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TheCreeep
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:23 pm    Post subject: What's the current state of Gentoo? Reply with quote

Hello everybody,


I've started using Gentoo about 9.5 years ago, with version 1.4. I really cut my teeth on it, but in the process I truly learned the inner workings of a Linux system.
I've used Gentoo almost exclusively for my next 4 years (high school), but after that I couldn't spend the time to configure every detail. Don't get me wrong, I used to love to do it, but due to time constraints I couldn't configure new packages I install, I couldn't fix anything that broke after an emerge -u world. So I switched to Debian and finally Ubuntu.

Now I'm thinking of returning to Gentoo, but I've been out of touch for much too long. So I would like to ask you guys what's the current state of Gentoo Linux.

Is it stable? Will updating everything have the potential of breaking something?
Does everything have to be configured? Can I have a simple gnome2 or MATE desktop without too much hassle?
Does it still take a long time to compile everything on relatively recent machines? (I have a 1075T 3GHz, 6 cores) Is it worth doing the ramdisk trick?
Has anything major changed during the last 5 years(except the retirement of drobbins)? Portage still exists, right? :)
Is it important to edit my use flags lists?
Do you have to add some stuff to init manually?
Any issues with drivers?
Is Sabayon worth looking into? What about other gentoo based distributions?

The main reasons I want to switch back is because I want to have the latest software, I want that flexibility to chose what I install, and I want to be able to chose specific versions whenever I need to do make some particular piece of software work.

I'm looking forward to see some replies, and I'd appreciate if you try not to make me feel too old ;)

Cheers guys,
Lucian
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The Doctor
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome Back!

Quote:
What's the current state of Gentoo?
Emerging.
Quote:
Is it stable? Will updating everything have the potential of breaking something?

Stable? Yes, updating will always risk breaking things, but this is not the norm. I have found breakages are rare, and I have never rendered my system unbootable via an update. I am also running on the ~amd64 branch.
Quote:
Does everything have to be configured? Can I have a simple gnome2 or MATE desktop without too much hassle?
Yes.
Quote:
Does it still take a long time to compile everything on relatively recent machines? (I have a 1075T 3GHz, 6 cores)
No, unless you try to install libreoffice or similar.
Quote:
Has anything major changed during the last 5 years(except the retirement of drobbins)? Portage still exists, right? :)
Last time I checked ;)
Quote:
Is it important to edit my use flags lists?
Depends. How much do you want to?
Quote:
Do you have to add some stuff to init manually?
rc-update? yes. Manually create symlinks? no.
Quote:
Any issues with drivers?
Like all Linux, it depends on your hardware.
Quote:
Is Sabayon worth looking into? What about other gentoo based distributions?
I don't think you will get an unbiased answer here.
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John R. Graham
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Doctor wrote:
Quote:
What's the current state of Gentoo?
Emerging.
Too funny. :D

- John
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wuzzerd
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gentoo still works if I don't mess it up.
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sitquietly
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 11:02 pm    Post subject: Re: What's the current state of Gentoo? Reply with quote

TheCreeep wrote:
.....I'm thinking of returning to Gentoo, but I've been out of touch for much too long. So I would like to ask you guys what's the current state of Gentoo Linux.....


I've been on a similar path to yours and really identify with your concerns. Almost a year ago after working deeply with Archlinux, building my entire system from source code and working closely with their pkgbuilds (their equivalent of ebuilds), I was disappointed to find the dirty secret about archlinux -- it is very poorly put together. So I went through a fairly lengthy process of evaluating alternatives and forcing myself to choose a new linux distro.

In the end my experience was that gentoo is well-engineered and is a more reliable system than archlinux, opensuse, or sabayon. Ubuntu is ok but serves a very different need. I needed a system for math/sci education, programming in c, lisp, tcl, and icon, and latex publishing; gentoo with a few overlays (science, lisp, sage, haskell) provides EVERYTHING I could ever need and is damned near unbreakable 8O

So in the end I really appreciate gentoo. My recent experience suggests that the state of gentoo is very good. I did have to read the wiki and some man pages closely and learn how to master emerge and its very complete information outputs. I run a fully current system (meaning "unstable") on a sandybridge i5-2504s with 16 GB of ram. I compile a complete KDE math/sci desktop in tmpfs (8 GB) with CFLAGS="-march=native -O2". I barely notice compile times. Initial installation took more than 12 hours. My daily updates are done while I go about my work and take an average of 10 minutes. The update process, even though it is compiling from source code, doesn't interfere with my work any more than the binary updates in archlinux. In fact, archlinux binary updates interfered with my daily work quite a bit because too often they broke my system :x

A little known gem for you to look at is Calculate Linux. I've run it alongside gentoo and funtoo. It is gentoo with a binary overlay and gui installer (and something called "Calculate Utilities" for some system management tasks). It installs as quickly and easily as Ubuntu, seems to be well-tested and stabilized, uses portage and only portage for package management. It could be a good way to ease back into the world of gentoo.
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hcaulfield57
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 11:43 pm    Post subject: Re: What's the current state of Gentoo? Reply with quote

TheCreeep wrote:

Is it stable? Will updating everything have the potential of breaking something?

Gentoo is very stable, and I've never had any problems with it. If you are worried about stability then just run stable.
TheCreeep wrote:

Can I have a simple gnome2 or MATE desktop without too much hassle?

Gnome 2 is the default version of Gnome in Portage right now, and MATE is available in various overlays.
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baaann
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd recommend http://gpo.zugaina.org/Newest to keep abreast of the latest available software, although YMMV using layman and overlays. I'd also recommend using eix on the command line.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Doctor wrote:
Welcome Back!

Quote:
Does it still take a long time to compile everything on relatively recent machines? (I have a 1075T 3GHz, 6 cores)
No, unless you try to install libreoffice or similar.


LibreOffice compiles in about an hour on my i7
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hcaulfield57
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dewke wrote:

LibreOffice compiles in about an hour on my i7

Who really cares about compile times, go outside or something if it's taking too long.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hcaulfield57 wrote:
dewke wrote:

LibreOffice compiles in about an hour on my i7

Who really cares about compile times, go outside or something if it's taking too long.


Instead of injecting pointless comments, why don't you actually read the thread, or better yet go outside or something.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dewke wrote:

Instead of injecting pointless comments, why don't you actually read the thread, or better yet go outside or something.

Forgive me if I offended you, I was simply trying to state my opinion that compile times are not a huge issue, and in my opinion people unnecessarily make a larger issue out of them than need be as a reason for rejecting Gentoo. I wasn't trying to be rude.
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duby2291
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

re compile times... It used to be baaaaaa---aaaaadddd. I mean really bad.

But on a thuban it will be a surprising pleasure to watch your cpu rip through in an hour and a half what used to take days. I've been using gentoo long enough that when I got my quad core I got way too much enjoyment out of watching it eat.....
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szczerb
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ahhh....libreoffice. Nice and quick at work (45 minutes to 1h 10m depending on load), but at home it takes 10 hours!
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friesia
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my Gentoo (around 1250 total packages installed) there's almost always 1 or 2 which don't compile (~amd64).
I notice other non-critical bugs quite often, too.
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dewke
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hcaulfield57 wrote:
dewke wrote:

Instead of injecting pointless comments, why don't you actually read the thread, or better yet go outside or something.

Forgive me if I offended you, I was simply trying to state my opinion that compile times are not a huge issue, and in my opinion people unnecessarily make a larger issue out of them than need be as a reason for rejecting Gentoo. I wasn't trying to be rude.


Fair enough. I was just trying to show the OP that on a modern cpu compile times aren't an issue.
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