Linked by Eugenia Loli on Mon 22nd Mar 2004 19:55 UTC, submitted by Dave Whitinger
Gentoo This long-term Red Hat Linux user has given an honest look at Gentoo, and has concluded that the stereotypes surrounding this distribution are false. After all these years, he has finally found his new distribution: Gentoo Linux.
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v oh yeah, this dispels myths
by Anonymous on Mon 22nd Mar 2004 20:10 UTC
Good review
by theblob on Mon 22nd Mar 2004 20:14 UTC

He's right - gentoo isn't really that hard. Having a GUI installer in a distro dosn't make it any easier really. And portage truely is the lord of all package management systems.

v RE: Gentoo
by prr56 on Mon 22nd Mar 2004 20:15 UTC
More info on Gentoo
by Abraxas on Mon 22nd Mar 2004 20:16 UTC

That was the first decent review I've seen of Gentoo. One thing that was not emphasized specifically was USE flags. This is one of the main advantages of Gentoo. You get the binary you want because you compile the options in that you want, all through one easily configurable /etc/make.conf file. Another aspect of Gentoo which keeps me around is the layout of the filesystem. It makes things a lot easier. Adding and removing services from runlevels is also a very simple task. Combine that with the minimalism, flexibility, and extensibility that is Gentoo and you have a winner in my book. It's not a distro for everyone though. People with slow machines may not want to compile apps although all my Gentoo machines are well under 1Ghz.

v RE: sweede
by Sesq on Mon 22nd Mar 2004 20:17 UTC
I switched from Gentoo to Fedora
by me on Mon 22nd Mar 2004 20:20 UTC

Gentoo is just a toy distro, it can be fun to tweak and install only the packages you want, with the dependencies you want, but after a while it really gets tiresome to configure all of it manually.

It also has an unhealthy dependency on Python for an important feature like package management. Yes I am aware that Fedora uses Python too, but at least with Fedora I get useful and easy to use GUI configuration tools written in Python. I don't have anything against Python, but making it a part of the base system, when you already have Perl and shell scripting just increases the bloat.

It can also be very difficult to maintain a system with packages from the testing tree (~arch), and I've seen many broken packages. It is also surprisingly outdated - some packages are antiquated, probably because there aren't enough developers.

And finally, the installer (or lack of it) is terrible. The installation is EASY but it involves many steps, all of which have to be performed manually (i.e. extract a tarball with specific parameters, edit fstab etc) which makes it possible for one mistake to trash hours worth of compilation time. An automated installer is badly needed.

Well done sweede
by alspnost on Mon 22nd Mar 2004 20:21 UTC

I'm sure I've read your diatribe somewhere before! That's right, every time there's a Gentoo article on OSnews, you feel compelled to post your anti-Gentoo essay.

Well, whatever works for you mate. Personally, I'm very happy on Gentoo. Not because I'm l33t, or because my machine is faster, or because I love watching GCC output.

Perhaps it's because Gentoo just works, has great forums, a helpful community, excellent documentation, and all the Linux software I need in "pure" form. Unstable? Not that I've ever experienced; besides, there *are* stable and unstable branches, and as of this week, there is also an option to *only* apply security-related updates, rather than updating everything when you resync.

Gentoo actually has a number of new initiatives aimed at server deployment, and I think you'll see a lot of progress on that front soon. Anyway, you obviously had a bad experience with Gentoo, but I doubt it really bothers the tens of thousands of us who love it. Stay chilled ;-)

v To sweede
by not_a_zealot on Mon 22nd Mar 2004 20:22 UTC
RE: Gentoo
by Vis on Mon 22nd Mar 2004 20:24 UTC

I've never understood that hate directed at Gentoo and those who use it. I see a lot of people bashing those you use it, but rarely if ever do I see someone screaming how it's the best and every other distro sucks. I have noticed a lions-share of those who bash it tend to be Debian zealots themselves though. Hmmmm..

In any case, Gentoo is slightly harder to install than other distros, but I promise you the community is the friendliest you'll come accross. If you want to get it installed, you'll get all the help you could ask for and them some. Not 20 people flaming you to RTFM.

Complaints
by Anonymous on Mon 22nd Mar 2004 20:45 UTC

Whenever someone posts about Gentoo the article brings out the trolls. Its like posting a Gnome article the KDE zealots HAVE to then post why their prefered DE is KDE. Blah Blah Blah.

I use Gentoo because I have tried the others and found them wanting, simple as that. Gentoo is a great distro for those of us that DONT want graphic installers etc. Does that mean those that want graphic installers are wrong? nope .. if thats what you want, go use a distro that uses those and stop complaining about a distro that doesnt.

I use it because I love USE, Portage, and I love having a system that doesnt have a gig of software installed that I wont use.

I just reinstalled Gentoo on my machine (new harddrive after the last one decided to die). I tried Fedora (didnt like it) SuSE (HATE THIS DISTRO), Slackware, Debian, Mandrake, Lindows (which wouldnt even install) and FreeBSD. Guess what, I went back to Gentoo because it felt cleaner and faster to me.

All of the above is MY point of view and I dont expect anyone else to share that pov... just stop the bickering over who is right .. there are Billions of people on this planet and no two of us is alike .. so stop asking that every distro conform to some "standard" install or some such .. there is room for all of us in OSS.

Re: hate directed at Gentoo
by ein niemand on Mon 22nd Mar 2004 20:45 UTC

I see a lot of people bashing those you use it, but rarely if ever do I see someone screaming how it's the best and every other distro sucks.

Lol, if i didnt know for sure you werent making a joke here, I'd say you were blind since gentoo's first alpha release.

I've never understood that hate directed at Gentoo and those who propagate it in every single board, at every single occasion, in every single thread, omnipresent like a plague of biblical proportions.

Well, i bet you wouldnt have guessed it, but just because of that. ;-)

RE: Vis
by Anonymous on Mon 22nd Mar 2004 20:49 UTC

Please dont tell me you have never seen pro-Gentoo trolls. There have been quite a few that in almost every software announcement they say how they installed it using portage, promoting breakmygentoo and so forth. Just like any other trolls, they are abundant.

I do think Gentoo is great, and has the possibility of being the next 'Powered By, For and With the Commununity" distro instead of Debian. I think those two are the biggest competitors in the field.

Kinda OT
by Anonymous on Mon 22nd Mar 2004 20:50 UTC

Has anyone checked out UFGentoo.

http://ufgentoo.juzna.net/

Its an easy to install distro based on gentoo. Their also working on a frontend for Portage.

Too bad theres no releases yet.

v They copyed FreeBSD's ports and added Linux's bloat
by BSD_boi on Mon 22nd Mar 2004 20:51 UTC
Gentoo is bleeding edge in nature.
by Dewd on Mon 22nd Mar 2004 20:56 UTC

If you want a patch, you better be prepared to reinstall the application with the bug fixed.
And note that he is using a bare Linux there. Only the minimum packages that make up his server. Some people may want the whole shebang, with X and KDE/Gnome, and that will take a while to compile, no matter if you have the ultimate hardware on your hands.
If you are luck enough to load Gentoo from a binaries CD and keep an unpacthed and not-upgraded system for a while, then it may be worth, as you won't have to compile anything yourself ;)
But a Debian developer said it better on an essay that I don't have the time to find right now...
Anyway, use what you want ;)

'Wonderful' compile system
by Buck on Mon 22nd Mar 2004 21:20 UTC

As always, you happy people with broadband internet forget those who still use the ugly dialup. In some places of the world the broadband is available, but still abnormally expensive. I.e. if you just spend it all on downloading tarballs which may fail, then downloading it all over again and again... Same applies to FreeBSD ports too. What a pain. So enjoy your internet freedom. Compiling is okay, but let's not forget downloading.

If it ain't for you..................
by linuxgrilla on Mon 22nd Mar 2004 21:25 UTC

I am a linux hobbyist, more experienced than a beginner but not to mid level yet. Gentoo is uninstallable for someone at my level, and I take no offense to that whatsoever. IF I could get it installed I would, but right now Suse is more my speed. Why people get offended when distros are too: 1. difficult 2. easy 3. mid-level is beyond me.

Gentoo trolls and Gentoo bashers
by Abraxas on Mon 22nd Mar 2004 21:32 UTC

I definitely see more gentoo-bashing trolls than I see pro-gentoo trolls. I don't consider a gentoo user who extolls the virutes of Gentoo as a troll. I do, however, consider someone who bashes Gentoo constantly, with either outdated or completely wrong assertions, a troll. I do admit some newbies get a little overzealous, but that's more the nature of a satisfied newbie than a Gentoo user. People who have just discovered something they like tend to talk it up.

Most of the time Gentoo users will pipe up because Gentoo does things differently, and much more effectively in some cases. Someone will say something along the lines of "Y doesn't work" or "Z is too hard to do" and a Gentoo user will say "it works in Gentoo and is very easy to do". This happens all the time because many tasks in Gentoo are very easy, and much less complicated than other distros. At least that is my opinion of it. I have used Debian, Redhat, Mandrake, Suse, and Slackware, and the only distro that approaches it is Slackware. This is my opinion but a lot of others share it for the same reasons. Most of it is due to dependecy hassles in other distros.

The biggest upside to Gentoo is that if you want something non-standard on another disto it can be a real hassle. Suse made me want to shoot someone when I tried to install some non-standard mulitmedia libraries. What's the point of having a nice package manager when you can't get the packages you want, and when you do they won't install? Gentoo leaves the choices up to you. Like I said before, it's not for everybody.

Finally, to the poster who somehow manages to exclaim that Python is a bad dependecy to have...on Gentoo, but is fine for Fedora. What point are you trying to make? How can python be a bad thing when used on Gentoo but alright when used on Fedora? You seem to think the graphical utilites make it worthwhile. Well a lot of us who use Gentoo happen to think the utilites included in Gentoo are very nice. They aren't graphical but so what? They are easy to use and for the most part, well documented (gentoolkit, admittedly needs some more documentation).

Right tool for the job
by James on Mon 22nd Mar 2004 21:36 UTC

I like Gentoo on the desktop, the packages are up to date and seem plenty stable. The gentoo-sources kernel is very good at keeping the desktop responsive while the CPU is being pegged by GCC.

I like Debian on servers, the distro is rock solid and the packages don't change much during the life of a particular version. It's easy to get security updates via the console, and I don't need to worry about my server being slow while it's compiling stuff.

-james

RE: Gentoo trolls and Gentoo bashers
by Gabriel Ebner on Mon 22nd Mar 2004 21:43 UTC

> How can python be a bad thing when used on Gentoo but alright when used on Fedora? You seem to think the graphical utilites make it worthwhile.

No, but rpm is written in C -- not in python. The graphical utililities are to some extent unnecessary in my opinion and their removal certainly wouldn't affect rpm.

BTW, I'm a happy gentoo user using VMWare 4.5.1 for days -- right, that's what was posted on OSNews today.

RE: linuxgrilla
by Abraxas on Mon 22nd Mar 2004 21:46 UTC

I am a linux hobbyist, more experienced than a beginner but not to mid level yet. Gentoo is uninstallable for someone at my level, and I take no offense to that whatsoever. IF I could get it installed I would, but right now Suse is more my speed. Why people get offended when distros are too: 1. difficult 2. easy 3. mid-level is beyond me.

I agree with everything you said except one thing. Someone at your level can install Gentoo, for the most part. There are actually quite a few complete newbies who have installed Gentoo. The only problem I think is hardware. If you have a home-built or fairly new system with all kinds of features it may be difficult to set up, because the kernel options are more involved. Other troubles that people run into are related to complex partitioning schemes or finding out the correct drivers to use.

Ebuilds don't use python
by Abraxas on Mon 22nd Mar 2004 21:48 UTC

No, but rpm is written in C -- not in python. The graphical utililities are to some extent unnecessary in my opinion and their removal certainly wouldn't affect rpm

Ebuilds are written in bash. What is your point?

RE: Ebuilds don't use python
by Gabriel Ebner on Mon 22nd Mar 2004 21:54 UTC

> Ebuilds are written in bash. What is your point?

1) I was replying to a post which stated that another post shall have said that python is ok on fedora but not on gentoo.

2) Yes, ebuilds and the utilities they use are written in bash, but I was comparing portage/emerge to rpm (package manager to package manager).

3) My point: rpm is written in C, portage/emerge in python, so I agree with the original post that python's use is a different one on gentoo and on fedora.

Python dependency is a non-issue
by Abraxas on Mon 22nd Mar 2004 22:02 UTC

My point: rpm is written in C, portage/emerge in python, so I agree with the original post that python's use is a different one on gentoo and on fedora.

While that's true there is no point in using Fedora over another rpm distibution without the utilities it provides. So for that you will need Python.

Besides, having Python installed by default compared to everything and the kitchen sink is a tradeoff most people are willing to make. Python is preferable over perl or c or c++ because it is a very easy language to use that anyone can code in. It makes development much faster and much more modular. Basically I think my point is that it is a total non-issue.

You can learn a lot with Gentoo
by Tom on Mon 22nd Mar 2004 22:08 UTC

It's not extraordinarily hard to install Gentoo. I was a Linux beginner when I did it the first time and I learned a lot with this distro. Installation was challenging, I'm not saying it was easy, the lack of experience is a setback, but overall it was possible. Certain things were painful, such as configuring the kerner and then X, but there was no major problem. The community is very nice, you can do a search on the forums or ask.

I'm just trying to point out that those who think they don't have enough Linux experience to be able to install this distro, it might not be true. It's possible to follow the installation guide even if you're not a guru, you just have to print it beforehand. On the other hand, I'm a programmer, which helped of course. It's probably not the right distro for an absolute beginner who has never used Linux in his life.

When you're installing Gentoo you are *forced* to learn, and you can learn much more quickly than with RedHat or SuSE, where you're not forced to learn the low-level details of the system. It helps if you have a friend who can answer your questions. When I was installing Gentoo the first time I was extemely unlucky, because exactly on that day Qt didn't compile, it was broken, and I had a hard time patching it. It's not usual at all that you have problems with the basic packages, or any popular package for that matter.

Don't be turned down just because you heard it was hard. The installation guide seems to be very long, but it's only so because it's full of explanations. You don't have to type more than 100 commands to install a base system, and it's possible to resume a suspended installation later by booting again from the live CD. Also, if your system doesn't boot right awa after installation, it is quite easy to go back and fix it, you don't have redo it from scratch.

If you don't have either a lot of time or a lot of experience, this distro might not be for you. If you don't have DSL or Cable, it's not for you either.

X, Gnome, KDE, and OpenOffice are available as binary packages, so you don't have to compile them from scratch, which saves a *lot* of time. It takes a minute to install from the CD. Otherwise it could take over 24 hours to compile X and KDE from scratch.

nice article
by dukeinlondon on Mon 22nd Mar 2004 22:13 UTC

I know more about Gentoo that I did before so that was worth it. It's not for me though. I've reached the point where I am tired of configuring. A bit of mild configuration is ok but the whole system, not for me.

But it's probably a very viable route for hardware like opterons et al, for which not a lot of distros are available.

RE: Python dependency is a non-issue
by Gabriel Ebner on Mon 22nd Mar 2004 22:14 UTC

> and much more modular.

That doesn't seem to affect portage.

You've got to be kidding me
by Fran Karlmikel on Mon 22nd Mar 2004 22:23 UTC

Is Red Hat actually paying this guy to work for them? I find that hard to believe. He just said that he thinks Gentoo is the best distro for a server. Now I don't really care about people's personal choices, go with the distro you like, but put some thought into writing an article people are actually going to read. A server is supposed to do its job (whatever that is) the best way it can, with the best resource consumption possible. A distro like Gentoo, which periodically stresses the CPU to the max by compiling every new package update, that's the best for a server? Are you kidding me? What happened to "there shouldn't be a compiler in sight on a server?" Sheesh.

Nice machine
by Wee -Jin Goh on Mon 22nd Mar 2004 22:38 UTC

He's got a nice machine. 53 minutes for a stage one and 42 minutes for a stage too. No wonder he isn't complaining :-)

On my P4 at work, it took 2+ hours to do a stage 1 and nearly 3 hours for the stage 2. Took more than a day to set up all the apps I needed (e.g. KDE, Mozilla, OpenOffice, lyx, octave).

I guess Google
by Doug Fullerton on Mon 22nd Mar 2004 22:40 UTC

I guess Google has an "unhealthy dependance" on Python as well...

:rolleyes:

Re: You've got to be kidding me
by Devon on Mon 22nd Mar 2004 22:55 UTC

--- "A distro like Gentoo, which periodically stresses the CPU to the max by compiling every new package update, that's the best for a server? Are you kidding me? What happened to "there shouldn't be a compiler in sight on a server?" Sheesh." ---

If you are constantly updating and installing new software on a production server, you're asking for trouble. If you want a server that works and works well, you set up the system and software the way it needs to be then you leave it the hell alone except for the occasional security update. With its extensive optimization options, gentoo is an excellent choice.

RE: You've got to be kidding me
by Gabriel Ebner on Mon 22nd Mar 2004 22:55 UTC

> A distro like Gentoo, which periodically stresses the CPU to the max by compiling every new package update

That's what distcc is good for.

And if you can only tolerate very little load, then you could install precompiled packages from another machine.

does portage have "reverse dependencies"?
by tech_user on Tue 23rd Mar 2004 00:04 UTC

does portage have "reverse dependencies"? by this i mean, when yu want to install package X it automatically installs packages A,B and C. but when you no longer want package X, does it flag up A, B and C as candidates for removal?

i think debian does this but i don't use debian to be sure

RE:does portage have "reverse dependencies"?
by dizz on Tue 23rd Mar 2004 00:12 UTC

well it dosent have it yet. atleast i dont think that hey dosent have it yet. but things do change fast on gentoo i have been running it for a year or two and stuuf just continue to
get there ;) . i ussaly just notice it when i get a new machine to install to or when i visit the forums.

RE: does portage have "reverse dependencies"?
by Stefan on Tue 23rd Mar 2004 00:31 UTC

No not automaticly. But as I understand it "emerge --clean world" removes any package that doesn't break your system.

emerge --clean "Cleans the system by removing outdated packages which will not remove functionalities or prevent your system from working."

But as always: I may be wrong...

Heh, I twas thinking the same today.
by Cyphos on Tue 23rd Mar 2004 00:36 UTC
Portage-ng
by Abraxas on Tue 23rd Mar 2004 00:41 UTC

> and much more modular.

That doesn't seem to affect portage.


Python is a good base for a modular system. At present portage is being overhauled to make use of this modularity. So while it is not very modular right now, Python is going to allow it to be modular, in a very user/developer friendly way.

Lengthy installs
by Engmar on Tue 23rd Mar 2004 00:48 UTC

Anyone can do a Gentoo install. It is just a matter of being willing to learn, and being willing to suffer through some failures. That is, however, true for almost every linux distro. I have one problem with the article though. If people think they are in for a quick stage 1 install based on his experience they may be sorely disappointed.

"I had purchased an ASUS SK8N motherboard, an AMD Opteron 142 processor, 2 gigabytes of DDR333 memory, and a 150G Serial ATA hard drive."

Now, I would love a stage 1 install on this rig. Who would'nt?

RE: Fran Karlmikel
by Abraxas on Tue 23rd Mar 2004 00:49 UTC

A distro like Gentoo, which periodically stresses the CPU to the max by compiling every new package update, that's the best for a server? Are you kidding me? What happened to "there shouldn't be a compiler in sight on a server?" Sheesh.

The easy thing to do would be to build binaries on another machine and install them onto the server (in a production environment). Also, with a server, you probably shouldn't be updating everything constantly anyway. You want the system to be as stable and unchanging as possible. With that said, having a compiler on a server is not as bad as people try to make it out to be. If your server gets compromised, and the attacker really wants a compiler on the system he/she could install one themselves.

re: server machines
by Ophidian on Tue 23rd Mar 2004 01:15 UTC

personally i would rather have apt for updating a server as opposed to portage, but thats just me.

all in all i do like gentoo, i just grow weary of compiling everything and the install taking days.

i tried a GRP install on a 900 box i have, it failed miserably after rebooting into the new gentoo environment. i have previously done many successful installs starting from stage1 so im not sure what the trouble was. on a 900, a stage1 install takes way too long to be practical for me.

as for a compiler on a server, i fail to see any reason not to have one. if your box gets compromised its not like the attacker cant just compile something on another box or put a compiler on your box. i would rather make the sysadmin's life easier since it wont really matter to the cracker one bit.

Re: 'Wonderful' compile system
by Jud on Tue 23rd Mar 2004 01:31 UTC

Guess I am a little less eager for instant gratification than the general run of folks, because I'm on a dialup connection limited by rural phone lines to 28.8K and don't mind maintaining my FreeBSD system a bit. Longish downloads like X or OpenOffice I leave overnight - update while you sleep, what could be easier? ;)

I've had Gentoo installed, and the same was true there. (Currently playing with a few other Linuxen, may go back to Gentoo eventually.) I do think the Gentoo installation is a bit more manual than it absolutely has to be, though it does help one learn. Slackware's install is my idea of a good compromise between complete manual installation and full automatic that leaves you wondering what on earth to do if it breaks.

No offense
by DSF on Tue 23rd Mar 2004 03:16 UTC

but python is far superior to perl for a package management system.

why do people have this unnatural aversion to having ONE single extra package installed.

who cares if its one, i could understand hundreds of megs, but python is powerful language .

Re: 'Wonderful' compile system
by Backwoods on Tue 23rd Mar 2004 04:56 UTC

"..because I'm on a dialup connection limited by rural phone lines to 28.8K and don't mind maintaining my FreeBSD system a bit."

28.8? Really? Oh, I feel MUCH better now. I thought I was the straw-chewin' hillbilly at 38.6. This gives me hope as I'm beginning to work with FreeBSD as well....greetings from the totally unglamourous, un-Hollywood part of California.

Gentoo on dialup...
by Solar on Tue 23rd Mar 2004 07:44 UTC

I tried 1.4 when it came out, using my 64k ISDN dialup. To say the least, it was a pain - about five days wasted when I hit some strange upgrade / downgrade loop with KDE. ;)

When 2004.0 came out, I gave it another try - this time on an on-demand 768k DSL downlink. And behold - after trying RedHat, SuSE, Knoppix, Debian, and Mandrake and always returning to the Windows comfort zone, Gentoo finally relieved me of the Redmond virus...

OK, so it took the better part of a day to get OpenOffice on my 1200 Athlon. The trick is not to emerge stuff when you need it, but when you *know* you'll need it *sometime*. And installing Subversion on Gentoo was an absolute *charm* (after going through all kinds of pain on my RedHat 9 webserver).

I second the notion made earlier about the Gentoo community. The chaps on the #gentoo IRC channel have been of great help, and no "RTFM" in sight. Yes, I had some issues during the installation, but each one was sorted out in short order. (Stage1 didn't work for me for some strange reason, and I had a circular dependency between jack and ALSA which required temporarily resetting my USE flags.)

But KDE never felt so good, and the booting never was so fast. I don't really understand what "configuring" other users in this thread talk about. After setting your make.conf once, there's no more configuring involved than with any other distro.

Now, if I only could get wine to run UltraEdit, I'd be in heaven... how come that Linux doesn't sport a single decent text editor? :-)

RE: You've got to be kidding me
by Fran Karlmikel on Tue 23rd Mar 2004 12:47 UTC

> If you are constantly updating and installing new software
> on a production server, you're asking for trouble. If you
> want a server that works and works well, you set up the
> system and software the way it needs to be then you leave
> it the hell alone except for the occasional security
> update. With its extensive optimization options, gentoo
> is an excellent choice.

"Occasional" security update? Don't you mean "daily"?
And let's not get into how much compiler optimization
options actually benefit you. It's an extremely small
performance gain between compiling for i386+O2 and i686+O3,
whereas O3 can actually harm stability and increase
resulted binaries.

> That's what distcc is good for.
> And if you can only tolerate very little load, then you
> could install precompiled packages from another machine.

So I'd have to set up a "compilation machine" especially
for this? How about only using binary packages? What's the
use of Gentoo then?

I guess it's useless. Once people make up their mind that
compiling everything from source is better they become
deaf to the voice of reason. What the people above have
suggested are convoluted, overengineered "solutions" meant
to cover up for the fact that compilation has no place on
servers.

Gentoo may be a great learning place and a great community
but it isn't the answer to everything. Offering it as the
best for servers just sounds ridiculous. Hearing Dave
Whitinger make that assesment sound even more ridiculous.

RE: RE: You've got to be kidding me
by Gabriel Ebner on Tue 23rd Mar 2004 13:12 UTC

> So I'd have to set up a "compilation machine" especially
for this?

No, just emerge distcc on your gentoo boxes and set up the server accordingly.

RE: You've got to be kidding me
by Fran Karlmikel on Tue 23rd Mar 2004 14:33 UTC

How does distcc work when you've only got one machine (the server)?

RE: You've got to be kidding me
by rds on Tue 23rd Mar 2004 16:58 UTC

.. Wait, your recommending DistCC and compiling things on every node of the server, instead of one?

Monopolizing that much CPU on every node for that long is not a option. The people who recommend setting up one compile box I can see (after all, you should have a test box to sand-box upgrades before commiting them to the main box, assuming they aren't critical updates) but this? That just doesn't make sense.

Gentoo - the truth.
by Distributor on Tue 23rd Mar 2004 17:13 UTC

It's simply a big waste of time.
You have to configure everything.
And the result is often very poor.
Example: kdesu. It doesn't work the expected way. The login scripts aren't read. So who wants to configure this simple application?
Keyboard localization: in every professionel distribution you only select your keyboard language and that's it. With gentoo I never got some keys working in every circumstance (console). Before gentoo I thought this linux problem was solved since 1998. In gentoo world it isn't.
And this idiotic and stupid behaviour with the system time if you don't setup GMT. Every experienced gentoo user should know what I mean.
etcetc...
But gentoo users love configuring every simple shit.
And they're happy with it.
It's no good feeling to say that your system sucks when you spent weaks and months to tweak it.
But you can believe it, it's just a waste of time.

I have installed Gentoo before,
by z1xq on Tue 23rd Mar 2004 19:15 UTC

but I am a Debian user. I don't quite condider myself advanced enough for it yet. I am working on it though. Gentoo is an excellant geek OS and I wish I knew more in order to take advantage of what it offers.

RE: Fran Karlmikel
by Abraxas on Tue 23rd Mar 2004 20:48 UTC

How does distcc work when you've only got one machine (the server)

Well if you only have one machine then you are obviously not in a production environment, so it doesn't really matter if you have a compiler. It's really not as big a deal as you seem to think it is. You can set the niceness of portage in make.conf. You won't even know it is there.

I think you are just blowing this way out of proportion. Most updates take from a few seconds to a few minutes. The really big applications like X and KDE shouldn't be on a server so you'll never have to worry about them. Any large scale updates should be tested thoroughy anyway before they are put into production.

My servers run on Gentoo
by koroshiya on Thu 25th Mar 2004 03:25 UTC

What's all this about no compiler in a server?
I have Gentoo running now 3 servers at home and two at work (those at work are actually my workstations becoming intranet servers for various stuff...)
Compiling does NOT necessarilly use up all that cpu, nor is really a performance hug. Neither do I consider it a security threat, for reasons already discussed. There are few packages, counted with fingers in one hand, that would take more than 10 minutes to compile, (not even sure if it's up to 10 minutes, but relatively longer than the rest, and enough time to call it a long period...) These packages would be for example, apache, mysql. ALL the rest, and I mean ALL, are servers that take no longer than some two or three minutes to compile, 5 at max.
I think 10 minutes server downtime once a couple of months (or even less frequently) due to compiling updates, is not much of an issue. Other packages can compile while the server is up and running, it reduces performance, but not for too long as to call it important. At least this has been my experience. I'm still with apache 1.x on various machines, and mysql I rarely upgrade, ftp server? NFS? samba? cups? I mean, what is it that you need to compile once a week as someone said before? Maybe stuff like OpenSSH, openssl, or things that normally release frequent security fixes or upgrades, but that's once in a while and don't even compile much, say 700Kb... I'll trade that performance hug of 5 minutes monthly for the entire gentoo factor.

btw
by koroshiya on Thu 25th Mar 2004 03:27 UTC

i assume we're talking server, and that means no X, no KDE, no Gnome, no OpenOffice.org, no <heavy packagename> to compile, otherwise, well, it _would_ take a long time to upgrade stuff...