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ok ... so i have been using linux for about a month now... i have had some issue (still am with simplyMEPIS) but primalily things have been quite smooth with ...
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  1. #1
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    I don't know if im ready...


    ok ... so i have been using linux for about a month now... i have had some issue (still am with simplyMEPIS) but primalily things have been quite smooth with openSUSE ... and the little bit i have done with k/ubuntu. these are all basicly point and shoot distros as i understand. now... here is the thing... i have been looking at gentoo for a while (actually i tried installing it first back when i ended up toying with mepis and knoppix.... but felt a little inindated then) i feel like i am prolly comfortable enough to give it a shot... however i wanted to ask for some feedback...

    1. how long did most people use linux before they went to gentoo... and if you started with it ... how many tries did it take to get it right?

    2. considering that i do not have a LOT of extra free time to install... would you say it takes a while starting at stage 1 ... or would i be better off trying a stage 3 to begin with?

    3. does EVERYONE agree that the gentoo documentation it full enough to ecompass every installation?

    4. when i poked at it the first time i spent a lot of time bouncing in and out of links2 ... is it easier to maybe waste the ream of paper and ink cartridge (or better my companies ream of paper and toner cartridge) and just print out the documentation

    5. is gentoo really 'better' in terms of speed and configurability

    thanks
    Old Skewl - AMD Athlon XP 1600+ / 512mb / 160gb / nVidia GeForce 4 4800ti 128mb / openSUSE 10.0 / 2.6.13-15 / (puter geek . linux noob)

  2. #2
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    Re: i don't know if im ready...

    1. i installed gentoo after lightly using FC3 for 2 months as my second OS (along with XP). It took me roughly 5 tries to get it right. Just be careful and follow the handbook and you'll do fine. I kinda rushed through it and made different mistakes each time (but i learned from each one and learned how to fix them).

    2. I wouldn't know as i've only done a Stage 3 install....it took around 6 hours to have a full GUI working system up and running. (firefox, xfce, xorg as my main gui stuff)

    3. I'd say it has to be one of the most well-written install documentations for a distro....it covers A LOT of basics and gives you many options based on what your needs are

    4. it's probably safer to print it as, when jumping back in forth from links to the install, you are likely to make mistakes. with a paper in front of you, you can check what you typed as soon as you're done typing it. my install(s) have been with links though...one of them had trouble because i mistyped something but i recovered it early in the install

    5. better? well....speed is regularly argued. technically, it should be faster being that it's compiled specifically for your computer but i really saw little difference when moving from FC3 to gentoo (aside from the lack of bloat). speed in regular use, gentoo is pretty good though. but the installs/updates take a very long time since everything needs to be compiled. configurability, on the other hand, is the main reason i use gentoo. i love how i have so much control over what happens and i understand what's going on. you can set use flags, say, for a burner (use flag is "cdr") and when you install programs it'll make sure to install cd-burner support into programs that may have that as an option. configurability is gentoo's biggest plus imo

  3. #3
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    Hi there, I think this is a very common mistake people make. They start using linux, pick an entry-level distro (nofi!), then look further, and see the 'prestige' gentoo users seem to enjoy, and think 'wow that would make me a pro too'. It doesn't. Gentoo, IMHO, is for people who want to make it themselves difficult. Experience shows the compiler optimizations make a minimal progress (sometimes they even turn out to be negative, in the case of some i686 optimizations).

    Anyway, to work your way up the distro ladder, first try Slackware. If you can master Slackware, you know how to work with dependencies, how to configure your system in text mode, how to work in text mode. Trust me, none of the distro's you used till now rely on that extensively enough to give you a bit of the background you need to a smooth transition to using gentoo (or slackware).

    I think a stage 3 is best to begin with. After that, you can always try the 1st stage install . AFAIK Gentoo docs should be extensive enough. I used the Gentoo wiki often for configuring programs and tweaking. I don't know if printing out the full manual would be useful though... I once printed the full SuSE manual, very interesting, but nothing about the internals of linux . Surely the Gentoo docs will contain a lot of highly technical info you might not need when installing or customizing your distro.

    A great advantage of Gentoo is you have to install only what you need. But the same goes with Slackware - just select the packages you want - or any minimal distro (Zenwalk for example, sure there are others out ). It is better to start from nothing (or very few) than from much and cut that down.
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  4. #4
    Linux Guru dylunio's Avatar
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    1. I installed gentoo ~7 months into using Linux, the main reason for this was finding time, if I had all the time in the world I'd have tried it after about 4 months.

    2. Stage 1 can be a bit tricky, I used it on my first go, but stage three is more stable. Since you say you have a tonn of time, you could try a stage one and if it doesn't work out, do a stage 3.

    3. Following the gentoo handbook I had no problems, and it covered everything.

    4. Printing it off is very usful...you can then read through it clearly, without bouncing in and out of links2.

    5. Since everything is compiled for your system via the portage package manager, I'd say that each install is unique to the system and the system admin. Also you don't have to worry about what to do when a newer verion comes out, you just update the system via portage.
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  5. #5
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    Hm... I want to apologize if I overreacted . I don't want to discourage you, just put it in some perspective. For me, the customizability is Gentoo's only strong point (but it's a big one ). The optimization makes no real performance difference.
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  6. #6
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    no worries mate... trust me i understand that there are going to be pros and cons to trying gentoo as opposed to the more user firendly versions of linux... and that is the exact reason i posted this... was to get some perspective ... i really want to see what there is to gentoo ... and if i am ready for the task.

    i don't have a lot of time ... but of course what free time i have i seem to be devoting to linux. so we will have to see which way i go ... or if i choose to wait. but i welcome all feedback ... and want to know what everyone thinks

    thanks to all
    Old Skewl - AMD Athlon XP 1600+ / 512mb / 160gb / nVidia GeForce 4 4800ti 128mb / openSUSE 10.0 / 2.6.13-15 / (puter geek . linux noob)

  7. #7
    Linux Guru budman7's Avatar
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    I highly recommend using the Knoppix cd to install Linux.
    You can view the handbook while using firefox.
    Big difference from using links2.
    http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/altinstall.xml

    And for a "Gentoo newbie", I recommend starting with a Stage 2 or 3 install.
    With a Stage 2, you don't have to spend hours bootstrapping the system.
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  8. #8
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    I am doing a stage 3 install at the moment actually (I've had slackware, using a distro based on it, so I got curious since Gentoo is the only large distro I didn't try yet). I read the notes concerning the stages, and what advantages are there except for greater choice on which packages to install, and the flags for your cpu seem already to be optimized (except maybe when you need compilation flags for x86_84?). Just wondering... The list for stage three says only 3 pluses
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  9. #9
    Linux Guru loft306's Avatar
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    1. gentoo afner 4 months of suse frustration(i now know that that was just changing the brain to think in terms of linux not windows) stage1 on first try and that was bout 2-3 years ago
    2. you will learn more doing a stage1 but your choice
    3. if you foll the handbook to the letter you will have a working system when you come out the other side
    4. bah if i dont have a spare puter to read the handbook(back when i read it) i just open the handbook in another vt(alt + F2-F4) either in links2 or the version on the install cd
    5.
    EDIT: typo's
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by borromini
    Hm... I want to apologize if I overreacted .
    I think you stated the case very well. I'm sure there are lots of people who tried Gentoo and ended up just wasting time. I think a stage 3 install is really not much different from any other good distro, but I wouldn't recommend it for anyone who hasn't used Linux for a while and (with some few exceptions) who understands their grub.conf and fstab files. Any user considering a stage 1 install should take a look at all the decisions to be made in menuconfig.


    Quote Originally Posted by loft306
    5.
    Exactly.
    /IMHO
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