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Gentoo 2005.0: A Live CD And [No] Graphical Installer 417

Posted by timothy
from the are-those-things-even-legal dept.
Sunsetbeach writes "zdnet.co.uk reports in this article that 'The next version of Gentoo, 2005.0, will also include a graphical installer that will allow users to automatically install the same set-up of Gentoo on multiple machines, according to Gianelloni.' " The article distinguishes the upcoming live disk from the (available) Gentoo Live CD; the new one will contain a fully functioning system ala Knoppix. Update: 11/30 23:09 GMT by M : Gentoo now has a clarification posted; the next Gentoo release will not have a graphical installer, although it is planned for the future.
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Gentoo 2005.0: A Live CD And [No] Graphical Installer

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  • by KiloByte (825081) on Tuesday November 30, 2004 @08:24AM (#10951422)
    Ouch... While compiling everything to a ram-disk is technically viable, I somehow fail to see it working in a long run :p
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 30, 2004 @08:27AM (#10951434)
      It's worked for 20 years of AmigaOS, it's not going to suddenly stop now because you fail to see it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 30, 2004 @08:25AM (#10951425)
    It really is a fantastic distro and this will allow it to be used by many many more people.

    I pretty much started my Linux experience with Gentoo, which was difficult to say the least. This way though it can be setup easily by the inexperienced, while everyone else is still free to do a Stage 1/2 install
    • by maekke (808747) on Tuesday November 30, 2004 @08:32AM (#10951451)
      I am not really sure if this is *really* good to have many more people... I mean that gentoo isn't an easy to handle distro, you have to spend time to understand it and able to use it. So I hope, that they will find a way that everybody will be happy :-)

      greetz
      • I am not really sure if this is *really* good to have many more people... I mean that gentoo isn't an easy to handle distro

        You don't actually provide a valid reason why it's not a "*really* good to have many more people" use Gentoo. The explanation I see implied from your condescending post is that you're afraid you won't look "1337" if too many people start using your distro of choice.

        • by fireman sam (662213) on Tuesday November 30, 2004 @09:00AM (#10951550) Homepage Journal
          5hhhhh, and you spell it "93|\|700"
        • by stinky wizzleteats (552063) on Tuesday November 30, 2004 @09:46AM (#10951843) Homepage Journal
          You don't actually provide a valid reason why it's not a "*really* good to have many more people" use Gentoo.

          Yes, actually, he did:

          I mean that gentoo isn't an easy to handle distro, you have to spend time to understand it and able to use it.

          Because installing Gentoo currently is about 2 steps away from installing LFS, you simply cannot do it without learning a LOT about GNU/Linux at a very low level. If you want to install Gentoo, you MUST invest the time to learn how everything works. This frankly provides an idiot barrier to the support community. The only people who can ask questions about Gentoo are those who have made it through the installation. As of right now, you can ask a question on the Gentoo forum and get a useful answer usually within minutes. If you ask a question on the Mandrake forum, it disappears into a black hole of untold thousands of forever unanswered posts. Once the number of utterly clueless users exceeds the ability of the community to disseminate knowledge, support goes underground - with answers only trading hands among people who've made contact with the gurus by some means beyond simply showing up and asking questions.

          Gentoo's current installation process makes it impossible to have a functioning system without knowing the following:
          • How partition and disk structure works
          • How GCC actually functions
          • How the kernel is installed and configured
          • At least something about runlevels and init scripts
          I don't think it is unreasonable for this to be minimum knowledge to access support.
          • In response to your comment: have you actually read (even just) the title of the article in discussion?

            Secondly, he provided a reason why incompetent people should not use Gentoo, not a reason why "many more" people shouldn't use it, unless you both assume that the only people with any intelligence are already using Gentoo, which would make you very arrogant.
          • 2 steps away from LFS? Hardly. Having installed both systems, and actively maintained my LFS system, I can tell you right now that Gentoo's gotta be about 5 steps away at the very least.
            Gentoo: No checking source code for errors, no manual patch application, no having to write your own initscripts, no having to tweak your /dev entries, the list goes on.
          • by mgkimsal2 (200677) on Tuesday November 30, 2004 @10:18AM (#10952157) Homepage
            The gentoo fanboy community can't have it both ways.

            1. Requiring intimate kernel-level knowledge of a system to install it.

            2. Shouting 'use gentoo!' to every passerby who expresses any sort of question about another distro (like, how do I install an RPM? or something similar).

            It's like people saying Macs are the bestest most awesomest systems ever, but that they're also cheaper than x86 alternatives. It doesn't work both ways.

            Be content with having a difficult-to-install system that forces people to learn more than most people would want. That's fine. But don't shout that as the answer to every single problem as well - most people don't have the time or motivation to do that.

          • Because installing Gentoo currently is about 2 steps away from installing LFS, you simply cannot do it without learning a LOT about GNU/Linux at a very low level. If you want to install Gentoo, you MUST invest the time to learn how everything works.

            You might want to check out this comment [slashdot.org] and the reply by Chris Gianelloni.
          • Not really. You can print up the Gentoo instructions and follow along with exactly what they say to type in.

            The danger is that people who set up their systems by typing the install directions in verbatim will actually not configure those systems optimally due to a misunderstanding. A GUI installer would help avoid the perils of people getting in a bit over their head and failing to accomplish something simple, such as installing to a hard drive that does not happen to be hda.
          • by Deusy (455433) <charlie@ve x i . o rg> on Tuesday November 30, 2004 @10:43AM (#10952389) Homepage
            "Gentoo's current installation process makes it impossible to have a functioning system without knowing the following:

            * How partition and disk structure works
            * How GCC actually functions
            * How the kernel is installed and configured
            * At least something about runlevels and init scripts"


            That's utter rubbish.

            The partitioning / disk structure is basically a 1-time following of the Gentoo manual. You can get through it without knowing anything other than the simple fact partitions reside on a single hard disk. That's hardly knowing how it all works.

            How GCC functions? Don't make me laugh. "emerge foo" does not induce an in-depth understanding of GCC. Copying the basic CFLAGS from the documentation doesn't either. I'd wager the majority of Gentoo users (bearing in mind I'm a Gentoo user who has accumulated >2600 forum posts) don't really understand GCC at all other than knowing it's a tool that compiles.

            As to how the kernel is installed and configured, most people somewhat bumble through that and a little thing called 'genkernel' is making said bumbling a lot easier to do.

            As for runlevels and init scripts, again it's just a case of following the docs rather than knowing what they are and how they work.

            Please, do not confuse "being aware they exist" and "understanding", with the term 'knowing' implying the latter. And Gentoo is a MILLION miles away from LFS. Aside from the fact (almost) everything gets compiled and they are both Linux, there really just aren't that many similarities.

            I would suggest that it's more the time taken to set up Gentoo rather than the difficulty of it (which isn't that difficult for the majority whom the docs serve well) is what provides the entry barrier. Don't get me wrong, for the willing it can be an invaluable process that does introduce them to the fundamental Linux concepts. BUT the majority of users who get through the installation process are still woefully short of the knowledge needed to maintain a healthy system and you get a lot of silly posts in the forums as a consequence. I should know, I've made a few myself.
    • It'll be great!

      I like Gentoo for its customisability. All the other distros are hell bent on throwing in everything which is great, but uses up so much RAM. I've seen SuSE use a full gig before just running KDE. With Gentoo I can leave all the little things I don't want out.

      It'll be fantastic to have the scripted installer too. You can only write the fstab and grub.conf so many times before it becomes less fun.
      • by Zork the Almighty (599344) on Tuesday November 30, 2004 @08:51AM (#10951511) Journal
        I first switched to Gentoo because the bloody fonts "just worked". How sad is that. On a serious note, the user base is one major reason to stick with Gentoo. There is always excellent help and support in the forums, and snobby attitudes are kept in check.
      • by adam.skinner (721432) on Tuesday November 30, 2004 @08:52AM (#10951513) Journal
        You'll see pretty much any Linux distro use a "full gig" of RAM just running KDE if you let it sit long enough. It's how linux manages memory.
        • I use KDE on gentoo and have a gig of RAM. With several windows open KDE uses 10% (100MB) of that RAM. I have another machine that uses KDE with 512 MB of RAM and KDE hogs a little less on that (60-80 MB). I hardly ever hit swap on either machine. Application data often sits in RAM after being closed, and will just get re-allocated down the line if RAM is needed.

          Actually the worst memory hog (by far) is Java. Java seems to be the only thing that makes me hit swap on a regular basis.
          • Java generally has a constant memory overhead for the JVM + the heap. Unless you are using heavy server apps, Eclipse, or something similarly heavy, the footprint should sit around 64mb for the Sun implementation (which can be changed with -Xms and -Xmx JVM args).

            It is generally pretty efficient for the JVM to GC on the heap and keep a constant memory overhead. Eclipse takes up as much or less memory than similar IDEs for me. Efficient GC can beat simple programmer-driven memory management in many instance
        • That's how linux is supposed to manage memory! It makes file access faster for frequently accessed files.
      • by Jugalator (259273) on Tuesday November 30, 2004 @09:15AM (#10951615) Journal
        I like Gentoo for its customisability. All the other distros are hell bent on throwing in everything which is great, but uses up so much RAM. I've seen SuSE use a full gig before just running KDE. With Gentoo I can leave all the little things I don't want out.

        No.

        Distros to fill in this gap has become more and more common lately. See also Knoppix, Mepis, and Ubuntu. It's almost like a new generation of Linux distros taking form, and I personally like those better than the Lindows abomination. :-S I like distros to have a goal to be only on one CD. Usually stability and user friendless come more easily from that as well, since there's less that can go wrong and less options to confuse the user.

        I'm now using Mepis as a Linux amateur and it's great! :-) I can choose to run it off CD and get an excellent rescue disk that way with on-the-fly NTFS and SATA support, and also automatic network configuration. And if I like it enough, like I did, I can just install it on disk and it still has everything I can ask for from a basic OS as a normal user. It felt funny to install the OS from within the OS. :-)

        And if I need more, it's an excellent Debian-based distro I can use simple apt-get commands or even simpler installer GUIs if I like it that way. Has been rock solid so far, as opposed to Mandrake 10 after around 5 days of regular use. :-P

        Suddenly, multi-CD (or even multi-DVD *gasp*) distros feel so... yesterday.
        • Oh, and by the way, I realize Gentoo offers greater customizability, I was mostly just commenting on what you said about being hell bent on throwing everything in. I think these new distros are great for people who don't really care about spending time to customize every little detail and is just looking for a package without a lot of junk inside so one can download it from the internet instead, if one really needs something. Like you do with most other operating systems besides the Linux-based ones. :-)
        • I would guess the grandparent is a troll.
      • If you've got X amount of RAM, then you're getting value for money if you are using it all! What is important is that the right app has it at the right time.
    • It is long overdue. Even a more niche distro needs to have the option to simply and quickly install the base system.

      Now if I was installing it everyday I'd remember the steps required, but I do an install every 6 months to a year. As much as I like control, as long as I have the option to quickly remove the cruft I don't want (or not install it in the first place) then I'd prefer a good installer.

      Anyway, rather than re-invent the wheel maybe they could look at Anaconda? (Fedora/Red Hat installer)
      • Yeh, that install procedure is definitely "teh suck". Ok, it keeps the newbs from the forums but t is also agravating for people who have lots of Linux experience. I was completely unprepared for how similar to LFS the Gentoo install was (and yes, I have done a LFS build before). It took quite a few hours to do the first install on my machine, but I was happy I could enjoy it from then on thanks to Portage. Not so. I dual boot Windows (for games, and stuff not yet working under AMD64) and Windows crashed on
  • by b0lt (729408) <b0lt@ls.qc.to> on Tuesday November 30, 2004 @08:26AM (#10951432)
    Over the years I've been using gentoo, I've noticed that it has become MUCH more userfriendly. The documentation has improved dramatically, and now there's a graphical installer. Will this increase gentoo's install base?

    -b0lt
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 30, 2004 @08:26AM (#10951433)
    In Korea, only old people use graphical installers.

  • by neomage86 (690331) on Tuesday November 30, 2004 @08:27AM (#10951435)
    One of the best things about Gentoo for me (the performance difference was negligble) besides portage, was the bootstrapping process. I know it took forever, but you actually are learning more about linux. Redhat (my first *nix) hid everything, and slackware (my second love) gave me a little more access. Only gentoo allowed me to see (and attempt to understand) a true view of the install.
    • by SavedLinuXgeeK (769306) on Tuesday November 30, 2004 @08:34AM (#10951458) Homepage
      Not only the install, but honestly having to compile your own kernel, just makes things work better. Everything about Gentoo is right, you know whats going in, and you know whats coming out. I don't run lsmod and see about 20 modules just floating there, like I did with mandrake, I know whats going on, I pick the modules that will be there. Its not just about access, its about actually using a pc, after years of submitting to MS's craptacular tendecies of hiding everything and sticking you with the bill, its liberating to actually know what module does what, and what program is running what service, etc. That is the true power of linux.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        If you really want to know what's going on with your computer, I suggest you try constructing your own motherboard. Once you build a motherboard from scratch, you no longer have these random transistors lying around that you don't know the purpose of. Its not just about function, its about actually using pc hardware, after years of submitting to Asus and Epox's tendecies of not labeling everything and sticking you with the bill, its liberating to know what every piece of metal and plastic does what. Thi
    • I often see this written. With the exception of a few lines in various /etc files, to be honest, I didn't learn so much about linux from Gentoo. I learned "scripts/bootstrap.sh" and then "emerge world" and the whatever else I wanted to install.

      That's not to say I don't like it. I do. I think it's great. But, the last time or two that I did an install, I used Knoppix to do it. I think it's great that they might have a full GUI available during the build. And, I think we can expect them to have the CL
      • I often see this written. With the exception of a few lines in various /etc files, to be honest, I didn't learn so much about linux from Gentoo. I learned "scripts/bootstrap.sh" and then "emerge world" and the whatever else I wanted to install.

        Parent is really right, you know. You only "learn" what we want you to learn, which isn't much, admittedly. For someone with no Linux experience, or minimal Linux experience, or someone who has been using one of the hand-holding distributions, they might truly lear

    • Gentoo users say this so often I thought I'd give it a go. I'm sitting here watching the compiler output from building X.org, but I don't seem to be learning anything.
      Maybe I'm doing something wrong - any pointers for me on how I should be learning from compiler output?
    • You wanna learn something about the GNU/Linux system. You should try out Linuxfromscratch (lfs) http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/ [linuxfromscratch.org]! But somehow I think it doesn't really do the job either. Still the system contol in gentoo is nothing compared to lfs.
    • While this is certainly a neat feature of Gentoo, I found it more of a pain than it was worth. The benefits of Gentoo, I have to admit, are notable, but the fact that the install process is basically copying and pasting from the on-line manual to the command line, hoping you didn't miss a step along the way, is pretty sad. If it's just a basic 'run all these commands' installation, why couldn't it do it on its own? Download a file with the commands and just run them. The installation would have taken less t
    • What if the GUI installer was explaining things as you went along? Like having the Gentoo Install Guide on the screen.
  • Of course (Score:5, Funny)

    by gowen (141411) <gwowen@gmail.com> on Tuesday November 30, 2004 @08:27AM (#10951439) Homepage Journal
    the real hardcore Gentoo users won't consider you a Linux guru until your self-starting Linux system begins its bootstrap procedure by constructing your PC and CD-ROM drive using a desktop matter fabricator [slashdot.org].
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 30, 2004 @08:32AM (#10951449)
    Dozens of post making oh so funny remarks that they are still not done compiling the old version before the new one comes out.

    At least as many posts telling us that gentoo is the best and only distribution real man can use and that their boxen run so much faster now.

    Half a dozen links to funroll-loops posted.

    Anyway, I think this is great news. Imho gentoo really is a great distribution for what it does but there have been a few things missing that now seem to fall into place.

    Kickstart like functionallity was one and a really stable (not in that it does work, but as in install and then have a stable system that will not be updated but only receives bug fixes) is also on the way.

    And portage will finally get reverse-dependency checking when uninstalling, at least some gentoo devs are working on it.

    Go gentoo!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 30, 2004 @08:38AM (#10951469)
    Gentoo is just like BSD, but a million times better:

    1. With Gentoo you can choose what version of software to install (tested or not very)

    2. USB actually works

    3. Ext3 is much better tested than UFS2 (and all Ext2 tools work with it too)

    4. Portage works much more reliably than BSD ports system (because Portage installs in /var first and then moves stuff to /usr, wheres BSD ports aren't smart enough to do this)

    The only thing that was keeping Gentoo behind BSD was the rather tedious installation (you have to follow some steps from the How-to). Now, with this automated, there will be absolutely no reason for anyone to use BSD
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 30, 2004 @09:02AM (#10951557)
      No, it won't.

      If you really want a rock stable system FreeBSD is still the way to go, as great as gentoo is, it can't compete in this area.

      You'll also still have to compile all the software for your system, something you don't have to do, but can do using FreeBSD.

      And of course there are many people that think that the BSDs have some security functionality gentoo or linux in general still lacks, e.g.: jails.

      Finally, it is simply beyond me why you think that anything killing FreeBSD is a good thing. If gentoo fits your needs better than FreeBSD, use it, but what do you think gentoo or anyone else would gain from destroying FreeBSD?
      • You'll also still have to compile all the software for your system, something you don't have to do, but can do using FreeBSD.

        No you don't! Have you used gentoo? "emerge -k" installs the binaries if they are available. For most packages, they are available.
    • by carnivore302 (708545) on Tuesday November 30, 2004 @09:11AM (#10951600) Journal
      I still have no idea why this would totally crush BSD. Gentoo is a linux flavour, so unless gentoo adds something not standard to linux, nothing has been gained. If Linux didn't already crush BSD before, I don't think it will do so because of gentoo. It is the quality of linux that moves people away from [insert your OS here], not the distro (which in the end are all the same plus some extras that set them apart from eachother)although I must admit gentoo is a very nice distro. I use it myself and am very happy with it, but wouldn't want to give it to linux newbies.
      • Gentoo does add something not standard to linux: A ports system. That is the whole point. One reason to use BSD is now available in Linux, something that was not available before. I have to say, I like it too. Cheers, Ryan
    • And with -march=i666 -fomit-instruction-pointer, it's dying 110% faster!


      (pity, I quite like it...)

  • by DAC1138 (790625) on Tuesday November 30, 2004 @08:40AM (#10951478) Homepage
    ummm, vida linux is gentoo with a graphical installer. i fail so see how the next 2005 release will be any different from vida.

    http://gentoo.vidalinux.com/
  • Live-CD (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Uukrul (835197)
    Live-CDs aren't only good for test Linux, but Live-Cds are wonderful rescue Cds and make Linux-boxes where only windows is available.
    I usually use Slax [linux-live.org] because it fits on a small 8cm CD-RW.
    Gentoo it's another Live CD to add to the list [frozentech.com] whatever I can i'm goint to test this one.
  • Seems great (Score:2, Interesting)

    by DeBaas (470886)
    I think this is great. This weekend I installed 2004.3. I had to keep my laptop on the desk as well to read the install guide (handbook) and do other 'usefull' stuff such as browse the internet ;-) (Links for me is a little too bare)

    I hope they include Open Office as well and a decent email client. That way you can boot of the disk, set the thing to install and, whilst installing or compiling, stay 'productive' the whole time!

    Great when installing Gentoo on your office workstation ;-)

    The graphical instal
  • by Brian Blessed (258910) on Tuesday November 30, 2004 @09:11AM (#10951598)
    It's very common for people on /. (who are, perhaps familiar with other distros) to denounce Gentoo for its lack of a graphical installer, but I've always seen this as a good thing. The person installing Gentoo has clear and precise instructions outlining what actions need to be performed, so they can very easily adapt those to a wide range of different situations. E.g. I don't like to have to burn CDs unnecessarily, so I make my kernel first and then network boot into the stage1 filesystem.

    I believe that, in general, it's a better design decision not to have an overly intrusive installer for any software because that can tie too much of the software's configuration to the installation process, rather than having a comprehensive way to configure the software post-install.

    - Brian
    • I agree with the parent poster. I also think that there is another benefit to the non-graphical installer + good documentation: education. After installing Gentoo on my workstation using a stage 1 tarball I had a much better idea of what was going on in my system and how to configure/tweak various things. The documentation is very well written (not flawless mind you) and I would argue that your average linux user will be much more informed about how to work with his system after installing Gentoo. I've
  • Newbies and Gentoo (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fdesibert (767155) on Tuesday November 30, 2004 @09:28AM (#10951706)
    I, myself, am fairly newbieish (a couple of years using linux, certainly no toothy, beared old UNIX veteran); but I found Gentoo, contingent upon RTFM and a little ingenuity, to be the easiest to fully install. When I use the term fully install, I mean install, finalize and gain complete control over. Things that could use improvement: 1) Fonts 2) Stupid, Bloody X configuration. Should be in Installation Docs not Desktop section. Many hours of frustration.


    This is a receipt for $0.02 expended upon "My Opinion." Please retain for tax purposes.
    • by eofpi (743493)
      There's a good reason that the X configuration stuff is in the Desktop section: for some uses, linux doesn't need (or even have any benefit from) a gui.

      That said, I do think the install docs should provide a link to the X configuration under a heading like "Where do I go from here?"
  • by wolf31o2 (778801) on Tuesday November 30, 2004 @09:28AM (#10951707)

    Ingrid took the things I said completely out of context and ran with them.

    At no point did I ever tell her that we would have a graphical installer on 2005.0's release media. I also did not tell her that the 2005.0 release would be a Knoppix-style LiveCD, as it will, in fact, be exactly like the 2004.3 release with the Minimal, Universal, and Packages CD images.

    What I did tell her is that we will have an experimental LiveCD with our first limited functionality beta of the installer, which will most likely be curses-based only and not have any enterprise-ready features available for use.

    This is exactly why you demand to have interviews done via email and not the phone, especially when speaking with someone from another country, and be sure to ask to proof read the article for accuracy before it prints.

  • by tmk (712144) on Tuesday November 30, 2004 @09:29AM (#10951710)
    I want to outline some advantages of an installer:

    • You can configure the system first and the installer does the rest. No need to wait for the completion of step 1, step 2, step 3. You give just all information needed and the installer makes the rest. You can work something else until the installer is finished.
    • The learning effect is low when you have to type a long line of parameters from the manual. This does not mean, you have understood anything. With an installer you can give the lectures right on the right place. 'Learning by doing' instead of 'learning by typing'.
    • There is no real need to make the central configuration files by yourself. The normal user has only one set of devices, he will not change the /etc/fstab every week or once a year. Other distributions show that you don't need to know exactly the syntax of an file to know how the system works.
  • by GuyFawkes (729054) on Tuesday November 30, 2004 @09:34AM (#10951756) Homepage Journal
    This lappie I'm typing on is running Mepis flavoured debian, I did briefly play with gentoo about a year ago...

    As I understood it, the sole advantage of gentoo over the likes of debian (on the assumption that functionally apt-get = emerge etc) was that instead of installing precompiled packages in debain, the gentoo user compiles and optimises everything for their specific hardware, thus gaining anything from a miniscule amount to perhaps a few percentage points in performance boost versus the debian approach.

    In the final analysis for me such minimal gains simply were not worth the CPU time and disk thrashing so I walked away from it.

    So a GUI led gentoo live-cd installer is either going to be losing all that one area of bespoke compiling advantages, OR, you're going to be running that live cd in ramdisk and compiling the install in what's left until kernel 3x is out?

    Is this correct?
    • something else. (Score:5, Informative)

      by morgajel (568462) <slashreader&morgajel,com> on Tuesday November 30, 2004 @09:56AM (#10951936) Homepage
      the real advantage is being able to "turn off" certain sections of the code with USE flags. Did you know bitchx can be compiled to use gnome? when the debian maintainers compile bitchx for you, they decide whether or not to include it. you don't have the choice.

      with gentoo, you can use the USE flags
      USE="-gnome" emerge bitchx
      USE="gnome" emerge bitchx

      This allows me to say if I want gnome installed or not if it's just an optional feature on bitchx. Since I mostly use kde, I can do without installing all the gnome dependencies.

      to see a list of flags for any given package (and their default status)
      emerge -vp bitchx
      [ebuild N ] net-irc/bitchx-1.1-r1 -cdrom -cjk -debug +esd -gnome +gtk -ipv6 +ncurses +ssl +xmms 2,473 kB

      Then you can choose to enable them or not.

      There are a lot of common flags, USE flags which you can set in the /etc/make.conf file. my flags on my workstation are the following:

      USE="3dnow amd alsa bzlib cddb cdparanoia curl dnd dvd -dvdr ethereal flash gd glut -gnome gstreamer icq image magemagick imap java javascript kerberos krb4 ldap lm_sensors maildir md5sum mime ming mmx -mozilla mplayer msn jack ooo-kde openssh pdf rtc samba sasl threads type1 tiff usb xvid"

      and this isn't even close to all of them.
      If you'd like to learn more, let me know. I try not to be a zealot:)
  • It's sooo awesome cuz it lets U compile your stuff from source!!!!!

    Like u don't need to mess with any packages or RPM database r stuff like that.

    Answer me this-- wat other linux distro actually let u compile stuff from source?
  • The only one issue I've ever had with Gentoo is the automatic updating of configuration files.

    After an emerge, the system would either do no updating so I must manually update the config files, or it would update all the files automatically, overwriting everything, including the users file so all my accounts no longer existed (including root).

    Until they can find a way to do an "automatic, unattended smart append" to the config files after an emerge, I won't switch to it on my thirteen PCs and two noteboo

  • by Knight2K (102749) on Tuesday November 30, 2004 @10:43AM (#10952390) Homepage
    not really the speed. At the time I tried it, early in 2004, it seemed to be the only readily available distribution that actually worked with AMD64. Fedora Core claimed to have a distro for it, but I read a lot of horror stories; Mandrake and others only seemed to have commercial payware products for the platform.

    I did have problems with Gentoo (when using USB2 the whole computer slowed down, hotplug didn't seem to work right, etc.), so perhaps this was more a reflection of the maturity of Linux distros in general on the AMD64 platform. I also didn't really find it much faster that other distributions I've used on x86 machines.

    I guess I'll have to try again soon. I'm currently stuck on WinXP since I needed something that worked, but it may be time to survey the current 64 bit landscape.
  • by labradort (220776) on Tuesday November 30, 2004 @12:21PM (#10953319)
    Apparently the article is misleading, according to a follow up response to it by the Gentoo Developer interviewed by the IT reporter.

    See: this follow up posting under the original article [zdnet.co.uk]

    Name: Chris Gianelloni
    Location: USA
    Occupation: Gentoo Linux Developer
    Comment: Well, what can I say except that quite a bit of the "meat" of this "interview" was ignored. I did make mention that the full-environment LiveCD would be an "experimental" CD available for x86 and amd64 and that it will have a "limited functionality, beta version" of the installer on the CD. At no point did I represent that there would be a 100% completed installer available by February, but now it appears that everyone under the sun thinks that there will be one.

    There will not.

    Trust me on this one. The Gentoo Installer project is working very hard, but they are not anywhere near completion and definitely will not be so quickly after the winter holidays.
  • Also in 2005.0 (Score:4, Informative)

    by bozarthj (669480) on Tuesday November 30, 2004 @12:24PM (#10953349)
    The 2.6 kernel will become the default kernel, not just for the liveCD, (which as been that since 2004.3) but for the distro. Instead of emerge gentoo-dev-sources for 2.6, it will be emerge gentoo-sources.
  • by Karn (172441) on Tuesday November 30, 2004 @12:36PM (#10953467)
    Gentoo is for Ricers [funroll-loops.org]

    Laugh, it's funny!
  • by bender647 (705126) on Tuesday November 30, 2004 @04:09PM (#10955870)

    I recently did a Gentoo install for the heck of it -- I happily run other distributions and other OSs too, but wanted to make an educated comparision.

    What I liked:

    • portage = best feature of FreeBSD added to Linux.
    • excellent install documentation = again, stealing a page from FreeBSD's handbook.
    • hands-on install: some people say this will make you know something about linux. Perhaps not, but you can go back and re-read the handbook later and figure out what you did. After a graphical installer is done, you've got no record of what happened and no chance to learn. Best feature of the command-line install to me is that you have a chance in hell of recovering from an unexpected error (you know what you typed, you can research it and fix it and move on).

    What I didn't like:

    • Compiling a kernel on day one. No big deal for me, but it did take three kernel compiles to get it right (unfamiliar hardware plus the default 2.6 config disabled UDEV, then complained on first boot that I needed the obsolete DEVFS). It would be very easy to mess up a config and get a non-booting system. The Handbook doesn't tell a newbie how to recover from that. Having a bloated, precompiled kernel to copy off CD wouldn't be so bad.
    • Documentation of ports is horrible -- one line descriptions? Come on! And I still have to figure out how to tell which USE flags affect a port before I compile it.
    • Config file wrapper commands -- hasn't bitten me yet, but editing a well-commented config file should be encouraged. No rc-update please! (old Slackware user talking here...)

    All in all, portage makes it worth using and I will install it on real hardware someday.

  • by lakeland (218447) <lakeland@acm.org> on Tuesday November 30, 2004 @04:44PM (#10956309) Homepage
    Well, I installed gentoo last week, and I was disgusted at the installer. The current (non-graphical) installer automates almost nothing. It doesn't even automate the things that would be trivial to automate. Let me contrast the installer with the (famous) debian installer.

    1: Download and burn the installation CDs (trivial for both gentoo and debian). Boot CDs.

    At this point Debian presents you with an installation menu (choose your keyboard or language is first, I forget). Whereas gentoo presents you with a root prompt. Um hello? What is the installer program called? What do I type?

    After searching the gentoo CD you'll hopefully come across /mnt/cdrom/doc/handbook/txt/handbook.txt (filename slightly wrong). Once you find it, it is pretty obvious this is the instructions. I wonder how long it takes the average guy to find it?

    The first instruction is to type cfdsk, then mkfs.ext3 /dev/hda5. Oh, half a dozen other filesystems are offered. A hint for newbies suggests ext3 might be best for normal computers (though it is hardly written for newbies to follow). No instructions are given for installing if you already have an OS installed. Nothing explaining that hda is the primary master... There is no way this could be followed by anybody without linux experience.

    Next we tar -zxvf a tarball. Better not make a typo and install in the wrong place... Next we cd to /mnt/gentoo and type ./scripts/bootstrap.sh. Why don't we cd to /mnt/gentoo/scripts and run ./bootstrap.sh? I don't know...

    Now, at this point I'm sitting there wondering why? why do I have to do this? why can't they automate these steps? How much work would it have been to write a little curses program that lets me choose a filesystem, finds which tarballs I have, extracts it, and runs bootstrap for me?

    Ok, now we have to configure the network and the docs go down a little sidetrack explaining WEP and ESSID... that's great guys... I'm just trying to install an OS here... automating ifconfig eth0 inet dhcp would have been appreciated, but hey I already knew to type that, so you didn't need to automate anything, right?

    emerge sync, emerge world... that wasn't too hard... Again, it could have been automated. Oh, and some progress bars would be nice, the number of files you've downloaded doesn't tell me a lot if I don't have a clue how many files there are.

    Next I'm supposed to write an fstab by hand with no assistance except a few sample lines in the docs? Really? No sweat mate! No explaination of the keep/dump flags or what I should put there. No explaination of the order of things... And you better not make a typo.

    Now I'm supposed to install a kernel from scratch with no sample configuration file to go off? No wonder idiots never manage to get gentoo installed. _I_ knew that /proc/config.gz exists and so I didn't have to write it from scratch but the docs didn't tell me that... The docs also told me about something called genkernel, which turned out not to be installed (emerge genkernel) and once installed generously informs me I don't have a configuration file. The docs also claim genkernel isn't as good, and they claim they'll get around to documenting it after they've explained the manual way (but then they don't)...

    Finally I just have to set up a few symbolic links for the timezone, install a cron program (why didn't bootstrap do that?), install a logger (again, why didn't bootstrap...).

    Gee, that was easy! You know, I think a graphical installer might help ;-)

The flow chart is a most thoroughly oversold piece of program documentation. -- Frederick Brooks, "The Mythical Man Month"

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