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Old 01-04-2006, 08:53 PM   #1
clinux_rulz
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Most stable and upto date source distribution


What would be the most stable and upto date linux source distribution?

I know their is a source distribution avaliable for Debian, however debian seems to be outdated as I notices when trying to install AVG antivirus in it, libstdc++ was completely out of date. Updating libstdc++ required updating libc6, which inturn requiring updating more growing exponentually. The Debian distribution I currently use is the lastest (Sarge 3.1r0a).

I hear very good things about Fedora Core 4, but the offical web-site does not have a source code distribution avaliable for download.

The reason for me wanting to download the source distribution is that the machines around the house all have different architectures. I have AMD 32bit machines, Intel 32bit machines and AMD64bit machines. I would like to take the advantage of 64bit processing, and still be able to use in on a 32bit machines by only downloading a single distribution of Linux.

I would also rather the distribution to have a complete base of packages, and not rely on a active internet connection for installation, because there would be no telling if the future machines I install to will even have a decent internet connection. This is why I have avoided using Ubuntu.

I really do not care what Linux distribution I use, because they are all very simular underneath and I can adapt to new distributions easyly.

Last edited by clinux_rulz; 01-04-2006 at 08:54 PM.
 
Old 01-04-2006, 09:37 PM   #2
Centinul
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My personal opinion (especially if you have some linux experience) is to try Gentoo (www.gentoo.org). Gentoo is a source distribution which supports many different architectures. It also allows you to build the system essentially from scratch based on that architecture. Gentoo also has a package management system called Portage. Here you can download software from various trees (stable, testing, unstable etc.). I use the stable branch and don't have any issues with it. Almost everything is compiled from source when you install it customizing it to your system. The other neat ability of Gentoo is "USE Flags". This allows you to install packages with/without support for various things such as KDE and Gnome. This allows for smaller and more efficient binaries. As far as base packages on the installation media, I do not believe that is a possibility with this distribution. I believe the installation media only contains enough to get a base system running (not even including X). Although I could be wrong so you should check the documentation. Hope this helps and let me know what you choose.
 
Old 01-05-2006, 12:42 AM   #3
clinux_rulz
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I will give Gentoo a go.

I see that I may have to download 700mb minimum install for each archetecture I want to install to, maybe only two. And then download the source packages I need for the installation.

This isn't too bad. I would prefer to find something like a Gentoo source dvd set full of every posible package I could ever want to use. If I saw something like that then I would buy it.

For source packages I download for Gentoo, can I only download them once, then apon reinstallation reuse them?, Or do I have to redownload the source packages?

I know that update diff files are avalible for just about any source packages that can cut down on my downloading. So it might not be so bad.

Can I still do the manual source install in the /usr/src directory for things like unrar.tgz? (It only using "make" and then "cp unrar /usr/bin", instead of "./configure && make && make install" and then "make uninstall" when I am done with it.)

I'm not too sure how gentoo's ebuild will coupe with non-standard source packages, are the source packages for Gentoo much different from the .tar.gz, .tgz, .tar.bz2, .tbz2 source files that you would see on sourceforge.net?

Anyway thx for giving me something to try.
 
Old 01-05-2006, 01:07 AM   #4
clinux_rulz
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These "USE Flags" seem rather useful, I liked the old kde version but I do not like the new kde versions 3.0 and onwards. I like to use gnome over kde were ever posible. I take it that the "USE Flags" will allow me to compile the packages without kde support, and allow me to using gnome alone.
 
Old 01-05-2006, 02:28 AM   #5
Ion Silverbolt
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If you want some of the latest packages, you can also get them from the unstable branch. Which is pretty stable actually. Just add the package to the /etc/portage/package.keywords file. Make it with nano or vim.

Example package.keywords file:

x11-misc/superkaramba ~x86
media-video/nvidia-glx ~x86
media-video/nvidia-kernel ~x86
app-admin/eselect-opengl ~x86
app-admin/eselect ~x86


This setup gives me an unstable version of superkaramba, and the latest nvidia drivers.
 
Old 01-05-2006, 05:30 AM   #6
clinux_rulz
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Nice!!, I assume that there is a reference documentation somewhere on the web for the entires in /etc/portage/package.keywords. Say on the www.gentoo.org website somewhere. So that I can supply package keyworks for the lastest mach64 video drivers or via video drivers.

Getting my VIA arena video drivers working in Debian with 3d acceleration took me ages. I hope it is easier to do in gentoo. But if it isn't, I don't mind some hard work.
 
Old 01-05-2006, 06:51 AM   #7
Ion Silverbolt
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Gentoo is the most well documented Linux distro out there. If it's possible, there's a doc, or a forum answer for it in the gentoo forums.
 
Old 01-05-2006, 04:10 PM   #8
clinux_rulz
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I just finished downloading the Universal Installer last night for x86 platforms. But I could not find any .md5 files to make sure that it downloaded correctly. The iso seems alright, but iso can be mounted fine, even if they only partially exist.

I did not what it download and I use wget followed by a halt command, so that I can sleep well without the noisy fans of the computer.

links.txt:
http://gentoo.ussg.indiana.edu//rele...sal-2005.1.iso

Code:
wget -i links.txt; halt
When I woke up I saw my computer shutdown, which is a good sign that my download might have finished. Although three posible things could really have happened.
1: The server might have stoped sending, and then my computer shutdown.
2: Someone shutdowned my computer while I was sleeping.
3: My download completed perfectly.

I guess in the future I will do the following.

Code:
wget -i links.txt && echo "Success" > result.txt \
                  || echo "Failure" > result.txt; halt
I really would like to have done something like the following though, if there was a md5 check file:

(iso mounted to /mnt)
Code:
cd /mnt
md5sum -c check.md5
 
Old 01-06-2006, 09:35 AM   #9
clinux_rulz
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Gentoo is very good, and I think I will keep on using it.

Thanks for suggesting it to me.
 
Old 01-09-2006, 03:28 AM   #10
BittaBrotha
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Also if you want to try a different source distro, check out sourcemage, www.sourcemage.org. I use it and like it very much. A Gentoo type of distro.

Source Mage is a source-based GNU/Linux distribution based on a Sorcery metaphor of "casting" and "dispelling" programs, which we refer to as "spells".
 
Old 01-09-2006, 10:02 AM   #11
clinux_rulz
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I think I will stick with Gentoo for a while, I will find some machine later to have a go at SourceMage.

Can I reuse gentoo source code packages in source mage?

I would really like not to redownload packages too much.

Downloading just the installer for the base system with no packages does not take too long as these are around 60 to 100 meg.

Last edited by clinux_rulz; 01-09-2006 at 10:04 AM.
 
Old 01-09-2006, 03:48 PM   #12
arturhawkwing
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I just recently switched from gentoo to Sourcemage. you can use the same source files if they are on a differant partition than you are installing on. after installation on your first boot make sure that the partition that the source files are on is mounted then copy them to your /var/spool/sorcery directory. I'm of course assuming that you were refering to the source tarballs and not the binary packages.
 
Old 01-10-2006, 12:03 AM   #13
clinux_rulz
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yeah, thats right, I refering to the source code tarballs
 
  


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