[nSLUG] Time to upgrade the server OS...

Jeff MacDonald bignose at gmail.com
Wed Sep 8 18:22:45 ADT 2004

Hi !

I'll pipe up. I'm usually not good at writing long emails. You've been
warned. ;)

I've been using Gentoo now for about a year on a fairly casual basis.
For my home desktop. My desktops jobs are
  - it's my work station. I work from home as a database admin/programmer.
  - my home futz around server. [I have a real one, but this is for toying with]

So by no means is this a machine that "is relied upon" expect to just
work. Never the less I like to keep it up to date. Previous to gentoo
95% of my experience was with FreeBSD. A bit with slackware, yada

Gentoo uses "portage" for it's package management system. But the cool
thing about Gentoo is the WHOLE distro is in the portage. The base
system layout and all that stuff. So if the gentoo guys move stuff
around a simple "emerge -U system" fixes taht up. Of course there are
thigns like "pretend tags" so it will only show you want it intends to
do. As well you can do emerge -U world which will upgrade all of your
packages [you can make it ask you.]

You can do emerge "package name" to install something and it's
dependancies much like apt-get in Debian.

etc-update is gentoo's tool that is similar to mergemaster in the bsd
familys. It's for updating  config files, it's a diff and works quite
well. rc-update is for adding things to rc start up scripts. it's

Gentoo does not have versions. If has releases which IMHO are only
useful for the first install. After that if you keep on top of emerge
world's your system is always up to date. About the only thing you
need to take the machine down for is hardware or a kernel.

My final comment about Gentoo, is that coming from a FreeBSD world, it
was the only acceptable distribution for me. The package management is
sweet, but most of all the file system layout is simple, very. Things
are not strewn about the file system etc. I can only assume this to be
a common factor for many moderm distro's. I've personnaly just been
burnt too many times by redhate.

Ok, so there's my dis-organized jibberjabber about Gentoo. I just had
to speak up for my favorite Linux distro which i personally think is
very well suited for server or desktop environment.

Should  you use it for your environment ? I don't know, but I
definatly recommend you try it.


On Wed, 8 Sep 2004 21:42:18 +0100, M Taylor <mctylr at privacy.nb.ca> wrote:
> On Wed, Sep 08, 2004 at 10:03:31AM -0300, David Potter wrote:
> >
> > I'm wondering if there are one or two strong reasons to re-aquaint
> > myself with Debian or some other distro rather than migrating to Fedora
> > C2/3... which looks like a pretty easy path ?
> Honestly, while I use Fedora as my work and (one of) my home desktops,
> I would recommend using Debian over Fedora for your servers. The only
> negative (IMHO) would be if you wanted to use debian 'stable' (for a
> server remember) but it might get/be too stale in its kernel/driver
> support.
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Jeff MacDonald
Bored @ work ? http://www.notforwork.com


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