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Old 08-14-2005, 11:37 PM   #1
c_olin3404
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Comparing Gentoo and Debian


I installed Gentoo two weeks ago and I really liked the installation and the way it worked. I loved it. I'd love to keep my current installation, but I cannot install QT and some other stuff for an unfixable reason (I still dont fully understand why it doesn't work). But I thought maybe I'd try Debian. How does Debian compare to Gentoo? Does the apt-get system work similarly to portage? Better? Worse? I thought I'd get input from some poeple who have already tried both so I can get their input. Thanks
 
Old 08-14-2005, 11:48 PM   #2
aysiu
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I've never used Gentoo, but from what I've read it seems that portage is far more stable than apt-get (though apt-get is quite stable in general) because everything's compiled exactly for your system but takes a long time. Apt-get is super-quick. I'd say just give Debian a try. You can always go back.
 
Old 08-14-2005, 11:52 PM   #3
c_olin3404
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A Gentoo installation takes a long time (days) to install, so thats why I really want to think about it before I switch.

Another question is does apt-get have a lot of software like portage does? Is there a way to view all of the programs apt-get has?

Thanks for the input!

More input from poeple who have used Gentoo would be great!

Last edited by c_olin3404; 08-14-2005 at 11:54 PM.
 
Old 08-15-2005, 12:06 AM   #4
aysiu
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There's almost no limit. Take a look at the repositories apt-get can draw from:

http://www.apt-get.org/main/

Obviously, you wouldn't use all the repositories on that list...

Best thing about apt-get is that it resolves all dependencies. It can also be done easily via command-line or GUI.
 
Old 08-15-2005, 05:28 AM   #5
dws160468
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Talking

I run multiple Debian servers, a couple of Gentoo boxes, FreeBSD, Solaris and RedHat. I've run several other distros in the past, but that's my present list of servers (+ Debian workstations, one of which I'm typing this on).

I always figure if you like Gentoo, you'll probably like FreeBSD too, which I enjoy for its consistent path naming, ports system, and stable Unix philosophies. While I like FreeBSD, Gentoo I really want to like but drives me up the wall as a server, as it takes ages to update itself (recompiling everything), and for whatever reason the packages we choose to install at work are never quite worked out properly on the portage trees and I end up spending ages playing with masks and USE flags and recompiling. Your comments on QT are in line with what I've experienced (not with QT specifically). However, Gentoo at least never "breaks" the system in an unusable way. From a purist point of view, I can certainly appreciate Gentoo.. - give FreeBSD a go.

Debian is my favourite distro. apt-get update;apt-get upgrade and my servers are up to date. At home I like to fiddle so I'm happy playing with Gentoo. At work I've got too much to do, so Debian's ability to install, update and remove stuff quickly and hassle free is what I like. Ditto for my work workstation (also Debian). Everything is (relatively) logically layed out directory wise (eg config files in /etc, user stuff in /usr/local...), not quite as nicely as FreeBSD (for my logic/taste) but pretty well.

I'd recommend giving Debian a go. The answer for you will probably depend on how much you like to tweak, and how much pressure you have on you to get a timely result. Both Gentoo & Debian have great documentation.
 
Old 08-15-2005, 05:56 AM   #6
lencinal
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Thumbs up about debian

I am currently using Debian Sarge, the new stable in debian, and i can tell you that Xtrembly easy to install. I tell you that it got over 8 Gb o free software in the official site (there are a lot of package that are not included in the official release, like mplayer but you can downloaded from other site), and the package manager is excellent. But, debian (apart of Ubuntu) use deb package so, there are some software (like the ATI driver) that are not packaged for this distribution. you can use alien, but that is an other history...
 
Old 08-15-2005, 08:16 AM   #7
Tmor
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Gentoo / Debian

I have about 20 production Gentoo installations at work. The thing I do like is everything is compiled from source specifically for my systems. I also like the fact that Gentoo also resolves all dependencies when installing an app.

One thing that I did find somewhat troublesome was that I compile apps with MySQL support and instead of just downloading MySQL (headers) it also tends to install it.

The boxes have been running extremely stable for me. One machine has been up 1 year and I have never rebooted since I inserted the install CD.

As far as the update goes I have a CRON thats doing a --world --deep every night. It takes about an hour to process. It's really not that big of an issue.

The other thing that I really love are the runlevels. It's about time someone reworked that ancient system. No more /etc/rc.d/... just set up the profiles and load the apps. There is a bit of manual work on the files such as deps with this scheme, but overall a much better way of doing things and actually editing the files is not that difficult to understand.

My 2 cents.

Tmor

(previous RHEL4, SuSE user)
 
Old 08-15-2005, 09:39 AM   #8
Biased turkey
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I just switched from Fedora Core3 to Debian and Gentoo 3 weeks ago.
I triple-boot ( Win200, Deb and Gentoo ) , each distro has its own hard-drive.
I use Debian on a day-to-day base, Gentoo is more for experimenting.
I use both mostly for 2D graphics programming ( Kdevelop + SDL ) without trouble.
I consider apt-get very stable. The only time it was complaining is when I tried to install Xpdf. So it's almost as good ( imho ) as emerge.
I was able to get sound, network and graphics 3D acceleration on both Deb and Gentoo . I have an AMD 64 CPU, Nforde4 mobo and an Nvidia 6600 graphics card.
The only 2 things Gentoo has an advantage is: there is an AMD64 version out of the box, and the Gentoo documentation is tremendous.
The - side of Gentoo is that ... it takes a long time to install, but you know that don't you

Of course I'll keep both Debian and Gentoo. Debian for the ease of use and Gentoo because it helps to pick-up ladies.
 
Old 08-15-2005, 09:58 AM   #9
TJandE
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I'd have to echo dws160468's suggestion that you try FreeBSD. I use it on my desktop machine for daily work. It seems to have many similarities to Gentoo*. The one caveat I'd put out there is that FreeBSD is not Linux so some things are done slightly differently then you may be used to.

*I've never installed Gentoo, so my comparison comes from many long discussions with a die-hard Gentoo user.

Micah
 
Old 08-15-2005, 11:32 AM   #10
jza
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i also have both, gentoo in my desktop and debian in my server. Like has been mentioned, debian is easier to manage/install as long as you don't have a whole lot of odd packages. Also, if you are using an older computer, you probably won't want to deal with the compile times of gentoo.
Gentoo seems to have more cutting edge packages (although its been a while since i used debian unstable/testing), and also fun things like gensplash (for bootsplash and framebuffer). Also, the gentoo community and documentation is superb, plus there's a lot of gentoo-specific how-to's in the forums.
 
Old 08-15-2005, 01:23 PM   #11
brfsa
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on my opinion, Gentoo rocks over all other distros....

In the beggining it will be a bit hard, you will have to read a some tutorials. but once get it up and running.... my friend.... you will never regret installing gentoo!
(unless there is new gentoo-like linux but better)

it compiles everything from source, which means that you can get full performance for you cpu and only your cpu...

the dependecies check is really good, everything compiles perfectly, and to not mention the huge amount of packages availlable for gentoo. (not as much as debian, but near by)

Debian uses binaries packages, they are slower and not fully optimized.


check out this tutorial, it is really good:
Stage 1/3 Installation for Gentoo 2005.0 and GCC 3.4.4 :
http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-345229.html
 
Old 08-15-2005, 01:50 PM   #12
Matthew_I
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Re: about debian

Quote:
Originally posted by lencinal
But, debian (apart of Ubuntu) use deb package so, there are some software (like the ATI driver) that are not packaged for this distribution. you can use alien, but that is an other history...
This kind man has repackaged the ATI drivers for debian and ubuntu.

http://xoomer.virgilio.it/flavio.sta...installer.html


Quote:
Originally posted by Biased turkey
The only 2 things Gentoo has an advantage is: there is an AMD64 version out of the box, and the Gentoo documentation is tremendous.
http://www.debian.org/ports/amd64/

There is an amd64 version of Debian as well. The debian port is 100% amd64 software (excluding thinks like the ia32 compat stuff). There is work going on to enable you to fully mix and match 32 bit and 64 bit debian packages, although it is not finished yet.

Quote:
Originally posted by brfsa
[Gentoo] compiles everything from source, which means that you can get full performance for you cpu and only your cpu...
If you want max performance out of debian, you could compile everything from source as well (see debtoo). You could also put cool stickers on your case, as that will have the same effect as installing gentoo with less effort on your part :).

As for the stability of APT, apt is very stable. More stable then portage I would say. Debian has thousands of top quality packages in its own repos and third party repos pick up the slack for things like mplayer. There are also several front ends for apt (apt-get, aptitude, synaptic). They all target a different user group.

To sum it up. Go for Debian, you won't regret it.

(on a side note, #debian is so much more helpful than both #fedora and ##freebsd :) or maybe I am just a troll... :)
 
Old 08-15-2005, 01:53 PM   #13
Matthew_I
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Quote:
Originally posted by c_olin3404
Another question is does apt-get have a lot of software like portage does? Is there a way to view all of the programs apt-get has?
http://packages.debian.org has a full list of offical debian packages.
 
Old 08-15-2005, 02:26 PM   #14
c_olin3404
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One thing I liked about Gentoo was that you get to configure/compile your own kernel right off the bat. Does Debian offer this? Or does it give you a precompiled crappy one? (like slackware )
 
Old 08-15-2005, 03:08 PM   #15
DaWallace
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a kernel recompile should be no problem.. it might take a while to review all of the options, and a while to compile, people usually screw up the boot loader trying to actually use it..

debian offers a bunch of precompiled kernels, one for all of the major subarchitectures your architecture.

note: it can be difficult compiling a debian-ish kernel. everything is super modularized and that requires use of an initrd.
 
  


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