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djdunn
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

unfortunately there is no such thing as set and forget in this modern computing world

i think with the last 6 or 7 years with gentoo with a mostly stable system i only had to mask something once because of how it performed vs an older version.
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coolsnowmen
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 6:00 am    Post subject: old ebuilds Reply with quote

Two people have complained about something that I don't really see as a problem
cventers wrote:
...
1. Old ebuilds are scrubbed from the portage tree when you sync. Thus, you often end up in a situation where you are simply forced to build a newer version of something.
...


Quote:
...
Unfortunately that is not that true. This is true on a 6 month or so timeframe, but longer than than and old ebuild start to drop out... if you sync you can't rebuild your machine as-is anymore.
,,,

Needing the old ebuild is a corner case, so I don't really need this automated. But it seems people don't know that they actually exist in two different ways.


1) Your machine. As most are talking about servers let us use apache as an example. The current ebuild from the install of apache is located at: /var/db/pkg/www-servers/apache-2.2.10/

2) The INTERNET. http://sources.gentoo.org/viewcvs.py/gentoo-x86/www-servers/apache/?hideattic=0

3) Yourself. If you are the kind of person that needs this stuff around, consider automating saving everything you install. Chances are this isn't a lot of big stuff. You could look into FEATURES="buildpkg" or write it yourself. This kind of thing is for people who only update every 6 months right? If you still want to use gentoo, perhaps just saving the portage-snapshots wouldn't be a bad idea.
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doctork
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe it's mainly a matter of scale. If you're a mom-and-pop shop with a few (10 or less) servers, then gentoo is probably a fine system for you. However, in the commercial world, realty bites. I'm retired as the end of 2008, but prior to that I worked for a company that has 1000+-200 linux servers installed world-wide. The systems are a mixture of Dell, IBM, and HP, all of which are running RedHat ES 4 or ES 5. Try to imagine running all of those on Gentoo.

There's another factor -- accountability. Several years back, the head of the security for the company I worked for decided he needed to purchase some Checkmate firewalls. "Wait a minute", I said, "I can get the same functionality with Linux servers." "Yeah,", he said, "who will I blaime if the system breaks?" I have to admit, I didn't have an answer for him.

Don't get me wrong -- I run nothing but Gentoo on the six systems that live on my home/office LAN.

doc
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Tekeli Li
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

doctork wrote:
Try to imagine running all of those on Gentoo.


I can, easily, and that's precisely my point. There is no difference between running one or thousands of servers. You always need a testbed/staging environment where you test upgrades/changes before you deploy to the live servers. Regardless of the OS.

The "enterprise grade" option of emerge: -K :mrgreen:
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Arthanis
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PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 9:06 pm    Post subject: Gentoo as Server controversy Reply with quote

Im building a tomcat + mysql development server, and I noticed around the net some controversy about gentoo used as a server, related to package management, compile time, stability and so on. I also realized how there is no Forum about gentoo server here. Does any of that mean that gentoo is not good nor designed as a server box? What is you opinion ( I know this is a gentoo forum, there are a lot of gentoo fanboys like myself, but I would appreciate your sincere and pragmatic opinion and experience). Thanks in advance


Here is a good discussion about the subject:

http://linux.slashdot.org/linux/07/01/28/2227232.shtml
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cyrillic
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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Gentoo can be a good server platform if you know how to manage it properly (updates can be tricky).

Personally, I run Gentoo on all my desktops and laptops, and FreeBSD on my servers.
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Kulfaangaren!
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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 1:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will try to keep this short... :)

There is no "Gentoo Server" forum because a server is just a machine, like any other, that happens to be installed with certain types of software and sees a certain usage pattern (There are in fairness a few kernel config options that suits a server better then a desktop and vice versa). There is no difference between a server and a desktop other then the use of said machine. If you have problem compiling a kernel for your server you use the "Kernel & Hardware" forum and the same goes for your desktop.

Many people seem to put an equal sign in between "server" and "enterprise grade". Is Gentoo "enterprise grade"? No it is not. Is Gentoo a good choice for a server? ABSOLUTELY!
In an "enterprise grade" server distribution, core program/package versions are rarely upgraded. Instead, bug fixes from more recent versions of the program/package are backported as to not break the APIs of libraries or change the functionality of programs. This is all good and well, but it requires a big staff that can be told to do the unsexy and boring work of backporting the fixes to older versions of the program because they are paid to do so. Gentoo community doesn't have that kind of resources since everyone here (I think) are volunteers, not paid employees.
The only time I even consider using for example RHEL or SLES is when I have to run programs that I know I might need support or hire consultants to help me, like Oracle or certain Application servers. Even then I always consider using CentOS over RHEL.

Is it time consuming to set up a Gentoo? Compared to Ubuntu, Redhat, Bluehat and Windo....sorry...Suse, sure it is! They all have fancy installers that install everything...and I do mean Everything...many many many packages that you will never use or even know about. All those extra packages can contain security issues, remote exploitable bugs, privilege escalation bugs, race conditions etc. etc.
With Gentoo, you will only have the packages/programs installed that you need together with their dependencies and of course the base system, all of which you have control over with the USE flags. The fewer USE flags you use, the fewer dependencies. A small (not minimal by a longshot, but small non the less) base system that is easily overviewed and reviewed.
The blog refered to by the /. article talks about installing Gentoo on old hardware. It is true that it takes a while to compile Gentoo on a 286/386/486 or Pentium I/II/III machine, but if you stay away from X11, KDE and Gnome (or any other desktop environment for that matter) even a Pentium install is doable in a few hours, especially since we no longer do stage1 installs but only stage3 ones.

How would I go about setting up a fleet or "Gentoo servers"? First I would install/compile a base system that is not optimized for a specific processor and uses non-cpu specific config options in the kernel, a generic x86_64 install. I would then clone this install using for example the very useful tool fsarchiver. Doing it this way saves alot of time for every server that needs to be set up. Once I had that baseline clone I would change my settings in /etc/make.conf and produce highly optimized code and proceed to install the server applications/daemons that this particular server will run. For a server that is supposed to run mysql + tomcat, it really doesn't matter that bash or vim are both compiled for a generic x86_64 environment. I might consider installing the applications/servers/daemons using the --emtpytree emerge flag, just to be sure that ALL dependencies are recompiled using the optimal settings instead of just compiling the direct dependencies.
If I wanted to be sure not to break any APIs or functionality, I can always emerge everything with the --oneshot emerge flag to ensure that nothing will ever be upgraded if I do not explicitly tells emerge to update a specific package. An other possibility is to use /etc/portage/package.mask/ to mask any version of a program that I want to install with a higher major and minor version number and thus only allow very minor changes that are extremely unlikely to break API/ABI/functionality.
If I for example wanted to install "webserver-2.0.11" but never install "webserver-2.1.x", then I could add ">=www-server/webserver-2.1.0" to the package mask file. If the versions are slotted with major and minor versions (like KDE) I could have added something like "www-server/webserver:2.1" to the package mask file. This would still allow me to update the package to any patchlevel for example "webserver-2.0.15" or any portage ebuild revision like "webserver-2.0.11-r3".

Many of you guys probably don't agree with me, but at least this is how I view this.

My $0.02

// Fredrik
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Mad Merlin
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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 4:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gentoo is a fantastic server distro. It's been running on my servers since the beginning (~5 years ago).
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pappy_mcfae
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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 6:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am currently working with someone who has an ailing CentOS install, and I can say that it comes out of the box ready to do just about anything you want it to. Nice...well, to a point. That point is where some other Poindexter decides he wants to pitch the kernel .configs that work; that is the ones set up by CentOS, in favor of some lame, all compiled in mess.

While discussing the issue on the phone with the techie from the server farm, he said that if I wanted, I could install Gentoo, but I only get 1 gig of RAM to work with. While the machine seems fast enough to get the job done, I think for all involved, it is better to run with CentOS.

However, when I do set up my web server, it will be Gentoo all the way. As long as I keep it arch, and keep my other machines ~arch, I'll know which updates are problematic before the problems arrive to mess up the server. When security issues surfaced, then I'd update.

Just because I have Gentoo installed doesn't mean I have to sync daily or have to keep up with said sync and what it brings. And, from some of the stories I've read, some people have a bit of dust on their Gentoo installs. If it can happen for personal systems, why not for servers?

Blessed be!
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bejayel
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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 2:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a tomcat / mysql gentoo server running my website. I update it once every couple months and everything is great. I dont understant the "bleeding edge" stuff everything talks about gentoo having. Most other major distrobutions have the bleeding edge software pushed in their PMS WELL before it ever reaches arch in gentoo.

Anyway, i find it works great and its FAST too.
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pappy_mcfae
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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 6:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh? Install the latest version of CentOS, and tell us all that again.

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Kulfaangaren!
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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pappy_mcfae wrote:
Oh? Install the latest version of CentOS, and tell us all that again.

Blessed be!
Pappy
CentOS is an Enterprise grade OS, you can't compare it to Gentoo since they rarely update versions of core programs/libs. A better comparison when it comes to package availability would be Fedora or Ubuntu. Not counting overlays, I seem to remember KDE4.0 release being available for both FC and OpenSuse long before they were available in portage proper.

// Fredrik
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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been running Gentoo since 2003 (after one of my servers running RH was compromised because I didn't keep it updated). It is true that Gentoo wants things updated regularly. For me, that is a good thing!. If you don't update for a few months, it can get tricky with multiple systems wanting to be updated.

I maintain four servers and three desktops in my spare time and all I do is look at the necessary updates once a week. It takes ~30 min for minor updates and longer if there are major TC updates. When you know what is important and what is not, you can always choose what updates are critical and what updates can wait.

Although I agree that this might not count as a typical server admin task (servers are low traffic, non-critical), I'm sure a full time administrator who knows what she is doing can easily set up a good workflow using Gentoo.

It is like GUI Vs. command line :) Gentoo needs a bit of knowhow and is not for a beginner. But, once you know how things work, the payoff is tremendous.
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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

merged some posts above
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pappy_mcfae
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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kulfaangaren! wrote:
pappy_mcfae wrote:
Oh? Install the latest version of CentOS, and tell us all that again.

Blessed be!
Pappy
CentOS is an Enterprise grade OS, you can't compare it to Gentoo since they rarely update versions of core programs/libs. A better comparison when it comes to package availability would be Fedora or Ubuntu. Not counting overlays, I seem to remember KDE4.0 release being available for both FC and OpenSuse long before they were available in portage proper.

// Fredrik

The person who made this argument specifically said, "I dont understant the 'bleeding edge' stuff everything [sic] talks about gentoo having. Most other major distrobutions [sic] have the bleeding edge software pushed in their PMS WELL before it ever reaches arch in gentoo."

No matter how you slice it, CentOS is a "major distribution". It is so far from bleeding edge, (KDE-3.5.4), anyone who would make such a broad generalization obviously hasn't the breadth of understanding to know that there are distros out there that run one to two years behind the curve.

Now, if the statement were reworded thusly "Ubuntu and certain other distros tend to stay near the bleeding edge," that would be a correct statement. But to say that MOST "major distributions" stay on the bleeding edge is just false.

Also remember that some of us run ~arch.

Blessed be!
Pappy
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
There is no ’stable’ version of Gentoo. Gentoo is rather a moving target where emerge will forever cause your system to approach the cutting edge. From the Gentoo handbook:

From the beginning, Gentoo was designed around the concept of fast, incremental updates.

If all you’re concerned with is keeping your web server up, what you usually want to do is to set up a stable system and then forget about it. You install security updates as needed but that’s it. With Gentoo, this isn’t really feasible because there is no ’stable’ Gentoo release.
This should at least in theory be false. This is why Gentoo separates stable from unstable packages, which should (again, in theory) completely falsify this claim.
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