Hello there + some preliminary questions from an Gentoo user

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Hello there + some preliminary questions from an Gentoo user

Postby Rexilion » Sat Dec 21, 2013 22:46

Hey there!

I'm one of the few lucky ones to have a household full of machines running Linux. However, this has some caveats.

- 2 x Ubuntu: I'm not an expert with .deb packages and it's tedious to apply manual changes.
- 2 x Gentoo: I consider myself reasonable experienced with portage, which is nice. But now that I have to update an 6 month old installation (350 packages), I'm not that happy.

Both situations combined force me to maintain to sets of distribution specific configuration files and two sets of configuration files for programs that differ in version/fork.

Sabayon seems to be *exactly* the solution to these problems. However, I have doing some 'explorative googling' but cannot find exact/definitive/assuring answers on these questions.

- Mixing entropy with portage is not advised. However, this is what I want. It is claimed that it is usually for 'the experts'. Do I need a CS degree for this to work? Or is this just a warning implying unpexpected (yet reasonably solvable) situations *might* occur. From what I understand, it seems that Sabayon is an (prioritized) overlay on top of Gentoo containing prebuild binary packages. I think that Portage should handle this without issue's. Is it an idea to use portage to handle both the source packages and binary packages while where there?

- Minimal installation: We have relatively quite dated hardware. Our first non UP system arrived this summer in the form of my brothers new cellphone and my mom's (already dated, dual core) laptop :mrgreen: . However, our most aged system is an old 1,25 GHz Athlon containing 512 MB RAM. It drivers a printer, e-mail, web browsing and Office 2007 through wine. I found here that there is an XFCE edition. Will this fit? Currently this dinosaur runs an minimal XFCE installation based on a server installation (cli.seed).

Thanks in advance, looking forward to your reply's :D
Rexilion
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Re: Hello there + some preliminary questions from an Gentoo

Postby Stupot » Sun Dec 22, 2013 7:55

Rexilion wrote:
- Mixing entropy with portage is not advised. However, this is what I want. It is claimed that it is usually for 'the experts'. Do I need a CS degree for this to work? Or is this just a warning implying unpexpected (yet reasonably solvable) situations *might* occur. From what I understand, it seems that Sabayon is an (prioritized) overlay on top of Gentoo containing prebuild binary packages. I think that Portage should handle this without issue's. Is it an idea to use portage to handle both the source packages and binary packages while where there?


Sabayon uses a different package manager for the binary stuff. It's compatible with gentoo, but the binary packages from Sabayon expect the libraries and dependencies to be compiled a certain way. So when you start mixing in portage there are three outcomes you'll typically come across:

1) You're compiling a package that is not a dependency for anything else. Change the flags to your hearts content, you should be fine.
2) You compile dependencies/libraries used by other applications in ways those applications aren't expecting. Those applications will crash.
3) You end up recompiling pretty much everything, basically negating the benefit of the binary packages.

Advanced users need to be able to keep track of what packages they are using with what system. They'll need to inform entropy of which packages it shouldn't worry about upgrading. It's more book keeping, but in general, no you don't need a CS degree. But you do need to be familiar with portage and entropy (although portage is the trickier of the two).
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Re: Hello there + some preliminary questions from an Gentoo

Postby Rexilion » Sun Dec 22, 2013 11:56

Thanks for your reply Stupot :) . I have one more new question:

- Sabayon uses Gentoo Testing for it's source of packages. Does that imply lot's of little breakages and a lot of updates? I have Ubuntu 13.10 right now, and this might be a downgrade in stability. Am I right about that? This could be a dealbreaker for my parents.
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Re: Hello there + some preliminary questions from an Gentoo

Postby Cb7 » Sun Dec 22, 2013 16:28

There are a lot of updates, at least on my install. Almost every week few hundred megabytes of them. Though, considering that I have installed KDE and Xfce plus a lot of stuff, it isn't really that strange.

I don't really know how to answer kind of question, whether there are a lot of regression and breakages… And that is because most breakages that I've experienced while using Sabayon happened due to what I did, not because of updates…

After using Sabayon for ~9 months I've experienced 1 serious breakage (kernel panic, fixed really fast), but then again, I don't really stick to more stable version of Sabayon, in meaning, that I don't use more stable repo 'sabayon-weekly'. If you want more stability rather than getting newer kernel/stuff 1 week/few days earlier, stick to 'sabayon-weekly' repo. Using it on other box I haven't really seen breakage… but it doesn't mean that it hadn't happen. From what I've heard, there was broken Entropy GUI frontend that got it's way even into 'sabayon-weekly' repo… I even wouldn't know about it if not for some users complains, since I use only CLI for managing/updating packages.

About regression… It rarely happens. Most regrettably upstream of certain projects should test more stuff. And I'm talking about LibreOffice. That piece of s…oftware after update from 3.6 to 4.0 had a lot of stability issues (sometimes to the point of almost constant crashes on some documents). Most of stuff in LO was repaired in following versions. And it's not like there are only bad sides to it. 4.0 LO was faster, 4.1 LO is really fast, and from what I've read, 4.2 it's going to be even faster.

And another element frequently used, which is browser. Firefox in my case. How stable in comparison to LO? Really stable. I mean, after 8 months of using it I just gave up on trying to see it crash and I just happily use Firefox Nightly, which can even crash when you don't expect it. Eh, that brings some memories, when stable version of Firefox also could crash. But that may be just my case, considering that I don't have flash and have NoScript blocking every script by default so…

That said, there are some problems that might arouse, like no bluetooth init script for OpenRC (fixed), but it affected users that still haven't migrated to systemd yet.

As long as there's no proprietary ATI drivers involved, I don't think that it would be problematic.
Oh, and unfortunately installing Sabayon through anaconda into single btrfs partition still doesn't work (at least in VM). meh.
You may have some problem(s) installing Xfce edition on that oldest hardware, since 512 MB is probably not enough to finish installation. You may try with minimal, and if it succeeds, install Xfce on top of it. Or, alternatively, just manually create swap partition before starting installation of Xfce version, swapon it, and it perhaps would work. I haven't tried that though.
Why, and how to add "[Solved]" to your post. Please read. ← credits to Fitzcarraldo

Kind regards
~Zetok Zalbavar
Cb7
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Re: Hello there + some preliminary questions from an Gentoo

Postby Rexilion » Sun Dec 22, 2013 18:16

Thank you, this is exactly the answer I was looking for!

The huge amount of updates is not a big problem per se if they don't break much. I have the feeling Canonical is more and more neglecting packages not (directly) contributing to it's goal of preloading Ubuntu on devices other than home PC's. So, in the longterm, it's a dead end anyway (I think). Furthermore, we have fast internet here (no dialup :) ).

Now, let's see if I can get this AMD64 XFCE .iso to boot from USB. It hangs right after grub2 :/ . I'll figure this out later...

Thanks to you both!
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Re: Hello there + some preliminary questions from an Gentoo

Postby Provia » Mon Dec 23, 2013 9:33

Hi Rexilion,

for my exeprience i can say that one of the bad aspect of Sabayon is the slow package management but i can say that it is very very stable. You can maybe have some problems if you always switch to newer kernels, but i've never experienced thoso problems.
AMD Athlon(tm) II X2 250 Processor
4 GB DDR3 1600 Mhz
Nvidia Geforce 9800 GT
Sabayon Linux x64 KDE Limbo
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