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psycho
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

windex wrote:
External Support, while probably a well-intentioned question, is a bit silly if you think about it. For example, when was the last time that you had a MS Windows bug and then picked up the phone to call Microsoft for tech support?

That would indeed be a silly example of external support. It's not Microsoft, but the thousands of consultants trained to use their products who are called upon, regularly, to assist when problems need to be addressed in a hurry on systems running a Microsoft OS. Ditto for Solaris: UNIX support is provided by people who are familiar with Solaris (or a Debian or Red Hat derivative typically, around here); not by Sun itself. On the other hand, if your company's small enough and has enough IT gurus on board, you may be so competent with all aspects of your systems that you never need external support. For a system handling thousands of transactions a second though, I'd have thought it would be nice to know it was there: consultants can be expensive, but down time can cost much more.

windex wrote:
Your next question involves system updates? Updates are pretty rare for us. A typical server for us will have two external services running - an application service and a management service. Management services (like sshd) need patching at most annually, and application services (like apache) require patching no more than quarterly, barring emergencies. There are tons of work-arounds for this, which essentially involve having back-out plans, failover plans and redundancy. Those sorts of measures are much more effective at preventing downtime than anything else. A Red Hat patch is going to fail something like 4% of the time, and a Microsoft patch is going to fail (and crash) something like 12%. With odds like those, you should probably be doing failover and continuity planning anyway.

Everyone does that regardless of the OS: it would be ridiculous to have none of those plans. The issue is not whether to have them, but what advantage Gentoo offers over distros that require you to use them less frequently!

windex wrote:
And no, I do not make heavy use of glsa-check. Don't have much of a back-ground on this, really.

Neither do I, but if you're not risking your whole system with emerge -u world (and surely you wouldn't want to waste time re-testing your systems every time you did this), you must have some means of quickly applying necessary security updates? I don't know, but again, much as I like Gentoo for home use, it seems a whole lot easier to run a stable distro that you can keep fully up-to-date with minimal effort and risk.

windex wrote:
I guess it's more than a little ironic that most of the reasons that we've chosen Gentoo relate to it's stability, ease of system-administration, and community support.

Gentoo doesn't even have a stable branch (its so-called "stable" branch is merely "more tested"...but it's still a moving target)! "Stable" means "not shifting": Gentoo is a rolling-release distro that's changing constantly. What do you mean by saying you've chosen Gentoo because of its "stability"? I understand the "cultural experience with Gentoo" reason (you use it because you know it and like it), but you haven't provided any other examples of why Gentoo's more appropriate to your particular needs: in-house testing is indeed important, but again, that doesn't negate the sense of choosing software that's already been extensively tested with identical compile options and similar package sets on thousands of other systems. Why increase the odds of bugs?

Anyway, I'm glad your company finds that it fits your needs so well. I'd choose Debian or a Red Hat derivative for work (yes, Slackware's a beautiful distro but it wastes your time keeping it up-to-date...and as for Arch, that's just as unstable as Gentoo). Gentoo's the most fun to play with though, and it's nice to know that it's being used in small business, even if it'll never be enterprise-ready.


Last edited by psycho on Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:55 am; edited 1 time in total
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Navar
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

windex wrote:
Oh, follow-up question. What is people's aversion to reviving a zombie thread? I'm curious why people think it's better for me to start a new thread than to reply to a zombie thread. I'd be happy to comply if I could better understand their motive.


I believe most do not get their sphincters discombobulated over it. A few have severe allergic reactions. But every now and then someone feels their cheerios got peed in while I picture nostril dispensed milk spraying at their display via a 2002 thread to 2013 post reply with their response usually along the lines of 'WTF and 8O'. Followed by our hero, Captain Obvious, recovering from their plight to leap up, cape and all to fast state in additional postings, [expletive] necro thread! in saving the day. They're fighting the good fight for us all, they truly do--one zombie at a time.

Unlike those 'other' forums where if a helpful or on topic reply passes some ill-conceived 6 month window handed down from on high, all hell breaks loose and you are chastised until your eyes bleed. Eventually all topics are filtered, archived and removed for the 'good of all'. Probably has more to do with that corporate hierarchy maintaining the status quo regarding their product (censorship). Some people are just control freaks and enjoy making Captain Obvious envy their power.

What is far more frowned upon here are the obvious: Duplicate threads. No one wants to wade through the sea of repeat after repeat to find what might be a valid answer, presuming of course that a tiny amount of polite effort from the OP could even put solved in their title. Ideally, people think and search before jumping to post a 'new' topic. Trolling/spam. Because well, Captain Obvious is... Captain Obvious. And non-polite actions such as personal attacks, derailing thread subject matter, donning an asshat, and intentionally giving harmful advice--like giving strong install systemd recommendations.

Your responses to this thread were applicable, appropriate and welcomed besides a good read.

But then again I'm not a moderator, my opinions are my own, my lawyer wouldn't approve and ymmv. ;)
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It all depends on the topic.

Some things move so quickly, that reviving a six month old thread is irrelevant.
e.g. if you have problems with udev today, don't post in a udev-171 thread.

Other things are timeliess - by all means have your say.

There are other issues too, if you are looking for help.
A new thread appears in the unanswered posts search, so is more likely to be answered.
An old thread appears in 'my posts' only for users that have posted in the thread.
A new post to an old thread appears in posts from the last 24 hours for err, 24 hours.

In short, a new topic will be seen by more users, so you are more likely to get a response.
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windex
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

psycho wrote:

Neither do I (have a background on glsa), but if you're not risking your whole system with emerge -u world (and surely you wouldn't want to waste time re-testing your systems every time you did this), you must have some means of quickly applying necessary security updates? I don't know, but again, much as I like Gentoo for home use, it seems a whole lot easier to run a stable distro that you can keep fully up-to-date with minimal effort and risk.

...

Gentoo doesn't even have a stable branch (its so-called "stable" branch is merely "more tested"...but it's still a moving target)! "Stable" means "not shifting": Gentoo is a rolling-release distro that's changing constantly. What do you mean by saying you've chosen Gentoo because of its "stability"? I understand the "cultural experience with Gentoo" reason (you use it because you know it and like it), but you haven't provided any other examples of why Gentoo's more appropriate to your particular needs: in-house testing is indeed important, but again, that doesn't negate the sense of choosing software that's already been extensively tested with identical compile options and similar package sets on thousands of other systems. Why increase the odds of bugs?

Anyway, I'm glad your company finds that it fits your needs so well. I'd choose Debian or a Red Hat derivative for work (yes, Slackware's a beautiful distro but it wastes your time keeping it up-to-date...and as for Arch, that's just as unstable as Gentoo). Gentoo's the most fun to play with though, and it's nice to know that it's being used in small business, even if it'll never be enterprise-ready.


I think it's important here to draw a distinction between systems that should definitely be run with gentoo, systems that are good candidates for gentoo, and systems that are poor candidates for gentoo. When discussing the gentoo operating system with laymen, this seems to be the most common point of confusion.

Systems used for computation should definitely be built on gentoo. Systems for which performance or stability are primary concerns are good candidates for gentoo. Systems which change frequently, e.g. for which adaptability is the primary concern, are poor candidates for gentoo. Please keep this in mind while reading my explanation - it's a subtle distinction but important if you wish to follow my reasoning.

I'll next draw your attention the subject of patching. Most patching is altogether unnecessary. In fact, most of what people refer to as "patching" is in fact the deployment of bug-fixes, not application of software patches. A patch is meant to upgrade a system. Most vendors who ask you to implement their recommended patches are in fact asking you to implement bug-fixes. Most of the software that I deploy, that I rely upon, is the oldest, and most stable (therefore fastest) software. Since I am quite familiar with this software, it has all of the features that I could conceivably need. This sort of software requires few bug fixes. At the point where I compile a gentoo system, I'm using source code and build scripts that are optimized against my current hardware, optimized against my security decisions and optimized against my intended use. Unless my intended use changes or (unlikely) a security bug is found in the software that I've chosen, it will not require any bug fixes.

This may seem like a cavalier attitude towards software security, but the truth of the matter is that we have a really good security guy who is like white on rice with any security patches that we need to deploy. If you don't have someone like this on staff, I'd recommend hiring consultants to fix stuff like this (e.g. Systegra or someone).

Mature software does not require frequent patches.

And yes, as I've alluded above, if your developers are requesting a build environment where they have access to all of the latest features, supporting new hardware every two or three days, etc., then no you probably don't want to use gentoo for this. Red Hat or Linux Mint would make fine choices. For most power users, gentoo is not appropriate for their work laptop.

But any such talk that gentoo is not "Enterprise Ready" is ludicrous. No distribution could be more enterprise ready.

Another misconception I run into is that consultants will not be able to support gentoo. This is not true. I've gotten Red Hat's consultants to support Gentoo. They will of course balk and protest this, insisting that you need to good dose of Red Hat to set you straight, but once you break out the check-book they will of course fall into line and support any system - Windows, Solaris, BSD, Gentoo, VMS, Android, and yes even Red Hat.

You questioned the stability of gentoo? I find it quite stable. I have systems with hundreds of days' uptime. I suppose my anecdotal experience may not seem reliable to you, but as mentioned we put our (gentoo and other) systems through rigorous lab testing, field testing and pilot programs. Does gentoo crash? I've yet to see a gentoo system crash. I'm sure it must happen somewhere. I suspect that it must be improperly configured.

People seem to have a lot of anxiety about patching a running gentoo system, but this is often pain-free on a properly configured system. Portage itself seems to contain a few roll-back options in the event that it detects a problem. In addition, you should understand to make a back-up copy of your binary, config and data files before upgrading anything. On top of that there's no good reason that you need to do the compiling *on* your active system. Cross-compiling is perfectly reasonable.

Taken together, I'm careful enough that I can provide more stability to a userbase (I've supported applications for 1-million+ users before) on gentoo than a less-careful user would be using anything else. As one's system administration skills grow, control and granularity become important. I like to know every service that launches at boot. I like to hand-pick my boot parameters, log management, time daemon and file-system settings.

If you've less than two years of linux administration experience, I would recommend sticking with Linux Mint. It's not that Mint is so great, rather that it is more forgiving of noobish behavior. Otherwise you should be on gentoo.

Were you asking me to sloganize my experience for you? "Gentoo: A stable operating system and software app-store for high-performance systems." That pretty much sums it up.

Or were you looking for words of encouragement? Do you currently use gentoo at work? If not, I can tell you how to do it. Next time someone in the department is about to throw away an old server, go ahead and rescue the thing. On your lunch break, use the new gentoo system to build a simple application. Build an application that will fix a common non-critical problem, something that affects everyone. Would your co-workers enjoy having a web page that displays the cafeteria menu for them? Gentoo could be perfect for this! You will get practical experience administering your gentoo system, and it will yield positive attention inside of the company for gentoo.

I hope this helps. And remember that any project that you're choosing gentoo for should be something where the software/settings won't change very often. This is the secret to gentoo's stability.
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psycho
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

windex, gentoo is neither "stable" nor "enterprise ready", and the thousands of responsible systems administrators who know this aren't trumped by your unusual positive experiences (no crashes ever etc). as for your advice, "use the new gentoo system...fix a common non-critical problem...it will yield positive attention inside of the company for gentoo"...LOL: for what purpose, given that the distro is so much worse than available alternatives for *critical* tasks? i have always sung gentoo's praises to colleagues and friends, and showed off its unique capabilities...but dependability for enterprise use is not one of them, and i would never recommend this distro for large deployments involving complex systems: it's not that it can't do the job; it's just that it's not designed for that, whereas other distributions are, so it makes no sense to choose gentoo. gentoo is a meta-distribution, designed for flexibility, experimenting, and basically having fun. granted it's ideal for some specific serious tasks too, and as you say, in-house testing can be necessary anyway in some deployments, so i'm not claiming gentoo is purely a hobby distro with no serious applications. but it certainly isn't stable (and your using a tiny package set and/or not keeping it updated doesn't make the distro "stable": your "like white on rice" security guy is probably duplicating work that others are doing and from which you could benefit effortlessly and at no cost simply by keeping your system up-to-date...except that gentoo has no true stable branch, so keeping your system up-to-date constantly wastes sysadmin time checking whether updates are going to screw things up by replacing packages with newer versions instead of just fixing bugs and security holes). to recommend hiring external consultants to apply security patches is ridiculous. just use a stable distro and apply the automatic updates: that's a lot cheaper, quicker and easier.

neither is gentoo enterprise-ready: it's a very well known distro, so if it could compete with the likes of debian and red hat on their turf, we'd see it out there doing so. plenty of unix sysadmins are well aware of gentoo...it was "the" exciting new gnu/linux distribution, back in the early drobbins days. it's not a big enterprise player because it's not good at that, because it doesn't try to be. your claim that "no distribution could be more enterprise ready" is bizarre. your perception of gentoo's relationship to other distros seems rather out of touch with reality. i'm guessing that the increased use of gentoo on servers, mentioned in my original post, is mostly websites hosted by individual geeks, small organisations whose IT affairs are in the hands of individual geeks, or bands of geeks (linux user groups and so on); all of them enthusiasts using gentoo because they *enjoy* using it. let's face it, if the gentoo community were interested in wooing enterprise administrators with massive budgets, we probably wouldn't brand ourselves with purple flying saucers and transsexual cattle :)
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baaann
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

psycho wrote:
windex, gentoo is neither "stable" nor "enterprise ready"..........


I am a very small scale user, but are you seriously suggesting that Google would allow their ChromeOS to be based on a distribution that is neither "stable" nor "enterprise ready"? I cannot imagine that myself.
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Navar
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

windex,

Given what just occurred again, I take back what I said earlier. Your interesting response would have been better served in another thread.

I would not recommend a small support base hobby oriented desktop only profile for serious server duty, as in the Mint distribution. The Mint folks recommend you don't either. Particularly when after all the hype and the dust settled, the folks producing Mint couldn't get their act together for months to address zero testing for their 2012 official ISO releases. It doesn't take a whole lot of effort in testing to realize that if you're going to insist upon mounting every ntfs partition noticeable with your initrd, that you should at least make sure the binaries used were properly 32 bit instead of the 64 bit ones mistakenly packaged and own up to addressing it in a reasonably timely manner. Past that, I've enjoyed watching their efforts on the desktop front.

psycho,

You are at this point, by definition, trolling.

There are a number of people who have the accumin and confidence to apply Gentoo in the workplace for server use. If you want to use circa 2000+ hyped marketing buzzwords, then we'll call it the "Enterprise". Some have made themselves known, some have not. Some obviously do not care about your claims. In any case, Gentoo is good enough for Google and NASDAQ. Take from that what you will.

Given the metrics that RedHat has spent on average only 150 million yearly on R&D in the last 3 years (compare with IBM, Oracle, HP, Microsoft and Unisys THE competition), that their billion dollar revenue is centralized around subscriptions, then training and finally support with their primary focus being middleware and virtualization, I don't get any warm and fuzzy vibe to coincide with the generalizations you continue to make. And then your other argument is Debian, again :roll:
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psycho
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Navar, disagreement based on sound argument is not "trolling". If my pointing out that Gentoo's enormous virtues and strengths nevertheless do not justify gushing fanboyish denials of its weaknesses is "by definition, trolling" in these forums then we simply aren't allowed to talk as frankly about the distro's weaknesses as we are about its strengths...perhaps we have too many fanboys and not enough people offering sound advice to readers? Windex made some bizarre claims (that he uses Gentoo for its "stability", for example...and that "no distribution could be more enterprise ready"), and I addressed those. Would you prefer that we all maintained a reverent silence as if Gentoo were indeed the most stable GNU/Linux distribution, or even *a* stable distribution? It isn't, and its use in the "enterprise" notwithstanding (the fact that some people use it no more proves that it's the best choice for those uses than the fact that a religion has adherents proves it to be right), I am simply stating a fact when I say that a rolling release distribution that's heavily customised by individual users is an inferior software testing ground, next to a stable distribution in which users are more likely to stick with default compilation options etc. To the extent that Windex described the particular advantages that Gentoo offers his business over the likes of Debian and Red Hat, he was engaged in useful discussion. His simply denying the facts by calling Gentoo stable and the most enterprise-ready distro of all is not helpful for anyone, except perhaps for other fanboys looking to bolster their "warm and fuzzy vibe".

As for Google and NASDAQ, I didn't know that NASDAQ was running on Gentoo...that's impressive if it's true. You're mistaken with regard to Google, however, unless they've recently overhauled their systems. Not long ago they were running a customised version of Ubuntu that they called "Goobuntu". No doubt their employees use various other operating systems here and there for non-critical tasks, but that does not amount to the vote of confidence they give to a distro by running their servers on it and using it as their default desktop.
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baaann
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

psycho wrote:
You're mistaken with regard to Google, however, unless they've recently overhauled their systems. Not long ago they were running a customised version of Ubuntu that they called "Goobuntu". No doubt their employees use various other operating systems here and there for non-critical tasks, but that does not amount to the vote of confidence they give to a distro by running their servers on it and using it as their default desktop.


They started with Ubuntu and dropped it for Gentoo, see

http://www.zdnet.com/the-secret-origins-of-googles-chrome-os-7000012215/

for an overview
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psycho
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

baaann wrote:
psycho wrote:
You're mistaken with regard to Google, however, unless they've recently overhauled their systems. Not long ago they were running a customised version of Ubuntu that they called "Goobuntu". No doubt their employees use various other operating systems here and there for non-critical tasks, but that does not amount to the vote of confidence they give to a distro by running their servers on it and using it as their default desktop.


They started with Ubuntu and dropped it for Gentoo, see

http://www.zdnet.com/the-secret-origins-of-googles-chrome-os-7000012215/

for an overview

Have they only dropped Ubuntu for Gentoo as a base for their Chrome OS, or have they done the same for their servers etc.? In any case, that article is a nice testament to the technical superiority of portage, when it comes to flexibility etc.
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Navar
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regarding Google, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Chrome_OS. We're going on year 3, which is a pretty big commitment from them. Obviously if it wasn't for the interview referenced they haven't exactly went out of their way to broadcast it.

I missed the part where you pointed out Gentoo's "enormous virtues and strengths".

Disagreements are fine, I'm hardly a stranger to them, especially when based on sound arguments as you stated. Particularly if discussion of that nature was asked for. Fishing to cause them; however, reiterates my point.

I'm certainly not a 'fan boy'. Confusing earned enthusiasm and confidence over time and use in a well thought out product is vastly different from blind adoration. The impression you leave is Gentoo remains a toy in your opinion (and a dangerous one), we get that. I wouldn't call it a well-known distribution either, except on those biases. Yes, windex was asked by you to share their experiences and with that came some boastful enthusiasm, but you seem no stranger to that yourself. Marketing for RedHat do it everyday.

The software stack that you apply towards server use is ultimately a major aspect. Traditionally, the setup is very lean, the services involved are small based on necessity, well tested upstream (we hope) and thankfully to OSS, everywhere else, and do not frequently need to be updated. That leaves the ugly 800 pound gorilla in the room with origins from mainframe eras, middleware. That's a subject I won't touch other than my comment regarding the financial realities of the parties in question and that RedHat is the new kid on the block whose efforts are a joke. Virtualization is the other current day aspect RedHat targets and while I've admittedly no production experience in that area, I've read far too much past and present from customers of RHEL who are not happy at all with support of problems or performance.

I have no issue with Debian, except where you're stating superiority for use. If you mean large commercialized fronts targeting these areas based off of Debian, then please state that instead.

Part of the problem is your use of the word stable. Yours seems centered on perceived fixed snapshots of release periods with a disregard for anyone else asserting uptime and proper function. In other words, a static target. On any given week, all active distros tend to have the possibility of some security/bug updates. The fact that an able administrator doesn't need to wait on their upstream distro to package a known source patch to get it applied against a known issue/vulnerability adds value. Whether they originate as a pre-built binary packaging or are built from source in a consistent manner matters very little. But here again your primary argument is that the consistent manner and set usage constraints do not exist and are constantly changing for a Gentoo user. "Cheap, easy and fast" do not fit the responsibilities of the role and asserting silly this and all do that against the points of doing things properly in dismissal does not add weight to your arguments.

So while you state claims of falsehoods on a few generalizations stated by windex, you're just as damaging to any audience viewing your comments outside with no experience using Gentoo. You're also possibly dissuading anyone who is new to offering active contributions into these forums or elsewhere (such as myself or windex) from desiring to continue doing so even if they are no stranger to Gentoo itself.

I've not found anything represented by Gentoo Foundation telling the user to use considered unsafe build methods. The argument falls into a very old one with the use of C, the ability to easily shoot yourself in the foot automatically becomes asserted you will shoot yourself in the foot. As if you cannot do the same with the other distributions you mentioned (outside packages, changes in default configurations and so on). In fact, official Gentoo documentation expressly warns you not to. No one is telling you to go out of your way grabbing outside unofficial builds. So that leaves two main issues, that it's sourced based for origin and your lack of trust in the main portage tree maintainers.

Could Gentoo use thousands more professionals on the QA testing packages side of things? Certainly, but to borrow from the all are applicable analogy, who couldn't. The OSS community works together as a whole on that front, not one particular commercial venue who places an E to add obscure significance in their product. Furthermore, RedHat has chased the coattails of Redmond longer than anyone. At least Canonical wasn't trying to literally be Windows. Remember who is really to blame for *kit.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Navar wrote:
Regarding Google, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Chrome_OS. We're going on year 3, which is a pretty big commitment from them. Obviously if it wasn't for the interview referenced they haven't exactly went out of their way to broadcast it.

Yes, but I don't think they did anything to actively promote Ubuntu either: they just responded to interviewers' questions about distro choice.

Navar wrote:
I missed the part where you pointed out Gentoo's "enormous virtues and strengths".

I don't remember pointing them out explicitly, though I mentioned its suitability for experimentation (as a "meta-distribution"). I see flexibility and user choice as some of its greatest strengths: many distros like to make a big deal out of the "user choice" aspect of "freedom" (it's all open source so "you can do whatever you want", LOL), but arguably no other distro goes as far as Gentoo does in terms of actually supporting that freedom in practical ways. What use is it to "be able to" build a package differently if all the packages that depend on it then break and the user has to spend weeks trying to sort it out? Freedom as an abstract idea is useless: the user has to be able to actually benefit from it in practical ways, and portage makes this possible by building so much information about build requirements into the package manager that a user really can experiment in significant ways without wasting vast amounts of time and effort.

Gentoo also has a helpful and knowledgeable user base: I imagine users who fiddle with their systems tend to know them better than users who prefer to accept defaults, because Gentoo users often seem to address forum questions much more helpfully than users of other distributions. Gentoo has amazing longevity: I've revived ancient Gentoo systems with enormous world updates and the resulting systems have worked, whereas the likes of Ubuntu (with the possible exception of the LTS releases, I don't know) and Fedora are impossible to salvage after a few years, and require new installations from scratch. And so on, and so on: Gentoo has plenty of strengths, which is why I use it.

Navar wrote:
Disagreements are fine, I'm hardly a stranger to them, especially when based on sound arguments as you stated. Particularly if discussion of that nature was asked for. Fishing to cause them; however, reiterates my point.

As I said before, if we can't challenge a wildly inaccurate pro-Gentoo claim ("no distribution could be more enterprise-ready") without the disagreement's being interpreted as "fishing to cause them" (why is the accurate argument "trolling" and the inaccurate pro-Gentoo claim *not* trolling?) then we're simply not allowed to level criticism at Gentoo lest we upset the fanboys. Not a healthy environment for the kind of open criticism that leads to a project's improvement.

Navar wrote:
I'm certainly not a 'fan boy'. Confusing earned enthusiasm and confidence over time and use in a well thought out product is vastly different from blind adoration. The impression you leave is Gentoo remains a toy in your opinion (and a dangerous one), we get that.

Well, I didn't mean to give that impression. You seem to be equating enjoyable personal &/or small business usage with "a toy", which is not true at all: a system that works well and is customised to one's own needs and preferences is not only more enjoyable but also potentially much more productive than a standardised system: it just isn't suited to large scale deployments where there may be hundreds or even thousands of relatively computer-illiterate users, and admins need to maintain and support all those systems in the most efficient and least expensive way. And there are other settings to which it isn't ideally suited, too: I don't mean to run it down by pointing this out.

Navar wrote:
I wouldn't call it a well-known distribution either, except on those biases.

True, around here it's better known by reputation than by use: I'm no longer a LUG member, but in my last LUG, everyone seemed to have an opinion about Gentoo but I was the only one who preferred to use it.

Navar wrote:
Yes, windex was asked by you to share their experiences and with that came some boastful enthusiasm, but you seem no stranger to that yourself. Marketing for RedHat do it everyday.

The software stack that you apply towards server use is ultimately a major aspect. Traditionally, the setup is very lean, the services involved are small based on necessity, well tested upstream (we hope) and thankfully to OSS, everywhere else, and do not frequently need to be updated. That leaves the ugly 800 pound gorilla in the room with origins from mainframe eras, middleware. That's a subject I won't touch other than my comment regarding the financial realities of the parties in question and that RedHat is the new kid on the block whose efforts are a joke. Virtualization is the other current day aspect RedHat targets and while I've admittedly no production experience in that area, I've read far too much past and present from customers of RHEL who are not happy at all with support of problems or performance.

I have no issue with Debian, except where you're stating superiority for use. If you mean large commercialized fronts targeting these areas based off of Debian, then please state that instead.

Yes, "large commercialised fronts", but also small servers or anywhere else where set-it-up-with-minimal-effort-and-trust-it-to-keep-working-with-minimal-intervention is more important than having flexibility and control over the OS. Gentoo does flexibility better than it does stability.

Navar wrote:
Part of the problem is your use of the word stable. Yours seems centered on perceived fixed snapshots of release periods with a disregard for anyone else asserting uptime and proper function. In other words, a static target. On any given week, all active distros tend to have the possibility of some security/bug updates. The fact that an able administrator doesn't need to wait on their upstream distro to package a known source patch to get it applied against a known issue/vulnerability adds value. Whether they originate as a pre-built binary packaging or are built from source in a consistent manner matters very little. But here again your primary argument is that the consistent manner and set usage constraints do not exist and are constantly changing for a Gentoo user. "Cheap, easy and fast" do not fit the responsibilities of the role and asserting silly this and all do that against the points of doing things properly in dismissal does not add weight to your arguments.

"Cheap, easy and fast" absolutely DOES fit the responsibilities of many management roles where there's a budget and a timeframe and a set of objectives to meet within those: are smart admins meant to prefer expensive, difficult and slow?! Yes, I get that "stable" is used differently, but I'm using it in both senses: I'm arguing that all else being equal, stability in the sense of static packages improves stability in the sense of uptime and proper function, because a well tested and maintained package's list of bugs should reduce over time...unless it's being endlessly updated and bloated with new features, in which case the lack of stability in the first sense can lead to reduced stability in your other sense, too.

Navar wrote:
So while you state claims of falsehoods on a few generalizations stated by windex, you're just as damaging to any audience viewing your comments outside with no experience using Gentoo. You're also possibly dissuading anyone who is new to offering active contributions into these forums or elsewhere (such as myself or windex) from desiring to continue doing so even if they are no stranger to Gentoo itself.

It's interesting that my posts' being called "ludicrous" and "trolling" and so on is not an example of "dissuading anyone who is new", whereas my refusing to back down on valid criticisms of the claims re Gentoo's stability and enterprise-readiness is so discouraging to others. My apologies if this is true: I will leave this thread alone from now on, as it does seem to have become more acrimonious than constructive.

Navar wrote:
I've not found anything represented by Gentoo Foundation telling the user to use considered unsafe build methods. The argument falls into a very old one with the use of C, the ability to easily shoot yourself in the foot automatically becomes asserted you will shoot yourself in the foot. As if you cannot do the same with the other distributions you mentioned (outside packages, changes in default configurations and so on). In fact, official Gentoo documentation expressly warns you not to. No one is telling you to go out of your way grabbing outside unofficial builds. So that leaves two main issues, that it's sourced based for origin and your lack of trust in the main portage tree maintainers.

LOL...my "lack of trust" is in the idea that less testing is greater than more. I have much respect for the portage tree maintainers...they do a truly impressive job of maintaining a superb, enjoyable and technically excellent distro. What I'm not so keen to agree with is the idea that a rolling release distro with a handful of users running identical setups is capable of being as dependably bug-free as a stable distro with widely used defaults, when it receives a fraction of the time on testing and bug-squashing for specific package sets. Of course Gentoo can have fewer bugs in some contexts, sometimes even *because* the widely varying setups throw up more bugs in testing than other distros find with less varied setups...but all else being equal, stable package sets tested by huge user bases lead to more functional stability over time than moving targets do. As well as being common sense, all this accords with my personal experience of using and working with different distributions: default setups of stable distros like Slackware and Red Hat are rock solid and I've never seen significant breakage from routine updates (bug-fix/security updates), whereas Gentoo compiled with plain old -O2 using the "stable" portage tree still breaks sometimes. Maybe I've just been unlucky...and I've never used Gentoo at work, so perhaps it would have performed just as reliably at those more limited tasks.

Navar wrote:
Could Gentoo use thousands more professionals on the QA testing packages side of things? Certainly, but to borrow from the all are applicable analogy, who couldn't. The OSS community works together as a whole on that front, not one particular commercial venue who places an E to add obscure significance in their product. Furthermore, RedHat has chased the coattails of Redmond longer than anyone. At least Canonical wasn't trying to literally be Windows. Remember who is really to blame for *kit.

"Who couldn't" is quite right: the fact remains that some other distros *do* benefit from thousands more professionals QA testing packages than Gentoo currently enjoys, and in some contexts that's a valid reason for preferring those other distros. This has nothing to do with warm fuzzies towards one or another distro community: I agree that Canonical's Windows-chasing bloatware sucks...that's one of the reasons I like the "stable" branches in e.g. Slackware and Debian, where old setups that actually do the job well are continually supported and improved (via bug and security fixes), rather than scrambling to embrace every upstream development and deprecate the stuff that worked just fine before. I'm no Debian fanboy: I'd be just as critical of Debian if it were purely Sid+Testing, or of Red Hat if it were Fedora, or of Slackware if it only supported its "testing" branch. Gentoo has no equivalent of Debian's "stable" or of Slackware's releases or of Red Hat's releases: Gentoo's "stable" branch is like early-to-middle stage Debian "testing", inasmuch as it's been tested for a while but hasn't been frozen so isn't stable in that sense. It matters, in some enterprise settings, and it's just not realistic to claim that it doesn't and that Gentoo's a good candidate for those tasks. In other settings, like on my desktop right now, Gentoo is ideal :)
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baaann
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@psycho

I think I know where your coming from and to a degree I agree. However if you look at your earlier comment re Google, having had it suggested that they used Gentoo, rather than research further or ask for evidence, you just stated we were plain mistaken and that can definitely be construed as trolling, intentional or not.

As previously mentioned my use cases are small, I run a x2go server for our employees to work remotely and I also use Gentoo to create in store pricing kiosks using old PIII laptops. Both scenarios work very well because I am able to implement a "light" system via Gentoo which works efficiently on hardware that is a long way from state of the art. That said, my system hardware is in the main, different on each machine and therefore each install tends to be individual. So pluses and minuses with my setup, however if I deploy identical hardware and use a binhost server then it is win win and therefore as you scale up Gentoo must become more attractive whether it be server or Chromebook. Given that Google will know the full hardware specs of all the Chromebooks, I am sure it is the model they will be following.
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psycho
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

baaann, trolling involves intentional provocation: you're not a "troll" if you state facts with the intention of being helpful, and some readers get upset. as far as i know, i'm still correct in believing google runs on "goobuntu": i did ask whether their basing chrome os on gentoo (i.e. using it for building other software rather than for day-to-day mission critical tasks, which is of course the issue under debate) was part of a larger overhaul in which they'd also switched their servers and desktops from ubuntu to gentoo...but none of those who informed me that google "uses gentoo" addressed that question so i'm assuming google still runs on ubuntu. to assume this without going and doing a bunch of research is not "trolling": it's simply stating my assumptions (based on earlier research) and asking to be corrected if i'm wrong...thus far nobody's informed me that i'm wrong, though it was good to learn that google do use gentoo for building chrome os. it would be great if they scaled it up and gentoo became the foundation of all their software: they have enormous resources so that would feed back into the gentoo project.
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