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khosrow
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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 5:30 am    Post subject: Not much impressed by Gentoo ! Reply with quote

Hi everyone,

I am a long-time Debian user and decided to try Gentoo as well, just because of lots of propaganda out there saying that it is so much better , or whatever.
Unfortunately, so far my experience with Gentoo has not been so impressive! After spending hours for installing from a minimal cd (actually USB), I realized that it is not possible to setup an EFI system from the minimal disk and one has to use a daily .iso snapshot to do that! Well, why just not wanning about this from the very beginning?! so, people don't waste their time!
anyway, I did it again, this time with MBR and the system boot nicely. What do you thing will be the first package to install after a fress Linux installation? right, xorg, because, few people only use a console. OK, so i tried to emerge a minimal x-server, but I got circular dependencies with dev-lib/cmake. The error message suggested to remove qt5 USE option for this package. I did so in the /etc/portage/package.use, and the error disappeared. but, later I got another error complaining about the FB_RADEON frame grabber that I had configured as a module in my kernel. I don't undestand this at all! It is just a module that can be removed, if necessary, right? apparently the x-server didn't like it (??).
anyhow, I am now recompiling my kernel without this module to see if the problem will go away or not.
Also, compilling everything from source takes infinite time even on moderate hardware. I don't like it either, too slow!

I never ever had such problems with apt-get to install trivial packages right at the beginning!
In my opinion in any computer program the default must just make sense for majority of cases. If a fresh installation with default options (USE qt5 or install from minimal disk in this case) give you trouble, then there is something seriously wrong!

I welcome your comments.
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Naib
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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 6:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What profile did you select?
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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 7:45 am    Post subject: Fatigue Reply with quote

If the compiling is getting on your nerves already, run now and don't look back! Try archlinux or sabayon. (Mind you, you can get binary packages in gentoo.)

It helps the installation fatigue if you build the system in a chroot on a working system (or a nice livecd). That lets you get other things done while it chews through all the source code. I don't just build the minimum and reboot either - I get everything up to and including my window manager compiled first.

And I recommend using genkernel initially. There's plenty of time to get your custom kernel ready after the system is running.
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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Code:
If a fresh installation with default options (USE qt5 or install from minimal disk in this case) give you trouble, then there is something seriously wrong!

I know what's wrong: your approach.
You're expecting that Gentoo is a ready to use OS like Debian, and it can be easily installed by typing few commands. It's a most common delusion.
Gentoo isn't an OS, it's just a frame and few tools to build your own OS.
Learn how to use this toolset and how the OS works (at least most important parts) and you will be fine.
DIY.
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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naib wrote:
What profile did you select?

From desktop profile:
Code:
# Avoid circular dependency when installing from scratch
dev-util/cmake -qt5

https://gitweb.gentoo.org/repo/gentoo.git/tree/profiles/targets/desktop/package.use#n36

Of course this will not work if user overrides qt5 flag globally in make.conf.
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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

khosrow,

Gentoo is not a binary distro. Don't treat it like one. You cannot assemble all the parts then switch on. Nobody has put a distro together like yours before.
Build on what you know works.

Gentoo isn'l for everyone. Its a toolkit to make your own linux. When you have your own linux, it still only a tool to do a job.
Use whatever tool you feel most comfortable with for your job. That might even be Windows.
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bghoons
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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 11:53 am    Post subject: Gentoo propaganda Reply with quote

Quote:
lots of propaganda out there saying that it is so much better


Looks like the Gentoo Propaganda Minister needs to step up his game. We assure you this person has been placed in chains and is currently being whipped without mercy as punishment for not getting the Gentoo message across more convincingly.

Darn it! And all this time we thought Gentoo was slowly taking over the world. Well, this is a minor setback only. All we need is more pepper in the soup and the whole world will come crawling to Gentoo begging to be a part of our worldwide domination scheme.

But seriously, I don't recall Gentoo ever making the claim it is better than all the others. Depending upon your needs and preferences it can be better.

There is adequate information on these forums to give you a clear idea of what you are stepping into when it comes to Gentoo. No need to rely upon "propaganda" to know what Gentoo is about.
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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most is already covered above. One statement has left:
Quote:
I realized that it is not possible to setup an EFI system from the minimal disk and one has to use a daily .iso snapshot to do that! Well, why just not wanning about this from the very beginning?! so, people don't waste their time!

It is not waste of time, you can do UEFI install using minimal ISO, you just need to boot some UEFI capable Linux to finish the installation - run efibootmgr. This in case your motherboard firmware needs help finding your Gentoo boot.
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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 12:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Not much impressed by Gentoo ! Reply with quote

khosrow wrote:
I am a long-time Debian user and decided to try Gentoo as well, just because of lots of propaganda out there saying that it is so much better , or whatever.
Better is somewhat subjective. Debian is similar in many ways to all the other binary distros, so a comparison between them is a reasonable thing to do. Gentoo is a completely different beast, so the only fair comparison is to other source-based distros.

khosrow wrote:
After spending hours for installing from a minimal cd (actually USB), I realized that it is not possible to setup an EFI system from the minimal disk and one has to use a daily .iso snapshot to do that! Well, why just not wanning about this from the very beginning?! so, people don't waste their time!
Binary distros have helpful installers, Gentoo does not. The Gentoo installer is you, and you are expected to do some homework before you start.

khosrow wrote:
compilling everything from source takes infinite time even on moderate hardware. I don't like it either, too slow!
Compiling is central to Gentoo, if you don't like it you would be better off with a binary distribution. Calculate Linux might be worth a look - it's Gentoo with binary packages, so you can choose how much of the system to compile. It also has an installer.

khosrow wrote:
I never ever had such problems with apt-get to install trivial packages right at the beginning!
Comparing portage to apt is meaningless.

khosrow wrote:
In my opinion in any computer program the default must just make sense for majority of cases.
In my opinion the primary benefit of running Gentoo is choice, and while there are defaults, they are not a priority as it's anticipated that you will deviate wildly from them.

khosrow wrote:
I welcome your comments.
Comment: You are comparing apples and build-your-own-orchard kits, and you are bringing expectations from binary distros to a source-based meta-distribution.
With great flexibility comes much time spent reading and configuring. That's the way Gentoo has always been, like it or don't.
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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One more thing. There is not much point coming here complaining "Gentoo is not for me". We here do not sell Gentoo. This is a community of volunteers and Gentoo enthusiasts. In case you are interested in Gentoo - try it, learn it. If in the end you decide it is not what you want - go in peace. Criticizing something you are not familiar with is not very smart, is it?
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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 1:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Not much impressed by Gentoo ! Reply with quote

khosrow wrote:
I am a long-time Debian user and decided to try Gentoo as well, just because of lots of propaganda out there saying that it is so much better , or whatever.

Where'd you get that propaganda? 4chan?

Quote:
Unfortunately, so far my experience with Gentoo has not been so impressive! After spending hours for installing from a minimal cd (actually USB), I realized that it is not possible to setup an EFI system from the minimal disk and one has to use a daily .iso snapshot to do that! Well, why just not wanning about this from the very beginning?! so, people don't waste their time!

The minimal CD can boot from EFI.

Quote:
anyway, I did it again, this time with MBR and the system boot nicely. What do you thing will be the first package to install after a fress Linux installation? right, xorg, because, few people only use a console.

Don't you mean a DE? Nobody uses bare X11. Most desktops don't need X11 any more.

Quote:
OK, so i tried to emerge a minimal x-server, but I got circular dependencies with dev-lib/cmake. The error message suggested to remove qt5 USE option for this package. I did so in the /etc/portage/package.use, and the error disappeared. but, later I got another error complaining about the FB_RADEON frame grabber that I had configured as a module in my kernel. I don't undestand this at all! It is just a module that can be removed, if necessary, right? apparently the x-server didn't like it (??).

You enabled the FB_RADEON option which is in a submenu marked “Enable legacy drivers (DANGEROUS)”, and are surprised it caused issues?

Quote:
anyhow, I am now recompiling my kernel without this module to see if the problem will go away or not.
Also, compilling everything from source takes infinite time even on moderate hardware. I don't like it either, too slow!

Then go do something else while it's compiling. Modern computers can do more than one thing at a time. You're not l33t for staring at scrolling terminal output for hours on end, despite what third-party propaganda you may have fallen for says.

Quote:
I never ever had such problems with apt-get to install trivial packages right at the beginning!

Then go use apt-get. Or if you want a fair comparison, go use dpkg-dev, dpkg-cross, debootstrap, pbuilder etc.

Quote:
In my opinion in any computer program the default must just make sense for majority of cases. If a fresh installation with default options (USE qt5 or install from minimal disk in this case) give you trouble, then there is something seriously wrong!

We have enough documentation. We have help forums, mailing lists, a wiki and IRC. You've availed yourself of none of those and fallen on the sword of your own hubris.

Quote:
I welcome your comments.

In closing: do all Debian users abuse volunteers like you do? Take that mid-90s elitism and entitlement back where you got it and come back when you've matured a bit.
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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do think the "Where to go from here" section at the end of the Handbook could be more helpful. The Handbook preconditions the new user to the ideal, "If you want it, just emerge it," paradigm, but there is some additional complexity that has been covered by (well-written, easy to follow) articles in the Wiki. Installing X and a desktop environment come to mind, which appears to be exactly where the OP stumbled. I think it would be very helpful to reference a few well-chosen articles. (Think I will propose some text.)

That said, I don't think there's anything "seriously wrong".

- John
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Last edited by John R. Graham on Mon May 20, 2019 2:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

asturm wrote:
Naib wrote:
What profile did you select?

From desktop profile:
Code:
# Avoid circular dependency when installing from scratch
dev-util/cmake -qt5

https://gitweb.gentoo.org/repo/gentoo.git/tree/profiles/targets/desktop/package.use#n36

Of course this will not work if user overrides qt5 flag globally in make.conf.



and that's my point :)

Looking at the criticism the OP listed, a lot of it comes down to ignorance of Gentoo and equally linux ... Not knowing what is actually needed to produce a distro.

I latched onto this one as this is gentoo specific an I was 99% sure this was managed via the profile


At the end of the day debian/redhat/arch/gentoo its all about trading convenience. The end user may have a convenient existence with regards to apt-get at the expense of flexibility. Someone still needs to go through building the packages and checking compatibility. Gentoo makes this more inconvenient for the end-user and more so for the developers as the number of permutations increase BUT the reason we are here is because we want that flexibility.

I suspect the OP is a troll
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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you guys for all your very welcoming comments :D

I chose the default/linux/amd64/17.0 profile to have a minimal system to begin with. Recompiling the kernel without Radeon frame grabber built into the kernel did not solve the issue. I had put some extra USE options (alsa cups gimp ...) in my /etc/portage/make.conf, which I thought might be the cause of the discrepancies, therefore I decided to go with as few options as -kde -gnome. also removed the qt5 option, then updated the @world . still I am getting the following error:

Code:
 Failed to emerge dev-util/meson-0.49.2


and the log file in /var/tmp/portage/dev-util ... doesn't show anything instructive.

I guess my point was a bit misunderstood here! I don't mind spending a reasonable amount of time to configure my system. Also, I am not stupid to sit in front of the monitor watching the crap on the screen while compiling the kernel or installing a package. I have another working Debian system to work with. Oh no, I wont use text-based browsers on the console to post messages in this forum. That's for sure.

In fact one reason I decided to try Gentoo was to experience how the configuration of a new system is different compared to Debian.
of course I don't have any prior experience with Gentoo, but I have some experience with Linux. Even I remember some years ago I installed other source-based distros (Slackware and Arch) quite easily on my laptop, and they just worked.

Some of you guys pointed out that Gentoo is not really an OS for everyday use, but only provides the required infra-structure to build one. That was a valuable comment, and I really appreciate it. Maybe, I just made the wrong decision. My first motivation was not to find a platform to evaluate my computer skills, or play around, etc. I was really looking for an OS which I could install with a reasonable amount of effort and time, and then configure it to meet my needs.

From technical point of view, in the modern ear of Linux, having a package management system that resolves the dependencies nicely and consistently is not too much of an expectation! Apt does it, rpm does it. I remember, though I had some problem with pacman too.
But, portage is completely a different philosophy which I don't quite understand: there is nothing except the OS itself installed on my system, and yet I am getting conflicts right at the beginning. This is weird, like it or not.
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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gentoo has wgetpaste utiliy, and there is a Wiki page about its usage.
BTW, Gentoo is not just a toy, there are Gentoo farms out there and with identical hardware it is easy to set up a local binhost to provide packages for all machines.
Oh, and Arch and Slackware really are not source based, although you can compile if you choose so.
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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not much of a way to get past the fact that gentoo is a source based distro (meaning you compile things for it)

If you can't stand compiling everything or the time it takes to compile, then the only choice is a binary distro.
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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

khosrow,

All of the dedicated hardware Framebuffer drivers are for hardware that was common around the turn of the millennium. Like ISA sound cards and the weird and wonderful CROM interfaces they used to have, they are still in the kernel.

Gentoo is the ::gentoo repo, the main ebuild tree and the portage package manager. That's all.

Gentoo has a lot more controls that a binary distro. If you
Code:
apt-get libreoffice
you apt-get the binary. You don't get to choose how its built.
Gentoo gives you 2^20 or so ways to build libreoffice. Its up to you to choose one.

This is trying to illustrate that there is a lot to learn about gentoo as you design and install your own distro. It breaks down nicely into two phases.
The installation and the maintenance.

The installation is a lot of learning but you only do it once. After the install, you apply what you have learned to maintaining your install.
On the good news front, you won't need to reinstall gentoo. You migrate it from one set of hardware to another.

Gentoo has a lot more controls than you are used to with a binary distro. Binary distros make decisions you are not even aware of on your behalf.
Gentoo forces you to make those decisions yourself but it does try to provide sensible defaults.
Defaults are just that. Starting points. You don't have to use them if you don't want to.

If you want to learn to fish, we teach fishing here. Its unlikely any of the regulars will feed you though, except as a last resort.
Oh, experience is what you get just after you needed it. Don't let that put you off. We all remember our first install.
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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 3:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

khosrow wrote:
Oh no, I wont use text-based browsers on the console to post messages in this forum. That's for sure.
Just to note, that should indeed work, even if you would prefer to not do so.
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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

khosrow wrote:
Oh no, I wont use text-based browsers on the console to post messages in this forum. That's for sure.
Each to their own. I rather like links for surfing while the DE compiles.

khosrow wrote:
I remember some years ago I installed other source-based distros (Slackware and Arch) quite easily on my laptop, and they just worked.
Having used both of those distros extensively, I assure you that neither of them are source-based. You can compile those systems from source if you wish, but they use binary packages by default.

khosrow wrote:
I was really looking for an OS which I could install with a reasonable amount of effort and time, and then configure it to meet my needs.
Whether or not Gentoo fits your use-case is dependent on your definition of "reasonable". Getting this box exactly how I like it took me about a day off-and-on, and when I first installed Gentoo it was more like 4... That was on a 100Mhz 486 though, so compiling was slow.
You do get configurability out the wazoo, FWIW. Very few distributions can match Gentoo in this regard.

khosrow wrote:
From technical point of view, in the modern ear of Linux, having a package management system that resolves the dependencies nicely and consistently is not too much of an expectation! Apt does it, rpm does it.
Apt and RPM are primarily binary package managers, so they don't have to deal with the complexities of USE flags, compiler options and linking consistency. If you must compare portage to another package manager, try BSD ports or one of the distros in the link above.

khosrow wrote:
there is nothing except the OS itself installed on my system, and yet I am getting conflicts right at the beginning. This is weird, like it or not.
Looks to me like this has been answered?
I'm not particularly up to date with the details of modern Gentoo myself TBH (10+year holiday with Debian), but if you need more help with conflicts you'll probably need to provide more info. I'm sure someone will assist, this is a very helpful community.
I will say that I had no trouble whatsoever installing this time around, even with my rusty skills.
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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

just my final words before leaving this forum:

In my opinion having too many options (to install, configure, etc.) is not considered by itself an advantage.
Being consistent, predictable, and understandable are more important. I have no clue what causes the error I mentioned in my previous post! If a feature is what 95% of people would most likely need, then what is wrong with making it the default? I would be happy if that option is already set. Then, what I have to really care about is the very specific options that only small group of people may need to consider.

I remember the first Debian installation (around 2004) took me about two weeks or so to complete. I fear with Gentoo, now it will take more just to have X running on my laptop. I've already spent a week (on and off) to read the relevant sections of the handbook and boot the system. There should always be a compromise between time and effort with efficency and full control.

Quote:
Gentoo gives you 2^20 or so ways to build libreoffice. Its up to you to choose one.


This is a good example, actually. let say I want a text editor to write my document. It is definitely impossible to go trough 10^20 available options one by one and see if they suite my needs. The solution would be to set the most probable defaults (of course without breaking any other dependencies), and leave about 10-30 options to be set by the user.

Anyways, I guess I've reached the end of my adventure in the Gentoo land, and as you guys suggested, I would be better off to adhere to my good old Debian distro. So, I am leaving all the joy to the enthusiastic super nice Gentoo community. Good luck.
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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

khosrow,

Profiles set some good starting point defaults.
Choose a profile and nothing else, unless portage forces you to. Let it build then evaluate it. If it suits your needs, you are one of the 95% you mention.
If not. Tune it. You can add things and take things away.

Your error, if there was one, was trying to make all your choices before installing rather than starting out with something simple and growing your gentoo to meet your needs.
Build on what you know works.

I don't expect khosrow to read this. Its more for others who stumble over this thread in the future.
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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

khosrow wrote:
just my final words before leaving this forum:

In my opinion having too many options (to install, configure, etc.) is not considered by itself an advantage.
Being consistent, predictable, and understandable are more important. I have no clue what causes the error I mentioned in my previous post! If a feature is what 95% of people would most likely need, then what is wrong with making it the default? I would be happy if that option is already set. Then, what I have to really care about is the very specific options that only small group of people may need to consider.

but it isn't a default ... The desktop profile disables this because of this issue. You did not choose a desktop profile https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Handbook:AMD64/Full/Installation#Choosing_the_right_profile

All profiles do is set some sane default with regards to your system. The issue you ran into could have been solved by setting dev-util/cmake -qt5, building cmake, building other packages. This however is a point of experience in using gentoo and how to unpick a potential build issue, but also this is why the developers do as much as possible

Most of what you wrote can be attributed to being overwhelmed by what you can do (doesn't mean you should). The debian developers will also have to go through all these steps as they need to build a distro. This is transparent from the end user - the time, the debug, the configuring. For gentoo its exposed because of the flexibility it offers.

khosrow wrote:

Quote:
Gentoo gives you 2^20 or so ways to build libreoffice. Its up to you to choose one.


This is a good example, actually. let say I want a text editor to write my document. It is definitely impossible to go trough 10^20 available options one by one and see if they suite my needs. The solution would be to set the most probable defaults (of course without breaking any other dependencies), and leave about 10-30 options to be set by the user.

While it is a good example, the additional reasoning isn't. Yes Libreoffice comes with 21 USE flags and thus there potentially is 2^21 combinations (over 2million), some you would have controlled globally either via the profile or via make.conf. THUS the actual combinations the end-user could potentially work with is a lot lower, in fact my make.conf is light any my package.use doesn't touch libreoffice.

No user would go through 10^20 combinations, there isn't enough time left in the universe. While it is true every single gentoo user will have a different configuration, their specific changes might not be that substation and they only change when the need arises

khosrow wrote:

Anyways, I guess I've reached the end of my adventure in the Gentoo land, and as you guys suggested, I would be better off to adhere to my good old Debian distro. So, I am leaving all the joy to the enthusiastic super nice Gentoo community. Good luck.
All the best, we use gentoo because we want to control what is on our system. If your needs align with that of the debian dev's that is great, for us it doesn't
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krinn
Watchman
Watchman


Joined: 02 May 2003
Posts: 7197

PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

khosrow wrote:
In my opinion having too many options (to install, configure, etc.) is not considered by itself an advantage.

because you only see it in terms of time to configure, not the real gain you would get from this.

as example: if a packageZ could work alone or with packageA only or packageB only.
in debian, devs will choose for you ; if he choose packageA and yourself need packageB, you're fuck

in gentoo, you can choose yourself to use packageA or packageB or none, at the prize you have to tell gentoo which option you want use.
if you don't need packageA and packageB, in debian you would be force to have packageA because the dev has choose that for you, in gentoo you could avoid it, and lesser the bloat.
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xanderal
Tux's lil' helper
Tux's lil' helper


Joined: 06 Mar 2019
Posts: 129
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 12:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Not much impressed by Gentoo ! Reply with quote

Er, also
khosrow wrote:
Well, why just not wanning about this from the very beginning?! so, people don't waste their time!

When I started to research gentoo to figure out wheather or not I might want to run it, I was stumbling over warnings and people telling me to think carefully about all sorts of aspects all the time - so I don't know what you did before deciding to do the installation...
(and yes, I'm aware that that quote refers to a single "problem" (which is a different topic others already commented on) you encountered but like I wrote: in my experience you can't help but get warned about all sorts of stuff when reading up on gentoo)
You might also have read that some people recommend taking about 2 days for this - I myself took a bit more and didn't just read the handbook but also Sakaki's guide and others' to be thourough and to know about challenges before they arise (might have been overkill but hey it worked :) ). Installing a system like gentoo is a bit different than a 15-minute-click-next-5-times-and-choose-a-username-and-password graphical install.
But glad to hear you found (back) to a system that works for you/fulfills your expectations because at the end of the day you just need a tool to get the job done without going crazy - that's why there are so many different distros to choose from...
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ian.au
Guru
Guru


Joined: 07 Apr 2011
Posts: 450
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just reading through this thread, it strikes me that one fundamental thing about Gentoo that may not be immediately obvious on reading is this:

It is very straightforward to install Gentoo if you follow the handbook and keep as near as possible to the default choices in the first instance. It's very tempting to skip over sections of the handbook if you already have some knowledge of a binary distribution (which I'd guess would be almost everyone by the time they get here) and think you know x or y section, avoid the temptation to skip what you think you know. Just work it through, from beginning and make informed choices on the way. Do that and you'll install a good, stable base system.

If you do hit problems, although doing the above you shouldn't; these forums are pretty much the Gold Standard for community support.

Accept that the first system you build will likely have shortcomings, but they are unlikely to be so severe as to require a rebuild. Be prepared to spend a bit of time debugging your install and learning the package manager and the very useful gentoolkit tools. In my experience that first install will be your last install until hardware calamity or the need to upgrade strikes. As you get better and more familiar with your system you will improve it over time.

Once you arrive at the point of a stable system, you have arrived at the destination of having 'created your own Linux distro', that sounds harder than it is, but does require time, patience and attention to detail to get right. Of course, you can build any type of system within the reasonable limits of target hardware from that base install, so it pays to spend the time, read some logs and make sure the basics are running correctly.

The additional benefit of doing this is you will have learned an enormous amount about basic linux system configuration and administration almost as a byproduct of the process. So if learning is your thing, you won't regret it; with the obvious caveat that the inverse applies.

Flags on packages are managed by the package manager, so unless you need to add a feature specifically, you will be told what (if any) flags are required during an initial pre-compile, so the whole 2^20 options is completely misleading if you were left with the impression you'd need to deal with anything like that in the course of everyday use.

So, ultimately you'll get the system you build. A toy? Yep, if you want, or a server, maybe running a network, or a Rock-Solid enterprise level deployment of desktop machines or running your solar-powered fallout bunker on a Raspberry Pi (all but one of which I have personally done ;) and all the tools to maintain what you built.

I must be missing something because that seems impressive to me, and has done for nearly two decades.

Cheers,
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