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Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at
Mon Jul 11 06:54:21 BST 2011

Eric posted on Sun, 10 Jul 2011 18:43:21 -0400 as excerpted:

> Arch I've used a lot in the past, but wireless is such a pain on Arch
>>< The driver's arent the issue the ath9k driver has been in since
> 2.6.28 or somesomething like that.,I just can never get wpa_supplicant
> to correctly connect to my network; and unfortunately, dropping the
> security for a little bit to get everything set up isn't an option. I
> would actually absolutely LOVE to have Arch installed, but
> wpa_supplicant is just such a pain in the arse lol

It's interesting you mention that.  I'm pretty good with Gentoo, but have 
always used wired Ethernet networking, so don't really have a base of 
knowledge on which to build for wireless.  Some years ago I picked up a 
netbook, with the idea to put Gentoo on it, which I eventually did.  I 
built the 32-bit image in a chroot on my 64-bit machine, loaded it on a 
thumbdrive, and used that to install to the netbook.  Now I update the 
netbook from the 32-bit chroot using (as you mention below) ssh.

But, having never really had a working (binary) wireless config on which 
to build my knowledge (other than the Linux preinstalled on the netbook, 
now long gone), I've had some trouble getting that up and running on the 
Gentoo I now have on the netbook.  I'm sure I could get it running if it 
were a priority for me, but at home, I prefer wired anyway, for the 
security and speed, and I don't actually use the "net" in "netbook" that 
much, so it really hasn't been a priority for me, despite the fact that 
it /would/ be nice to have that working when I was "on the go" with it.  
It's just not enough to prioritize it, tho, and while I suspect that my 
initial problem was a hard-ware specific bug on the particular (Linus 
upstream prerelease, so bound to have unspecified "issues") kernel I 
initially tried to bring up the wireless with, I simply haven't got 
around to fooling with it since, as it simply hasn't risen up far enough 
on the priority list.

So I rather know your frustration in that regard.  Someday I'll get to 
it, tho...

> Gentoo I had thrown on a spare machine last summer, did the entire
> installation through my desktop via SSH so that I had a REAL web browser
> on hand that I could use to have the Handbook available and the part
> that I absolutely hated the most was use-flags because I never knew what
> I would need in the future and so I would tend to just compile them with
> everything anyway.

I think that's what puts a lot of people off of Gentoo.  FWIW, I started 
with many more on, back in 2004 when I started with gentoo, than I have 
now, as over the years, as various updates have come up, I've taken a 
look and thought to myself, "Do I really need this?" then after looking 
at what it actually did and the dependencies it brought in, sometimes I'd 
decide I didn't, and turn it off, then use --newuse to catch anything 
else built with it.  They say one aspect to security is not installing 
things you aren't going to use, and certainly, knowing you're building 
not just the current versions but all updates, tends to encourage 
trimming rather more of the fat than a trivial binary install would.  I'm 
sure there's a few more flags, particularly codecs, etc, I could turn 
off, but I'm reasonably comfortable with where things are now.  But one 
thing's for certain, being a kde guy, the gnome USE flag and all the 
dependencies it brought in was one of the first things to go!  KDE's 
seems to be a better fit for the gentooer anyway, since a huge attraction 
to both is the ease of customization, while gnome has as a prime design 
principle that there's only one way that's best for everyone, and users 
need not have their little heads bothered by customization.  If you've 
read anything of the current gnome-3 coverage and debate, that's the 
signal that's coming thru the strongest, thus reconfirming once again 
that I made the right decision in banishing it from my system (tho I 
still have a few gtk-only apps, and in fact the first app that I chose to 
became an active part of the user community for, after switching to 
Linux, was pan, a gtk-based news client, which I'm using to type this 
very message as I follow the lists as newsgroups thru

>  Sabayon was one that I haven't tried out TOO Much, I used it a little
> bit, and I  actually considered using it as a quick way to install
> Gentoo and then just recompile via an emerge world, and then I found
> that lately The Sabayon dev's have changed enough stuff that depending
> on your amount of luck, going from Sabayon to Gentoo in the same
> install, can take as much time as just installing stock Gentoo.

I wasn't aware of that.  Then again, some of it may be down to 
familiarity with gentoo, too.  If you're already a strong gentooer (as I 
am) and simply decide to use sabayon for a fast bring-up, then switch to 
gentoo packages as they update, it might be far easier than trying to 
effectively learn both (including the USE flags which gave you so much 
trouble) at the same time.  But the compatibility could well continue to 
slip, much as it did with Mandrake vs Red Hat, the former originating as 
basically a KDE-based Red Hat "spin", as is I guess the popular term 
today.  When I switched from MS Windows to mandrake back around 2001, 
they were even then two distinct distros tho still close enough that one 
could often use rawhide packages as mandrake updates if one wished, but 
by the time they digested connectiva and became mandriva (by which time I 
had already switched to gentoo so was following events at a bit more 
distance), I guess it was becoming more difficult to intermingle 
packages, and even when I started, switching to one from the other 
wouldn't have been as simple as sticking with an upgrade of the one you 
were on.

> Much respect to the Gentoo devs for putting the system into place, it
> couldn't have been easy and they do a great job at giving you the tools
> and the materials, but not putting it together FOR you. but waaaaaaaaay
> too much of a hassle with use flags ><,   atleast for me.
> Side note: last time I tried building KDE from source was on FreeBSD, on
> a pentium 4 with 1 gb of RAM..... 3 days after hitting 'enter,' its
> still going...never...again...
> Thankfully this laptop has a quadcore i7 but, just saying haha.

Yeah.  My main machine, now building gentoo twice, once for it, then 
again in the 32-bit chroot for my netbook (tho I don't keep the netbook 
so leading edge), is a now old original dual-socket 940 Opteron.  I'm now 
running the top-of-that-socket dual dual-core 2.8 GHz 290s, with quad-
spindle kernel/md RAID, and six gig of ram (down from a peak of 8 as I 
had a stick go bad and never bothered replacing it) so even with the mobo 
nearing a decade old, it's a decent machine, but back when I first 
started with gentoo, I was running dual (single-core) opteron 242s, 1.8 
GHz, single system drive, 1 gig RAM (half gig hanging off each CPU 
socket).  That was reasonably  acceptable for running Gentoo, but I was 
very glad I wasn't trying to do it on a single-cpu/core, even back then 
when most folks WERE.

But it's far easier now, not just because of hardware improvements, but 
because the cmake-build-based kde4 is a FAR more efficient for building 
than was the old kde3 setup, particularly on SMP as cmake parallelizes 
*FAR* better.  It may also have been that you were building all of kde, 
while now, I only build the parts I need, with the stuff I use in gentoo's 
world file (actually in sets, which aren't available in stable portage 
yet but have been in testing portage for some time), using its dependency 
tracking to pull in what it needs of the rest.  I probably only build 
about 2/3 of it.

Finally, for those with the memory (almost certainly if you have >=4 gig, 
but arguably with 2 gig as well), putting the scratch build area 
(PORTAGE_TMPDIR on gentoo) on tmpfs speeds up the build SIGNIFICANTLY.  
As I mentioned, I have 6 gig of RAM, so I do that.

All factors combined, a kde update normally takes me about three hours.  
But back before my cpu and memory upgrades, with kde3, it was taking 
about 8 or 10.  And that was dual single-core CPU.  With a P4, yes, that 
would have been two full days, at least, and your three days plus 
definitely wouldn't have been out of the normal range, at all.

Like I said, tho, I was very glad I didn't get into Gentoo until I had at 
least dual-cpu/core SMP.  Single... I don't believe I'd have thought it 
worth it.

Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman

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