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Gentoo in Crisis, Robbins Offers Solution 259

mrbadbar writes "Gentoo Linux founder Daniel Robbins says Gentoo's leadership is in crisis. 'the Gentoo Foundation's charter has been revoked for several weeks, which means that as of this moment the Gentoo Foundation no longer exists.' Robbins offers a solution: his return as President of the Gentoo Foundation. According to Robbins: 'If I return as President, I will preserve the not-for-profit aspect of Gentoo. Beyond this, you can expect everything to be very, very different than how things are today.'"
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Gentoo in Crisis, Robbins Offers Solution

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  • gentoo (Score:2, Informative)

    by johnm1019 ( 1070174 ) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @05:03AM (#22012286) Homepage
    I think gentoo has some incredible flexibility and it'd be a shame to see the project go by the wayside.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 12, 2008 @05:04AM (#22012298)
  • by alveraan ( 945484 ) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @05:06AM (#22012302)
    There's a sticky post in the gentoo forums dealing with this. So far Daniel got a pretty positive response and frankly... as a user that has seen gentoo slowly falling apart over the past few years, I'm glad he's motivated to bring it back on track: http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-644321.html [gentoo.org]
  • Re:Trouble (Score:2, Informative)

    by Frekko ( 749706 ) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @05:06AM (#22012304)
    Let me add a few more:
    6. You are forced to update VERY frequently. More than a month and you are CERTAIN to get issues while compiling.
    7. Actually getting a usable desktop (with udev, automounting etc.) working is a hell of a lot of work
  • by Jeff DeMaagd ( 2015 ) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @05:12AM (#22012338) Homepage Journal
    It looks to be a bunch of internal politics. There's a lot of information that is missing, like why the charter was revoked. Another question is why this guy thinks that he's going to get this power if he's going to replace the people that need to approve him.

    The basic information is apparently on a mailing list, which I don't feel like reading.
  • by jmdc ( 1152611 ) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @05:14AM (#22012362)
    TFA refers to a previous blog entry, which mostly explains things. To summarize: the people who are supposed to be in charge have mostly resigned or are MIA. The remaining leadership isn't doing things like updating the website, etc - the weekly newsletter hasn't been published in months. The real crises is that they didn't file routine paperwork with the state, which puts the legal status of the gentoo foundation in jeopardy. No one explained why to the community, or said much of anything. So, he's going to get the legal matters cleared up and find new people to be in charge.
  • Re:Trouble (Score:5, Informative)

    by Noksagt ( 69097 ) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @05:43AM (#22012490) Homepage
    I don't use gentoo much anymore, but I did not too long ago.

    1. Package system becoming VERY VERY slow because of the amount db size.
    Robins claims there was also a bug in a recent portage version that slowed things down quite a bit.

    4. No automatic way to uninstall a package and have the system automatically remove the unused ones.

    $ emerge -C [packagename] && emerge --depclean
    or do you mean something else?

    5. Very very slow upgrade cycle for major packages (KDE is a good example)
    Do you mean slow time to see updated ebuilds or that it takes a long time to compile? 3.58 is in the repos & there is a 4.0 overlay. Think there are even cvs ebuilds floating around.
  • Re:good! (Score:5, Informative)

    by MyDixieWrecked ( 548719 ) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @06:23AM (#22012658) Homepage Journal
    As has been discussed before [playingwithwire.com], Gentoo isn't an enterprise production OS... in fact, it's not totally ideal for even a single server in a small shop.

    The thing about gentoo is that it gives you super-fine grained control over your packages. You want ldap support? want to not support jpeg, but to support png? do you want the package installed, but omit all the X11 bullshit? Or how about keeping a specific version of a package from upgrading when you upgrade your system? That's the power of gentoo's package management system.

    Gentoo also offers insight into the innerworkings of the linux OS. You get to build your own kernel and pick EXACTLY what gets installed.

    Since Gentoo is frequently on the bleeding edge, it's great for testing out new versions of applications. One of the downsides of CentOS that I've encountered was the fact that subversion isn't quite up to date, and it took several months before vim7 was in the yum repository. Of course, you could add new repositories to yum, or download an RPM specificly of what you want, but that sometimes involves waiting for someone to make the RPM or finding the repository that has what you need.

    Another downside of Gentoo, especially in a production environment, is that since it's bleeding edge, many things in the system are changing and usually with a frequency that defies belief. I've been running Gentoo on my own two personal servers (hosting my websites and mysql and DNS and stuff) for nearly 5 years. The sheer number of times that I've booted the machine after doing an 'emerge -u world' and gotten "this configuration file's syntax is depricated, please use this new syntax instead" messages has been infuriating. Routine upgrades aren't routine. You can spend hours picking through config files and manually inspecting the diffs between versions. You don't want Gentoo on your server unless you enjoy spending a day doing an upgrade.

    Gentoo is ideal for embedded projects and systems that aren't going to change. The OS lends itself well to projects such as DVRs and controller OSs for robotics. It's small and runs on a lot of different hardwares.

    I'm always amazed at how much hate people have for gentoo because you have to build it yourself, but you don't hear people getting mad about the .tar.gz source files they download from sourceforge. You don't hear people bitching about Linux from scratch [linuxfromscratch.org]. The nice thing about Gentoo over LSF is that it automates a lot of the process for you and allows you to set up your system by itself, without the aide of another machine to get the system bootstrapped and initially configured. Sure, some gentoo users are cocky; but they're cocky in the same way that a guy who built his own Camarro acts around their buddy who just bought his new, shiny Saturn.

    Gentoo is an exercise in academia. For a user new to Linux who wants to get a feel for the ins and outs and get used to the commandline really fast, gentoo is for them.
  • by foobsr ( 693224 ) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @06:31AM (#22012702) Homepage Journal
    Hopefully someone else can clarify further.

    The same blog can.

    "I am still upset that the Foundation has not been run properly over the last three years, and that many trustees apparently decided to take extended vacations from the project shortly after becoming a trustee, leaving the work to be done by very few - and often a single individual, which defeats the whole purpose of having multiple trustees to do the work rather than a single leader. I am also, like many of you, not happy at all with the way Gentoo has been going from a development and community perspective."

    You might also infer what was wrong by looking at what would be different.

  • Re:good! (Score:2, Informative)

    by Jack Malmostoso ( 899729 ) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @07:08AM (#22012894)

    For example, I still didn't find any place that offers a .deb of the new Firefox Beta 3. Anyone willing to point me to one?

    The best thing is that it's right on your computer, just a couple of commands away:

    $ wget http://releases.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/3.0b2/linux-i686/en-US/firefox-3.0b2.tar.bz2
    $ mkdir -p debian/DEBIAN
    $ mkdir -p debian/opt
    $ tar -xjvf firefox-3.0b2.tar.bz2 -c debian/opt
    $ mv debian/opt/firefox debian/opt/firefox3
    $ apt-cache show iceweasel > debian/DEBIAN/control
    $ joe debian/DEBIAN/control
    $ dpkg-deb --build debian
    $ mv debian.deb firefox3_3.0+b2_i386.deb

    Remember to modify the debian/DEBIAN/control file to look like it makes sense, pretty much like this

    Package: firefox3
    Priority: optional
    Section: web
    Maintainer: Yourname <Your@email.address>
    Architecture: i386
    Version: 3.0+b2
    Depends: debianutils (>= 1.16), fontconfig, libatk1.0-0 (>= 1.20.0), libc6 (>= 2.7-1), libcairo2 (>= 1.4.0), libfontconfig1 (>= 2.4.0), libfreetype6 (>= 2.3.5), libglib2.0-0 (>= 2.14.0), libgtk2.0-0 (>= 2.12.0), libhunspell-1.1-0 (>= 1.1.6-1), libjpeg62, libnspr4-0d (>=, libnss3-0d (>= 3.11.7), libpango1.0-0 (>= 1.18.3), libpng12-0 (>= 1.2.13-4), libstdc++6 (>= 4.2.1), libx11-6, libxft2 (>> 2.1.1), libxinerama1, libxp6, libxrender1, libxt6, procps, psmisc, zlib1g (>= 1:
    Suggests: iceweasel-gnome-support (=, latex-xft-fonts, libkrb53, mozplugger, xprint
    Conflicts: firefox (<< 2.0+dfsg-1), mozilla-firefox (<< 1.5.dfsg-1)
    Description: lightweight web browser based on Mozilla
    Iceweasel is a redesign of the Mozilla browser component, similar to
    Galeon, K-Meleon and Camino, but written using the XUL user interface
    language and designed to be lightweight and cross-platform.
    This browser is based on the Firefox source-code, with minor
    modifications. Historically, this browser was previously known as
    Firebird and Phoenix.
    This package is built from the binaries downloaded here:

    While it's not like downloading a .deb and installing it, it sure is damn faster than recompiling firefox.

    Oh and yes, you could just untar firefox in /opt and make a symlink in /usr/local/bin, but you wanted a .deb.
  • Re:good! (Score:5, Informative)

    by borked ( 603290 ) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @08:11AM (#22013246)

    Gentoo isn't an enterprise production OS... in fact, it's not totally ideal for even a single server in a small shop.

    I'm sorry, but that is total crap. I have been using Gentoo on production servers which I *do* keep current using stable (not bleeding-edge) packages. This is a large shop with many servers. I have never looked back since switching to Gentoo. Everyone who moans about emerges failing and having to run revdep-rebuild often must be doing something wrong. I've had to run revdep-rebuild once when I upgraded libexpat. So what? It took like 2 minutes.

    Don't make sweeping statements if you don't know what you are doing. I run Gentoo on my servers and I run Gentoo on my personal desktop and and laptop and have *NO* problems with it. The next time you feel like bashing it, try it first and this time RTFM. Sheesh....
  • by Curtman ( 556920 ) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @09:13AM (#22013602)

    Hopefully someone else can clarify further.

    There's at least one response on Planet Gentoo [gentoo.org] so far. Maybe it [tsunam.org] will help.
  • Re:good! (Score:1, Informative)

    by penguin phil ( 880033 ) <philbull@gm a i l . c om> on Saturday January 12, 2008 @09:29AM (#22013684) Homepage Journal
    There's a Firefox 3 repo for Ubuntu here [launchpad.net].
  • Re:Should we care? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Jesus_666 ( 702802 ) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @10:15AM (#22013954)
    Actually, Gentoo is one of the two distros I see most commonly offered to newbies, the other one being Ubuntu, of course. Those newbies who want an "it just works" distro get Ubuntu while those who have specific needs such as a shell-only test box on old hardware are told to get Gentoo. Even if Portage is getting slow, it's still so much more useful than everything else out there that most advanced users I know tend to gravitate towards it because they are averse to the ridiculous dependency graphs binary -ased package managers tend to generate.

    Also, Gentoo is the best-documented distro out there with Gentoo HOWTOs often containing very useful information even for non-Gentoo users. It's pretty much irrelevant what you intend to do on your Linux box, a google for [subject matter] gentoo will usually give yu a detailed description of what you need to do.

    Gentoo is much more than the ricer distro many people see in it.
  • Re:good! (Score:4, Informative)

    by jimicus ( 737525 ) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @12:01PM (#22014870)
    I'm glad you mentioned that, as it's bitten me more than once in the past.

    Gentoo is great to experiment with, and provided you can keep the system bang up to date (and live with occasional breakage), fine. But many of us aren't prepared to make that sacrifice.

    On the plus side, maybe as a result of this, it's produced a very helpful community. Much more so than many other distributions.
  • Re:good! (Score:3, Informative)

    by I'm just joshin ( 633449 ) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @12:12PM (#22015000)
    Or you use your dev machine to build binary packages of everything you need and then have your production machines install those packages. Think of Gentoo more as a distribution -builder- instead. I have 1 box building for dozens. -J
  • by sydneyfong ( 410107 ) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @12:22PM (#22015102) Homepage Journal
    [Disclaimer: I am only a casual tinker of debs, so my information may not be all that accurate.]

    When it comes to Debs, I have no idea how to build Debs. Ubuntu and Debian lack the SSH/Kerberos mass deply ability and are even HARDER to recompile than RPMs.
    The Debian way to "mass deploy" packages is probably using the apt-get system. You simply add your own package repository to your "sources list", and use apt-get to install/upgrade the packages. They do provide gpg signing, if you want security.

    Other posters have mentioned some possible ways of building from source. For me, at least if the source package is from Debian official, it's a matter of `apt-get source PACKAGE`, then `cd DIR; fakeroot debian/build binary`. If you have the prerequisite development packages install the package should build cleanly and you'll have the newly compiled binary packages ready for installation.

    [By the way..... claiming that building debs from source is "harder" because you "don't know how to build Debs" is not terribly convincing...]
  • by domatic ( 1128127 ) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @03:49PM (#22017434)
    I've built several things from Sid on Ubuntu Gutsy by following these instructions from Debian's FAQ:

    7.13 How do I install a source package?

    Debian source packages can't actually be "installed", they are just unpacked in whatever directory you want to build the binary packages they produce.

    Source packages are distributed on most of the same mirrors where you can obtain the binary packages. If you set up your APT's sources.list(5) to include the appropriate "deb-src" lines, you'll be able to easily download any source packages by running

              apt-get source foo

    To help you in actually building the source package, Debian source package provide the so-called build-dependencies mechanism. This means that the source package maintainer keeps a list of other packages that are required to build their package. To see how this is useful, run

              apt-get build-dep foo

    before building the source.

    If you want just to compile the package, you may cd into foo-version directory and issue the command

              dpkg-buildpackage -rfakeroot -b

    to build the package (note that this also requires the fakeroot package), and then

              dpkg -i ../foo_version-revision_arch.deb

    to install the newly-built package(s).

  • Re:good! (Score:3, Informative)

    by MyDixieWrecked ( 548719 ) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @06:50PM (#22019246) Homepage Journal

    Why don't you just copy the .config file over to the new kernel?
    Kernel migrations aren't a big issue at all imho.

    I've tried doing that in the past but have wound up with errors. I believe it's because my servers are both PPC and it seems that features appear and disappear and get renamed between versions, at least between gaps of 5+ versions. Going from 2.6.12 to the latest will not work at all. there are an enormous amount of new features that require enabling.
  • Re:Trouble (Score:3, Informative)

    by turbidostato ( 878842 ) on Sunday January 13, 2008 @01:47PM (#22026302)
    "Debian isn't without some weird issues either"

    Of course not. That doesn't mean that anything you take our your a** is an issue.

    "VNCServer doesn't depend on any font packages"

    Of course not, since it doesn't really need any local font package installed. What else would you expect?

    "despite not being able to start without them, with the official explanation being that the user could be running a font server somewhere in their network."

    Isn't it a valid explanation? Wouldn't vncserver start using a network font server? And then, you see, both vncserver and vnc4server do *recomend* the installation of xfonts-base, just look at it.

    Any modern OS is a complex thing and if you want to administer one of then, you'd better expend some time learning its ins and outs. That being said the "ins and outs" of Debian regarding systems administration are probably the very best out there.

Genius is ten percent inspiration and fifty percent capital gains.