Linked by Jem Matzan on Thu 16th Sep 2004 13:57 UTC
Gentoo Gentoo Linux is the BSD of GNU/Linux distributions; it's elegant and customizable and you know exactly what you're getting when you install it. If you do it right, Gentoo is usually faster than your average GNU/Linux distro because everything can be compiled with higher compiler optimizations. The 2004.2 edition of Gentoo Linux lacks the improvements I had hoped to see, but this is still the best community GNU/Linux distribution for desktop tinkerers. Some even say that it makes a good server, too. Linux.com has the full review.
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Gentoo Installation
by Anonymous on Thu 16th Sep 2004 14:06 UTC

I've been trying to find a way to install Gentoo from a floppy with Network installaion, does anyone have a page they could point me to? All of the documents on their website seem to require some kind of live cd.

RE:Gentoo Installation
by Anonymous on Thu 16th Sep 2004 14:19 UTC

You can install it from any "run from CD" distro, such as Knoppix, Damn Small, or Feather Linux. Additionally, if you already have a Linux distro installed, with spare space on your disk or a second drive, you can chroot from your running installation and build Gentoo from there. I personally haven't installed Gentoo from CD in years.

As far as installation from floppy, someone in this thread:

http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic.php?t=221320&highlight=floppy&si...

suggests using a Slackware boot disk for install. Additional alternate methods of installation can be found here:

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

Check the forums
by Seymour on Thu 16th Sep 2004 14:19 UTC

Check forums.gentoo.org. Gentoo has, by far, the best community around it. There is a wealth of information in the forums that isn't in the docs, and if you can't find what you are looking for, just ask. The people are friendly and chances are someone has done what you want to do before.
There is also http://gentoo-wiki.com/Main_Page, but I'm not as familar with the informantion there.

oh no!
by girtherobot on Thu 16th Sep 2004 14:22 UTC

...like the gentoo fanatics (like me) need prompting!

Also of note, not mentioned in the article, is that (like debian) once installed, it is not necessary to re-install the distro after every release. "emerge sync && emerge --update world && etc-update" is all you need to do. WATCH THOSE CONFIG FILES!

Compiling everything IS a pain sometimes, but installing just about ANY piece of software is easy with portage.

If you dont have a fast internet connection, and a relatively fast computer, look elsewhere. My 64K ISDN and 1.4Ghz Athlon are just bearable.

As for servers, I wouldn't be caught dead with Gentoo running on server connected to the internet. The presence of a compiler is just too much of a security risk.

I think this distro is perfect for the power user that wants the ability to really tinker, but its too easy to make major mistakes for n00bs. My 2nd day using gentoo I uninstalled tar. That was fun to fix! No hand holding here.

Just my $0.02.



CRUX
by Anonymous on Thu 16th Sep 2004 14:33 UTC

Another "BSD of GNU/Linux distributions" is CRUX.

used to be my favorite
by teknishn on Thu 16th Sep 2004 14:36 UTC

Gentoo used to be my favorite distro bar-none. But, after years of compiling, I'm quite tired of it. Just got tired of constantly recompiling in order to have the latest and not being able to segregate security updates from all other updates etc. Then there is the constant updating of config files and for some reason every new version of GCC likes to break portage. At least thats my experience.

Anyway, despite all that, Gentoo still rocks. It would be so much better if they would add a binary tree in addition to source tree though. Give us the option, because compiling just blows. I switched all my boxen to SuSE 9.1 and aside from the expected rpm hell life is much better.

^^
by whatever on Thu 16th Sep 2004 14:43 UTC

i full agree compilling everything is a real pain and that also if one doesnt have a fast internet access & lot of patience. but portage just rocks !

No such issues with Gentoo for me
by Abraxas on Thu 16th Sep 2004 14:48 UTC

As for servers, I wouldn't be caught dead with Gentoo running on server connected to the internet. The presence of a compiler is just too much of a security risk.

I hear this all the time but I have yet to hear a satisfactory explanation as to why a compiler is a security risk. Can someone please enlighten me?

But, after years of compiling, I'm quite tired of it. Just got tired of constantly recompiling in order to have the latest and not being able to segregate security updates from all other updates etc

Compiling sucks sometimes but it always seems to work out better for me than binary packages. I can just emerge packagename1 packagename2 etc, and leave it alone. With binary distibutions I am always trying to fix the problems that arise and/or recompiling anyway to include support for what I want. Security updates are a non-issue with glsa-check.

Then there is the constant updating of config files and for some reason every new version of GCC likes to break portage. At least thats my experience.

I used to have issues with config files but etc-update really does everything you need it to do. It usually only takes a minute and once you know your way around the system it's easy to remember which configs you can overwrite and which configs you cannot. As for gcc breaking portage, I've never experienced this and I run two different versions of gcc. I guess for your particular problem it would be a good idea to keep two versions and use gcc-config if you have a problem with one of them.

RE: ^^
by emagius on Thu 16th Sep 2004 14:50 UTC

Perhaps Gentoo should copy FreeBSD's package system as well. I mean, they've got most of the features of ports in portage, why not most of the features of packages in packageage? ;)

orh....
by aim on Thu 16th Sep 2004 14:52 UTC

Thanks got that Gentoo devs are much wiser than the author of the article!

Gentoo can make an AWSOME server.
by Devon on Thu 16th Sep 2004 15:09 UTC

Some say that it doesn't because you compile everything, but in my opinion if its a live server it shouldn't ever be changing except once in a blue moon anyway. Also, few distros can come close to the level of tweaking and tuning thats built in to a standard Gentoo install.

If you need a high performance, high capacity, high uptime, single purpose server, Gentoo is one to seriously consider.

portage
by t0rtois3 on Thu 16th Sep 2004 15:12 UTC

portage really gets itself in a pickle after a while, that said ive had my install about a year and it hasnt quite got intolerable yet.

Binary packages for Gentoo?
by Halo on Thu 16th Sep 2004 15:16 UTC

As I have understood by sometimes not so good Gentoo documentation there are ways to install binaries in Gentoo, but I still havent found a way of actually doing it.

Does any one knows how to exactly install a binary (not RPM but gentoo prebuild package) in Gentoo or where to find good documentation?

thanx

@Abraxas
by hac on Thu 16th Sep 2004 15:27 UTC

The presense of a compiler increases the security risk somewhat, as do many other choices. I think the threat is overblown.

Assume that Bad Guy has access to your server. Maybe he's an internal user, maybe he's used some exploit that gave him non-root access. He then compiles a program that uses another exploit to gain root access. He compiles a keystroke logger, a password sniffer, a spambot, or any other Evil Program. The compiler made it easier. The absense of a compiler would make it harder.

But not impossible. He can compile on some other system and copy binaries to your system. Like most security issues, it's not a question of secure/insecure, it's a question of how secure. If you can make it harder for your system to be abused, you should. It's always a good idea to limit a server to only the minimum set of programs required to perform its tasks, because each additional program increases the chance of an exploit.

I think that the threat is overblown. The compiler should be kept off the production server not just because of security, but because you shouldn't be compiling on a production server anyway. Updates should be done on a development system and tested before being applied to the production systems. An administrator who doesn't know how to do this shouldn't be touching productions systems. I don't see a problem using Gentoo on the development systems.

@Binary packages for Gentoo?
by erktrek on Thu 16th Sep 2004 15:34 UTC

It can be frustrating sometimes - the Gentoo Docs and the forums are hard to navigate and search as there is so much information. A victim of success maybe?

emerge -k (or --usepkg)

"man emerge" for more information. Note: the man pages are a little cryptic too.

The only trouble with this is that not all packages have binary counterparts - firefox, OOo do I think. You have to get used to doing creative searching in the forums.

Cheers,

E.

Re: portage
by Devon on Thu 16th Sep 2004 15:37 UTC

"portage really gets itself in a pickle after a while..."

How so?

Works great as a server
by snorkel on Thu 16th Sep 2004 15:47 UTC

I have a gentoo server running on a 64bit Sun box that as uptime of 285 days so far!!!!

As for the concerns of having a compiler on a server, just uninstall it after you have everything setup.

You can also create binary packages on say a master server and then just emerge the binary packages on your production server.

Also don't most BSD setups have a compiler on them since they use Ports?

RE: server
by Anonymous on Thu 16th Sep 2004 15:55 UTC

Compiling on a server is always a bad idea, (even when not considering security issues) If you have a server network based off of gentoo it's a good idea to have a separate computer set up for compiling new packages, testing the new builds, and then distributing the updates throughout the network. Idealy, if you have the resources, you could even bypass updating the servers, and use a migrating scheme instead.

A BSD fan using Gentoo
by bsd_usr on Thu 16th Sep 2004 16:09 UTC

I wasn't easy to get myself, a BSD fan, to use Linux once again. I used to use Slackware before I found FreeBSD 2.2.2 way back in 1997 but until now have not used Linux.

Anyway, so I gave Gentoo a try a couple of months ago just to see what all the hype around Linux is all about. Luckily, I'm used to not being spoon fed when it comes to Unix so installing Gentoo wasn't all that difficult for me. I did run into some errors in the documentation regarding what I should put in the line for initrd and whatever when using a framebuffer. I figured it out, reinstalled, and moved on. No biggie.

Anyway, so I have this super simple Gentoo desktop. It's got Openbox 3.2 installed with Firefox, Blackdown-JVM, Flash, and couple of other "toys". I also have PostgeSQL and Apache 2 running on it with PHP5. So far, I'm happy with it. Still irks me (in the same way a Ford fan would feel when driving a Chevy) that I'm using Linux, but I guess I'll get over it.

Anyway, I'm hoping some of you in the Gentoo community can help me out. I usually update my system using the following command: emerge --update --deep --pretend world (I do the pretend first to see what needs to be updated, then I take it out do to the actual update) Is that the correct way? From what I understand, --deep updates stuff like libraries and things that might be required for other things. Would I run into problems with this?

Also, I was wondering if anyone can help me with the Gentoo equivalent command for FreeBSD's pkg_info -Ia, pkg_cutleaves and pkg_tree (the last two is in the ports actually not in the base - good tool though). I would like a list of things that are installed. I also want to see what is installed that isn't required by anything.

Basically, I would like a way to clean up the system of stuff I don't need. I know in FreeBSD when you do alot of installing and deinstalling you get left over stuff so I'm sure the same thing must happened in Gentoo and I just wanted to clean up. You know what I mean?

Another question, why's it take so long for Firefox to start? I did the prelinking thing. Wouldn't that have fixed it? I'm running Gentoo on a PIII 933 Mhz PC with 256MB of RAM by the way.

Anyway, so far so good with Gentoo. If this keeps up, I might turn over to the darkside. =P Oh, if anyone has installed DB2 and iSeries Access on Gentoo then if you can give me some pointers I'd much appreciate it.

Gentoo rules on the server
by Beavis on Thu 16th Sep 2004 16:20 UTC

I'm currently in the process of migrating our entire data center from RH9 to Gentoo. You can't beat the performance and security of Gentoo system.

Additionally, portage ensures that I'll never have to "upgrade" a system again. Just "emerge -u world" and BAM! No dependency hell, no end-of-life, no downtime (unless you upgrade the kernel).

I do agree with the author's view on installation. The current installation scheme is fine for server systems... However, Gentoo will have a hard time getting people to run this on desktops and workstations due the complex nature of building a system from scratch. You just canít spend that much time on workstations and desktops. I do hope that Gentoo adopts a plan to make a desktop tailored install scheme soon.

Gentoo is love....
by Zambizzi on Thu 16th Sep 2004 16:32 UTC

Full convert here...been using for quite a while, never a single problem, fastest distro (laaarge margin) I've ever experienced.

RE: A BSD fan using Gentoo
by Anonymous on Thu 16th Sep 2004 16:36 UTC

"Also, I was wondering if anyone can help me with the Gentoo equivalent command for FreeBSD's pkg_info -Ia, pkg_cutleaves and pkg_tree (the last two is in the ports actually not in the base - good tool though). I would like a list of things that are installed. I also want to see what is installed that isn't required by anything."

I am guessing the BSD package_info -la lists all files installed by a package? If that is the case, emerge gentoolkit, which includes qpkg, a package query tool. So for instance, the command qpkg -l prozilla, will show all files installed by that package.

The command to find packages which are no longer required on the system is "emerge depclean -p." This will give the list of files no longer required, while "emerge depclean will actually remove those packages.

For updates, I too use "emerge -uDp world," then emerge uD world to actually install the updates. Hope this helps.

Survey
by Beavis on Thu 16th Sep 2004 16:37 UTC

Make your vote count. Tell the Gentoo community what you love and hate about Gentoo at:

http://survey.gentoo.org/index.php?sid=3

Rock the vote.

RE: A BSD fan using Gentoo
by JSIGHT on Thu 16th Sep 2004 17:59 UTC

I'd recomment emerge -uaD world. That way it shows what the upgrade would do, and asks if you want to go ahead and do it (saving a step, and only requiring one eval of dependencies).

Also, for people who are using to RPM for querying package information, the "epm" package is wonderful. Things like "epm -qa" to list all package.... "epm -qf /usr/bin/gcc" to find out which package a file belongs to, "epm -qi lt;packagenamegt;" to get package info, "epm -ql lt;packagenamegt;" to view file lists, etc. It's a great tool.

libc
by iv on Thu 16th Sep 2004 18:28 UTC

say, if a new major of libc (or some other essential library) comes out...

recompile everything?

Until binary packages are also available, Debian is the distro for me. BTW, has anyone upgraded a major of libc on Gentoo?

Just curious.

RE:libc
by Anonymous on Thu 16th Sep 2004 18:31 UTC

"has anyone upgraded a major of libc on Gentoo?"

I have.

Compilation Deficit Disorder
by Mystilleef on Thu 16th Sep 2004 18:33 UTC

I don't understand why individuals make such a big deal about compiling packages. It's not as if you can't use your computer when a package is compiling. On resource starved systems, like mine, you can alway renice portage, like I do.

Besides, large packages, like Mozilla, openoffice.org, usually have binary packages in portage. You can install those first if you need them immediately, and then compile their source equivalent in the background if you want to.

Many of us act as if we spend 90% of our lives on a Gentoo box compiling packages. That's false. When you initially get Gentoo, yes, it is fun to watch, marvel and emerge sync every 5 minutes because things just work. But after a while you just get tired of it. I update my system only when there is a hot package in town that I must have, like GNOME-2.8.

Heck the next time I'll be updating my system might likely be six months later when GNOME-2.10 will be released. Or when GCC-3.5 is released, or perhaps Firefox-1. Many Gentoo users don't hit the update button because it gives them an orgasm. Well, admittedly, there have been reported cases on the Gentoo forums were users exhibit symptoms of emerge deficit disorder, or EDD for short, but that's another story all together.

RE: libc
by Mystilleef on Thu 16th Sep 2004 18:39 UTC

Bullocks! We upgrade libc, gcc, binutils and core systems libs all the time on Gentoo. These are upgrades that will break any other distro out there, at least in my experience, yet I have not had one single problem upgrading these libraries on Gentoo.

Oh, for the misinformed comment above, you don't have to recompile the whole system when you upgrade Glibc. Sheesh, where the hell did that come from?

Making compiles go faster
by Androo on Thu 16th Sep 2004 18:50 UTC

Many people complain about the time it takes to compile stuff, and I can understand. When I'm faced with having to compile Gnome and there are easily 30-40 packages that Portage wants to install, the best way to speed up the process is to run two terminals at once and have one downloading those packages (emerge -uDf gnome) and the other compiling (emerge -uD gnome). In this way you're downloading and compiling at the same time, and so Portage will not have to stop compiling to download.

But yeah, if you are running less than, say 1.5GHz, Gentoo is not the distribution for you.

Gentoo is nice
by Emil 'opi' Oppeln Bronikowski on Thu 16th Sep 2004 18:58 UTC

Our whole company infrastructure is running on Gentoo powdered boxes. It's quite nice OS, if you're smart enuff to use it. Yet, my desktop is still Debian based. ;)

RE: RE: A BSD fan using Gentoo
by Anonymous on Thu 16th Sep 2004 19:02 UTC

I am guessing the BSD pkg_info -Ia lists all files installed by a package? If that is the case, emerge gentoolkit, which includes qpkg, a package query tool. So for instance, the command qpkg -l prozilla, will show all files installed by that package.

Actually, that command pkg_info -Ia (that's with letter eye, not ell - if you know what I mean, it seems to display like an ell) lists all the installed packages. pkg_info -L shows the installed files for that package.

Although, I will give the gentoolkit a try to see what that does. I'll also give emerge depclean -p a try as well. Thanks for the help.

RE: RE: A BSD fan using Gentoo
by Anonymous on Thu 16th Sep 2004 19:06 UTC

"Actually, that command pkg_info -Ia (that's with letter eye, not ell - if you know what I mean, it seems to display like an ell) lists all the installed packages"

Oh, then you want qpkg -I (capital i)

Reverse dependences
by pippo on Thu 16th Sep 2004 19:30 UTC

I love Gentoo GNU/Linux but I miss the reverse deps of:

apt-get remove <package>

Anyway Gentoo is the best!!

Compiling....
by Anonymous on Thu 16th Sep 2004 19:31 UTC

Well, you actually can get binary packages if you feel so strongly against compiling. Although it may go against the spirit of the distro, which is to accurately target your machine's architecture. But it is an option

RE:Reverse dependences
by Anonymous on Thu 16th Sep 2004 19:46 UTC

Just use emerge --depclean, which will remove all packages that isn't in, or is a dependency of a package referenced to, in the "world" file. All packages you emerge directly will be in the world file, and the ones you remove directly will be removed from it. You can manually edit the world file if you wish. It's located at /var/cache/edb/world.

My beef with Gentoo
by Anil Wang on Thu 16th Sep 2004 20:01 UTC

My big beef with Gentoo is pretty simple, uninstalling a package isn't clean so I'm guessing that after a while, a lot of cruft will build up and that cruft can cause problems. There really needs to be something like an etc-unupdate to take care of this.

Case in point, I was testing out Gentoo 2004.2 in VMWare a few weeks ago. It worked pretty well, except that the resolution was pretty low since the VMWare drivers weren't installed. I tried installing the drivers, but because VMWare wasn't adapted to Xorg's drivers, X was severely broken. No problem. I decided to unstalled X and then re-install GNOME (which would automatically install X). The uninstall left several cruft files so the re-install did not give me a fully functioning system. The above unstall-reinstall would have worked for Debian (and I believe Fedora) because they seem to take greater care of their uninstall-reinstall procedures. I know because I've done it before.

Yes, I know there are scripts to find files that are not inside of ebuilds, but those are kludges to hide the real issues.

If this issue were fixed, I'd seriously consider moving to Gentoo.

compiling time
by himasaram on Thu 16th Sep 2004 20:04 UTC

But yeah, if you are running less than, say 1.5GHz, Gentoo is not the distribution for you.

I'm running Gentoo on my 700Mhz Athlon desktop, and have no problems. Emerging the infamous GNOME/KDE/Mozilla/OOo-packages takes forever of course. But it's worth the wait for running Gentoo! ;)

RE: compiling time
by Anonymous on Thu 16th Sep 2004 20:08 UTC

"I'm running Gentoo on my 700Mhz Athlon desktop, and have no problems."

Hehehehe. I have it on a 533MHz Celeron here. I know that's really scary but it is fairly snappy considering the age of the hardware. Compiles aren't snappy though.

I abandonned
by Charles on Thu 16th Sep 2004 22:56 UTC

Gentoo used to be my favorite distro bar-none. But, after years of compiling, I'm quite tired of it. Just got tired of constantly recompiling in order to have the latest and not being able to segregate security updates from all other updates etc. Then there is the constant updating of config files and for some reason every new version of GCC likes to break portage. At least thats my experience.

Same for me.

Re: Abraxas (IP: 69.37.207.---)
by Anonymous on Thu 16th Sep 2004 22:58 UTC

I hear this all the time but I have yet to hear a satisfactory explanation as to why a compiler is a security risk. Can someone please enlighten me?

Like a lot of ideas held by old-skool unix geeks (or those who like to pretend they are), it's an outdated throwback to the days of yore.

Back in the days of the Unix Wars, unix platforms were very diverse and usually running on 'exotic' hardware from companies like SGI, HP and Sun. Access to this hardware was uncommon outside of big business and academia (and reasonably tightly controller within those spheres) and access to compilers for these platforms rarer still. Thus, getting usable software onto these systems that wasn't already provided by the SysAdmin (since they didn't have the kitchen-sink approach of today's typical Linux distro - for example, the main student unix box at my old uni didn't even have 'ping' for regular users) was quite a chore and getting a binary onto them that might be used as an exploit, very difficult.

Hence, a system with a compiler on it was a cracker's dream and a major security hole - not only could they compile arbitrary code in situ, they could also increase their standing by being able to provide binaries to other members of the cracking community.


These days, when a huge proportion of unix boxes are cheap commodity hardware running Linux, FreeBSD or other freely-available OSes, cross-platform compilers like GCC can be easily acquired, typical installations have retty much every program a cracker would ever need and access to 'exotic' hardware can be bought off eBay for a few hundred bucks, the presence of a compiler on a server is basically irrelevant. The lack of one might slow a cracker down by a couple of minutes, but it's not even close to the "oh well, time to try another machine" barrier it used to be.

"Gentoo Linux is the BSD of GNU/Linux distributions"
by drsmithy on Thu 16th Sep 2004 23:06 UTC

Huh ? Maybe it's changed, but last I checked Gentoo was one of those 'cutting edge' distros always fiddling with the latest code revisions - one of the main reasons everything is supposed to be compiled from scratch. Breakages were common and support for 'old code' not a high priority.

Pretty much the antithesis of the *BSD philosophy.

(Not to mention that hideous GNU userland.)

If you want "the BSD of GNU/Linux distributions", look towards Debian or Slackware, or possibly the minimal installs of the 'Enterprise distros' like RHEL. But steer clear of Gentoo - it's nothing like the BSDs at all.

Evidently, you didn't read the article.

RE: used to be my favorite
by Wrawrat on Fri 17th Sep 2004 03:12 UTC

Gentoo used to be my favorite distro bar-none. But, after years of compiling, I'm quite tired of it. Just got tired of constantly recompiling in order to have the latest and not being able to segregate security updates from all other updates etc.

Me too, even if I got a fairly recent computer (AXP 2500+). However, I cannot stand most other distros (forget Debian, I'd rather sandblast my ass than using it... for some reason, I hate *everything* about it: the layout, the init system, the documentation, etc). Arch Linux is quite cool but it's unbelievably TOO up-to-date (or I am stupid and didn't found a "stable" but up-to-date branch).

I hope they will eventually add a package system to portage. There are probably some way to apply patches to binaries for USE flags (delta compression?)...

Why is it impossible to make stage-1 without net?
by Anonymous on Fri 17th Sep 2004 05:00 UTC

I downloaded Gentoo six months ago. And as everyone is talking about the compiling sessions I just wanted to make a stage-1 installation (compiling all things).
But I just had to hit the internet because Gentoo wanted to download packages? I just downloaded the 600MB LiveCd from a distribution that is marketed as a "compiling session that makes fun". And then as I wanted to compile I had to download more things!?
Why is stage-1 not included on the Live-CD?
I had to follow this
http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/altinstall.xml#doc_chap4
to get the install running?

My problem: Everyone is talking about compiling Gentoo, Gentoo should be a source distribution, then a (new) user downloads the (Live)CD (which is the main distibution CD as I understand) and then the compiling is not possible?

This is not trolling. Just want to understand.
Thanks!

RE; hac
by Abraxas on Fri 17th Sep 2004 07:03 UTC

He then compiles a program that uses another exploit to gain root access. He compiles a keystroke logger, a password sniffer, a spambot, or any other Evil Program. The compiler made it easier. The absense of a compiler would make it harder.

But not impossible. He can compile on some other system and copy binaries to your system. Like most security issues, it's not a question of secure/insecure, it's a question of how secure. If you can make it harder for your system to be abused, you should. It's always a good idea to limit a server to only the minimum set of programs required to perform its tasks, because each additional program increases the chance of an exploit.


Those are the reasons I always hear but they are not satisfactory to me. Like you already mentioned, someone could just as easily copy a binary to the server. I don't see how a compiler makes anything easier.

The compiler should be kept off the production server not just because of security, but because you shouldn't be compiling on a production server anyway.

I think gcc is neccessary on Gentoo but that doesn't mean you have to use it. Compile packages on another machine and install the binaries from a central repository. New versions have to be tested anyway, whether it comes from source or a binary.

Give me a break
by Abraxas on Fri 17th Sep 2004 07:17 UTC

Perhaps Gentoo should copy FreeBSD's package system as well. I mean, they've got most of the features of ports in portage

Portage is better in some areas then FreeBSD's ports and not as good in other areas.

Breakages were common and support for 'old code' not a high priority.

Breakages were more common in the early years of Gentoo but are rare now.

(Not to mention that hideous GNU userland.)

Hideous? How so? The GNU utilities are far better than their BSD equivalents, when the BSD equivalents are not already GNU utilities.

If you want "the BSD of GNU/Linux distributions", look towards Debian or Slackware, or possibly the minimal installs of the 'Enterprise distros' like RHEL. But steer clear of Gentoo - it's nothing like the BSDs at all.


Oh really? So portage is nothing like ports but up2date and apt are? I think it's clear what is being compared between the two operating systems, and it's not how up to date the packages are.

Resources required for Gentoo
by Andy Roberts on Fri 17th Sep 2004 08:38 UTC

When I first tried Gentoo, I was using my trustee 4 year old Athlon 600, 256MB home PC, with dial-up access only!! Did a CD based installation first using pre-compiled binaries. I'm lucky that I also have access to massive net bandwidth at uni. So I would do an emerge -pu world to find out what needed to be update, download packages at uni, burn to disc and copy them to my home system. Compilation did take a while. However, as people have already pointed out, it just goes on in the background. And even on my 600MHz processor, things rans smoothly ;)

I did give up Gentoo after a while and moved to Suse 9.1. This was because I'd messed things up with convertin to kernel 2.6 and replacing the dev system with udev. However, Suse was too slow!

Am now back with Gentoo. The only difference with my PC is that it has access to 1mb ADSL line rather than the dial-up connection. (this makes life with any linux system much easier!) Still an Athlon 600 with 256MB ram! Sure, KDE may take a day, but at least it's quick once it's done.

So, you *don't* have to possess a processor greater than 1.4GHz as suggested. It may be preferable, especially to the impatient, but you'd be surprised at how efficient Gentoo can be (which I suppose is largely due to the excellent 2.6 kernel too ;)

@hac
by Wrawrat on Fri 17th Sep 2004 11:11 UTC

He then compiles a program that uses another exploit to gain root access. He compiles a keystroke logger, a password sniffer, a spambot, or any other Evil Program. The compiler made it easier. The absense of a compiler would make it harder.

Well, you can take steps to prevent this, like setting /home as noexec/nosuid, mounting directories like /usr as read-only, etc.

If someone can compile and execute a binary on your system, there are good chances that he could simply have downloaded one from the Net (wget, ftp, browser...).

Like, Duh...
by Sphinx on Fri 17th Sep 2004 14:24 UTC

When the opening accolade equates to, "Ford is the Chevy of automobiles", I'm done, how clueless can you get. Don't even want to know what they think BSD is.

Re: Abraxas (IP: ---.177.49.162.adsl.snet.net)
by drsmithy on Sat 18th Sep 2004 03:01 UTC

Hideous? How so? The GNU utilities are far better than their BSD equivalents, when the BSD equivalents are not already GNU utilities.

The general lack of discipline in the file system structure.
The poor documentation of commands and insistence on awful tools like 'info'.
The pointless added complexity of multiple runlevels.
The insistence that bash == sh.

There's a few to start with.

When I sit down in front of most Linux boxes, I feel like I'm using a cobbled together patchwork quilt of spare parts with little coherent or organised though shared in their design. Most Linux distros aren't even internally consistant, let alone consistant between each other.

When I sit down in front of the average BSD (or Solaris, for that matter) I feel like I'm using a system that is a complete package, designed and implemented by a team of people working together.

The BSDs are elegant. Most linux distros are ugly.

Oh really? So portage is nothing like ports but up2date and apt are? I think it's clear what is being compared between the two operating systems, and it's not how up to date the packages are.

*BSD != ports.

I realise the article is only drawing a comparison between ports and portage, but that's not what the introduction says. If they only mean portage is the ports of the Linux world, then that's what they should say. A Mac user would scoff similarly if some twit opened with "Lindows is the OS X of Linux distros" based on the premise they've both got GUIs and are easy to install.

even tiny boxes like gentoo... ;)
by -Caribbean Knight- on Sat 18th Sep 2004 16:05 UTC

just wanted to add my experiences with gentoo too... been using it for about a year now and already have my desktop, my 2 servers and some production servers running gentoo happier than ever.. ;)
oh and the whole compiling stuff, it isn't that big a problem i think... one of my 'servers' is a k6-200mhz with 256mb ram and it's serving apache2, php5, mysql4, postfix, fetchmail, pure-ftpd, sshd, ... without any problems at all.. and the compiling of new stuff, well i just emerge about every day at least (yeah, kay, bit of edd ;) ).. ) and put the compiling to the background and everything stays smooth and the next day everything is installed nicely...
hmmm... i think i just love gentoo.... ;)