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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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  • Cutting edge? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gazbo ( 517111 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @03:40AM (#3713993)
    What exactly is cutting edge about this distribution? What does this have that no other distribution has, that is light-years ahead?
  • Gentoo rocks! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Per Wigren ( 5315 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @03:43AM (#3714001) Homepage
    After being a fanatical Debian-user for four years, Gentoo was a "love at first sight".. :) I've been running Gentoo for about a year now and always when I find out about a new detail about it, I think to myself "Yes, this is how it SHOULD have been in the other distros also"..
    The only thing I'm missing is a way to make "recursive" library updates.. For example, if I upgrade libSDL to a new version, all apps that depends on SDL should be recompiled automatically.. There is still no easy way to do this in Gentoo, but I heard that it is comming in portage v2...
  • Install from floppy. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MartinG ( 52587 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @04:14AM (#3714063) Homepage Journal
    One of the attractive features to me is that everything is built from source and optimised for the machine it is running on. The reason this is attractive is because I have a number of older machines which I want to "squeeze" as much as I can from.

    However, being older machines some do not have cdrom drives, only floppy drives and network connections. Given that most of the gentoo install is done on the network anyway, it's a shame the install discs provided are only cdroms.

    If anyone has a "HOWTO install gentoo from floppy" I would be happy to know about it.
  • by funkhauser ( 537592 ) < minus physicist> on Monday June 17, 2002 @04:41AM (#3714114) Homepage Journal
    Slashdot is not strictly a linux website, though. It's much more general. News for nerds, if you will. You know, stuff that matters. Not just linux. BSD, too. :)

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

    by MADCOWbeserk ( 515545 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @05:29AM (#3714202)
    While I agree with everyone above. I think it would be neat to have a "compile as go" dist. for PDA/embedded systems. This might give better performance with things like the Zaurus, with could use all the extra performance they can get:) No Sig today. Not feeling very smart.
  • Gentoo Euphemism (Score:2, Interesting)

    by darkewolf ( 24563 ) <> on Monday June 17, 2002 @05:31AM (#3714204) Homepage Journal
    It seems that Gentoo was a south african word, used as an international term for a 'prostitute'. I just wonder whether it is an appropriate word-relationship for a linux distribution. I mean, you get linux for free rather than pay for it.
  • Re:Gentoo is great!! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Mnemia ( 218659 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @06:08AM (#3714254)

    I totally agree, 100%. I'm quite enthusiastic about Gentoo and it shows in my praise of it. But yeah, I totally agree that it isn't for everyone and it isn't for all applications.

    Linux offers so many choices and I think that it's great that there are so many distros out there, even if it sometimes is a hassle. The different distros have lots of different strengths:

    Support/Documentation: Debian, Redhat, SuSE, Mandrake

    Stability: Debian, Slack

    Desktop use (normal users, newbies): Redhat, Mandrake, Debian etc.

    Desktop use/Bleeding edge (tinkerers, experimenters): Gentoo, Source Mage, Slack, LFS

    Obviously, this is far from a complete list and just represents some ideas of mine. I'm 100% with ya on the diversity thing; the best part of Linux is indeed that you have so many option for making it just right for you.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 17, 2002 @06:57AM (#3714336)
    I am a former FreeBSD user who installed Gentoo Linux after reading about it on Slashdot a couple of months ago. I am still amazed how well it is designed and documented! If you don't believe me, just go to here [] and have a look. I now have a fully operational (sound, video - everything works!) desktop system which is far better than any *BSD system could deliver. I have learned to enjoy the sheer speed and performace I get when I use Gentoo Linux. Native NVidia video drivers and ALSA sound makes my desktop experience enjoyable. Perhaps the most coolest thing about Gentoo is the portage system, which is a nail in FreeBSD's coffin. It is the most advanced ports system you will find in the whole world.
  • Gentoo Baby (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bdowne01 ( 30824 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @07:37AM (#3714411) Homepage Journal
    Gentoo is the penultimate Linux distro in my opinion. I've installed it on every machine in my house, and on a CVS server at work.

    Quite possibly the best feature is the ability to update critical packages with a single command. When the latest OpenSSH hole was discovered, the Gentoo developers had a new ebuild package up on their rsync mirrors within a few hours . All it took on my Gentoo boxes was a simple:
    emerge -u openssh
    And it was done. My collegues on their HP-UX boxes were spending their day looking for patches from HP's site while I was back relaxing a reading /. :)
  • Re:Cutting edge? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by 42forty-two42 ( 532340 ) <<bdonlan> <at> <>> on Monday June 17, 2002 @09:09AM (#3714683) Homepage Journal

    In addition to what everyone else said, it has an excellent way of upgrading/removing packages. All files installed by a package are md5ed and the md5sums stored with the package. In removal, a file is only removed if:

    1. Its md5sum matches
    2. Its modification time matches
    3. It is not in a directory protected from configuration file upgrades

    Upgrading is done by installing a new version, then afterwards uninstalling the old.

  • by Ivan Raikov ( 521143 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @09:12AM (#3714695) Homepage
    I've been using RPM-based distributions for a long time, and while I like having the ability to build everything from source, I miss a couple of features that RPM has:
    • Ability to check what package a certain file is in (like `rpm -q -f file').
    • Ability to list all installed packages (well, you can do that with portage and grep, I guess).

    Oh, yeah, I also couldn't get KDE to compile with `-O3 -mcpu=i686' on a fairly new Dell Xeon machine. I'd get all sorts of random errors like 'Illegal instruction', so I had to build all KDE packages with "-mcpu=i486", then I tried i686 again and the kdebase package compiled successfully this time! The mailing lists just advise to play with the compile options in order to get KDE working. Weird.
  • Be carefull (Score:3, Interesting)

    by swagr ( 244747 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @09:26AM (#3714751) Homepage
    I've been a Gentoo user for 7 months now, and I do like the "cutting edge" aspect of it, but this "up to dateness" comes at a cost. Because the distro is actually one that you build with the tools that Gentoo provides, it's possible that no one is using it with the same versions of x, y and z that you have.

    This makes stability a huge issue, and on several occasions I've had to rebuild programs because they got borked by an update of something else. Also, I've had emerge f#*k my system so badly that no one on the forums could help me, and I required a "from scratch" install.

    I've been using Linux (Slackware, Debian, SuSE, etc..) for 5 or 6 years in an academic and work environment, and at this point I often feel Gentoo is more trouble than it's worth.

    Having said that, Gentoo is the distro I'm running right now...

  • by _Knots ( 165356 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @10:27AM (#3715070)
    Yes, Gentoo has really sped up my system. I just switched yesterday (I kid you not) from Debian. For example, lbreakout2, a SDL game, would lag considerably on my debian box even with all "features" turned off. It screams with all the eyecandy *on* in Gentoo.

    It's possible it was a misconfiguration, but I really doubt it since I looked long and hard for one and the lagging would scale roughly with load from "just barely acceptable" to "unbelievably bad for a 900Mhz box."

    And even if it *was* a misconfiguration, I'm glad I switched. Emerge is my new favorite application.

  • Re:Gentoo is great!! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by fault0 ( 514452 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @10:43AM (#3715179) Homepage Journal
    Well, I ran Debian/Unstable for nearly 3 years before ditching it for Gentoo several months ago. I update all new versions of all installed packages almost every night. I've found that fewer breakages happen in Gentoo than in SID, while being more up-to-date.

    I was really happy with Debian until release freezes and packagers waiting for obscure platforms like hppa.
  • by watchmaker1 ( 540289 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @11:05AM (#3715309)
    My primary "desktop" at home is an IBM Thinkpad 600 with a p2/266 and 288megs of ram with a 5gig drive.

    I can't give you hard benchmark figures, but I can give you personal experience. Redhat 7.2 in X on the machine was very slow. Switching VC's lagged, compiling the kernel in a Konsole would make the cursor lag around the screen and trying to load too many things really bogged the system down.

    But, with a Stage1 Gentoo 1.1a install (Stage 1 compiles everything, Stage 2 and three use increasingly larger lists of precompiled binaries.) with CCFLAGS and CCXFLAGS set to '-O3 -mcpu=i686 -march=i686 -fforce-addr -fomit-frame-pointer -funroll-loops -frerun-cse-after-loop -frerun-loop-opt -malign-functions=4' in make.conf, the system is decidedly faster in KDE3. I run XChat without gnome, Konsole, Konqueror, and the KDE desktop all compiled locally with the above optimizations. It's incredibly responsive and very very usable.

    Emerging the gentoo-sources package will bring down a laundry list of kernel patches such as the pre-empt and latency packages and all sorts of fun stuff. The only snag there is that my laptop was done with XFS as it's sole filesystem, and pre-empt and XFS don't play well, at all.

    Is it perfect? No. OpenOffice takes forever to load. Mozilla takes less time but it's still a while, but it runs very well once it's going. (This is binary OO and Moz, not compiled locally.)

    The system just plain doesnt have the balls to run something like CrossoverPlugin with QT5, and compiling a kernel still bogs the system down a bit, but not as much as with redhat. It's still a very usable machine.

    And, the biggie, "emerge KDE" took 12 hours. X took a bit less than that. A recent "emerge --update world" which updates every package on the system that's been updated on the main rsync/cvs tree took 24 hours. I have other machines that I use in the interim, so it's not a huge problem for me.

    Let me agree with one thing alot of Gentoo fans here have said. This is not a dist for everyone. It's not something I'd use for my parents, for example. But it's not a hardcore experts only dist either.

    Many here have made a big deal about "I don't want to have to compile everything." The thing is, you don't compile a thing. You never type make. Want XChat? type "emerge xchat" and portage will go out to the fast repository at ibiblio and download the tar.bz2, compile and install. You do nothing but the one command.

    Want ImageMagick? type "emerge ImageMagick" and it'll do the same. Whoops, it wants libjpeg and libpng which you don't have installed? It'll go grab those too and install them first. You've typed exactly one command.

    Sure, it takes longer to compile something than it does to install it from a binary rpm. That's a fact of life. But is it worth taking that time for binaries that run 5-10% faster because of the local optimizations? It is for me. I'm currently laying plans for a new desktop that's a dual AthlonMP 2100, with a make.conf flag to make with -j3 it'll compile pretty damn fast. And when the next Gentoo is released with gcc3, there will be athlon optimizations which will make the apps just that much faster.

    I've turned several friends of mine on to Gentoo. Hardcore dist bigots who have all been incredibly impressed. I can't say enough nice things about it.

    Every revision of redhat frustrated me more and more from the severe bloat. I had all but given up on Linux for OpenBSD. Gentoo has been impressive enough to pull me back from that brink. I've got a dual processor machine on the way (And OpenBSD has no SMP) and Gentoo got the nod. (Which, of course, the trolls will love, since, you know, BSD is dead)

  • Crank ON! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by vandan ( 151516 ) on Monday June 17, 2002 @05:10PM (#3718018) Homepage
    I've been using Gentoo for 3 months now (and Slackware for 3 years before that). I am VERY satisfied with Gentoo. It is very predictable, very easy to configure, and incredibly fast (curtousy of the ease of recompiling pretty much everything). Of course I will be 'emerge rsync'ing now, but I'm REALLY waiting for Gentoo 2.0 where they will move to gcc-3.1 (or maybe 3.2) as the default compiler. I have tested Gentoo 1.1a with gcc-3.1 and 99% of stuff compiled, but it was the 1% that didn't that ended up screwing things up. But anyway Gentoo is a great distro which stays very up-to-date and is maturing quite nicely.
    Long live the compiler!

This process can check if this value is zero, and if it is, it does something child-like. -- Forbes Burkowski, CS 454, University of Washington