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Old 11-08-2007, 09:09 AM   #1
ashwin_cse
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Sorce based distro (gentoo) Vs Binary based distro(fedora, debian,..)


Hi,

I am a aspiring system administrator. I have used fedora & ubuntu for some time(3 yrs totally) now. And i pretty much familiar with ways of redhat & ubuntu. I have searched the internet & gone through gentoo web-site. But i find mixed reviews about gentoo. By using gentoo, will it contribute to my goal of becoming a great sys admin. I know a distro can't teach lots of things. I don't like binary based distro(fedora), b'cos they develop lots of scripts to automate things a lot, thus hiding a lot about the software from the end user. Which i feel is not good for a sysadmin.
 
Old 11-08-2007, 10:18 AM   #2
FraGGod
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I don't think that it's your distro that teaches you, it's you who's building your system on your computer so if you're happy with GUIs and can do all your usual activities without any scripting... why bother with all that crap? You have scripts and interfaces for all you need right there, why re-invent the wheel?
I'm using gentoo and slackware but I don't find them any harder and more demanding than ubuntu or RHEL, they're just different, if you never cared about all that you don't have to - just type 'emerge xorg-x11 gnome && startx' and there you are. If you want gentoo/slack-style interface in ubuntu just press C-M-F1, and use apt-get from console, why not?
It's just when you'll find yourself setting up some server under heavy load with some nginx, fastcgi, php with custom modules, apache with different limits and selective logging and monitoring you'll find yourself editing all their configs by hand since interfaces and bundled scripts don't have all that options and since you'll need to do it more than once or twice you'll make a script do it for you. Until then I doubt you'll learn anything just by installing some new distro.

Last edited by FraGGod; 11-08-2007 at 10:28 AM.
 
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Old 02-02-2010, 12:41 PM   #3
webboss
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I like this answer as it is a much mature and to the point.

I even like the way you have said about the distros who use scripts etc,
 
Old 02-02-2010, 08:01 PM   #4
~sHyLoCk~
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System administration has nothing to do with a source based or binary based distro. Instead what counts is the maintenance and balancing the system.

http://www.cyberciti.biz/faq/what-is...administrator/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/System_..._administrator
 
Old 02-07-2010, 10:22 AM   #5
the dsc
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A different question, still related with binary versus source-based distros.

The overall "consensus" seems to that this is a matter of convenience, compromising performance to some degree, versus performance, compromising convenience.

But will there be much difference if you have a traditionally binary based distro, and nevertheless, compile most of your stuff, starting from a bare-bones install?

Are the source codes available for Debian testing or unstable (which have more recent software than stable), significantly different from those available for Arch? I'm not asking about compatibility, but distro-specific tweaks according with some different philosophy, like Debian modifications focusing stability and Arch modifications focusing speed. I know it exist to some degree, I've heard Arch has a modified KDE, but that's the only example I know, so I wonder if that's common or exceptional.

Last edited by the dsc; 02-07-2010 at 10:24 AM.
 
Old 02-07-2010, 03:26 PM   #6
carbonfiber
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the dsc View Post
The overall "consensus" seems to that this is a matter of convenience, compromising performance to some degree, versus performance, compromising convenience.
That's just what Gentoo newbies want you to think!

I've been on both sides of the fence. To me it's never been about 'performance'.. but more about not having CUPS installed as a dependency given the fact that I don't own a printer. Or not have IPV6 support given that I only use IPV4. Etc.

Quote:
But will there be much difference if you have a traditionally binary based distro, and nevertheless, compile most of your stuff, starting from a bare-bones install?
There will be much difference! The thing is.. source-based distributions usually come with all sorts of gimmicks that help the user with his compulsive-obsessive compiling. On <insert binary distribution of choice>, compiling "Xorg" might be a PITA. On a distribution such as Gentoo it's probably as simple as running emerge xorg.

As for distribution-specific-patches.. who knows. Different packages might have different patchy-ness-levels. Original sources + patches should be available on Debian, and I'm pretty certain (33%) they are available on Arch Linux.

But it is odd that which is what you are saying about Arch Linux. I believe Arch devs usually try to keep packages as vanilla as possible (similar to CRUX and Slackware).

Last edited by carbonfiber; 02-07-2010 at 03:27 PM.
 
Old 02-08-2010, 09:11 AM   #7
the dsc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carbonfiber View Post
That's just what Gentoo newbies want you to think!

I've been on both sides of the fence. To me it's never been about 'performance'.. but more about not having CUPS installed as a dependency given the fact that I don't own a printer. Or not have IPV6 support given that I only use IPV4. Etc.
Yeah, I've heard a few times of this other sort of advantadges, and I'm in fact a bit curious on how compiling stuff can make one freer from dependencies, but my main interest is in the performance of a compiled software in matches such as "debian versus gentoo".

You'll read over and over around linux forums things like "I prefer source based distributions because these allow you to have the programs optimized for your hardware", which always makes me scratch my head asking "and what's so different with binary-based distributions, which, insofar I know, do not prohibit compilations at all?"



Quote:
There will be much difference! The thing is.. source-based distributions usually come with all sorts of gimmicks that help the user with his compulsive-obsessive compiling. On <insert binary distribution of choice>, compiling "Xorg" might be a PITA. On a distribution such as Gentoo it's probably as simple as running emerge xorg.
That's curious. I thought that part of the adherence to source based distros was in doing things more "manually", that such an automation would not be well seen.

But even then, coincidentally I've recently compiled xorg in debian, the somewhat equivalent is apt-build install --reinstal <xorg's exact name, which I never remember>. I'm not saying it's all the same as "emerge", but just adds a bit to the pile of "what's the real difference then?"




Quote:
As for distribution-specific-patches.. who knows. Different packages might have different patchy-ness-levels. Original sources + patches should be available on Debian, and I'm pretty certain (33%) they are available on Arch Linux.

But it is odd that which is what you are saying about Arch Linux. I believe Arch devs usually try to keep packages as vanilla as possible (similar to CRUX and Slackware).
That's ok, I'm not really saying anything about Arch, I was actually asking. All I know is that they have a somewhat famous KDE modification, which makes me wonder if such things are more widespread, albeit less-known, or if it is how you're saying it is. I didn't even try to subtly suggest it is more likely one way or another.

Last edited by the dsc; 02-08-2010 at 09:17 AM. Reason: grammar
 
Old 02-08-2010, 01:46 PM   #8
carbonfiber
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http://funroll-loops.info/

As for Arch Linux, KDEmod is not the official/default/whatever KDE shipped by Arch Linux. It is simply a 3rd party project that provides an alternative to the official/default/whatever KDE shipped by Arch Linux (which, I'm assuming, is fairly vanilla).
 
  


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