Gentoo Forums
Gentoo Forums
Gentoo Forums
Quick Search: in
"selling" gentoo to my employer
View unanswered posts
View posts from last 24 hours

Goto page 1, 2  Next  
Reply to topic    Gentoo Forums Forum Index Gentoo Chat
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
hadfield
Retired Dev
Retired Dev


Joined: 18 Mar 2003
Posts: 308
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2003 12:03 am    Post subject: "selling" gentoo to my employer Reply with quote

I'm currently working in the computer science department for a canadian university. We've got about 120 workstations solely for computer science students, half of which are running Redhat linux (the other half windows). With the shift in Redhat's business model we are in the process of deciding on a new linux distribution or to go with RHEL. The idea of switching to gentoo has been suggested to my boss, and promptly refused, "We just can't afford to go with the little guy", he claims.

I have proprosed to do a presentation on why we should choose gentoo over any of the other potential distro's (which currently are fedora or RHEL). So I thought I'd start a thread to see if I can get some ideas from the gentoo community about how to better argue for gentoo.

I've been using gentoo for just under a year, and ever since I switched to it I haven't even considered going back. I know it's great, but putting its greatness into words to someone who's never used it is proving to be a little difficult.

Here are there main arguments against gentoo:
1. The support isn't good enough (i.e. Redhat has people you can call when you need help, gentoo just has community based forums).

2. Redhat has been proven time and time again as so many large businesses and labs are already using it.

3. We would need to train the staff on yet another OS. This would take time and possibly require more employees.

4. Some of our current software has redhat specific packages.

I've looked into exactly what we will need from a distribution and gentoo has everything and more. The thing is, is that even though they're currently using Redhat with it's "great" RPM's, we're still using original 7.3 software. The current admins refuse to update any of the software because of how difficult RPM's are to work with. So if they move to RHEL, there won't be any change in the ancient software we (I'm a student as well) have to use. So what I would like to focus on in my presentation are the following:

1. I'll probably focus the most on gentoo's portage system.

2. The fact that everything is compiled from source makes it easier to solve problems and make configuration changes. Compiling software for individual platforms is not an issue, in fact , they would prefer if the software was compiled for multiple platforms since we're using three different platforms that gentoo would be used on.

3. How easy ebuilds are to create and maintain.

4. Security. With the updates so easy, and GLSA's, it's almost possible to automatically fix security holes.

5. How kick ass the forum support is.

6. Once gentoo's up and running we may need less support staff, not more. And the current support staff can worry about things other than making sure that the system's are secure and up to date.

7. Something that would be very beneficial is if I could give them solid examples of other universities and/or businesses that are currently using gentoo. This would give them a greater sense of security to know that someone else is using it. Does anyone have any examples?

So, can you guys give me any more great things about gentoo I should focus on?

Thanks!
Scott

P.S. And thanks for reading this long assed post. ;-)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Lews_Therin
l33t
l33t


Joined: 03 Oct 2003
Posts: 657
Location: Banned

PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2003 12:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Show them an emerge -up world...show them that with only typing that one line, or putting it in a cron job, then can have their systems updated automatically.

Now, training the staff for another OS...maybe you should point out that it's easier to move from RHEL to Gentoo than it is to move from Win98 to ME. You can even do some ailiasing for common RH aliases.

For the RH-specific packages, couldn't you just use rpm2tgz?

Show them not only the forum support, but searching the forum support. Find a problem they keep having, search for it, and show them the solution. Just make sure we HAVE the solution before you give them a blank search result screen :wink:
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
RedBeard0531
Guru
Guru


Joined: 21 Sep 2002
Posts: 415
Location: maryland

PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2003 4:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER put emerge -u world in a cron job!!!! Sooner or later it will FSCK up yout sys, esp. if you use ~arch. Even if not, it is good to read emerge -pu world first to see if anything major (like gcc, glibc, or portage) will change.

On topic: I know this might be unpopular, but dont push it to far. Some times it is better to go with a safe bet. Sure gentoo is better, but can you say that you havent had any problems? At the first problem, it will fall on you to fix it. What if it happens to make the system unavailable right before exams. Not only do you have to stop studying to fix it, but you've inconvienianced several others. Im not saying that this wont happen on RH or fedora, but then you wouldnt be to blame. If it does happen, then might be a good time to recomend gentoo. btw- if what you have works, whay are they changing.
_________________
OH MY GOD! Kenny just killed Kenny!
That Basterd!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Naughtyus
Guru
Guru


Joined: 14 Jul 2002
Posts: 463
Location: Vancouver, BC

PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2003 4:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally I would choose Debian unstable over Gentoo for a production environment. Being that Debian has been around forever should also make it an easier sell to the PHBs.

Which University?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
SlCKB0Y
Tux's lil' helper
Tux's lil' helper


Joined: 07 Jul 2002
Posts: 105
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2003 4:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yea in your situation I would definately recommend Debian of some flavour.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
hadfield
Retired Dev
Retired Dev


Joined: 18 Mar 2003
Posts: 308
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2003 6:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies.

Debian hey? I've honestly never used it before, maybe I should see what it's all about some time. I think they looked into debian about two years ago but decided not to use it. I can't remember exactly why, maybe because it didn't have kickstart or something. Now you might be thinking, "well gentoo doesn't have kickstart either, what gives?", but with GLIS (gentoo linux install script) I can implement a kickstart like install. Maybe debian has some kind of similar install script now, but I wouldn't know.

RedBeard0531 wrote:
btw- if what you have works, whay are they changing.

I think it's because Redhat 7.3 will either lose support from Redhat soon or already has. I think they're mostly worried that they won't be able to get updated packages for it.

And your point is definately well taken. If a problem did arrise shortly after the switch (gentoo related or not) fixing it would definately fall on my shoulders. Perhaps I'll just show them the coolness of gentoo. It would be a very informal presentation anyway.

And the university is SFU.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
teknomage1
Veteran
Veteran


Joined: 05 Aug 2003
Posts: 1239
Location: Los Angeles, CA

PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2003 6:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Assuming your hardware is beginning to show it's age you might sell them on the performance boost gentoo can provide. for example my 133mhz laptop was extremely unresponsive under redhat and mandrake but is quite peppy under gentoo.

A con I'm sure they'll point out is that it tkes a long time to install gentoo. Be prepared to propose some sort of imaging system so that if the system dies from and emerge fail or something you can bring it back online promptly. That's the major hurdle as far as I'm concerned. When projects are on the line you can't afford to have 30% of your equipment down for a week at a time.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Naughtyus
Guru
Guru


Joined: 14 Jul 2002
Posts: 463
Location: Vancouver, BC

PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2003 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really don't know of any kickstart-like installs for Debian, but if the higher-ups really want an 'official' distro, you could always try a half-way solution like Libranet. Its a Debian based distro (so you get all the advantages of a regular Debian system) that adds on a really good installer/hardware detection along with decent admin tools and some official support. Plus, they're based in Vancouver. :)

Of course Libranet is hardly what I would call a professional distro, but they are more so than just stock Debian. I think the current version is based off of Debian's testing sources. If you don't know much about Debian, basically that means that while the packages used aren't as up to date as Gentoo's non ~arch (or Debian's 'unstable' branch), they are generally well tested slightly older packages. You can check out the status of the testing packages by just doing a search on www.debian.org if you'd think about implementing this sort of thing.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ozonator
Guru
Guru


Joined: 11 Jun 2003
Posts: 591
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2003 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naughtyus wrote:
Personally I would choose Debian unstable over Gentoo for a production environment.


Hmmm. Debian unstable over Gentoo's stable? That would be a close call for me; I figure at least Gentoo's stable stream has had some basic testing done.

On the other hand, I agree that Debian should be an easier sell to PHB types -- use the stable stream for critical servers (if the PHBs are worried, how much more carefully tested can you get than that?), unstable for workstations. (Of those I've tried, Gentoo and Debian are far ahead of other distros; if it weren't for Gentoo, Debian would be my favorite. :) ) Debian is trivial to keep up to date, including that like Gentoo, there's no need to do a wholesale upgrade when a new 'version' comes out. And, no risk of support ending as it has with RH; the Debian social contract was around before Gentoo's. Sure, these things are also reasons to recommend Gentoo, but we're talking about what can be most easily sold to the bosses, and while Gentoo and Debian may both be 'little guys' in your boss's mind, Debian likely will be perceived to be less little (for example, software is often released as .rpm, source, and -- .deb for Debian, which can be evidence for the PHB that it's widely used). If it helps in your argument, Debian is used here at U of T (where I work), in enough places that there's a local Debian mirror for use by campus machines; I myself have been managing Debian on one server and a few public-access terminals at one of the colleges there. Surely some time spent Googling will turn up other Debian 'success stories' (i.e., as marketing literature calls evidence that people use something) in a university context, say, like this, for example.

As for an alternative to kickstart, there are several options. There's fai (fully automatic installation), as well as things like autoinstall and systemimager for cloning machines easily; all three have Debian packages. For cloning machines, there's also "dpkg --get-selections > selections" on the master machine, "dpkg --set-selections < selections && apt-get dselect-upgrade" on the cloned machines, but the clones must have at least a minimal Debian install first; that method is useful for making sure different machines have the same set of installed packages.

Finally, a note about the Debian 'streams', which have nicknames based on characters in the Toy Story movies, since we've been talking about them already here, and you might not know what they're about. The 'stable' stream (currently 'Woody') is thoroughly tested, and the target of those who criticize Debian for being out of date; sure, 'stable' isn't updated often (it's pretty much only security updates with any frequency), but you can be sure that when the Debian folks call it stable, it is, no matter what architecture you use. 'unstable' (always 'Sid') is where new versions of things go; it's most akin to Gentoo with ACCEPT_KEYWORDS="~arch". In between is 'testing' (currently 'Sarge'), which is where packages from 'unstable' end up after a few weeks if they haven't had any serious problems (I believe the minimum stay in 'unstable' is two weeks), though note that there are no security updates for testing -- any security fixes must trickle down from unstable, though it's generally simple to install the unstable version if you need a fix immediately (i.e., you can mix streams, and the package manager will keep all the dependencies straight). When a new 'version' of Debian is released, testing becomes stable, and a new testing is made from unstable.

Best of luck with the PHBs! :)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ozonator
Guru
Guru


Joined: 11 Jun 2003
Posts: 591
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2003 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naughtyus wrote:
if the higher-ups really want an 'official' distro, you could always try a half-way solution like Libranet. Its a Debian based distro (so you get all the advantages of a regular Debian system) that adds on a really good installer/hardware detection along with decent admin tools and some official support. Plus, they're based in Vancouver. :)


Forgot about them, and that it's from a nearby Canadian shop. Good suggestion!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Naughtyus
Guru
Guru


Joined: 14 Jul 2002
Posts: 463
Location: Vancouver, BC

PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2003 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ozonator wrote:
Naughtyus wrote:
Personally I would choose Debian unstable over Gentoo for a production environment.


Hmmm. Debian unstable over Gentoo's stable? That would be a close call for me; I figure at least Gentoo's stable stream has had some basic testing done.


I just suggested that because he seemed content to suggest Gentoo (which is generally more 'up to date' than even Debian unstable) as well as Fedora which is probably more up to date than Debian testing. Generally I agree with your sentiments.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
labrador
Guru
Guru


Joined: 04 Oct 2003
Posts: 316

PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2003 11:54 am    Post subject: I vote something other than gentoo Reply with quote

I'm debating a similar question for a University's notebooks. In this case we couldn't
expect them to emerge updates overnight or anytime, so we would need to run a local
mirror with binaries built for users already.

However I've decided that gentoo is not stable enough, at least as of Nov 2003.

1. Evolution 1.4.5 is giving lots of errors and warnings.
2. No way to check dependancies on unmerge. RPM had that.
3. User community is eager to use, not bug test and report.
4. Many developers have less than 3 years experience using Linux
and even less as a developer. Some don't even study C.S.
5. Bug reports and forum items demonstrate that gentoo packages
are being released to stable without regression testing for what
one package emerge does to another package. That is why
Debian takes so bloody long to release something to stable -
you can't test these things in a couple of weeks and you need
enough mature users who will file bug reports rather than
simply switch to the next application on their list of many choices.
6. Gnome 2.4 was rough. Many tools broken, metacity didn't click to focus.
Again, hardly anyone seemed to notice or care.
7. Emerge in an eterm tends to fail (blows up eterm) - stable in xterm or console.
8. I had an emerge of gcc hang on libtool running for 3 hours CPU time. Could
not be killed with -9. Had to power cycle to restart machine.

I'm still using gentoo on two boxes, and it is fine for me, but I wouldn't
want to unleash it on a large pool of users. I hope great things for
gentoo, but right now it is just too young for production use.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
kraylus
l33t
l33t


Joined: 07 Jun 2002
Posts: 648
Location: ft.worth.tx

PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2003 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

if your boss actually wants to PAY for tech support (i.e. RHEL) then setup a thing with the gentoo devs where your boss can pay per incident, and you can phone one of the gentoo devs to help you with the issue.

everybody wins. gentoo gets money, your boss gets his tech support, and you get to admin gentoo boxes and be paid for it.

lucky bastard :mrgreen:

ryan
_________________
I used gentoo BEFORE it was cool.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
kraylus
l33t
l33t


Joined: 07 Jun 2002
Posts: 648
Location: ft.worth.tx

PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2003 12:08 pm    Post subject: Re: I vote something other than gentoo Reply with quote

labrador wrote:
I'm debating a similar question for a University's notebooks. In this case we couldn't expect them to emerge updates overnight or anytime, so we would need to run a local mirror with binaries built for users already.


would college linux do the trick? that seems to be a favourite amongst universities. it's based on slackware and has a pretty nifty installation. here're some feature from the link i provided:

Quote:
-Easy installer with auto detection of your hardware
-2 clicks and you are within your lan network thanks to linNeighborhood pre-configured;
-CD burner utility installed an configured
-Flash and Java fully embedded in both Konqueror and Mozilla browsers
-Superior Look&Feel
-All major graphics and development packages included
-Multimedia players with skins and video player
-OpenOffice and KOffice suites
-Edutaiment applications
-Nice games ;-)
-The power of slackware at ease


not sure how well it supports laptops, but it shouldn't be too terribly difficult to work around.

ryan
_________________
I used gentoo BEFORE it was cool.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
labrador
Guru
Guru


Joined: 04 Oct 2003
Posts: 316

PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2003 1:04 pm    Post subject: College Linux Reply with quote

College Linux, eh?

That sounds like what I made last summer: a Slackware 9 based nice desktop
with a way to login to the novell network and print over novell
printers, DVD player, CD Burner software, etc..

It took weeks to complete on my own.

However College Linux might eliminate some of the work.

I'm not worried about the installer since we image our disks
ala ghost for unix (actually using my own Knoppix based imager)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
lbrtuk
l33t
l33t


Joined: 08 May 2003
Posts: 910

PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2003 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm afraid a source based distro is just not right for this situation. If you think about it, at some point you're going to have all n machines compiling the same thing at the same time. This is just not efficient if you think of it in terms of energy or computing power. It is completely redundant. Even if you imaged all the machines for the initial install, at some point you'd have to update the systems, and to make that work with binaries would be a pain.

I personally suggest you use debian unstable, and whats more, you will have to set up a local apt mirror/cache/proxy holding all the packages you need, otherwise when you update, you'll have n machines downloading the same file from the same remote mirror at the same time. Neither your university or the debian mirror would thank you for this. Imagine 35 downloads of foo-bar-123-4.deb from ibiblio.org at the same time. You're using 35 times the amount of bandwidth you have to.

When you do something on this sort of scale, you have to think of it in terms of minimising duplication of work. How the similarities in the machines can help you manage them. There is no point in having 35 machines compiling identical copies of gcc3.3 for 3 hours at the same time.

Really, Gentoo's cool, but it isn't the magic bullet for every situation.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
kraylus
l33t
l33t


Joined: 07 Jun 2002
Posts: 648
Location: ft.worth.tx

PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2003 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lbrtuk wrote:
I'm afraid a source based distro is just not right for this situation. If you think about it, at some point you're going to have all n machines compiling the same thing at the same time. This is just not efficient if you think of it in terms of energy or computing power. It is completely redundant. Even if you imaged all the machines for the initial install, at some point you'd have to update the systems, and to make that work with binaries would be a pain.

I personally suggest you use debian unstable, and whats more, you will have to set up a local apt mirror/cache/proxy holding all the packages you need, otherwise when you update, you'll have n machines downloading the same file from the same remote mirror at the same time. Neither your university or the debian mirror would thank you for this. Imagine 35 downloads of foo-bar-123-4.deb from ibiblio.org at the same time. You're using 35 times the amount of bandwidth you have to.

When you do something on this sort of scale, you have to think of it in terms of minimising duplication of work. How the similarities in the machines can help you manage them. There is no point in having 35 machines compiling identical copies of gcc3.3 for 3 hours at the same time.

Really, Gentoo's cool, but it isn't the magic bullet for every situation.


distcc anyone?

plus, if you were to use the appropriate flags in portage, you could make it so that once a package was compiled, it would be available henceforth as a binary. designate one machine as the storehouse for said binaries.

just set it so that all the machines contribute to the compilation process via distcc and install the packages from the "storehouse". ta da! done.

but even so, i would still recommend something other than gentoo (unless you're absolutely careful). there are precautions one can take. i've read posts where other forum users have a segregated environment for when they do updates. if all goes well, the entire system is updated (think sandbox).

i don't know enough about it to say yay or nay, but it's possible.

i still say you should do the pay-per-incident thing with the gentoo devs ;)

ryan
_________________
I used gentoo BEFORE it was cool.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
lbrtuk
l33t
l33t


Joined: 08 May 2003
Posts: 910

PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2003 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kraylus wrote:

distcc anyone?


Hmm, intriguing. I handn't thought of that
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
aent
n00b
n00b


Joined: 24 May 2003
Posts: 49
Location: Here

PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2003 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Point out that they can setup there own rsync server for portage and only include what they want and have tested and such in there, and automatically have new software installed and old software updated automatically with a cron job (that is safe to do if they are using there own rsync, because they can only put what they want after its been tested on there)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
labrador
Guru
Guru


Joined: 04 Oct 2003
Posts: 316

PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2003 5:15 pm    Post subject: Yes we considered making our own binary mirror Reply with quote

Yes we considered having our own binary source mirror.

It would have to run emerge sync and emerge -u world and have the
binary ebuilds passed up to the local (private) mirror so that all of
the identical notebook computers could avoid compiling this stiff
from source. University students with notebooks are constantly on
the move and can't wait around for a 30 minute emerge.

But the killer is that gentoo is too unstable. I've been using it for
only a month and a half and I've already seen a number of things
not emerge properly, hang a machine, or introduce conflicts due to
lack of regression testing and decent beta testers. If I went with
Gentoo it would be a full time task to keep the binary sources updated,
and help out people who were struck by incompatibility
problems in "stable" which I wouldn't have time to test on
a daily basis. Our users include a wide range of knowledge, so
providing them with something they can rely on without requiring
a course in Gentoo 101 (A and B) is an important feature.

Perhaps by this time next year some of these problems will be resolved
and gentoo will be something we can just pass out to the masses,
but for now, no.

Desktop Linux is a great challenge to satisfy in any Linux distro, and
it requires decent QA to make releases that won't impact one or more desktop
applications.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
kraylus
l33t
l33t


Joined: 07 Jun 2002
Posts: 648
Location: ft.worth.tx

PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2003 5:40 pm    Post subject: Re: I vote something other than gentoo Reply with quote

labrador wrote:
3. User community is eager to use, not bug test and report.
4. Many developers have less than 3 years experience using Linux
and even less as a developer. Some don't even study C.S.
5. Bug reports and forum items demonstrate that gentoo packages
are being released to stable without regression testing for what
one package emerge does to another package. That is why
Debian takes so bloody long to release something to stable -
you can't test these things in a couple of weeks and you need
enough mature users who will file bug reports rather than
simply switch to the next application on their list of many choices.
6. Gnome 2.4 was rough. Many tools broken, metacity didn't click to focus.
Again, hardly anyone seemed to notice or care.


well said! to think... i thought i was the only one, the way certain people talk. tsk tsk. but ya gotta admit... there're lots of nice people able/willing to help, here in the forums :)
_________________
I used gentoo BEFORE it was cool.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Lbtg43
n00b
n00b


Joined: 17 Jul 2003
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2003 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i would recommend debian like the others on this board, but if youre set on gentoo you could point out it would require less maintanence, it would be faster and it would be cutting edge - get new software releases and automatically install and configure them
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
gsfgf
Veteran
Veteran


Joined: 08 May 2002
Posts: 1266

PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2003 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

don't worry about the time to build packages. Just whip up bin packages while you're testing (you do test new stuff, right) and push them to the coms over the network.

And point theme here if they're skeptical. I've see RH forums, they suck.
_________________
Aim:gsfgf0
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
hadfield
Retired Dev
Retired Dev


Joined: 18 Mar 2003
Posts: 308
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada

PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2003 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was definately planning on setting up our own internal private rsync server. Also, we would only need to build each package once with buildpkg set in the make.conf file, and a package directory. Distcc would be a good idea with some of our faster workstations for sure. But downloading and compiling the exact same software on 60 nearly identical machines would definately be very wasteful and time consuming, even with distcc (hence sharing all of the packages).

I'm really quite surprised how many people here don't think gentoo is stable enough. For me, maybe 1 out of 50 ebuilds fail, I've had little to no problems with gentoo. And any problems I have had have taken only a little over 30 minutes to fix at worst(30 minutes of doing things, not waiting for things to compile). Problems I've had with Redhat, Mandrake, and SuSe have all been far worse. Some problems I could never find the answer to. I think a lot of those problems were just with the way things were setup though, they set things up the way THEY think they should be, and I've never found it that easy to change.

Now I know that murphy's law will set in as soon as final projects are due and the file server will probably fail with some kind of random dependancy errors or something. But my point is, is that I've found gentoo very stable in a non critical environment. Any problems that have arrisen have also been very easy to fix.

Buying gentoo support on a per call basis is an interesting idea. But I don't believe that many gentoo developers are at the stage that they will be willing to be on call 8-10 hours every day of the week and getting paid for only a few calls a week. I'm sure that some time in the (perhaps not so distance) future there will be some kind of gentoo support that you can pay for however.

One of the things I like about gentoo is how easy it is to do anything. Such as making your own ebuilds. You rarely need to make RPM's for Redhat since almost every major piece of software for linux has an RPM binary (including non opensource software). I'm not sure what support is like for Debian, and is it very difficult to make .deb binaries?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
labrador
Guru
Guru


Joined: 04 Oct 2003
Posts: 316

PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2003 10:56 am    Post subject: Defining unstable Reply with quote

Unstable is in the eye of the user. If it is just for me, or a server I'm
responsible for which is running a fixed set of services, I'd be willing to take
the gamble (and I am).

The problem is supporting a group of users who could ask for any of
the 4000 or whatever gentoo packages.

Building them can be hazardous. You'll see lots of experienced gentoo
users who will warn you not to put emerge sync; emerge -u world
in a cron job. Why? Because it could crash your system if something
goes wrong. Aside from one goof up Redhat made with updating the
kernel automatically, their up2date tool was something people generally used
without fear. I'm not saying switch to Redhat (there are lots of
reasons to run away from Fedora), but that there exist systems that
do manage updates without fear. Generally Debian's dselect can be used
to update packages safely. In their case you'll see a much smaller
set of updates available per week than gentoo. Many say that Debian is
slow at promoting these updates, but on the other hand, I'd say gentoo
promotes stuff too quickly to stable without considering regression tests.

Just read the Portage forum group and see how many people are bit by
combinations that were not caught by people running ~86 (or ignored
them, or didn't file bug reports).

My first emerge of evolution created a hung process that consumed 100%
of one of my CPUs. If I had only one CPU that would have brought my
system down to a crawl. Killl -9 would not terminate it.
I had to power cycle to get a restart after the
reboot command hung. The second emerge of evolution
worked OK. I don't know why it failed but I suspect it was
related to emerging gcc update previous to this.

The parent term of the running evolution application spews out errors
and warnings:

(evolution:27546): GLib-GObject-WARNING **: gsignal.c:2010: instance `0x85b0c88' has no handler with id `22419'

(evolution:27546): GLib-GObject-WARNING **: gsignal.c:2010: instance `0x85b79a8' has no handler with id `27629'

(evolution:27546): GLib-GObject-WARNING **: gsignal.c:2010: instance `0x85e12b0' has no handler with id `28979'

(evolution:27546): GLib-GObject-WARNING **: gsignal.c:2010: instance `0x86b69c0' has no handler with id `33027'

(evolution:27546): GLib-GObject-WARNING **: gsignal.c:2010: instance `0x85023a8' has no handler with id `34360'
As_Sent_Folder

(evolution:27546): GLib-GObject-WARNING **: gsignal.c:2010: instance `0x87e8210' has no handler with id `45622'

(evolution:27546): GLib-GObject-WARNING **: gsignal.c:2010: instance `0x832cef0' has no handler with id `48109'

(evolution:27546): GLib-GObject-WARNING **: gsignal.c:2010: instance `0x42f3a350' has no handler with id `49458'

(evolution:27546): GLib-GObject-WARNING **: gsignal.c:2010: instance `0x87b11b8' has no handler with id `50742'
Messages

(evolution:27546): GdkPixbuf-CRITICAL **: file gdk-pixbuf-loader.c: line 612 (gdk_pixbuf_loader_close): assertion `priv->closed == FALSE' failed

(evolution:27546): GdkPixbuf-CRITICAL **: file gdk-pixbuf-loader.c: line 612 (gdk_pixbuf_loader_close): assertion `priv->closed == FALSE' failed

ETC.

I found one forum report of one of the above errors occuring over
a month ago in the previous dot release of Evolution. No one had
reported a bug (so I have).

I experienced a similar phenomenon with users of Gnome. Every single user
of the default Gnome 2.4 installation should have noticed that click
to raise a window was broken. It's a pretty basic expectation of a Windowing
environment. So what happened? Was it fixed in metacity?
Was Gnome changed to default to another window manager where this
isn't broken? Or perhaps even better: was Gnome 2.4 held in unstable
until this was fixed? No. News spread around of alternate Window Managers,
and that is what people are doing to solve the problem. All you
gotta do is pick and emerge another window manager and then figure out the
magic that substitutes it for metacity. I was able to find the magic
command with openbox3, but I have no idea how to fix it for other
window managers (and I tried and failed with the earlier openbox WM).

I've checked the changelog for metacity and there is no mention of
"raise" or "click" in it, so it may not be fixed or the change log notes may
be useless.

This is a dangerous trend in the gentoo community. My pet theory is
that many gentoo users are young, with no software development experience,
but plenty of gaming experience. When you have a problem in gaming,
you evade the threat and try to solve the puzzle with variations of the tools
at your disposal. They are doing the same thing here. The Gentoo Forums are
the equivalent of the chatroom or gaming hints sources where you learn
strategy or the cheat codes. These types of users duck, evade or ignore
problems rather than contribute to solving them. When a problem
appears in one package, they simply move on to the next one in the menu,
liking pushing all of the cracks in the walls in Duke Nuk'em.

I think we need more users and developers who didn't grow up with game consoles,
but grew up with The Thunderbirds and Star Trek. These guys never walked
away from a problem, and always sought to defend others from harm.

There is no way I could unleash a system that is capable of these
problems, using the "stable" branch of their packages, on a set of
desktop users with a wide variety (as in little to lots) of Linux experience.

That is what I mean by unstable for production on desktop Linux.
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
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
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