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Joined: 26 Jul 2012
Posts: 270

PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:39 pm    Post subject: stageX-tarball, different architectures and all that jazz Reply with quote


I remember when I first installed gentoo 6 month ago. I couldn't configure a kernel, I even had problems with genkernel, my internet connection didn't worked, of course I had problems with the X-server. Now I'm able to install gentoo without major problems on a x86_64 architecture with everything I need. So I've recognized that I'm a bit like a mac-user (ok, thats exaggerated): nearly everyday I type in
emerge --sync
emerge --update --deep --with-bdeps=y world
emerge --depclean

and everything works fine (except when I change something important in the make.conf file etc) and I'm not forced to learn much more.
Before I've come to gentoo I read stuff like "when you want to use gentoo, you have to know much about your hardware and how linux works etc" but to be honest I think I don't know much more about my hardware than what driver I have to use and although I think I know a lot more about linux than before I've come to gentoo, I've expected more (just that there are no missunderstandings, I don't want to attack/criticize anyone or the whole gentoo project in general).

Now I'm trying to install gentoo on my yeeloong 8089 and I'm pretty lost. I realize that I don't know much (or nothing) about the stageX tarballs. For example there is only a stage4-tarball for mips and if I'm correct this is a less minimal base than a stage3 tarball, isn't it?

For example there are many programs that aren't needed for a minimal working system and they are precompiled (I hope I don't say something that is terrible wrong.. :) ). Moreover I've read that stage1 and stage2 tarballs aren't supported anymore. I would appreciate it when there would be a "hardcore-installation" in the sense that you have to dig way more into linux than with a normal installation with the result of understanding the system a lot better. For example I've flew over the thread and maybe if there would be no genkernel I had left gentoo, but on the other hand I think that there should be an installation-method for "advanced users" too (I know I am not an advanced user, but anyway :) ). With more explanations how things work even if the understanding of some procedures are not needed for a working system.

I'm posting this because updating 112 packages on a loongson2F is taking very much time and I don't even know why those packages are needed or updated, so I'm stucked and don't even know how to approach my problems. So it would be nice if there is a "super-minimal-tarball" that you are able to have a good overview and not to long compile times.

Moreover I think my systems (the x86_64) aren't faster than when I had Arch or Mint installed and although I want a source based distro merely because I like the idea it would be nice if I would recognize some speed improvments after all "USE-Flag-struggles".

So I think I've googled alot, but when I'm searching something at home I sometimes can't find it and my girlfriend find it in a second, so don't be to hard on my if I asked too many rtfm questions and tell me where to find the manuals :)

(of course I've read the installation docs for the mips architecture, and I read many of the documentations listed here:

edit: for example is it possible to unmerge all perl related packages? and even all python packages and then use paludis instead of portage?
"I want to see gamma rays! I want to hear X-rays! Do you see the absurdity of what I am? I can't even express these things properly because I have to conceptualize complex ideas in this stupid limiting spoken language!"
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Joined: 07 Jun 2012
Posts: 5742
Location: Room 101

PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LoTeK ...

First comment ... its not about the optimisation, so the question of "speed improvements" is not something I think is central to the use of gentoo. There is also the question of design, flexibility (useflags, etc), and the knowledge aquired by being at the helm of the ship. In short, you are less fixed by the whims of the provider, and (knowledge permiting) opperate more as the distribution provider yourself.

Second comment ... that knowledge doesn't come cheap, you generally have to work for it, but your helped by the community, documentation, and of course the (mostly) transparent relation to the OS your building. It being 'transparent' doesn't help if the landscape is unfamilair, but at least you aren't blinkered, and so can at least gain some understanding of your environs.

Third comment ... gentoo makes possible things which other beers can not reach. A case in point, the mips target: these stages were built by someone most probably on a machine of a different architecture using a 'crossdev' toolchain. You can do likewise and build your perfectly targeted stage4 for your yeeloong. I'm not sure the status of the mips arch, but I imagine that its not heavily developed and so stage's will lag behind package updates ... hence your having many updates. One solution would be to use a crossdev environment and update/modify the stage before transfering it to the target. There is no doubt some knowledge curve to all this ... but that can be seen as either positive or negative, dependent on what your expectations are. In a sense gentoo is a tool to make your own tool, distribution, specifically targeted mips stage, etc.

That said, I sympathise with anyone who's just starting out, we were all there at some point or other, but as I've said once or twice before (either here, or in #gentoo) .. its better to be at the bottom of a ladder you want to climb than half way up one you don't.

best ... khay
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