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Anayonkar Shivalkar
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:38 am    Post subject: Gentoo : a distro worth installing(?) Reply with quote

Hello everybody,

First things first : Thanks a lot for your help. During last few days, I had lot of issues, and few of you replied to my (somewhat stupid) queries.

However, it might be a good distro, but I'm not someone who can dedicate time in weeks (or days) to just bring up a distro. I started this activity(installing gentoo) on last saturday (11th Feb) and after 9 days, all I'm having is a black & white terminal - that too without USB and internet support. That terminal also I got after painful process of getting 'emerge -pf' for basic packages like grub etc., dumping the output to a file, rebooting to another OS and reading from that file, followed by manually downloading those packages.

After all the trouble, I've come to the conclusion that, I'm unnecessary following the process people used to follow 15 years back. I agree that when I compile source on my machine, it is specifically optimized for my machine and will give very good performance. But logically speaking, I can't spend time in days or weeks to just run few applications faster by a few milliseconds.

I'm not running London or New York stock exchange on my machine, so I don't mind if my machine is slower by a few milliseconds (or even a couple of seconds), but I do mind if speeding up my machine is chewing up my time in weeks. Installing Linux is not the sole purpose of my life.

Of course, there are lot of good distros, which do not work out of the box (I've used Fedora, Debian, CentOS etc.), but still, installation and configuration process is much less painful there.

All in all, gentoo might be a gread distro, but its not for me.

Currently, I'm back to Linux Mint, but I liked this 'rolling distro' concept of gentoo so much that instead of normal Mint, I'm using LMDE (Linux Mint Debian Edition), which theoratically, I'll never have to reinstall. It took me 15 minutes to install and set-up my machine and few hours to update it (during which I could do other stuff like coding etc. on my newly installed distro).

Please bear in mind that I'm not at all saying that gentoo is bad etc., rather I'm pretty sure when (and this 'when' is important) you have a working gentoo machine, its gonna give you ultimate performace - just because all binaries are compiled and linked just for you. All I'm trying to say is - the process is tough (very tough if you don't have wired internet) and to make it worth, you got to have some mission critical applications running (like a development server etc.).

Personally, I would say if you are someone who uses computer just for internet browsing, music, movies, coding, image processing etc., then I don't think that the time and efforts required to set up a gentoo machine are worth the results. But of course, if you want to learn a lot of stuff about Linux in general, or you have (or want to have) the sys-admin kind of job, then yes, its a great learning.

I hope someday, I'll find a reason good enough to switch to gentoo.

Till then,

Bye bye.
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Bones McCracker
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It only takes a couple of hours of effort to install Gentoo, but you do you have to know what you're doing. If not, it requires an investment of time to learn what is necessary.

It sounds like Linux Mint is probably a better choice for you. A couple of alternatives you might want to consider are Sabayon (sort of a pre-packaged Gentoo), and Arch (which is similar to gentoo but provides binary packages by default).
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Kaso_da_Zmok
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

you are following the low level gentoo way because you want to learn something about linux internals.
there is a learning curve that you have to do just once.
my first gentoo stage 1 in 2004 took 2 weeks till the box was booting and another 2 weeks till the desktop was fully functional.
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cwr
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, you're right, it's not worth installing Gentoo unless you are interested
in Linux, or Operating Systems, or at least programming. There are better
distributions for just running general applications; and in fact I've never
been really persuaded by the "increased performance" aspect of Gentoo.

It generally takes me a few hours to set up a new Gentoo installation,
and then I let it all compile overnight, but that's with some experience
in avoiding the various pitfalls. It's not worthwhile unless you are
interested in computers themselves, as opposed to applications.

You might have a look at Sabayon, which is effectively a pre-compiled
Gentoo.

Good luck - Will
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yngwin
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gentoo without internet is painful, yes. So why don't (didn't) you have internet on your Gentoo box?
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section12
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gentoo is one of the most stable, reliable, and fastest distros around.

That said, don't bother to install it unless you ABSOLUTELY know what you are doing. Things like not being able to get ALSA working, X-server misbehaving, the very outdated install documentation and some other minor quirks will make you pull your hair out while installing it. I've heard it's made some people commit suicide, but that is just rumor.

Stick with something easier like Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Fedora or even OpenSuSE. You will be much better off (anyone reading this). Especially since this community isn't as good as it was when I was running 2008.0 release.

For example, I have an Asus Xonar D2 sound card. Can't get it to work PROPERLY. It makes sound, even 5.1 sound, but everything sounds like it's under water. I did hour upon hour of searching for solutions to the issue, but there is nothing truly reliable out there. Come to the community here, ask for help, get ignored. It seems to be the norm these days as when reading over the forums, there are lots of either unread threads with zero replies but HUNDREDS of views, or threads with advice that the thread poster said they already tried. It can become frustrating.

However, if you do not mind trudging through all of that... go for it. It will literally be custom built around your hardware and it will run like a greased up deaf guy.
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sbaginov
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Anayonkar Shivalkar.

I am a Gentoo newbie (as you can see this is my first post) and I found your thread while I was browsing the forums for a sort of Hello world, this is my first post as there is in Arch forums I am coming from.
I have been facing the same difficulties you faced a few days ago, but I am a professional who has been working and playing as a systems engineer for 20+ years and I was luckily able to have it running Gnome 2.32 the second day: why?

It is just a matter of confidence and knowledge. I am coming from a few years of Arch and I love Arch because Linux is once again something I am able to understand.
I love what Ubuntu has done to the GNU/Linux community: before Mark Shuttleworth the only answer you were always sure to get was: simply download, untar, run config, make, make install and you are done!
That was a lie or - at least - half of a lie: if you were a pro (at least a developer) you knew what that meant, but if you were not, you later simply discovered your system did not work any more after a few of those magic make installs.

Mark Shuttleworth and Ubuntu woke up the GNU/Linux community by providing a quick, reliable and definitive solution to printers, video, audio and keyboards configurations that everyone - even the dumbest of the guys you will ever meet - is able to run.
That was the really new starting point: unfortunately that was a bad point for many of us who have an ITC background, because Ubuntu has its "secret" intricacies and "un{documented,said}" underground changes, so that we cannot immediately follow/understand its behavior among different releases...
That is why Ubuntu (beloved by newbies) is not so much beloved by experts: too many changes that break up with the past, upgrades that fail, the 6 month cycle that makes the latest release age the day you install it...

While looking for something stable I had not to reinstall every 6 months I discovered Arch and the concept of the rolling distro (too many years after I had fallen in love with Linux, but this was a problem of mine) ...
Arch made me work more on the command line (I am a DOS 2.0 guy) and - with its simple, predictable and continuous updates - has been giving me the latest software just a few hours after its official release.
Today I am a quite happy Arch user and I have come here not because my relationship with it is over, but just because I was curious to look at how this Gentoo thing was like: I knew Arch and Gentoo share lots of similarities and wanted to know more.
Yes, the Gentoo installation manual is over just at the beginning and leaves you at the command line: but, hey, that is the beginning of your new digital life!

That is the occasion to understand why Grub does not work, how your hard disk has to be or could be partitioned, which and how many services - oops! d[a]emons! - your box is going to run, ...
It may be a cold start, but if you enjoy the GNU/Linux philosophy, you will get nearer to the community that built, builds and will build it.
The sources you compile, the time you spend in front of the screen, the configurations you mess with: this is what really is behind the scenes of every distro.
Gentoo gives you the privilege to feel like the Ubuntu/Mint/RedHat/... people who decide how the new release will look like, what features will give you by default, what hardware will it run on: all for free, in a nice environment in which portage will help you get the job done without the complexities you would face if these instruments were not here...

And, while learning, this speed that comes back is just so addictive: have you compiled LibreOffice? It took 6+ hours on my Core Duo! 8O
Have you compared the optimized LibreOffice startup with the unoptimized LibreOffice startup on another distro? Not just a few millisecs: definitely *seconds* faster!! Seconds! on the same 5 years old hardware... Geez. Gentoo rocks! :D

What can I say? Do not switch back: repartition your hard drive and install them both: I mean Mint and Gentoo (in the reversed order not to mess up with Grub again)...
They are not alternatives, they are just different proposals of the same software and philosophy: get your time to understand it, you will not regret about it.
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Arch made me a happy GNU/Linux user and introduced me to Gentoo.
Gentoo boosted my PCs and made me curious & adventurous again.
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Earthwings
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moved from Installing Gentoo to Gentoo Chat (not a support thread).
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Randy Andy
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome at Gentoo, sbaginov.

Full ack to your post that i liked much to read.

Have much fun to discover more of the possibilities Gentoo offers to you and to all the more interested users.
The more needed time to invest in, is worth every minute, if you want to learn how things work and to control it by yourself.

More speed is the bonus you could get, if you've done your job well, but should never be the incitement to try out Gentoo.

So long,

Andy.
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sbaginov,

Thats an excellent first post. Welcome to Gentoo.
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