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Old 05-21-2006, 06:26 PM   #1
dave-gallagher
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Gentoo vs. Debian


Hey everyone,

I was wondering what your thoughts are of Gentoo vs. Debian? I'm thinking more along the lines of a production environment.
 
Old 05-21-2006, 06:32 PM   #2
XavierP
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Need more. What do you mean - desktop, server, range of apps?
 
Old 05-21-2006, 06:59 PM   #3
Dutch Master
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The learningcurve in Gentoo is quite steep, Debian is much more 'newbeefriendly' in that respect. Basicly, the question you must ask yourself is: do you want a fast stable desktop (Gentoo) or a stable desktop fast (Debian)... Substitute 'desktop' with 'server', 'workstation', etc etc, if that suits your needs better.

Regards, Dutch Master
 
Old 05-23-2006, 04:16 PM   #4
dave-gallagher
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I'm looking more for the server realm of things. Ideally, easy to update security holes with patches, 99.99% uptime, etc...

App wise, Samba, Apache, some sort of IMAP mail server, a mail web gui, and OpenVPN.
 
Old 05-23-2006, 04:57 PM   #5
Dutch Master
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For servers: take Debian. Gentoo takes to much time tinkering to be useful in a commercial enviroment. You don't want to spend a fortnight finetuning your Gentoo installation and with the first update you'll need to spend another half a week fixing what's broken... I'm not saying that Gentoo brakes down at every update, but you don't want to run the risk that it does and that risk is higher on Gentoo than it is on Debian. Improve your chances on a stable system by keeping to the Stable branch. Sarge will become Etch when Etch is declared Stable, but in the mean time someone else tested it on stability

Regards, Dutch Master
 
Old 05-23-2006, 05:41 PM   #6
Cronjob
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As a LONG time Debian users (in a production environment), my view is that gentoo tends to be for the tech equivalent of the guy who spends all week tweaking the brand-name bumperstickets on his ricer import.

Debian, in my opinion, tends to be more for the guy who wants to go out and race his vehicle or take it off road and actually do something with it.

If I had time to play "hobbiest" I'd probably love Gentoo. But I need to spend my time doing things on my system rather than configuring it without end.

I'm not saying that one is better than the other, but I do think each suits a different purpose and a different type of person. And personally, if I were going that rout, I'd probably end up with slackware anyway.

As far as logos go, however, gentoo wins. If that's important. :P
 
Old 05-23-2006, 05:48 PM   #7
Adamant1988
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you asked in an odd place... if you were looking for a less biased response you might try putting this in the nuetral section that's not geared to one distro or another...
 
Old 05-23-2006, 06:22 PM   #8
reddazz
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Your choice should depend on what you want to do and how much control you want over your system. There are many hosting providers running AMP on Gentoo and Debian so both can be used very well in production environments. I agree with the comments above that you should have put your thread in a distro neutral forum.

Last edited by reddazz; 05-23-2006 at 06:24 PM.
 
Old 05-24-2006, 07:48 AM   #9
XavierP
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Adamant is right. I have moved this to Linux-Distributions.
 
Old 05-24-2006, 07:49 AM   #10
XavierP
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What are your reasons for thinking only of these 2 distros? CentOS is used widely as a production server.
 
Old 05-29-2006, 08:03 AM   #11
Mizzou_Engineer
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I have used both distributions and it really depends on what you need your computer to do. If the tasks you need to do can be handled by any generic Linux distribution, then a lot of the appeal of Gentoo is lost and a binary distribution like Debian, SuSE, CentOS, Ubuntu, $YOUR_FAVORITE_DISTRO will work just fine and be a lot quicker and easier to set up. There are a few main appeals of Gentoo, one is the extreme configurability of the programs on the system and also that you can leave a lot of the unneeded stuff out and compile to suit your system exactly. This makes for a faster system at the expense of possibly being a bit harder to support and taking significantly longer to install.

I run Gentoo on my desktop as it is 64-bit and I needed to compile a few special things into the OS. However, my laptop runs Xubuntu as it's a decently-done and relatively lightweight distribution and really any Linux would work with what I want to do on that machine.
 
Old 05-29-2006, 01:18 PM   #12
johnson_steve
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cronjob
my view is that gentoo tends to be for the tech equivalent of the guy who spends all week tweaking the brand-name bumperstickets on his ricer import.
well that is incredibly inaccurate as those people tend do ether not actually do anything to their cars or pay someone to do something to it. or best case they buy a kit and put it on. this is the exact opposite of gentoo. gentoo is more like the old school hot-rodders who fabricated everything themselves.

btw. I do race an import but not a ricer. it's a '01 wolfsberg jetta. and it's running ~19psi of boost; with no kit. just a homemade carbonfiber cold air intake, and a manual boost controller that was tuned by plugging my laptop into the cars on board computer. for less then $150 in mods i get about 75hp the ricer guys would spend that on a muffler that sounds like ass and gets you 5hp.

my mentality with gentoo is the same way: I would rather spend 2 to 3 times longer getting something setup in the first place so that when it's done it works exactly like I want it to. and if it ever brakes I'll know what to do.
 
Old 05-29-2006, 11:30 PM   #13
Mizzou_Engineer
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If you're going to compare Linux distributions to racing, at least do it correctly. Gentoo is about pushing what you have as far as it will go within the constraints of the rules (i.e. your hardware.) That would be Formula 1 or IRL in a nutshell. You could even say that it is NASCAR, but that would be an insult to Gentoo as NASCAR cars are about as technically advanced as my lawnmower- but they are highly tweaked nonetheless.

The ricer racer would run OS X and put a bazillion Dashboard widgets all over and think they were cool because OS X and the widgets are shiny. OS X has a decent BSD base like the Hondas make decent bases for the ricers to tack shiny but useless gewgaws onto.

The old-school racer or hot-rodder would not care what the OS is, just that he could add more RAM, more and faster processors, and a bigger striped hard drive array into the computer. Anybody who's ever stuffed a 426 Hemi or 427 big-block into a car designed for a ~300 cid engine will agree with me.

And finally the average Joe that drives the biggest car they can afford (because the salesman sweet-talked them into an 8-year-loan to pay for it) and runs it for 25,000 miles between oil changes and wonder why they're getting 10 mpg with their 6000-pound land yacht would run Windows on some OEM computer that some equally slick salesman sold them. They don't run an antivirus, click on all sorts of crap, and wonder why they get infected and the computer runs like crap.
 
Old 05-29-2006, 11:49 PM   #14
slackhack
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debian, no question about it. not really interested in distro flame wars, but i would have to wonder why anyone would want a server that has to be compiling all the time -- or even any of the time. it seems to me you want your server to be as close as it can be to 100% dedicated to what it's intended for: serving. with debian, you can basically just set it up and go. updates are quick and painless, no compiling, good security updating, lots of uptime. gentoo is undoubtedly great for what it does -- provide cutting edge packages and good performance -- but for a server the performance of a customized debian is not really going to be noticeably different. and cutting edge isn't exactly where you want to be with a server, either, imho.


Last edited by slackhack; 05-29-2006 at 11:50 PM.
 
Old 05-30-2006, 05:49 AM   #15
reddazz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slackhack
debian, no question about it. not really interested in distro flame wars, but i would have to wonder why anyone would want a server that has to be compiling all the time -- or even any of the time. it seems to me you want your server to be as close as it can be to 100% dedicated to what it's intended for: serving. with debian, you can basically just set it up and go. updates are quick and painless, no compiling, good security updating, lots of uptime. gentoo is undoubtedly great for what it does -- provide cutting edge packages and good performance -- but for a server the performance of a customized debian is not really going to be noticeably different. and cutting edge isn't exactly where you want to be with a server, either, imho.

You seem to miss the point that some people may want total control over their systems (even on servers). The biggest problem with binary based distros is that you can end up with a whole heap of packages that you do not need because they are installed as dependencies. Using something like Gentoo (and the BSDs), can make you streamline your installation and prevent installation of unnecessary stuff. Compiling from source also has the added advantage that you can customise packages the way that you want and not whats stipulated by a distro maintainer.

Gentoo is not just about cutting edge technology, believe it or not, but it actually has a stable version and regular security fixes.
 
  


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