 2003 23:20 UTC

I started out with linux a few years ago, did the typical Mandrake and Redhat installs and was pretty disapointed at how hard it was to do normal, every-day tasks in linux (coming from windows) I gave it another go about 6 months ago with slackware and had alot more luck, built a few servers with it and it is rock solid. A friend told me about Gentoo about 3 months ago and since then my home and work machines are both running it. I mean anyone that has dealt with package management hell will really appreciate portage.
Plus once a bug is found in something, the Gentoo guys post an ebuild within like 2 hours to fix it. I would recommend it highly, if you can get past the really really nasty long install, it is great. The documentation is as good at the article says.

Give another try
by Anonymous on Thu 4th Dec 2003 23:29 UTC

I tried it like 2-3 months ago, found it took too long to install, and compiling stuff takes too long to be used on my production system...

But I think I will give it another try later.

The main concern that I have is that there is no books that I know of on Gentoo... I know there are online docs and the forums, but sometimes things are just clearer on books.

RE: Give another try
by Anonymous on Thu 4th Dec 2003 23:31 UTC

The main concern that I have is that there is no books that I know of on Gentoo... I know there are online docs and the forums, but sometimes things are just clearer on books.

http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/handbook/handbook.xml

RE: RE: Give another try
by Anonymous on Thu 4th Dec 2003 23:43 UTC

"The main concern that I have is that there is no books that I know of on Gentoo... I know there are online docs and the forums, but sometimes things are just clearer on books.

http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/handbook/handbook.xml "

Yea, I know there are many docs out there, but I think I need a book sometimes rather than a manual.

My Experince
by Josh on Thu 4th Dec 2003 23:55 UTC

Well I tried to install Gentoo 1.4rc4 a little while ago and was unsuccesful(im pretty sure I goofed on the bootloader). Since then, Ive gone from:

Mandrake -> Fedora -> Slackware 9.1

Right now, im pretty happy with slackware but im extremly curious about gentoo.Maybe ill give it another try over the weekend.

Question
by Josh on Thu 4th Dec 2003 23:59 UTC

Does anyone know appromiantly how long it would take to install gentoo if I chose to start at Stage1? I have an AMDXP-2200+

RE:Question
by Anonymous on Fri 5th Dec 2003 00:03 UTC

Does anyone know appromiantly how long it would take to install gentoo if I chose to start at Stage1? I have an AMDXP-2200+

It depends. You'd get a basic system up in 3-4 hours. By basic I mean no X or DE. Then hence forth it depends on the DE you choose.

Typically, almost everyone I know screws up on the first install. So dedicate a weekend to the installation of gentoo. But if you are really meticulous and you follow the manual line for line, I'd say you'd be done in 6 hours.

Re: Question
by trumpetmic on Fri 5th Dec 2003 00:11 UTC

For a nice multimedia/web/fluxbox desktop, it took my XP2000/512MB/DMA133/Nforce2 system approximately two days to compile from stage 1. That was an installation I performed well after I had already begun to understand the installation process with my hardware. If you counted my previous learning curve time, you could say it took a few weeks! But of course it was all worth it.

Re: Question append
by trumpetmic on Fri 5th Dec 2003 00:14 UTC

I should also mention that I used a LOT of USE flags. Since I don't understand all of the depends and USE's for all the programs and options I want, I tend to USE too many! I think the more USE flags, the longer the comile-time, right?

wierd gentoo install problems
by thrift on Fri 5th Dec 2003 00:18 UTC

The last 2 systems i've tried to install gentoo on I've had to start from a stage2, because the stage 1 is seemingly insane. I've tried installing on a Pentium 4 laptop and a athlon xp 1800+, and on both the systems during bootstrap I've had significant problems installing, ending up with gcc segfaulting during compile and malloc something or other redefined errors. Even when starting from stage 2 installing kde has been nothing short of bloody insane, when emerging the first time, something will go wrong, i'll emerge sync, try again, get a new error, then just try again without changing anything will have it complete successfully.

Also, I've been generally annoyed at how some of the ebuilds have been trying to replace config files that would seem to have no need to be modified, such as /etc/fstab, which can quickly make the system unbootbable.

The init scripts on Gentoo are terrible too, what's so wrong with Slackware's BSD style init, where you don't have to create this terribly bloated and slow loading init system, gentoo's init system just creates another world of dependency problems and confusion.

When I first started using Gentoo everything was rock solid, it seems like since then things have gone down hill, and that really needs to change. I'd really like to see a nice mix of gentoo's portage and slackware's distro.

Not everything's bad with gentoo though, I've got it on a couple people's computers that really don't know much of the first thing about computers, but after it's up and configured they can remember how to open a term, su, and install whatever they need, and that takes a lot of tech support off my back.

Portage really is great, they just need to stabilize it and make the install a little dumbed down, there's no reason i should have to manually add metalog or fcron during install, when the system could simply ask me which one logger and cron i'd like and then run the two commands each manually. Same with the init system there is just no reason for it to be the big bloated system it is. Well I doubt i'll get it, but that's my wishlist...until then, my eyes are still pealed for a distro that's a mix of slack and gentoo

Sweet
by Josh on Fri 5th Dec 2003 00:20 UTC

thanx for the quick respsones fellas.

Should I?
by Fredrik on Fri 5th Dec 2003 00:29 UTC

I used to run gentoo for a couple of months or so a while ago. Then i needed to reinstall everything because of a disk change and ended up with Fedora. I'm really happy with it and i wouldn't think of replacing it, but i need to swap a disk again ;) So i will need to reinstall again (yeah i know you can do that without reinstalling but it's just easier), and i'm thinking of giving gentoo another try.
The thing is i had some problems with it. Looong compile times for C++ programs (mozilla took a day, KDE took more than a week). I never heard of any binary packages except those in the GRP, but that didn't seem to well integrated with portage. How does it work?
Also, the GNOME i compiled (from portage) was extremely buggy. Gentoo has a reputation for beeing stable, and everything else worked perfectly, so i wonder if this was just because it was an early version (first release of 2.4.0).

Maybe i should just stop bitching and go ahead and do it. My fedora CDs will still be around "just in case" ;) ....


RE:wierd gentoo install problems
by Anonymous on Fri 5th Dec 2003 00:40 UTC

I really didn't get what exactly the problem you are facing is. You seem to get Gentoo working on other peoples computers but not yours? If you tried posting in detail the problem you are encountering on the forums, I'm sure someone would help you out. And finally, Gentoo's init system is the cleanest I've seen in any distro. What exactly is bloated about it?

RE: wierd gentoo install problems
by thrift on Fri 5th Dec 2003 01:20 UTC

Gentoo is on my personal system and has been since way back on 1.4-RC1 or so, on my computer, it is mainly fine. My problem is with Gentoo 1.4 on two other peoples systems, one that i built and has run several distros, and the other being a dell laptop that ran win xp, redhat 9, and now gentoo 1.4. I don't have any information on what the problems being caused are anymore, but as i have another system to install on in about a week I'm sure I will run into the exact same problem again. A brief synopsis of my problem, is that on the laptop me and another experienced gentoo user seperately tried to install on it from stage 1 and both of us got compile errors during bootstrapping from stage 1, namely the compiler segfaulting with a message about malloc....when i looked up this message in google I got I think 2 non-gentoo related hits and could not solve the problem. Starting from stage2 on the laptop solved the problem. On the desktop system I built for someone else, I also ran into the exact same problem, but after resolving it in the same manner, when kde went to be compiled there were random errors everywhere, and compiling it was just hell(the other experienced gentoo user installed way back at Gentoo 1.2 on his main machine and has still not been able to get qt to installed properly on his machine)...Being these machines have two seperate types of processors and really nothing in common other than the segfault, I think this is non-system specific, and I imagine a lot of people have been having the same type of problems. #gentoo on IRC gave no help whatsoever, just a lot of people assuming the problem was simple things it was not. And I really wasn't about to go and use the forums if i couldn't get first hand help or recognition of the problem. Both of these machines were attempted within the last month and a half.

Gentoo's init system is certainly not what I would call clean, to find out what you need to start the init script you want involves tracing like 20 init files back and realizing you need a script to start before another is invoked somewhere within the giant shell script /sbin/rc...during times like this i just give up and edit /sbin/rc or during a simple thing needed on startup /etc/conf.d/local.start ... which of course was hard enough to find with all other real inits hiding in /etc/init.d, but actually getting started by default in /etc/runlevels/default, which is just too much to sift through...for a server these kind of inits might serve some kind of convolted purpose, but for a desktop all this is just confusing and retarted, and I don't know why anyone would use gentoo for a server. Slackware's BSD style init scripts are infinitely better than these, and even redhat's mess is considerably better(but redhat has a need for these inits....because it's used for servers).

What is bloated about these init scripts is how unneccesarly complex they are. Having to run depscan.sh after adding an init script is testament to how bloated this is. Also, considering my system is much faster with Gentoo on it, in general usage, than slackware, but slower during boot up than a similarly trimmed down slackware system I have to assume that the init scripts are the reason for this, as well as some of the uncommon things the init system does, such as "*Caching serive dependencies" which takes forever. Even adding a netcard that requires pcmcia in a working way without receiving 100 failures on startup and shutdown is a difficult thing to do. Another problem with the Gentoo init system, is that some init scripts are just missing, for instance if i use mkfs.xfs to create an xfs partition, emerge the xfs utilitys, and add the xfs partition to /etc/fstab it will never be properly checked, although a ext3 file system would be, this is a place the gentoo scripts do terrible, because if your filesystem goes out, you are going to need boot off the gentoo cdrom to fix it...everytime...which is terribly terribly annoying.

Gentoo needs to restabalize, remove those disgusting inits, and make the install instructions small enough to not make my printer run out of ink, which would be a lot easier just to add a very minimilistic and non-intrusive installer to the system as an option. Maybe an installer that reports bugs, cause they certainly need it.

RE: wierd gentoo install problems
by Anonymous on Fri 5th Dec 2003 02:04 UTC

Gentoo is on my personal system and has been since way back on 1.4-RC1 or so, on my computer, it is mainly fine. My problem is with Gentoo 1.4 on two other peoples systems, one that i built and has run several distros, and the other being a dell laptop that ran win xp, redhat 9, and now gentoo 1.4. I don't have any information on what the problems being caused are anymore, but as i have another system to install on in about a week I'm sure I will run into the exact same problem again. A brief synopsis of my problem, is that on the laptop me and another experienced gentoo user seperately tried to install on it from stage 1 and both of us got compile errors during bootstrapping from stage 1, namely the compiler segfaulting with a message about malloc....when i looked up this message in google I got I think 2 non-gentoo related hits and could not solve the problem. Starting from stage2 on the laptop solved the problem. On the desktop system I built for someone else, I also ran into the exact same problem, but after resolving it in the same manner, when kde went to be compiled there were random errors everywhere, and compiling it was just hell(the other experienced gentoo user installed way back at Gentoo 1.2 on his main machine and has still not been able to get qt to installed properly on his machine)...Being these machines have two seperate types of processors and really nothing in common other than the segfault, I think this is non-system specific, and I imagine a lot of people have been having the same type of problems. #gentoo on IRC gave no help whatsoever, just a lot of people assuming the problem was simple things it was not. And I really wasn't about to go and use the forums if i couldn't get first hand help or recognition of the problem. Both of these machines were attempted within the last month and a half.

Your problem is certainly unique. Can you give your hardware specifications and what Cflags you were using. Unfortunately, I can't help because I don't know the exact errors/problems you are having. And quite frankly, I've never seen these problems before. I encourage to join the forums and write a detailed report on what is wrong. I'm sure some experienced hands will be their to help you.

Gentoo's init system is certainly not what I would call clean, to find out what you need to start the init script you want involves tracing like 20 init files back and realizing you need a script to start before another is invoked somewhere within the giant shell script /sbin/rc...during times like this i just give up and edit /sbin/rc or during a simple thing needed on startup /etc/conf.d/local.start ... which of course was hard enough to find with all other real inits hiding in /etc/init.d, but actually getting started by default in /etc/runlevels/default, which is just too much to sift through...for a server these kind of inits might serve some kind of convolted purpose, but for a desktop all this is just confusing and retarted, and I don't know why anyone would use gentoo for a server. Slackware's BSD style init scripts are infinitely better than these, and even redhat's mess is considerably better(but redhat has a need for these inits....because it's used for servers).

???

Gentoo has 3 runlevels, boot, default and nonetwork. Why on earth are you editing init files? This is not Slackware. The init files are not meant to be edited. To add a service to the default runlevel, you use the rc scripts e.g.

rc-update add xdm default or;
rc-update add hdparm default or;
rc-update add alsasound boot or;
rc-update add postfix default etc.

To remove services from the runlevels you use the same scripts e.g.

rc-update del xdm or;
rc-update del hdparm or;
rc-update del fam etc.

No need to edit init files!!!!


What is bloated about these init scripts is how unneccesarly complex they are. Having to run depscan.sh after adding an init script is testament to how bloated this is. Also, considering my system is much faster with Gentoo on it, in general usage, than slackware, but slower during boot up than a similarly trimmed down slackware system I have to assume that the init scripts are the reason for this, as well as some of the uncommon things the init system does, such as "*Caching serive dependencies" which takes forever. Even adding a netcard that requires pcmcia in a working way without receiving 100 failures on startup and shutdown is a difficult thing to do. Another problem with the Gentoo init system, is that some init scripts are just missing, for instance if i use mkfs.xfs to create an xfs partition, emerge the xfs utilitys, and add the xfs partition to /etc/fstab it will never be properly checked, although a ext3 file system would be, this is a place the gentoo scripts do terrible, because if your filesystem goes out, you are going to need boot off the gentoo cdrom to fix it...everytime...which is terribly terribly annoying.

You need the right kernel to run xfs. Not all kernels support it. Only a few do. You also need to compile xfs into the kernel to get that working.

Gentoo needs to restabalize, remove those disgusting inits, and make the install instructions small enough to not make my printer run out of ink, which would be a lot easier just to add a very minimilistic and non-intrusive installer to the system as an option. Maybe an installer that reports bugs, cause they certainly need it.

I don't think you understand Gentoo's init system. I don't see why you have to go around editing init files or looking for dependencies. There's absolutely no need for that. I provided a link on Gentoo's init system. Read it and perhaps your misconceptions about gentoo's init system will be cleared.

http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/rc-scripts.xml

RE: wierd gentoo install problems
by thrift on Fri 5th Dec 2003 02:36 UTC

>Your problem is certainly unique. Can you give your hardware specifications and what Cflags you were using. Unfortunately, I can't help because I don't know the exact errors/problems you are having. And quite frankly, I've never seen these problems before. I encourage to join the forums and write a detailed report on what is wrong. I'm sure some experienced hands will be their to help you.

I'm not sure they are so unique, this has only been occuring with the isntallations i've seen in the last month. For the laptop the hardware is obviously not oncommon, it was a dell inspiron something or other, 2800 i believe, and the cflags were very non-aggressive, pretty much default with -march=pentium-4. For the other system it was athlon xp 1800+, ABIT AT7 MAX2, geforce2 MX. No uncommon hardware, fairly agressive cflags: CFLAGS="-O2 -march=athlon-xp -pipe -fno-strength-reduce -ffast-math -fexpensive-
optimizations -funroll-loops". When I go to install next week, I'm sure i'll recieve the same errors, not a doubt in my mind, perhaps I will go to the forums this time, not that i don't know how to hack around the problem now, but the idea is, there shouldn't be any problem.

>No need to edit init files!!!!
unless of course you need to CREATE AN INIT FILE, let's say for firewire drives that use the sbp-2 protocol, tv cards, audio adjustments....and you still need to edit some, let's say localmount to work properly with xfs, or moving gdm to a place where it ends up loading X a lot faster. For these things rc-update is only usefull after creating an init script, and before this is when gentoo's init system plainly fails.

>You need the right kernel to run xfs. Not all kernels support it. Only a few do. You also need to compile xfs into the kernel to get that working.

This issue is not kernel specific, although it would be nice if gentoos default kernel would come up with xfs support. Considering the install cd kernel has support for xfs and the install cd has xfsutils, you would think their default kernel sources would. This is simply localmount or whichever init script's fault: not having the ability to properly check and repair a corrupted xfs filesystem. Trust me, I've resolved it on my system.....after lots of getting to know all about gentoo's init system.

> I don't think you understand Gentoo's init system. I don't see why you have to go around editing init files or looking for dependencies. There's absolutely no need for that. I provided a link on Gentoo's init system. Read it and perhaps your misconceptions about gentoo's init system will be cleared.

Hopefully your misconcenceptions about exactly how one might need to spend a large session editing init files have been resolved. And if you would ever get this intimate with the init system, I think you would discover that it is a terribly disgusting mess.

RE: wierd gentoo install problems
by shurik on Fri 5th Dec 2003 03:29 UTC

For the laptop the hardware is obviously not oncommon, it was a dell inspiron something or other, 2800 i believe, and the cflags were very non-aggressive, pretty much default with -march=pentium-4.

I think that -march=pentium-4 isn't completely reliable at the moment. In general, since you are compiling the system, you have to pay attention to compiler flags - some optimizations just make some packages break (for example, alsa 1.0 rc is known for this).

Another problem with the Gentoo init system, is that some init scripts are just missing, for instance if i use mkfs.xfs to create an xfs partition, emerge the xfs utilitys, and add the xfs partition to /etc/fstab it will never be properly checked, although a ext3 file system would be

Edit /etc/init.d/checkfs and /etc/init.d/checkroot (the names should have been a hint ;) . I had to do it because a year ago, the default versions didn't work with fsck.reiserfs properly.

Gentoo needs to restabalize

True. Portage isn't the most reliable of package management systems (fortunately, portage-ng is being designed), and sometimes packages are marked as stable before they ought to be.

remove those disgusting inits

Dunno... On the one hand, being able to add new runlevels with human-readable names is great. The explicit dependency information is also nice if you want to use something like make to launch init scripts in parallel (read about it in gentoo forums). Then again, writing your own init scripts should be made easier.

make the install instructions small enough to not make my printer run out of ink

Back when I installed gentoo, all the install docs came with the LiveCD (and I am sure they still do). Just use one virtual console to read documentation, and the other one to compile.

Wow, some friend
by Erwos on Fri 5th Dec 2003 04:55 UTC

Some friends this guy has, eh? "I want to learn Linux on the second-hardest distro."

"Oh, no, you've got to do it with the HARDEST distro!"

For the love of G-d, if you want to introduce someone to Linux, give them RedHat/Fedora or SuSE. Please don't force people through the horror of a Debian or Gentoo install. It makes us all look like idiot zealots.

-Erwos

USE flag
by swilly on Fri 5th Dec 2003 04:58 UTC

first off, I believe that your USE flag is wrong. Try -march=pentium4 (note there is not a dash in pentium4) it has been running rock solid on my machine for some time now even on the test kernels.

RE: wierd gentoo install problems
by thrift on Fri 5th Dec 2003 05:10 UTC

>I think that -march=pentium-4 isn't completely reliable at the moment. In general, since you are compiling the system, you have to pay attention to compiler flags - some optimizations just make some packages break (for example, alsa 1.0 rc is known for this).

I am sure that the flags on the laptop and the athlon system may have contributed to the errors i was getting, but shouldn't the packages that don't work with certain flags know better than to try to compile with these flags? It just seems strange that if there are known issues with certain flags and packages emerge would try to compile those packages with aggresive flags. Obviously one of the main advantages of gentoo is the speed the system gains from optimizations, i'm sure there are packages that break for almost every flag out there, it doesn't seem like a reasonable solution to let the system go unoptimized because of this, I don't claim to have solutions for this, but this seems like a major problem to me, shouldn't ebuilds have informations on what flags NOT to use? do they already and are just poorly implemented?

>>Another problem with the Gentoo init system, is that some init scripts are just missing, for instance if i use mkfs.xfs to create an xfs partition, emerge the xfs utilitys, and add the xfs partition to /etc/fstab it will never be properly checked, although a ext3 file system would be
>Edit /etc/init.d/checkfs and /etc/init.d/checkroot (the names should have been a hint ;) . I had to do it because a year ago, the default versions didn't work with fsck.reiserfs properly.

Yes the names were a hint, and I did eventually fix this problem on my system, yet it seems like another thing that should have already been done for me, if my filesystem root is xfs, obsiously checkroot should not try to check it as an ext3 system, how hard is it for the checkroot script to check /etc/fstab to see what filesystem a partition is before trying to mount it? It really sucks to build someone a system, install on it, then have them calling cause their root filesystem won't mount, just because an init script is poorly constructed. This would be diffrent if I was trying to install on some uncommon filesystem, but xfs is in Linux 2.6 by default now, and the Gentoo install cdrom comes with an xfs enabled kernel and xfs utilitys. It seems like a trick or a trap that is just so easy to fix and makes a broad statement about the quality of the Gentoo Distrobution and default init scripts.

>>make the install instructions small enough to not make my printer run out of ink
>Back when I installed gentoo, all the install docs came with the LiveCD (and I am sure they still do). Just use one virtual console to read documentation, and the other one to compile.

I didn't seriously print out the Gentoo Linux Install Instructions, what I do mean to say is there is just too much stuff there that could be done automatically or that a simple installer could walk a person through. Simple things like setting up the network, formatting the filesystem, going through the stages, setting the hostname, editing fstab, installing a system logger and cron daemon....these all are ussually done in a certain order, and if you forget one you could mess up an entire system, so the install is slowed down by double and triple checking that everything that needs to be done has been done. I think a trimmed down version of a slackware like installer would go a long way toward making a curious user be able to install gentoo, and allowing those of us who do it all the time to get it done quickly and without missing any easy steps. This could also allow the whole installation to go hands free earlier by getting information for some steps before they are neccesary. I'm not saying this would have to be a default install method, but at least a way of doing it.

>>remove those disgusting inits
>Dunno... On the one hand, being able to add new runlevels with human-readable names is great. The explicit dependency information is also nice if you want to use something like make to launch init scripts in parallel (read about it in gentoo forums). Then again, writing your own init scripts should be made easier.
Making it easier for custom init scripts definately needs to improve, and if they plan to use make to load services in parallell, then let's get it implimented, boot time in gentoo might get a lot better. If i didn't have to constantly edit gentoo init scripts, make my own gentoo type init scripts, and have a slow boot up due to the init system, I could care less how they do the init system, but right now the bad of the Gentoo init system is sticking out like a sore thumb. Make an easy way for users to insert there own init's before or after an init script without having to go through the standard complexitys, make the init scripts that do come with Gentoo actually do what they are supposed to, if the gentoo init system is so great, show it by lacing it with make and get the system booting services in parallell and booting faster. That's what I want from the init system, if those issues are resolved I'll stop bitching about it, until then, Slackware's init system just mops the floor with Gentoo's.

RE: USE flag
by thrift on Fri 5th Dec 2003 05:15 UTC

>first off, I believe that your USE flag is wrong. Try -march=pentium4 (note there is not a dash in pentium4) it has been running rock solid on my machine for some time now even on the test kernels.

I just went off the top of my head, whichever the correct -march=for_pentium_fours is, is what i had for the flags, I was just giving an example, not a qoute from make.conf...the athlon on the other hand, that is GPMed right from the make.conf. If you've been running solid that's great, my main Gentoo system is too, but these ones i've installed in the last month and a half haven't been solid during the install, after i start from stage2 they are rock solid too, but that's not the problem.

Gentoo
by Wally on Fri 5th Dec 2003 05:18 UTC

Is Gentoo better than Suse Linux?

Coll Linux Gentoo
by mudrii on Fri 5th Dec 2003 06:18 UTC

I Love Gentoo Linux and wish to see portage-ng as soon as posible and catalist, than Gentoo will be coolest Distribution on the net. ;)

Yep is much better, is about the diferent way of thinking.

RE: wierd gentoo install problems
by shurik on Fri 5th Dec 2003 06:26 UTC

this seems like a major problem to me, shouldn't ebuilds have informations on what flags NOT to use? do they already and are just poorly implemented?

The ebuilds do have that information and sometimes remove aggressive flags (look at the gcc ebuilds). However, it seems not all ebuilds are as well-maintained as gcc (for obvious reasons).

I think a trimmed down version of a slackware like installer would go a long way toward making a curious user be able to install gentoo, and allowing those of us who do it all the time to get it done quickly and without missing any easy steps

But then, it would be harder for gentoo users to claim they are running the most macho linux distribution, wouldn't it?

if those issues are resolved I'll stop bitching about it, until then, Slackware's init system just mops the floor with Gentoo's.

Slackware (init scripts et al) was designed to be hacked at. Gentoo... well, gentoo tries to be everything: easy to hack at, easy to use, fast, customizable, and doing everything in a more logical way than braindead 20-year old Unix conventions dictate. Of course it can feel raw around the edges. Some of the internals do look like more of a proof of concept than a final product. It is amazing to me that it works great for the vast majority of its users.

Things are improving. Within the few last months, gentoo implemented herds, ebuild metadata, a new organization for web services, a handbook, and is starting the package-ng project (which will be the best package management system on the planet). My guess is that it's evolving much faster than any other major distro. If you want to make init scripts better - submit a glep, and I am sure your contributions will be welcomed.

Gentoo hard to install?
by wilburpan on Fri 5th Dec 2003 06:41 UTC

Regarding the supposed difficulty in installing Gentoo for an "average" user, consider this:

I installed Gentoo alongside Win98 on my work laptop, and am able to access the network at work for printing and accessing files on the server.

Why is this so great? First, I work at a major academic medical center (I'm a pediatrician), and I am using Gentoo for all of my work needs. I am one of the few non-Windows users at work (some of the other docs have Macs), and I am sure that I am the only Linux user.

If this doesn't show that Windows can be replaced in the corporate arena, I don't know what will.

Second, my computer background consists solely of programming in BASIC and Pascal on an Apple II+ back when I was in high school. Even so, I managed to install Gentoo with very little support from my IT department -- all I really needed were IP address for the network printers.

If this doesn't show that beginners can install Gentoo, I don't know what will.

Linux Journal
by Steven on Fri 5th Dec 2003 06:53 UTC

For the last hours, I've been unable to access the Linux Journal website. Is it a case of Slashdot or are they experiencing problems with their servers ?

OK Does This Look Right
by Josh on Fri 5th Dec 2003 07:13 UTC

I wrote up a summary of a gentoo install. Does this look about right?

DATE

# date
Thu Feb 27 09:04:42 CST 2003
(If your date is wrong, set your date with this next command:)
# date 022709042003
(date MMDDhhmmCCYY)
--------------------------------------
PARTITION HARDDRIVE

fdisk /dev/hda

------
Disk /dev/hda: 30.0 GB, 30005821440 bytes
240 heads, 63 sectors/track, 3876 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 15120 * 512 = 7741440 bytes

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/hda1 * 1 14 105808+ 83 Linux
/dev/hda2 15 81 506520 82 Linux swap
/dev/hda3 82 3876 28690200 83 Linux
------
Command (m for help): d
Partition number (1-4): 1
*typing p and now it should be empty

Command (m for help): n
Command action
e extended
p primary partition (1-4)
p
Partition number (1-4): 1
First cylinder (1-3876, default 1): (Hit Enter)
Using default value 1
Last cylinder or +size or +sizeM or +sizeK (1-3876, default 3876): +32M

Command (m for help): n
Command action
e extended
p primary partition (1-4)
p
Partition number (1-4): 2
First cylinder (1-3876, default 1): (Hit Enter)
Using default value 1
Last cylinder or +size or +sizeM or +sizeK (1-3876, default 3876): +1024M

type t to set the partition type, 2 to select the partition you just created and then type in 82 to set the partition type to "Linux Swap".

Command (m for help): n
Command action
e extended
p primary partition (1-4)
p
Partition number (1-4): 3
First cylinder (1-3876, default 1): (Hit Enter)
Using default value 1
Last cylinder or +size or +sizeM or +sizeK (1-3876, default 3876): (Hit Enter)

type a at the menu and then type in 1 for the partition number. If you type p now, you'll now see that /dev/hda1 has a * in the "Boot" column. Now, let's write our changes to disk. To do this, type w and hit enter. Your disk partitions are now properly configured for a Gentoo Linux install.

mke2fs /dev/hda1
mkswap /dev/hda2
mkreiserfs /dev/hda3
swapon /dev/hda2
mount /dev/hda3 /mnt/gentoo
mkdir /mnt/gentoo/boot
mount /dev/hda1 /mnt/gentoo/boot
cd /mnt/gentoo
tar -xvjpf /mnt/cdrom/stages/stage3-*.tar.bz2
tar -xvjf /mnt/cdrom/snapshots/portage-yyyymmdd.tar.bz2 -C /mnt/gentoo/usr

cp -R /mnt/cdrom/distfiles /mnt/gentoo/usr/portage/distfiles
cp -a /mnt/cdrom/packages /mnt/gentoo/usr/portage/packages
mount -t proc proc /mnt/gentoo/proc
cp /etc/resolv.conf /mnt/gentoo/etc/resolv.conf
chroot /mnt/gentoo /bin/bash
env-update
source /etc/profile
ln -sf /usr/share/zoneinfo/path/to/timezonefile /etc/localtime
nano -w /etc/fstab

/dev/BOOT /boot ext2 noauto,noatime 1 2
/dev/ROOT / reiserfs noatime 0 1
/dev/SWAP none swap sw 0 0
/dev/cdroms/cdrom0 /mnt/cdrom iso9660 noauto,ro,user 0 0
none /proc proc defaults 0 0

emerge -k sys-kernel/gentoo-sources
merge -k genkernel
genkernel gentoo-sources OR genkernel
emerge -k hotplug
rc-update add hotplug default
emerge -k app-admin/syslog-ng
rc-update add syslog-ng default
emerge -k sys-apps/vcron
rc-update add vcron default
emerge -k reiserfsprogs
passwd
useradd josh -m -G users,wheel,audio -s /bin/bash
passwd josh
echo PhantomAMD > /etc/hostname
echo cablerocket.com > /etc/dnsdomainname
nano -w /etc/hosts

127.0.0.1 localhost PhantomAMD

*PhantomAMD may not be necessary
/etc/modules.autoload.d/kernel-2.4

alias eth0 via-rhine
alias usb-controller usb-uhci
alias usb-controller1 ehci-hcd
alias sound-slot-0 via82cxxx_audio
post-install sound-slot-0 /bin/aumix-minimal -f /etc/.aumixrc -L >/dev/null 2>&1 || :
pre-remove sound-slot-0 /bin/aumix-minimal -f /etc/.aumixrc -S >/dev/null 2>&1 |

nano -w /etc/conf.d/net
set iface_eth0 to dhcp
rc-update add net.eth0 default
nano -w /etc/rc.conf
emerge -k grub
grub

grub> root (hd0,0)
grub> setup (hd0)


ln -s /boot/grub/grub.conf /boot/grub/menu.lst
nano -w /boot/grub/grub.conf

default 0
timeout 30
splashimage=(hd0,0)/boot/grub/splash.xpm.gz

# If you're using genkernel, use something like this instead:
title=My example Gentoo Linux (genkernel)
root (hd0,0)
kernel (hd0,0)/boot/kernel-gk_linux root=/dev/hda3 hdd=ide-scsi
initrd (hd0,0)/boot/initrd-gk_linux


*no spaces in (hd0,0)
*gk_linux might be gentoo-sources


emerge -k xfree
etc-update
exit
cd /
umount /mnt/gentoo/boot
umount /mnt/gentoo/proc
umount /mnt/gentoo
reboot
DONT REMOVE CD
modules-update










portage-ng thesis
by Anonymous on Fri 5th Dec 2003 10:28 UTC

portage-ng is the thesis of some student at an university in brussels. He intends to write it in Prolog. I think when he is finished it will have a very high risk of becoming unmaintained. Right now there is only one person which commits changes into portage which is written in Python (I looked at the changelog to see it's only one person). I think there are more Python developers under Gentoo's users then prolog developers, thus I don't expect the number of portage developers get higher for a system written in prolog. And what portage dearly needs are more developers not less.

I recently got a Dell Inspiron 600m with 1GB RAM. I am quite pleased with the hardware, and I had been toying with installing Linux on it. I've installed SuSE MANY MANY times, and I generally use that distro with my clients. It's not that I don't like SuSE. Not at all. I had heard quite a bit about Gentoo, and I wanted to give it a try. I'd say my experience level is power user, but not sysadmin. Compiling the kernel never really seemed to work out for me.

So, after going back and forth, I decided to give Gentoo 1.4 a try. First, I tried from Stage 1. Yes, I will say, I agree with many posters that the updating to certain files (especially /etc/fstab) is a royal pain in the bottom. However, I just kept my Gentoo install disk handy, and I was able to get back into the drive to fix it, should it happen again. As a Centrino 1.6MHz, I wanted to try and get performance, so I went with --march=pentium4 (even with some instabilities).

Eventually, I had to be faced with the daunting task of patching the kernel. Why? I wanting something with bootsplash (I like cute graphics), updated ACPI, and other laptop oriented features (swsusp). I decided to go with the ac-kernel, as it seemed to have the most patches already there, and at the time, it was 2.4.22. (Some of the ACPI support needed .22) I spent _weeks_ compiling different kernels. Trying different options. Learning about boot ram disks, driver loading, alsa build requirements, pcmcia support (in the kernel or not), radeon framebuffer madness, BCM5700 and driverloader (yes, driverloader from Linuxant) support, VMware, and many other options. That's why my blog has not been updated in about 1 month. ;-) And yes, I must agree, even with my system, it did take quite a bit of time to compile KDE (about 18 hours).

So, why the long story? Because, in the end, I have to say that with Gentoo, I learned a lot. I understand how this Linux thing works--it's no longer just "Not Windows." My laptop performs incredibly fast now, and I've been so impressed with the approach--despite finding a bug in the clisp ebuild ;-) -- that I started to try and read about how to submit ebuilds for other apps I use (like bloxzom or Zend Studio). I have a solid kernel in 2.4.22 with my patches that gives me everything I want right now. When I'm ready, I will not feel so daunted about 2.6. I also now have performance in VMware that rivals the performance I was having under Windows XP! And the DVD support now that I have with Xine and MPlayer is terrific--it runs better than it did under XP as well. It's been a remarkable experience.

Would I clean up the init process? Oh yea! What about being able to add additional components into genkernel, so that when I do that, it also adds the bootsplash image or builds other drivers like alsa or vmware? Sure, I'd look to do that as well.

So, I conclude by saying that if you really want to learn about your system, but you're not quite ready for raw compiles on your own and you want some hand holding around it--to get your feet wet, so to speak--then try Gentoo. You will learn more with Gentoo than with RedHat or SuSE. I have been profoundly pleased. If you try Gentoo, be ready for a wild ride.

. . . tizzyd

malloc error
by Steve Forse on Sat 6th Dec 2003 03:33 UTC

The only time I've ever failed get a basic install of Gentoo to work properly, it was on a friend's computer. Basically, I would try to compile a program and I would get some sort of malloc error (which sounds a lot like Thrift's problem). I ran memtest86 and everything seemed fine, but it kept erroring at random points and in different packages.

Finally, I took out the 128meg stick and everything went smoothly. The strange thing was that I never noticed until I tried to bootstrap Gentoo. I assume that the Windows install was also having issues, but everyone always just attributed to bad programming by Microsoft.

Anyway, that was last summer and the machine is still running Gentoo nicely.