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FastTurtle
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:45 pm    Post subject: Gentoo - A Fat and Lazy Penguin Reply with quote

As a user from the 1.4rc days, I have to wonder when Gentoo got so fat and lazy when the entire purpose behind it was Customization from the beginning.

We didn't offer Binaries and anyone asking for them was basically told go to Debian/Ubunta/Fedora/Suse if they want them. Then Sabayon came out and someone decided we needed to compete. WTF? Gentoo was supposed to be a Meta Distribution that anyone could build from; just like Debian is the base of so many different flavors.

To get back to the Meta-Distribution roots, we need to strip things back down to the stage2 install and the absolute minimum needed to boot into a working system and continue the build. This simply means a working network connection and portage. The docs were comprehensive enough to cover those networking features such as Wifi and told people that needed them to grab them while still in the chroot build environment.

As an early user, I felt lots of satisfaction when I could reboot into a working system - minimal though it be - and continue my build as it proved that I finally had things right. and I could then get on with the customization of the system for my intended use.

If any devs are reading this, you may want to discuss it about dropping the install environment back to what we had with the 1.4 builds. Links worked fine for reading the online docs and/or grabbing the needed tarballs.

Here's my thoughts:

Strip the install tarball back down to the absolute minimums needed to boot and finish a build. What used to be a stage2 install. This is what the guide is for. Include things on networking like WiFi and tell them to grab the packages they actually need. This should get them a working base install that can then be used to customize the remainder of the system. It also cuts support time/effort because if they're not following the docs, then they're doing something unsupported from the beginning and it's not cruel to tell them to check the forums as you're method isn't supported.

Next forget offering Binary packages. If they want them, send em to Sabayon. That's why Gentoo is a Meta Distribution (supposedly). Others can offer features such as Binaries (Sabayon) that we aren't interested in and it eases support because we build it. If they're using strange settings, then they're going to be pretty much on their own because if it's not in the docs, then it's not supported.

Next is to split into two major groups - Server and Desktop. The build emphasis is different enough that it makes sense. Yes they will be some support cross over but the quality of support questions will be better for it because the server folks have a damn good idea what they're doing and it'll leave the desktop users to the forums for most issues and no, it's not cruel telling them to RTM and check the Forums because if they're not willing to invest the time/effort to even attempt fo solve it on their own, then they're better off with another distro such as Ubunta. Yes I agree we'll probably loose some users but do we really care. We're supposed to be a meta distribution anyhow. If they don't like it, then start their own project as Sabayon did.

Overall, I'd say the advantages are going to be well worth getting back to the fundamentals that Gentoo had in the beginning as it will allow us to refocus upon the key aspect of Gentoo - Customization.
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John R. Graham
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, I'll bite. :wink: Not that there's nothing to improve on in Gentoo but I don't really agree with your suggestions. For instance,
  • "Strip the install tarball back down to the absolute minimums..." If you're talking about the Stage3 tarball, that's already pretty close to what it is. The tarball is built with a completely empty @world set: it only contains packages in the @system set. If you're talking about the install ISOs, I don't see how it matters as not a single bit of what's on the install media makes it onto your install.
  • "...dropping the install environment back to what we had with the 1.4 builds." The Stage1 and Stage2 install methods (although still possible if you look hard enough) were deprecated and then dropped from official support because they have no benefit (in performance or reduced bloat) and caused more support issues than the Stage3 method. With one simple command added at the end of the install (bet you can figure out what ;)), you produce a system that's bit-for-bit identical to the older install methods, and you do it more simply with less support headaches.
  • "Next forget offering Binary packages." I don't see how the existence of the binaries affects you at all. If you don't want 'em, don't install 'em. There's not a single binary ebuild in the tree for which a traditional from-source ebuild doesn't also exist.
  • "Next is to split into two major groups - Server and Desktop." There are already profiles for these usage patterns to help you build your system as either a server-centric, desktop-centric, or minimal. For the rest, I don't think splitting the developer resources makes sense.
Finally, although there may be a few, I don't know of a single thing that was customizable, that isn't still customizable, often more easily than is was in the early days. Do you?

Philosophically, I think it's really hard to tell a volunteer that what he is passionate about doesn't matter, that he should instead be passionate about something else. Just my $0.02. :wink:

- John
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Gentoo is fine the way it is. It sounds like you purposely want Gentoo to get harder to install, in case maybe newer users manage to install it and then you don't feel so leet any more? lol maybe you don't mean that, but people do cause a fuss whenever a graphical install is mentioned I'm guessing for the same reason.
I don't see a problem with the customization, you're not left with that much after an install...
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't see a problem either. Gentoo seems much nicer nowadays than when I first used it (around 2005), but that may be due to a change in me rather than the distribution.
I can't think of a single thing I used to do that I can't still do.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What do you mean by a different server versus desktop style? I run gentoo systems of both types and, apart from the profiles I don't see much of a difference between them. Perhaps that is because I spend so much time tweaking the individual packages that any broad differences wash out.

I do find that I run more ~ software on the desktops than on the server but I prefer having a shared tree for both. It makes it easier to keep my development environment in sync with my server needs. In the Fedora RHEL world where there is a clearer distinction I find that I have to spend far more time than I would like installing older libraries on the desktop or newer ones on the server to make it work. With gentoo I can just set both accordingly.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guess no one understood my continual reference to Stage2 tarballs but after checking the mirrors, I can see why as they're no longer available. This means my rant about a fat and lazy penguin is more appropriate then I originally thought.

The problem I have with the stage3 builds is the many decisions I don't agree with that have been made by someone else. In other words, I don't care for some of the flags used or apps selected and want to choose my own without having to strip what I consider cruft from the build to begin with. Unless the auto build process has changed drastically, I see no reason that there couldn't be an advanced build option from stage2 for those of us that desire it and you don't even have to offer support for the method. Just offer it. This way, those of us who want to learn can get on with the learning. For those who want a system up and running, they've got the supported stage3 method and can stick with it.

With the system I have now, I expect a stage2 build to take less then 30 minutes as the specs are close to what the autobuild had 5 years ago. Mine current system is an Athlon 240x2 with 16GB. Almost the same perfromance specs as the autobuild system from 5 years ago if I remebmer right. So build times should be about the same if not slightly faster unless the toolchain has gotten slower.

How about it devs? Care to offer us an Advance build method with no support unless it's an actual bug? Shouldn't be a problem offering us an up to date Stage2 tarball unless the autobuild system has been radically changed.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's the big deal with stage2? stage3 + emerge -e world + emerge --depclean will give you the same results if that's what you really want.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always just untar a stage three archive, edit make.conf and friends, and then:

Code:
emerge -e world

And I'm running Gentoo on a ThinkPad (graphical), router (hardened), and a VPS (hardened). I have found it to work extremely well in all three cases. I do not want to return to what Gentoo was in the 1.4 days. Hell, even if I agreed with everything you said, I'd still accept present-day Gentoo just on account that depclean actually works without blowing everything up.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know whether to laugh or cry that Gentoo has become so Fat and Lazy that users that joined the community less then 2 years ago are questioning my reasons for wanting a Stage2 tarball after I explained. I've been a Gentoo user off and on for almost a decade and since 1995 with Linux in General. Check out my Join Date - Sept of 2002

I'll repeat myself here. I want a Stage2 tarball because I don't agree with some of the decisions made to create the Stage3 tarball. So I'll ask you all this question. Why should I have to waste time/energy stripping out stuff that isn't needed for an advance install method.

No one has been able to answer my question why the devs aren't willing/able to provide us with a stage2 tarball as the only way I can see that not being possible is that someone has completely changed the autobuild system (Catalyst) that's used to provide the stage3 tarballs in the first place. That system is supposed to start from a Stage1 build and once the bootstrapping has completed successfully, it creates the stage2 tarball. The only difference between the Stage1 and Stage2 tarball is that the system has been bootstrapped. Yet I'm not finding one on any of the mirrors I've checked so far, yet it's supposed to be an automated process that builds these tarballs. So why aren't there any stage2 being pushed out to the mirrors? I'll let you in on a little secret. A stage2 tarball doesn't need to be updated as often unless they change the base-layout. Otherwise the same stage2 tarball is normally good for at least 3 months to half a year before it becomes obsolete.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

FastTurtle wrote:
I don't know whether to laugh or cry that Gentoo has become so Fat and Lazy that users that joined the community less then 2 years ago are questioning my reasons for wanting a Stage2 tarball after I explained. I've been a Gentoo user off and on for almost a decade and since 1995 with Linux in General. Check out my Join Date - Sept of 2002


Stop bragging, start acting. How about contributing to the stage generation process? It's easy to tell everyone else what you think they should do. For me stage2 is not important.
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John R. Graham
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

FastTurtle wrote:
Why should I have to waste time/energy stripping out stuff that isn't needed for an advance install method.
Could you enumerate what you would strip out? Of the end product of a Stage3 install, that is.

The other reason that I failed to mention in my initial response was that the speed of modern systems has made the Stage1 and Stage2 methods less relevant. This is not because the resultant Gentoo system is more bloated or less optimized; rather, it's that the admittedly redundant compilation necessary for a fully optimized Stage3-based Gentoo install takes a lot less time than it used to.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello,

You can still start from stage1 : you can get them from Funtoo; or generate yourself with Catalyst or a better "hardcode" method
Code:
ROOT=/newroot emerge -1av $(grep -v '#' /usr/portage/profile/default/linux/packages.build

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FastTurtle wrote:
Guess no one understood...

What I understand is that you complain that Gentoo implements more and more policies.
Policies for installing, policies for upgrading, policies for system startup, and we are probably close to a policy for sound serving.

I think you are right. Gentoo implements more and more policies.
But, what I like with Gentoo is that you can always ignore these policies and achieve what you actually want, the way you want.

OK, you'll be on your own and wont get supported, some contributors will tell you that this is wrong, but oh... come on ! A gentoo forumer since 2002 with less than 300 posts... well... I believe you do not need support that much, do you ?
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FastTurtle wrote:
I don't know whether to laugh or cry that Gentoo has become so Fat and Lazy that users that joined the community less then 2 years ago are questioning my reasons for wanting a Stage2 tarball after I explained. I've been a Gentoo user off and on for almost a decade and since 1995 with Linux in General. Check out my Join Date - Sept of 2002

I'll repeat myself here. I want a Stage2 tarball because I don't agree with some of the decisions made to create the Stage3 tarball. So I'll ask you all this question. Why should I have to waste time/energy stripping out stuff that isn't needed for an advance install method.
Well, you call Gentoo (and thus indirectly the devs) "fat and lazy", but have you tried to search and find out how to do a stage1 or stage2 install? Have you looked at this FAQ?

Going by that FAQ, nothing is stopping you from adopting that method. Given that stage1 or 2 are not even supported, and were discontinued due to various support issues, that is a pretty explicitly stated method to generate one from a stage3 tarball.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm, I think that FastTurtle might be going for a sort of a reference to the Gentoo Penguin of the Bird species, a play of words, if you will.
I could be wrong, of course. ^^;

As for Gentoo of the Linux species being fat and lazy, I can't see that, at all, and as far as I understand (as mentioned by others), it is actually very much possible to still do what you want.

Of course, I have been using Linux in general for less than 2 years so I probably have no way of understanding this. =/


Best of luck to you either way!
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
are questioning my reasons for wanting a Stage2 tarball after I explained.

i think nobody's questioning your reasons, but, rather, the way you demand they are acted upon by other people (eg, the devs). if you don't like a pkg in a stage-3-install just drop or recompile it - that's just the way this distro works. it really is not "more cruft" or "less freedom" than installing it freshly from a stage-2.
why don't you create a stage-2 according to your specs and find out if many other people see the same advantages in it that you see? i my opinion it feels a little unusual to just demand it from other people and (indirectly) call them fat and lazy if they don't share your personal opinions.
GOOD LUCK!
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally, and I too am a long time Gentoo user (check out my start date; not as long time as you, but certainly experienced), I find the stage3 + make all my tweaks + emerge -e world + emerge --depclean is far easier and faster than a stage1/2 install. It is nice to have a base system that works out the gate that I can rebuild rather than getting to the end and realizing you missed a command somewhere and having to start over. And in the end, I get the exact same build as if I had done the build from a stage1/stage2.

Quote:
Next is to split into two major groups - Server and Desktop. The build emphasis is different enough that it makes sense. Yes they will be some support cross over but the quality of support questions will be better for it because the server folks have a damn good idea what they're doing and it'll leave the desktop users to the forums for most issues and no, it's not cruel telling them to RTM and check the Forums because if they're not willing to invest the time/effort to even attempt fo solve it on their own, then they're better off with another distro such as Ubunta. Yes I agree we'll probably loose some users but do we really care. We're supposed to be a meta distribution anyhow. If they don't like it, then start their own project as Sabayon did.

Overall, I'd say the advantages are going to be well worth getting back to the fundamentals that Gentoo had in the beginning as it will allow us to refocus upon the key aspect of Gentoo - Customization.


Perhaps I am reading into your complaints (and your insistence that we, the Gentoo community have not addressed your needs, when we have all stated that a stage3 with rebuild is the same as a stage2), but seems like you wish to complain because Gentoo is now approachable by people with minimal Linux/UNIX experience. If that is the case, I really don't know what to tell you. Gentoo has not sacrificed its power user base to accommodate the masses, and in fact has made it easier for its power users to quickly put together a running system that has only the software he or she wants. Gentoo has always been about options and flexibility and this has not diminished in my experience with Gentoo and its community.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So in summary: you intend to loquaciously insult the volunteers working on this project until they resume maintaining a useless and long-winded ricer install option because you can't be bothered to RTFM, while having the audacity to claim everyone but yourself is fat and lazy?

FastTurtle wrote:
if they're not willing to invest the time/effort to even attempt fo solve it on their own, then they're better off with another distro such as Ubunta

Took the words right out of my mouth.
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while true
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

joining date contest?
cool, i'm in!
add clicky-buntu for solid year and that is my gnu/linux experience.

so... i actually do NOT want to know what kernel or gcc is,
i just want free and stable os, selfish as that.

and i have gentoo os installed,
by help of great handbook and even greater forum members,
(I tried even irc (out of several), but that is too fast for me)

i just can not express my thanks enough on support to those fat and lazy penguins...

but just to amount:
THANK YOU ALL, YOU FAT AND LAZY PENGUINS!!!

If I missed the point of topic, well, sorry admin...
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, if you really want a very minimal installation, you should try LFS.

As far as I know, a Stage 2 = Stage 3 + emerge -eav @system
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While not agreeing on everything, I do understand quite a lot of his complaints and in part actually share them.

As far as stages are concerned, I prefer the stage3 way, cause I often need to setup a new VM rather quickly, but I wouldn't mind much going back to stage1, it's never been too complicated from what I remember - though I certainly would need to read up on it again.

As far as lazy goes, I sign that. A lot of ebuilds have gotten worse over the years, because no one is supporting every option a build might support. Personally, I filed a lot of bugs for packages building documentation, although upstream tarballs already provide it and aren't different at all. Practically no one cared - that also counts for a lot of other (imho) problems.

Over the years, my feeling is that "Gentoo is all about choice" has slowly merged to "Gentoo is all about the choice the devs give you" and many devs are taking the easy way out of certain problems. While I can see where that's coming from, sparetime, no pay, yadayada, I remember where times were different.

Quite a few devs have left for various reasons, some of them very good people who just couldn't stand social pressure from some dev-bullies. A lot of new devs have come, but in many cases I don't see the will to work hard, for some it even looks as they are just trying to add something good looking to their CV.

There seems to be no guidance, no (good) leadership and in general, no plan - at least it's very hard to find something like a roadmap of projects, except the GSoC ideas every year.

I do miss the old days, but unless it's getting even worse, I'm staying and to be honest, I don't know where I should go, except LFS (again), but that's just too time consuming.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FastTurtle wrote:
I don't know whether to laugh or cry that Gentoo has become so Fat and Lazy that users that joined the community less then 2 years ago are questioning my reasons for wanting a Stage2 tarball after I explained.
Most "questioning" users are there for almost a decade, too. And the join date is no lead. Mine is 2006, but I started using Gentoo with Stage 1 installs early in 2003, so not long after your "join date".
FastTurtle wrote:
I'll repeat myself here. I want a Stage2 tarball
Then create one by yourself. I have always loved to bootstrap using stage1, and was a bit disappointed when stage1 and stage2 were dropped. I (mainly) thought in the same lines as you.

But doing some tests "cured" me from that "booststrap-madness". I simply set up my system with a stage1 install like I wanted it, it took 4 days until everything was ready. Then I started from scratch with a stage3, but simply did an "emerge -e world" and "emerge --depclean" after the first boot and then continued. Total time needed: 3.5 days. Result: The same.

If you are really serious about stripping your system to a bare minimum, follow this guide, boot into the system, unpack the latest portage snapshot and install portage by hand into it. It will be even beyond what a stage1 can give you, and much much to learn.

And when you are finished, and want to learn (all you argued was about learning, so go ahead) even more, re-install everything following this guide, you won't even need the portage snapshot or portage itself after that. ;)
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First off, when you're following the install guide, a stage2 tarball makes as much if not more sense because when done, you end up at the same point as a stage3 tarball w/o having to do an "emerge -e world". That's right, the install guide takes you from a stage2 tarball to a stage3 system (ready to run).

Second, I disagree with many of the useflags chosen for the Stage3 tarball because of dependency issues. Not size/space reasons in general. For what I'm currently planning, space/size is an issue as Gentoo has to fit within 8GB of space (that's the drive capacity) I'll be using this time around (flash drive), so space may be at a premium for this build.

As I've asked and since this http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/faq.xml#stage12 FAQ states that Catalyst still builds both the stage1 and Stage2 tarballs, where are they? Anyone have a link to them on a mirror or distfiles.gentoo.org? If not, why aren't they at least available on the gentoo server. I can understand not wanting to push them to the mirrors but not the gentoo server. It certainly isn't a space constraint now days (at least it shouldn't be). Yes I know, it sounds like a damn broken record but I'm serious. Where are the files that the FAQ States are supposedly still being built by Catalyst?

The thing that bugs me about this entire discussion, is how many people have chimed in bitching about something that they're already doing based on the install guide. That's right. The install guide assumes you've started with a stage2 tarball, even though they've changed the wording somewhat, it still covers everything that is needed for a stage2 install. So why do a stage3 install?

I'm asking this in all seriousness:

Has the Gentoo Userbase become so compliant that they're willing to accept anything by default instead of excersising two braincells by thinking for themselves?

That's what it's starting to look like to me. Everyone is so busy patting themselves on the back for following the group think, just like the rabid fanbois everyone bitches about. Well Guess what Gentoo users, you've become those fanbois that you bitch about and it's not pretty or encouraging to me. Everyone wants to follow but that begs the question. Who are you following?

I'm sorry to see this because from here, it looks like the one in front of you is just as blind to the almost boundless possibilities that Gentoo has given you and yet most of you are simply throwing the oppurtuinty away as being worthless and that's the biggest waste I've yet seen online.
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John R. Graham
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think you're listening, actually, nor communicating very well. That the Stage1 / Stage2 installs caused more support problems is an empirically validated fact. You haven't been around on the forums that much, though, so it's easy to see how you might miss that. Quite understandable. It's also a fact that retiring the Stage1 and Stage2 install methods was a reasoned decision.

Also, let's face it: although the Gentoo install is one of the most special parts of Gentoo, it's not the most important for the vast majority of users. I'm just talking ratios of time spent here: you'll be using Gentoo vastly more than you'll be installing it.

It's correct that the Stage1 and Stage2 are a byproduct of building the Stage3. However, one reason that they're no longer on the mirrors (aside from intentionally discouraging their use) is that Gentoo's bandwidth and servers are, by and large, donated. We try to be good citizens and use our donated resources wisely.

However, you've finally revealed, in your last post, that you might have a legitimate reason to bootstrap a system and/or utilize custom stages. (I'm not sure that's true, though; if I recall correctly, my last traditional install on a low resource machine resulted in only about 2.8GiB of used space on the bootable console only install.) In any case, my recommendation would be to emerge catalyst and build the stages you want. It's not too hard (I've done it to build a custom minimal install CD with ZFS support in the kernel).

- John
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Yamakuzure
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FastTurtle wrote:
Second, I disagree with many of the useflags chosen for the Stage3 tarball because of dependency issues.
Although I think you have a point there for a stage1/2 build, USE-Flags are not the problem, as you can change them as soon as you like. And changing those, only re-emerging what is affected, should be even faster than a stage1 (not sure about stage2, though) - Be it as it may, you have to (Quote)"excersising two braincells by thinking for themselves"(/Quote) in both (or all three cases) ;)
FastTurtle wrote:
as Gentoo has to fit within 8GB of space (that's the drive capacity)
Piece of cake. Gentoo in a vm with LXDE and build environment:
Code:
sed_gentvm ~ # du -h /*
2.3G total
Really. Size is not the problem.
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