[Klug-general] Debian 4.0 released

Allen Brooker allen at allenjb.me.uk
Tue Apr 10 12:08:30 BST 2007

Mark Brier (Lists) wrote:
> 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.

Debian uses named runlevels? Since when? Gentoo has no /etc/rc.d/ (it 
instead uses /etc/runelevels, in which you'll find a directory for each 
named runlevel with the same name as the runlevel, in which you'll find 
a symlink to the start/stop script in /etc/init.d). I personally can't 
see any initscript similarities, tho I haven't gone down to looking at 
the source code, just the config file and init script setup. For starts 
the network config on gentoo is completely different to anything I've 
seen on any other distro and certainly different to that of Debian.

If there are any similarities, I should think they're just in common 
bits of init script sources that most distros use, not just debian and 
Gentoo. And even so, small amount of init script code hardly make Gentoo 
a "Debian based" distro.

> Gentoo is not related or anything like the BSD ports system, however
> it's package manager (portage) is.
...which is basically what makes Gentoo what it is, other than perhaps 
baselayout (the init scripts and a few other core files).

>> 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
> infeasible.
I get around this by using the multitasking capabilities of the linux 
operating system to do other things while I'm updating (I run a reduced 
MAKEOPTS setup of -j1 (where as most people use -j2, or <number of 
cpus/cores> + 1), which gives me slightly slower compiles, but leaves 
mroe resources for doing other things). I actually do compile OO.o from 
source because I prefer it to have the kde-like look that I can get that 
way, however there's also a binary package for openoffice (Gentoo does 
provide binary packages in some cases, notably where they're provided by 
upstream and particularly save compile time - the main binary packages 
in the Gentoo repository are openoffice, firefox and thunderbird.

The only area I see Gentoo problematic in for desktop users is that it 
doesn't have as much in the way of shiny configuration tools, and no 
all-in-one solutions like yast on SuSE. The LiveCD graphical installer 
(GLI) also seems to be still quite buggy for something that the 
developers consider stable. Being a complete geek, these haven't been a 
problem for me personally tho.

> 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.
> M

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