An Easy Gentoo

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An Easy Gentoo

Postby palepaul5 » Tue Jun 14, 2005 10:12 pm

Just thought I would give a little heads up for anyone that is interested in getting a Gentoo system up and running the easy way. Pop over to VidaLinux at http://desktop.vidalinux.com/ and you will find a Distro that is Gentoo based without the harder than average install. Vida have basically added the Anaconda installer to Gentoo. The ISO is approx 420Mb, and installing is no more difficult than Fedora / RedHat. Also you have the Porthole frontend to Portage which makes package handling even more of a breeze. This Distro is definately worth a try for those who want a gentoo the quick way.
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RE: An Easy Gentoo

Postby nelz » Tue Jun 14, 2005 10:44 pm

Note that Vida is not particularly popular with the Gentoo peeps. For one thing, they don't host the source files on their own servers, preferring to set Porthole up to leech fro the Gentoo mirrors instead.

BTW Porthole is a Gentoo app, so it follows that it is available with Gentoo too.
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RE: An Easy Gentoo

Postby palepaul5 » Wed Jun 15, 2005 11:46 am

I was actually just trying to give users a choice of getting Gentoo up and running easier. Surely by using Gentoo mirrors as sources Vida are only cutting thier own throats, Xandros, Lindows, etc. users. 'Leech' from the Debian mirrors if they don't find Xandros Networks or Click'n'Run to have the packages they want. I thought sharing was what the community is about. Surely by Vida bolting Anaconda onto Gentoo they are doing no more than scratching the itch that got the community where it was today. After all how many times has it came up on the Gentoo forums about trying to make the install a bit friendlier.

BTW Porthole is a Gentoo app, so it follows that it is available with Gentoo too.

I kind of figured that one out, as said before I was only trying to point users to a friendlier way of installing Gentoo. There's probably a lot of users out there put totally off Gentoo because of the install, just as there are as many love the install because it lets them get their hands dirty and understand their system a little better.
Anyway I personally use Mandrake / Mandriva 90% of the time, MCC along with Easy URPMI make life so much easier.
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RE: An Easy Gentoo

Postby nelz » Wed Jun 15, 2005 11:59 am

The point is that they set things up to pull all files form the Gentoo mirrors (not use them as a fallback) without even talking to anyone at Gentoo about it. That's not sharing, it's taking.

I've no problem with the idea of porting Anaconda to Gentoo, but the way they did it upset a lot of people. As a result, Vida users are unlikely to get help from Gentoo sources.
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RE: An Easy Gentoo

Postby palepaul5 » Wed Jun 15, 2005 12:21 pm

Right - now I am with you, I never realised they went quite that far. As I said my main Distro is Mandriva- probably always will be. I've tried most but somehow I always float back to Mandrake / Mandriva (my longest without was five-weeks I think).
Usually if I find a Distro or bit of software I think will interest people I post it to the forum - always have.
Cheers for the clarification
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RE: An Easy Gentoo

Postby DFJA » Wed Jun 15, 2005 1:41 pm

I don't see what the problem with VidaLinux using Gentoo's repositories is, as long as they give proper credit to Gentoo. If they say "Gentoo Installation is hard, here is an easier way of doing it" then fine - Vidalinux users are just as much Gentoo users as anyone else. I think the problem only really occurs if they try and claim it is all their own work, without giving credit. They do give credit, although I agree it could be more prominent.

They are not simply leeching off Gentoo - they have contributed something very useful to the Gentoo world, namely an easy way of installing it. I wish people on both sides would just recognise that it is a form of cooperation that should benefit everyone.
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RE: An Easy Gentoo

Postby nelz » Wed Jun 15, 2005 1:55 pm

They are using resources that cost money without asking first. they are not providing an installer for Gentoo, they are forking off Gentoo but using Gentoo's servers and bandwidth to do so. Gentoo have a right to be narked.
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Postby M0PHP » Wed Jun 15, 2005 1:59 pm

I think the people at Gentoo should be happy about the roads that Vida has built for them, if anything it's an advantage. They're just jealous that average joe will be able to install Gentoo without having to have gone through the process they had to.
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Postby DFJA » Wed Jun 15, 2005 2:27 pm

I uses Gentoo's resources that cost money every time I boot up Gentoo and type "emerge sync". I never asked them first, I just came across their website (after prompting) and noticed that they had something very interesting to offer, so tried it (the hard, non-Vidalinux way) and it was a very painful installation for a newbie. The whole point of Free Software is that we can take someone else's work and add our own improvements to it. It's known as "standing on the shoulders of giants". This is what Vidalinux have tried to do, and by all acounts have had some success. It's not a fork, in the same way that Kubuntu isn't a fork of Ubuntu. As long as the folks at Vidalinux comply with the licence, I don't have a problem. They provide a way for Gentoo to have users that would otherwise be put off by one of Gentoo's perceived weaknesses, namely the installation process. And Gentoo are totally free to take Vidalinux's enhancements and put them in their own repositories. I just wish that both sides could enter into a spirit of cooperation, rather than antagonism.
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Postby bigbee » Wed Jun 15, 2005 2:34 pm

I'm wondering if gentoo really aims at average joe to use their OS. After some testing with Gentoo, I can conclude Gentoo is very suitable for taskspecific or powerfull machines, admined by skilled people. On low-end machines performance gain is lost in long compile times. On my desktop box, performance isn't much better because you have to select almost every possible flag for the compiler and compiling EVERYTHING can be a disadvantage compared to other out of the box distro's (update/installation time). This easy install gentoo, only adds compilation time and under the hood it's still gentoo, requiring avarage joe to be very skillfull :-)
Besides that, you have to admit, data transfer is not that cheap. Providing (unwantedly) packages for a forked project can be a pain in the ..., reducing bandwidth for people where the files are intended for...
Finally bad experiences with easy-looking but difficult to master OS-es will only push people away from linux, instead of convince them.

greetz

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ps: this opinion is based on my personal experiences with gentoo linux and so it's your right (or duty) to prove me wrong
pps: although requiring "advanced" skills to maintain and install, I think gentoo should be on the curriculum vitae of every self-respecting linuxaddict :-)
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Postby DFJA » Wed Jun 15, 2005 2:59 pm

It will be hard for me to prove you wrong, because I agree at least 90% with what you said. Yes, Gentoo is very suitable for certain specific tasks. Yes, the "easy-to-install-Gentoo" known as Vidalinux is still Gentoo and still requires skilled users to maintain. And yes, data transfer does cost money.

Where I beg to differ is your implicit assertion that the Gentoo-provided files are only for those who installed Gentoo by the traditional method, rather than the easy method. That's religious bigotry, not Free Software advocacy.
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Postby bigbee » Wed Jun 15, 2005 3:32 pm

You're completely right, but (there is always a but :-) )
my personal opinion is to keep free software free, as a new project, distro, you should have at least the decency to provide your own way for spreading your precious offspring (providing cd's, servers...) or at least ask the project you are using servers to download packages from. Now they are using bandwidth for which people of gentoo are doing a lot of efforts to gather fundings... I don't thinks vidalinux downloads will compromise gentoo's popularity and traffic speed, but it's the principle. (They could have at least provided 1 gentoo package mirror.) They are aware of the cost of bandwidth though, because the spreading of vidalinux is preferred to happen by bittorrent :-)
To come back to free software advocacy... Personal I think there is a difference between spreading free software and free software spreading ;-)
To heat up the discussion: a famous politician of my country once said: all free things come at a price.

ps: maybe this topic should be moved to "discussions"
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Postby nelz » Wed Jun 15, 2005 3:55 pm

It's got nothing to do with bigotry, but simple good manners. Gentoo provide their files for the users of their distro. You didn't have to ask to use them because you were invited to do so.

On the other hand, VidaLinux are using these resources for something different, without having the common decency to ask first. You are right in that it is different from Ubuntu or Kubunti. Both of those projects provide their own servers and feed improvements upstream to Debian. That is true sharing, with give and take.

Vida don't even credit Gentoo on their home page. This is not the co-operative open source way of doing things. It's more like opening a shop next to another, selling their products reboxed and plugging your lights into their electrical outlets. If Vida were giving anything back to Gentoo, it would be quite a different matter.
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Postby DFJA » Wed Jun 15, 2005 4:00 pm

Yes, I don't argue that at least providing a Gentoo mirror would have been a good idea. :-)
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Postby towy71 » Wed Jun 15, 2005 7:12 pm

I have to agree with Nelz, Vida have been at best crass in not even pointing out on their front page that they would be nothing without Gentoo and, as a simple courtesy, they should at least talk to members of the Gentoo team before pointing their paying customers at Gentoo resources.
My personal view is that we are a community with all shades of people but we have a common purpose and are willing to lend a hand to everybody else. The only corrolary is that we talk to one another and behave in a civil manner.
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