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telex4
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2003 9:02 am    Post subject: Why Gentoo and not Debian? Reply with quote

Before people say the obvious points, I've been using Gentoo on my desktop for over a year now, so I know how cool it can be....

BUT, I'm getting a laptop soon, and I'm tossing up between Gentoo and Debian. Since the laptop will be for Uni, and so primarily for work, I won't be mucking around with the installation so much, and I won't care much about compile-time optimisations. So far I'm siding with Debian, but here are my thoughts on each:

Debian:
- no long compile times (a problem when I have work to do ;)
- I prefer Debian's philosophy & politics

Gentoo:
- more package availability?

I'll be using mplayer, for example, and it didn't come up in the Debian unstable package database. Do any Debian users have experiences with this sort of thing?

I'd really like a machine that I can set-up one afternoon, spend a week or so tweaking as I begin to use it, and then have set, so I needn't touch it again until the holidays.
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Ari Rahikkala
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2003 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know, the reason why you can't find mplayer in Debian's official package database is their philosophy... fortunately you can always use http://marillat.free.fr/
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|cJ|
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2003 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cant you setup your laptop before you go? then you wouldnt have to deal with to many compiles

anyway you can still compile while working i have never had a problem?

tbh if you ask this here pps will say gentoo and if you ask at a debian forum they will say debian
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gsfgf
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2003 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gentoo has USE. Debian doesn't.
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lisa
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2003 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You don't have to wait three years for your program to be put in "stable."
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Vagabond
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2003 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can always use distcc to let your desktop machine do its share of compiling to get your laptop up and running.

Vag
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scriptkiddie
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2003 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used debian for a long time and I really really liked the way it worked... I thought apt-get was heaven.

but then I found gentoo and its faster, more secure (sometimes :D ) and has more packages available.

As for you wanting to set up your laptop in one afternoon, why not just use one of the GRP liveCD sets?
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avenj
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2003 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're not going to find much on the way of unbiased opinions on a Gentoo forum...

Personally, I think you should use whatever you're comfortable with and enjoy using.
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BitJam
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2003 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All hype aside. The big reason for choosing Gentoo over Debian has been stated here repeatedly: Gentoo has much more recent versions of applications available.

If you want to be running the latest KDE, or Gnome or other app then Gentoo is the only way to fly. If this is not important to you then it is more of a toss up. Gentoo takes more work but is more fun.
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z28James
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2003 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i strayed from gentoo for a few weeks from after a year of using gentoo. i found myself so unsatesfied from every other distro. its weird because gentoo is a little more difficult than most distros yet i felt so lost. plus...portage is just awesome :)
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nbensa
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2003 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lisa wrote:
You don't have to wait three years for your program to be put in "stable."


Oh really?? Please tell me what distro you're using!!!

I'm using Gentoo, and gcc 3.3.1 is still masked... :-/
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2003 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gsfgf wrote:
gentoo has USE. Debian doesn't.


Hmmmm quite honestly, after spending a lot of time with Gentoo, I have come to dis-like USE variables. They should be deleted off the distro.

The concept is nice I admit. They are there to minimize the load of dependencies of a specific application. To give the user a way to steer the merge of things.

But lets face it. A system running any popular WM and office applications, browsers etc etc, is somewhat bloated. The ebuilds are installing what they wanna install. Regardless of your USE flags. Then on top of things, they present a *horrible* administration load. You have to have the Full-blown, 100% crisp clear view of all dependencies and USE flags (and their meaning) in order to take real advantage of the USE-system. In fact, I would go that far and say that people that DONT have that full perspective will probably get massive bloats, and even unintended/faulty installations as time go by.

I have NEVER missed the USE functionality on my 2 other OS choices: Debian and FBSD. I havent got more "control" of my Gentoo installations than on, say, my FBSD boxes. And I havent got more unwanted "dependencies" on those boxes than I have on my Gentoo's.

Perhaps its just me, but the USE flags is really not usefull :)
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avenj
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2003 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nbensa wrote:
lisa wrote:
You don't have to wait three years for your program to be put in "stable."


Oh really?? Please tell me what distro you're using!!!

I'm using Gentoo, and gcc 3.3.1 is still masked... :-/


Do you have any familiarity with the major changes between GCC releases, or are you just complaining because you're not using the latest version number?

3.3.1 has actually been unmasked for ~x86, at any rate.
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idl
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2003 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would now be a bad time to put in a vote for FreeBSD? Its well worth a try, and may just suit your needs.
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avenj
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2003 10:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

port001 wrote:
Would now be a bad time to put in a vote for FreeBSD? Its well worth a try, and may just suit your needs.


Can you elaborate on why FreeBSD would be a better choice than GNU/Linux?

(I lack BSD experience and am curious.)
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idl
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2003 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

avenj wrote:
port001 wrote:
Would now be a bad time to put in a vote for FreeBSD? Its well worth a try, and may just suit your needs.


Can you elaborate on why FreeBSD would be a better choice than GNU/Linux?

(I lack BSD experience and am curious.)


I wouldn't say FreeBSD's package system is as good as Gentoo or Debian's, but it is none the less a fine system. The main points that attract me to FreeBSD are:

1) Stability. I found FreeBSD solid as a rock, not just it's kernel but also the stability of the software in it's ports repositry was superb. This is a PRO when it comes to those late night essays where a crash is the last thing you want :)

2) Clean and lean. fBSD is very well organised, plus you can tell every inch of it has been given carefull consideration. Every task and command is logical to the tee, its great to work with.

3) Its bloomin fast!

FreeBSD isn't bleeding edge, but that shouldn't be a factor when it comes to a workstation.

If you have a spare computer sitting around anywhere, give fBSD a go.
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avenj
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2003 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

port001 wrote:
avenj wrote:
port001 wrote:
Would now be a bad time to put in a vote for FreeBSD? Its well worth a try, and may just suit your needs.


Can you elaborate on why FreeBSD would be a better choice than GNU/Linux?

(I lack BSD experience and am curious.)


I wouldn't say FreeBSD's package system is as good as Gentoo or Debian's, but it is none the less a fine system. The main points that attract me to FreeBSD are:

1) Stability. I found FreeBSD solid as a rock, not just it's kernel but also the stability of the software in it's ports repositry was superb. This is a PRO when it comes to those late night essays where a crash is the last thing you want :)

2) Clean and lean. fBSD is very well organised, plus you can tell every inch of it has been given carefull consideration. Every task and command is logical to the tee, its great to work with.

3) Its bloomin fast!

FreeBSD isn't bleeding edge, but that shouldn't be a factor when it comes to a workstation.

If you have a spare computer sitting around anywhere, give fBSD a go.



How is any of that different from GNU/Linux?
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idl
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2003 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

avenj wrote:
How is any of that different from GNU/Linux?


I found those points to be better on FreeBSD than on GNU/Linux. In my experience anyhow.
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telex4
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2003 11:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies so far, everyone. Some helpful, some not so helpful :)

On FreeBSD... I'd rather stick to GNU/Linux for the moment, just because it's less hassle, or at least it feels that way to me, and I'm an illogical bloke :)

On USE variables... I have to agree with Supermule - I've never really used them much, except when I find the time to try and get a feature *put in*, like gtk2 support. That said, now I'm starting from scratch on a new machine, I suppose I know what I can put in... it might save me a few backups of music albums in space :) Is there any way of getting a good breakdown of USE variables affecting my desktop system at the moment, so I can come up with a good list of USE variables to mask out on my new laptop? I have no idea what variables are available, which ones I will want to mask out, etc...
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avenj
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2003 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

telex4 wrote:
Thanks for the replies so far, everyone. Some helpful, some not so helpful :)

On FreeBSD... I'd rather stick to GNU/Linux for the moment, just because it's less hassle, or at least it feels that way to me, and I'm an illogical bloke :)

On USE variables... I have to agree with Supermule - I've never really used them much, except when I find the time to try and get a feature *put in*, like gtk2 support. That said, now I'm starting from scratch on a new machine, I suppose I know what I can put in... it might save me a few backups of music albums in space :) Is there any way of getting a good breakdown of USE variables affecting my desktop system at the moment, so I can come up with a good list of USE variables to mask out on my new laptop? I have no idea what variables are available, which ones I will want to mask out, etc...


Try ufed.
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telex4
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2003 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

avenj, thanks for the tip.

I also just found this handy list: http://www.gentoo.org/dyn/use-index.xml
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nerdbert
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2003 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ever tried to compile a new kernel using menuconfig with this distro - it will tell you that it is missing ncurses. Next thing happening is you looking for the right version to apt-get.
Trying to install kde with a stable tree will result in having to use kde-2.x. I'm just feeling treated like a five year old child whenever I try to use Debian.
I'm quite sure that it's easy to avoid all this problems, and you're free to choose, but I believe that in matters of freedom of choice Gentoo is the way to go.


and btw: since 1.4 came out, it's possible to install an optimized system in less than 20 minutes. If you want to recompile some stuff, you can still nice things a little up while doing your regular work. :wink:
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zez
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2003 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, I like USE variables. Yes, they can get a little cumbersome on a desktop machine, but on my router I was able to install everything with -X -gtk -kde, etc.

As far as Debian goes, I used to run it on the router when the box was a P133. It worked well enough. Debian in general left a bad taste in my mouth when I made the mistake of trying to use dselect, though. I still have nightmares when there's a full moon :lol:

(Now that I've installed gentoo a few times, I've been roughly timing how fast I can get a system going from stage1. With my most recent install I was able to get both KDE and Gnome going in under 24 hours :twisted:)
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SlCKB0Y
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2003 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

lisa wrote:
You don't have to wait three years for your program to be put in "stable."


This makes no sense....no one says you have to use stable do they?
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gsfgf
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2003 2:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I *heart* USE. IMO, USE is the most important part of gentoo. I can get exactly what i want. I don't have to install KDE or GNOME at all. I can make apps use weird options that they don't in normal binaries. (fbcon comes to mind). I suggest to everyone to learn and use a good set of USE vars. It's worth it in the long run.
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