Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Tale of four Distros

I was having an interesting discussion with Allan recently about Gentoo Linux and he pointed out its newbie unfriendliness, and I want to reiterate his opinion :), albeit half-heartedly. Well since the beginning of the Gentoo journey as with all other OS's (OSi? :) ) is the installation, I decided against reinventing the wheel by writing an installation guide. So head on over to THIS link and READ. Thing about the gentoo install is its majorly manual, what has been automated in other distros with intelligent scripts some even graphical, you have to do entirely by hand the good ol' UNIX way, with commands (Can you see the size of my grin? :D ). Ok. maybe I'll mention a wee bit about the installation;
After prepping your disk for installation [refer to the aforementioned guide] you'll get to a stage where you shall be required to compile your system (this is the mad cool part). You'll often hear gentoo referred to as a compiled Linux distro as opposed to the Debians and redhats which are a bunch of binaries compiled for a 386 system. You are most likely running on a Pentium class processor so this step right here makes all the difference and sets Gentoo apart from the other distros since you are essentially being allowed to custom make it for your hardware. All produced binaries shall be optimised to run on your hardware. [if that sounded like gibberish to you I advise you to skip the Gentoo section and scroll down to Sabayon :) ]
Oh and here's a gem I stole from a gentoo enthusiast's site
"Yea, I really don't understand all the complaints about the time to install gentoo. It is like complaining about your Ferrari because the dealership was so far away."
Lemmi rant on a bit about Gentoo's super deliciousness. Indulge me:

So like I said gentoo is a compiled linux distro. What this means for you is that every level of your system shall be optimised to run on your hardware, right down to the drivers that run everything. Zoooooom!!! So yeah the first merit of Gentoo is that its a speed demon. :D Interested yet?

waving CFLAGS vs. USE
I won' lie to you, I am by far not gentoo'd enough to make the difference clear here but I'll try my best. Besides, if you're still reading, it probably means this stuff isn't complete Greek to you :). So Gentoo has this giga-nifty feature called USE variables. What these things do is make it easy for you to choose what is and isn't important in your system, and as a consequence you end up with as Allan likes to put it, "A leaner and meaner" system that serves only your needs and scraps out all the manure that clutters up your system. Example: You don't have a printer at home, and you don't desire one either hehe, so why get all that stuff compiled into your system taking up space and using resources since CUPSd is started by default on most linux distros, USE -cups and you'll have none of that, in the event you require CUPS you just compile it into the system and viola! The debian/redhat equivalent is CFLAGS (which by the way you won't have the option of using at install time since everything comes in pre-packaged binary form) , you might have come across them if you compile stuff for yourself, they are WAY more tedious to use, take it from me. Enough about that you must be getting cross with me by now :).

Watching sh*t scroll by for hours makes me a Linux expert overnight!

Hehehehe!! Yeah, gentoo isn't really your newby friendly distro, but darn it to heck you get to learn a whole load of *NIX gooie while using it. So yeah, I recommend it for anyone hungry to learn their way around the UNIX wilderness. Another thing I'll squeeze in to this point is that Gentoo is extremely developer friendy, comes with all the necessary headers that you need for compiling stuff for yourself and you can for get that "Your headers are out of date" message that you risk running into when using debian's "build essential". Golly I'm falling in love with this thing already!! I know you are too :).

Gentoo has a package manager called portage not unlike apt-get (which I applaud Debian immensely for) but far beyond what debian's apt-get can do. . .you can update your whole bl00dy system with one command!! emerge --update world, now tell me that isn't awesome!! Huh?

Ok. I can go on and on. . . .but the purpose of this post was whet your appetite and get you to find out more about Gentoo on your own as well as experiment with it. So errrr that's the end of my Gentoo rant :).

I started out thinking that I'd do it all in one fell swoop but I'm starting to tire, so I'll do the remaining 3 distros later.

. . . . .Puppy Linux: If you've ever watched Major Payne (That Damon Wayans should be locked up :D) you probably remember the part Payne was telling that story of the little engine that could, that was creepy right?With his squeaky voice and all hehe, anyhow Puppy linux is the Little Distro that can, Its all I use. . . .

More next time.

if you have mplayer on your linux distro try this:
$ cd your_music_folder
$ find . -iname '*name of song/musician*' -exec mplayer {} +


Sayanora peeps, till next time.

No comments:

Post a Comment