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Gentoo Announces 'Seeds' 323

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the who-ever-heard-of-easy-to-install-gentoo dept.
rvale writes "Gentoo has announced a new project called Seeds. Aiming to provide out of the box images for various common tasks, it could be the answer to the common complaint that installing and customizing Gentoo takes too long. However, with other developers and Council members complaining that the project was improperly set up and those backing the project refusing to back off, lending weight to recent claims that Gentoo is suffering from management problems, will what could be a massive step forward degenerate into a repeat of the Sunrise disaster?"
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Gentoo Announces 'Seeds'

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  • No, bad (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tomstdenis (446163) <tomstdenis@SLACK ... com minus distro> on Wednesday September 20, 2006 @07:42PM (#16150327) Homepage
    NO MORE!

    Spend more time on fucking Q & A. I'm tired of trying to talk people into Gentoo only to find out that the tree is half-fucked all the time [like packages marked stable requiring other libs NOT IN THE FUCKING TREE YET].

    No more extras, fix the base!!!

    This is the problem with OSS. Everyone wants to get famous for the next big breakthrough and nobody wants to maintain the shit.

    Tom
    • Re:No, bad (Score:5, Insightful)

      by slapys (993739) on Wednesday September 20, 2006 @07:49PM (#16150362)
      "This is the problem with OSS. Everyone wants to get famous for the next big breakthrough and nobody wants to maintain the shit."

      Seriously. I submitted several UI bugs to the Xfce bugzilla site recently and none of them were addressed. People want to develop fun new features, but unfortunately that's not all that software is.
    • Re:No, bad (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Rix (54095) on Wednesday September 20, 2006 @07:56PM (#16150393)
      Really, I find that most people would rather complain about what they don't like than actually do anything to help fix it.
      • Re:No, bad (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 20, 2006 @07:59PM (#16150410)
        I find that most project owners would rather complain that other people don't fix things for them than actually do anything to maintain their own code.

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by kfg (145172) *
          Touche! Three minute limit and match.

          KFG
        • Re:No, bad (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 20, 2006 @08:45PM (#16150629)
          This thread explains why there will always be a place for proprietary software you must pay for. That's so someone can be paid to do uninteresting but necessary stuff.
          • Re:No, bad (Score:4, Insightful)

            by stuuf (587464) <sac+sd&atomicradi,us> on Wednesday September 20, 2006 @11:58PM (#16151418) Homepage Journal
            Why does it have to be proprietary for someone to get paid to develop it?
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Wylfing (144940)
            As a sibling post points out, this is totally false. I have been involved in several free projects, and at one time was the lead maintainer of one. It is true that sometimes you don't feel like bug-fixing. But sometimes you do feel like it, and it is pretty rewarding to send out a new release with no (or few) new features but a hundred bug fixes. It's just that, since it's my time, gratis, I feel like I should get to spend it how I want to.

            And, frankly, who gives a rip about "beating" proprietary software?

        • Re:No, bad (Score:5, Insightful)

          by orasio (188021) on Wednesday September 20, 2006 @08:54PM (#16150682) Homepage
          I don't think that actually happens.
          A project owner with an itch to scratch, will scratch it, they _do_ maintain their own code.
          Maintaining their own code, but for other people, and for free, is something that they usually do, but some times they just don't want to. There is where you see some project owners complain, about users that want tailored free maintaining right now, without contributing.
          There's no implied contract that says that the original coder will fix _your_ problems for free. That's one of the best things of the GPL, you have the power to make stuff happen yourself. Even if you don't know how to program, there are a lot of programmers that will do it for you, given the right compensation. That is the actual meaning of "free" as in "freedom", and not as in "beer".
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by tomstdenis (446163)
        Um, that's such a inappropriately ignorant comment it's hard to really put this into context.

        Let me see I can take a stab at it anyways...

        My workstation is the product of about 800 Gentoo ports being installed. Roughly speaking probably around 200M lines of C, C++, Python and Perl source code. I don't have the time, nor the energy to go through all of them to fix them up because the developers are too lazy to maintain them. Frankly, this is why OSS sucks. In the non-free world you don't see Microsoft te
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          Oh I wish like hell MS would give me the source and say that to me! As do a lot of others here I suspect.
        • by Stalyn (662)
          Well maybe you should stick with 2.6.16? You don't necessarily have to upgrade everytime a new kernel comes out. Also I believe you report kernel bugs to http://bugzilla.kernel.org/ [kernel.org]. To report a bug all you need to do is list your hardware config, kernel config, dmesg and basic outline of your problem.

        • by cloricus (691063)
          Wait...the non-free world? How the hell is the non-free world any better at all? We've had a major roll over in the last ten days of our mission critical control system that practically runs the place. I've filed over 40 critical bugs and god knows how many others around the place have filed without telling me. Now the pilot and dev teams (third level support) are working closely with us to resolve as many as they can as quickly as possible though that is taking awhile as they are moving more and more of
        • Re:No, bad (Score:5, Insightful)

          by naasking (94116) <naasking @ g m a il.com> on Wednesday September 20, 2006 @08:36PM (#16150591) Homepage
          you don't see Microsoft telling it's customers "You don't like explorer? Fix it yourself!"

          No, Microsoft says, "You don't like explorer? Tough shit!" On rare occasions it's "You don't like explorer? Well I'm afraid it's far too integrated into Windows your Honour."
          • Yeah, but my USB ports work in Windows don't they. :-)

            Though I half blame crappy mobo producers too... PICK A STANDARD AND STICK TO IT!!!

            In this day and age, ethernet and USB controllers should be a dime a dozen. Not obscure and hard to clone...

            Tom
        • by Zach978 (98911)
          Dude, get a grip. You're using a source based distro, it's not going to hold your hand through kernel module selection, hotplugging, etc. If you want that, go try one of these easier to use distros, because Gentoo, Source Mage and the like are pretty much "fix if your self" type of deals. And maybe if you weren't such and asshole they'd help you out a little more.
        • by Rix (54095)
          Brace yourself, your sense of entitlement may make this difficult for you to accept.

          You are not Gentoo's customer. You did not give them any money. They do not owe you a damned thing. Calling the developers "lazy" is absurd, given that you seem to have contributed absolutely nothing. If Gentoo isn't working out for you, you are perfectly free to not use it, fix it, or hire someone to fix it. You have absolutely no basis to complain that the gift horse has ugly teeth.
          • You don't get to brag that you *donated* your time and effort to a project if you expect to be compenated for your troubles. Last I checked Gentoo was a free product, donated to the public [under various licenses] for all to use. If this means I can't gripe about shit getting broken without taking out my cheque book ... then it's not really a free project now is it?

            I didn't pay for that toll highway in Toronto, but I certainly can't use it for free. Does that mean the highway was "donated" to the public?
            • by Rix (54095)
              Sure it is. The fact that people gave you a bunch of free shit doesn't give you the right to demand they give you more free shit, or different free shit. Do I have the right to demand that you add feature x to your projects, or that you fix bug y right now and before bug z?
              • I know what you are saying.

                But there is a diff between "Your shit won't build with GCC 4.1.1" and "I really want a port to J2ME this weekend if possible" [*].

                I think overall I fulfill probably more than 90% of all user requests. I reject the ones that have nothing to do with my goals [e.g. porting to J2ME] and others which are just wrong [e.g. insecure or just inefficient].

                Tom

                [*] Don't laugh, I have people requesting stupid shit all the time. Micro-optimizers are the worst though. Telling me that if I us
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by ChaosDiscord (4913) *

          Frankly, this is why OSS sucks.

          You want stability? If Gentoo is as problematic as you claim, maybe you should move to a more mainstream, boring distribution. Debian's stable release isn't very exciting, but it has a good reputation for stability. Same goes for the various Red Hat repackages like CentOS. If you don't like the free support, check out what other distros offer; I hear good stuff about Ubuntu's community. If you want more certain support, go pay for a distribution like Red Hat and cough u

    • "Q&A" is Question and Answer.

      "QA" is Quality Assurance.

      Both are applicable. The former is for people who are tired of being told to RTFM. The latter is for people who are tired of things not working as they should when the do RTFM.
    • NO MORE!

      Here, here!!!!

      I completely 2nd this - it was only a couple of weeks ago that I was aiming for the gentoo distribution for a server. Only to find this new fangled installer (that I did NOT like), and then after spending a couple of hours getting the base system installed, tried to update everything - and what do you know? PAM and shadow libraries conflicting whith each other. I had remove both (making logging in impossible obviously) and the update the whole system. Completely breaking the OS,
      • Hint: tarball your system drive. Burn to a DVD.

        That way when Gentoo decides to do something like "lets move to glibc 2.4 and break all your coreutils, nobody needs ls anyways!" you can just untar and wait.

        Tom
        • Heh, I would agree with that if the system was already to go and completely functional with all the services I wanted. But I was just trying to install it in the first place, the *upgrade* I'm refering to is the first one you do after you build the kernel and reboot into your new system.
    • No more extras, fix the base!!!

      Somewhere in the bug system is a YEARS OLD ticket, begging the tree maintainers to add one of the (otherwise very popular) alternatives to the horrendously bad etc-update tool. Numerous times people had "bumped" the ticket by replying to it, and asking what the hold-up was.

      Maintainers replied with "we're BUSY", and the response was "FOR A WHOLE YEAR!?". Then the excuse changed to "we don't want to confuse the users" (emphasis added.) Apparently, gentoo users are conside

      • by whoever57 (658626)
        Somewhere in the bug system is a YEARS OLD ticket, begging the tree maintainers to add one of the (otherwise very popular) alternatives to the horrendously bad etc-update tool. Numerous times people had "bumped" the ticket by replying to it, and asking what the hold-up was.
        And a replacement has been there for years -- it's called "dispatch-conf".
    • 'm tired of trying to talk people into Gentoo only to find out that the tree is half-f***ed all the time [like packages marked stable requiring other libs NOT IN THE F***** TREE YET].

      This is simply not true. If there are problems, the parent has wildly exaggerated them.

      I have been engaged in massive updates to my system recently, prompted by:

      1. GCC update (and the effect on libstdc++)

      2. OpenSSL (requiring a re-build of all packages depending on OpenSSL)

      3. A large number of package updates recently.

      • I just finished building a Core2 box LAST WEEK. It required me to add new [undoced] USE flags to get Pango/cairo/etc installed correctly [flags I may add that my Opteron box STILL doesn't have].

        Clearly the "xft" flag [iirc] should be either documented or defaulted as I didn't see it required elsewhere [and strictly speaking I was emerging Gnome so Gentoo should set the flags required for Gnome regardless].

        Tom
    • by TCM (130219)
      This is the problem with OSS. Everyone wants to get famous for the next big breakthrough and nobody wants to maintain the shit.
      s/OSS/Linux/

      There, fixed it for you.
    • Re: No, bad (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Black Parrot (19622)
      > Spend more time on fucking Q & A. I'm tired of trying to talk people into Gentoo only to find out that the tree is half-fucked all the time

      Yes, for the past year or so I've been noticing more broken dependencies. Really annoying was a couple of *mm packages that got into an upgrade-downgrade cycle. Every time you did -uD world they'd want to switch to whatever they were before the last time.

      That was a glaring annoyance, but hardly the only one. I've been working on "clean" install this week, and i
      • I cried when they removed "--inject". I used that all the time to overstep the up-down cycles.

        Or how about this,

        I DON'T WANT GENTOO FUCKING SOURCES IN THERE. I'll use a vanilla kernel thank you.

        What the hell is dependent on gentoo-sources anyways?

        Tom
        • I DON'T WANT GENTOO FUCKING SOURCES IN THERE. I'll use a vanilla kernel thank you.
          I solved that by adding gentoo-sources-2.6.99 to package.provided. I also masked vanilla-sources and gentoo-sources because I do all that myself, I don't need portage messing with my kernel sources.
          • What I hate is the downloads of a 40MB package which then turns into 32000 files taking up 400MB...I could see if the kernel was 10MB and a dozen files or something but this is a bit excessive to just randomly force install...

            Tom
  • by PhrostyMcByte (589271) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Wednesday September 20, 2006 @07:43PM (#16150329) Homepage
    I havn't used Gentoo since its early days, when there where no big binary downloads for it. My question is, if you aren't going to compile from source to get that extra level of customizability, what's the difference between Gentoo and say, Debian testing/unstable?
    • by really? (199452) on Wednesday September 20, 2006 @07:47PM (#16150351)
      Err ... completely different colour high horse to look down on other from?
    • by Rix (54095)
      There's value in having a system that works now, which can then recompile itself to your specifics in the background.
      • by batkiwi (137781)
        Honest question: What value is that?
        • by Rix (54095)
          I'm not exactly sure what you're asking me. The value of having most of x now and all of x later rather than none of x now and all of x later seems obvious.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ArcherB (796902)
      if you aren't going to compile from source to get that extra level of customizability, what's the difference between Gentoo and say, Debian testing/unstable?

      apt-get is spelled different that emerge.

      Seriously, apt-get replaced my kernel... probably because I told it to, but I was expecting at least to have the option to go back. I was hosed (before live CD's). Gentoo is a bit harder to replace the kernel, but you have the option of installing multiple kernels. I know I could have done it with Debian too,
      • In Ubuntu when you do "sudo apt-get install kernelnamehere" your new kernel is added as the default in grub, but every other kernel you've had on that system remains there as an option. It pushes windows down pretty far down the boot menu. :)

        I'm not sure why debian doesn't do the same thing by default...
      • by batkiwi (137781)
        What release of debian, what kernel? Did you file a bug?

        I've NEVER had apt-get replace a kernel. It installs them along-side and sets the new one to the default.
        • by ArcherB (796902)
          What release of debian, what kernel? Did you file a bug?

          It was quite a while ago and the first time I tried debian (yes, real debian), back when Mandrake was still Mandrake and Fedora was called RedHat. I was even more of a newbie then than I am today. I'm sure I could have booted off of a floppy and simply edited grub or lilo.conf, but I wasn't that advanced yet. I'm also sure that I had said yes to many "Are you sure you wanna screw your system up? (y/n)" messages, so any bug report I would have filed
  • by mickwd (196449) on Wednesday September 20, 2006 @07:50PM (#16150370)
    • by On Lawn (1073) on Wednesday September 20, 2006 @08:07PM (#16150458) Journal
      Way cool.

      He's always been a person who does something first, and then talks about it later. I remember way back in the Stampede days, it was all just an idea that code could be compiled to run faster. And the Stampede team just did it.

      But what really made Gentoo nice was when DRobbins took from BSD the ability to turn on and off features for the whole system from the bottom up. Having watched Turbo Fredriksson chaff on Debian's package scheme (although I don't think it felt as painful to him as it looked to me) Gentoo was a welcome suprise.

      But I have to say, I finally understand what the poster might be getting at. The problem is not Gentoo as much as it is a general problem that Gentoo has not solved for itself. And that is managers vs doers. The person linked as a complainer wants more management, and the people in the LWN article want more doing. Management is overhead if all you do with it is make decisions. Management streamlines and makes the doers' job easier when done right.

      I remember the golden days of slashdot ended for me when I realized that it was filled with managers not doers. Everyone was giving opinions on what everyone else should do, from software development to technical development. I suppose it is only natural, slashdot is a place to talk and think. So that is who it attracts.

      So it is funny to me that this debate that seems to have come full circle, and probably will continue to hound projects like Gentoo. The person who posted the controversy seems to have completely missed the topic, and his summary shows it. But I hope all the best for Gentoo. I'm sure they'll figure it out with a few hard knocks here and there. I don't think Gentoo will go anywhere, unless a better source distro comes along. And if so, I have no problem with that.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 20, 2006 @07:54PM (#16150390)
    Posting anonymously, because I'm a Gentoo developer and I don't feel like getting fired for speaking out against a certain clique.

    Gentoo is, at this point, royally fucked, and this is a perfect illustration of why. The project no longer encourages technical discussion, debate or getting things done. Anyone trying to have technical discussion is called out and accused of flaming by the once great Seemant (who has not done any development himself for years) and his horde of fanboy minions (most noticably, Jakub) who skipped the usual recruitment process (Seemant throws a hissy fit any time any of his recruits are rejected for failing the quiz), who would rather that people did things without planning and jumped ahead with the kind of fuckups that OS X and Sunrise were than that anyone had a disagreement. Instead, it favors fancy announcements and poorly thought out publicity under the guise of 'making things easier for the users'.

    If you look closely, you'll see that Gentoo has not actually done anything for about two years now. Even an attempt to change the color of the website failed after over a year of work. And this is a shame, because it has so much potential. Honestly, I don't know how to fix things. I don't have enough time or enough of a reputation to persuade people to learn from past mistakes (yes, this is Sunrise all over again).
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Stalyn (662)
      If you look closely, you'll see that Gentoo has not actually done anything for about two years now. Even an attempt to change the color of the website failed after over a year of work.

      I have been using Gentoo for quite awhile and I don't have any gripes. Someone has to be doing something (maintaining packages) or I wouldn't have to emerge --sync and emerge -uD world every few days. But I guess if you consider changing the website color as doing something you could be right.
      • by Penguin Follower (576525) <TuxTheBurninator ... DENom minus poet> on Wednesday September 20, 2006 @08:59PM (#16150705) Journal
        I have been using Gentoo for quite awhile and I don't have any gripes. Someone has to be doing something (maintaining packages) or I wouldn't have to emerge --sync and emerge -uD world every few days.

        Except that as another user noted above, there's a problem with the base install where PAM and shadow libraries conflict with each other (obviously there are packates from the stage tarball that depend on each?) and it was a problem in the 2006.0 release. Something like that should have been fixed for the 2006.1 release. I had a lot of "fun" getting around that problem (and a lot of wasted time!).

        I mean basically "out of the box", you've just finished the install and you reboot into your new gentoo system only to find a PITA of a problem the minute you go to install a package or set of packages that depends on Pam or shadow. I still have the 2005.whatever release still running on my main linux box because of this (I was smart and tried 2006.x on a different system first.)

        • by Stalyn (662)
          Apparently the fix is emerge -C pam-login && emerge -u shadow [gentoo.org]. You should probably do a revdep-rebuild to be safe.

          I think I encountered this bug awhile ago and did the same thing which I figured out myself. Also having built my system from ~arch I think I removed further problems. But you are right it should have been fixed.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by wolf31o2 (778801)

          Except that as another user noted above, there's a problem with the base install where PAM and shadow libraries conflict with each other (obviously there are packates from the stage tarball that depend on each?) and it was a problem in the 2006.0 release. Something like that should have been fixed for the 2006.1 release. I had a lot of "fun" getting around that problem (and a lot of wasted time!).

          Umm... that's called a blocker and it is done intentionally to keep you from screwing up your own system. Per

    • by On Lawn (1073)
      I remember one early day on #gentoo a developer I recognized from the mindless cabal that was #devian-devel came a'trollin. The conversation went something like this:

      debian-stud> Nice little distro you have here
      generic1> Thanks
      generic2> Welcome Thanks!
      debian-stud> Its not very good now, but it could be
      debian-stud> it has many violations of the FSB...

      There were many replies, but this one seemed to typify the attitude of Gentoo at the time:

      superdev>FSB compliant does not make a great dist

    • by wolf31o2 (778801) on Wednesday September 20, 2006 @09:33PM (#16150863)
      Well, I'm not going to post anonymously. In fact, you're more than welcome to see exactly what I think. I know for a fact that this is going to make me a few enemies and probably piss off quite a few developers. Quite frankly, I agree with the poster here on many things, but definitely not on all of them. Gentoo really needs a few things to remain a top distribution. For one, we absolutely must stop doing this experimental crap and start focusing on improving and fixing what we already have in the tree. We need to focus on improving the quality of the distribution more than adding new "features" that do nothing more than make things easier on the lazy and the incompetent. There are simply too many Gentoo developers moving in too many directions. We have no focus. We have no direction. Worse yet, if we had one, we have no way of enforcing that we actually move towards it. Gentoo needs a good house-cleaning to remove some of the "problem children" and get us back to, oh, I don't know, maintaining packages and fixing bugs. Sure, that's not very glamorous, but we *are* a community-based Linux distribution. Perhaps we should get back to actually working on that, instead of trying to come up with new projects which sap resources from other places.

      It is my personal opinion that the Gentoo developer community is too large and too diverse to properly work towards any real common goals. We have also diverged too far into essentially two camps, those that want the new whiz-bang features and want them now, and those that want a good, stable, reliable, and flexible system that is capable of meeting the demands put upon it. I definitely fall into the second category. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for experimental things, but they should be done outside of the scope of the main project and brought into the project once they've been proven.

      I tend to believe that Gentoo needs more internal structure and needs more *well-designed* process to get things done. I don't think that red tape is the answer, but there has to be something done to solve this current anarchy. General development in the business world follows many stages, from initial design, through development, testing, QA, then deployment. In too many places, Gentoo developers are completely skipping the design and jumping straight into development. What this gives the world is a poorly designed product that is extremely hard to maintain and keep the quality up on over time. Beyond that, general testing an QA is being skipped in far too many places, or being done "after the fact" once something is in the wild.

      I hope that the election of a new Gentoo council will bring about change to make Gentoo for the better, but truly fear that unless we start taking a hardline position on many of these new projects that we will fade into oblivion under the weight of our own garbage.
    • by petrus4 (213815) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @05:26AM (#16152149) Homepage Journal
      Anyone trying to have technical discussion is called out and accused of flaming by the once great Seemant (who has not done any development himself for years) and his horde of fanboy minions (most noticably, Jakub)

      This sounds to me like the same old story with regards to any form of participation in the terminal sociological disease we call "the Linux community" in general.

      Eric Raymond, Richard Stallman, and Bruce Perens are the broader community's resident egomaniacs. RMS in particular considers anyone who comes anywhere near Linux to automatically become his bitch by default. The other two aren't quite as bad, but they're not much better. From what I'm seeing here, it seems the seperate communities of some distros have the same type of "celebrity" problem...people whose output of actual work ceased years ago, but who insist on staying around and trying to demand that those who actually *are* working bow down and worship them on the basis of *past* accomplishments. Stallman is the single biggest example of what I mean, here...you need to go back *at least* 15 years to point to any of his programmatic contributions, and yet he still hangs around now, shooting his mouth off, demanding credit for things that don't belong to him, and causing nothing but problems generally.

      I'm working on something almost entirely alone as a way of avoiding this type of garbage. If I need to deal with anyone, I talk to the people who are doing the various sub-projects' actual gruntwork, direct on Freenode...the proverbial people in the trenches. They're the ones who really build Linux, day in and day out, and they generally get zero credit for it. I remember what ESR once said about this, and I'm going to expand on it:- If you're not producing actual code, but are simply looking to build your own ego or a clique, then kindly sit down and shut the fuck up so that the rest of us who *are* doing something useful can concentrate.

      The various social, psychiatric, and neurological disabilities of a number of people associated with Linux by themselves constitute the operating system's main problem...nothing else. Said people need to get over themselves, and above all, quite honestly disappear if they're not willing to do anything genuinely constructive.

      That is who gets my own respect, though...people doing actual work. Linux's "celebrities" are formally invited to go and perform anatomically impossible acts with various sharp-edged gardening implements, as far as I'm concerned...and that goes triple for RMS.
  • Sunrise disaster (Score:5, Informative)

    by urbanradar (1001140) <timothyfielding&gmail,com> on Wednesday September 20, 2006 @08:01PM (#16150420) Homepage
    For those who have no idea what exactly the "sunrise disaster" in the summary is supposed to mean, like I did, here's the link: Project sunrise [gentoo-sunrise.org].
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by paskie (539112)
      And what exactly is disastrous about it? According to the timeline it is alive and nothing hints about any disasters...
  • by AtariDatacenter (31657) on Wednesday September 20, 2006 @08:08PM (#16150459)
    I personally benefited from the Ubuntu 'server' install CD. One of the options was clearly labeled something to the effect of, "INSTALL LAMP SERVER". (Linux, Apache, MySql, Php) In no time at all, I went from bare metal to up and running Drupal. I can't tell you how much of a time saver it was. (And out-of-the-box pretty secure, unnecessary daemons all disabled.)
  • I'll take the opportunity to pimp Source Mage Linux (http://www.sourcemage.org). SMGL is far simpler, easier, and faster to set up than Gentoo. The system management scripts are fast, and work astoundingly well, and the devs are always in irc and love to help. Just an all-around nicer bunch of guys and a better distro than Gentoo's seen in a few years.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by dogwarrior (839105)

      Here's another satisfied SourceMage user. :)

      My first source based Linux installation was SourceMage, which I decided to try after the Gentoo 2006.0 installer failed to accept the keymap I told it to use. I was quite happy with SourceMage but I wanted to try Gentoo because it's more popular. So, when the Gentoo 2006.1 installer came out, I decided to give it a go. This time it accepted my keymap and I got Gentoo successfully installed. Still, I found Gentoo installation a real PITA when compared to SourceMa

  • I chose Gentoo specifically for the ability to build packages
    with the features I wanted, and not to have to depend on packages
    used in someone elses system layout and choices.

    Seeds is a waste of time and resources. If I wanted a distro based
    around someone elses packages I would have chosen Suse or Debian.

    Idiots...
  • by starseeker (141897) on Wednesday September 20, 2006 @08:16PM (#16150505) Homepage
    I use and like Gentoo Linux, primarily because it is a distribution that lets me install virtually anything, including odd obscure scientific software, with a minimum of fuss. Additionally, many times when things work, they REALLY work because the distribution doesn't get in the way.

    But I'm considering trying KUbuntu for my next go-around. In addition to the new software compile requirements gradually outrunning my computer's hardware, I must agree that the smoothness of massive universal upgrades just hasn't felt "as clean" of late. The most important environments for my linux box I will usually wind up building myself anyway (Maxima, Axiom, BRL-CAD, various Lisp packages) and for the rest of it I'm less interested in building for hours upon end for minor upgrades. Particularly if there is a decent chance of introducing problems.

    Conceptually, I like the idea of a system that can build itself from source code - there's something clean about it, and also self sufficient. If a system can build itself, it means most everything on the system is pretty solid as far as having what it needs in place. But waning horse power and a focus on things other than endless system tweaking may motivate me to shift.

    Originally, I loved that Gentoo let me turn on exactly what I needed to get my hardware to work well, and that was my primary motivation for using it. I still love its documentation, and that I suspect may someday outlive the main Gentoo project itself. But I think it might be time to check out the alternatives again, and lower my monthly power bill ;-)
  • Gentoo Seed Destiny?
  • by RLiegh (247921) * on Wednesday September 20, 2006 @08:30PM (#16150570) Homepage Journal
    So, let's recap. Debian is having to pay developers in order to get a working distribution out of the door anywhere near on-schedule; NetBSD is embroiled in a scandal surrounding the undue influence of Wasabi on the core team -when it's not flayling wildly trying to cope with its' other management problems, and now it emerges that gentoo has been stuck in a political quagmire for years holding back even the most frivilous of changes (forget any major ones).

    We've reached the point where all-volunteer, non-commercial unix-style Operating Systems are drowning in personality conflicts; and the only technical strides and achievements are coming largely from private companies (Sun, Redhat).

    This quaint social experiment of altruistic development has shown two things: as much as you may dislike corporate culture, corporate structure and the incentive of a paycheck are what is needed to gain any sort of professional-quality software going out of the door on a regular basis.

    Remove the structure, remove the incentive and before long you're left with nothing more than quibbling dorks and software packages like gentoo which half of the time are badly broken because no one can be bothered to work on them.
    • Who has a gentoo system that works perfectly fine? Plus my system is entirely from the unstable branch.
      • I have three. Id say 2 of them work great.
      • by RLiegh (247921) *
        Running from any unstable source tree comes with it's own risks and necessitates a certain skill level (which, as a poster with a three-digit UID you doubtlessly have). That level of skill should not be necessary for building a stable tree. Finding problems with dependencies (routinely being unable to build package Y because library C has not be integrated) on a stable tree should never happen (and yet routinely does with gentoo); that kind of problem should only happen in unstable.

        I have no doubt that you
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Stalyn (662)
      We've reached the point where all-volunteer, non-commercial unix-style Operating Systems are drowning in personality conflicts; and the only technical strides and achievements are coming largely from private companies (Sun, Redhat).

      It should be noted that the majority of people working for RedHat/Novell/Intel on OSS projects were OSS developers first and then did good work which got them noticed by the corporate structure. They were then hired to do what they were already doing, of course now they have mana
      • by RLiegh (247921) *
        >>We've reached the point where all-volunteer, non-commercial unix-style Operating Systems are drowning in personality conflicts; and the only technical strides and achievements are coming largely from private companies (Sun, Redhat).

        >It should be noted that the majority of people working for RedHat/Novell/Intel on OSS projects were OSS developers first and then did good work which got them noticed by the corporate structure.

        In short, we had the F/OSS boom which has led to a subsequent brain-drain,
    • by kestasjk (933987)
      Bear in mind that you're talking about distributions of set of free software. The beauty of our current free software ecosystem is that it's divided into so many small chunks and dependencies. These small parts don't suffer from personality conflicts and other problems that arise with very large, influential projects.
      • by RLiegh (247921) *
        These small parts suffer from the same personality conflicts from which they originate (I'll point you to the circumstances surrounding the formation of the OpenBSD project, which you should already be familiar with if you're holding this conversation).

        Larger projects manage to side-step personality conflicts and have infrastructure in place which prevents said conflicts from detracting from the project (not to say the project won't have other faults -NIH and Beaureaucratese are two that readily come to min
    • by drew (2081) on Wednesday September 20, 2006 @10:25PM (#16151076) Homepage
      this must be the perfect example of the old physics experiment rule:
      "When you need to ensure a close fit to a line, make sure that you use only two data points."

      OK, so you mentioned three open source projects that are having trouble right now, and two commercial companies that aren't.

      What happens when you add Ubuntu, KDE, FreeBSD, or Firefox to your list. (OK, nix Firefox. Bad example).

      Or for that matter, look how much corporate structure and financial incentive have helped Microsoft to get Vista, IE 7, and Office 12 out the door on time.

      Any group can be run badly, and any group can be run well if there is enough interest and leadership. This incident reflects poorly on the leadership and members of the Gentoo project, nothing more and nothing less.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Spit (23158)
      The large projects that succeed all have an arbitrator who has final call on any conflicts: Linux has Linux and OpenBSD has Theo. Sun and Redhat have executives. The decision maker is the final step required in a project to prevent ego-paralysis. It is telling that OpenBSD and Linux are two of the most innovative and complex projects around.

      Note: Linux is a kernel.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by quag7 (462196)
      I'm not sure your post is fair. Despite the problems you list, free operating systems have come *this* far. There are quite a few very usable, (in fact, some quite polished) linux distributions which have been developed by volunteers.

      Whatever Gentoo's organizational problems, no one should get the idea that the distro itself is falling apart. Frankly, if I didn't see stories like this, as a Gentoo user, I wouldn't know something was seriously wrong.

      I assume you were using hyperbole when you said that Gen
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I've been on Gentoo since RH EOL'd RH9. I switch all my desktops and servers to it and 95% of the time everything works just great. I emerge sync and -uDN almost every day and it's a very rare day when portage is broken. portage is the real beauty of Gentoo. It's the Lincoln's Axe of distros, and that's a good thing. Y'know Lincoln's Axe, right? How old is this axe? 150 years old, but of course no one piece is because it got a new handle, then a new axe head, then a new handle, then a new head...

    I mai
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Progman3K (515744)
      Totaly with you on this.

      I've been running Gentoo for about 3 years. Before I was running Windows.

      Gentoo is so much more stable, responsive, easy to maintain and has the best forums I've ever seen.

      Like you, the only time(s) I've ever had problems on the machines I have installed it on was always due to hardware or running out of disk space! :-)

      It is time to send them some money.
  • It does address a criticism often directed at Gentoo.
    So now, no more waiting to get the tool you need.
    Good idea, devs!
  • I use and like Gentoo Linux, primarily because it is a distribution that lets me install virtually anything, including odd obscure scientific software, with a minimum of fuss. Additionally, many times when things work, they REALLY work because the distribution doesn't get in the way.

    I dont find any (practical) difference between Gentoo and an distro like SUSE. And all the fuss seems to be about how difficult its to use Gentooo!!!
  • I give up.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by B5_geek (638928) on Wednesday September 20, 2006 @11:45PM (#16151384)
    I have just spent the last 2 days trying to install Gentoo. First I tried the newest 2006.1 LiveDVD. It wouldn't get past gpm (general purpose mouse), so I disabled gpm, and it got stuck on the next section.

    I went to IRC, #gentoo@freenet.org and the sage advice I got was: um, yeah 2006.1 is bjorked, try 2005.1.

    So I did. I popped in the LiveCD, let it boot and upon once complete I had a CLI. (surprised me, all other LiveCD's I have used actually booted to a GUI) Not a problem, I can handle this. I followed the directions in the handbook exactly. Everything went smoothly untill it came time to reboot (after setting up grub).

    Reboot. Grub panics because it can't find what it needs. I got the edit menu and try to fix it. No luck.

    So I go through the whole process again. This time I even went so far as to make my partitions the exact same size so that everything would be verbatim. reboot, same grub panic.

    Third try; I avoid the Stage 3 install and do everything live via the online handbook.
    It works! Glorious Rapture I can now boot to a CLI. The handbook on the CD is DIFFERENT AND WRONG. The online handbook is accurate and worked.

    So now it's time to start installing apps. MC and rar were the first to be installed, portage was complaining about using an old profile, so I switched it manually. It still didn't like it, so thanks to help on IRC I emerged eselect and was able to change my emerge profile. I test it with a couple other small apps, and errors are all gone.

    Now I need a web-browser, so I can google for answers to questions that I have. emerge lynx
    Emerge now throws up some access violation. Next I try links, same error.

    I think to myself, I'll get back to those later. so I emerge fluxbox (expecting to get xorg too, but I didn't despite flux's obvious dependencies).

    Flux installs with no errors.
    startx -> nothing
    ok, so now emerge xorg-x11, and I get another Access Violation. I toss in a knoppix CD, get online to google these access Violations, turns out that it is (possibly) due to a font conflict between 2 differnet packages that need to be installed (that both need the same font).

    I quit. Back to Debian for me. Apt I missed you.
    I have tried:
    redhat, mandrake, suse, slackware, DSL, puppy, linspire, debian, ubuntu, and now gentoo.
    They have all caused me grief. But I still love debian.

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