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Old 08-27-2011, 06:08 PM   #1
shaunsingh14
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Question Is the Gentoo install worth the effort?


Well, after reading the wiki and using core-remote instead of core-local, I've finally managed to get Arch Linux working smoothly with LXDE under Virtualbox.

After finishing the Arch install, I wanted to see if I can install Gentoo under Virtualbox. So far, it looks like Gentoo's the ultimate OS for power-users. The only problem I have with Gentoo is that everything is compiled from source.

I just learned that chroots aren't just for Android devices and that compiling everything from source is a major pain in the fanny. I mean sure everything is optimized for your system, but does it really make that much of a difference as opposed to a binary-based distro like Arch, Fedora, or Debian?

To me the actual installation process is a delightful change of pace from the usual point-and-click install procedure because you actually see what you're doing to your computer (or in my case, the virtual disk image). So far, I've had very little problems because of Gentoo's wonderful documentation.

Again only issue I have is the time it takes to get through the install. I started the installation procedure at around 10:00 A.M. and I finished compiling the kernel at around 4:00 P.M.

So is the lengthy, time-consuming installation procedure worth the effort? I actually had to blow off a trip to Cancun with my friends because the kernel was still compiling.
 
Old 08-27-2011, 09:20 PM   #2
frankbell
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I would say that, unless you really really want to learn Gentoo, it probably isn't worth the effort.

That's just me.

I messed with it once and got as far as compiling the kernel. It didn't. I wasn't interested enough to go back to it.

What I do really want to do is try Linux from Scratch (in VirtualBox, of course) for the learning, but I haven't shaken free the time. My so-called life keeps intruding.
 
Old 08-27-2011, 10:47 PM   #3
Ion Silverbolt
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I am a long time Gentoo user. I would say it's not worth the effort to you if you already have an issue with the compiling. Most modern systems are capable of compiling your updates while you do other things on your desktop however. I even do that on my netbook without too much issue.

After spending much time learning Gentoo, I find myself always having a hard time using other distros. Portage; the Gentoo package manager, is so extremely flexible. Far more than any other package manager out there.

As for Gentoo's speed. From my experience, it's always seemed much faster than most binary distros I have tried. Probably a combination of having a custom kernel and building the system from ground up. I have used Arch as well though and it's close to Gentoo in speed. Again, probably because you build from the ground up. You can probably inch a bit more speed by compiling your own kernel in Arch.


Anyway, Gentoo is great if you have and want to invest time into it to learn it. Otherwise, I think Arch is the best balanced distro for most power users.

Last edited by Ion Silverbolt; 08-27-2011 at 10:49 PM.
 
Old 08-28-2011, 03:36 PM   #4
shaunsingh14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ion Silverbolt View Post
I am a long time Gentoo user. I would say it's not worth the effort to you if you already have an issue with the compiling. Most modern systems are capable of compiling your updates while you do other things on your desktop however. I even do that on my netbook without too much issue.

After spending much time learning Gentoo, I find myself always having a hard time using other distros. Portage; the Gentoo package manager, is so extremely flexible. Far more than any other package manager out there.

As for Gentoo's speed. From my experience, it's always seemed much faster than most binary distros I have tried. Probably a combination of having a custom kernel and building the system from ground up. I have used Arch as well though and it's close to Gentoo in speed. Again, probably because you build from the ground up. You can probably inch a bit more speed by compiling your own kernel in Arch.


Anyway, Gentoo is great if you have and want to invest time into it to learn it. Otherwise, I think Arch is the best balanced distro for most power users.
My cousin actually had a copy of Gentoo on his computer, he said that it took him hours just to finish the installation and have an X Window System enabled, but once I tried out Gentoo, it was amazing, much faster than his old installation of Fedora Core 6. I knew I had to try installing it at one point or another.

I do have the time to invest installing Gentoo, considering I blew off a week-long trip to Cancun. but I'm just looking for ways to speed up the install procedure. Doesn't Gentoo offer binaries of sorts for large packages?
 
Old 08-28-2011, 05:43 PM   #5
DavidMcCann
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Is it going to be faster if you compile the software yourself? Yes, if you know exactly what parameters to give the compiler. Does it matter? Probably not, unless your computer is ancient, or you're doing something heavy-duty like playing a complex game or number crunching.
 
Old 09-01-2011, 07:34 AM   #6
TheStarLion
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I toyed around with Gentoo for a time. Anyone who's at home with Arch will get along just fine with it, since the only real difference is that everything is compiled from source.

I believe for Libre/OpenOffice, Firefox and Thunderbird all have '-bin' variants which are precompiled - but that defeats the whole idea of building them yourself. I don't believe there are many precompiled packages available though; most everything is a compile-it-yourself package.

But I ended up going back to Arch because after a time, I found between USE flags and updates it just became too much trouble to keep running. Kernels frequently did not build even with genkernel and the default compiler options, packages refused to install properly because they wanted one USE flag on a different packages, which I had explicitly told it not to use because it would break yet another one.
In the end it just became a headache just to use, and a mess behind the scenes. I'll grant, I did get a slight increase in performance, but it was hardly worth the effort as far as I'm concerned.
 
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Old 09-01-2011, 06:09 PM   #7
Ion Silverbolt
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Gentoo has an autounmask feature for use flags now. I was getting frustrated with it myself, but it's been a lot easier to maintain than it was just a year ago.
 
Old 09-03-2011, 04:59 AM   #8
markush
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Here my Two Cents,

I've used Gentoo for about 1.5 years and I was very happy with it. But I'm a longtime Slackware user and went back to Slackware (everyone who once used Slackware comes back sooner or later ).

The advantages of Gentoo as well as Arch and Slackware are that you learn much about Linux. Both Gentoo and Arch have excellent documentations.

About the speed: Gentoo is not appropriate if you want to make an old (slow) computer faster. In fact Gentoo needs a powerful computer if you want to have short compile-times. The Programs where I found Gentoo to be much fast than any other distro were KDE and OpenOffice. This is due to the german localization I'm using. Normally I install the packages and an additional german package. With Gentoo the packages are directly compiled with builtin german localization, this is much faster, I haven't seen KDE or OpenOffice starting faster than with Gentoo.

I've used Gentoo on three computers, my homeserver, my Laptop and a Subnotebook which I use for work. All have very similar hardware, AMD64 2 upto 4 GB of RAM. I've used distcc (which distributes the compile-jobs to the other machines). Although I had short compiletimes with this setup, my experience is that a subnotebook is not the appropriate hardware for Gentoo. Due to the CPU-frequency the fan was always running very loud, and I think it became even louder due to wearout.

Well, the question was if Gentoo is worth the effort, yes it is, it is beneath Slackware the one distribution I felt very familiar with. And I learned much from it. But one has to take the time for the installation, if you want to have advantages from Gentoo you'll have to learn much about your hardware. As said above, Arch and Gentoo are very similar, but if I have the choice I would always use Gentoo. I found Gentoo to be more stable and Arch is nevertheless far away from being a binary version of Gentoo.

Markus
 
Old 01-15-2014, 11:35 PM   #9
VeloriumIV
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wtf

I had to make a user name just to be apparently the only one to highlight the ridiculousness of the fact that you [MOD_EDIT]. ALWAYS. With that being said, Gentoo is overrated imo. The elite customization most users could possibly ever want is accomplished with Arch. Gentoo is mainly for the people who are hellbent on the ultimate obstacle. As a person who has completed both, I honestly have found myself more fond of Arch, or even debian and front ends like mint, to be honest. Everyone else is dick measuring.

Last edited by TobiSGD; 01-21-2014 at 07:15 AM. Reason: Mod-Edit: Removed language
 
Old 01-16-2014, 12:38 AM   #10
TobiSGD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VeloriumIV View Post
I had to make a user name just to be apparently the only one to highlight the ridiculousness of the fact that you BAILED ON A MOTHERFUCKING TRIP TO CANCUN? WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU. PUSSY BEATS PENGUIN. ALWAYS. With that being said, Gentoo is overrated imo. The elite customization most users could possibly ever want is accomplished with Arch. Gentoo is mainly for the people who are hellbent on the ultimate obstacle. As a person who has completed both, I honestly have found myself more fond of Arch, or even debian and front ends like mint, to be honest. Everyone else is dick measuring.
Please watch your language.

It seems to me that you totally missed the point. Having optimized software is merely a side-effect of Gentoo (and other source based distros). The main point of Gentoo is not speed, but flexibility. Gentoo is more a framework than a distribution, a framework to build your personal distro from scratch, with packages compiled with the dependencies you want, with locking out software you don't want, and so on. Neither Arch nor Debian (nor most other binary distributions) can give you that in a simple way.
 
Old 01-16-2014, 09:37 PM   #11
ReaperX7
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I meddled with Gentoo for over a year trying to get it properly installed and never did succeed at it, and I followed the book, did everything properly and it always would error during either the kernel build or panic on boot.

The documentation is never really up-to-date well enough and a lot of key pointers are never mentioned in the handbook at all. Portage is nice, but the lack of proper documentation into fully setting up the system leaves much to be desired.

If you want a do-it-yourself distribution, go with LinuxFromScratch. The LFS and BLFS books are so well documented so that a Linux novice can understand them, but an advanced user can make clear sense of the books without penalty.
 
  


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