Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 30th Apr 2010 18:37 UTC, submitted by anonymous
Gentoo This blog post details how the Gentoo Developers have added a "deblob" USE flag to remove any non-free code within the Linux Kernel. Its goal is to "remove binary blobs from kernel sources to provide libre license compliance". While we're at it, Kernel News has an in-depth look at Gentoo Linux.
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What's Gentoo like today?
by jebb on Fri 30th Apr 2010 22:03 UTC
jebb
Member since:
2006-07-06

I had a quick look through this; I do have fond memories of Gentoo, even though I haven't run it in years (how time flies...). Last time I tried, probably 3 or 4 years ago, I remember being put off by how long it took to emerge --sync compared to what I remembered. Any current Gentoo user around? Has this improved at all, or kept increasing exponentially?

The article ends with the following:
Pros
* Large Community, Easy to Find Help
* Extremely Customizable
* Excellent Performance
* Huge Amount of Software Available
* Always Use the Latest Software Versions
* No Need to Reinstall / Upgrade Every 6-9 Months
* Multiple Versions of Software Available to Install
Cons
* Not Many Graphical Configuration Tools
* Installation Takes Forever
* Must be Familiar with Linux to Install / Maintain

From my experience, this misses the (by far) biggest benefit of Gentoo: how much one learns going through an install, especially when one has only ever been exposed to more integrated distributions.

Reply Score: 3

RE: What's Gentoo like today?
by bnolsen on Fri 30th Apr 2010 22:32 in reply to "What's Gentoo like today?"
bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

More pros:
Great for software developers.
Utilizes your 4+ cores.

cons:
far too many use flags that are always changing.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: What's Gentoo like today?
by Morgan on Fri 30th Apr 2010 22:41 in reply to "What's Gentoo like today?"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Maybe it's just me, but I learned a ton more from the Linux From Scratch project than from Gentoo. All Gentoo ever taught me was arcane flags and three-day build sessions just to end up with a non-working system. LFS on the other hand, taught me what a kernel is and how to compile it, what the boot procedure is from start to finish, and what all those arcane directories under / are for. Not to mention, I actually managed to get it built and self-booting within 48 hours.

All that said, I have great respect for the Gentoo team and all they have accomplished.

Reply Parent Score: 2

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

I have never tried LFS, but several years back I was a heavy user of Gentoo and I really did learn helluva lot of Linux and its internals. It wasn't always an easy and smooth ride with Gentoo, but having to figure out why something doesn't compile properly and then whip out one or another patch for it sure did teach me a lot.

I once even went so far as to create a fully-working Gentoo livecd where you could actually install and compile software (though the changes were all stored in RAM and would be lost when rebooted). Was a great experiment ;)

That said, I am glad Gentoo is still going strong. I'd love to go back whenever I can afford a multicore PC, but with this single-core one it's just too painful to compile everything.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: What's Gentoo like today?
by FishB8 on Sat 1st May 2010 01:57 in reply to "What's Gentoo like today?"
FishB8 Member since:
2006-01-16

Back in 2002 when I built my first Gentoo box, the compile time required a lot a patience. Today on a modern, multi-code system, it compiles stuff pretty quickly. It still takes some time, but it's not nearly as bad.

Another Pro:
-Rolling Distro

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: What's Gentoo like today?
by Elv13 on Sat 1st May 2010 18:46 in reply to "What's Gentoo like today?"
Elv13 Member since:
2006-06-12

Syncing is still slow, but compilation is now fast. With a ram disk (ddr2 ramfs) and a quad core, 99% of packages take less than 1 hours to build, most of them take 2 minutes (1 minute to scan the slow portage tree and the other to compile and install).

I don't update that much. Once you have a working gentoo system, you upgrade what you want when you want, there is no benefit to keep all packages updated at all time. Some older versions are faster. If you doesn't need newer feature, well, just keep those, packages don't need to be in sync like other binary based distributions.

Reply Parent Score: 2