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ziad
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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2021 12:46 am    Post subject: Gentoo: Not beginner friendly? Reply with quote

Hey Guys Newbie here,

so I got started with Gentoo after switching from Ubuntu to Debian and now ending up in this Distro.
Something I hated about GNU/Linux was that many weird folders came with ubuntu and then some of them were absent in Debian and I was confused about what really is part of Linux and what isn't.
I never had this Problem on Windows since you never get to work with .config files and all that so you wouldn't navigate folders beyond Desktop, Documents and Pictures.

Now I got interested in Gentoo since it literally was the minimum of the minimum meaning no unnecessary folders are shipped with it. People discouraged this decision and said that Gentoo "is not beginner friendly".
After going through the Handbook, doing manual install and googling stuff I have learned so much about Linux and I learned to love it. After finally setting up Gentoo i did a quick
Code:
ls -a
and boom. Only the minimum was there.
I now understand what folders are actually needed in a Linux Distro.

Almighty God, I thank you for Gentoo, it is been what I always have wanted, it has removed my confusion with all the folders.

TL;DR -> Gentoo is awesome for beginners because it helps one understand the Nature of GNU + Linux and the OS in general

Edit: That is just my opinion on that matter.


Last edited by ziad on Sat May 01, 2021 3:10 am; edited 4 times in total
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Buffoon
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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2021 1:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beginner-friendly I don't know, but most user-friendly certainly. I escaped Debian because it didn't let me do what I wanted.
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redfish
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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2021 2:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The biggest user unfriendliness in Debian is the complexity of its package recipes. Writing/debugging the recipe is in many cases more difficult than the software being packaged. That's what forced me into Arch, because I write a lot of packages for random software, because I refuse to install anything into my system without it being in a package (because that's how you lose track of what versions are even installed, and how cruft accumulates in your system, causes wild breakage, and misleads people into the reinstall the system every 6 months mentality).

An Arch PKGBUILD is a simple shell script which you can write and debug without even reading the docs, just by example and intuitive meaning of everything. Gentoo ebuilds are certainly heavier but for good reasons, and they are still easy to follow shell scripts, unlike Debian's rules. Also, the convention that upstream needs to carry a debian/ folder is pure hubris. Gentoo is very friendly to people who write packages and to upstreams, too.
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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2021 2:37 am    Post subject: Re: Gentoo: Not beginner friendly? Bullshit. Reply with quote

ziad wrote:
Hey Guys Newbie here,
...

Welcome. You could avoid posting rude, off-putting and nasty swear words, especially in Subjects, like a 17 year old. If you are 17 years old, aim higher.

Gentoo is not beginner friendly. It requires considerable work with numerous pitfalls for beginners. Those interested the file system layout can just do some reading. There is nothing wrong with the Debian file system layout. It's a matter of development choices where there are no absolutely wrong answers.
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ziad
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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2021 3:03 am    Post subject: Re: Gentoo: Not beginner friendly? Bullshit. Reply with quote

figueroa wrote:
ziad wrote:
Hey Guys Newbie here,
...

Welcome. You could avoid posting rude, off-putting and nasty swear words, especially in Subjects, like a 17 year old. If you are 17 years old, aim higher.

Gentoo is not beginner friendly. It requires considerable work with numerous pitfalls for beginners. Those interested the file system layout can just do some reading. There is nothing wrong with the Debian file system layout. It's a matter of development choices where there are no absolutely wrong answers.


Hello, yes, I apologize. That was not appropriate. Thank you speaking up regarding that. I forgot myself.
For me (as a beginner) I find Linux in general having a lot of pitfalls when not used to it, so why not go through it the hard way? But yes again that is really me expressing my opinion here.
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figueroa
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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2021 3:24 am    Post subject: Re: Gentoo: Not beginner friendly? Bullshit. Reply with quote

ziad wrote:
Hello, yes, I apologize. That was not appropriate. Thank you speaking up regarding that.
For me (as a beginner) I find Linux in general having a lot of pitfalls when not used to it, so why not go through it the hard way? But yes again that is really me expressing my opinion here.


Bless your heart. Good answer. I agree with your appreciation for Gentoo.

Not every Linux user or potential user (computer user) really wants to understand the OS beyond what they need to know to maintain it. For such newbies, there are truly innovative distributions like MX-Linux (the heir to Mepis) which is Debian made easy, stable base but with up-to-date applications, and developers that bend over backwards to help users through both friendly forums and even Facebook.

I'm not that kind of user, but I support a whole bunch of them, and I feel sorry for them. I've made a lot of converts (to Linux), but it's a hard sell. MS Windows comes ready-to-use (more or less) on their PC when they buy them, and most have no idea there are other options. But, for these nice people, Gentoo isn't going to be an option.

See you around the forums.
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Juippisi
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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2021 5:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you have the patience to learn and read a bit before pressing enter, then Gentoo will be fine.

With many other distros you can get quite far by just clicking next next next without thinking too much, but not with Gentoo. However the documentation is there, and it's good.
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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2021 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ziad,

Welcome.

Gentoo is not really a distro. Its a toolkit you use to design and install your own distro. Every Gentoo install is different.
There are over 2^20 ways to build LibreOffice in Gentoo binary distro pick one and everyone gets it.
Thats just a single package.

If you really wanted to, you could do
Code:
emerge @debian
and have it install Debian.
The set @debian does not exist today but feel free to write it.

To echo what figueroa said, the gentoo namespace is a clean language area.
We have a few users who are not yet in their teens and we don't want parents banning them from using Gentoo resources.
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asturm
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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2021 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gentoo is beginner friendly to the right beginner.
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alamahant
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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2021 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

Something I hated about GNU/Linux was that many weird folders came with ubuntu and then some of them were absent in Debian and I was confused about what really is part of Linux and what isn't.
I never had this Problem on Windows since you never get to work with .config files and all that so you wouldn't navigate folders beyond Desktop, Documents and Pictures.


There is something called FHS to which distros are encouraged to be compliant to.
Not always the case.......

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filesystem_Hierarchy_Standard
So you can never be sure that a particular binary or lib will be at the same location in all distros.
You have
/bin
/sbin
/usr/bin
/usr/sbin
/lib
/lib64
/usr/lib
/usr/lib64
and not to mention an endless set of symlinks between them to make things work properly.
I feel it would be good if it all became uniform....
Distros use their own implementation of FHS.
So do make files.
Unfortunately....
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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2021 1:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Gentoo: Not beginner friendly? Reply with quote

ziad wrote:
TL;DR -> Gentoo is awesome for beginners because it helps one understand the Nature of GNU + Linux and the OS in general
I agree.
After few days trying to get mkLinux working (with about zero knowledge in Linux) I bought x86 hardware and installed Gentoo. That was my first proper Linux installation. Gentoo and Gentoo community have thought me at least 75% of what I know today about Linux.
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ziad
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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2021 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeddySeagoon wrote:

Gentoo is not really a distro. Its a toolkit you use to design and install your own distro. Every Gentoo install is different.
There are over 2^20 ways to build LibreOffice in Gentoo binary distro pick one and everyone gets it.
Thats just a single package.


That makes sense I think what I meant with distro is the "flavor" of Linux where this flavor is quite minimal and configurable.

NeddySeagoon wrote:

To echo what figueroa said, the gentoo namespace is a clean language area.
We have a few users who are not yet in their teens and we don't want parents banning them from using Gentoo resources.


Absolutely understandable! I apologize once again.
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xahodo
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PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2021 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gentoo has served me well all these years, not one headache because of it.

It has always done exactly what I tell it to.

Yesyes, there were the occasional packages that consume too much memory (qtwebengine :evil: , spidermonkey :evil: ) and make my computer crash (out of memory, only got 8GB RAM and no swap (kde seems to love the fact that it can swap)), until I put them on a diet regarding threads.
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PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2021 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

xahodo wrote:
Gentoo has served me well all these years, not one headache because of it.

I've had plenty of headaches thanks to Gentoo, but it's not like Gentoo stalks me and slaps me in the head despite the restraining order I've put in place so it will leave me alone: they're headaches I choose because I prefer them to the headaches I get from the likes of Debian. Debian feels like Tux looks: a fat contented distro that just sits there doing its thing harmlessly in a way that never, ever bothers you...until you want it to do something other than sitting there doing its thing harmlessly at which point it looks at you like you've lost your mind and continues to sit there. Gentoo is more like some kind of edgy mentally disturbed special forces penguin with an eight-pack of penguin abs and when you tell it to do something it shouts YES SIR and sprints to obey you like the security of the free world depends on its courage and loyalty...and occasionally it snaps psychologically and drops you with a lightning-fast penguin slap to your jaw before mounting you (not like a block device, like a cage fighter) and slapping away at your face for a while...after which it leaps up and gets back to sprinting around doing your bidding as if nothing had happened. Beginner friendly? Sure, if the occasional MMA-style beat-down fits with your definition of friendship.
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PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2021 1:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been using Gentoo Linux for more than 15 years on various types of hardware, ranging from simple laptop PCs to high-performance workstations.

Gentoo is not user-friendly and even with 15 years of experience I still run into problems every once in a while.

In my experience laptops are always a nuisance. In fact, for my most recent laptop I have switched to Ubuntu because I really did not want to spend the time to get all the hardware to work.

If you judge the "quality" of a linux distribution by the number of folders in the user home folder, then I would say that that is a very superficial judgment. It is similar to saying that car A is better than car B because it has less cup holders.

To learn about computer operating systems, the best book is:

Operating Systems, Design and Implementation, 3rd Edition by Andrew Tanenbaum (Author), Albert Woodhull (Author)
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PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2021 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, Ubuntu's undoubtedly more beginner-friendly in some of those areas, although hardware is more of a kernel issue than a distro issue. Building a custom kernel is no easier on Ubuntu or any other distro...in fact I often feel like it's harder to do things the right way ("the Debian way") with all the kernel and header packages as it's more complex: Gentoo keeps kernel building simple. Plus if we're happy to apt-get install a gigantic generic kernel on some other distro, it's no harder to emerge gentoo-kernel-bin here and enjoy roughly the same instant effortless hardware support.

As for the out-of-kernel stuff like custom laptop button configurations and whatnot, I've never found a distro (and that includes Ubuntu and Mint and so on) that nails all that stuff out-of-the-box: I usually get a bunch of nice surprises (great, the webcam that took me ten hours to configure a couple of years ago just works now...cool, two-finger tapping the touchpad is a right-click already...) and then a bunch of disappointments (oh great, none of this distro's official kernel packages are recent enough to support my wifi adapter...and oh great, no kernel events from any of these buttons down the side of the laptop at all...), and wind up spending roughly as much time puzzling over laptop-specific modules and hacks as I spend doing the same kind of stuff on Gentoo.

I meant what I said about friendships and occasional MMA-style beat-downs: plenty of fighters do indeed count among their friends people who've smashed their faces...it's all about context. Gentoo is actually quite beginner-friendly to tinkering control freaks like myself because our need to optimise and refine everything is going to land us in the same whoops-maybe-all-those-fonts-weren't-superfluous-junk-after-all situations on other distros too, only here we have a community of been-there-done-that experts to help us out. Ubuntu is unquestionably more beginner-friendly to the beginners who just want to surf the net and write their emails with minimal effort; but Gentoo is arguably more beginner-friendly to beginners who want to hack the heck out of their systems, as its focus on education and choice can be more supportive towards them. I've participated in lots of different Linux forums and Gentoo's have always been my favourite, by far.

Too often it's a bunch of childishly angry experts or a bunch of friendly enthusiastic folk with no expertise. Gentoo offers beginners encouragement and expertise, so I'd say it's one of the most beginner-friendly distros for a particular kind of beginner.
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PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2021 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Gentoo: Not beginner friendly?

I guess it depends on what you mean with "beginner friendly".

If it means "You don't have to know or learn anything and you will get a running system", then no, gentoo is not beginner friendly.
If it means "You learn useful stuff so you will be able to help yourself when you run into problems", then yes, gentoo is very beginner friendly.
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