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Old 11-09-2006, 08:37 AM   #16
hepburnenthorpe
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Apples vs Oranges?
 
Old 11-09-2006, 10:28 AM   #17
Midnyt
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It wasn't so much that the website didn't impress me, it was that I couldn't seem to find what made Debian stand out from the rest of the distributions.

Well if they are all the same, is there a distro I can get that's different?
 
Old 11-09-2006, 10:53 AM   #18
hepburnenthorpe
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There not all the same. There is about 6 comments in this thread saying that Gentoo and Ubuntu are allmost complete oposites. Including mine.

Ubuntu is IMO a begginers distro, Gentoo, alot more hands on.

However, once a distro is installed most things are simular. The filesystem layout is usually much the same, its just the distro specific tools that are different.

However, if your really want to try something different... why not try one of the BSD's?
 
Old 11-09-2006, 11:08 AM   #19
Gethyn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by osor
No offense, but these two are almost complete opposites (in terms of stated goals and targeted audience).
Nonetheless, they are my two favourite distros, and I can't believe I'm the only one. Ubuntu is great when I just want to get things up and running quickly, such as at work, whereas Gentoo is what I choose when I want to do a lot of tweaking.

My advice to the OP would be the usual: just try them both and see which you prefer. That said, if Gentoo had been the first distro I'd tried, I think I would have had a lot of problems. A certain amount of background knowledge of Linux is a big help when trying to set up Gentoo for the first time. Once you've got past that initial level of knowledge, it's a good learning experience (in my opinion).

Also, I don't think it's fair to say that beginners are the only ones who appreciate "simple" distros. While I love Gentoo, having spent a lot of time fiddling with it (and also with Slackware) has led me to appreciate the straightforwardness of Ubuntu a lot.

Last edited by Gethyn; 11-09-2006 at 11:10 AM.
 
Old 11-09-2006, 11:17 AM   #20
bernied
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I use both and think they are both amazing. But, for me, Ubuntu is for listening to music, browsing the web and doing the shopping, and gentoo is for messing about with linux and performing magic tricks. But that's not to say that you can't do magic with Ubuntu (or shopping on gentoo), just that I'm more afraid to break Ubuntu. If I break my gentoo install I can fix it, Ubuntu is a lot more opaque to me. But that's ok, because it works and looks beautiful.
 
Old 11-09-2006, 12:03 PM   #21
hepburnenthorpe
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I feel I should clarify that when I said 'Ubunta is IMO a begginers distro', I did not at all meen that it was at all a poor choice. Its a great distro, maybe I should have said that its a good distro for a begginner.
 
Old 11-09-2006, 12:09 PM   #22
osor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by introuble
Gentoo really isn't that much of a challenge. If your purpose is learning, I'd go with Slackware.
If your true intent is a challenge and learning, I would go with LFS. If your intent is to tweak to your heart's content, I would go with Gentoo (or maybe slackware). If your intent is to get a system up and running quickly to roughly how you want it, I would go with Ubuntu (or maybe slackware).
 
Old 11-09-2006, 12:48 PM   #23
edthefox
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midnyt
It wasn't so much that the website didn't impress me, it was that I couldn't seem to find what made Debian stand out from the rest of the distributions.

Well if they are all the same, is there a distro I can get that's different?

Sadly, different is not always the best choice. It's not that different is bad, it's that it just depends on what you're going to do with linux. i.e. are you putting your box in a production environment.

If you're just playing around with it for the knowledge and experience, does it really matter what distro you are going to use??? Just know this, when it comes to any distro, there is no substitue for reading/searching the manual/documentation/forums/wiki/..etc

I have been using various forms of linux for a while now and I have tried all of the free mainstream distributions that support my hardware. My choices are Debian and Ubuntu. Gentoo is definitely cool and all but in my experience Gentoo was too easy for me to break.

IMHO choose a distro that has a large following and fit's your way of thinking best. You want a well documented system that has an active development team and an active user forum. Such as debian.forums.net or ubuntuforums.org. If you just want different, try a flavor of BSD.
 
Old 11-09-2006, 01:13 PM   #24
Penguin of Wonder
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If you don't pick a distro and install it you may never do it. Install Ubuntu or Slackware first. Don't pull your hair out trying to setup Gentoo for your first install. Yes its nothing you can't do, and yes it comes with great install instructions, but a lot of people have trouble with it their first time. Gentoo is great, I use it, I love it. But at the same time I glad I started with Fedora (only to hate in 10 minutes) and then switch to Slackware and Ubutnu. Both of those distros were great for me learn with and have fun with.

As far as Gentoo compiling slowly on old machines. My 1.6Ghz Pentium 4M laptop installs Gentoo in a day assuming I get it right the first time. Do take into account I don't use KDE or Gnome though and those are two of your longest installs through Portage.
 
Old 11-09-2006, 03:52 PM   #25
Midnyt
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so XavierP you're saying that the only major difference between Gentoo, Slackware, and Ubuntu is the way in which they are installed? If so I think I'd go with Gentoo or Slackware just because they're more technical and provide for more learning with the process.
 
Old 11-09-2006, 04:35 PM   #26
the2k
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i know arch hasn't been mentioned but it's a small distribution based on slackware, with a cracking package management system pacman. it's i686 optimised and is a unlike gentoo a binary distribution.

i was until about 12 months ago solely a gentoo user but now have 3 boxes running arch and i'm well impressed. i still have gentoo on 1 box but i guess that is just habit!

only a thought
Mike

Last edited by the2k; 11-09-2006 at 04:39 PM.
 
Old 11-09-2006, 05:11 PM   #27
weibullguy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midnyt
If so I think I'd go with Gentoo or Slackware just because they're more technical and provide for more learning with the process.
Both will probably provide greater learning opportunity than Ubuntu during the installation. But, if a technical and learning approach is what you're after, why not try LFS? The other thing you need to consider when choosing between Gentoo and Slackware is the version of the toolchain packages (and other packages) that will be installed by default. Depending on what you plan to do with the machine, it could make a difference.

For example, ATLAS BLAS/LAPACK libraries compiled with GCC-4.X can be 50%-60% slower than when compiled with GCC-3.X. If you're using BLAS/LAPACK to perform roughly 280,320,000,000 calculations during a single simulation, it would result in a huge performance hit. Even if the difference is 0.1usec, that's, theoretically, 8-hours longer on Gentoo than Slackware. Of course, you could apply the patch to gcc-4.1.1 (that Gentoo doesn't apply in their ebuild AFAIK) that eliminates the problem when using x87 rather than sse for floating point mathematics.

On the other hand, if a few nano seconds here and there won't be missed, then Gentoo and Slackware may not provide you any greater learning experience than Ubuntu. Think about how far down into the weeds you want to get and decide if the time (and potential frustation) of a Gentoo or Slackware install is worth it. There's alot of learning that you can do with Ubuntu.

That being said, did I mention Gentoo rocks???!!!
 
Old 11-09-2006, 06:25 PM   #28
Penguin of Wonder
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midnyt
so XavierP you're saying that the only major difference between Gentoo, Slackware, and Ubuntu is the way in which they are installed? If so I think I'd go with Gentoo or Slackware just because they're more technical and provide for more learning with the process.
I don't think XavierP would say that, but that assumption is far from true. They all three have differnt install methods, init scripts, package managers, etc.
But XavierP was right, they are all still Linux, and Linux can only be changed so much before its not Linux.

You'll never know till you see for yourself.
 
Old 11-09-2006, 07:19 PM   #29
osor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arow
For example, ATLAS BLAS/LAPACK libraries compiled with GCC-4.X can be 50%-60% slower than when compiled with GCC-3.X. If you're using BLAS/LAPACK to perform roughly 280,320,000,000 calculations during a single simulation, it would result in a huge performance hit. Even if the difference is 0.1usec, that's, theoretically, 8-hours longer on Gentoo than Slackware. Of course, you could apply the patch to gcc-4.1.1 (that Gentoo doesn't apply in their ebuild AFAIK) that eliminates the problem when using x87 rather than sse for floating point mathematics.
By chance, does anyone have a link to this patch or an explanation of the problem?
 
Old 11-09-2006, 07:38 PM   #30
Midnyt
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Alright, well I'm really glad that so many of you guys posted and helped me out. I think I'm going to (for now) go ahead and install Ubuntu until I have at least cursory Linux skills before I try to get too deep into it.
 
  


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