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Re: Debian <---> Gentoo

On Wed, Jun 25, 2003 at 08:33:01AM -0700, Johannes Graumann wrote:
> Hello,
> This might be a provoking question but I was wondering whether anybody on the list had tried Gentoo Linux ... I get the impression that the custom compiling done through this distribution might be the right thing for the limited resources of a laptop?
> Please let me hear your opinion!
> Joh

I'm running both here actually.  I have a debian unstable laptop and a
desktop and a second desktop which runs the latest version of Gentoo
Linux.  Gentoo is a lot of fun (perhaps) to build; especially from Stage
1 :).  The level of customizability is amazing if you have the
time/energy/wits to do the Stage 1.  I say wits because I have "blown
it" a few times and left one of the steps out from their website and had
to go back and redo things at a certain point.  Here is an idea about
something I blogged about recently on my weblog:

Gentoo Linux - Basic Stage 1 installation which includes downloading
things like gcc, glibc, etc and then recompiling then with processor
enhancements.  Adding basic system applications after.  This took me
about 3 hours or so I think. I let it rip one evening when i was
watching some TV.  Then I was done and started compiling X 4.3.  X took
me a few hours.  This is on a AThlon XP system with 512mb of DDR memory.
Then I compiled Mozilla which took another 2 or 3 hours or so.  I lost
track of the exact time due to excessive beer intake.  Then OpenOffice
(not the bin file, mind you but the whole thing).  This took me two
times to get right.  The first time it took about 6 hours but when all
was done there were no executables for OO.org.  Bummer.  Second time I
backed off to an earlier 1.0.3 package and it finished in about the same
amount of time but I had a functional OO.org.  Nice!  

Then I started adding more applications like GIMP, Gnome (for kicks),
and a few window managers and some more network applications. I figure I
spent about 3 hours or so compiling smaller programs.

So, I figure I have spent a few days on this project now since I never
can do it fulltime but I always come back to the box and add or update
stuff or try new things.  Emerge is a very powerful system to me.

All in all, I think debian and gentoo are a nice combination.  I like
debian for a lot of reasons (not just apt-get).  I like its
philosophies, the quality of the packages, the mailing lists, the
people.  I like gentoo because it has a certain unfinished feelilng;
perhaps like Debian unstable in some ways.  I think they compliment each
other quite well.  One thing about Gentoo... Be sure you have a nice
fast network connection; it hungers after fast downloads and it will be
painful in the beginning with a dialup.  I do know of people on IRC
which use Gentoo with dialup connections though.

I also have placed gentoo on my dell inspiron laptop on an extra drive I
have.  I can boot it as I want and update packages or add functionality.
I had a few minor issues with wireless networking that were mostly my

Michael Perry | Do or do not. There is no try. -Master Yoda
mperry@lnxpowered.org | http://www.lnxpowered.org

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