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I've printed out the installation instructions and I'm downloading 1.4rc2 right now and thought I would give gentoo a try this weekend.
I am curious about it's package installation though. I know it's somethiong like
I have to say that I think many linux names are entirely too long and difficult to remember. Can I look through the apps they have available and select that way? (I usually use a debian clone and apt with synaptic because of the fubar names) Can I download a source to my hard drive and have gento install it without going through that 'make' './configure' crap? I just have horrible luck trying to install source myself.
I'm probably getting in way over my head with trying out gentoo but I figure it's worth a try. I'm just not sure I like the idea of spending an entire day installing it when I have a bad habit of often breaking linux distros within days of installing them. Usually because the distros I've tried have modified something so when I use apt to upgrade an app or a dependency something else stops working. I've even flat out crashed several distros so they won't even boot up again.
why rc2 when rc3 came out a while ago? get rc3 instead.
heh so the names are too hard to remember? the apps in portage are laid out in categories so browing is easy enough (/usr/portage/media-video, /usr/portage/net-www etc....) and also you cn search names and descriptions with emerge too.
as for using portage to install source for you, wel it possible but harder, as it's not psychic and relies on a team of developers to write the configuration information for portage (around 150 guys last count) if you want to install a package via portage thats not listed then you will need to write your own ebuild file to tell it what to do, which implies that you would know how to install it normally anyway...
not sure about the "crap" in installing from source, it's not down to luck, it's down to paying attention to what is actually happening and reading any error messages and acting accordingly.
I am currently just "cd /usr/portage" 'ing to that directory, and doing an ls to find the app I want to install. I wouldn't mind if gentoo folks came out with a package map of some sort. And they could get rid of the "net-apache" directory, as the app currently resides in the "net-www" directory instead.
Shortcut for the newbs - If you are tired of doing ls "app-whatever" multiple times, then you can do some regexp stuff. (i.e. 'ls */apache' or 'ls */apac*' will list all directories with apache in them)
'ls */mod_*' will list all available modules for apache as well.
I decided to use rc2 rather than rc3 because rc3 isn't offered optimized for pIII/pIV.
Sorry about that 'crap' comment, but personally, I don't like installing source. Hmm.. actually dislike isn't entirely accurate. Closer to a deep seeded psychotic hatred. Which is why I would rely on portage.
Well, if nothing else it will be a Linux learning experience. Sometimes you just have to dive right into the deep end.
You can also browse all of the packages from their website (www.gentoo.org). Emerge is an incredible way to manage sources. Also, you don't have to install the "default" version of a program. Gentoo takes a lot of time to build the system. Why not go with rc3? It will optimize to your settings it's just a couple extra commands (okay okay and a couple extra hours also).
The thing to remember about Gentoo is...it really doesn't matter what version you start with. =) Once you type 'emerge rsync', followed by 'emerge -u --deep world', everything is updated to the newest version anyway! ^_^