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Help Me Decide: Move From OSX Tiger To Gentoo?
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ritebayou
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 7:59 pm    Post subject: Help Me Decide: Move From OSX Tiger To Gentoo? Reply with quote

My first post here...

I've used a PC running XP for a few years now and feel very confident in my knowledge of Windows. I'm a college graduate having received a degree and where I work I spend all my time doing PHP coding, just to give you a hint I'm not too wet behind the ears.

A few months ago I purchased a Mac Mini, which was my first and only introduction to the Mac. I've fallen madly in love and recently sold my PC in favor of doing everything these days on the Mac.

I had a friend last year who installed Gentoo on a spare PC and I more or less watched over his shoulder. It was fascinating, to say the least. I installed Linux (Red Hat and SuSE) on my PC a couple years ago and overall the experience was a good one - except I could never figure out how in the world to install anything).

Right after getting my Mac Mini I installed Ubuntu and was very proud of myself that I followed some info online and got the audio working. Turns out, the latest release of Ubuntu has the patch integrated into the kernel so installing on the Mini works like a charm without modification (save for wireless).

Anyway, my main point is, I'm curious, and yet cautious. Since getting the Mac though I've been more happy than I've ever been with using a personal computer. I love that most of the time I can simply install an application by dragging it to my Applications folder and the rest of the time the application has a simple no-brains installer.

My Gentoo-using friend has since moved far, far away and I'm presently running OSX Tiger on my Mac Mini. And yet, I browse the forums here and see so many kickass screenshots, so many awesome people helping each other out, and just an overall general sense of accomplishment many people seem to get when they get their Gentoo systems up and running. And this portage thing appears to be on the same level as installing applications on my Mac - a no-brainer.

So I ask you, although I'm completely happy with OSX Tiger, what could some of you say that would really motivate me to install and keep Gentoo on my Mini? I'm especially interested in hearing from those of you who have already installed Gentoo on your Mini's too, since first-hand impressions will help the most.

But I'm still more than happy to hear from all Gentoo users.

Oh yes, and I'm also familiar with the Gentoo on Mac application wherein portage works on my Mac, but to me that's like saying I'm a Closeted Gentoo User.


Last edited by ritebayou on Wed Jul 27, 2005 10:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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pilla
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moved from OTG to a place you should get better advice :)
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you rely on your Mini for doing real work (like its your only computer) you should dual boot. At least then you can keep using the machine while you get gentoo up and running and all the apps you need installed (which could take a while). Remember, after the initial installation is finished.. you have nothing. You need to manually install even the simplest of apps like eject just to get the CD out. :D

I did the dual boot with my Mini but I eventually reclaimed the OSx partition and just use gentoo now. You may decide that Tiger is better, then you can just reclaim the gentoo partition.

It took me weeks before I got the Mini so I was happy with the installation and I have broken it more than once trying to stay bleeding edge and blindly emerging every update that came out. Resist the temptation to do that! Wait and scan the forums to see what's breaking what before updating critical system apps. I have learned my lesson.

Once you have it right ... back it up. Search on "stage4" on these forums. That simple backup option has saved my butt a few times.

That's another good reason to keep the dual boot option for a while, you can still get work done while fixing your gentoo installation. I have a windows box that I do my real job on so I can break and fix it without disabling my ability to get things done. (They make me use windows the bastards!)

Gentoo works well on the Mini and these forums will work you through any problems that you run into, they are populated by a lot of very helpful people.

Bottom line... do it. Gentoo is great on the Mini. I love it. I just finished installing gentoo on my new Vaio laptop... dual booting windows of course!
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ritebayou
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 12:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've thought about dual-booting also, since that way I still have a fully usable system while having the opportunity to install Gentoo on the same box.

I have read some about stage4's. If I'm not mistaken, it's kind of like creating a backup of a functional system so that I can restore from stage4 in the event of a catastrophe, right?

I'm a patient guy, so I expect if I give Gentoo a shot I'll do just fine, especially if I can dual-boot back into OSX if (when?) I encounter Gentoo troubles.

Oh yeah, and READING the installation guide and FOLLOWING what I read will help too, right? ;)
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For what it's worth, I'm a huge Gentoo fan but still use OS X as my primary OS. For me it's mostly an interface issue, and not just that OS X is prettier (although that's also a factor). I just find that OS X does what I want it to do easily. It's almost as though I think of what I want to do and it just happens. But if I need or want to get down and dirty I can always just go to the command line and do things that way (which I do quite often). Also, the applications that are available for Mac are often just top-notch. And I'm talking about the open source ones here. OS X is just more comfortable to use for me.

Part of this is probably an issue of familiarity; I've been using Macs since 1984. But I'm also pretty familiar with Linux, I worked as a linux admin for a couple years and currently maintain a couple linux boxes, and used Gentoo as my primary OS for a time. Even though pretty much everything I do on a day to day basis I can do in Linux as easily as in OS X, I just find OS X more pleasant to use. One of Linux' biggest failings, in my opinion, is the way the UI is essentially modeled off of Windows. [Edit: I should say the current UIs that I've used, as it's quite possible that there's someone out there who's done something different.]

So my recommendation is, obviously, to use OS X.
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ritebayou
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey there, um, nonhuman...

I think you may be right. I've given it a lot of thought and even though dual-booting could be an option, I think I may decide to just stick with OSX. However, that doesn't mean I'm giving up on Gentoo. I really do like what I've seen so far.

I think the real issue for me is not whether to install Gentoo, but on what system architecture to install it on. So much more documentation exists for the x86 platform and until only a couple months ago I'd never touched a Mac before.

So before I get crazy and start whacking away at my Mac hard drive maybe something far more productive for me is to invest in a new top-notch PC to play with. My old PC I recently sold was a crapper - built a few years ago - it was a 1.2 Ghz behemouth (I mean, come on, who needs FIVE FANS inside of a friggin' 1.2 GHz box?).

I can see myself investing $400 or so into a barebones 3.4 Ghz P4 with HT Tech and going nuts with Gentoo on that kinda hardware while keeping my micro form factor Mini nearby to provide me with the manual and a quick way to ask for help here on the forums.

However, I still want to learn how to eventually install Gentoo on a Mini since I'm positive I'll end up picking up an extra Mini or two as they continue to fall in price on eBay. Google has provided me with some wonderful tips too.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey ritebayou.

I'm new here (and to gentoo), but since I'm in a similar situation I thought I might as well offer my opinion.

I have a Mac Mini with Mac OS X Tiger, too. Last week I decided to try linux, and found gentoo after some research. (love it btw.)
But I did not install gentoo on my mini, but bought a cheap (40$) used P3-450 with 128MB RAM and a 6 Gig HD instead. I tell you, it works like hell, installation went through the second time. (the first time I started the kernel compile and went into town (it was saturday evening) with friends. When I came home at 4 A.M., slightly drunk ;) , I decided to go on, and promptly missed the step where you copy the compiled kernel to the boot partition. So don't drink and install :) )

Anyway, I think if you want to play with gentoo a cheap x86-box might be the solution. You don't even need a monitor or anything after the first boot from HD, you can do everything via ssh and x-forwarding. You'll have your linux desktop on your mac desktop, and enjoy (and work with) two systems at the same time, without needing to reboot. You only need an ethernet switch and some cable. The speed of the 450MHz prozessor is far better than I thought, boots in less than a minute and is definitely usable, so I say you sure won't need that 3,4GHz monster just to run gentoo... However I have yet to install and try out KDE or gnome, dunno how that impacts performance.

Have fun!
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2005 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll second urbanskater's recommendation. I'm actually about to do something similar. I have a PowerMac G5 at home that I need to keep OS X on so I can use FinalCut, and I really don't have the hd space to spare for Linux or the patience for rebooting when I need to switch OSs. But I also have some Linux projects I want to work on. So I'm going to build myself a cheap PC and run Gentoo on that. Might not even install X and just use ssh for now.
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ritebayou
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2005 2:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks all. I guess I shoulda kept my PC to try Gentoo on, but I've been so happy with my Mac it never really dawned on me. Now my Mac enthusiasm has simmered down so I'm open to trying Gentoo on another box just for fun.

This is the first time in a decade that I've been able to enjoy being directly connected to the Internet without bothering with a firewall, virus scanner, or ad/spy-ware cleaner.

And while a friend said "Internet Explorer 5.5 is available for the Mac" my quick reply was - you've gotta be kidding me. While I've been a pure Firefox enthusiast for the last year, now I use Safari about 90% of the time and Firefox the other 10% on my Mac.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2005 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ritebayou wrote:
This is the first time in a decade that I've been able to enjoy being directly connected to the Internet without bothering with a firewall, virus scanner, or ad/spy-ware cleaner.

And while a friend said "Internet Explorer 5.5 is available for the Mac" my quick reply was - you've gotta be kidding me. While I've been a pure Firefox enthusiast for the last year, now I use Safari about 90% of the time and Firefox the other 10% on my Mac.


Yeah. Macs ain't free or Free, but damn are they a pleasure to use.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2005 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, no one suggested this idea, and it never occurred to me until I was browsing the new posts, but I could easily install Gentoo onto an external Firewire hard drive!

That way I can set the boot option to boot from Firewire when I wanna play with Gentoo, then simply disconnect the drive and my Mac will boot right off the internal drive running OSX Tiger.

The poster is directed to another link where detailed info may be viewed. I point to this link though because of the mention that booting from Firewire instructions are going to be included in the 2005.1 manual. Shweet!

Installing Gentoo From Firewire
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2005 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just found out that Vidalinux 1.2 will be available for PPC platform starting Monday (August 1st). From the notation on the Vidalinux forum back in March by one of the developers, they say the PPC version will be designed specifically for installation on the Mac Mini, even though other PPC's will work as well.

While I had been anticipatng installing Gentoo step-by-step using the guide, I have decided I am going to wait until Monday, download the two ISO's from http://www.vidalinux.com (a brand new website designed for 1.2) and install that. That way I can start right out with a desktop environment that is Gentoo at its core and move forward from there until I'm more familiar with the innards of *nix.

Now I just gotta decide if I wanna install it on an external Firewire drive or else repartition and install it internally. I'm thinking to do it internally since the installation should be hassle-free. Then I can try out following the guide and installing Gentoo the "classic" way on an external firewire drive once I know more about what I'm doing. :)
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i have an iBook and i only start mac os x to play games. The main-time gentoo is running, but if i`m forced to use a program under mac os x i boot it out of gentoo via mol.
works pretty fine.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The last few days I've settled with dual-booting my Mini. I run Tiger and Gentoo now and switch between them easily enough. So far it is working great...
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2005 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I dual boot and I'm torn between OS X and Gentoo. I have a 1.25GHz iBook. OS X looks pretty, but there's just so much I can not control about it: no easy way to encode/tag ogg/flac files, can't control fan on/off temperatures (OS X runs a little hot on my iBook G4), I prefer digikam's photo organization to iPhoto, plus 768MB is lots of RAM in gentoo and only about enough in Tiger. Compiling stuff in OS X is usually Makefile-hell. Especially when configure sees you have a mac, but tries to build an X11 app with Aqua or vice versa. You can spend days goofing around with environment variables and preprocessor macros, trying to figure out what's going wrong. Everything also feels slow in Tiger, compared to gentoo running KDE 3.4.2. I use a Palm Tungsten T2 and the OS X Palm desktop is very clunky and unmaintained. Kpilot is still pretty goofed up, but jpilot works perfectly. I have never found an ideal, free CD-burning program for OS X. In fact, Dragon Burn, the one I paid for, never worked that well and suffers from a bizzarre user interface. Nevertheless, I feel myself drawn to use Tiger once in a while, until I get frustrated when something doesn't work and the only option to fix it is to pay money to some third party.
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