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cach0rr0
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 5:49 am    Post subject: Re: ^^ Reply with quote

Shining Arcanine wrote:

If you are running Gentoo Linux, what keeps you from compiling the software to run natively in 64-bit mode on the processors used?


mainly that i dont have CVS access ;)

Am not a dev. But there's a good chance I'll be snagging CVS access in the near future, so we'll see.

(and with any luck, ill be able to convince the boss to migrate away from CVS)
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 2:47 am    Post subject: I'm deciding between Gentoo & Arch myself... Reply with quote

Thanks to the OP for starting this thread; I too am trying to decide between Gentoo & Arch as my primary OS for my inexpensive (dual Pentium) laptop, and the thread has been an interesting and useful read.

Unfortunately, I'm still undecided -- I can appreciate that Gentoo has the potential to be a leaner & possibly faster OS, but it could also turn into a huge time-sink for me until I work out the proper configurations and settings. I suppose I'll wind up installing both, though it may mean that that would not allow me to do justice to either. :(
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 3:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm glad I posted this topic in the forum too. Unfortunately due to some recent events in my life. I had to put off deciding between Gentoo and Arch. I built a pc in order to dual boot both OS's. I finally have the time to decide on what OS should be my primary OS. But not at this moment.

@Fx

Please let us know in the forum what you end up doing.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 6:59 am    Post subject: Re: I'm deciding between Gentoo & Arch myself... Reply with quote

Fx wrote:
Unfortunately, I'm still undecided -- I can appreciate that Gentoo has the potential to be a leaner & possibly faster OS, but it could also turn into a huge time-sink for me until I work out the proper configurations and settings. I suppose I'll wind up installing both, though it may mean that that would not allow me to do justice to either. :(


I think that makes sense. Please note that the performance benefits of Gentoo are frequently overhyped, and many people are disappointed when they see the reality. What really shines in Gentoo is its philosophy. You are in charge of your system, and have the tools that allow you to do it the way you want. You have a very friendly community of users and developers.

In my opinion Arch has similar strengths to Gentoo (lean, simple), but I - subjectively, of course - prefer Gentoo so much, its way of doing things, and its community.

Also, you can always change distributions later. :wink:

By the way, I'm also interested if you have any feedback what you like in Arch that is missing in Gentoo (and also what you especially like in Gentoo).
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:02 pm    Post subject: Re: I'm deciding between Gentoo & Arch myself... Reply with quote

phajdan.jr wrote:
Fx wrote:
Unfortunately, I'm still undecided -- I can appreciate that Gentoo has the potential to be a leaner & possibly faster OS, but it could also turn into a huge time-sink for me until I work out the proper configurations and settings. I suppose I'll wind up installing both, though it may mean that that would not allow me to do justice to either. :(


I think that makes sense. Please note that the performance benefits of Gentoo are frequently overhyped, and many people are disappointed when they see the reality. What really shines in Gentoo is its philosophy. You are in charge of your system, and have the tools that allow you to do it the way you want. You have a very friendly community of users and developers.


Thanks for putting things into perspective.

I agree that expecting a huge increase in performance (> 20%) between Gentoo and say, Lubuntu, is probably unrealistic, given that the differences pretty much come down to optimizing compilation for my system. The performance differences between Arch and Gentoo would probably be even less pronounced, given that the Arch binaries are compiled with an x86-64 or x686 architecture in mind.

What I am hoping for though is that the optimizations may give me some advantages in terms of memory footprint and resource usage (wastage). I'm more sensitive to those factors than sheer performance, because 1) my primary system is a notebook, and 2) I tend to max out my system running lots of concurrent tabs in my web browser and in my GUI file manager. If Gentoo can give me even a 10% improvement in terms of efficiency, it will be well worth it to me to install and configure the fastest penguin. :)


phajdan.jr wrote:
In my opinion Arch has similar strengths to Gentoo (lean, simple), but I - subjectively, of course - prefer Gentoo so much, its way of doing things, and its community.

Also, you can always change distributions later. :wink:


Just from the little time I've spent interacting in these forums, I've gotten a good feeling about the Gentoo community. I get a similar one for the Arch community as well... I'm very impressed at the level of documentation and help provided by both communities to assist newbies to get started.

If you were to contrast the Gentoo Way vs. the Arch Way, what would you say are the differences? The overall philosophy of lean and simple is common to both... I'm trying to figure out which one might more closely suit my personality.

As for switching distributions, I'm not so much of a distribution hopper. I started out with Ubuntu (at home) for its simplicity and might be using it still except that the laptop it was on died. I'm considering Lubuntu because it claims lower demand for system resources than vanilla Ubuntu, but then thought, why not go with Gentoo (or Arch) instead and skip the intermediate steps (Lubuntu -> minimal Ubuntu install -> Debian) to get to a leaner, efficient OS? :)

phajdan.jr wrote:
By the way, I'm also interested if you have any feedback what you like in Arch that is missing in Gentoo (and also what you especially like in Gentoo).


I'll be happy to report back with my impressions... thanks for asking.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fewer deps == less to mmap()

surely this will be a performance advantage?

and really of the benchmarks I've seen pitting Gentoo against the likes of say, Ubuntu (I've not seen any against Arch), there have been demonstrable advantages.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 6:21 am    Post subject: Re: I'm deciding between Gentoo & Arch myself... Reply with quote

Fx wrote:
If you were to contrast the Gentoo Way vs. the Arch Way, what would you say are the differences? The overall philosophy of lean and simple is common to both... I'm trying to figure out which one might more closely suit my personality.


I think that Gentoo emphasizes choice more than simplicity, and Arch does the other way (simplicity over choice). I have found that to do things conveniently in Arch I would probably have to create my own tools, while in Gentoo I just use the provided tools for regular system maintenance.

Also, it seems that Arch is more leading-edge, but you don't have choice. In Gentoo you can choose the stable version (arch) or unstable (~arch). Arch seems to frequently have more recent package versions than Gentoo's ~arch, but on the other hand it's more difficult to stay stable.

The documentation philosophy is a bit different. It seems that Arch likes the wikis, while Gentoo prefers structured (and very strict) documentation. The advantage of Gentoo's documentation is that it's all very consistent, predictable, verified, etc. On the other hand, wikis are more user-editable, so there are more contributors to the wikis (more quantity potentially at the price of lower quality or consistency). There is also a project of an official wiki in Gentoo, I'm not sure about the status though.

As for the final choice, I would recommend you to try both. I'd say that the difference is difficult to describe in words. The shortest and most accurate description would be "Arch didn't work for me". But it works for many people, so I think it's a matter of taste.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 6:56 am    Post subject: Re: I'm deciding between Gentoo & Arch myself... Reply with quote

Fx wrote:
If you were to contrast the Gentoo Way vs. the Arch Way, what would you say are the differences? The overall philosophy of lean and simple is common to both... I'm trying to figure out which one might more closely suit my personality.


Gentoo Linux is the only mainstream distribution that allows you to assume complete control over its design. No other major Linux distribution does that, including Arch Linux.

Some Arch Linux users would cite the fact that its package manager (to my knowledge) has the ability to compile things from source bolted onto it, but that is not the same as being able to arbitrarily upgrade anything, including core system libraries, to the bleeding edge based upon your own requirements and then execute a simple one line command (revdep-rebuild) that will identify everything you broke and try to automatically fix things for you by recompiling everything from source in a manner likely to work. Arch Linux lacks that and without it, it is extremely difficult to figure out what you broke and how to fix it on your own. I doubt you would get much support from the Arch Linux community, because going outside of a system's package manager is usually frowned upon just about anywhere. With Gentoo Linux, doing such things is the precursor work toward including newer things into the distribution, so if you ask for help, you likely would receive some kind of support, in particular because fixing such issues is what needs to be done in order to move the distribution forward.

Customization is the major strength of Gentoo Linux. Speed usually comes as a consequence of that, as practically everything, including things that affect speed, are things that you can modify. If you prefer a more rigidly defined operating system that you cannot customize to such an extreme, Gentoo Linux is likely not for you, although I am not sure if Arch Linux is much of an improvement, because the only things you lose are USE flags, the ability to customize how everything is compiled and the ability to upgrade your system with relative ease independently of what your distribution's package maintainers are doing. E.g. SML 110.72 is not in portage, but there is SML 110.71, so I renamed the ebuild and put it into a local overlay. That let me install SML 110.72. As far as I know, you cannot do that on Arch Linux and you would lose that kind of independence because of the greater effort with which it takes to upgrade things yourself on Arch Linux than on Gentoo Linux. You would still have the ability to modify configuration files, install your choice of desktop environments, etcetera.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know that Arch use AUR, they are like Overlays for Gentoo.

And yes, a big diff is the Use Flags. I don't know any other distro except Gentoo based distro that use that concept.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 1:19 am    Post subject: Re: I'm deciding between Gentoo & Arch myself... Reply with quote

phajdan.jr wrote:
I think that Gentoo emphasizes choice more than simplicity, and Arch does the other way (simplicity over choice). I have found that to do things conveniently in Arch I would probably have to create my own tools, while in Gentoo I just use the provided tools for regular system maintenance.


I have just switched from Arch to Gentoo several days ago and this describes exactly why I did it. I like Arch's focus on simplicity and it does it very well, however I felt like I wanted more control over my system and wanted to be able to tailor it to my specific needs. Gentoo provides me with the tools to do so in a very convenient way. At least that has been my experience so far.

I am by no means an experienced Linux user and I've only been using Linux for roughly 1.5 years as my main OS and Arch's excellent wiki was a great help to me when I switched to it from Ubuntu and still is today.
Gentoo's documentation and wiki have been very helpful so far as well but it would seem that Arch's wiki is far more extensive.

As others in this thread, I also continue to use Arch on my laptop seeing as I don't use it too often nowadays and it is just more easily maintained.

I think it really comes down to the emphasis as phajdan.jr said. Find out what is more important to you, choice or simplicity, and enjoy!
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 3:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Indeed, if you use a laptop not so often, then a binary distro is a great choice.

But for your main computer, if you want to have control and also play a lot with your distro, then Gentoo is the right choice :P
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 6:36 am    Post subject: Re: I'm deciding between Gentoo & Arch myself... Reply with quote

Thanks to everyone for the followup on contrasting Arch and Gentoo. The comments -- particularly those highlighting the customization vs. simplicity difference -- were very enlightening. Though in principle, I'd put myself squarely in the 'do what works and for God's sake, don't break what works' camp, I'm also an inveterate tinkerer (esp. for efficiency/optimization) and accidently break my systems quite often. Gentoo could either be a boon or a bane for me, depending on how quickly I can climb the learning curve. However, if I should ever start to feel that an OS is broken and 'unfixable,' or that certain nagging issues can or will never be addressed, I'll abandon it in favor of something that works. Threads like this one scare the h311 out of me, frankly; on the other hand, I have a somewhat perverse fascination for challenging problems so I'm also intrigued. :D

I can well imagine myself so thoroughly breaking my Gentoo OS several months into this project that I'd retreat, with my tail between my legs, to Lubuntu or Arch. :P I'll just have to try and see what happens....

I had to do a little research to understand USE flags and why they are so important and powerful... I'm not certain that I fully understand the mechanism by which they work, but am definitely attracted to the concept of customizing my rig to include only those modules/dependencies that I need. Features that I'd never use would simply be wasting space in my RAM and on my HDD, and the efficient use of system resources is an important consideration for me. otoh, I tend to have the bad habit of including everything but the kitchen sink based on the possibility that I might need or use it down the road. :) I'll have to curb that tendency when selecting my USE flags...


cach0rr0 wrote:
fewer deps == less to mmap()

surely this will be a performance advantage?

and really of the benchmarks I've seen pitting Gentoo against the likes of say, Ubuntu (I've not seen any against Arch), there have been demonstrable advantages.


At first I thought that "less to mmap()" wouldn't necessarily lead to a performance advantage, but it would have implications in terms of a reduced memory footprint (which I do care about). More 'free' RAM available to the OS might help performance somewhat, but only as a second-order effect, I thought. After all, a branch not taken doesn't cost me additional CPU cycles, even if it's taking up space in memory, right?

BUT I thought about it some more, and there is the 'cost' of loading unneeded code into RAM.... and worse yet, modern CPUs engage in so-called speculative execution, which means that sometimes 'wrong' branches are in fact taken (wasting some CPU resources and generating heat). So fewer deps could mean fewer wasted CPU operations, at least in some cases.

Now, as far as the Gentoo advantage over Ubuntu is concerned, was it a 'fair' test? Was Gentoo burdened with the same GNOME bloat as Ubuntu? Or was a minimal Ubuntu install compared to Gentoo? Further, was 'demonstrable' more than 20% improved performance? :)
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 6:49 am    Post subject: Re: I'm deciding between Gentoo & Arch myself... Reply with quote

Fx wrote:
Gentoo could either be a boon or a bane for me, depending on how quickly I can climb the learning curve. However, if I should ever start to feel that an OS is broken and 'unfixable,' or that certain nagging issues can or will never be addressed, I'll abandon it in favor of something that works.


Sure. Just please make sure you've asked for help in forums. Many users have problems caused by not running revdep-rebuild, misusing dispatch-conf, failing to read "eselect news read new", using insane CFLAGS, doing some weird things to their system, etc. I think it's possible to break every system, especially that Linux will not forbid root to do anything. I once broke my Fedora install, by playing too much with the packages. I've uninstalled one package too much, and - poof - I couldn't get my desktop environment back.

One general hint about Gentoo. If you still have access to command-line, emerge --keep-going -uDNa followed by revdep-rebuild has a good chance to save you from trouble. If the system is seriously broken, you can boot from a LiveCD and chroot. We have guides how to deal with unmerging gcc, portage, or python (but please don't do that). Also, please pay attention for major upgrades. For example, when there is a major gcc upgrade, there is a gcc guide and you should re-emerge all packages (emerge -e system && emerge -e world) or you risk weird ABI breakages.

Fx wrote:
Threads like this one scare the h311 out of me, frankly; on the other hand, I have a somewhat perverse fascination for challenging problems so I'm also intrigued. :D


I'm sure every distro has threads like this one, with a disgruntled user telling everybody that "he's leaving, that's enough". Gentoo has not died in 2007, it has not died in 2009, so I think it's going to be pretty well in 2010 and beyond. :D

Fx wrote:
I can well imagine myself so thoroughly breaking my Gentoo OS several months into this project that I'd retreat, with my tail between my legs, to Lubuntu or Arch. :P I'll just have to try and see what happens....


Sounds like a good plan. Even if you break something, you'll learn something. :wink: Have fun.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 7:45 am    Post subject: Re: I'm deciding between Gentoo & Arch myself... Reply with quote

phajdan.jr wrote:
Fx wrote:
Gentoo could either be a boon or a bane for me, depending on how quickly I can climb the learning curve. However, if I should ever start to feel that an OS is broken and 'unfixable,' or that certain nagging issues can or will never be addressed, I'll abandon it in favor of something that works.


Sure. Just please make sure you've asked for help in forums. Many users have problems caused by not running revdep-rebuild, misusing dispatch-conf, failing to read "eselect news read new", using insane CFLAGS, doing some weird things to their system, etc. I think it's possible to break every system, especially that Linux will not forbid root to do anything. I once broke my Fedora install, by playing too much with the packages. I've uninstalled one package too much, and - poof - I couldn't get my desktop environment back.


Certainly. I'll probably need a lot of help, as I'm known for doing insane things to my system. What kind of idiot would think that a Arch/Gentoo/xPUD/ChromeOS/Lubuntu/Win7 OS 'hydra' would be a good idea, after all? :P Me.


phajdan.jr wrote:
One general hint about Gentoo. If you still have access to command-line, emerge --keep-going -uDNa followed by revdep-rebuild has a good chance to save you from trouble. If the system is seriously broken, you can boot from a LiveCD and chroot. We have guides how to deal with unmerging gcc, portage, or python (but please don't do that). Also, please pay attention for major upgrades. For example, when there is a major gcc upgrade, there is a gcc guide and you should re-emerge all packages (emerge -e system && emerge -e world) or you risk weird ABI breakages.


Great tips, thank you!

phajdan.jr wrote:
Fx wrote:
Threads like this one scare the h311 out of me, frankly; on the other hand, I have a somewhat perverse fascination for challenging problems so I'm also intrigued. :D


I'm sure every distro has threads like this one, with a disgruntled user telling everybody that "he's leaving, that's enough". Gentoo has not died in 2007, it has not died in 2009, so I think it's going to be pretty well in 2010 and beyond. :D


Oh I'm not too worried about Gentoo dying... it's evident that the community here is too strong and devoted for that to happen. What I'm worried about is becoming 'that guy' -- the one who screws up his Gentoo install so completely that he has to give up. :)

phajdan.jr wrote:
Fx wrote:
I can well imagine myself so thoroughly breaking my Gentoo OS several months into this project that I'd retreat, with my tail between my legs, to Lubuntu or Arch. :P I'll just have to try and see what happens....


Sounds like a good plan. Even if you break something, you'll learn something. :wink: Have fun.


I do plan to learn (and have fun!)... thanks!

I'm almost ready to go but still want to put a little more thought and do some more research into my partitioning and filesystem strategy. My Vista/Ubuntu laptop was insane, /home /boot /var /usr /tmp /swap root and one alternate OS and three different data directories were each on their own partitions. I probably won't go to such extremes this time, but now I'm considering choosing different filesystems depending on the directory (i.e. ReiserFS for /tmp and the Gentoo compilation directory, JFS for the shared data directories and maybe /var, ext2 for /boot, and /ext4 or JFS for everything else).

Thanks for all your good advice... I truly appreciate your help! :)
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fx wrote:
I'm almost ready to go but still want to put a little more thought and do some more research into my partitioning and filesystem strategy.
You might want to avail yourself of existing topics for each.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:10 am    Post subject: Re: I'm deciding between Gentoo & Arch myself... Reply with quote

Fx wrote:

Now, as far as the Gentoo advantage over Ubuntu is concerned, was it a 'fair' test? Was Gentoo burdened with the same GNOME bloat as Ubuntu? Or was a minimal Ubuntu install compared to Gentoo? Further, was 'demonstrable' more than 20% improved performance? :)


you remove the bloat you no longer have Ubuntu.

For me, I care more about server performance than anything, so things like this are especially telltale -

http://snaprails.tumblr.com/post/325624962/linux-performance-benchmark-apache-nginx
http://snaprails.tumblr.com/post/405167100/ruby-1-8-1-9-performance-on-gentoo-linux-and-freebsd (this is BSD of course, not Ubuntu, but in terms of 'light weight' if you're outperforming a BSD, you are doing something very right)

such benchmarks are always to be taken with a grain of salt of course.

there are some up on Phoronix as well, can't find the link - the one of interest was focusing more on GCC optimisation settings than speed between distros.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 5:43 pm    Post subject: Re: I'm deciding between Gentoo & Arch myself... Reply with quote

desultory wrote:
Fx wrote:
I'm almost ready to go but still want to put a little more thought and do some more research into my partitioning and filesystem strategy.
You might want to avail yourself of existing topics for each.


Thank you!!! I'd found the partitioning strategy thread and have been slogging through it (40 pages, yikes!), but wasn't aware of the filesystem strategy threads... they all look very helpful!

Side note: Isn't it fun (and funny, lol) the way the respective fans for one filesystem or another come out to argue the merits of their favorite filesystem? Filesystem geeks are as bad as distro geeks!!! :D


cach0rr0 wrote:
Fx wrote:

Now, as far as the Gentoo advantage over Ubuntu is concerned, was it a 'fair' test? Was Gentoo burdened with the same GNOME bloat as Ubuntu? Or was a minimal Ubuntu install compared to Gentoo? Further, was 'demonstrable' more than 20% improved performance? :)


you remove the bloat you no longer have Ubuntu.


OK... I guess I was trying to say that maybe much of the performance loss comes from GNOME rather than anything inherent about the Ubuntu family. I haven't tried its minimal install, but Lubuntu (LXDE replaces GNOME) feels much more responsive and lighter than its big brother (from the small amount of time I've tried it).

But you have a point, Canonical chose GNOME and the other components for Ubuntu, so if I strip out the resource hogs, I really don't have an Ubuntu installation anymore.

cach0rr0 wrote:
For me, I care more about server performance than anything, so things like this are especially telltale -

http://snaprails.tumblr.com/post/325624962/linux-performance-benchmark-apache-nginx
http://snaprails.tumblr.com/post/405167100/ruby-1-8-1-9-performance-on-gentoo-linux-and-freebsd (this is BSD of course, not Ubuntu, but in terms of 'light weight' if you're outperforming a BSD, you are doing something very right)


Ahhhh.... you're focused on servers, I care about the desktop experience. Agree that Gentoo outperforming BSD is impressive, but this benchmark has more meaning for me, even though he's using the Ubuntu Server edition and testing stuff like hdparm and gzip performance (rather than desktop apps). Gentoo isn't the clear winner in all cases, and it's maybe 5-25% faster than Ubuntu and 5-10% faster than Debian for the individual tests it did win.

cach0rr0 wrote:
such benchmarks are always to be taken with a grain of salt of course.


Absolutely! Lots of people post benchmark results, but many seem a little.... clueless explaining the results or why they set up the benchmark the way they did. Speaking of which...

cach0rr0 wrote:
there are some up on Phoronix as well, can't find the link - the one of interest was focusing more on GCC optimisation settings than speed between distros.


I appreciate what Phoronix has done to create a systematic methodology and benchmark suite, but sometimes I feel that they run their suite of tests without regard for whether what they're testing makes sense or not... it's a little moronic to compare the performance of different filesystems using a benchmark designed to exercise the CPU, isn't it? And when they get a result that isn't consistent with the other results, their testers seem at a loss to explain what happened, which makes me wonder if they fully understand the benchmark test being used. Worst of all, I'm not at all confident about the testing parameters in their suite... I asked the guy who wrote the IOZone benchmark about the parameters Phoronix chose for their test suite, and while he was too polite to say they didn't know what they were doing, he said that their choices were odd and suggested different ones for a test I was doing.

Sorry, I'm taking this way off-topic. Back to the decision between Gentoo & Arch... :)
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Me. I moved from arch to here. Arch has too many retarded issues and stupid policies for me, like having to use the *entire* testing branch if you want to use, say, the beta of firefox, or at least not being able to easily cherrypick, like i can do on gentoo. And there was the bug in Xorg, that i don't know if was arch specific or not, (i know i never ran into it on ubuntu, anyway) where startx == hard lockup. So i'm coming back to gentoo, or maybe doing LFS this time. iono.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GypsyJoker wrote:
Me. I moved from arch to here. Arch has too many retarded issues and stupid policies for me, like having to use the *entire* testing branch if you want to use, say, the beta of firefox, or at least not being able to easily cherrypick, like i can do on gentoo. And there was the bug in Xorg, that i don't know if was arch specific or not, (i know i never ran into it on ubuntu, anyway) where startx == hard lockup. So i'm coming back to gentoo, or maybe doing LFS this time. iono.


Having to use the entire testing branch is caused by the fact that Arch Linux is a binary distribution. Arch Linux zealots will be quick to point out that you can compile stuff using pacman to work around that, but such things are just not as easy to do as they are on Gentoo Linux since there is no revdep-rebuild command to fix things when you upgrade/downgrade a core library, breaking binary compatibility with many things on your system.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Indeed, but it's still a major pain in the ass to have to manually pick and install and update and maintain the testing packages on your system, instead of using revdep-rebuild and package.mask. Gentoo makes things easy, and I'm too lazy for Arch
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d2_racing
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GypsyJoker wrote:
Indeed, but it's still a major pain in the ass to have to manually pick and install and update and maintain the testing packages on your system, instead of using revdep-rebuild and package.mask. Gentoo makes things easy, and I'm too lazy for Arch


Yeah, the /etc/portage feature is really a 100% maintenance free, because with one directory, you can maintain your box in 10 sec :P
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 8:51 pm    Post subject: Re: I'm deciding between Gentoo & Arch myself... Reply with quote

Fx wrote:
Thanks to the OP for starting this thread; I too am trying to decide between Gentoo & Arch as my primary OS for my inexpensive (dual Pentium) laptop, and the thread has been an interesting and useful read.

Unfortunately, I'm still undecided -- I can appreciate that Gentoo has the potential to be a leaner & possibly faster OS, but it could also turn into a huge time-sink for me until I work out the proper configurations and settings. I suppose I'll wind up installing both, though it may mean that that would not allow me to do justice to either. :(


If you want a quick install just use ArchLinux; it's fast, it's lean, it's powerful. ArchLinux DOES have dependencies though but pacman installs them blazingly fast. ArchLinux is a very fast Linux distro considering it's a binary distro, it's fast! In my usage of both ArchLinux and Gentoo on my systems, i'd say both are just about as fast as each other, and the AUR is the most shining part of ArchLinux and also their amazing Wiki and support. The AUR alone has over 23,000+ packages. Also for multilib systems, Arch seems to have more lib32 packages than Gentoo. Arch's main repos have 96 lib32 packages and AUR has around 171 lib32 packages available for multilib systems.

Just like any other OS on the market, Linux is about personal choice. Some people love Windows (mostly people who grew up with it and hardcore gamers), some people love Linux, FreeBSD, etc... because they love the fact that you can install it on any system you own without having to buy a license for every PC it's installed on (also yes, you actually PAID for that version of Windows on your PC, if you bought it pre-installed), and the whole opensource philosophy. Some people love Mac OS / Mac OS X due too the overall speed of the OS (user tests have shown that Mac OS X on Intel cpu's runs faster and smoother than Windows), also just like Windows users, if a user grew up on an Apple they stick with Apple.

If one of these match what you are looking for then go for that distro:
Quick install, rolling release, stable, amazing documentation and Wiki, good community, user ran repo, fast, binary based = ArchLinux
Customizable, rolling release, stable (if you use stable CFLAGS), good community help, decent documentation, fast, source based = Gentoo

Both ArchLinux and Gentoo Linux are rolling releases and the fastest "mainstream" Linux distros available on the Linux market; other than LFS, crux, etc.

Bottom line is it's ultimately about what distro suits your needs and taste.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great resume Chaniyth :P
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

d2_racing wrote:
Great resume Chaniyth :P


Thanks. I've been using Gentoo Linux since v1.4! :)

However, I have to disagree with you on the AUR being simular too Gentoo Overlays, the AUR has existed much longer and the packages are much more up-to-date than the packages in Gentoo Overlays. In other words, the users who submit too the overlays lazily or un-knowingly don't keep their ebuilds up too date, which is a shame because the Overlay system has alot of potential.

:!: :idea: Also, there are ebuilds in Portage that have not been updated too the latest release in months, a good example is OpenArena. The latest patch is 0.8.5 which came out in Febuary 2010 yet the Portage ebuild is still 0.8.1. I'm just saying if Gentoo wants it's users too stick around or new users too stick around, maintaining the Portage tree too the latest ebuilds is pretty important. I can remember a time when Gentoo's ebuilds were updated within hours of a new package release.

I still love Gentoo as I do actually like to compile from source, so the end-result binaries are specific too my system, but these days that don't seem too matter much anyway, i'm using Gentoo less and less because with my testing, running 3D games, Wine, encoding/decoding, etc compiled from source in Gentoo is just as fast as it is in Arch using pre-compiled binaries.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 10:18 pm    Post subject: Thanks, no Arch here Reply with quote

Chaniyth wrote:

Both ArchLinux and Gentoo Linux are rolling releases and the fastest "mainstream" Linux distros available on the Linux market; other than LFS, crux, etc.


The big difference is that Arch forces you to roll regardless if you want it or not. You can't "mask" an update, you can't downgrade in some easy way. I've used Arch for some time and after having two problems with broken updates I couldn't easily roll back, I've moved back to Gentoo.

Also.. no use flags, no cfg-update, virtually zero flexibility (I don't want php 5.3, thank you). An upside? I don't have to compile applications. Well, since I'm not on Pentuim 3 anymore (like I was during my early Gentoo days), this is not such a big deal :D

Chaniyth wrote:

However, I have to disagree with you on the AUR being simular too Gentoo Overlays, the AUR has existed much longer and the packages are much more up-to-date than the packages in Gentoo Overlays. In other words, the users who submit too the overlays lazily or un-knowingly don't keep their ebuilds up too date, which is a shame because the Overlay system has alot of potential.


Well, if I need to have the latest version of some package and it's not available in Portage, I can always create it in my local overlay. It's not that hard, actually, and frequently means just renaming the ebuild.
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