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Old 02-04-2009, 08:58 AM
Jesús Guerrero
 
Default Gentoo's advantage: 'optimized for your system' -- huh?

El Mar, 3 de Febrero de 2009, 23:39, Grant Edwards escribió:
> 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?

There are parrots in all the social groups. That doesn't mean
that there aren't skilled users that see the real benefit. The
difference is that skilled users (or simply those that use the
system for real advantages and not due to some parrot axiom
like this one) don't go echoing how normal they are all around.

The result is that you only hear parrots, but that doesn't mean
they are the whole nor even the majority of a given community.

> 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.

Yes. I wholeheartedly agree with you here. USE flags they are.
And I love this part of Gentoo.

> 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).

Those who reinstall do it for various reasons. Some are legit (ie.
migration from x86 to amd64), some are just hobbyist stuff (most
of the times). And some people reinstall because they do all kind
of colorful things that break the system to an unusable state.
Gentoo is easy to break if you don't read the manuals and are
unable to put a minimal degree of common sense behind your actions.

That's the dark side of the force. However, I love it.

> 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.

Ditto. And upgrading is usually as easy as to use cp to created
a new version.

A big big advantage is that besides the huge number of packages
that we have, we also have dozens of overlays. Some of which are for
very specific tasks, and some of them are really bug.

Performance is just as good as with any other distro, as long as
both are configured in the same -read sane- way. No distro can make
your pc 200% faster, only a new $$mobo-cpu-ram$$ combo can do that.

--
Jesús Guerrero
 
Old 02-04-2009, 09:08 AM
Nikos Chantziaras
 
Default Gentoo's advantage: 'optimized for your system' -- huh?

Jesús Guerrero wrote:

[...]
A big big advantage is that besides the huge number of packages
that we have, we also have dozens of overlays. [...] and some
of them are really bug.


QFT
 
Old 02-04-2009, 09:09 AM
Jesús Guerrero
 
Default Gentoo's advantage: 'optimized for your system' -- huh?

El Mie, 4 de Febrero de 2009, 0:06, Paul Hartman escribió:
> 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.

Not really. Compiling the things gives you control over what
dependencies will that package have. In a binary distro mplayer
will usually push like 80 or 800 (I never counted them) packages
due to the number of features that it potentially has.

If you don't install those, then the ldd info of the binary is
broken because it can't find the needed object files outside of
mplayer.

Compiling the packages allow you to tune CFLAGS, ok. But even if
you think that -most times- this doesn't make a difference, it's
still worth the trouble compiling it, if only for the sake of
mplayer not having to depend on 200MB of additional software for it
to install correctly.

In gentoo, this is as easy as to set your use flags up, and then
emerge. Easy as hell, and you don't have to go ./configure'ing
with a dozen parameters every single package in your system,
because portage takes cares of that.

I absolutely don't care much about the CFLAGS stuff, I just set
up my -march and forget about it for years. And I think that
there's a lot of point in using GEntoo, even if you have zero
interest in compiling sofware there're still a lot of reasons
why I would use Gentoo over any other Linux.


--
Jesús Guerrero
 
Old 02-04-2009, 09:26 AM
Jesús Guerrero
 
Default Gentoo's advantage: 'optimized for your system' -- huh?

El Mie, 4 de Febrero de 2009, 7:17, Grant Edwards escribió:
> On 2009-02-04, James <wireless@tampabay.rr.com> wrote:
>
>> Grant Edwards <grante <at> visi.com> writes:
>>
>>
>>> Whenever I see a write-up of Gentoo, it's described 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. is practically nil in real-world usage.
>>
>> Not true. You can eliminate many non-essential portions of a
>> compiled program, via use flag and the freedom you get to select
>> software, as opposed to other distros. Smaller executables are usually
>> always faster.
>
[...]
> But that wasn't what I was talking about, and AFAICT that's not
> what reviewers are talking about when they talk about adjusting compiler
> flags to optimize performance. They seem to be talking about building for
> Athlon instead of P4 (or vice-versa).
> Perhaps I've always completely misunderstood the articles I've
> read, and they were indeed talking about USE flags that control options
> passed to "configure" and not about things like gcc's -march and -O
> options.

USe flags can be used for anything. Note that ebuilds are
ultimately bash scripts. And USE flags are just that: f-l-a-g-s.
Flags are used in a script to control things that can be run -or
not- depending on a condition, things like "if in amd64 do this,
if not, if hardened do that, if yes and hardened to anything else"...
That includes things like activating concrete portions of
arch dependent code or a patch, things like passing a simple option
to add or remove a dependency, and any other things that you could
do manually on a shell.

It can of course be used as well to adjust CFLAGS and other things
depending on the architecture or whatever condition you want. And
even more, they can be used to filter CFLAGS that the developers know
that are harmful (and that's a big part of the portage stability,
because in the past users used to shot themselves on the feet by
adding a 20 lines long CFLAGS declaration into their make.conf's.

Note that reviewers usually test a thing for 2 days, and then they
think they are qualified to talk about whatever thing. Some times,
these reviews are useless for this reason. They only scratch the
surface, giving a bad impression or just a poor one.

Note that I said "some times", though I think that "most times"
is potentially a more correct qualifier.

--
Jesús Guerrero
 
Old 02-04-2009, 09:32 AM
Jesús Guerrero
 
Default Gentoo's advantage: 'optimized for your system' -- huh?

El Mie, 4 de Febrero de 2009, 8:39, Alan McKinnon escribió:
> On Wednesday 04 February 2009 09:27:31 Christopher Walters wrote:
>
> I personally don't view Gentoo as a "distro" in the traditional sense. To
> me, it's a build system, an app - portage or paludis - and the devs that
> make cool input files for that app. Building a distro from scratch for
> embedded devices is a painful process if you don't have an automated build
> system. It's not quite a trivial exercise, but portage does make it a
> whole lot easier.

That's mostly what I call a "metadistro". A set of tools and
instructions to build a proper distro that suits you, and maintain
it.

--
Jesús Guerrero
 
Old 02-04-2009, 09:34 AM
Jesús Guerrero
 
Default Gentoo's advantage: 'optimized for your system' -- huh?

El Mie, 4 de Febrero de 2009, 11:08, Nikos Chantziaras escribió:
> Jesús Guerrero wrote:
>
>> [...]
>> A big big advantage is that besides the huge number of packages
>> that we have, we also have dozens of overlays. [...] and some of them are
>> really bug.
>
> QFT

Ouch, I meant "big", though that applies as well :lol:
--
Jesús Guerrero
 
Old 02-04-2009, 12:19 PM
Nikos Chantziaras
 
Default Gentoo's advantage: 'optimized for your system' -- huh?

Sebastián Magrí wrote:

Also, Gentoo is a great school. If you want to learn how a Linux system
works, and really want to learn about Unix systems, then Gentoo is the
best for you.


I don't get that argument. I didn't learn how Linux or Unix works with
Gentoo. I didn't even find my prior knowledge of Unix and Linux of much
use either. Typing "emerge package" and "dispatch-conf" doesn't offer
me much knowledge. It's as simple as Debian in this regard.


If I wanted a "learn Unix" distro, I would be using Slackware :P
 
Old 02-04-2009, 01:01 PM
Alan McKinnon
 
Default Gentoo's advantage: 'optimized for your system' -- huh?

On Wednesday 04 February 2009 15:19:39 Nikos Chantziaras wrote:
> Sebastián Magrí wrote:
> > Also, Gentoo is a great school. If you want to learn how a Linux system
> > works, and really want to learn about Unix systems, then Gentoo is the
> > best for you.
>
> I don't get that argument. I didn't learn how Linux or Unix works with
> Gentoo. I didn't even find my prior knowledge of Unix and Linux of much
> use either. Typing "emerge package" and "dispatch-conf" doesn't offer
> me much knowledge. It's as simple as Debian in this regard.
>
> If I wanted a "learn Unix" distro, I would be using Slackware :P

s/Slackware/Linux From Scratch/

there ya go, fixed that for ya

:-)

--
alan dot mckinnon at gmail dot com
 
Old 02-04-2009, 02:25 PM
Grant Edwards
 
Default Gentoo's advantage: 'optimized for your system' -- huh?

On 2009-02-04, Jes?s Guerrero <i92guboj@terra.es> wrote:
> El Mie, 4 de Febrero de 2009, 8:39, Alan McKinnon escribi?:
>> On Wednesday 04 February 2009 09:27:31 Christopher Walters wrote:
>>
>> I personally don't view Gentoo as a "distro" in the traditional sense. To
>> me, it's a build system, an app - portage or paludis - and the devs that
>> make cool input files for that app. Building a distro from scratch for
>> embedded devices is a painful process if you don't have an automated build
>> system. It's not quite a trivial exercise, but portage does make it a
>> whole lot easier.
>
> That's mostly what I call a "metadistro". A set of tools and
> instructions to build a proper distro that suits you, and maintain
> it.

Except that what you build and maintain isn't a "distro", it's
a single machine.

--
Grant Edwards grante Yow! Are you still an
at ALCOHOLIC?
visi.com
 
Old 02-04-2009, 02:41 PM
Neil Bothwick
 
Default Gentoo's advantage: 'optimized for your system' -- huh?

On Wed, 4 Feb 2009 15:25:49 +0000 (UTC), Grant Edwards wrote:

> Except that what you build and maintain isn't a "distro", it's
> a single machine.

Why?


--
Neil Bothwick

WinErr 01B: Illegal error - You are not allowed to get this error.
Next time you will get a penalty for that.
 

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