FAQ Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
» Video Reviews

» Linux Archive

Linux-archive is a website aiming to archive linux email lists and to make them easily accessible for linux users/developers.


» Sponsor

» Partners

» Sponsor

Go Back   Linux Archive > Gentoo > Gentoo User

 
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
 
Old 02-03-2009, 09:56 PM
Grant
 
Default Gentoo's advantage: "optimized for your system" -- huh?

> Whenever I see a write-up of Gentoo, it's describe as a system
> similar to BSD "ports" where you build packages from source.
> The main benefit claimed for this approach is that you get
> better performance because all executables are optimized for
> exactly the right instruction set.

More often than not, when I read that description of "Gentoo's
advantage" it is meant to turn people off. Ricer, etc.

- Grant

> Where did that bit of apocrypha come from, and why is it
> parroted by so many people?
>
> AFAICT, the "performance" benefit due to compiler optimization
> is practically nil in real-world usage.
>
> In my experience the huge benefit of source-based distros such
> as Gentoo is elimination of the library dependency-hell that
> mires other binary-based distros.
>
> For many years I ran RedHat and then Mandrake. After a year or
> so, they became impossible to maintain because of library
> version conflicts. Every time I tried up upgrade an RPM package
> to fix a bug or security hole, it required a handful of
> libraries to be upgraded, but doing that would break a bunch of
> other RPMs for which upgrades weren't available. The solution
> was always to start building stuff from sources. Once you
> started doing that, the package manager would get upset because
> it doesn't know about some stuff that's installed (unless you
> built from source RPMs, which had another set of problems).
>
> The second benefit is that with Gentoo, upgrading a system
> actually works over the long-run. With RedHat/Mandrake, things
> would gradually deteriorate to the point where the system was
> unmaintainable, but attempting to upgrade between major
> releases was always futile. I've had Gentoo machines that have
> been upgraded for 4-5 years without any significant problems
> (failed hard-drives don't count).
>
> The third main benefit I've seen is that there are vastly more
> packages available for Gentoo. Putting together and
> maintaining an ebuild appears to take a lot less work than
> putting together and maintaining a binary RPM package. I've
> had far fewer problems with third party ebuilds than I did with
> third-party RPMs (on the rare occasions when I found one for
> some obscure application I wanted to run). Again, the solution
> was always "build from sources".
>
> Are the real benefits of Gentoo too hard to explain to the
> unwashed masses, so instead they're told the fairy tale about
> imporoved performance?
>
> --
> Grant Edwards grante Yow! ! Up ahead! It's a
 
Old 02-03-2009, 10:02 PM
Norberto Bensa
 
Default Gentoo's advantage: "optimized for your system" -- huh?

On Tue, Feb 3, 2009 at 8:39 PM, Grant Edwards <grante@visi.com> wrote:
> AFAICT, the "performance" benefit due to compiler optimization
> is practically nil in real-world usage.

It used to make a difference, but not anymore with today microprocessors.


> In my experience the huge benefit of source-based distros such
> as Gentoo is elimination of the library dependency-hell that
> mires other binary-based distros.

maybe redhat had that problem, but others (debian based distros for
example) doesn't have dep hell AFAICS (I run Debian and Ubuntu based
servers and desktops)


> The second benefit is that with Gentoo, upgrading a system
> actually works over the long-run. With RedHat/Mandrake, things
> would gradually deteriorate to the point where the system was
> unmaintainable,

Same point. Maybe only a problem with RH.


> The third main benefit I've seen is that there are vastly more
> packages available for Gentoo.

Hm.. Depends on what packages you're interested. You have no
commercial support if you run Gentoo from -for example- VMware.


> Putting together and
> maintaining an ebuild appears to take a lot less work than
> putting together and maintaining a binary RPM package.

Maybe. I haven't tried to make a RPM package, but I tried DEB. It's
almost as easy as with Gentoo.


> Are the real benefits of Gentoo too hard to explain to the
> unwashed masses, so instead they're told the fairy tale about
> imporoved performance?

Gentoo has -from my point of view- only one benefit: if you're a
developer, you'll love Gentoo as every dev-dependency is already
installed. Other than that, I see none.

Now, if Gentoo devs could be as kind as -for example- Ubuntu devs,
that would rock. But they aren,t and so -after 7 years- I'm looking
for another distro to migrate to. Kubuntu is one of my favorites. I'm
testing Fedora and openSuSE. Who will win?

Gentoo just doesn't make sense anymore for me - unless you're a masochist
 
Old 02-03-2009, 10:06 PM
Paul Hartman
 
Default Gentoo's advantage: "optimized for your system" -- huh?

On Tue, Feb 3, 2009 at 4:39 PM, Grant Edwards <grante@visi.com> wrote:
> Whenever I see a write-up of Gentoo, it's describe as a system
> similar to BSD "ports" where you build packages from source.
> The main benefit claimed for this approach is that you get
> better performance because all executables are optimized for
> exactly the right instruction set.
>
> Where did that bit of apocrypha come from, and why is it
> parroted by so many people?

I've never done any benchmarks on my system of i386 vs core2 or
anything like that... I think the fact that gentoo allows you to
control compiler flags which can potentially give you speedups is more
of it. But, like you, building from source is kind of a side-effect of
Gentoo and not the reason why. Compiling for the sake of compiling is
just a waste of time, and that's why a lot of people say "Just use
Ubuntu" or whatever.

> AFAICT, the "performance" benefit due to compiler optimization
> is practically nil in real-world usage.

I can't say, but it "feels right" to use things tuned for your
specific hardware, even if it's meaningless. And some things like
running 64-bit vs 32-bit definitely makes a difference. But,
absolutely, the time spent compiling for core2 versus installing a
binary package for i586 is never going to be worth it.

> In my experience the huge benefit of source-based distros such
> as Gentoo is elimination of the library dependency-hell that
> mires other binary-based distros.

I agree completely. Portage and the lack of dependency nightmares
(usually ) is so nice. Things like live SVN ebuilds are so simple
to maintain, rather than building binary snapshots etc.

I'm a 4-year or so Gentoo user, and have donated money, and using
redhat at work is always a nightmare when I'm used to the flexibility
of Gentoo
 
Old 02-03-2009, 10:08 PM
Yannick Mortier
 
Default Gentoo's advantage: "optimized for your system" -- huh?

2009/2/3 Grant Edwards <grante@visi.com>:
> Whenever I see a write-up of Gentoo, it's describe as a system
> similar to BSD "ports" where you build packages from source.
> The main benefit claimed for this approach is that you get
> better performance because all executables are optimized for
> exactly the right instruction set.
>
> Where did that bit of apocrypha come from, and why is it
> parroted by so many people?

I guess that is because the average user doesn't know those other
problems. Maybe he is used to reinstall his system every few months
because he used Windows before (which was the case for me, I repeat
was). Or he just reinstalls it when something fails.
Also this sounds like a very strong argument. Just imagine! That shiny
new CPU of yours and it wasn't running at it's full potential! But
wait no more! Use Gentoo and it'll show the power of all its
instructions!

>
> AFAICT, the "performance" benefit due to compiler optimization
> is practically nil in real-world usage.

Not nil, but very very small. Maybe some 0.25 oder 0.5 frames per
second in a game or 2 or 3 requests more per second for a webserver. I
tried that.

>
> In my experience the huge benefit of source-based distros such
> as Gentoo is elimination of the library dependency-hell that
> mires other binary-based distros.

You are absolutely right!

>
> For many years I ran RedHat and then Mandrake. After a year or
> so, they became impossible to maintain because of library
> version conflicts. Every time I tried up upgrade an RPM package
> to fix a bug or security hole, it required a handful of
> libraries to be upgraded, but doing that would break a bunch of
> other RPMs for which upgrades weren't available. The solution
> was always to start building stuff from sources. Once you
> started doing that, the package manager would get upset because
> it doesn't know about some stuff that's installed (unless you
> built from source RPMs, which had another set of problems).
>
> The second benefit is that with Gentoo, upgrading a system
> actually works over the long-run. With RedHat/Mandrake, things
> would gradually deteriorate to the point where the system was
> unmaintainable, but attempting to upgrade between major
> releases was always futile. I've had Gentoo machines that have
> been upgraded for 4-5 years without any significant problems
> (failed hard-drives don't count).

I hope mine will run as long as yours But I'm quite sure it will.
I just love that I can pick newer packages by unkeywording them and I
don't have all those library problems that I would happen with other
distributions. (Which can sometimes be avoided with backports, I know,
but those aren't always available...)

>
> The third main benefit I've seen is that there are vastly more
> packages available for Gentoo. Putting together and
> maintaining an ebuild appears to take a lot less work than
> putting together and maintaining a binary RPM package. I've
> had far fewer problems with third party ebuilds than I did with
> third-party RPMs (on the rare occasions when I found one for
> some obscure application I wanted to run). Again, the solution
> was always "build from sources".

Hmm.. I think making an ebuild is even harder. Because you have got
different combinations of USE flags and if you are a good maintainer
you should check them all, if you build an rpm it is fine if it works.
With 4 USE flags there are already 31 possible combinations.... just
imagine some larger packets with ten and more USE Flags...

>
> Are the real benefits of Gentoo too hard to explain to the
> unwashed masses, so instead they're told the fairy tale about
> imporoved performance?
>

I guess yes, because they just install packages from their
distribution or wildly from the internet so they destroy their
installation and have to reinstall anyways.

And by the way, I love the slogan "Gentoo - It's all about choices"
maybe it should be used more often, maybe it could beat that improved
performance slogan.



--
Currently developing a browsergame...
http://www.p-game.de
Trade - Expand - Fight

Follow me at twitter!
http://twitter.com/moortier
 
Old 02-03-2009, 10:13 PM
"Constantine D. Kardaris"
 
Default Gentoo's advantage: "optimized for your system" -- huh?

It is not just about higher performance.
The same way you can have higher performance, the same way you can use
less flags and less optimizations for a solid/stable system.
You are just not bounded (most of the times) to fixed choices others
doing for you.
 

Thread Tools




All times are GMT. The time now is 09:49 PM.

VBulletin, Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO ©2007, Crawlability, Inc.
Copyright 2007 - 2008, www.linux-archive.org