Re: Debian vs Gentoo versatility (NOT PERFORMANCE)
On Sun, 2003-05-18 at 23:53, email@example.com wrote:
> On 18 May 2003 22:25:09 +0200
> Sami Dalouche <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> > Hi,
> > As an old debian user, (I recently switched to gentoo)
> I'm a debian user, and i'm trying to finish the installation of gentoo to test it.
Hmm, btw, it reminds me something. With gentoo's manual installation, I
was able to easily use LVM (Linux Volume Manager), even for /. Are there
any ways of doing that with debian ? does debian's installation provide
the necessary tools to create the LVM volumes ?
The installation may look like to be hard, but it actually isn't that
hard when you get used to standard tools (like chroot..)
> > But what seems to me is that everybody except gentoo users really see
> > the point with gentoo : the main advantage, at least for me, is the
> > presence of USE flags, and not really the fact that you can optimize
> > your system.
> Although optimizing certain things MATTERS. Recently a friend (another, the second)
> changed to gentoo. Testing X performance with glxgears, they win a lot of fps.
> I'd wish to post some numbers. I will do it when i recompile X.
Hmm, ok, I guess only gamers can judge ;-) but in any case, USE flags
are as important as performance, and allowing to install apps the gentoo
way also means supporting some kinds of USE flags
> Having a libc & X compiled for i386 sucks in performance terms, yeah.
let's say it can't be worse to optimize ;)
BTW, does debian use GCC 3 now ? (just to know)
> > Here's how it works :
> > the first time you install gentoo, you define a set (that u can change)
> > of so-called USE flags (plus optimizations).
> > the USE flags are a uniform set of configure options.
> > For example, lots of applications have --enable-gnome, or --enable-X,
> > and --enable-gtk. Well, if you want all three, for all your apps,
> > but don't want qt or kde, you define
> > USE="X gnome gtk gtk2 -qt -kde".
> Yeah, it's cool. But in myo pinon gentoo abuses of the USE flag.
> too may crap there; "ipv6", "gnome" "framebuffer" is nice, but currently
> there're a lot of braindead unuseful flags there in my opinion.
well, the problem is that USE flags mean configure options, so yes,
there is as much crap in the use flags as there is in the ./configure
--help... But.. let's say that if something doens't look useful to you,
just don't consider it ;) I just looked at the use flags list, and I
didn't find anything unuseful, the only problem would be that some flags
are for configuring (gnome, etc) others are for optimization (mmx)..
But I think that all flags map to use flags, so it looks *ok*.
> > This is the main problem of apt-build (or whatever it's called). If you
> > compile some package by hand, either you block the upgrade (which then
> > can block some upgrades and is not convenient at all), either you just
> > let the package management system to care about the update and you lose
> > your compile options..
> apt-build just seems to build the debian package but it doesn't take
> into account "ipv6" or not. Instead; there're things like "lynx" "lynx-ssl"
> packages instead of a "lynx" flag.
But that's exactly the problem. You have -ssl, -ldap, -whatever packages
all over your system. But the maintainer can't think of the exact
configuration you want. Let's say samba, for example. If you want -ldap
and -ssl (to access ldap via ssl), then you would need samba-ssl-ldap.
But since the maintainer doesn't provide it, you have to go build the
package yourself, then remember that you customized this package so that
the next time there is an upgrade, you just play again...
THIS is a pain, and this is where gentoo helps.
> > So, What I am asking is whether debian tries to do something like this.
> > Gentoo is cool, it's bleeding edge and stuff, but I'm sure there will be
> > lots of debian-based binary distributions in the future, so I'd like
> > debian to be useable too ;)
> USE flag is cool. But not using it isn't a big problem.
> They're just libraries and codepaths not used. It shouldn't
> affect performance in the real world (and if it does, perhaps
> you should fix the app, not the package system :)
> Anyway i think it should be an option.
I do too ;)
Having an hybrid package management system that can do use flags and
binary packages would rock ;)
> A thing that i really like of gentoo is that they don't have
> "unstable" or "testing" distros, but a gentoo distro
> with "unstable" or "stable" packages. By default, unstable
> packages are "masked", but you can unmask them. Yeah, i know
> you can mix different package versions in a debian system.
> But they don't mix and maintain different distros, but just
> mask/unmask packages. Don't know a lot about this, kill me ;(
Well, I do think it's better that way. With debian, when you choose to
install unstable packages, it forces you to install packages it depends
on, etc, and after a while, you end up with the unstable libc, or the
completly broken perl. With gentoo, unless the maintainer used false
dependencies to force you to upgrade other packages, you don't have to
run the packages the maintainer used to do the package...
> Recompiling all stuff like gentoo does is clearly a very bad
> design decision. But well, gentoo is a "metadistro", so they
> don't have to provide binary packages.
let's say that at least, it's fun ;) it gives some time to have a social
life ;-) (j/k)
> Nice of gentoo is that you can recompile stuff. Which REALLY
> speeds up _some_ things like X.
> Personally i use apt-build. I recompile libc, libgtk* (there's a
> real difference for the gtk2 apps) and font
> rendering libraries. I'd wish to recompile X to test performance.
> But apt-build can't still recompile X (due to a apt bug, i've been
> said; but you know, bugs get fixed :)
> Recompiling all stuff is not good. Recompiling sysklogd to log
> more quickly the possible bugs that may show up when recompiling
> kernels with -O3 is not something that i would like to do.
oh, just another thing I think of. nothing to do with the build system,
but why doesn't debian use decent default dependencies ? For example,
why isn't devfs part of the base system, or why isn't xinetd the default
(over inetd) ?
I know it's easy to apt-get whatever, but I tend to think that choices
that are made by default must be good, and if they may not be good (I
speak, for most purposes), don't do any, let the use choose.
It took me a long time to discover fcron. well, with gentoo, you just
have to decide between fcron, vcron, and I don't remember which one, so
it forces you to consider all options. and why the hell would anyone
take vcron ? Maybe some people who need specific purposes, to keep
compatibilty (even if fcron is compatible).
> The portage tree is a HELL. They're like 90 MB you've to download.
> Then you download things like:
> and you *arent* going to install or even look to all
> that crap. But it's your "portage tree". Great. You've
> to download it to get the (VERY slow and excesive complexity)
> portage tool.
well, sometimes it can be useful. I sometimes go to a category, then
emerge search * | less
I often discover new apps, when I don't really know what I want.
But yes, I agree, it can be problematic. Anyways, w/ the increasing
number of gentoo users, they soon will have to find a better way, don't
worry ;-) If it's slow to download all that shit, it means it's also
painful to them... ;-)
> Another thing that i like from gentoo is:
> app-admin app-text fresco-base net-fs skel.ebuild
> app-arch app-xemacs gnome-base net-ftp sys-apps
> app-benchmarks dev-db gnome-extra net-im sys-cluster
> app-cdr dev-haskell header.txt net-irc sys-devel
> app-crypt dev-java kde-base net-libs sys-kernel
> app-dicts dev-lang licenses net-mail sys-libs
> app-doc dev-libs media-fonts net-misc x11-base
> app-editors dev-lisp media-gfx net-nds x11-libs
> app-emacs dev-ml media-libs net-news x11-misc
> app-emulation dev-perl media-plugins net-p2p x11-plugins
> app-games dev-php media-sound net-print x11-terms
> app-i18n dev-python media-video net-wireless x11-themes
> app-misc dev-ruby metadata net-www x11-wm
> app-office dev-tcltk net-analyzer net-zope
> app-pda dev-util net-dialup profiles
> app-sci distfiles net-dns scripts
> app-shells eclass net-firewall skel.ChangeLog
> apps are very well clasiffied. Easy to find apps
> just with ls /usr/portage/ and autocompletion :)
> (they also have a search tool)
yup, as I said before, it's pretty useful ;) I dk if the way they sort
apps is the best way, but at least they tried something...
> Just my thoughs. Feel free to shoot me if i'm wrong.
you're pretty right ;)
> Gentoo have some good things, but in overall, i don't like
> how it works, debian gives me mucho more things. Im
if you speak about the number of packages, remember that there often are
2 or 3 debian packages for the same thing (-ssl, -ldap, -mule, -nomule,
-x, -noX,) etc.. so, even if there still is a small gap in the number of
packages, it soon should be equivalent...
> trying to get a gentoo system working to test it,
> im living a true hell recompiling idiotic things like
> gcc. I just want a working system; i'll recompile
yeah, lol ;) let's optimize the optimizer ;-)
> it if i need it.
> Diego Calleja