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FireFly_Dreams
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 11:24 pm    Post subject: Having the Power of Gentoo, with the ease of use of Ubuntu Reply with quote

Hi everyone,

like maybe some other people, I switched to Ubuntu Linux because it's easier. But (like I'm sure some others do), I miss the power, fun, and so many other things associated with Gentoo Linux.

And here lies the problem, I want to come back soooo bad (probably like so many others too) (you won't believe how much I miss Gentoo).... but I don't want to go through the compile times and needing to fix the problems associated with compiling from the source code. Will Gentoo support binaries and source code in portage, so that you can choose between one or the other? I really want a binary system like Ubuntu, but that has the power, fun, etc. of Gentoo Linux.

I wish I had have said this earlier, I missed you guys all a lot,

FireFly_Dreams
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Prodigal
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I can't speak for the devs plans on binaries but one of the reasons Gentoo is so powerful is because it uses source compiling and not binaries, it enables programs to be so much more streamlined to your needs instead of needlessly bloated out just in case a certain user might need something. Thats why I love Gentoo anyway, because I have the power to determine what I want and don't want in my system.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://gentoo-wiki.com/TIP_Using_PORTAGE_BINHOST
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 12:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

it has always been Gentoo's philosophy to make a system the way the user wants it to be.. even the totally rad larry the cow (attempted to say the words) o_O when he heard about that

as an aside, I've always wished there was a picture of larry in svg or hi-definition. Then I could use a paint program and make a picture of me putting my arm around larry for a scrapbook picture.. and maybe the gentoo ufo and me next to him smiling sticking my thumb up.. ahhh, all those good memories....

I tried using BinHost before, but could never get it working unfortunately. I see there's new servers, yay! but it would be nice if there was an option for after people compile to be asked to send it up to an organized server (that was fully supported and integrated into portage) based on USE flags. Then (for binary downloading) you could choose which USE flags you would find acceptable for your computer, and download the binary for your computer. Or be able to compile from source code, the choice for doing that would be yours.... there's so many ways the developpers could choose to do the same thing though

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Last edited by FireFly_Dreams on Mon Jul 14, 2008 2:12 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been wanting to make a post in support of binary support in portage but have been too lazy to get around to it. But now that someone else has brought this up I guess this would be the best time for me to go ahead and say it.

PLEASE ADD SUPPORT FOR BINARIES IN PORTAGE.

To be honest I would never use binaries myself unless I was setting up a new box and those binaries wouldn't stay for long because after a while when I would get some free time I'd emerge -e system and compile my own apps. The reason why I want binary support added to portage is that unlike ourselves here on this forum, most people don't want to deal with the time it takes to compile from source. They just want to do a simple apt-get command and be done with it. I could have had a handful of windows converts using Gentoo by now had Gentoo have binary support, instead I usually point the new convert over to Ubuntu for the simple fact that I'm sure none of those people would have been happy with Linux if they had to compile all their own programs. Adding binary support would bring a whole new user base to the gentoo family and we could probably see the Gentoo user base grow to numbers that rival some of the larger binary distros.

I really don’t see the point of not having binary support added. It’s not going to hurt anything, if you are the type of person who would rather use programs compiled from source then by all means go ahead and compile your own programs and just don’t use the binaries.

If FreeBSD could do it I don’t see why Gentoo couldn’t support source and binary applications in portage.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 3:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do see what your saying, the thing is, you have to ask yourself, do you really want to convert Windows users (More the non technical ones I'm referring to here who certainly won't want to compile from source and solve issues with use flags etc) to a distro like Gentoo? Or should you just let them use Ubuntu for a while and then when they've fallen in love with Linux let them come looking for Gentoo instead? Not sure I can answer that one myself though.

Anyway there's another thread in "Gentoo Talk" referring to the installer, one idea I've had for the installer (And intend to document when I have the time) is that it could simply refer to several reported setups that run well, for example AMD64 running as X86, Nvidia Graphics and NForce networking, on a Socket 939 motherboard, etc etc etc, then set the appropriate use flags which are proven to work and simply download (Or pull in from a repo CD/DVD) certain binaries which are also proven to work on that setup and are pre-compiled, yes it takes work but it would certainly be an easy way to get new users a working Gentoo install and they can take it from there. As a brief description of how this would work in the installer it asks some of the following questions:

Do you want a GUI?
Which One?
Do you want a desktop or a server?
Media machine, gaming, workstation etc?

And a few more questions are obviously required to make this work effectively, then looks at it's recommended setup files and asks itself, Can I find this exact setup in my records? If the answer is yes it informs the user that it believes it can install a working useable system and asks them to continue, if the answer is no then it informs the user that it is not sure if it can install a working and useable system or not but that it's found some which are close and shows the user the closest setup it can find (least number of non-matches), the user then has the option to continue and take the risk of a partially working system they'll need to fix (However with the added knowledge of WHAT is most likely not working and can try to fix manually) or stop the install and instead compile from source via the command line, if the records hold no close matches then the installer simply informs the user that it cannot provide a stable or even partially stable system and recommends that the user install from source.

Hardware discovery finds the graphics, cpu, northbridge chipset, etc etc etc and assigns appropriate drivers intelligently, for example if someone wants a server with no GUI and they have an nvidia graphics card it simply uses vesa as the framebuffer (IF they want FB that is) If they want a GUI on a Gnome desktop however it installs a pre-compiled nvidia, proprietary, binary and sets up Xorg accordingly. These are only very limited obvious examples but I'll eventually get round to either coding something or at least pseudo coding it. :D

I think if the installer could give you an idea of how stable your system is going to be after the install a lot more people might use the installer to have a very quickly up and running system and then go from there, I reckon even some hard core users might even use that just to get the longest part of the process (Compiling your Desktop) out of the way without the hassle. Even giving the option to set your own use flags and basic packages into the Desktop/Window Manager could be an option if there are several binaries of the same desktop on the same hardware but with different use flags and preferences.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 6:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Prodigal wrote:
I do see what your saying, the thing is, you have to ask yourself, do you really want to convert Windows users (More the non technical ones I'm referring to here who certainly won't want to compile from source and solve issues with use flags etc) to a distro like Gentoo? Or should you just let them use Ubuntu for a while and then when they've fallen in love with Linux let them come looking for Gentoo instead? Not sure I can answer that one myself though.


Maybe some people. I'd have an easier time helping people with their problems working with Gentoo than I would helping someone with Ubuntu problems. Even still that is not the point, gentoo is supposed to be about choice so why isn't there a choice to install binaries. FreeBSD got it to work, sabayonlinux is trying it out maybe that is why those two distros are more popular than Gentoo. I don't see any harm in doing it, so why not? I have yet to hear one reason why it shouldn't be implemented.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

<3 wrote:
I have yet to hear one reason why it shouldn't be implemented.


As my old man used to say :

Because!

lol just kidding, I think it's probably because it's a lot of extra work for a distro which is staffed completely by volunteers, Gentoo isn't about getting as many users as possible into the pool, it's about Gentoo, I get the impression that ease of use/installation is secondary to the quality of the actual OS. In a way that's what makes Gentoo so special. Besides whats wrong with having Gentoo as an operating system just for those capable of handling it? I read a quote the other day on another linux forum that said "Gentoo is quite hard to install, it's for the nerds really", I laughed because it's kinda true. I sat down on Saturday to continue installing my new Gentoo build and sat here watching Original Star Trek on my partners PC while all I had was a console screen to look at, and I remember thinking to myself, "Shit I really am a nerd" but you know what I laughed and was quite happy to come to that realization.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Prodigal wrote:
Well I can't speak for the devs plans on binaries but one of the reasons Gentoo is so powerful is because it uses source compiling and not binaries, it enables programs to be so much more streamlined to your needs instead of needlessly bloated out just in case a certain user might need something. Thats why I love Gentoo anyway, because I have the power to determine what I want and don't want in my system.

++

There already is support for binaries in portage (read up on binhost). But it simply doesn't fit well with The Gentoo Way™... You can never have the power of Gentoo with the so-called ease of binaries. You might want to look at Arch Linux though.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I kind of understand what you guys are saying. And to yngwin I am not looking for a Gentoo replacement nor am I trying to leave Gentoo. I like this distro way to much. I just think it would be nice to be able to recommend the distro that I use to others who are interested in making that switch to Linux. Instead I usually end up pointing the newbies over to ubuntu/Kubuntu.

If Gentoo could get binary support and implement it well & make the distro relatively easy to use while still maintaining the flexibility that we have right now, Gentoo could be one of the most powerful and most used distro out there. Now while it might be damn near impossible to accomplish all of these things I think that adding binary support would be a step in the right direction. Linux has a lot of distros; IMO it's one of Linux's greatest features but it's also one of Linux's biggest problems. Gentoo has the potential to become one of the biggest distros out there but it will never achieve acceptance like other binary distributions if Gentoo never adopts binary support.

yngwin: binhost isn't exactly what I'm aiming for as these servers aren't officially maintained by Gentoo.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rac had the best write-up on this. http://dev.gentoo.org/~dsd/misc/binaries.html

All thanks to dsd for hosting it after rac left.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

stelth: Nice read, so how is Sabyonlinux doing it?
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FireFly_Dreams
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 5:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks everyone for your replies.... yngwin answered my question with you can't have the power of Gentoo with the ease of binaries, I'm glad the developpers and people who keep up with the developpers visited this thread but.... *cries for a long time*

I'll install Gentoo and try BinHost again.. I guess now even though I thought Gentoo would eventually support binaries to fill in with it's philosophy, it's something that probably won't happen even if we were willing to accept the risks

as another aside, glad to see other Gentoo oldies haven't kicked the bucket.. ze old Gentoo days were like the peak of awesomeness, and buggiliciously fun

FireFly_Dreams
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 5:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah very nice read Stelth, says basically what I was trying to communicate but not doing as good of a job as that doc does. As for Sabayon Linux it's never been quite the same as Gentoo anyway, they're quite different when you actually compare them. Source is not necessarily source if you catch my drift.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yngwin wrote:
Prodigal wrote:
Well I can't speak for the devs plans on binaries but one of the reasons Gentoo is so powerful is because it uses source compiling and not binaries, it enables programs to be so much more streamlined to your needs instead of needlessly bloated out just in case a certain user might need something. Thats why I love Gentoo anyway, because I have the power to determine what I want and don't want in my system.

++

There already is support for binaries in portage (read up on binhost). But it simply doesn't fit well with The Gentoo Way™... You can never have the power of Gentoo with the so-called ease of binaries. You might want to look at Arch Linux though.

++

Arch is the closest thing to Gentoo in terms of configurability if you don't want the compile times and flag fidgiting.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A question: Why do you say that Ubuntu is easier? Do you have a reason, or you are simply repeating what you've heard? I have used both distros, and although I'm far from those purist who scorn Ubuntu because is becoming very famous, I'm unable to see in which way is easier than, for example, Gentoo or Suse. Even more, installing the closed nvidia drivers, flash or support for closed or not-so-open codecs like mp3 or CSS for DVD is far more easier in gentoo that in ubuntu.

IMHO there are only 4 things where gentoo can improve to be even easier than ubuntu: better docs and/or examples for fstab, for xorg.conf, and for grub config, and example world files for usual configurations for novice users, like a world file which installs KDE with k3b, amarok and the like, another one for Gnome with firefox, etc.

So, unless you think that text messages in a framebuffer terminal is far more difficult than the same text in a terminal emulator in a window with buttons over an empty desktop background, my answer to your question about the power of gentoo with the ease of ubuntu would be: "gentoo". That ease of ubuntu thing sounds to me like another myth like "gnome is lighter than kde", "debian is hard to install", "windows xp is very unstable" or "java is painfully slow for anything and it will be slow forever, not like python".
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

juantxorena wrote:
A question: Why do you say that Ubuntu is easier? Do you have a reason, or you are simply repeating what you've heard? I have used both distros, and although I'm far from those purist who scorn Ubuntu because is becoming very famous, I'm unable to see in which way is easier than, for example, Gentoo or Suse. Even more, installing the closed nvidia drivers, flash or support for closed or not-so-open codecs like mp3 or CSS for DVD is far more easier in gentoo that in ubuntu.


Perhaps because you can have a system up and running in under an hour and you don't have to become a package manager expert to maintain a system.

Anymore it's wonder why anyone would be so concerned about use flags on a dual core machine. It's control simply for the sake of it on a modern machine.

I think if ubuntu was as tweakable as gentoo in terms of standard configs and locations and documentation that gentoo would dying a much faster death.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I would be concerned about use flags even if I had a cpu with 10 cores, I want to have control over my system because it is my system, as simple as that. I decide what goes in and I decide what is bloat. And how often do you install system? On my home computer I installed gentoo from start only two times in four years, I didn't reinstalled my sys even when I upgraded hardware, so I don't see what advantage (system up and running in under an hour) ubuntu will give me. And I think that ubuntu will never have such good documentation and configs as gentoo but contrary I think that soon you will not be able to configure some stuff in ubuntu without X. I did try ubuntu last year, I wiped it from my hard drive as soon as I found out how difficult it is to recompile kernel. I guess ubuntu users don't do that :) but I can't imagine running kernel on home machine which I didn't customize.
I tried Arch last month and I really liked it, configurable, binary packages, bleeding edge versions and you can compile from source if you want, you don't need *-dev packages like in other distros but for example I didn't like when some package pulled in tcl/tk as depend, in gentoo I will certainly not allow that. So, for those users that wants control there is only gentoo, and no, gentoo is not dying, it can't die, it just don't have those bells and whistles.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

M wrote:
Well, I would be concerned about use flags even if I had a cpu with 10 cores, I want to have control over my system because it is my system, as simple as that.


I understand. You and a dwindling number of people feel it's important to get rid of that pesky postgres support in their binaries on systems fast enough that you would never see any difference. If there is one thing that's hugely important on a dual core desktop system its a leaner binary with no performance difference.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't always had dual core system, when I started with gentoo I used pentium II 400Mhz with 256MB ram, and believe me, with that hardware you do see a significant performance boost, smaller binary, smaller ram usage... When I recompiled system with ~x86 gcc-3.4 at that time it was like I upgraded some piece of hardware.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

slonocode wrote:
M wrote:
Well, I would be concerned about use flags even if I had a cpu with 10 cores, I want to have control over my system because it is my system, as simple as that.


I understand. You and a dwindling number of people feel it's important to get rid of that pesky postgres support in their binaries on systems fast enough that you would never see any difference. If there is one thing that's hugely important on a dual core desktop system its a leaner binary with no performance difference.

You assume that it's only about performance, which IMO is rarely the case ... In reality it's about managing complexity (each additional piece of software is a potential risk for stability and security).
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Genone wrote:

You assume that it's only about performance, which IMO is rarely the case ... In reality it's about managing complexity (each additional piece of software is a potential risk for stability and security).



On a server...sure. I'd say most desktop users are thinking performance. For desktop use I think they would reduce risk and increase security better by using a well tested binary instead of an untested self compiled binary.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

slonocode wrote:
Genone wrote:

You assume that it's only about performance, which IMO is rarely the case ... In reality it's about managing complexity (each additional piece of software is a potential risk for stability and security).



On a server...sure. I'd say most desktop users are thinking performance. For desktop use I think they would reduce risk and increase security better by using a well tested binary instead of an untested self compiled binary.

"Well tested" being the keyword there ...
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Genone wrote:

"Well tested" being the keyword there ...


Yes I know that's the keyword.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I (and I think I am not alone here) see a major difference in audiences for Gentoo and Ubuntu.

In Gentoo you can do next to nothing without reading docs, howtos, manpages, ... If you do that you will learn a hell of a lot of stuff you did not know before. Even if you did use Linux/UNIX before. If learning is your goal - directly or indirectly - Gentoo is all you will ever need.

Most people out there (not the people in this board though) use their computer as a tool. They would never come to the point where they would read a book to install a operating system. This is where Ubuntu (and all the other Desktop Operating systems) gets into the picture. You can setup a machine that does the most common tasks with just a few clicks. For 90% of the users that is already enough for starters. To get a machine up and running. I could not work with such a standard setup, but it works for most people. Personal settings grow over the usage time. Along with this heavily preconfigured settings comes a slight tendency to make any non-standard setting hard to achieve. Therefore the quite extensive amount of howto's for Ubuntu. Because if it is not standard, it is at least as complicated to implement as in Gentoo.
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