Sorry if it was confusing...
What I mean is that you can compile one more program simultaneously than you have CPUs.
If you are having trouble understanding how many CPUs, processors, you have then you most likely have one.
I have one. So that means I can compile two programs simultaneously.
If you have a dual core, meaning two CPUs, you can compile three programs at the same time.
# uname -p
# cat /proc/cpuinfo
*PROCESSOR INFO, SEE CPU CORES
Honestly, I rarely compile more than one program at a time. In regular compilation requiring circumstance one at a time makes the most sense to me.
For instance, if I want to add a program to my system then it is only one compilation. Or in case of dependencies, which I think is what grail was talking about, you should do them one at a time, and usually in an appropriate order.
The only time I am compiling in parallel is when I do a clean install, and I have to replace all of my favourite programs to my base install. Because they are my favourite and they come with me to every distro I go, I know them well, and know which compilations will be more resource greedy and which order to compile them all in.
This seems only a Slackware issue to me, as all to most other distros come with a packaging system that automates all of this for you. When they are there, and the package is available
, I always use the packaging system. That way I have a means of removing a program that I stop using.
In the case of Gentoo, their packaging system is wonderful and has all sorts of excellent configurations, even beyond this MAKEOPTS determining how many parallel compilations to perform. ...see USE...
That Gentoo Handbook is an excellent resource to really get to know Linux better...
Also, bellwether, I believe was an old sheep herding term about castrated rams wearing bells to lead a flock that has evolved to mean something like a high trend, or common practice that returns what is agreed to be the best results... or something...
From Shakey's The Merchant of Venice
"I am a tainted wether of the flock,
Meetest for death; the weakest kind of fruit
Drops earliest to the ground, and so let me. "