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bmk1st
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2002 7:24 pm    Post subject: To gentoo or not to gentoo. Reply with quote

Hi,

I have been using RH 7.1 for less than a year and I have learned quite a lot about linux in past two years. I enjoy all those wonderful and painful experiences with Linux.

I have been thinking about trying gentoo or Linux From Scratch. I thought gentoo and/or LFS may be good to learn more about how linux really works. I don't know if gentoo is good for hosting web sites, gaming servers, ftp, and samba. I need to know what are your opinions if gentoo is definitely worth one to try.

Thanks.
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delta407
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2002 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gentoo is a wonderful distro. You -- you -- get full control over what goes on your system. It can be configured to do pretty much anything with relative ease, and it makes no effort to hide the Linux internals from you. But... it's for the better.

To get through the install, you'll edit a bunch of configuration files by hand (no fill-in-the-blank type thing), you'll configure and compile your kernel from scratch, and you'll get up close and personal with your system to be. It's an experience. :)

I highly recommend Gentoo, both in the data center and on the desk. I use it in both locations, and I couldn't be happier.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2002 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're going to get extremely biased answers on a gentoo board! But yeah! it rocks, man! I've used linux (mostly Mandrake, some RH, slackware, lycoris, SuSE, Gentoo, and a few others) only since January and I'm with Gentoo for good! It taught me SO much, and it's so fast!
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2002 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll go with the mood presented here :)

Gentoo is great for learners (like you said you want). Since you've mentioned LFS, I'll let you know that Gentoo's is the closest thing to the control provided by LFS.

I'd still recommend you to install LFS. You'll learn a lot from this experience. But once you've done it, keeping the system up to date and resolving dependencies is hard (but doable with no doubt - I still have LFS on another parititon and use it in parallel with Gentoo), and this is where Gentoo steps in. You get the control you want, learn a lot and have all the dependencies/updates resolved by ebuild maintainers.

I see lots of reading in your future ;)
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2002 2:30 am    Post subject: newbies.. Reply with quote

I've recommended Gentoo to some people who were really quite new to linux and they were able to get by pretty well. They've asked a lot of questions, but most of them are the kinds of basic linux questions that would have to be asked regardless of what distro you use. If you have any real experience with linux, I'm sure you'll be able to learn a lot with very little effort using Gentoo. I haven't used LFS, so I can't speak for how nice it might be. I installed Gentoo and haven't looked back. The docs are great. The mailing list is great and responsive. Just click on statistics to see how often this BB is view/replied to. Just to clarify, you've wandered into a meeting of VIM developers and asked if you should use VIM or EMACS. We're all pretty biased. 8)
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2002 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'v used linux from scratch (got it on a friend of mine's box, cuz the moron insited), and.. as I thought, it's WAY to much work, source based REALLY pays off, so going with the best package manager (also a very up to date portage tree) may not be such a bad idea :)

also, while your checking out source based distro's, check out lunar (I have to say that or a good friend of mine will get violent with me :p )
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2002 1:22 pm    Post subject: Lunar.. Reply with quote

Here's a link to lunar's site. It's a fork of Sorcerer, but I haven't played around with it personally. It's interesting, but I thought that Gentoo was far simpler to work with than Sorcerer. I don't really know if that says anything about Lunar, but it's a relatively new fork. (Feb. 2002)
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2002 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good news, my new motherboard will arrive at my home tomorrow. I'll replace it with my old motherboard and I'll use that old motherboard with other scrapped parts and assemble a gentoo machine. I'll give a try and I'm pretty confident that I'll like gentoo as many gentoo users already do. :-)
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2002 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the scrapped parts machine will be slow, plan to spend a lot of time compiling :twisted:

But evnetually, it'll pay off :)
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2002 8:16 pm    Post subject: Gentoo ROCKS! Reply with quote

I have been around the distro-block a few times. I've used SuSE, Slackware, RedHat (worst IMHO), Caldera, Debian, Evil Linux (sometimes called Undead Linux) and a few other obscure ones that looked interesting. I found out about Gentoo at www.distrowatch.com and, honestly, after my first read-through of the small description I really was NOT interested AT ALL. Let me explain, I previously have HATED package-managers (mostly because they are horrible at doing what they were supposed to and you end up having to fix them too.) Also the other thing that steered me away from Gentoo (I'm admitting my vanity here) was the cutsie little pink stylized G that is used as the icon/mascot of Gentoo (atleast on the distrowatch it is pink, in the forums it appears to be purple-ish.) Those two things combined drove me away from Gentoo for a few months. In my tiring quest for a Distro that didn't piss me off in one way or another I finally decided to try Gentoo (because it looked a little easier than LFS which was frightening to me to be honest and it had a current Kernel which is a MUST.) Now that I have tried Gentoo I can honestly say it will now-on be my default distro. There are a few machines that might __MIGHT__ have a different distro on them for one strange reason or another, but Gentoo ROCKS! I love Gentoo, I love Gentoo developers! I can't recommend Gentoo highly enough, from the experience I have with it! So, I hope you enjoy your journey and come to love it as much as I have.

Thanks to all the developers! You guys RULE!

Regards,
BonezTheGoon

As previously stated in this thread, this is a silly place to have a conversation about distributions given this forum is Gentoo specific (even though this is the General Linux area of the Gentoo forums) -- as such most opinions will be for Gentoo. Please let me say that I mean no offense to any other parties or persons with my OPINION as stated above, my opinion is simply based on my experiences and my knowledge about the distributions (also most of my experiences with some of the other distros is QUITE old by now, so newer versions are out which I have not tried.) Sorry for the legal-ized post-script but I'd realized I might have started a flame-war, heaven forbid, and want to make sure that I don't.


Last edited by BonezTheGoon on Wed Jul 10, 2002 9:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2002 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi BoonezTheGoon,

I was also asking about LSF. That's why I chose this forum. If moderator doesn't think it's right forum then he/she can move it to proper forum. So far, they didn't then I guess it's right forum.

I heard that both LSF and gentoo can help you to learn more about linux and its system. I already learned about bash, command lines, some applications, firewalls, and more.

My first linux was Redhat 6.2 few years ago. I stopped using linux because something important came up and I didn't have time to play with it and didn't have anybody to guide me to somewhere I could learn linux. Almost a year ago, I met a guy from my multiplayer game clan and he knows a lot about linux. I asked him what sites and what books I can learn about linux on my own and look for places to ask help. He gave me many links and excellent search engine, called google linux.

I have redhat 7.1 and upgraded it to 7.3 recently. I quite learned a lot about linux and I love it. I didn't like how Redhat used up a lot of my harddrive, and it's frustrated to look for dependencies for rpms to install.

I'd like to try other distribs but I thought LSF might help me understand more about linux and libs. When I heard about gentoo and was highly recommended to me. I seem to like gentoo, even though I haven't tried yet. I learned that it gave you powers to allow you do what you want with linux. Also, I learned that it doesn't used up much space in harddrive (I hope).

And I like what you have typed. You're only unbiased in this thread. lol :lol: I agreed with some of what you said about package managers, but I don't know about others because I never tried other distros other than Redhat.

I'll try to install gentoo next week or 2 weeks. I have some unfinished matters to attend. Will let you guys know how it will go. ;-)

Thanks for your replies. ;-)
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2002 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bmk1st wrote:

I'd like to try other distribs but I thought LSF might help me understand more about linux and libs. When I heard about gentoo and was highly recommended to me. I seem to like gentoo, even though I haven't tried yet. I learned that it gave you powers to allow you do what you want with linux. Also, I learned that it doesn't used up much space in harddrive (I hope).


I'm not trying to dissuade anyone from using Gentoo, but because Gentoo keeps binaries as well as source on the hard drive, it can be a bit of a space hog.

Anyway, other than that Gentoo is a top distro. I have tried Red Hat, Mandrake and Debian (although I couldn't get it installed :oops: ). Gentoo has the best package manager I have used. It calculates dependancies very efficiently (although I don't like the fact that it doesn't uninstall dependencies).

Stability-wise, I have not noticed much difference between distros. Also speed wise, Gentoo boots up much faster than Red Hat or Mandrake (mainly because only the service I want to run, run).

Anyway that's my two pennies worth.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2002 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

craftyc wrote:
bmk1st wrote:

I'd like to try other distribs but I thought LSF might help me understand more about linux and libs. When I heard about gentoo and was highly recommended to me. I seem to like gentoo, even though I haven't tried yet. I learned that it gave you powers to allow you do what you want with linux. Also, I learned that it doesn't used up much space in harddrive (I hope).


I'm not trying to dissuade anyone from using Gentoo, but because Gentoo keeps binaries as well as source on the hard drive, it can be a bit of a space hog.

Anyway, other than that Gentoo is a top distro. I have tried Red Hat, Mandrake and Debian (although I couldn't get it installed :oops: ). Gentoo has the best package manager I have used. It calculates dependancies very efficiently (although I don't like the fact that it doesn't uninstall dependencies).

Stability-wise, I have not noticed much difference between distros. Also speed wise, Gentoo boots up much faster than Red Hat or Mandrake (mainly because only the service I want to run, run).

Anyway that's my two pennies worth.


Gentoo is in fact large because of all the libs necessary for an entire system to be compiled from source, but you can trim it down by rm'ing /usr/portage/distfiles/* and rm -rf'ing /var/tmp/portage/* from time to time, but be careful doing this if your on dialup since you may not want to redownload large packages like xfree.
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delta407
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2002 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AutoBot wrote:
Gentoo is in fact large because of all the libs necessary for an entire system to be compiled from source

Hmm... a bare Gentoo install with base utils, GCC, glibc, logger, cron, and the kernel source tree came out to 450 MB yesterday. That's not overly large, is it?

AutoBot wrote:
but you can trim it down by rm'ing /usr/portage/distfiles/* and rm -rf'ing /var/tmp/portage/* from time to time, but be careful doing this if your on dialup since you may not want to redownload large packages like xfree.

Right, and definitely save your kernel source. It's a big tarball, and since all the different kernel sources use it (with patches), you'll probably want to keep it around.

Run "du -sh /usr/portage/distfiles /var/tmp/portage" to see how much disk those expendable directories are consuming.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2002 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

delta407 wrote:
AutoBot wrote:
Gentoo is in fact large because of all the libs necessary for an entire system to be compiled from source

Hmm... a bare Gentoo install with base utils, GCC, glibc, logger, cron, and the kernel source tree came out to 450 MB yesterday. That's not overly large, is it?

AutoBot wrote:
but you can trim it down by rm'ing /usr/portage/distfiles/* and rm -rf'ing /var/tmp/portage/* from time to time, but be careful doing this if your on dialup since you may not want to redownload large packages like xfree.

Right, and definitely save your kernel source. It's a big tarball, and since all the different kernel sources use it (with patches), you'll probably want to keep it around.

Run "du -sh /usr/portage/distfiles /var/tmp/portage" to see how much disk those expendable directories are consuming.


No but a fully functional desktop with only the base sytem,xfree, and fluxbox without distfiles is approximately 900megs and yes IMO this is large considering Windows 98 SE is around 250megs fully installed.

--Not comparing windows and linux, just comparing the sizes of an OS capable of a graphical desktop.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2002 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bmk1st did you ever get Gentoo running? How do you like it? Don't leave me hanging man! He he, just wanted to hear your tale.

Talk to you later!

Regards,
BonezTheGoon
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2002 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, I finally installed gentoo last night. Sorry for long delay. I had some matters to attend.

I haven't finished completely set up gentoo yet. I ran into common errors like DEVFS and failed to bring eth0 up. I found some solutions on the forum. I'll do it tonight. I didn't have time to look for netmount error. Hope to find a solution in time.


I got a question: After reconfigure network and DEVFS in make menuconfig, do I need to run dep and bzImage as well?


After fix these errors, I'll let you know how it goes. BonezTheGoon, Thanks for asking!
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2002 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haven't had a chance to check out gentoo yet, I'm currently an LFS/BLFS user. (usually on the cvs versions) Kept hearing bout gentoo in the mailing lists...wanted to check out the process and maybe give it a try. Haven't really had much time to browse the docs, but for those who have used both...someone said not as customizable as LFS. Why not? If you take from the base system? Much difference? I mean sure having a package management system for anything beyond that would be less custom..but how much is non standard? The base system is built from scratch correct? What kind of install times we lookin at? Right now, I got my install times with a full destop box (System Base, GPM, Networking, XFree86, J2SDK, Mozilla, ALSA, Wine, and KDE (and several smaller one-offs) down to about 14 hours, all from sources, no prebuilt binaries at all. LFS Base takes roughly about 4 hours to do. BTW AthlonXP 1700+, 512MB PC2700 RAM, ATA100 disks, VIA KT333 Chipset. I've got a week to kill prior to the final of gcc 3.1.1 so I'd like to try gentoo out this week. Little feedback on the gotcha's and diff from LFS would be kewl.

Thanks

DJ Lucas
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2002 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bmk1st wrote:
I got a question: After reconfigure network and DEVFS in make menuconfig, do I need to run dep and bzImage as well?


Yes after you change your kernel configuration you will need to copy the new bzImage to the boot partition (be sure to mount it first to /boot and then copy over the bzImage). For the eth0 it really depends on how you compiled things the second time around (to fix the DevFS) are you going to put support for your NIC right into your kernel? I would, and I do, if you can. Yeah each time I reconfigure my kernel I run the same command that the Installation Doc states. Which is

Code:
make dep && make clean bzImage modules modules_install


Good luck, and congrats on getting it going!!!!

Regards,
BonezTheGoon
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BonezTheGoon
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2002 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DJ-Lucas, I have never used LFS so I cannot make experienced distinctions. But here is some general info about Gentoo. Gentoo, the entire system, is built from ebuilds. Ebuilds are basically the same sources you are using, only they also include special instructions and packaging that allows portage to do very advanced automated installations. Compile times should be roughly equal with LFS (logic argues) however given everything you compile from LFS requires you to initiate and give the compile time arguments (which is automated, with an "answer file" if you will, in Gentoo) I think you are running several hours longer than a similar Gentoo system. I would ledger a bet that once you have tasted Gentoo you will never be able to stomach manually hacking out each and every thing you need to compile. As far as I can tell Gentoo is roughly as configurable as LFS as far as compile time arguments. The only difference in "control" is placement in the file system. Given this is not hardly standardized there isn't much benefit to one arrangement from another (that I am aware of) and so I simply accept the placement that the ebuild author has chosen (which I trust was for some informed reason chosen to reside where it does.) I believe there is no need for any more control than Gentoo gives a user, and that is why I am using it (not because it is easy, even though it is compared to MANY distros). Just before I tried Gentoo I almost went to LFS. The biggest deterrent for me from LFS was that it WASN'T from scratch. You have to have a working Linux just to get started. So explain to me how exactly is that from scratch??? I didn't want to have to bother with a dummy linux just to start my real install. At least with Gentoo (which takes the same general approach) the dummy linux system is already setup on the iso for you so you don't even really have to realize that's what is happening behind the scenes. I setup a Gentoo system recently on a 1.33Ghz AMD T-bird 512MB PC2100, Ata100, Sis735 and the entire system with mozilla, gnome, xmms, alsa and some misc things was up in under 6 hours I'm fairly certain (but I wasn't really timing it). So I'd say give it a shot, just like crack it will take only one try.

Regards,
BonezTheGoon
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2002 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BonesTheGoon - Thanks for the reply. I'm gonna start the downloading in about 5 min. Got an extra 13.6 gig HDD lying around ready to go into my devel box for a trial. I'll be sure to post likes and dislikes after a week or so of playing. One more thing, is it possible for a 'newbie' to edit the answer files that you mentioned? Specifically, there are a couple of packages that would on most systems logically default to prefix=/usr where I personally, with high security settings and network mounted /usr, /home, and /opt etc ect, would prefer them to install
prefix ="" and prefix=/home/opt/<package> (for one-offs for specific users). Is this possible without re-packaging? Or is repackaging simple enough to learn?

Thanks agian,

DJ
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2002 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ebuild Files are just bash scripts as far as I know. I haven't bothered to try and edit one buts its apparently really simple.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2002 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would say definitely to gentoo.

I have used Linux on my desktop since Red Hat 5.0 with different distro's. I quickly switched from Red Hat to Mandrake, as Mandrake is a little more up-to-date. I also runned Suse because I think it supports a lot of hardware automagically.

But Gentoo is different. The one and most best answer for me why to Gentoo is that you, and only you, are in total control of your system. As a side-note, you will learn *a lot* about your/a computer, about Linux, and about other software/hardware.

If you are not in the mood of taking some extra time to figure some things out, to learn, and to be in control, you would be better of using Mandrake Linux, as far as I can tell you. But if you like being in control of your system, if you like to learn *why* things happen, instead of *that* it happens, definitely go for Gentoo.

PS This is *my personal opinion*
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2002 2:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yea I think Gentoo is my distro of choice and can't picture moving to another distro. I've tried Red Hat, Mandrake, SuSe and a couple other ones, and I think Gentoo is the best there is. I sometimes try to move to another distro, but notice they're either too slow, have horrible package managers or lack packages, frequently crash, or are just annoying. I find Gentoo to be the best, I mean how hard is it to type emerge <application>?
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2002 3:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am compelled to post. Gentoo is a first class source based distribution with simply the BEST package management system I have seen. I am not new to linux ... started using Slackware then Debian, but now it's only Gentoo. I tried an rpm distribution once (Redhat) and after getting into some silly catch 22 dependency scenerio that I could not resolve I just toasted it and never looked back. This is a distribution I would gladly pay for. The developers have done a wonderful job on Gentoo and a great service to the entire linux community. They certainly have my respect and gratitude.
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