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Thread: Which Linux Distro: Convenience without the annoyance

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by pureh@te View Post
    I use Gentoo Linux with the awesome window manager. I hate slow bogged down desktops. I love Gentoo Linux more than any other distro. It does however take twice as much maintenance as any other distro however in my opinion its the best way to learn. Most other distros don't let you tweak to the extent Gentoo does. I have 8 gigs or ram and a quad core but I still prefer not to run a full desktop. Who needs all that crap.
    I really can't understand how you can stand to compile every single program yourself (except if you can't live without editing/looking at the code). I mean, I get so pissed off when ./configure cracks somewhere, forcing me to install some random library. Even on ubuntu, where installing that kind of things is easy. Why bother to compile the programs yourself when you have a package manager that will handle all dependencies and installation automatically? For example on Arch you get i686 precompiled packages. You don't gain on speed by compiling it yourself.

    IMHO it's not worth it, at least if you're not interested in code
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  2. #12
    Senior Member streaker69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by karabaja4 View Post
    I really can't understand how you can stand to compile every single program yourself (except if you can't live without editing/looking at the code ) I mean, I get so pissed off when ./configure cracks somewhere, forcing me to install some random library. Even on ubuntu, where installing that kind of things is easy. So, why bother to compile the programs yourself? For example on Arch you have i686 optimised precompiled packages. You don't gain on speed by compiling it yourself.

    IMHO it's not worth it, at least if you're not interested in code
    I think it's even worse when some pre-compiled package doesn't work because it wasn't compiled right to begin with.

    Personally, I prefer to compile most things from source, that way I can choose the options of it I want so it is most compatible with my current system. Installing random libraries because they weren't included isn't that big of a deal MOST of the time. I must say, I've had some issues installing from source, but normally it's nothing that a few minutes of googling doesn't solve.

    I think the biggest issue I've ever had was installing the Dsniff package on CentOS, which took editing some of the files so it would compile.

    IMO, if you don't learn to compile things from source for yourself, you may as well be using windows and installing software off the shelf, because you're not really learning anything. I think I've learned more about Linux installing things myself instead of packages than doing anything else.
    A third party security audit is the IT equivalent of a colonoscopy. It's long, intrusive, very uncomfortable, and when it's done, you'll have seen things you really didn't want to see, and you'll never forget that you've had one.

  3. #13
    Very good friend of the forum Virchanza's Avatar
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    OK so I wiped my hard disk (again) and installed Xubuntu from scratch.

    By Christ I love it! It's like "Ubuntu without the crap". It's got the perfect mix of convenience and control. I mean if you want something done quick, just do "apt-get install", but if you want control, it's very easy to disable stuff like automounting of USB sticks, and also very easy to disable the network manager.

    The desktop manager, Xfce, is magnificent. It's minimalistically functional, just the way I like it! There's no crap such as widgets or special effects. But at the same time, it's got all the stuff you want. It doesn't do any "hand holding" or treat you like an idiot. It has helper applications for doing stuff like changing the programs that run at startup, (which is good if you want to do something quickly), but it doesn't go the whole hog and try to get you to do everything via a GUI. In fact, there's even places where the GUI will say stuff like "you can edit it yourself in /etc/whatever.conf".

    If you go into the settings for the Xfce desktop, they're all there lain out in front of you. It's not like in KDE where you've to browse about trying to figure out where a setting is, navigating your way around widget settings and special effects.

    Also it's not dumbed down, and it gives you the freedom of control where you want it. For instance, it took me just a few clicks of the mouse to disable the network manager and also to disable auto-mounting of media.

    And another thing, the fonts look great! Nice and smooth and sleak! It's so perfect, I'm in love with it! Right now I'm going to boot into Backtrack 3 to copy the ".bashrc" file across to Xubuntu, that'll be the icing on the cake.

    So right now my favourite distro is Xubuntu
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  4. #14
    My life is this forum Barry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by streaker69 View Post
    I think it's even worse when some pre-compiled package doesn't work because it wasn't compiled right to begin with.

    I've never had that happen. I use Ubuntu, but still compile some of the software myself. Most of the repositories are a version or three behind for some of the non-mainstream apps. I've only ever owned a new pc once in my life, and that was the first one. Every thing else after that was either a hand me down, or something I built up out of discarded parts. I've not seen a big enough speed difference between a precompiled load it and use it distro, and one you start out with just a kernel and download everything from source.
    Of course, if you really wanted to have some fun, go to Wal-Mart late at night and ask the greeter if they could help you find trashbags, roll of carpet, rope, quicklime, clorox and a shovel. See if they give you any strange looks. --Streaker69

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    IMO, if you don't learn to compile things from source for yourself, you may as well be using windows and installing software off the shelf, because you're not really learning anything. I think I've learned more about Linux installing things myself instead of packages than doing anything else.
    Streaker hit the nail on the head right here. Also Gentoo has portage which is a excellent package manger. It does have a few issues every now and then when something makes it in to portage that has a small mistake or it just wont compile for some reason but like streaker said "but normally it's nothing that a few minutes of googling doesn't solve".
    Anyway we have this discussion all the time and its one reason linux is great because we are not all forced to use the same product. There is nothing wrong with ubuntu, its a fine well maintained and supported distro however I like gentoo for its versatility. I have 850 packages installed and I need each one of them and I don't have one single package I don't need. There is not a bunch of crap running in "top" that I have no idea what it does.

    Here's some screenys of my desktop. It doesn't get more minimalistic than mine
    screen #1
    screen #2
    screen #3

  6. #16
    Senior Member streaker69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    I've never had that happen. I use Ubuntu, but still compile some of the software myself. Most of the repositories are a version or three behind for some of the non-mainstream apps. I've only ever owned a new pc once in my life, and that was the first one. Every thing else after that was either a hand me down, or something I built up out of discarded parts. I've not seen a big enough speed difference between a precompiled load it and use it distro, and one you start out with just a kernel and download everything from source.
    I've run across a few packages that either didn't have certain features I needed compiled with the package or just plain didn't work and then was difficult to remove for one reason or another.
    A third party security audit is the IT equivalent of a colonoscopy. It's long, intrusive, very uncomfortable, and when it's done, you'll have seen things you really didn't want to see, and you'll never forget that you've had one.

  7. #17
    Very good friend of the forum Virchanza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    I've not seen a big enough speed difference between a precompiled load it and use it distro, and one you start out with just a kernel and download everything from source.
    Emm... I don't see why a pre-compiled version should be any slower or faster than compiling it yourself, unless of course the distributor actually tweaked the machine code after it was compiled, but that just doesn't happen any more, especially since compilers do a better job of optimising than human people do. Even when I worked with a compiler for 8-Bit microcontrollers, I was flabergasted at how efficient the resultant machine code was.

    If the compiler is set properly, e.g. using GCC with "-O3 -D NDEBUG -s", then you're gonna get the best machine code going.
    Ask questions on the open forums, that way everybody benefits from the solution, and everybody can be corrected when they make mistakes. Don't send me private messages asking questions that should be asked on the open forums, I won't respond. I decline all "Friend Requests".

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by pureh@te View Post
    Here's some screenys of my desktop. It doesn't get more minimalistic than mine
    screen #1
    screen #2
    screen #3
    I like your status bar on the top. Is that part of a packaged window manager?

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by dattaway View Post
    I like your status bar on the top. Is that part of a packaged window manager?
    well they are widgets which you can code into the config file. I just got done fixing it up

    Newest version

    Emm... I don't see why a pre-compiled version should be any slower or faster than compiling it yourself, unless of course the distributor actually tweaked the machine code after it was compiled, but that just doesn't happen any more, especially since compilers do a better job of optimising than human people do. Even when I worked with a compiler for 8-Bit microcontrollers, I was flabergasted at how efficient the resultant machine code was.

    If the compiler is set properly, e.g. using GCC with "-O3 -D NDEBUG -s", then you're gonna get the best machine code going.
    In Gentoo that's not actually true. You have the ability to set or take away use flags either globally of on a individual package basis. SO for example if I knew I was not going to need .png support in any package except gimp I could simply build the rest of my system with out it thus making things leaner and faster. If you take the time to do this and put some real thought into it you can get a very fast system.

  10. #20
    My life is this forum Barry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pureh@te View Post
    Here's some screenys of my desktop. It doesn't get more minimalistic than mine
    screen #1
    screen #2
    screen #3
    You're just showing off again. Though I don't blame you...


    Quote Originally Posted by pureh@te View Post
    In Gentoo that's not actually true. You have the ability to set or take away use flags either globally of on a individual package basis. SO for example if I knew I was not going to need .png support in any package except gimp I could simply build the rest of my system with out it thus making things leaner and faster. If you take the time to do this and put some real thought into it you can get a very fast system.
    That's just more time than I really want to put into a system. I just want things to work, I can fix pretty much anything else by command line if I need to though.
    Of course, if you really wanted to have some fun, go to Wal-Mart late at night and ask the greeter if they could help you find trashbags, roll of carpet, rope, quicklime, clorox and a shovel. See if they give you any strange looks. --Streaker69

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