Gentoo Forums
Gentoo Forums
Gentoo Forums
Quick Search: in
state of Gentoo community?
View unanswered posts
View posts from last 24 hours

 
Reply to topic    Gentoo Forums Forum Index Gentoo Chat
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Diabellical
n00b
n00b


Joined: 15 Jan 2012
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 11:22 pm    Post subject: state of Gentoo community? Reply with quote

While I am reasonably new to linux, everything I hear about Gentoo attracts me:
1. Great Documentation
2. Hands-Dirty = Learning
3. Infinitely Customizable


However given the investment time (not something I shy away from), I have heard some things about the Gentoo state, and Gentoo community which make wonder about the direction of Gentoo:

Kernel News:
Quote:
Gentoo Linux has been around for over 10 years now, the peak of Gentoo's User Base was probably between 2002 and 2004 (when source based distros first hit the scene). In 2004, the original creator, Daniel Robbins, announced he was leaving the project and setup the non-profit Gentoo Foundation to take ownership of all of Gentoo's copyrights and trademarks. We believe this started a user base shift away from Gentoo. In 2007, a slight controversy, when the State of New Mexico revoked the Gentoo Foundation's Charter (it is now restored), didn't seem to help matters.


Linux User:
Quote:

The Gentoo system is under continuous, gratuitous change. You risk decapitating your machine every time you update. The release process is total chaos. One day you are working just fine, the next you have 1000 packages to compile


Hence, I figured I would come to the source: Gentoo's community directly, and ask the simple question: where is Gentoo going? is the community trending towards greater stability or less?

Finally, my question is not meant as a criticism; just a curious pseudo-newbie wondering.

Any comments are welcome. I'd like my ignorance exorcized !
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
hasufell
Developer
Developer


Joined: 29 Oct 2011
Posts: 224

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't really know about all this drobins or not drobins stuff, but gentoo is still actively maintained.

The repository (portage tree) is split in stable and untested. Depending on your choice (or even a mix) update-procedure can be more or less complicated.
As for a full "stable" gentoo system there are no big updates of hundreds of packages unless you wait for half a year before you update the system.

Release process is not chaos, it is just rolling release. I never found myself left with a broken system after updating my "stable" gentoo.
Sometimes mixing stable and unstable can lead to solvable problems. Sometimes new versions of eclasses can break old ebuilds. People are quick on the bugtracker if it comes to that.

The main power of gentoo is that you can fix stuff yourself and that you got powerful tools which help customizing your system AND more importantly keep that level of customization throughout updates.
Basically you can customize any linux distro the way you like, but the convenience, efficiency and effort for different usecases may vary.

In my experience a failed compilation is much less "decapitating" than installing a broken binary-package compiled somewhere.
But all that depends heavily on the maintenance of a project and it's community.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Thistled
Guru
Guru


Joined: 06 Jan 2011
Posts: 476
Location: Scotland

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All I can say is this, I have used a few other Linux distros in my time, and since January 2009 have settled with Gentoo. (No turning back now :wink: )
Sure, Gentoo has had its ups and downs (don't we / they all?), but problems usually get resolved.
Also, I have noticed the developer base has increased (or at least I get the impression it has) and the support is excellent.
It has the best documentation out of all the other distributions in my opinion (although ArchLinux is pretty good to - which is kind of Gentoo based) .
As for,
Quote:
The Gentoo system is under continuous, gratuitous change. You risk decapitating your machine every time you update. The release process is total chaos. One day you are working just fine, the next you have 1000 packages to compile

One might say this if they can't get their head around USE flags, keywords, and masking etc, or may have not performed an update in a very long time, but, with those exceptions, the above quote is complete rubbish!
I have never had to compile 1000 packages through a regular update. :roll:
I update once a week, like I used to with windows, so, there is no big deal there.
Back in 2009, I would encounter the odd problem with the package manager 8O , but it has matured somewhat and pretty much takes care of blocks (problems) on its own now, with very little user intervention. (Big thumbs up to the portage maintainers)
If you do have to intervene, you'll find the package manager to be informative, or there'll be plenty of help on the forums. Thus, user support is never too far away.
Such comments / quotes as above arise as a result of users who do not know what they are doing, and do not understand the process, and I'm sorry to say, if you can't get your head around that, then maybe you should be playing with Ubuntu, or Windows. :lol:
One of the best things about Gentoo? There will always be another Gentoo user out there who WILL be able to assist you with your plight, and hopefully resolve the problem.
Man, I have learned everything I need to know about Linux (thus far) thanks to Gentoo and it's community.
It's a bit like nicotine, or any other addictive drug, if you like it, you will want more of it. There's deffo no turning back for me now.
I could not be happier having the most powerful, configurable Linux distro at my fingertips. :D
I don't see this ship sinking anytime soon. :wink:
Just my 1 £'s worth.
Peace. 8)
_________________
Whatever you do, do it properly!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
dol-sen
Developer
Developer


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 2525
Location: Richmond, BC, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There were some more difficult times at times, but mostly those comments are exaggerations IMHO.

Recent times things have stabilized quite a bit. There have been many improvements in portage and package handling in general which automate things even more. Thus requiring even less user interaction to resolve.

Bottom line: Don't let some exaggerated/outdated posts about the state of gentoo discourage you from trying it. Just look at some of the recent "I'm Back" forum threads in this forum topic for an example.

[forgot] If gentoo was in such a bad state, then why is an entity as big as Google, using gentoo to create it's ChromeOS. Not to mention hire gentoo devs for various operations and develoment. [/forgot]
_________________
Brian
Porthole, the Portage GUI frontend irc@freenode: #gentoo-guis, #porthole, Blog
layman, gentoolkit, CoreBuilder, esearch...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
phajdan.jr
Developer
Developer


Joined: 23 Mar 2006
Posts: 1767
Location: Poland

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:56 am    Post subject: Re: state of Gentoo community? Reply with quote

Diabellical wrote:
Quote:
Gentoo Linux has been around for over 10 years now, the peak of Gentoo's User Base was probably between 2002 and 2004 (when source based distros first hit the scene). In 2004, the original creator, Daniel Robbins, announced he was leaving the project and setup the non-profit Gentoo Foundation to take ownership of all of Gentoo's copyrights and trademarks. We believe this started a user base shift away from Gentoo. In 2007, a slight controversy, when the State of New Mexico revoked the Gentoo Foundation's Charter (it is now restored), didn't seem to help matters.


Look at the dates. 2004? 2007? Hey, it's 2012 now, and Gentoo is alive and well, and growing (just look for announcements of new developers joining).

I'd say just try it, maybe as a secondary system for a while (if something gets broken while you learn another distro, the frustrations can easily lead to blaming everything on the distro).

Ah, and if you like Gentoo feel free to tell the distrowatch crew to update their summary of our distro.
_________________
http://phajdan-jr.blogspot.com/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Yamakuzure
Veteran
Veteran


Joined: 21 Jun 2006
Posts: 1374
Location: Bardowick, Germany

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am using Gentoo as my main OS since 2003. At work all servers run debian, and while it is sometimes annoying to do administrative stuff with something as colorless and uninformative as "apt", I have seen worse. Thanks to the possibilities given by VMware, I tried various other distros in the last two years, like Ubuntu ("No, you are not allowed to do that!") or Arch ("Yeah, just do it, but every single piece by hand, please! (*)". I've always got the feeling that I am missing something important on other distros within seconds.
Thus if I changed, and I am damn sure of that, I'd ditch the other distro within days if not hours and come back anyway. So why leave? ;) Gentoos shape is great these days!

(*): Pakman is great, but installing a wm does not mean it installs xorg for you. :roll:

Edith just forgot: The only other "distro" (well, it is none, it is just a book!) is LFS. This I do to have the possibility to quickly build chroot environments with different toolchains. I need that for my work sometimes. But once I feel I have mastered LFS, I'll walk over to DIY Linux. (Quote: "Folks new to DIY Linux should first head over to the Linux From Scratch (LFS) project to learn the basics." - And thats what I'm heeding...)
_________________
I *do* know that I easily aggravate people due to my condensed writing. Rule of thumb: If I wrote anything that can be understood in two different ways, and one way offends you, then I meant the other! ;)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Randy Andy
Veteran
Veteran


Joined: 19 Jun 2007
Posts: 1047
Location: /dev/koelsch

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Diabellical

i gave my statement also at the Linux User site (as Randy Andy), some hours after you've written these post here.


So here is the link for your information, if others also interested into you source of information of the review and the following comments.

http://www.linuxuser.co.uk/reviews/gentoo-12-review-the-product-of-an-established-community/comment-page-1/#comment-70915


Regards, Andy.
_________________
If you want to see a Distro done right, compile it yourself!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
hasufell
Developer
Developer


Joined: 29 Oct 2011
Posts: 224

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to add...

not all things in gentoo are well documented, especially when it comes to writing ebuilds. In the end you are generally better off just reading the eclasses and do 'trial and error' because there are so many particulars about EAPI stuff etc you just have to find out and cant really read anywhere.
Some eclasses are not documented at all. That makes it incredibly difficult for new users to write working ebuilds even if they have the dev manual at hands.

The official (installtion) documentation is quite consistent, but outdated at some points and also lacks instructions for some stuff (e.g. grub2).
The official wiki is just starting over and is very small.
The unofficial wiki is great but sometimes it is more like a 'tinkerbox' with tutorials and not a place where you find the general information you are looking for. Despite those great articles about portage and useflags I think there is still no real consistent documentation about the gentoo mechanisms and their real extent. Many things you have to discover on your own or ask in #gentoo

In the end I dont miss much, because I can find it elsewhere on the internet. The documentation is 'sufficient', no more no less.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
genstorm
Advocate
Advocate


Joined: 05 Apr 2007
Posts: 2463
Location: Austria

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hasufell wrote:
The official (installtion) documentation is quite consistent, but outdated at some points and also lacks instructions for some stuff (e.g. grub2).

grub2 will only be covered when it goes arch. That goes for any other package too, you didn't get an openrc guide before it was ready for arch. Consequently, ~arch users should always know what they're doing, paving the way for arch consumers.
_________________
backend.cpp:92:2: warning: #warning TODO - this error message is about as useful as a cooling unit in the arctic
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
phajdan.jr
Developer
Developer


Joined: 23 Mar 2006
Posts: 1767
Location: Poland

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hasufell wrote:
The official (installtion) documentation is quite consistent, but outdated at some points and also lacks instructions for some stuff (e.g. grub2).


Please file bugs for outdated parts (are there really any?). Note that indeed packages only in ~arch are not covered.
_________________
http://phajdan-jr.blogspot.com/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
NeddySeagoon
Administrator
Administrator


Joined: 05 Jul 2003
Posts: 31875
Location: 56N 3W

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Diabellical,

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, even if its wrong, outdated, predudiced ... and they have the power to publish it.

Install Gentoo and form your own opinion. After alll, thats the only one that matters.

I've used ~arch since the middle of 2002 and in nearly 10 years of Gentoo have only had a few nasty surprises at update time. The ~arch testing process ensures that these things don't happer to users of stable systems.

If you are not ready for a bare metal install yet, get VirtualBox for your native OS and install Gentoo in Virtual Box.
One thing you can't sample until you install and have problems is the Gentoo support community.
_________________
Regards,

NeddySeagoon

Computer users fall into two groups:-
those that do backups
those that have never had a hard drive fail.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
hasufell
Developer
Developer


Joined: 29 Oct 2011
Posts: 224

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

phajdan.jr wrote:
Please file bugs for outdated parts (are there really any?). Note that indeed packages only in ~arch are not covered.

you are right, I'm gonna re-read the pages I remember about and file some bugs

one example is genkernel instructions, cause its default is now NOT to install into $BOOTDIR, so people either have to use "--install" or uncomment the line in /etc/genkernel.conf
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
yngwin
Developer
Developer


Joined: 19 Dec 2002
Posts: 4394
Location: Suzhou, China

PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:47 pm    Post subject: Re: state of Gentoo community? Reply with quote

phajdan.jr wrote:
Ah, and if you like Gentoo feel free to tell the distrowatch crew to update their summary of our distro.

I don't see anything wrong with it?
_________________
"Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves." - Abraham Lincoln
Free Culture | Defective by Design | EFF
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
phajdan.jr
Developer
Developer


Joined: 23 Mar 2006
Posts: 1767
Location: Poland

PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:53 pm    Post subject: Re: state of Gentoo community? Reply with quote

yngwin wrote:
phajdan.jr wrote:
Ah, and if you like Gentoo feel free to tell the distrowatch crew to update their summary of our distro.

I don't see anything wrong with it?


I think the old bits I referred to are gone now, yay! :D
_________________
http://phajdan-jr.blogspot.com/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Ion Silverbolt
Apprentice
Apprentice


Joined: 04 Nov 2004
Posts: 203

PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If anything, Gentoo is easier to use than ever thanks to improved portage and autounmask.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
bobspencer123
Guru
Guru


Joined: 19 Dec 2005
Posts: 544

PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 3:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

as far as I can tell Gentoo is not going anywhere though there will always be those who say or think it is or will.

Most every distro has it place in the linux landscape and imho Gentoo is the king of the source based variant and hopefully will always remain so.
_________________
Increasingly becoming a 2 channel audio nut!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
djdunn
l33t
l33t


Joined: 26 Dec 2004
Posts: 689
Location: Arrakis

PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i dont think i have 1000 packages to compile even if i emerge -e world
_________________
"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present."

-Master Oogway
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Ormaaj
Guru
Guru


Joined: 28 Jan 2008
Posts: 315

PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The release process is total chaos. One day you are working just fine, the next you have 1000 packages to compile
This is what happens on non-rolling-release distros. With Gentoo, on a system with an absurd number of packages, on average a dozen or two per day would be a high estimate. The only exception is large collections bumped being imposed by upstream (that's mainly desktop environments). 1000 packages is totally unheard of on a regularly updated box. You'll never see anything close to that in the course of routine maintenance.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Martux
Veteran
Veteran


Joined: 04 Feb 2005
Posts: 1735
Location: Mannheim, Germany

PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am using gentoo as main OS for more then 10 years now. Always stayed out of politics and flamewars. It was never dead and hopefully will never die. The stability it has, even on ~arch these days is amazing. Still: setting up a backup solution is mandatory. What could be a bit noob-confusing is updating the config files. Rule of thumb: If you edited it manually, look into the changes before overwriting.
With the 1000 packages: On my system with KDE and what not are 822 packages installed with a very moderate memory footprint. *Any* other distro I tried or installed for friends has up to twice as much! Plus they all install a lot of crap and trying to update them to "upstream stable" sucks, if they are working at all afterwards (this means you, Kubuntu...). Not sure, Sabayon could be an exception.
I could go endlessly but you get the basic idea. As a last point I want to shout out a big "THANK YOU" to the glorious Gentoo-community which made me knowledgable of things like "5 minutes > thread solved or "one reply > thread solved" You rule buddies, let's go into the next 10 years :)
_________________
"Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous."
Albert Einstein
"The road to success is always under construction"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Gentoo Forums Forum Index Gentoo Chat All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum