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Joined: 08 Feb 2009
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:31 pm    Post subject: Gentoo - is it worth? Reply with quote


I would like to install gentoo . I use arch . Gentoo first love ;) However, the system was too difficult for the newbie .

After 2 years of use and use of various Linux distributions (and even free bsd opensolaris'a) .

Now I would like to install gentoo. I think that now is the time to gentoo.

I have one question :

What is so fun gentoo after installation. Is the installation of the update are long? I use the system to a very important project requires a very high system stability. Do it to me da gentoo?
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Joined: 01 Jul 2004
Posts: 9713
Location: almost Mile High in the USA

PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

for me it's just customization (USE flags) and source-based.

Unfortunately if you don't want to tinker with your OS or your computer, it may not be the right distribution to use. Compiling upgrades can take a while, depending on the package. Also some upgrades can be a headache when they get upgraded (several EOL'ed projects end up breaking things when there are dependencies... but then again, other distributions end up forcing people to reinstall from scratch.)

I guess that is a meta-advantage...complete reinstalls are usually not necessary, except this sometimes comes at a price - you tend to have to spend some effort to fix things...

This latest one with xorg-1.5, though issues are documented, still requires some manual effort to clean up. With another distribution you may need to completely reinstall to get xorg-1.5...

Up to you, it requires some manual labor to keep Gentoo systems cleaned up... but you tend to be able to get the latest versions of most stuff instead of dealing with bugfix-only revs... and sometimes you're forced to take them...
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Joined: 25 Feb 2006
Posts: 1139
Location: Sofia/Bulgaria

PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maintaining your gentoo system properly needs some experience!I would say that your firs install wouldn't`t be production ready.You need practice before deploying in to your business!
"Dear Enemy: may the Lord hate you and all your kind, may you be turned orange in hue, and may your head fall off at an awkward moment."
"Linux is like a wigwam - no windows, no gates, apache inside..."
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Joined: 13 Nov 2008
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Location: Houston, Republic of Texas

PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

for a server i will always opt for gentoo

to that end, if youre deploying it as a server, you *do* need to have some understanding of what all your deployment will need - there arent really heaps of default apps, which is somewhat the point of gentoo.

for example, with other distros you go through a GUI setup for the OS, tick a few boxes, and apache/mysql/postfix what have you are installed

gentoo expects you to install this, configure it, as well expects you to have set your USE flags such that support for the relevant technologies/apps/modules is built into the app

what this means is you can exclude crap you dont need, and include only what you do - in many cases, you have options to include more than you would on other distros, as they force-feed their "best practices" configuration on you

gentoo allows you to have your hands in more aspects of the build and deployment - furthermore, it EXPECTS you to do so.

The end result is a finely-tuned system with everything you want, ONLY everything you want, and nothing you don't want - the result is such because you will have had to have a hand in every last step of the process

beyond that i opt for gentoo because:

-the community support is second to none
-the documentation is second to none
-the flexibilitiy means other people will have tried the screwy things i may want to try, and theyll have doc'd it
-easy to secure
-extensive documentation for locking things down tight
-easy to include PaX/grsec, as well great doc on this
-ease of maintenance. it isnt automated as other distros, where you have some happy icon flashing at you, but the occasional glsa-check is more than sufficient (just make sure you monitor your logs, use something like AIDE, etc)

For me the control I have is absolutely worth it. I consider myself an intermediate skill level with gentoo, and I manage without issue. While something like CentOS may work quicker, out of the box, I've found that later on you end up having to get just as involved with troubleshooting as you would with gentoo, for a problem that's been masked by what's otherwise a turnkey distro.
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Joined: 07 Apr 2009
Posts: 10
Location: Kansas Citeeeeeeeee, MO USA

PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have used gentoo for several years. I keep coming back to it. For me its easier to maintain. I would think the popular binary distributions would be easier to use. Gentoo seems to have more quality control and a more developed culture of support.

Except the install ISO's are an exercise in frustration. Tarball installs are the way to go.
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Joined: 25 Apr 2005
Posts: 13047
Location: Ste-Foy,Canada

PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, I use a Intel Quad Core Q9550 on my Gentoo box, so the compilation process is not a factor at all :P

If you like the control on your box, then use Gentoo :P

Last edited by d2_racing on Wed Apr 08, 2009 11:26 am; edited 2 times in total
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Tekeli Li
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Tux's lil' helper

Joined: 03 Jan 2009
Posts: 95

PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 6:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can chime in with pretty much everything others have said. The only "flaw" I find in Gentoo is waiting for compilations. After the initial installation, this is actually not a problem since you can continue to work while it compiles/updates in the background, but sometimes it may be annoying, like during toolchain updates which involve rebuilding world and you shouldn't be doing anything else on the computer. Thankfully those are rare and far in between. Then again with more cores becoming available for decent pricing, I'm seeing this "flaw" gone pretty soon.

Recently I tried going to OpenSuse, just to test out the new 11.1 version and "remind" myself how nice it was to wait in seconds, rather than minutes/hours, for new packages to install. That turned out to be the only benefit, as I started to miss the USE flags and straightforward way the configuration is done on Gentoo.

Gentoo has "spoiled" me to expect my computer to do exactly what I want it to do, and how I want it to do. This is not possible with other distros because they are always doing "something else" as well, and not always the way you want it to, being the software is precompiled for some common scenarios. Also, I very much love the way configuration is done on Gentoo, and I love how emerge/ebuilds are shortly explaining the most important tasks to be done after the installation, for the packages. It is very straightforward, simple and up to the specs. Other distros often have undocumented "features" or introduce configuration software to do something in an unintuitive way.

On the server side, I can't imagine anything other than Gentoo. Move out the compilation to a staging server (which you can run in Virtualbox or similar, if you don't have extra machines) and you have a pretty much enterprise-grade OS on your servers, configured to the last bit to do exactly what you want them to do.
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