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Xchino
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2002 5:04 pm    Post subject: Gentoo Vs. Other Dists. Reply with quote

What exactly are the benefits of gentoo vs. debian or redhat or the like? Would it be more suited for my 486 Laptop than debain? What about as a desktop machine? Linux in and of itself is suitable for servers, so that's not really my question. I need something to present to my boss to switch over from Mandrake (which I don't hate, but there's better choices). Please help!
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divine
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Joined: 18 Apr 2002
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Location: Groton, CT

PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2002 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hello there!

first off....
most distro's are compiled so that the binaries will run on any mainstream system, from a 486 to a new Intel/AMD beast. This means that the binaries are not optimized for any single CPU or architecture. This can, and often does, slow down the general feel of the system.

Gentoo is compiled for your system, by your system. This means that it is FULLY optimized for your specific system. Also, many distro's have many dependencies for many things, that IMO, are pointless. In other words, you don't NEED gnome to compile and use gtk+. On RedHat and Debian, you must use these two together. it just eats disk space.

With Gentoo, you can control EXACTLY what is on your system, all dependencies, and change anything you would like with ease. When I need to change a config file, I don't have to hunt it down. /etc/conf.d is a nice central location, as well as /etc/init.d where all the startup scripts are stored. Also, Gentoo's rc-update tool is very helpfull with system services.

Many distro's that I have tried start unneeded services in the background (I don't need sendmail running on my 33mhz laptop, thank you very much) and it just wastes resources. With Gentoo, there are no serivices started unless YOU tell it to. YOU are in control for once, and you will love it ;)

Hope you try and love Gentoo as much as I do!
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phaze3k
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2002 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I speak as someone who has used Linux for quite some time (~7 years), and used many distros (Slackware, SuSE, Redhat, Mandrake, Debian, Gentoo).

I'm running Gentoo on my desktop system currently, and Debian everywhere else. I don't expect this to change.

If you want a stable, well tested system which you need to be able to rely on, I really don't think Debian can be beaten. It's tested by loads of people before declared stable (even the 'testing' branch is more stable than any other distro I've ever used) and works with loads of different architectures.

If you want to have an uber-optimized system with all the latest bells and whistles, Gentoo is for you (and me :) ). I really couldn't recommend it for a server, but for someone relativly clueful who isn't scared by a few compile errors it's heaven.

As for that 486 laptop, personally I wouldn't bother with Gentoo on it - you really don't want the latest and greatest on there, because quite frankly it's not going to be up to it anyway. If it were mine, Debian would be on the harddisk right now. Doubtless others will say 'but Gentoo will optimise for the processor better!'. Yeah, it will, but you're going to have to spend a week or so compiling stuff for an extremely minimal performance gain. I very much doubt it would be noticable on a 486 laptop where harddisk throughput is likely to be the limiting factor.
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mihochan
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2002 3:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I reckon that there are a few other nice things about Gentoo too, though.

In one sense, the Portage system is probably still a weakness viz-a-viz Debian, although this can only be a matter of time.
But for now, I think that Gentoo has laid out the machine nicely and it is very easy to do things like regisiter services. In all, there is a more coherent feel to the system.
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abhishek
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Joined: 28 Jun 2002
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2002 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I definetly agree with phaze3k. The amount of time ud spend compiling stuff on ur 486 wouold not be worth it. But if u want, u can compile the stuff for it remotely. Then it might be ok.
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