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ElleStone
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:29 pm    Post subject: USE flags for a desktop-agnostic photography workstation Reply with quote

This is my first Gentoo installation. Before tackling my main computer, I decided to build Gentoo on an Acer Aspire 5570Z laptop. I worked my way through the basic installation without too much angst. Things build slowly on the laptop, so I was hoping for input about USE flags before I proceed much farther.

Some background: The main computer is used as a photography workstation. I run the icewm and prefer startx. I use a lot of gtk apps. But I don't use any specifically Gnome programs and I don't want to bring in any of the Gnome desktop baggage.

I do use several KDE programs: digikam, krita, dolphin, konsole. But I want to eliminate as much as possible of the KDE desktop baggage. In particular, I want to eliminate pim/nepomuk/*kit/etc, as per https://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-938680.html

Do these proposed USE flags for /etc/portage/make.conf look reasonable?

bindist symlink smp threads
-gps -ppds -cups -bluetooth
-policykit -udisks -udisks2 -upower (I dislike *kit)
-raptor -redland -semantic-desktop -virtuoso (I dislike nepomuk)
-samba -rdesktop -vnc (no remote desktops, no windows file-sharing)
-accessibility -spell -xscreensaver (I don't use these)
-gnome (I don't use any specifically gnome apps)

Also, "emerge --info" reveals a plethora of USE flags, including:

*a bunch of GPS-related stuff (none of which I need)
*a bunch of Calligra features (krita is the only Calligra program that I use, and I plan on compiling it from source without kexi, words, etc)
*stuff for libreoffice (I use openoffice)

Is it possible to override/eliminate/modify these GPS/Calligra/libreoffice USE flags?

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Elle
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BillWho
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ElleStone,

Welcome to gentoo :D

You can set USE flags at the package level rather than loading up make.conf. Have a look at http://en.gentoo-wiki.com/wiki/USE_Flags
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Good luck :wink:

Since installing gentoo, my life has become one long emerge :)
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John R. Graham
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A lot of USE flags are set by the profile. There is a desktop-agnostic desktop profile, which is default/linux/x86/13.0/desktop; I'd set that. For your make.conf set, I'd add -kde.

Portage will tell you when your chosen software needs other USE flags set. You may have to change some things, but will pretty quickly settle on a workable set.

If you need more background information just ask and we'll explain further. ;)

- John
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ElleStone
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks! for the very kind welcome. I've been pondering the USE flag "pyramid" and it begins to make sense. I'm already using the default/linux/x86/13.0/desktop. Per John's suggestion, I added "-kde" to make.conf.

My milestone for the day was actually getting to the Icewm "desktop". I tried "emerge -pv konsole". It's OK with not installing *kit, etc. But it won't install without being allowed to use the accessibility flag, which seems like an odd hard dependency (correct terminology?). I will ponder the required 178 packages for konsole before going farther. I'm sure I will have more questions!

Actually here's a question that I've been puzzling over. Gentoo portage means all software is compiled from source, tailored to the existing USE flags. Is it still possible to download source code from the internet, compile it independently of the Gentoo portage, and put it in /usr/local? I'm hoping this is a really silly question, but I compile a lot of software from git, etc.

Elle
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Jaglover
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, IMHO it's OK to install software into /usr/local/ if you know what you are doing and can maintain it by yourself. Although the preferred method is to write your own ebuilds and use them from local overlay.
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John R. Graham
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 3:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ElleStone wrote:
... I tried "emerge -pv konsole". ... I will ponder the required 178 packages for konsole before going farther. ...
You might want to try xterm; it's considerably lighter weight than konsole. For that matter, take a look at the whole x11-term category: there's considerable choice. :P

- John
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ElleStone
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
You might want to try xterm; it's considerably lighter weight than konsole.


Hi John. Thanks! for the suggestion. But it wasn't the "weight" of konsole, per se, that I was worried about. I just want to make sure I install as little of kde as possible. I spend a lot of time at the command line and prefer a tabbed terminal. As I intend to install digiKam and krita (not on the laptop, but on my main computer), there's no reason to avoid konsole.

Anyway, with liberal use of "emerge -pv" (which very nicely tells what gets installed first, second, third . . .) plus the use flag information from http://www.gentoo-portage.com, I succeeded in getting a kitless/pimless/ect install of konsole, kate, dolphin, and rekonq. htop showed that it was using 90Mb of ram, which seems pretty good.

Unfortunately I had the wrong screen resolution, which I didn't realize until I visited a website and realized the images had the wrong proportions. So I started over. At present I have icewm installed, but not konsole, kate, etc. But this time the screen resolution is correct.

Before going any further, I have a couple of USE flag questions:

1. For a single-user desktop or workstation, what purpose does pam and/or acl serve?

2. If I disable a flag such as "libnotify" globally, in make.conf, but I want to install xchat, which apparently uses libnotify, does that mean I need to add a line in package.use saying to use libnotify with xchat? Or does that mean I simply can't install xchat?

Some background: in 2005, to avoid Vista-bloat I switched to Linux. Now it's 2013 and to avoid creeping linux-bloat, I'm switching to Gentoo. When I finally set up my photography workstation, of course I would like it to be secure, but I truly don't understand the purpose of pam/acl/*kit/etc on a single-user workstation.

And I'd like to avoid as much "one size fits all / kitchen sink / install it just in case it might get used" as I can. So I'm trying to eliminate as many global use flags as possible, though perhaps that is not the right approach?

Elle
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ElleStone
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Jaglover,

Quote:
Yes, IMHO it's OK to install software into /usr/local/ if you know what you are doing and can maintain it by yourself. Although the preferred method is to write your own ebuilds and use them from local overlay.

Thanks! for letting me know /usr/local is OK to use. I have some more questions on this topic, but the Install forum is probably the wrong place to ask them. What would be the right forum?

Elle
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khayyam
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ElleStone wrote:
2. If I disable a flag such as "libnotify" globally, in make.conf, but I want to install xchat, which apparently uses libnotify, does that mean I need to add a line in package.use saying to use libnotify with xchat? Or does that mean I simply can't install xchat?

ElleStone ... you'll find that libnotify and many other useflags are not + by default so no need to disable it/them via make.conf ... as has been mentioned, this is somewhat dependent on the profile. Basically, the defaults are, mostly, sane (within the context of the profile). Often, when starting out, new users tend to think that they need to work out (or, to put it another way, enable) all kinds of useflags via make.conf just to get started, and often it leads to confusion ... do I need 'urandom', 'sasl', 'bufferevents', etc, etc? In time they learn that actually having fewer useflags in make.conf is better, and these should just focus on the things you would obviously want globally, ie, 'unicode', 'alsa', etc ... and things you don't, ie, '-gnome', '-kde', '-nls', and what-have-you. I think I have only twelve or fifteen useflags in make.conf. From there everything else can be finely tuned via package.use on a per-package basis, enabling/disabling only those useflags that are not enabled/disabled by default ... you'll get into the habit of 'emerge -pv' prior to emerging, and tweeking the flags to your liking.

Anyhow, to answer your question, useflags are optional, so (under most circumstances) these can be enabled/disabled for a particular package as you see fit (ie, libnotify on xchat), where this may not be the case is a situation in which a useflag is required enabled/disabled due to another package, one example of this is sys-fs/cryptsetup which requires that some other packages have the 'static-libs' useflag enabled. Portage will warn you about such things and you simply re-merge with the required use. That would possible be the only situation in which, other considerations aside, you'd not be able to emerge a package without meeting some criteria first (ok, there are more complex situations, with package keywording, masking, and other senarios, but this is mostly not something you'll encounter if using stable.)

ElleStone wrote:
Some background: in 2005, to avoid Vista-bloat I switched to Linux. Now it's 2013 and to avoid creeping linux-bloat, I'm switching to Gentoo. When I finally set up my photography workstation, of course I would like it to be secure, but I truly don't understand the purpose of pam/acl/*kit/etc on a single-user workstation.

I use 'caps' (linux extended capabities) when possible, and I use pam, for accepting my ssh key as a password at login and setting up ssh-agent. But mostly I'd agree with the above, but not all acl are the same, some can be useful in a single user env. However there are lot of "solutions" (ie: *kit) which I have a complete aversion too ... the reasons for which I won't go into here.

ElleStone wrote:
And I'd like to avoid as much "one size fits all / kitchen sink / install it just in case it might get used" as I can. So I'm trying to eliminate as many global use flags as possible, though perhaps that is not the right approach?

I'm not even sure what useflags are 'global' in terms of the 'desktop' profile, I have mine set to default/linux/x86/13.0 which is probably as minimal as it gets. Anyhow, as I stated above there is some level of sanity to the useflags enabled by default reflected by the choice of profile ... but a lot of flexibility in that regard also.

best ... khay
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