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Old 02-04-2014, 02:38 PM   #1
moisespedro
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How many of you also use Gentoo?


What do you think of it? What are your current experiences with it?
 
Old 02-04-2014, 08:21 PM   #2
ReaperX7
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I tried it, and could never get the kernel to build as well as boot. Wasted about 72 hours on just the install phase alone trying to decipher Gentoo's haphazard documentation.

Don't get me wrong, Gentoo is a very sound distribution, like Slackware, and works well from my experience with the Live disk. It's no Slackware by all regards, but it's a good distribution if you can figure out how to get it to work, boot, and install properly.

LFS is about like Gentoo without package management. However, before you venture away from Slackware into these systems, get some skills and knowledge under your belt first. These aren't beginner level distributions.
 
Old 02-04-2014, 11:31 PM   #3
dugan
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I used to (long before Ubuntu switched to GNOME 3). Gentoo is a fun distro, but it subjects your computer to a huge amount of wear and tear.
 
Old 02-05-2014, 12:02 AM   #4
kikinovak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moisespedro View Post
What do you think of it? What are your current experiences with it?
Excellent distribution for long cold winter nights. Keeps you busy AND takes care of heating the room when you build all the stuff from scratch.
 
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Old 02-05-2014, 12:52 AM   #5
TommyC7
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I used it in the past as a distribution for me to learn.

Gentoo's portage was based off of FreeBSD's ports according to the reading material, but the last I saw of it, it was more like OpenBSD's ports. This is in the sense that if I want to build something like say...qt4, I get one qt4 package built with what I want (OpenBSD calls this "flavors", Gentoo calls these "USE flags") rather than say multiple qt4 packages that each serve a different purpose (e.g. qt4-this qt4-that, etc).

The last time I checked Gentoo, some things that were part of the base system could not be removed as they can in Slackware. Although, to be fair most of these features are quite commonly used on both desktop and server systems (e.g. iptables, lvm, and the likes).

Like Slackware, anything not included in the base system usually has to be built from source by the system administrator except Gentoo has ebuilds (I've never written an ebuild before so I'm not sure of the specifics) and Slackware has SlackBuilds which are just shell scripts. Some of the stuff in portage is pre-built (e.g. libreoffice cause that just takes forever).

One could use pre-created packages just as you could in Slackware of course, but I never really felt building them in the first place.
 
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Old 02-05-2014, 01:01 AM   #6
kooru
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I used in the past.
Probably if Slackware didn't exist and I had time to spend, gentoo would has been my choice.
 
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Old 02-05-2014, 04:52 AM   #7
moisespedro
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I already installed gentoo once, it isn't that hard to install. The thing that got me was portage, the most confusing and complicated package manager in the world. I got mad at it and gave up. I am trying it again but I am probably going to give up on it too. Since, from what I've read, the "optimisations" doesn't make that much difference I don't see the point of it.
 
Old 02-05-2014, 05:58 AM   #8
TobiSGD
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If you think that Gentoo is about optimizations you totally missed the point. Being able to optimize the software is merely a side effect of any source based distribution. The main point of Gentoo is that it is more a meta-distribution than a distribution, it is the ability to easily build up a system from scratch with the software you want, compiled with the dependencies you want (as much as possible, of course), basically to use Gentoo to create your own private distribution.

Having said that, I have tried it a few times, but I also deem its package management system to be too complicated, I prefer simple and easy package management. If I want a highly configurable source based distribution I would go for CRUX instead, its approach is quite similar to BSD ports and Slackware's Slackbuilds. But seeing how easy it is to adapt Slackware to my needs with its existing Slackbuilds system I don't really feel the need for going fully source source based, the partial approach I use now is good enough for me (posting this from a Slackware 14.1 machine with customized graphics stack: VDPAU enabled, xserver-1.15, xf86-video-ati-7.3, Mesa 10, ...).

Last edited by TobiSGD; 02-05-2014 at 06:00 AM.
 
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Old 02-05-2014, 06:10 AM   #9
moisespedro
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I've always heard about gentoo "optimisation". At least that is one its selling points, according to its fans. It'd be nice if it really boosted performance. Since that is not true I don't see the point of it. And if you want something from scratch, Linux from Scratch is the way to go imo.
 
Old 02-05-2014, 06:22 AM   #10
TobiSGD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moisespedro View Post
I've always heard about gentoo "optimisation". At least that is one its selling points, according to its fans. It'd be nice if it really boosted performance. Since that is not true I don't see the point of it. And if you want something from scratch, Linux from Scratch is the way to go imo.
How much you benefit from compiling your software optimized highly depends on the software itself and on your specific use-case. Saying that optimization does not boost performance in general because it does not do that for you is not really valid.

Of course you can use LFS, if you want to. What I was saying is that Gentoo provides an easy way to do the same thing (as do most source based distros), since it already has things like package management inbuilt and its USE-flag system makes it easier for the user to install software with the dependencies the user wants, since it eliminates the need to learn about the configure options for any software you want to install (which you for some software projects even have to do if you only want to upgrade that software, due to changed default compile options).

Last edited by TobiSGD; 02-05-2014 at 06:25 AM.
 
Old 02-05-2014, 06:36 AM   #11
moisespedro
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I've seen a lot of people, including the gentoo users, saying that the performance difference is irrelevant, imposible to see. That is what I meant. Sure, applications like video encoders, would be faster. But I don't see the point of spending hours and hours to set a desktop on gentoo if it won't be much faster. I am still trying, anyways.

I think that if you are using gentoo to build your distro it is still going to be gentoo or a gentoo-based distro, since it is going to use most (if not all) gentoo tools, like OpenRC and portage.
 
Old 02-05-2014, 06:40 AM   #12
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I've used Gentoo in 2003 for some months, but for my tastes it has too much `glitter'. If it has to be source-based, I prefer simpler systems like CRUX or LFS (or BSD, for that matter), which are more in line with the KISS philosophy, though if I'm going to compile from source, I can just as well use something like pkgsrc (which I'm actually using on this Slackware box).

Though I have to say that I don't care about how most programs are configured and compiled -- that is one reason I like Slackware: the programs I care about I compile myself, for the rest I use the official Slackware packages.

Last edited by lems; 02-05-2014 at 06:57 AM. Reason: minor edit
 
Old 02-05-2014, 08:32 AM   #13
hitest
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I've attempted to install Gentoo on a few occasions. I'm not patient enough to stick with it. Slackware, Debian, and the BSDs work well for me. At the moment I'm running Slackware and OpenBSD.
 
Old 02-05-2014, 10:23 AM   #14
ReaperX7
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Yes, optimization levels are very fickle to argue over. Most documentation and users will use only the basics of the basics of stable levels like "-O2 -fPIC -march=native" for maximum stability. Otherwise you risk nuking something inadvertently.

Gentoo's approach to the core however is unique making it a single package, which actually is a innovative way of handling it and similar to how FreeBSD maintains it's core. I'm not certain but I think I have seen where you can completely rebuild the OS core with a single build script.

Last edited by ReaperX7; 02-05-2014 at 10:27 AM.
 
Old 02-05-2014, 10:37 AM   #15
moisespedro
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Mine is set to -Os -fpic -march=bdver2. Gonna keep trying it, still didn't even finish the basic install, not enough time to do it lol.
 
  


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