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I once built my own i686 linux just for fun. And to tell you the truth, I didn't really feel any speed difference from my slackware. Maybe it ran faster but nothing I could really feel. So I was wonderinf for all you gentoo fanatics, if you guys or girls notice any real difference? And I'm note talking about comparing it to Fedora, Mandrake, or Suse. I know they are slow. I'm talking about comparing it to slack, crux, arch, or some other raw , do it yourself distro.
Also how is the stability of gentoo? Is the sacrifice in stability worth the speed? I'm willing to sacrifice some stability for speed as I'm not running a server that absoultly can't crash. Sometimes it's okay if a thing breaks here and there, just not on a regular basis.
I've never noticed Gentoo being all that much faster than other distro's, but I'm not timing things with a stopwatch. The potential for increased speed is there, but I don't think anybody really claims it's that huge a difference. The main advantages most people will find with Gentoo are the support channels and portage.
As for stability, it certainly has the ability to be as stable as any other distro. The main thing going against stability is the ease of updating individual packages. If you have a stable system and don't mess with it, it will remain stable. I don't think I've *ever* had one of my 3 Gentoo systems crash on me, except for times when I was messing with video drivers or upgrading X and not being careful about the config files.
Interestingly, Gentoo was even faster than my LFS install as well
A lot faster than LFS or a tad bit faster than LFS?
"Noticeably" faster. That's the best I can do without a stopwatch And a new LFS distro (Wiped the LFS partition to give Gentoo more space)
It was only particularly noticeable on bootup, really. After installing LFS and getting Firefox and FVWM installed, I kinda lost interest, to tell the truth - the challange was gone.
I also find Gento takes a lot less time when it comes to updates: Instead of being on the security mailing list, manually downloading the packages, and manually installing them, I just have to type "emerge -uD world" when I log off for the night, and everything's ready for me the next day
I notice you have an athlon. Perhaps using the gcc flags on the athlon gives a lot more than it would on a pentium. Maybe the default gcc flags give a lot better optimizaion on a pentium than on an athlon. I have a pentium 3 and didn't notice any difference between my slack, LFS, crux, or my other custom i686 builds.
I've a Dell 600m notebook (Pentium M 1.4 Ghz) and I've also noticed that using gentoo speeds up things for me, particulary booting, when compared to Debian, Slackware and, for sure, Knoppix and SuSE (just to mention some distributions I tested before ).
Well I've checked out the gentoo home page and I'm not sure I like it. Does emerge do dependency checking? Gentoo uses sys v init scripts, right? Its conf file in /etc seem to be done in a "gentoo way", much more complicated then slack.
I was thinking one solution is just to bootstrap slack current, adding the 2.6 kernel headers, gcc 3.4 and using optimization flags right at the beginning. This would give me the best of both worlds.
Any insights as to what "none hardware related flags" give good results on an intel sys. o2, -fommit-frame-pointer and -pipe for faster compile seem to be a good ones, any others? I'm looking for "none hardware flags" only as I know my hardware... sse mmx mcpu march stuff is easy to figure out.
Gentoo does all dependency checking. I've never tried another distro that made it easier. For example if I type emerge xxxx, it will find all the dependencies and install them before installing the program itself. There is no such thing as dependency hell. As far as .conf in /etc expect to do them yourself. It's not hard, just takes a little time to learn.
Gentoo's handling of dependencies is one of the best systems out there. It's clear and obvious what's being done, and why. The portage system is really fantastic.
Also, one of the reason I like Gentoo so much is because all the configuration files are pretty much exactly where you would expect them to be. I think it's actually one of the easiest distros to maintain because of this.
Gentoo has the potential to be much faster than your average binary distro. You have to take advantage of what it offers though, just by compiling your programs won't help you at all, you need to take advantage of the USE flags and gcc flags to optimise the binaries it creates otherwise you've pretty much wasted your time.
I use Arch now over Gentoo because I wasn't a huge fan of portage but it's probably sorted a few issues out since I used it so when I get my hands on another machine sometime soon I'm hoping I'll be giving Gentoo another shot.