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Gentoo Linux 1.2 393

MrOutlander writes "Gentoo Linux releases version 1.2 of their cutting edge distribution with many updates including KDE 3.0.1 (20020604) and GNOME 2 (beta, 20020607) support. I love emerge :)"
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Gentoo Linux 1.2

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  • Re:Cutting edge? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 17, 2002 @03:46AM (#3714007)
    see gentoo as a linking between completely source based "distributions" like linux-from-scratch ( and a distribution with package management which handles dependencies (f.ex. debian). in gentoo all "packages" are downloaded from their server, patched and installed (with a ./configure [some switches], make [some switches], make install).
  • Re:Cutting edge? (Score:5, Informative)

    by RAMMS+EIN ( 578166 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @03:55AM (#3714024) Homepage Journal
    What's cutting edge about it is that it uses the BSD-concept of ports-trees instead of the likes of RPM and Debian packages. This has all the advantages of compiling from source (tailored for your system, latest-and-greatest), but also does dependency-checking and (if desired) -installing. It fits in nicely with the earlier discussion about binary packages: &tid=106 .

    From the website :
    ``Note that the i686 CD will allow a build from scratch for *all* systems, but also has pre-built stuff for i686+ CPUs.''
    IMHO they would have done better by creating a i386+ binary CD, because compiling everything from source on a 386 is hardly feasible, whereas on a 686 it's almost a breeze. Still, I love this distro, and will probably continue to use it for quite some time. Drink one from me, guys (and girls)!
  • Re:Hmm (Score:2, Informative)

    by Verizon Guy ( 585358 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @03:57AM (#3714026) Homepage
    A simple WHOIS [] shows that it's registered to some Belgian dude. Why should we think anything on there is even credible (I mean did you even read it???)
  • Gentoo is great!! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Mnemia ( 218659 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @04:00AM (#3714031)

    I've been using Gentoo for the last couple months and I have to say that Gentoo has really restored the sense of wonder I had when I set up my first install of Slackware years ago. I was skeptical at first but Gentoo has so totally won me over that I can't imagine going back to anything else. I think if Gentoo ever failed I would probably go to something like BSD now.

    Gentoo probably isn't really a newbie distro since it has no automatic installation or setup, but then again I know some people have been able to manage it on only some limited experience from Redhat or Mandrake. It really makes you understand how your system is set up and works to a degree that most of the package based distros don't but also feels far "cleaner" than Slack (my previous favorite) or LFS. I've learned more about Linux in a couple months of Gentoo than in a year of Redhat, and I'm happier with my setup and customization than I ever have been before.

    Also, Gentoo is FAST. I run it on a somewhat older laptop (Celery 500, 128 MB) and though the compiles do take quite some time for large packages like KDE and X, the system really does have a much faster "feel" to it than in other distros. I don't have any hard data on it but the speed increase was enough to be quite noticable going from Redhat.

    Anyway, I've been 99% satisfied with Gentoo and I'd recommend it to anyone with a little Linux experience (though definitely not as a server distro) who wants to have fun with a desktop Linux setup. Now if I could only tear myself away from tinkering with my Gentoo and find time to work ;)

  • Re:just curious.... (Score:2, Informative)

    by JPriest ( 547211 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @04:32AM (#3714099) Homepage
    Gentoo is named after a small fast breed of penguin.
  • by KFK2 ( 23515 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @04:42AM (#3714118) Homepage
    Actually it's not that hard.. You just need to have a boot disk that will allow you network support and some file transfer protocol. tomsrtbt [] and mulinux [] come to mind.
    Mount the CD on some computer with a cd-rom and network support.
    Follow boot disk instructions to get the computer that Gentoo Linux is going to be installed on running and the network up.
    Look at Normal Instructions [] and Skip steps 1 - 5; Follow step 6 (partitions) and 7 (mounting); skip 8; and for step 9, instead of copying from cd-rom, copy stages from the network (using whatever protocol meets your fancy); then continue on with the rest of the instructions.
  • Re:Cutting edge? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Graymalkin ( 13732 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @04:44AM (#3714124)
    The 386 designation isn't the processor, it is the instruction set revision. A 686 binary isn't necessarily 100% backwards compatible with older processors. Also any 686 family optimizations could totally hamburger the performance of an older processor due to scheduling and instruction arrangement problems. The reason the primary ISO image (the 16MB one) doesn't have any optimizations is you need to be able to run it on any system. The 686 ISO exists so you don't need to take the time to compile the entire distro from scratch if you've got a Pentium Pro or better processor.
  • by Mnemia ( 218659 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @04:53AM (#3714144)

    I think that Gentoo is reasonably secure "out of the box" because it doesn't automatically setup ANY network programs or daemons. Nothing is activated until you explicitly set it up. The problem comes when you start to set things up...Gentoo will not be secure for long if you don't do a good job of configuring everything. But then again that's going to be a problem with any Linux distro and at least Gentoo probably isn't quite as easy to root right after install as some other distros.

  • Re:Cutting edge? (Score:2, Informative)

    by RAMMS+EIN ( 578166 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @04:54AM (#3714147) Homepage Journal
    ``The 686 ISO exists so you don't need to take the time to compile the entire distro from scratch if you've got a Pentium Pro or better processor.''
    Yes, I figured that, but compiling on a 686 is much less painful than on a 386. Providing precompiled 386-binaries would allow people with older machines a quick-start, while people with newer machines can get their fully-optimized stuff in a matter of hours. The way they do it now, people who cannot run the 686-binaries are forced to compile everything from scratch, which can take weeks. People with the latest-and-greatest are still likely to recompile, as I suspect that the precompiled binaries will not be fully-optimized for their systems, and as it only takes a few hours anyway...
  • by g1n3tix2k ( 219791 ) <> on Monday June 17, 2002 @04:58AM (#3714157) Homepage
    I saw Gentoo a while ago and thought i would giving it a try, boasting an excellent portage system and a tiny initial download. The portage system is the best i have found, even compared to the FBSD Ports its is, i think, by far superior, giving you an interface very similar to apt-get and dpkg to install the ports. The install, even though time-consuming, is actually very straight forwards, whter beginner, experienced admin, or hardened guru, you will get along with it just fine. Everything is compiled from source, so true enough, its not really suited to a slow machine. Unless your a very patient person, or its designed to be a server. However even though i think binary packages might be a good idea for those who dont want to compile, the system becomes extremely fast due to optimizations in the compile process. The website is comprehensive and the people at Gentoo exceptionally happy to help you out. if you find it hard to get an answer then let me know! ill help you! The bleeding edge software that theyre happy to supply, and the very latest in everything is an extreme advantage when coming form a debian backgroud. finally you dont have things breaking, and you dont have to trapes around looking for latest updates or debs. just emerge rsync, and get the latest one! Gnome2 is exceptionally nice! :) But i guess you guys should try it out for yourself. im sure you wont be dissapointed
  • by ukryule ( 186826 ) <`slashdot' `at' `'> on Monday June 17, 2002 @05:10AM (#3714176) Homepage
    Can be found here []. For example:

    Gentoo penguins (Pygoscelis papua) breed on subantarctic islands and on the Antarctic Peninsula in small to large colonies. Larger populations of gentoo penguins are found at South Georgia, the Falkland Islands and the Iles Kerguelen.

    Gentoo penguins are the least abundant of the penguins found on the subantarctic islands, with a total breeding population of approximately 314 000 pairs.

    Unlike other penguin species, gentoo penguins may breed as early as two years of age.

    The gentoo penguin is a medium sized penguin, standing 75-90cm tall and the females are smaller than the male birds.

    Given that the penguin has a latin name, should the full name of this distro be:
    Connochaetes taurinus []/Pygoscelis papua Linus ?
  • make.profile (Score:0, Informative)

    by bunungs ( 536665 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @06:06AM (#3714249)
    just symlink /etc/make.profile
    to the gcc make profile in /usr/portage/profiles
  • by Per Wigren ( 5315 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @06:15AM (#3714260) Homepage
    Gentoo has a thing called "profiles". If you change the profile from "default-1.0" to "default-1.0-gcc3", everything will be built with GCC 3.1. The ebuilds will install gcc3-specific patches if they are needed..
    # ln -sf /usr/portage/profiles/default-1.0-gcc3 /etc/ma ke.profile

    Using profiles, you can also make company-specific distros and other specialized versions of Gentoo...
  • New Gentoo ports (Score:3, Informative)

    by Charlotte ( 16886 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @06:27AM (#3714278)
    The article doesn't mention Gentoo/Linux is now available also on Sparc, PPC and a MIPS port is also underway.
  • by Bimble ( 28588 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @07:16AM (#3714379) Homepage
    Popularity. When looking at visits to the Gentoo page, ranks it at number 6, and has it in the top 15 (and considering how quickly it got there after adding a page for it, I'm sure it's in the top ten from there - no specific rankings there beyond top 15).

    As far as how current Slashdot's news is, I doubt they can stay more current than their submissions here - Gentoo doesn't mail out an announcement list that I can tell. Gentoo's popular, but I doubt as many people are breathlessly awaiting the next update to Gentoo as they might for the kernel or Red Hat (most Gentoo users would just use emerge).
  • by martinde ( 137088 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @07:27AM (#3714403) Homepage
    I'm running KDE 3.0 on Debian, I grabbed binary packages with apt. Add these lines to your sources.list:

    deb /
    deb ./

    Also, check out the debian-kde mailing list at [] for the latest and greatest. Once woody is released (and it's SOOO close) you'll get KDE 3.0.1 and XFree 4.2 in unstable.
  • by mjprobst ( 95305 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @07:53AM (#3714440) Homepage Journal
    I think much of the speed improvement comes from the distribution's infrastructure--servers aren't started by default unless you installed something that needs them, the appropriate libraries are compiled shared for all apps that need them if you put them in USE, overall the memory usage is less because of this. I feel Slackware is faster than Redhat for this reason; it doesn't load the kitchen sink by default.

    A 5% to 30% increase in speed is not a big deal for a single program but if you can get it for the entire system without much inconvenience it really starts to add up. So whatever server processes are left run efficiently.

    Also, if you use X Gentoo makes it very easy to install the preemptive and realtime kernel patches, and at least KDE works well with that. It does make a big difference in interactive speed. No, you won't see some number-crunching program working miracles once you install Gentoo, but it is much more pleasant to me.

    I find the system as a whole so clean that even if it were a binary-only system I'd prefer it to Debian and RedHat derivatives. Very easy base to expand upon _without_ branching from the original, which is a new thing to me. I'd expect central storage of binary packages, keyed to the specific processors and optimizations used, to be integrated into Portage in the future without breaking anything.
  • 1.3b_test (Score:4, Informative)

    by Mr.Ned ( 79679 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @08:08AM (#3714468)
    The 1.3b_test just went online for download yesterday morning. It blows 1.2 away - completely based on gcc3.1 for a sweet performance increase. 1.2 is based on gcc2.95.

    From the changelog:

    "The 1.3 series is meant to get Gentoo ready for total world domination with Gentoo 1.4 ;o)"

    I haven't had many compile issues with it yet - this is a distro to watch out for.
  • by The Evil Troll King ( 227904 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @08:14AM (#3714478)
    "Is there measurable speed increase by using this distribution, or do you really just save a couple microseconds here and there?"

    I don't have benchmarks or anything, but I think my workstation runs a good bit faster as a result of switching from Red Hat 7.2 to Gentoo 1.2. Things like Mozilla and KDE, which were fairly slow in Red Hat, run surprisingly fast now. I don't know if this is because Gentoo optimizes them for my machine or if it's just because I have the latest versions now, but the speed increase is real.

    I've been extremely happy with Gentoo (though I haven't been at it for that long). I switched because I was tired of a lot of the bloat that comes with recent versions of Red Hat. They have you install a lot of stuff by default, and I'm scared that I'll break something if I go in and start removing things. Gentoo gives you what you need, then you use the ports system (Portage) to install what you want on top of that. So far, this has resulted in less bloat.

    Portage is great. If you decide that you want to install the LyX word processor, you just type:

    $ emerge app-office/lyx

    No RPM dependencies, no screwing around on, no trouble at all.

    Another cool thing about Portage is that, if you want, you can set global compile options. For example, you tell it to "use SSL", and then, every time you build something that has optional SSL support, it compiles that in automatically.

    The biggest problem with Gentoo is that, when you install something, you have to wait for Portage to download it and any dependencies onto your machine and compile everything. It took my machine an entire afternoon to do emerge kde-base/kde on a 1GHz Athlon with 256 MB of RAM. I didn't mind this so much, because I had plenty of time to wait for it, but a Gentoo install requires a lot of patience (or Playstation games, which the installation guide recommends). You've been warned. Also, configuring the system involves manually editing text files -- I haven't found any graphical wizards yet. Again, that's fine by me, but you may have better things to do with your time.

    If you decide to switch, make sure you hang on to your XF86Config-4 file. I had trouble getting X installed and was glad that I had a copy to refer to. However, if you were using Slackware before the 2.0 kernel came out, you're tougher than I am, so you'll probably have better luck than me.

    I hope this helps -- good luck with whatever you decide to do.

  • by riotrick ( 145526 ) <> on Monday June 17, 2002 @08:14AM (#3714480)
    In gentoo you can do an emerge --update system and emerge --update world, to update your system to the latest version. It uses emerge to install new packages (+dependencies) as well. In effect it kind of works like apt-get in debian, with the addition that it compiles the packages from source. All in all a much more flexible tool than up2date.
  • Important note! (Score:4, Informative)

    by 42forty-two42 ( 532340 ) <`bdonlan' `at' `'> on Monday June 17, 2002 @08:43AM (#3714593) Homepage Journal
    If you already have gentoo installed, there's no need to reinstall. Just do (as root) emerge rsync; emerge --update world Then you'll be on the cutting edge(again)
  • by FreeUser ( 11483 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @09:44AM (#3714854)
    While Gentoo does rock, I don't suggest any of the cutting edge stuff for production boxes.

    One should always do significant testing before rolling something out for production use. This is true whether or not the software in question is "cutting edge."

    That having been said, there can be real advantages to using up-to-date software in a production environment. You may need the new features (e.g. X support of a new touchscreen the tablets you want to deploy require) or bugfixes (KDE 3.0.1 v. KDE 2.2.1 is a good example here), so cutting edge software, while it should be treated with caution, can be very beneficial.

    The key is rigorous testing prior to deployment, so while this means the software your using will likely be at least a month or two old, it can still be pretty cutting edge if that is what is required, and it holds up in testing. In our case, X 4.2 was deployed very quickly (within 6 weeks of its release), as was KDE 3.x, while other "cutting edge" stuff, like gcc 3.x, probably won't be deployed for another 6 months because it didn't hold up in testing.

    You are right, though, Gentoo (and Source Mage, for those who like trying out a pallate of different source based distros) can lead one into temptation. I've installed and backed out more than one bleeding edge app on my home machine for just this reason ... but again, I was able to back out stuff quite easilly, and the benefits of having current stuff that does work makes this added burden very worthwhile IMHO.

    At the other extreme, Debian's 2-year-old plus 'stable' distro isn't the answer. With the speed with which free software evolves, running 2 year-old free software is analogous to running 10-year old proprietary software ... something that in many cases simply isn't acceptable (though in some cases it can be ... I do have an old GNU/Linux 2.0.x box that hasn't been upgraded in years, because it is behind a much more current firewall and does its one simple task just fine). Gentoo (and Source Mage, to be fair) solves this problem by giving you pretty good stability while allowing you to run very up-to-date software.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 17, 2002 @09:44AM (#3714855)
    emerge gentoolkit
    qpkg -f file
    qpkg -I

    ^ That does what you wanted.
  • by omnirealm ( 244599 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @10:41AM (#3715166) Homepage

    I finally deleted my Windows partition. I figured that, as long as I'm messing with my partitions, I may as well ditch Mandrake 8.2 for a ``real'' distribution in the process.

    I set apart all of Saturday to scrounge through my system to find and backup all my data files, and then to download and install Gentoo 1.2. So far, I have been mildly impressed. I have run into the following problems though:

    I live on-campus, and my school blocks port 80 and makes everyone go through The Great Proxy Server. This does not jive well with emerge. The installation instructions, which I printed out before starting, say something about setting the HTTP_PROXY variable in the /etc/make.conf file, which I tried setting, to no avail. I then set the environment variables. That didn't work either. I looked for Lynx, or something to browse the Web with, and nothing was available (please no smart comments about telnet, thank you very much).

    My school maps my network account to the hardware address of my network card, so I couldn't just plug in my laptop to get net access to get more documentation. I was about to run out to a computer lab, when I realized that the Gentoo 1.2 installation environment included iptables (I have 2 network cards in my system)! After a little bit of NAT magic, I had my laptop on-line, and I checked the FAQ, which mentioned, ``Oh, and if setting the PROXY environment variables in make.conf doesn't work, set it in wget's configuration files.'' So it uses wget. Nice to know. Setting the proxy there worked, and I was on my way!

    I set the USE variable in make.conf, and then started emerge'ing. I was a little worried about how the compile settings really would be (i.e., would X, qt, and KDE be compiled with the necessary flags to enable anti-aliased fonts? It turns out that they were.) Compiling KDE took the better half of the afternoon, since it had to compile X and qt first. It worked like a charm!

    So far, the only problem has been trying to emerge openoffice. The first time I tried, it complained about gcc 2.95.3 (it wanted 3.0.4). After ebuild'ing gcc 3.0.4, it started up. A couple of hours later, it bombed on something about not finding javac. There's a line in openoffice-1.0.0-r1.ebuild that reads ``COMMONDEPEND='... >=virtual/jdk-1.3.1''', but it prompted me for my java directory, and I wasn't sure what to type in there. And javac isn't on my system now, although that dependency should have prompted emerge to install it.

    Well, these kinds of problems can be easily resolved by hand, but it goes to show that it can be difficult to get everything right the first time around in something like Gentoo. mozilla compiled without a hitch, and as soon as I fired it up this morning, I found this story, and thought I'd post my experience for all to enjoy. Oh... and my mozilla compiled with anti-aliased fonts, by default!

The trouble with the rat-race is that even if you win, you're still a rat. -- Lily Tomlin