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HowTo: Spring-cleaning your Gentoo system
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sundialsvc4
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 2:34 am    Post subject: HowTo: Spring-cleaning your Gentoo system Reply with quote

Okay,okay, mea culpa. Sometime a few years ago :rolleyes: when Modular XOrg came around and I just couldn't get around to dealing with it, and a couple of new gcc releases came and went and I just couldn't get around to dealing with them either ... my trusty laptop (which really ought to be filing for burial-insurance right about now) had, shall we say, become crufty. I decided that it was finally time to clean-up my mess. . .

8O It took more than a week of compile-time. I did everything wrong. Although the system came out very much faster than before, and I'm kicking myself for not having done it before now, I'd like to save you a few hair-follicles if I may.

(1) Emerge "gentoolkit" and "udept." These tools (especially dep) will prove to be critically important.

(2) Go through that world-package list... It's in /var/lib/portage/world, and do you really need all that stuff? What you don't need, check for dependencies with "equery," and remove what you can.

(3) How many 'gcc' versions do you have? I had four, and unwittingly compiled them all. Certain systems use "SLOTS" to allow more than one version to be on your system at the same time; it isn't obvious.

(4) Unmerge the monolithic KDE, and put in only what you actually use. Desktop systems like these are huge, and now you have the ability to install only what you need. You probably don't need much.

(5) Do the same with modular-Xorg. This is the window-interface, and it's finally been split-up so that you can install only what you need, which once again "isn't much."

(6) When all's finished, do "dep -s". This "spring-cleaning" will probably eliminate a lot of packages you simply do not need.

(7) After all of this, if you've updated "gcc", re-compile "the world" ... but at this point it's "only the 'world' that remains."

I am rather astonished at just how much faster the system runs now.


Last edited by sundialsvc4 on Sat Jun 09, 2007 3:04 pm; edited 1 time in total
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muaddib
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 3:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the HOWTO.

Unfortunatetly, I always find myself formating my HDD and reinstalling when my system gets too... crowded. I'd really like to be able to do just what you're doing but... I guess I'll always do it my way. :)
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mark_alec
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 3:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moved from Installing Gentoo to Documentation, Tips & Tricks.
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albright
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
/var/db/portage/world


please note for newer versions of portage (>=2.0.51 I think)
the world file is in /var/lib/portage
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sundialsvc4
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks... I edited the original post to correct that "tpyo."

Looking back on the whole thing, including more than a week of wasted time, I realize in-retrospect that probably the most serious mistake that I had made was to have not cleaned-out the cruft before doing the recompile. I also didn't know about SLOTs, or rather I had not stopped to consider them, so I wound-up not only keeping but recompiling a bunch of useless versions of things that I didn't even know I had.

Today, I'm looking on this "poor ol' laptop, ol' Paint," and wondering if it stumbled into an amphetamine patch while I wasn't looking. Why, it's positively zippy. by comparison! :) But there is about 11 gigabytes less material on the hard-drive than there used to be, and the ability to modularize the previously-gigantic subsystems (XOrg and KDE) has been a terrific boost.

This, to me, is what I most enjoy about Gentoo ... it's not "crufty." Or, it doesn't have to be. You can have whatever hardware-support you need, whatever kernel-features you need, and whatever program(s) you want, and nothing more. (When I realized that my last Red Hat installation was carrying around, and had actually installed, a driver for a DEC(!) Token-Ring interface card, I knew that even commercial Linux installations can be "just as crufty as Windows." Well, almost ...)
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piwacet
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 1:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps just one other tip if doing a massive update, before you start, make sure your profile is updated to the one you want, that way when you re-compile world, the packages will have the updated USE variables. It's probably wise to read the profile update gentoo documentation when doing this, as there may be other hitches.
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HydroDiOxide
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds all very nice, but why not include the way HOWTO do it for us n00bs?
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desultory
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 6:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HydroDiOxide wrote:
Sounds all very nice, but why not include the way HOWTO do it for us n00bs?
As you wish.
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