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Gentoo 2008.0 Released

Soulskill posted about 6 years ago | from the upgrades dept.

Operating Systems 164

An anonymous reader notes that the Gentoo 2008.0 final release is available. From the announcement: "Code-named 'It's got what plants crave,' this release contains numerous new features including an updated installer, improved hardware support, a complete rework of profiles, and a move to Xfce instead of GNOME on the LiveCD. LiveDVDs are not available for x86 or amd64, although they may become available in the future. The 2008.0 release also includes updated versions of many packages already available in your ebuild tree."

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164 comments

emerge first (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | about 6 years ago | (#24075289)

So now that Gentoo has a nice graphical installer, can we expect all kinds of n00bs flooding the forums? I thought the idea was to have a distro you can really tinker with, given the majority of other distros taking care of the sleek user-friendly market.

Re:emerge first (3, Informative)

armanox (826486) | about 6 years ago | (#24075359)

Gentoo 2007.0 had a graphical installer too. I tried using it (almost 20 times), and never did get Gentoo installed with it. Then I went to the command line minimal install (stage 3), and got it up and running in the first shot.

Re:emerge first (1)

iplayfast (166447) | about 6 years ago | (#24075675)

My experience was the same as yours. Never had a problem with minimal install, or at least if there was a problem it was hands on enough that you could work through it.

The graphical installer in 2007 didn't do gentoo any favors.

Re:emerge first (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24075581)

... can we expect all kinds of n00bs flooding the forums?

Typical douchebaggery from a typical Gentoo user:
"I use Gentoo. Look at my penis."

Re:emerge first (1)

Markspark (969445) | about 6 years ago | (#24075681)

"here, you might need a lookingglass"

Re:emerge first (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24078521)

Hey, if I needed a larger penis, I'd emerge one. And unlike yours it would be highly optimised for my personal usage.

Re:emerge first (1)

TGTilde (874930) | about 6 years ago | (#24079115)

Hey, if I needed a larger penis, I'd emerge one. And unlike yours it would be highly optimised for my personal usage.

I guess you don't need a bigger one when it's only for personal use.

Re:emerge first (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24079429)

Well, that depends on the size of his hands. Leave him alone!!

One word: (1, Insightful)

Noodlenose (537591) | about 6 years ago | (#24076261)

Slackware [slackware.com]

Re:emerge first (1)

kashani (2011) | about 6 years ago | (#24080033)

Gentoo has always about giving you more control and making hard things easy. If it weren't, we'd be using the giant pain in the ass called Linux From Scratch.

kashani

"LiveCds not available for X86 or AMD64" (0)

ben0207 (845105) | about 6 years ago | (#24075291)

Err, doesn't that cut out about 80% of processors in the last 10 years? Macs and Suns excluded, of course.

Re:"LiveCds not available for X86 or AMD64" (1)

zappepcs (820751) | about 6 years ago | (#24075337)

LiveDVD is not available for x86. I stumbled on that sentence also. Seems there will be a LiveCD though; In which case I'll be burning a copy of that for a few hours fun.

From the linked site:

# Xfce instead of GNOME on the LiveCD: To save space, the LiveCDs switched to the smaller Xfce environment. This means that a binary installation using the LiveCD will install Xfce, but you're still free to build GNOME or KDE from source.
# No LiveDVDs on x86 or amd64: In the interest of getting the release out, the release engineering team decided to postpone LiveDVDs because of problems in their generation. They may show up laterâ"if so, we'll let you know.

Apparently I'm not supposed to submit yet? (What are the limits on posting? WTF?)

I am looking forward to trying this out btw.

Re:"LiveCds not available for X86 or AMD64" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24075341)

Only for LiveDVDs -- you don't need a LiveDVD to install gentoo, a LiveDVD just lets you run a fully working gentoo distro from a DVD with lots of useful apps, there is a separate installcd you can use to actually install it.

Re:"LiveCds not available for X86 or AMD64" (2, Informative)

Parag2k3 (1136791) | about 6 years ago | (#24075347)

No LiveDVDs, there are LiveCDs for both x86 and AMD64. Its that they just have xfce on them and not gnome. Implying that livedvds may have gnome on them.

No love for MIPS (1)

armanox (826486) | about 6 years ago | (#24075373)

Looks like they don't have a new MIPS install CD. That makes me sad.

Lockout chip business model (1)

tepples (727027) | about 6 years ago | (#24075913)

Looks like they don't have a new MIPS install CD. That makes me sad.

Might that be because virtually all MIPS computers sold to residential users in North America over the past 24 months are subsidy-locked to run only software approved by the hardware maker? (Sony hasn't made a Linux-compatible PS2 since the Slimline was introduced in 4Q 2004, and the PSP has never had an official Linux. The PS3's Cell is PowerPC, not MIPS.)

Re:Lockout chip business model (1)

armanox (826486) | about 6 years ago | (#24076357)

Yes, but there are those of us with SGI systems you know....(Octane and O2)

Re:Lockout chip business model (1)

tepples (727027) | about 6 years ago | (#24079177)

Yes, but there are those of us with SGI systems you know....(Octane and O2)

SGI has been Intel for the past decade [wikipedia.org] .

Re:No love for MIPS (1)

Robbat2 (148889) | about 6 years ago | (#24075991)

There are new MIPS stages however under /experimental/. Go and bug the MIPS team if you want a CD as well.

Anyone tried other source based distros? (4, Interesting)

gambolt (1146363) | about 6 years ago | (#24075315)

How do sourcemage and lunar compare, anyone know?

I've had the impression that Gentoo has been stagnating recently.

Re:Anyone tried other source based distros? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24075757)

I used sourcemage a few years back. (Left because i got tired of waiting for shit to compile, hurr hurr.) I found it really nice, and absolutely LOVED the bash-script based package management. Compared to Gentoo, it's also really good at fixing itself when things get borked.
  If I had more disk space, I'd probably give it a go again. It was a really nice distro.

  - mantar

Re:Anyone tried other source based distros? (2, Funny)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 6 years ago | (#24076793)

>I found it really nice, and absolutely LOVED the bash-script based package management.

Hey, that sounds kinda cool. Maybe Gentoo should consider this idea instead of .ebuild files.

Re:Anyone tried other source based distros? (1)

debatem1 (1087307) | about 6 years ago | (#24076887)

With the caveat that I'm writing this from Xandros (gak!), I've always found the Gentoo ebuilds to be pretty sane. Is there anything in particular that needs changing about them?

Re:Anyone tried other source based distros? (1)

incripshin (580256) | about 6 years ago | (#24078109)

I think it's a joke (hopefully). The ebuilds use bourne shell syntax.

Re:Anyone tried other source based distros? (1)

en.ABCD (881787) | about 6 years ago | (#24079257)

I think it's a joke (hopefully). The ebuilds use bourne shell syntax.

Well, actually, it is Bourne Again Shell syntax...

Re:Anyone tried other source based distros? (1)

Brebs (888917) | about 6 years ago | (#24077563)

Portage is *Python* code. As in:

$ head -n1 $(which emerge)
#!/usr/bin/python -O

Re:Anyone tried other source based distros? (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 6 years ago | (#24078875)

Portage is also not the only game in .ebuild-ville:
http://paludis.pioto.org/ [pioto.org]
merits attention: I've used it since about version 0.14 with good justice.

Re:Anyone tried other source based distros? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24080327)

That's funny, but what I meant is that sourcemage's package management system is bash scripting all the way through.
  Gentoo's actual ebuild files are bash scripts, but a lot of the other components of the portage system are not.

  - mantar

Parent = +3, Interesting??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24077083)

News:

Gentoo 2008.0 Released

Troll:

I've had the impression that Gentoo has been stagnating recently.

Just because you've never tried it doesn't mean it's stagnating. At least Netcraft doesn't confirm it yet.

Re:Parent = +3, Interesting??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24078615)

Doesn't mean Gentoo dev hasn't been stagnant over the past two years...

Re:Parent = +3, Interesting??? (1)

dberkholz (957709) | about 6 years ago | (#24080045)

Sure it does. If it were stagnant, all the packages would be two years old. Instead you can install kde 4, the latest openoffice, gnome, etc.

Re:Parent = +3, Interesting??? (1)

dpilot (134227) | about 6 years ago | (#24078927)

> At least Netcraft doesn't confirm it yet.

Don't forget, there is a Gentoo-BSD branch of ebuilds. Wonder what Netcraft says about that!

Finally. (1)

corychristison (951993) | about 6 years ago | (#24075375)

The great thing about Gentoo is that upgrading is as easy as 'emerge --sync && emerge -auvND world'.

I'm not quite sure about this installer. As mentioned above it may bring in new users... but at what cost? I suppose maybe the forum members will whip 'em into shape by telling them to RTFM.

Gentoo is about choice. Give it a try if that's what you're into. The new LiveCD should support most new hardware out of the box (important stuff, anyway -- like network and disk/chipset drivers).

I love and use it on all of my machines and the biggest hiccup I've ever had was a driver problem on my old personal machine (retired in January) -- Eventually it was resolved by a few revdep rebuilds and emerge -auvND world's...

Re:Finally. (3, Informative)

arth1 (260657) | about 6 years ago | (#24075573)

The great thing about Gentoo is that upgrading is as easy as 'emerge --sync && emerge -auvND world'.

That's updating, not upgrading. At the very least, you should select a new profile, to get the new default system packages and masks.

To go to 2008.0, this should bring you mostly there:

[make a backup]
emerge --sync
eselect profile default/linux/x86/2008.0 # Adjust to your preferred profile
emerge --emptytree system
emerge --emptytree system
emerge --emptytree world
emerge --update --deep --newuse world
[merge any new ._cfgNNNN files using your favourite tool or manually]

Ayup, you need to rebuild system twice to cover interdependencies, and then world, to get everything to link with the new system libraries.

On a desktop system, you might also want to update the boot splash theme to reflect the new "version", but there isn't any 2008.0 theme out yet, so that might have to wait.

Re:Finally. (1)

**loki969** (880141) | about 6 years ago | (#24076223)

Why on earth would you emerge -e world/system? It's abolutely redundent in this case.

"revdep-rebuild" takes care of sytem link consistency, which doesn't get touched anyhow when updating your profile.

Re:Finally. (1)

arth1 (260657) | about 6 years ago | (#24076627)

Why on earth would you emerge -e world/system? It's abolutely redundent in this case.

A new profile might bring in new packages which has headers that affect the system toolchain.
Since you don't know whether this is the case, the only way to ensure that new changes are incorporated into the system is to rebuild system. If you don't, you may have world packages that use a different include file than the system, which can cause problems, like when a newly introduced package uses different values for #defines, overriding the values that autoconf would choose when the package isn't there.

If using ccache, this rebuild isn't too time consuming, but still an annoyance.

Re:Finally. (1)

Minozake (1227554) | about 6 years ago | (#24076955)

I just prefer backing everything up and then reinstalling everything. Much less painstaking, and I get to start out on a clean slate of a system.

Very nice, I think. Maybe for people who need their computer and can't forget some of the components, though, this isn't much of a viable option.

*runs off to make a checklist*

Re:Finally. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24078157)

The correct procedure is:
# Update local package repository image
emerge --sync
# Select new profile (Adjust to your architecture / preferred sub-profile)
eselect profile default/linux/x86/2008.0
# Update to latest default USE flags (which is generally all that changes with profile updates)
emerge --update --deep --newuse world
# Update config files with tool of your choice

The rest is completely useless. Even if you did want to completely re-emerge the entire system, there's little point in the 2 "emerge -e system" (if you're a ricer, you may choose to do one of them - since system is included in world, the second is completely pointless)

Re:Finally. (1)

incripshin (580256) | about 6 years ago | (#24080353)

That will probably take a very long time. I use something called emwrap. The latest version is here [gentoo.org] . It will rebuild the toolchain, system, and world all safely and optimally.

Though usually when I update profiles, I just do the 'eselect profile ...', and 'emerge -DNav world'. I haven't had a problem doing that in three years (I don't think).

Re:Finally. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24075599)

The great thing about Gentoo is that upgrading is as easy as 'emerge --sync && emerge -auvND world'.

You know that after that you will get tons of blocked ebuilds? And usually it gets a lot of work to fix this.

But still it's the best distro.

Re:Finally. (2, Informative)

smallfries (601545) | about 6 years ago | (#24075731)

From your comment I can assume that either:

1) Your install is headless
2) You have been using Gentoo for less than 12 months
3) You are still running XFree86 instead of Xorg
4) Your memory is very selective

The very idea that every update goes smoothly without a single dependency block is something that most Gentoo users would laugh at. Given all of the problems with the Xorg update, or the changes in libraries that borked the tree for months last year this is laughable.

Portage is a great piece of software, and I stuck with Gentoo for many years because because of its strengths. But portage is not what lets Gentoo down. The complete lack of QA on the official tree that leads to dependency blocks, updated libraries in the stable tree that break ABI compatability with previous software and the general cavalier attitude to pushing any old crap into the stable release are what kills Gentoo.

But hey, after complaining about Gentoo for years (not even including the pain that was getting a Via media box to work) I put my money where my mouth was and went out to buy a nice stable unix system that can also run a stable version of ports. I bought a mac.

Re:Finally. (1)

arth1 (260657) | about 6 years ago | (#24076073)

1) Your install is headless

I've found it very difficult to install Gentoo on a truly headless system.
There are nothing provided install-wise to let you do a network boot -- you have to create your own setup for that, even initially. And trying to use cu on a terminal line against an install CD is an exercise in futility -- it assumes that you have a head.
Other distros might be just as bad, some are better, but none are worse.

Re:Finally. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24076301)

+10, brutal truth

Re:Finally. (2, Informative)

danomac (1032160) | about 6 years ago | (#24076331)

The great thing about Gentoo is that upgrading is as easy as 'emerge --sync && emerge -auvND world'.

This is changing, pretty soon world will not contain system packages. So you'll have to update them separately.

Re:Finally. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24077995)

I just learned that the hard way last night (first reinstall after Slackware). You need to occasionally update @preserved-rebuild also; it's a new feature that makes it easier to get by without revdep-rebuilding (it keeps old libraries that are needed).

You also will soon have to prefix sets (world, system, etc) with @.

Re:Finally. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24076917)

I'm not quite sure about this installer. As mentioned above it may bring in new users... but at what cost?

Your disproportionate sense of superiority for being able to install Gentoo.

Other than that, having more users is a good thing.

Re:Finally. (1)

Eli Gottlieb (917758) | about 6 years ago | (#24079015)

The great thing about Gentoo is that upgrading is as easy as 'emerge --sync && emerge -auvND world'.

Except that that doesn't necessarily work unless you've been doing it roughly once per week.

I came back from college and tried to update my home Gentoo desktop system. As a result, after syncing my Portage tree I had an already-installed package blocking a prerequisite for its own update. In fact, I had roughly 5 cases of this, including Python and Portage themselves. The only solution was to reinstall the OS from scratch!

Awesome news... (5, Funny)

repruhsent (672799) | about 6 years ago | (#24075429)

...but I'm still compiling 2004.3.

Major problems with Firefox 3 on Gentoo 2008.0. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24075431)

I just finished installing it, and I'm having some major problems with its build of Firefox 3. After a couple of minutes, Firefox's memory usage will hit 3.5 GB (I've got 4 GB in my system), then it will segfault. This is with a default installation; I haven't been able to run it long enough to install any plugins. Anyone know how to fix this?

Re:Major problems with Firefox 3 on Gentoo 2008.0. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24075747)

Fucking n00bs. Change firefox memory module to remove on the fly memory allocation and compile with -XilYaBGvf option, and link the so with the rest using secondary passive attribution.

One advice to n00bs using Gentoo - RTFM.

Re:Major problems with Firefox 3 on Gentoo 2008.0. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24075963)

And THAT is why i switched to Ubuntu

Re:Major problems with Firefox 3 on Gentoo 2008.0. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24076449)

Gentoo's target audience are the people who would understand a comment like that (if it were real, of course) and are expected to know what it means.

Please don't whine and talk down about Gentoo just because you don't fall into the target audience. Some of us actually enjoy knowing what we're doing and appreciate the fact that Gentoo doesn't treat us like morons. Like you said, there's always Ubuntu for the rest of you.

Re:Major problems with Firefox 3 on Gentoo 2008.0. (1)

Minozake (1227554) | about 6 years ago | (#24077375)

Yet I've failed at installing Ubuntu, but have had all the success with installing Gentoo. WTF?!

Re:Major problems with Firefox 3 on Gentoo 2008.0. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24079235)

You, sir, are an anomaly in the space time continuum. Resolve yourself fast or the universe will go berserk.

Re:Major problems with Firefox 3 on Gentoo 2008.0. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24080089)

The op was joking, don't shit your pants gentoo luser.

Re:Major problems with Firefox 3 on Gentoo 2008.0. (2, Funny)

debatem1 (1087307) | about 6 years ago | (#24076935)

I love gentoo, but damn that's accurate. Makes me wonder whether you're an embittered novice or a seasoned guru.

Re:Major problems with Firefox 3 on Gentoo 2008.0. (2, Funny)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | about 6 years ago | (#24077661)

I was wondering if he was an embittered guru or a seasoned novice, myself. That seems to be the way they differentiate users.

Enhancements? (-1, Flamebait)

VincenzoRomano (881055) | about 6 years ago | (#24075465)

What about a plain search among all available packages?
Are still they supporting only Postgresql 8.0, KDE 3.3, OpenOffice 2.0 and so on?
I would say that a distribution that claims to be mainstream should support at least the lastest minor version numbers for all packages.
Nothing more, nothing less.

Re:Enhancements? (1)

dberkholz (957709) | about 6 years ago | (#24075779)

Sure, we've got all the latest versions. Why would we mention them in the release announcement, though? They aren't features of the release because they're not on the CD. Here's a quick sample of what's available on my system (running testing): openoffice 2.4.1, postgresql 8.3.1, kde 4.0.5, gnome 2.22.1.

Re:Enhancements? (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | about 6 years ago | (#24080133)

Ubuntu Hardy is on gnome 2.22.2

Re:Enhancements? (1)

apachetoolbox (456499) | about 6 years ago | (#24075785)

I just checked my production box...

I can install up to PostgreSQL v8.3.1. v8.0.15 is still marked as stable so if you want newer you have to know how to use the portage system. Once you know how to use portage it takes just a second to get v8.3.1 available for your system.

Re:Enhancements? (1)

Slashdot Parent (995749) | about 6 years ago | (#24077451)

Once you know how to use portage it takes just a second to get v8.3.1 available for your system.

For generous enough definitions of the word "second". ;)

I forget the name of it, but there is a plugin for APT that helps gentoo users convert to Debian. All it does is spew out a bunch of random compilation messages for a while before installing anything.

Re:Enhancements? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24076201)

The current stable kde is 3.5.9 and openoffice 2.4.1.

Re:Enhancements? (1)

Erikderzweite (1146485) | about 6 years ago | (#24076931)

kde 4.0.5 is in portage tree but is masked unstable. KDE 3.3 isn't there anymore, stable version is 3.5.9.

Same with postgresql: stable is 8.0, but you can install 8.3 if you wish.

Don't know where did you find OpenOffice 2.0 - there are 2.4.0 and 2.4.1 in the portage tree.

And so on, as you say.

Arhhhh... just compiled 2007 (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24075487)

in my old celeron...

blockers (1)

Bizzeh (851225) | about 6 years ago | (#24075549)

are there still all the blockers when installing anything of any use? the sort of blocker that doesnt tell you when you run an emerge -pv and when you run the actual emerge to build and install a large package and all its depends and leave the room for a while (assuming that the full process may take a hour or so) and when you come back, the emerge broke on the second package.

It's got what plants crave. (4, Funny)

Xfacter (1075973) | about 6 years ago | (#24075629)

I've looked all over, but I can't find the electrolytes!

Re:It's got what plants crave. (5, Funny)

laederkeps (976361) | about 6 years ago | (#24076157)

eselectrolytes?

Re:It's got what plants crave. (3, Funny)

steak (145650) | about 6 years ago | (#24076805)

that's because they were destroyed in the process of mutilating your thirst.

Re:It's got what plants crave. (1)

svank (1301529) | about 6 years ago | (#24077065)

You need to compile them first.

Re:It's got what plants crave. (1)

Workaphobia (931620) | about 6 years ago | (#24080253)

Don't worry, they're safely and steadily building up in the earth. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm late for Monday Night Rehabilitation.

Or if you don't like those references, I can give you some old school Simpsons quotes...

Global Warming - why?? (4, Interesting)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 6 years ago | (#24075833)

A bit tongue-in-cheek, but I'm also serious here - what is the benefit of having thousands of geeks compiling the same code over and over, when you can download 1 binary distribution and be done? If you sum up the manhours of all this compilation, the power consumed by countless hard drives and processors churning away, whats the point? Just so you can have a 64bit Firefox that Flash won't run on? A 686-optimized kernel, connected to the Internet via 768 kbit DSL?

None of your business (4, Insightful)

Chemisor (97276) | about 6 years ago | (#24075849)

It is none of your business how I decide to spend my day or what I decide to do with my computer. If I feel like compiling my Linux distro from scratch, I'll do it. Take your environmentalist rants elsewhere.

Re:None of your business (1)

pdusen (1146399) | about 6 years ago | (#24078163)

I suspect he was tagged 'Troll' for calling it an "environmentalist rant". Even though he is completely right.

Re:Global Warming - why?? (3, Informative)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 6 years ago | (#24075945)

what is the benefit of having thousands of geeks compiling the same code over and over, when you can download 1 binary distribution and be done? If you sum up the manhours of all this compilation, the power consumed by countless hard drives and processors churning away, whats the point?

Speed. Now a binary distro can install things quickly but not run them very quickly. If you have a nice dual-core CPU setup and 1 GB of RAM the binary distros will serve you well, but if you have an aging desktop such a a low-end Pentium 4, or a high-end Pentium III, with RAM maxed out at 512 MB, Gentoo will run faster then even Xubuntu. Now, it might take a week to get everything installed, but once it is installed you have the fastest system you can get on that hardware.

Re:Global Warming - why?? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24076065)

Xubuntu is slow because it has like 30 daemons loaded at startup. Provided you get rid of daemons you don't use, you'll find minimal speedups when something is optimized for a generic i686 compared to something optimized for core2, except maybe some video player/editor that isn't mplayer/mencoder based. Archlinux/Crux/Frugalware basically runs on this philosophy, and provides i686 generic binaries, which run on Pentium II and up.

Re:Global Warming - why?? (1)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | about 6 years ago | (#24077219)

You'll only get minimal speedups compared to a binary *optimized* for core2, yes - but you'll likely get fairly good speedups if you're willing to let gcc use processor-specific instructions and whatnot (meaning you can't move the binary to another x86 unless it's the same as yours).

In other words, generic binaries are compiled with -mtune=generic (or -mtune=core2 or whatever) so they'll work on basically any x86. If you want every possible speedup, you'll need to use -march=cputype where cputype is your cpu - and if you're compiling gentoo from source, that's likely what you'll be using.

Re:Global Warming - why?? (1)

True Grit (739797) | about 6 years ago | (#24080065)

Provided you get rid of daemons you don't use, you'll find minimal speedups when something is optimized for a generic i686 compared to something optimized for core2

What about the "daemons" that you can't get rid of as they are required by the app because that app's maintainer, or "higher-ups" in the distro's management decided that the app must include this or that feature (for whatever reason)? For many Gentoo users, its not about recompiling the exact same code over and over again, because in that case, you'd be right, there would be minimal improvement in the resulting apps, and a lot of work for almost nothing.

Others have mentioned all the other reasons why some like Gentoo: Choice, Configurability, (Slight) Performance gains, but I don't think anyone mentioned my reason, although the 'configurability' comes close. My reason? CONTROL. I'm a control freak. :)

Gentoo's use of 'USE' flags to control how software is built, and its direct support for customization of software via 'local overlays', which basically allows anyone who wants/needs to, to override the default build scripts of any of the system's software and make any changes to how that software is built is a control freak's wet dream. Even if you rarely use these features, just knowing you can if you want to is comforting for those who can't stand the idea of not being in total charge of their own computer. :)

If an app has been built to support everything under the sun, it tends to have a lot of dependencies that result in 'everything under the sun' getting installed onto *your* system. Only, what if you know you're not going to use even half of that stuff? On a binary based distro, that happens a lot because they're building stuff for the 'largest common demoninator', and there is little to nothing you can do about it. This was the second biggest reason that drove me away from Debian way back when: No control over what was getting installed on my system, and no easy way to customize anything (when I left Debian, rebuilding things from source, i.e. creating your own .debs, to make your own customizations was a genuine PITA, whereas Gentoo's overlays feature builds the customization ability right into its package management system right from the get-go). I'm not dissing Debian, I still like it, but a source-based distro gives you a level of control that no binary-based distro can offer. Period. Full-Stop. I guaranttee you there is stuff on your system, stuff that gets installed automatically on virtually every Linux distro out there, that is *not* on my system (or the systems of many Gentoo users).

PS: You can tell the control freaks from the speed freaks simply by their CFLAGS: they left it set to the default. They figured out what you were talking about a long time ago, and a four line CFLAGS, starting with '-O9' (LOL!), is not *their* idea of nirvana. But you probably shouldn't look in their local overlay directory if you value your sanity... :)

PPS: Somebody please mod up that AC below me who made the 'if it compiles, it runs' comment. He's dead-on: that is the single most important reason I left binary distros. After an install, there is NO guarantee that your system will work. In a source-based distro, if the build/link/install completes successfully its almost certain that at least you'll be able to get back into your system the next time you reboot, because in the act of compiling and successfully linking an app, your system has effectively verified that the app has no missing library dependencies.

Gentoo ain't perfect, but I'll still take it over any binary-based distro without even a first thought.

Re:Global Warming - why?? (4, Insightful)

**loki969** (880141) | about 6 years ago | (#24076295)

what is the benefit of having thousands of geeks compiling the same code over and over, when you can download 1 binary distribution and be done? If you sum up the manhours of all this compilation, the power consumed by countless hard drives and processors churning away, whats the point?

Speed. Now a binary distro can install things quickly but not run them very quickly. If you have a nice dual-core CPU setup and 1 GB of RAM the binary distros will serve you well, but if you have an aging desktop such a a low-end Pentium 4, or a high-end Pentium III, with RAM maxed out at 512 MB, Gentoo will run faster then even Xubuntu. Now, it might take a week to get everything installed, but once it is installed you have the fastest system you can get on that hardware.

It's not about speed, at least from my point of view. - It is all about configurability. - Almost no users ends up with the same system as the other one.

Since one is in full control and there are hundreds of decisions to make it is very unlikely that any user ends up with the same system as another one.

Re:Global Warming - why?? (1)

Syde (1047152) | about 6 years ago | (#24077023)

I agree, speed is important, but the flexibility of Gentoo is amazing. I tend to refer to Gentoo as a tweaker's dream. I came from the days before we had useful package management systems in Linux... back when you had to compile all of your packages and dependencies yourself. (X and a window manager sure was a lot of fun to install back then!) So I remember the time of compiling everything and getting everything properly optimized for your hardware (and other software)... so for me Gentoo is kind of the best of both worlds, package management, but still doing it from source.

Re:Global Warming - why?? (2, Interesting)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 6 years ago | (#24077295)

"...it might take a week to get everything installed..."

Do you save that week in performance later?

Re:Global Warming - why?? (1)

Deanalator (806515) | about 6 years ago | (#24077953)

Unlike ubuntu, you can actually keep using the system while it is installing packages :-)

The blocking in apt seems a bit excessive.

My cronjobs (in gentoo) used to run when I was sleeping, so it didn't matter much.

Re:Global Warming - why?? (1)

Deanalator (806515) | about 6 years ago | (#24077905)

I had been using gentoo for about 4 years, and migrated over to ubuntu about a year ago. I miss a lot of things, but I never really noticed any changes in speed.

What I miss is USE flags. Things like "smartcard" and "cjk" etc, and especially all the use flags you can tweak in apache and php etc. They let you compile in experimental patches and extra features, while letting you cut out all the bulk you don't need.

The main reason I left was lack of signed packages, and complete lack of any automatic update system. In this day age, it is simply unacceptable to force users to update packages over clear text without any package authentication. They even built signed packages into portage back in 2004, but noone signs their packages, so you can't even enable the feature.

Re:Global Warming - why?? (1)

dberkholz (957709) | about 6 years ago | (#24080091)

That's because the feature as it is is useless -- it doesn't sign the complete code path, just the ebuilds themselves. No eclasses, no bashrc. Robin H. Johnson has been working on an updated proposal to do it right.

Re:Global Warming - why?? (1)

raydulany (892228) | about 6 years ago | (#24078679)

...an aging desktop such a a low-end Pentium 4, or a high-end Pentium III, with RAM maxed out at 512 MB...

Or an Ultra5 with 128 MB of RAM

Re:Global Warming - why?? (3, Insightful)

dpilot (134227) | about 6 years ago | (#24078973)

> Speed.

No, not speed, reliability and (startlingly) ease. Yes, you have to wait for the silly thing to compile, but almost without exception, once you've done that, stuff just runs.

Back in my old rpm days, it seemed like I would find an interesting package and find that it has an rpm available. The I'd find that I was missing a library, or had the wrong version, and I'd have to go searching for another rpm. Then another search to find the rpm that would satisfy the requirements for that lib, etc. Every now and then, I'd get to the bottom of my search and find an incompatibility, and it was time to give up, at least for the moment.

Gentoo has a wide range of ebuilds, a wide range of overlays that increase the options, and finally since a complete build environment is part of every system, building a non-ebuild tarball almost always works, too. ( ./configure --prefix=/usr/local && make , etc )

By far, most of my problems have been with stuff only available in binary form.

Re:Global Warming - why?? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24076225)

While people tend to say speed (which is generally true as far as older hardware and optimizations are concerned), I just like the simplicity and the ease of configuring ALL of my system in one folder: /etc/conf.d, pretty much.

Another thing I like about gentoo is the simple fact: if it compiles, it runs. I've had debacles in the past where when you try to use some obscure program's binary it just won't run because you've got newer lib versions installed, etc, etc. Compiling stuff to work on your system means it'll run on your system, with the libs YOU have installed, and it'll work according to the specs you put in. i.e, if you want jpeg support for your image programs, but never use gif, then put the jpeg -gif use flags in make.conf, done. Your entire system will just ignore all gif dependencies. You try doing that with a binary distro and get back to me.

Re:Global Warming - why?? (2, Interesting)

Hangeron (314487) | about 6 years ago | (#24076251)

Not much benefit, but show me a distro with packages as up to date as Gentoo, and I'll switch over. I think most choose Gentoo because it's bleeding edge and for customization. Compilation and speed are just by-products as far as I'm concerned.

Re:Global Warming - why?? (1)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | about 6 years ago | (#24077263)

It's only bleeding edge if you unmask everything and if you're willing to deal with all of the Gentoo team's patches which may be unstable. I'm considering switching to an unmasked vanilla-sources instead of gentoo-sources just so I'll always have the newest version of the Linux kernel and have it be exactly what Linus and friends intended to distribute.

Why stop with Gentoo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24076577)

You could say the same thing about Seti@Home and most of the other distributed computing projects.

Re:Global Warming - why?? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24076803)

what is the benefit of having thousands of geeks compiling the same code over and over

That's the point, it isn't always the same code. The real power of Gentoo (Portage really) is the power for the user to say "I don't want features x, y, and z in this piece of software so don't bother compiling them in".

With a binary distro you are usually stuck with the decisions that the maintainer has made about what features of the software to include/exclude.

Re:Global Warming - why?? (2, Insightful)

Erikderzweite (1146485) | about 6 years ago | (#24076979)

There are many reasons - flexibility, speed of resulting binaries, less dependency problems and lase but not least - the new version is out, but I am already running all the latest software versions included in this version. You upgrade regularly and end up with new version when it is out. No need to go through massive upgrading where so much can go wrong.

Re:Global Warming - why?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24076995)

what is the benefit of having thousands of geeks compiling the same code over and over

But it's not the same code! I have different sets of USE flags on three separate processor types.

If you sum up the manhours of all this compilation

Last time I updated my system I typed "emerge -uvDN world". About three seconds (or .0008 man-hours), more or less.

power consumed by countless hard drives and processors churning away, whats the point

My processors are doing protein folding when they're not compiling (or evaluating emacs keystrokes), so I'm burning up the electric bill anyway. My priorities, not yours.

Re:Global Warming - why?? (1)

vladmihaisima (772832) | about 6 years ago | (#24077167)

It's not the same code. It is the same code with different options and in many configurations. This exposese bugs in the respective packages, which are reported upstream and improve the software that is compiled into binary package. Also it would be nice to have numbers, but it might be possible that windows 3D screensavers take more power that all the gentoo compilation :p.

emerge first (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24077325)

LOL! Installer probably still wont work. I hope it dosn't. Keep the damn iditos who cant follow a guide away. Been teaching friends linux and getting them to install gentoo themselfs. Once they understand enugh. Turn them lose to google.

Do not want! (4, Insightful)

Ant P. (974313) | about 6 years ago | (#24078085)

I've been waiting for this release, but after one of the higher-access Gentoo devs was caught using dev servers to attack a competing distro [wordpress.com] (and resorting to name-calling afterwards) I'm not sure if I can trust them any more.

Re:Do not want! (3, Informative)

theraptor05 (908452) | about 6 years ago | (#24078387)

And said dev subsequently had his Gentoo infrastructure access removed [wordpress.com]
I'd say I trust the overall distro that much more for dealing with the situation appropriately.

Re:Do not want! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24079977)

Trust? The very fact that the dev had his access removed is proof that gentoo can be trusted to do the right thing.

Debian had a whole debacle with OpenSSL recently; I bet that's more reason to lose trust than some random dev using distro infra to flame a competitor.

Obligatory Advertising (1)

EEPROMS (889169) | about 6 years ago | (#24078373)

[Advert]
Yes folks !! download our latest and greatest version of Gentoo, hurry and you to can get it compiled and installed before our next great release in 2009.
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