[Klug-general] Debian 4.0 released

Mark Brier (Lists) lists at openitup.org
Tue Apr 10 11:47:57 BST 2007

Allen Brooker wrote:
> Mark Brier (Lists) wrote:
>> Allen Brooker wrote:
>>> Dan Attwood wrote:
>>>> The choice for debian is want you want to run it on. ie;
>>>> athlon, athlon64, pentium, sparc, mips, arm, toaster, casio
>>>> calculator, fusion powered super computer, dead badger, my mates daves
>>>> spectrum, the 486 i use as a doorstop
>>>> Seriously though I don't think you should knock debian to hard, sure
>>>> they have problems but at least they make a good base for other
>>>> distros to do it right
>>> Sorry, but in my opinion Gentoo beats them severely on both points. Hey,
>>> how many distro's can run on a PS3? And creating a new distro based on
>>> Gentoo can be as simple as creatign an overlay and continuing to use the
>>> main Gentoo package repository and mirrors for the msot part - Sabayon
>>> does this and is apparently the favoured distro of the Beryl developers.
>> Please remember that neither Gentoo nor Ubuntu would exist without
>> Debian, from which they are both derived.
>> Also, whilst gentoo is an excellent distro for both learning and
>> building custom servers, what does it add for the "non-tinkerer" (i.e.
>> those of us who want to build a server and have it server)? nothing,
>> except an extra days work to install.
>> As for overlays etc. the same can be achieved using debian
>> repositories too.
>> There are a number of distros that can run on ps3 from what i can gather
>> , however I think only debian runs on the nokia 770 internet tablet.
>> M
> How on earth did you work that one out? The closest thing Gentoo is
> related to is the BSD ports system. Gentoo has absolutely nothing
> debian-like in it in my opinion.

Thanks for the feedback. I have in the past been a Gentoo user so I am
well aware of the advantages. let me just take your points...

Gentoo (Linux) is based on debian - FACT. it uses debian runlevels,
initscripts etc. I'm trying to find an official link that proves this
but they appear to do a good job of not letting anyone know they base
their distro on debian.

Gentoo is not related or anything like the BSD ports system, however
it's package manager (portage) is.

> With regards to the Nokia 770, Gentoo runs on it. One of the beautiful
> things about Gentoo's setup is if you can get the kernel to run on it
> and a compiler to compile for it, then you can run Gentoo on it. And
> Gentoo has all the tools for cross-compiling, distcc, etc.

Excellent. I love the 770.  Apologies for my oversight. All distros have
all the tools for cross-compiling however and I use my debian system to
cross-compile for the 770.

> For the "non-tinkerer", Gentoo gives a huge range of choice in the
> available applications and much reduced hassle in terms of only having
> the packages you want installed. It also offers a package management
> system that will not automatically overwrite any configuration files but
> allows you to manage the changes in a sensible way that I've not been
> able to find on any other distro.

I find a debian netinstall or debootstrap install very much as light as
a gentoo and much easier and quicker to achieve due to the lack of need
for compiling.

I have never had dpkg overwrite my config files, however I do agree that
gentoo's way of dealing with config files is much better

> With regards to time spent, I currently run a Debian server but am
> switching to Gentoo for a number of reasons, (including, but not limited
> to, ease of installing newer versions of software than are available in
> the repositories, not having the damn thing ever overwrite my config
> files and range of software available as packages that I can trust
> easily (Gentoo's package system allows me to see exactly where the
> source files are coming from and exactly what patches are applied)) but
> basically I've spent less time overall setting up the Gentoo server than
> it took me to set up the Debian server (for the record, when I set up
> the Debian server I was using Debian as my desktop distro, and I'm now
> using Gentoo as my desktop distro, so experiance with the distro isn't
> much of a factor).
> Compile time for the server won't be a factor as, like I currently do
> for my Debian server, I'll be running a local copy on a Xen setup for
> testing changes. I can then take binary packages created on my local
> setup and install them on my server (and Gentoo's binary package system
> has this great feature which means that all the config files get
> packaged up too, so I don't need to reconfigure anything when I install
> it on the actual server).

I've gone the other way, i.e. from Gentoo to Debian on the server. Its
nice to know the system is ultra-clean and has been compiled to use all
available registers / processor features etc, but it just became too
much hassle to maintain. Dependencies in gentoo can get very messy and a
simple php upgrade can end up being a few hours compiling.

As for on the desktop, I don't know why anyone would want to wait all
day and burn a hole in their floor while they wait almost a full day for
OOO.org to compile. Obviously once its there it's much faster, but for a
desktop system, waiting hours for a package to become useable is just

While I much prefer debian now due to the ease of use factor, I urge any
new linux users to install, explore and learn gentoo, as it has provided
me with an excellent base to learn gnu/linux in general.


  .~.   Mark Brier - Open Source Tech Consultant
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