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Old 12-03-2017, 09:04 PM   #1
907_N8tiv
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Post Distro Fishing: precompiled versus compiling software yourself


Merry Christmas All,

I've been going back and forth in my head about whether to put Fedora or CentOS on my laptop, since my work/job uses CentOS.
I know that CentOS is really meant for server hardware, but… Having a stable machine & something that just works is an attractive feature for me.
I'm a quadriplegic, so… My laptop is on 24/7. A sub feature that's fairly attractive is the amount of software to pick from with these two distributions.

But, while I was perusing another thread the other day… In one of the responses somebody had mentioned something about Gentoo doesn't really use precompiled software.
That you, kind of custom compile the software for your hardware?

If that's true, custom compiling software for my hardware is pulling me away from Fedora and CentOS… :-)

Is Arch Linux that way too? Which other distributions allow you to custom compile software for your hardware?
 
Old 12-03-2017, 09:17 PM   #2
jsbjsb001
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Well, really, with the right tools installed you can compile software on any Linux distro, really.

Gentoo Linux is meant for those that like to compile everything (or close to it) themselves, rather than the newbie.

While it's true CentOS is aimed more at the enterprise, you can also use it on your desktop machine as well. It just might take a little bit of extra effort to set up certain hardware, that's all. I'm currently using CentOS on my machine and it's very stable and reliable.

Hope this helps.
 
Old 12-03-2017, 09:18 PM   #3
frankbell
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You can custom compile software from sources for any distro, so long as you have the proper tools installed.

Generally, you need the proper compiler and libraries and kernel headers. Most distros do not include kernel headers and the proper compiling softwarre out of the box, but they are generally in the repos. (I'm sorry I cannot name all the bits and pieces off the top of my head. Here's a good introduction: http://www.thegeekstuff.com/2012/06/...l-from-source/)

I started with Slackware long before there was a SlackBuilds.org and compiled almost everything I installed that first year (there were a few sites that that offered Slackware compatible packages--I think most of them have been eclipsed by SlackBuilds). It is a very handy thing to know how to do, but I can tell you, the novelty wears off rather quickly.

Afterthought:

I haven't used Gentoo, but, if you are compiling from sources, you generally have to do your own dependency resolution. I expect Gentoo provides resources to assist you in doing so.

Last edited by frankbell; 12-03-2017 at 09:23 PM. Reason: More info
 
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Old 12-04-2017, 12:45 AM   #4
mrmazda
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Given your limitations, a "bleeding edge" distro (new releases every 6 months, out of support in barely over a year) as is Fedora, or a distro that requires more than average installation steps or time, as with Gentoo, would seem contrary to your needs, especially since you're apparently familiar with as stable a choice as is CentOS. I would think you'd prefer to avoid any distro that makes self-compiling a standard procedure. CentOS would seem to be a very good choice for your laptop - unless it's a recent model for which hardware support as yet to reach the more long-lived distros like CentOS, which makes bleeding edge advantageous.
 
Old 12-04-2017, 04:45 AM   #5
!!!
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What resources (8GB ram 1TB disk HiRes) does your Win10 laptop have?

IF 'good', I would run all500 distroS in VirtualBox.org !!!
The huge advantage is: web-browsing *while* booting!!!
(see also pre-installed osboxes.org tho JavaScript-heavy)
 
Old 12-04-2017, 06:41 AM   #6
hazel
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There are two things which are getting mixed up here. Any Linux distro will let you build packages locally, but you wouldn't normally need to do that unless you wanted to install something that wasn't in your distro's repositories. However some distros (notably Gentoo and Crux) build everything from source. This allows programs to be optimised for your hardware. In fact Gentoo provides very fine-grained optimisation choices through its use flags system.

These source-based distros treat source code in the same way that binary distros treat binaries. That is to say, they have a package manager which downloads the package and builds and installs it automatically. Dependencies are automatically dealt with as well. Using source on these systems is just like using binaries except that the update takes longer! It's quite different from building things locally by hand, where you do indeed need to do your own dependency resolution.

Last edited by hazel; 12-04-2017 at 06:50 AM.
 
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Old 12-04-2017, 07:00 AM   #7
fatmac
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Whilst I'm a no systemd Debian user, which has the most software of any distro, I strongly advise/suggest you use what you are familiar with.
 
Old 12-04-2017, 07:03 AM   #8
jamison20000e
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Post Here is the sixth link when I search: precompiled versus compiling software

...just thought I'd put that out there.

Now a days I only install from source if I have to, been wanting to try a LFS on some of my old hardware but no time and Buster/Sid does anything that hardware can.

Last edited by jamison20000e; 12-04-2017 at 07:07 AM. Reason: semantics
 
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Old 12-04-2017, 09:43 AM   #9
907_N8tiv
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hazel View Post
This allows programs to be optimised for your hardware. In fact Gentoo provides very fine-grained optimisation choices through its use flags system.
THAT, right there… Is what I really like, optimized software for my hardware.

Now, I've read over and over again… That staying within your repo is generally a good idea.
If I can optimize software from the CentOS repo for my hardware, that pretty much makes up my mind.

I've got 2.4 GHz I7 with 24 GB RAM, I've got enough horsepower to kind of sort of fly through compile time.

And thanks for the Debian article on compiling for newbies! :-)
 
Old 12-04-2017, 05:54 PM   #10
jamison20000e
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(Only the 6th ) it goes into .rpm, kernel and more but I don't see a date plus like Frankbell's link is just a small start... have fun.

Last edited by jamison20000e; 12-04-2017 at 05:57 PM. Reason: added (*)
 
Old 12-04-2017, 09:29 PM   #11
Mill J
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Hey give LFS http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/lfs/ a try, it's a well documented step by step tutorial. You'll find out really quick if a source based distribution is what you want.

Let us know which route you decide to take.
 
Old 12-06-2017, 12:48 AM   #12
AwesomeMachine
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Well, Debian offers most packages in both binary and source form. The only reasons to compile from source are: you want a different configuration than the binary package offers, or the package is not available in a binary package for your distro. Otherwise, everything is about the same except compiling is a pain.
 
Old 12-06-2017, 01:04 AM   #13
907_N8tiv
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mill J View Post
Hey give LFS http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/lfs/ a try, it's a well documented step by step tutorial. You'll find out really quick if a source based distribution is what you want.

Let us know which route you decide to take.
LFS, looks like something that I'd "Eventually Tackle"… :-)

I imagine I'm going to have to put in a little elbow grease, regardless of distro choice… Which is totally fine,, I am sort of mentally prepared.

Going to do a little more research on Sabayon (Gentoo flavor, probably spelled that wrong) & CentOS before I make up my mind.
 
  


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