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dbodner
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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I suspect the reason none of you think you've had problems is because you haven't used another distro much, and you're so used to the little extra maintainance steps you do in Gentoo that you don't even think about them.


From a desktop perspective, I've used Gentoo, Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, PCLOS all for extended periods of time (2+ months as primary OS. I've used others, such as Slackware, Arch, opensuse, etc for shorter periods of time). From a server I've used primarily RHEL4/5, CentOS, Debian and Gentoo. There are plenty who have used more, but I've certainly not only used Gentoo.
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Cyker
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 1:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

2 months? Pah! That's nothing! :P

Seriously 'tho, you're very unlikely to have settled into a distro in such a short space of time.
It took me a over year for both Slackware and Gentoo because I'm always finding new little quirks and stuff. Ubuntu I still consider myself a total n00b at, and I've been toying with that on me lappy for a good few months...

I find switching to a different distro after becoming settled into one is like, major culture shock, and often instills an instant dislike of how things are done until you get used to it again...
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dbodner
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 1:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Seriously 'tho, you're very unlikely to have settled into a distro in such a short space of time.


That was a minimum. Fedora and PCLOS I knew I didn't like after 2 months and ditched quickly :P

Debian, Ubuntu and Gentoo I've used for more than a year.
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JeanValjean
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 2:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I installed gentoo on this computer almost a year ago now, and just updated it for the first time. During the entire time, I only had 3 emerges break - pretty good. Gentoo - once a person learns it - is much simpler to upgrade considering the a good number of users of distros like Ubunut do complete reinstalls every 6 months, I'm glad i don't have to worrry about that.
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d2_racing
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah Gentoo is a rolling release...me too I'm glad :)
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ghevan
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2007 5:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gentoo is practical for me. Ive come from ubuntu and at first reinstalling the whole system wasn't a big deal but after doing it several times I wanted something diferente to keep me updated. Also most of the times I needed help I eneded up reading gentoo wikis and documentation.

SO for me gentoo is practical as I just have to update everyonce in a while to get the software as updated as I need, and in case of having any trouble (just a few) I can find almost everything on the gentoo guides.

I still use Ubuntu on the laptop, but I really miss a lot of the config files of gentoo at ubuntu, and the progressive updates.
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Suicidal
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2007 8:26 am    Post subject: Re: Is Gentoo practical? Reply with quote

rockclimber88 wrote:
I started using Gentoo about 8 months ago when I got this fancy new laptop and I wanted to use the most customizable operating system that existed to get the very best performance out of my new toy. A friend recommended Gentoo because it would help me learn linux (before I was just using Ubuntu so I hadn't really learned anything about the behind the scenes processes).


Same with me when I started, even though I chose Gentoo because oh architecture optimization I think I learned more during the initial install than using RH9 for 9 months.


Quote:
So something that has been coming to my attention while searching around on the forums for various answers to stuff is the nubmer of angry postings of disgruntled users who left Gentoo with a bad taste in their mouth. The only reason I didn't post this under one of those threads is that most of them that I find are kind of old and it's always a little weird replying to something that somebody said a long time ago. But most of them have the same general opinion. That Gentoo is too complicated. And at first I thout they were just whining because Gentoo isn't perfect and they want everybody else to fix their problems. They all get a lot of flak for usually being their first post in a forum etc.


Most of those posts I read are simply because they want something that Gentoo is NOT. They want something quick and easy, when when maintained properly Gentoo is more laborious than your standard binary distro; but at the same time your average binary distro cant do things like linking nmap to openssl.

Quote:
But most of what they say is legitimate. I mean, to be honest I kind of like having something to fix on my computer because I suck and it gives me something to do rather than coming up with something worthwhile like going outside but most people aren't like that. Most people would like to have an operating system that works. where you can spend more time getting stuff done on your computer than you do taking detours when portage messes up and dealing with problematic unstable releases etc.


Some of it can be construed as legitimate; others want it to act like Ubuntu or fedora which I find not legitimate. Gentoo should either be used by enthusiasts or skilled administrators that are using it to create their own distribution like Sabayon for example

Quote:
I just recently checked out Ubuntu again because I was installing it on a friend's computer... and guess what?... their wireless drivers just work! like magically!


Was this the same hardware that it was a PITA on Gentoo, not all drivers are created equal

Quote:
and you can just click a button and it tells you what it will update and then does it.


While that can be nice, certain applications I prefer the choice of $USE like php for example my security requirements require that I only enable features that are needed for the system to get its job done and disable everything else - use flags really help with doing that in packages like php.


Quote:
I don't really understand why Portage has to be so messed up and why I have to fear all of the bugs that I will have to deal with after every update. Why can't I have an OS that compiles software from source, has USE flags and all that great Gentoo stuff but also allows me to get stuff done without getting distracted fixing my computer every ten minutes?


quit updating every ten minutes, seriously. Most of the problems has to do with the nature of updating libraries and then not updating everything that was linked to the old version of that library.

Quote:
So my question is: Is Gentoo really just an operating system for people who enjoy fixing their computer? Because that is actually kind of legitimate. I mean, I've learned more about how my computer works with Gentoo than I'm sure I would have with any other OS but is it really a practical OS in any way?


Gentoo teaches you the internals of how Linux works; /etc/hosts is the same whether it is Gentoo or debian or slackware or an endrun GPS time server. The same holds true for alot of other configuration files. I know quite a few people that claim to be Linux guru's but none of them can do much of anything if X for example stops working.Gentoo teaches you how to administer a linux system without all of the fancy gui crap. All of my servers in the past had no X at all.

About practicality It depends what you want to use it for as a Systems Administrator it gives me alot of tools for network analysis and for network management. It gives me the ability to create firewalls or many different servers that are still running problem free at my last job that I quit over a year ago.

So when it comes to practicality you need to ask yourself what is going the best tool for what I want to do?

As much as I love Gentoo there are certain things a Windows server does better
and certain things that Red Hat box would do better.

Use what works best for you.
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Jinxter2K7
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Phenax wrote:

To be honest, I get much more work done on Gentoo than I ever did on Ubuntu/Fedora/Arch/Sourcemage or any other distributions. Like many people, I went to other distributions and found myself coming back.



Ditto. Gentoo is close to Linux perfection in my opinion.
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d2_racing
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, it will be perfect when we will compile or 8 cores or 16 cores...the compilation time will be just a thing from the past.
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calr0x
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2007 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tylerwylie wrote:
Gentoo's great if you like working on your operating system moreso than your actual work.


Switched to Kubuntu. Will always love Gentoo but Gentoo's about doin' stuff to Gentoo moreso than with. =P
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2007 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

calr0x,

You need an update disipline with Gentoo.

You can update every day if you want, or every time the installer is updated, or something in between to suit you.
The problem is that playing with Gentoo is often more satisfying than doing the work you are supposed to be doing.
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Suicidal
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 1:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

calr0x wrote:
tylerwylie wrote:
Gentoo's great if you like working on your operating system moreso than your actual work.


Switched to Kubuntu. Will always love Gentoo but Gentoo's about doin' stuff to Gentoo moreso than with. =P


Honestly, if you want stability run:

Code:
emerge --sync
glsa-check --list new


From there I researched the security advisory and determined whether the vulnerability affected my environment.

Thats the way I maintained my Gentoo servers between full updates which I performed every 6-12 months.

Just because an update is available does _not_ mean you need to install it.
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Kaste
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I started off with Suse for 6 months and switched to Gentoo 2 years ago after getting bored with trying to make SUSE do what i want.

Now there were times when i was installing some computers and i though maybe try a new distro, Gentoo would take to long for the case at hand, so i was trying Ubuntu every time. :) Maybe i have an aweful lot of bad luck but every time i tried to install Ubuntu it fails horribly. It is so weird. I tried it on five(!) different computers, laptop and normal desktop towers ranging from 0,5 to 2 Years old and it never even installed.

So maybe i would already be using Ubuntu if it would actually install :).

Seriously though, I have seen weird things with Gentoo, some of them (well actually a lot of them) my fault, a few ones Gentoo's I think, but still it's fun, i learn and i have a Windows install around that i rarely boot into just to remind me what non working distro and maintenance cost really means. (You wouldn't believe how screwed up I got it just by being to lazy to reinstall it for the last 2 years)

Gentoo works just fine I think and I am more willing to put up with the random oddness than lose the power it offered. My Gentoo install is now almost 2 years old and it is a piece of art. It turns prettier all the time.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whether it's my day job or relaxing, the majority of my day is spent with my mind interfaced with my laptop. So like any place where you spend a lot of time, you want to feel comfortable both in terms of getting things done and aesthetics. You want things just so.

I run a nearly stable system, the notable exceptions being drivers for certain PC crapware and Paludis. I don't care for the bleeding edge; just security updates on a regular basis, and software upgrades when there are new features I want.

I use Gentoo because the entire platform allows me to tailor the system efficiently, coherently. To make it just so.
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Malakai
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Once you get used to the filesystem layout and tools, gentoo is the best.


Until then, it can be very frustrating. This really isn't a fault of gentoo though, linux is a very deep and customizable os compared to windows, and we have been using windows for a very long time. Learning to tinker with the core of your os is something youve never done before and it takes time.


I love my gentoo now after coming back from 2 years on xp, with a new system and powerful hardware.
linux evolved quite well, as did gentoo IMO. It all runs great and ultra fast. And there are new gentoo/portage tools and stuff like /etc/portage/* that makes everything way easier to use than before. I used gentoo almost exclusively for over a year, but left when I started playing games with zero support at all. Right now all my games work fine here, even eve online which always held me away.


I think people get bogged down on choices too. Especially WM/DE's. But of course this is a plus not a minus, it just takes time to find out what you like better. XFCE has come a long way I quite like it ^^
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeddySeagoon wrote:
You need an update disipline with Gentoo.


Hit the nail on the head there. I have --sync run each night, then each machine emails me the available updates, I perform them when it's most convenient, sometimes masking possible problem packages as 'to do later' (such as apache mysql etc).Probably spend 1 hour a month keeping 5 machines up to date.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 3:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I update world every couple days, and I can't remember the last time I spent more than 5 mnutes of effort on it. After your system is set up things take care of themselves to a large degree.

On the other hand I can remember the last time I spent one and half hours compiling some packages on a server running Debian because the packages available through apt were compiled in such a way as to render them unable to run on my system.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 2:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Suicidal wrote:

Code:
emerge --sync
glsa-check --list new


Basically that's what I do as well, except that I don't bother with the regular syncing; I takes too long. I'm subscribed to the mailing list where the GLSAs are announced. Once I get notification that a GLSA has been issued for a package I use I sync and update the package. Afterwards I run revdep-rebuild.

Regards
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 3:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

for one reason that hasn't been mentioned ( I agree with those already said) I like Gentoo over other distros is that when using other distros, it feels like they don't want you to touch their config files, and that everything will break if you do .
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 4:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Along these same lines, I decided to try Gentoo back in 2002 because I was tired of having build my own binaries to get the features I wanted, and then having to maintain the dependency chain for them. The intractable problem, of course, was that the dependency chain for my custom binaries was not always consistent with the rest of the stock system.

That being said, it would be great if someone could develop a more intelligent revdep-rebuild ("reconcilio" in Paludis) system. It doesn't handle binaries which have Java deps, script languages, or the weirdness with "liblber.so" in openldap.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For me it's practical as a desktop system.

Due to its compiling nature, the stability of some of the components might be at times uncertain, but tweakable to near-certainty. For a desktop system I can live with that.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 4:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Last year my / reiserfs partition decided that life it not worth living and refused to mount. After an ugly rebuild-tree my partition reverted to the state it was 4 months before the crash except that half my system was gone. Since I didn't have any recent backups, but still had my world file and most of /etc I started rebuilding the system. All it took was a 1-2 hours to get portage running(with the help of some binary packages) and a long world compile, followed by running a script to remove all the files portage didn't know about. I got my system back but i won't recommend reiserfs again :)

Maybe its just me, but I find the (small)amount of work(fun) that running an ~x86 gentoo system requires a small price to pay for the flexibility it gives you. I've been a Linux user for more then 8 years but I've only switched full time 4 years ago when I've found gentoo.

Every now and then I take a peek at the competition, but i never stay. I always get back to gentoo, because I've created this system, I know its every detail and no matter how broken it is i can always use init=/bin/sh

PS: keeping regular backups is a good thing and I certainly learned my lesson
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 1:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

d2_racing wrote:
Yeah, it will be perfect when we will compile or 8 cores or 16 cores...the compilation time will be just a thing from the past.


emerge --emptytree world took 3.5 hours on my 8 core processor :o that was about 570 packages, including libreoffice and firefox

and I even set MAKEOPTS="-j5" so I could use my computer for other tasks

with my crummy internet, that's not too much longer than the download times. And I could use the internet during that update, with peace of mind that if my connection is lost my evening won't be ruined.

(I'm hoping that this thread necro will be appreciated, haha. TBH I was ecstatic at how fast that emerge went, I was afraid it would take 12-24 hours)

I guess on topic though I installed Gentoo first around 2004 when I was in high school. After installing and realizing I was "still" in a terminal, I realized that I really had not business dealing with something like Gentoo. Then I tried out RHEL and something else, and realized I didn't have any business installing server software, either.

Now that I'm seriously pursuing programming, however, I want to understand how my entire software stack functions.. someday..
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gentoo is more practical as anything else so far.

No annoying blue screens or does not work or random crashes as i had in this redmoon 95 / xp world.

no fancy configs which are hard to understand or solve like in ubuntu. i gave up finding the sources / way to customize the kernel. to get rid of bloatware.

the thing of ubuntu is that is bloatware
the thing of arch linux is taht the package manger there asumes that you know lots to get something done

i just want a bloatfree, iconfree desktop, without fancy windows vista like panels / Desktop icons and other shit which no one ever needs, wants

i just want to have a few things and these should work. => i3wm.org with nemo / k3b / google-chrome / gimp / lilyterm ... that covers 99 percent of my use case these days.

These binary distros with gnome / kde / lxde have in every version changed icons / changed spots for everything which is kinda annoying to see a broken feature or to look for something much longer...

And my gentoo hardly breaks while upgrading as it used to be years ago as i started. But maybe thats the use case because i only use i3wm without any fancy dependencies. That could be also gnomes fault, which i do not use anymore.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2015 12:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is it practical?

Well...

For many years I didn't use anything else than Gentoo. I installed it on my mother's computer, on my wife's computer, on computers of different architechtures...

Then I graduated from university, got a job and became a father. As much as I loved Gentoo and all the fiddling, I was increasingly anxious to do updates as I never knew if I had to be prepared to do some heavier maintenance, update configs and repair conflicts between different packages. The amount of time I have spent waiting for something to compile... And if there was a longer pause between updates, the chance of something breaking in a very fundamental way got much higher.

So in 2013, after about 8 years of Gentoo I tried Ubuntu (with Unity) on my own computer and was surprised at its stability and ease of use. What was decisive for me was that even optical audio worked out of the box whereas my .asoundrc in Gentoo never did work quite that well.

So I admit, I'm an Ubuntu user nowadays. I don't regret my choice nor do I regret all the years I spent using Gentoo. During that time I learned very much about Linux. Nowadays, I just don't have the time and patience to first spend hours doing maintenance and fixing problems before being able to do what I have to do with my computer.

Gentoo might be practical, but not necessarily for everyone. Luckily there are lots of options in the land of Linux.
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