Linked by Eugenia Loli on Mon 15th Apr 2002 02:32 UTC
Gentoo We got Linux distributions for geeks (Debian), distros for businessmen (Red Hat), home users (Mandrake) and... Germans (SuSE :). However, there was never before a distribution specifically targetting developers and speed, both at the same time. Enter Gentoo Linux, the fastest loading, fastest-operating Linux distribution to date.
Order by: Score:
Linux review?
by Hiroshi on Mon 15th Apr 2002 05:33 UTC

That was the most half-baked review of any Linux distribution that I have ever read. What makes you think you're qualified to apply numerical ratings to this distribution? Short answer: You're not. You're not a software professional, you're not an OS developer, you're not even a maintainer. Reading this stuff really gets me wondering how many technologies you and your type have crushed with word of mouth. I am disgusted. In the meantime, I'll wait for somebody with credibility to write a real review and promptly take yours with a grain of salt.

Re: Linux review?
by Eugenia on Mon 15th Apr 2002 05:44 UTC

I will start with the reply of Daniel Robbins, owner and maintainer of Gentoo (I hope he won't mind). He sent me this a few minutes ago.

"I thought the review was fair and also contained a lot of helpful comments for users (and for us -- what we need to work on!)"

Second, if I am qualified to apply numerical ratings?
Well, I don't know what you are smoking, but most reviews DO apply numerical ratings or "star" ratings (they are effectively the same). They are reviews. And while I am not the Gentoo maintainer or an OS developer, I am (or used to be) a software professional. I have also ported more than 90 applications to AtheOS and BeOS.

And at the end of the day I DON'T HAVE TO be an OS developer to give ratings. I am a developer in general, I am a user of the system (actually, for quite some time) and most of all, I am the reviewer of this article. In fact, I suggest you check our previous reviews. Lycoris, AtheOS, OS/2, QNX etc. They all also had ratings, and you are the first one who whines that don't like numerical ratings in general. ;)

>how many technologies you and your type have crushed with word of mouth. I am disgusted.

Do you troll professionally? If yes, I can introduce you to some "friends" of mine, they may be able to put your trolling in a good use.

WTF ?
by Sikosis on Mon 15th Apr 2002 06:00 UTC

Pardon my french ... but Eugenia knows her shit. I'm even interesting in trying out this distro, purely, because she has singled this one out.

Gentoo Review
by Froseph on Mon 15th Apr 2002 06:28 UTC

It's a good, decent review. I just installed it saturday night starting ~3am cus I was bored (what else would one do?). It's comming along nicely, and I'm just getting used to this after switching (read accidentally killing) debian. Although I havn't spent much time on it, I would say its a good and accurate review.

Question about upgrading
by Avery Fay on Mon 15th Apr 2002 07:22 UTC

Can someone who has used Gentoo tell me how easy an upgrade is? I currently use debian because it is very easy, even for config files. I used to use FreeBSD which is easy because of make world and mergemaster, but upgrading ports is awful. So, how does Gentoo fair in general? and for upgrading config files?

Re: Question about upgrading
by Eugenia on Mon 15th Apr 2002 07:30 UTC

Existing Gentoo Linux users can upgrade to the most recent version of Gentoo Linux in-place without reinstalling. For example, to upgrade a Gentoo Linux 1.0 system to 1.1a, type:

# emerge rsync (that takes 1 sec)
# emerge sys-apps/portage (this takes 10 secs)
# emerge --update world (this may take some time, depending on how much stuff there is to be updated)

Then update your config files in /etc/. There are some files called ._conf0001.rc.conf or something similar (can't remember now exactly ;) . Spot the diffs between the two files, eg. the temporary /etc/._conf0001.rc.conf and your regular /etc/rc.conf and then if wished, apply the new changes to rc.conf, or simply overwrite the rc.conf with the temp one (however I recommend to spot the diffs and decide wisely, instead of just overwrite things).

Then, you are done.

RE: Question about upgrading
by DaCh on Mon 15th Apr 2002 07:37 UTC

To update the system and all the apps you have installed so far, just type "emerge rsync && emerge --update world".

Gentoo is good but...
by lu_zero on Mon 15th Apr 2002 08:09 UTC

Seems that sorcerer and its forks may be even better for package managing (and for the source xdelta download)

PPP?
by Brent Miszalski on Mon 15th Apr 2002 09:26 UTC

Anyone have any idea how I could setup gentoo with the network as a 56k PPP connection.?

It looks like I can only download packages etc through an ethernet connection, this is a big pain, are they all so ignorant users of broadband that they think everyone has ethernet connections to the net?
pa-leeeease!

I'm really eager to try this distro out, but no ppp is absurd!

Question to Eugenia
by Arturas Baranauskas on Mon 15th Apr 2002 10:21 UTC

> I installed KDM as the display manager, because simply
> editing the rc.conf (acording to instructions) for the
> window manager of my choice it didn't work for me.
> Typing 'startx' was always loading twm, regardless of the
> rc.conf file.

How did you solve this ? I have the same problem,
could you send some instructions directly to me,
please ?

Best regards,
Arturas B.

Re: Gentoo review.
by Henry Marchbanks on Mon 15th Apr 2002 12:06 UTC

As a recent convert to Gentoo, I'm a little confused about these 'bugs' Eugenia mentions. I have only run across two packages that didn't properly emerge. Everything else, given that I didn't mess it up, or forget about something has worked for me on the first attempt.

Maybe I'm lucky.

It just seems that various comments are ignorant?? I don't know, I'm not claiming to be a linux expert, but some things she complained about even I was able to figure out.

For example, getting startx to load something other than twm is a matter of creating a custom ~/.xinitrc. Terminals inheriting path, etc. should be dependant upon the proper shell initialization files. ie. .bash_profile, .profile, etc.

She seems to be complaining about her lack of ability to properly customize linux to her own tastes. That being said Gentoo's defaults inherited $PATH and did almost all the things I expected it to. I added a couple aliases and thats it.

Are we talking about the same distro?? (And yes I originally started with 1.0, not 1.1a)

:)
by Gozu on Mon 15th Apr 2002 13:14 UTC

Hiroshi what planet did you come from? did you miss the BeBoat? Eugenia had a big part to do with anything tha twas beos and i respect her. I thought the review was fine, but then ive been using gentoo for a while now, i think it is perfectly suited to people wanting to know a bit more about gentoo. Keep up the good work Eugenia ;)


btw, gentoo owns j00!

Good review!
by Dave on Mon 15th Apr 2002 13:42 UTC

It was concise and interesting. If/when I have the time and HD space (tiiiiime for an upgrade :/) I'm very much inclined to look into this version.

I'm also interested in your comments about FreeBSD's booting and shutdown speeds. I didn't realize it was so quick, relatively speaking.

Has anyone mentioned yet how quickly Mac OS X boots/shutsdown? (I know, that's pretty much dependent on what widgets and plugins are being installed at bootup, but still ...)

XFS?
by stew on Mon 15th Apr 2002 14:01 UTC

Eugenia, you mention XFS in the review. How easy is XFS to set up in Gentoo? What bothers me with most distros is that their installers don't provide a way for XFS installations, you have to set that up yourself.

Other fast / developer distributions
by Andy on Mon 15th Apr 2002 14:55 UTC

[i]specifically targetting developers and speed, both at the same time[i]

I know of three other distributions that are compiled from source:

Rock Linux (http://www.rocklinux.org/)
Linux from Scratch (http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/)
Sorcerer GNU Linux (http://sorcerer.wox.org/)

Andy

english is not a second language
by Anonymous on Mon 15th Apr 2002 16:29 UTC

You guys seriously need an editor. There are too many english language errors throughout this article and throughout the site. This does not look good when new users browse the site. Good luck.

answers for all
by Eugenia on Mon 15th Apr 2002 16:40 UTC

For Arturas Baranauskas:

> How did you solve this ? I have the same problem, could you send some instructions directly to me, please?

To have KDM by default, do the following.
1. Open /etc/rc.conf and uncommnent the DISPLAYMANAGER= line and put it equal to KDM.
2. Run the command 'rc-update add xdm default' and you are all set for your next reboot.
Now, when your KDM loads up, it gives you the choice of what other window managers you may want to run instead of KDE 3. So, depending if you have equivelant scripts on your /etc/X11/Session/ directory, it will load them there, so you can choose. For example, after you emerge XFCE, make sure there is an xfce.sh on the above dir, and it has inside it:
#!/bin/sh
startxfce
Do the same for all your other window managers and they will be picked up on KDM automatically.

For Henry Marchbanks:

>Maybe I'm lucky.

Probably.

> For example, getting startx to load something other than twm is a matter of creating a custom ~/.xinitrc.

I know this. In fact, hacking on the /etc/X11/xinitrc file also will do the same. However, a) I wanted to do a single change for all my users b) you don't understand that this is a review. If something does not work as ADVERTISED, it is a bug. NO MATTER if *I* or *you* have the means to go around by hacking stuff, things should work as advertised for the rest of the users (by using the /etc/rc.conf file as documentation mentions that is). If they not, Houston, we got a problem.

> Terminals inheriting path, etc. should be dependant upon the proper shell initialization files. ie. .bash_profile, .profile, etc.

Oh, no other Linux I tried had the problem I mentioned. And at the end of the day, WHY Konsole should have the correct path and xterm not, under the same X session? That does not make any sense. Again, adding "source /etc/profile" on my ~/.bash_profile is something that will probably solve *my* problem, but again things are not working as they SHOULD HAVE. This is why this gets a mention.

> She seems to be complaining about her lack of ability to properly customize linux to her own tastes.

I complain for things that don't work as advertised, and that are likely to confuse newbies. My Gentoo is as customized as I want it to be, thank you very much.

For Dave:

> Has anyone mentioned yet how quickly Mac OS X boots/shutsdown?

On the G3 500 iMac I used last year, it took more than a minute to load and about 30 secs to shut down.

For Anonymous:

> There are too many english language errors throughout this article and throughout the site.

Read here:
http://www.osnews.com/editor.php?editors_id=1
Personally, I don't give a fuck. We do OSNews for purely fun. We do it for providing a site with useful information and news, we are not going for the Pulitzer award. If you do have a problem though, either do what is suggested in the above URL, or save yourself the trouble and don't come back. Really.

XFS
by WattsM on Mon 15th Apr 2002 16:41 UTC

XFS was pretty easy to set for me in Gentoo--basically just formatting the partition with XFS (according to the documentation) and entering it correctly in the fstab. The one caveat is to make sure that you have XFS support in the kernel. After you think it's there, go back and check again. Sleep on it and check again in the morning.

Not that I had any problems with this, of course. Cough.

Anyway, my actual problem with Gentoo isn't exactly a problem with Gentoo itself--I haven't been able to get XFree to recognize my USB-based pointing device. The keyboard it's happy with, but not the mouse. I'd read that protocol "auto" was supposed to work, but it doesn't, and I can't find anything in the /dev directory to set as a device (/dev/usb/ is an empty subdirectory?). MAKEDEV doesn't (seem to) know anything about USB devices, either. I suspect there's something screwed up in my kernel configuration (yay), but I haven't found it yet.

XFS installation
by clone304 on Mon 15th Apr 2002 16:54 UTC


Since you are technically installing the whole distribution manually, it is trivial to choose XFS as opposed to any other filesystem under gentoo. In fact, XFS, reiser, and ext3 are all equally easy to setup by following the installation instructions found on gentoo.org. However, you may find that the installation process itself is more "difficult" than that of other distributions, so it's a toss up: Gentoo's installation method, being manual, allows you to make most choices yourself, but has the disadvantage of not being automatic, which makes it difficult for those who can't follow directions..

you solve the window manager thing by...
by jbreker on Mon 15th Apr 2002 16:57 UTC

creating a '.xinitrc' file in your home directory. you place the path of the window manager in this file i.e.

/usr/local/bin/blackbox

then you type startx

for ELQ
by ~Seedy~ on Mon 15th Apr 2002 17:32 UTC

THANK YOU

so refreshing to see a reviewer not making the classic comments about

" it doesnt matter cos anyone can manually create new config files.. so we won't pass this off as a glitch "

Keep up the good work

HAHAHAHAHAHAHH!!!
by pherthyl on Mon 15th Apr 2002 20:40 UTC

>Read here:
>http://www.osnews.com/editor.php?editors_id=1
>Personally, I don't give a fuck. We do OSNews for purely fun. >We do it for providing a site with useful information and >news, we are not going for the Pulitzer award.

Well said Eugenia ;) If they don't like it they can get lost. Thanks for the site and keep up the great work!

Good article + comments
by Walt on Mon 15th Apr 2002 21:12 UTC

I started with slackware about 7 years ago, then moved to redhat, and then debian, I recently played with sourcerer, and now gentoo over the past 5 weeks. Sourcerer had too many problems to be usable, and the internal politics with the dev group turned me off. The install was MUCH easier than gentoo however. Gentoo installation is quite manual, and took me a couple times to get it going right due to a couple simple errors on my part. I had a little trouble with sound as my card wasn't supported under alsa-0.5 but works great under 0.9 (.5 is the default in gentoo) so it required a little fiddlin to get it going. I ended up manually downloading and installing the latest Alsa by hand.

From the users mailing list, it seems that quite a few "newbies" are trying gentoo, so the list is cluttered with a lot of VERY simplistic (and frequently repeated) questions. Gentoo is NOT suitable for the non-programmer / junior sysadmin type. IMHO, this distro is most suited to the hacker type / sysadmin with programming skills, etc. who has been using unix for several years on a daily basis.

If you routinely build a lot of your own applications, play with device drivers, tweak your kernel / apply kernel patches, play with make files, are able to debug build problems etc. then you can probably handle Gentoo.

Besides the package management system which is pretty cool,
I'd also point out that the RC system in Gentoo is NOT sysV or BSD. It's actually somewhat BSD like, but different. Gentoo also has a unique way of handling system configuration (hostname, IP address, etc.) unlike other distros I've tried. Because of this, it's more work to install prepackaged software such as VMWare (but not impossible. I ended up creating a fake sysv init tree for the install to work for example.)

Other than that, once you get going the differences between gentoo and other distros is small.

(FWIW, my background includes 15 years on UNIX systems, 20 years programming so working with gentoo was easy for me.)

Goodie
by Anti on Mon 15th Apr 2002 22:14 UTC

Oi. I've been using Gentoo for some months now, and I can't say I've been disappointed yet.
Sure, there are a few bugs, but most can be fixed with an remerge of a few packages.
I can warmly recommend this one. It's fast and effective.

Review is good but Gentoo is better
by vlad on Mon 15th Apr 2002 22:16 UTC

I may sound as pain in the ass, but Gentoo is really better than Eugenia reviewed it. At least for me - I use Gnome, not KDE. I had no problem with Grub so far - i did Gentoo on several systems in past few weeks.
It's my third attempt to get optimized Linux (after Stampede and Enoch) and this one is actually working.
Few things I'd mentioned about installation :
- boot partition doesn't have to be 100 Mb, I think it's a typo, installation instructions for earlier versions (e.g. rc6 ) had it as 10 Mb.
- have /var/tmp mounted on separate partition or volume (or whatever portage is using as work directory on your system)


Another Gentoo Review.. :P
by Eugenia on Mon 15th Apr 2002 22:54 UTC

Ahem... There is a new Gentoo review just gone live on LinuxPlanet.

"Hiroshi", this is mostly for you. You said that you will take my review with a grain of salt and that you would like to read another review. Well, go and read it:
http://www.linuxplanet.com/linuxplanet/reviews/4149/1/

The reviewer was not even able to install and run Gentoo and still reviews it AND gives it 4/4 stars. What??!?? :o

kdm problems
by gaddis on Tue 16th Apr 2002 00:43 UTC

> I installed KDM as the display manager, because simply
> editing the rc.conf (acording to instructions) for the
> window manager of my choice it didn't work for me.
> Typing 'startx' was always loading twm, regardless of the
> rc.conf file.

startx doesn't load kdm, it loads your (personal) X environment, which can be customized by editing the file ~/.xinitrc:
#~/.xinitrc sample
exec gnome-session
#or
exec startkde

to change the login manager, edit the file startDM.sh:

vi /etc/X11/startDM.sh


disclaimer: these are the steps i've found effective; i am not a gentoo developer, and someone on the mailing lists there may have a better solution.

GRUB problem
by Eric Murphy on Tue 16th Apr 2002 01:04 UTC

I had a similar GRUB problem as Eugenia, and setting up the partitions with the PartitionMagic bundled with BeOS may have been the problem.

Use fdisk, even though it may look scary, if you are not dumb then you can do it.

What you all basically missed....
by Bobbie on Tue 16th Apr 2002 01:07 UTC

...is the USE flags set. I can't believe the reviewer missed this. Not only is this a compile from source distribution, but Gentoo is able to compile to your own preferences. eg. Don't use KDE? Just add "-kde -qt" to USE and apps that can optionally support KDE, won't when you merge them.

lofl
by Genaldar on Wed 17th Apr 2002 06:07 UTC

"The reviewer was not even able to install and run Gentoo and still reviews it AND gives it 4/4 stars. What??!?? :o"

I'm sorry thats just funny as hell (btw I haven't seen spiderman yet so I'm gonna give it 4/4 stars based on the previews ;p).

devfs support
by L'Olonnais on Wed 17th Apr 2002 09:04 UTC

hi,
i've tried gentoo linux and i've build the kernel without devfs support. What is the name of the option to activate devfs in make menuconfig ?

Re: devfs support
by Eugenia on Wed 17th Apr 2002 17:32 UTC

It is under filesystems support, I think.

slackware
by zzero on Thu 18th Apr 2002 08:13 UTC

"for Slackware, well, I tried over the past few months to find out about their status" & "It seems that the Slackware guys have released "silently" 8.1-beta2"

um

just read the changelog? ;)
that why it's there for see the changes and updates
real hard now ain't that...