Yenya's World

Fri, 11 Apr 2008

Gentoo Linux - the next try

Since I have got a new workstation which supports hardware virtualization, I have installed several different operating systems to my virtual machines. I have already tried Gentoo Linux, so I gave it another try. Again, it was a bit frustrating - few examples:

I think Gentoo can be excellent for newbie geeks who want to discover what this Linux thing is about, but even that has its limitations. For example, when I upgrade Fedora on my workstation, often many packages which I would normally refuse to install as a superfluous garbage get installed by the distribution. Which is good, because I have an opportunity to look at them later, in already working preconfigured state (in the past it included D-Bus, HAL, SELinux, and many others).

I also cannot imagine how would I maintain tens of differently configured machines running Gentoo. Having fixed release points with security upgrades designed and tested on them is a big bonus, as are the precompiled packages with automatic dependencies. yum update and you are done with minimal risk of breaking something.

Section: /computers (RSS feed) | Permanent link | 11 writebacks

11 replies for this story:

Adelton wrote:

emerge world, if I recall correctly.

Yenya wrote: Re: adelton

emerge world can leave you in the state with broken library dependences, can't it? Or at least it has relatively large window when the system is not guaranteed to be in an consistent state.

finn wrote:

revdep-rebuild can fix broken library dependencies

petr_p wrote: EAPI

Have you updated distro before installing gnome? I think you haven't. Otherwise you would get new portage supporting EAPI=1.

Yenya wrote: Re: EAPI

What exactly is meant by "updating the distro"? emerge --sync? And is it described anywhere in the installation handbook?

Yenya wrote: Re: finn, adelton

So in other words - should I run "emerge world; revdep-rebuild" fron the nightly cron (like I run "yum update" on some of my systems)?

Yenya wrote: emerge world

Hmm, emerge world even does not work for me, because of "sys-apps/setarch" package conflict with "sys-apps/util-linux-2.13.1". Are package conflicts to be expected with stock install?

finn wrote:

I run emerge sync && emerge world manually roughly once a week, revdep-rebuild only sometimes -- esp. when I found an application which cannot start because of some missing library :) Sometimes two packages cannot co-exist (because both provide the same functionality, for example). Then you have to unmerge the older one before installing the new one: emerge -C setarch emerge -1 util-linux See these two links: and

petr_p wrote: Re: EAPI

Updating distro means two things: synchronising portage (this is a repository) with "emerge --sync" and then updating installed software with "emerge --update --deep --verbose --new world". The problem with changed EAPI you met is a little specific because it's first time when the EAPI (format of ebuilds, something like spec format in RPM world) has changed. In general, you need to understand that fresh installation means you get old software with new portage. So it's highly suggested to do an update. However immediate update is standard thing in gentoo world because user usually changes his preferred profile, compiler options and USE flags on installation and he wants to apply these changes.

Yenya wrote: Re: EAPI

OK, I have tried "merge -C setarch" and then "emerge --update --deep --verbose --new world", which failed with "ERROR: app-text/ghostscript-gpl-8.61-r3 failed.". Which in fact I think reflect the main problem of Gentoo. Without discrete releases, it is much harder to test updates (i.e. new ebuilds) against each configuration.

petr_p wrote: Re: EAPI

You are right. It's impossible to test all configurations. Developers sometimes release ebuild with a bug. Also you could be sometimes first man having such failing configuration. In general, you can ommit last failed ebuild with "emerge --resume --skip-first", or you can mask broken ebuild (/etc/portage/package.mask) to keep current version or unmask by keyword newer version (/etc/portage/package.keyword) (similar to pinning in apt on Debian), or you can search for known bugs (or at least reporting the bug), or you can wait few hours/days and update portage to get (usually) fixed ebuild. One note: Adding "--ask" switch to emerge is very reasonable option---you can check all changes you are going to proceed.

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