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Daemon
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PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2002 3:01 pm    Post subject: All binary Gentoo Reply with quote

I was thinking... is it possible for you guys to build all the packages in the portage tree by (for example):

# emerge --buildpkg world

then upload all of them to your mirrors. this way gentoo users will have the option to either compile from source or install from the binaries by using some switch like --binary-install, which will download the binary package and install it.

will that cause problems like (im guessing) dependency conflicts because, for example, the binary was build against a newer version dependencies that do no exist at the user's machine and when the user install the binary it will complain about missing libraries?

are there other problems or this is doable?
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klieber
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PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2002 3:18 pm    Post subject: Re: All binary Gentoo Reply with quote

Daemon wrote:
are there other problems or this is doable?


First, one of the primary advantages of Gentoo is that you can have a fully-optimized, customized system built from scratch. Using binary packages almost completely defeats the purpose of Gentoo in the first place.

Second, as you surmise, there would be significant problems compiling binary packages with all the "right" options. Just take PHP, for instance -- some folks use it with mySQL, others with PostgreSQL and still others with no database at all. You either have to compile in all sorts of support for everything, or make a lot of people unhappy.

IMO, a binary-only version of Gentoo is a Bad Idea. (but that's just my opinion -- I'd be interested to hear what others have to say)

--kurt
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PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2002 3:57 pm    Post subject: Re: All binary Gentoo Reply with quote

klieber wrote:

IMO, a binary-only version of Gentoo is a Bad Idea.


did i say binary-only? i think it's clear from my post that i said "users will have the option to compile or binary-install.

i would suggest building the packages with the most general and default options and leave any particular customizaitons and optamizations to source copmilation.

bottom line, if you want a fast install you got it but if you want optimizations like -O3 or some other options go ahead and emerge from source.
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PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2002 4:11 pm    Post subject: Re: All binary Gentoo Reply with quote

Daemon wrote:
bottom line, if you want a fast install you got it but if you want optimizations like -O3 or some other options go ahead and emerge from source.


Then why use Gentoo? Why not use Debian?

If you start compiling binary versions of packages and offering them to your user base, be they "only" or "optional", then your bug reports increase. If your bug reports increase, then the progress slows on Gentoo since developers spend more time fixing bug reports.

If you want something that has binary packages, there are literally dozens of distros out there. Gentoo is one of the only ones that allows you to compile everything from source. I think the focus should remain there.

--kurt
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Daemon
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PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2002 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

klieber wrote:
then your bug reports increase


why would they increase? i think i already asked this question when i said "are there other problems or this is doable?". if it causes bugs and dependency confilicts then probably it's not worth it.

that the whole idea behind my post, what are the problems if you do that?

klieber wrote:
Then why use Gentoo?

why not?
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PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2002 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Daemon wrote:
why would they increase? i think i already asked this question when i said "are there other problems or this is doable?". if it causes bugs and dependency confilicts then probably it's not worth it.


If you have a piece of machinery with two moving parts and a piece of machinery with 2000 moving parts, which one is more likely to break?

Same thing here -- if you have multiple versions of the same program, it follows that you'll have more bug reports.

For an example, look no further than the Gentoo kernel(s). Gentoo recently started offering multiple different flavors of the kernel. As a result, check out the number of problems that have cropped up on the forums as a result (XFS incompatibilities, nvidia drivers failing, alsa not working, etc.)

--kurt
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PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2002 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

klieber wrote:

For an example, look no further than the Gentoo kernel(s). Gentoo recently started offering multiple different flavors of the kernel. As a result, check out the number of problems that have cropped up on the forums as a result (XFS incompatibilities, nvidia drivers failing, alsa not working, etc.)


As far as i know Gentoo deosn't ship with a compiled kernel and you have to configure it and compile it yourself. And gentoo assumes that you know how to add and remove option in the kernel.

what do think the problem is gonna be if ther is:

#emerge --binary-install xmms
or
#emerge --binary-install mozilla
or
#emerge --binary-install kde

wouldn't that be great if it's possible?
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PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2002 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Daemon wrote:
wouldn't that be great if it's possible?


No -- not really. Again, I'd be interested to hear what other folks think, but i see little to no advantage in offering pre-compiled binaries while I see a whole lotta potential problems.

--kurt
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PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2002 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i think this would be a good option to have for some of the packages that take a long time to compile (kde, openoffice, etc.) just for people who want to use it quickly, but as an option only for some packages, this is kind of how freebsd is, where you can choose between a port, or download a binary package from the website. many things only have a port though. the result of a package and a port is the same install, they go in the same database.
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PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2002 10:22 pm    Post subject: Why gentoo? Reply with quote

If you want binary packages, you have a lot of distributions to choice.
Gentoo is a portage based distribution, if you don't like it don't use it
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PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2002 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i think gentoo is already on the right track, they have stage1/stage3 install packages which have some basic stuff precopiled as binaries in the stage 3 to avoid really long installs....but beyond that, the beauty of gentoo is that every single binary on my system is optimized for my P4 :)

I see no gain in making binaries available, as they would be inferior (not optimized for specific hardware, unless they have dozens of versions for different machine types...)

just my $0.02

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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2002 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i must agree, if i wanted to used binary packages i would use debian. but i want every ounce of performance from my box so i use gentoo. 8O
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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2002 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i suppose one day it may make sense to also release binary packages, but until gentoo has the user and developer base to warrant all the extra effort that would be needed to provide binary plus source copys of all software it just wouldnt make sense
its much better to take one thing and become really good at it rather than spread yourself all over the place
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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2002 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you guys don't understand that not all people have fast machines and fast internet connection. im not talking about 386 or 486 machines here. many of my friends and people i know still run PII (300-350) with 64M RAM and use dialup connection to the internet. can you imagine the pain of such person trying to use gentoo..... we'll let me say it's almost impossible..don't you think?

regarding why do i use gentoo and not debian... i always loved freebsd and wished that there is some linux like it... and gentoo is the potential.. debian is just too outdated and slow development process.
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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2002 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Daemon wrote:
can you imagine the pain of such person trying to use gentoo..... we'll let me say it's almost impossible..don't you think?


I certainly understand your point, and I agree with it. Gentoo is very painful to install on slower machines and/or machines with slow internet connections.

However, that does not mean Gentoo *should* be less painful to install on slower machines. Gentoo cannot be all things to all people. As it stands, the Gentoo developers have focused on people with fast machines (or a lot of patience) and a fast connection to the internet.

Other distros have chosen different paths. Debian chooses reliability and security above all else. That's why I choose to continue to use it for my servers. Mandrake, Lycoris and others attempt to cater to those folks new to linux, or who don't want to learn about how linux operates. That's why they have GUI install processes, a lot of auto-configuration, etc.

If Gentoo tries to start pleasing everyone, then it's going to end up pleasing no one. I hope it continues along the path that it has chosen.

--kurt
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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2002 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear kurt,

i don't understand your position of we don't wanna do it because we don't wanna do it. i mean if somebody ganna do #emerge --buildpkg Xpackage and upload it somewhere so that other users can benefit from it why not? unless ofcourse it's gonna affect the reliability and cause the system to break down.

otherwise your argument that we shouldn't do it because Gentoo is not Debian is not good enough execuse.
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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2002 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Daemon wrote:
otherwise your argument that we shouldn't do it because Gentoo is not Debian is not good enough execuse.


It's not an excuse -- it's an opinion. And you're missing the point. If folks, on their own, want to start creating binary packages and distributing them as an emerge alternative, then I think that's great -- that's the beauty of Open Source. You have the source and the GPL lets you modify it and redistribute it.

My point, however, is that the Gentoo developers should not devote time to this. Their development time is a limited resource -- if they devote it to one thing, that means other things aren't getting attention, which means that progress, as a whole, slows. (you complain about Debian's slow development process -- why do you think that is???)

Furthermore, the more "moving parts" a system has, the more things that are likely to break. That means more bugs to fix, which means less time spent on developing new features. That's not an opinion -- it's a fact.

An ancillary point is the fact that there are many, many other distros out there that do what you're describing. You haven't shown a compelling reason why Gentoo should start doing what others have already done. (and do quite well)

--kurt
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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2002 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you don't want to wait for your favorite window manager to compile or anything else, why not get RPM type manager and download the RPM's and install them?
I am sure that if you do emerge search rpm you will find that RPM is in the portage tree and you can download the newest rpms from where ever on the internet and install them. You could even go and just build a working kernel, and then download Red Hat's kernel if you like and use that, they have rpm versions of prebuilt kernels, or even just pull a version off of an install disc.
Although I like the fact that everything is compiled because it is then optimized, I do realize that most people don't want to wait 6+ hours for their system to get setup when 5+ of those hours are compilation. But it is Gentoo and that is the point, that everything is compiled, it is the beauty of it.
It can run on most anything and it is specially made just for each machine. :wink:
Try running other new distro's (RH 7.2+ Drake 8.2 Suse 8 so on) on a slow pentium 100 or less, they take forever and a day to do most anything, however Gentoo only has what you want, so it is much snappier.:D

-Andrew
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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2002 12:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

klieber wrote:
Daemon wrote:
wouldn't that be great if it's possible?


No -- not really. Again, I'd be interested to hear what other folks think, but i see little to no advantage in offering pre-compiled binaries while I see a whole lotta potential problems.

--kurt


Exactly the whole point of Gentoo is the fact that they're aren't binaries and everything is compiled for one's computer in order to be lean n fast. If the OP wants binaries, choose another distro for gwds sake!

That's why we've chosen Gentoo...
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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2002 1:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think this is an unreasonable idea. I certainly do not think it should be the default options because like everyone says why not use another distro like debian. But why not as an option? Afterall there is a binary version of the installation CD available.

The reason why I think it may be a good idea is because I need something like this. Ever since KDE3 was released I have tried unsuccessfully to install it on my gentoo machine. The problem is compilation of XFree 4.2.0-r9 fails, even though I successfully installed version 4.2.0-r6. If I try to skip XFree then compilation of Qt compilation fails. I have been unable to determine why. It is possible something has corrupted, but I don't know what. The point is I would still like to install KDE3, if there were binary version available then I would be able to do this.
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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2002 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roy wrote:
The point is I would still like to install KDE3, if there were binary version available then I would be able to do this.


What makes you think that binary versions of software have fewer problems than those compiled from source? You have to worry about what version of QT and gcc the program is compiled against (and what version of QT you have on your computer), whether the binary is statically or dynamically linked, what compile time options were used, etc. All sorts of issues.

Then, of course, if you're going to distribute binaries, you have to cater to the lowest common denominator, which means 586 processors (at least until people start complaining that they can't install Gentoo on their 386SX w/ 4MB of RAM because Linux should run on that, dammit), which means no more speedy Gentoo.

Do not look upon binary distributions as the Holy Grail of all that is stable. It's far, far from it.

--kurt
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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2002 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
If Gentoo tries to start pleasing everyone, then it's going to end up pleasing no one. I hope it continues along the path that it has chosen.


I agree with this. A lot of people think that speedy easy compatability with every single piece of hardware is a good thing, but IMHO it isn't always. It's great that so many flavors of Linux run on so many slower older machines. That sort of backwards compatability is a great thing and there's enough kernel hackers out there to continue to support newer technologies like bluetooth and modern hardware.

However, I think that some software absolutely should push the limits of hardware we have to continue the need for innovation in that sector of tech and increase demand for products to keep costs low - thus keeping the industry healthy. Continuing to worry about being able to support 486/66 machines or modem users only serves to stifle these things (not trying to be mean, just honest). If Gentoo sounds appetizing, get cable and/or upgrade your system. If you can't afford it (believe me, I'm right there with you - I generally just choose hardware over something like, say, food), then stick to Debian or another one of the bazillion distros.

Gentoo for me was reason enough to upgrade one of my PCs to an Athlon XP 1800 because I liked it so much. And I'd do it again. That's just me, though.
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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2002 3:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you go to the Gentoo mirror site:
http://www.ibiblio.org/gentoo/releases/packages/1.0-i686/

You''ll see some precompiled packages (*.tbz2). I installed Xfree86-4.2, qt-3.03, mozilla-0.99 and others this way. It saved me some times compiling those big packages.
I don't think it's good idea to have every package in binaries for Gentoo since a lot of distros already provided. Besides, you can use rpm2targz to convert some binary RPM packages from other distros to tar.gz format as long as you know the dependent libraries of the package you want to install.
I support the idea of having binary packages for some big source files such as mozilla, qt....
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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2002 4:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

klieber wrote:

What makes you think that binary versions of software have fewer problems than those compiled from source? You have to worry about what version of QT and gcc the program is compiled against (and what version of QT you have on your computer), whether the binary is statically or dynamically linked, what compile time options were used, etc. All sorts of issues.

Then, of course, if you're going to distribute binaries, you have to cater to the lowest common denominator, which means 586 processors (at least until people start complaining that they can't install Gentoo on their 386SX w/ 4MB of RAM because Linux should run on that, dammit), which means no more speedy Gentoo.

Do not look upon binary distributions as the Holy Grail of all that is stable. It's far, far from it.

--kurt


So basically you are saying that distributions like Mandrake don't work because they are binary? I don't understand you argument. Surely this is the whole point of having dependancies. There is no difference here.
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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2002 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roy wrote:
So basically you are saying that distributions like Mandrake don't work because they are binary?


No, I'm saying that binary distributions have just as many bugs (or even more) as source distros.

Roy wrote:
Surely this is the whole point of having dependancies. There is no difference here.


That's exactly my point. The original poster intimated that, by distributing packages in binary form instead of source form, he would be able to install it without any problems. Thus, he was essentially saying that pre-compiled packages will have less problems that those which must be compiled from source. That's simply not true.

No one has yet posted a compelling reason why Gentoo should start distributing packages in binary form. These are the arguments that have been put forth so far:

  • "Because I don't want to compile it -- it takes too long" -- that's the whole purpose of Gentoo. If you don't like that, then use Debian, Mandrake, RedHat, etc.
  • "I'll have less problems with installing a binary version of package X" -- see my comment above -- simply not true.
  • "Why not?" Well, because it takes too many resources away from Gentoo as a whole and adds too many new bugs to the mix.
The last argument really bothers me because it shows a complete lack of understanding or sensitivity to the development process. Why shouldn't we make Gentoo also run Windows programs? Well, because it takes too much time to develop and it isn't the core focus of the Gentoo project There are other programs that do that (Wine, vmware, any number of others) and do it well.

Gentoo is a distro designed to compile all programs from source. The benefit is that you get enhanced performance and greater flexibility over your computer. The tradeoff is it requires more administration time, a fast internet connection (or a lot of patience) and a willingness to compile programs from source. If you don't like this, don't use Gentoo. It's as simple as that.

--kurt
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