Gentoo Linux on PII-300 Laptop

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by steve, Nov 10, 2003.

  1. steve

    steve Guest

    I've got an old IBM ThinkPad with a PII-300, 4GB disk and 96MB of RAM.

    I wanted something minimal and free to install on it....and thought I would
    give Gentoo Linux a try. Gentoo lets you create a small system - and it
    compiles most of it right there on the PC as it is installed.

    Yes....the install takes a wee while as the RAM ain't much and the laptop
    isn't fast.

    But the result is outstanding.

    It took a couple of days - kicking off the next major unit (xfree took 14
    hours to compile) every now and again....and then I installed the 'fluxbox'
    UI......a *very* cool and very light window manager.

    Then I installed Opera 7.2. Now working on Mozilla (for mail and some
    browsing if Opera can't cope).

    If you have the time, Gentoo Linux is awesome stuff for old hardware.

    Or new hardware. I have 2 Athlon 2200+ systems and the Gentoo 1.4 system is
    noticeably faster than my Red Hat Linux 9 system.

    --
    defenestrate: The act of throwing Windows out the window and replacing it on
    your PC with some other operating system.
    steve, Nov 10, 2003
    #1
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  2. steve

    Evil Bastard Guest

    On Mon, 10 Nov 2003 20:37:52 +1300, steve wrote:

    > But the result is outstanding.


    I went through a phase a year ago of trying various source-based distros -
    sourcemage, gentoo, lunar etc.

    Strangest thing was that for my hardware, Debian with the same software
    (window manager etc) turned out to be about 40% faster on boot-up, and
    mostly similar speed (sometimes faster) with app startup. Not that much
    extra size either.

    Gentoo is an extreme, beaten only by the 'Linux From Scratch' crew.
    Powerful appeal for the 'get under the bonnet, get ya hands dirty'
    mind-set.

    But I find that with Debian, you can scale the system as you please. Just
    a matter of avoiding the 'tasksel' smorgasboard and doing manual apt-gets,
    and letting apt's dependency handler take care of the rest.

    Gotta watch some apps (eg kde apps) - their dependencies can require
    hundreds of megs of bloat.

    Happy these days with just fvwm and the Gnome libs.
    Evil Bastard, Nov 10, 2003
    #2
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  3. steve

    steve Guest

    Evil Bastard allegedly said:

    > On Mon, 10 Nov 2003 20:37:52 +1300, steve wrote:
    >
    >> But the result is outstanding.

    >
    > I went through a phase a year ago of trying various source-based distros -
    > sourcemage, gentoo, lunar etc.
    >
    > Strangest thing was that for my hardware, Debian with the same software
    > (window manager etc) turned out to be about 40% faster on boot-up, and
    > mostly similar speed (sometimes faster) with app startup. Not that much
    > extra size either.
    >
    > Gentoo is an extreme, beaten only by the 'Linux From Scratch' crew.
    > Powerful appeal for the 'get under the bonnet, get ya hands dirty'
    > mind-set.


    That would be me....yeah.... :)

    > But I find that with Debian, you can scale the system as you please. Just
    > a matter of avoiding the 'tasksel' smorgasboard and doing manual apt-gets,
    > and letting apt's dependency handler take care of the rest.


    Debian always seems to have trouble with my hardware...and "woody" is a bot
    long in the tooth...being roughly 18 months old.

    They need a new "stable" version urgently. In all seriouslness, I've fouind
    gentoo easier to install and get running than Debian. Sure, Debian would be
    on the disk in 20 minutes....then I'd spend the next 2 days getting all the
    other bits working....maybe. Yes...more a relection on my skills than
    Debian, perhaps.....but thats my story. :)

    By comparison, Red Hat is a FAR easier proposition and gave me fewer hassles
    on install than WinXP did.

    But Red Hat, compared to Gentoo, is bloatware. With Gentoo, I've found
    something that may be low-level, but it works and the results are
    outstanding.

    I also have linux from Scratch. :)

    I've not been brave enough to try it yet. LFS is to Red Hat as the Southern
    traverse is to crossing the street.


    > Gotta watch some apps (eg kde apps) - their dependencies can require
    > hundreds of megs of bloat.


    I've so far avoided installing an K-apps for that very reason. My wee
    lappy-top would be compiling KDE for 2-3 days...... :)

    > Happy these days with just fvwm and the Gnome libs.


    Fluxbox isn't much different to fvwm in appearance....very stripped down and
    lean to the point of being almost not there at all. Yet crisp and good
    looking.

    I like that. Many of the Linux window managers make WinXP look like the fat
    lady eating 5 Big Macs at McDonalds.

    --
    defenestrate: The act of throwing Windows out the window and replacing it on
    your PC with some other operating system.
    steve, Nov 11, 2003
    #3
  4. steve

    steve Guest

    Evil Bastard allegedly said:

    > Gentoo is an extreme, beaten only by the 'Linux From Scratch' crew.
    > Powerful appeal for the 'get under the bonnet, get ya hands dirty'
    > mind-set.


    BTW.....my wee laptop has been compiling Mozilla 1.4 (and pre-reqs) for
    roughly 11 hours now.....and I have no idea when it will be finished. :)

    On my Athlon 2200+ with 512MB of RAM it took 2-3 hours.

    --
    defenestrate: The act of throwing Windows out the window and replacing it on
    your PC with some other operating system.
    steve, Nov 11, 2003
    #4
  5. steve

    AD. Guest

    On Tue, 11 Nov 2003 12:17:31 +1300, Evil Bastard wrote:

    > Gentoo is an extreme, beaten only by the 'Linux From Scratch' crew.
    > Powerful appeal for the 'get under the bonnet, get ya hands dirty'
    > mind-set.
    >
    > But I find that with Debian, you can scale the system as you please. Just
    > a matter of avoiding the 'tasksel' smorgasboard and doing manual apt-gets,
    > and letting apt's dependency handler take care of the rest.


    I'm a die hard Debian fan myself, but one thing I really like about Gentoo
    is the USE flags.

    For instance (just as one example of many), if I want to use kerberos
    authentication I can add a kerberos USE flag, and all apps I install or
    update will get compiled with kerberos support if they have that
    functionality available.

    This is one area that source based distros have an advantage over binary
    ones.

    A pretty cool idea (I bet someone has already done it hehe), would be to
    combine Gentoo source type tuning and updating to create an up to date
    locally customised software repository. All your machines can then get
    installed and updated from it in Debian binary apt-get style.

    apt-cache and src-debs probably already give you most of that, but it
    would be a lot of work to set up and run I imagine.

    Cheers
    Anton
    AD., Nov 11, 2003
    #5
  6. steve

    Evil Bastard Guest

    On Tue, 11 Nov 2003 13:59:40 +1300, steve wrote:

    > Debian always seems to have trouble with my hardware...and "woody" is a bot
    > long in the tooth...being roughly 18 months old.


    There's one good place for woody - in your server farm, collecting dust,
    clocking up 3 and 4-figure uptimes.

    In all other situations, most everyone runs 'unstable' (which is actually
    far more stable than most linux distros).

    Cheers
    EB
    Evil Bastard, Nov 11, 2003
    #6
  7. steve

    Evil Bastard Guest

    Linux WM bloatage

    On Tue, 11 Nov 2003 13:59:40 +1300, steve wrote:

    > I like that. Many of the Linux window managers make WinXP look like the fat
    > lady eating 5 Big Macs at McDonalds.


    I just SOOO needed that image in my mind... NOT! (reminds me of that bit
    in the Slim Shady music vid where an obese woman eats the Burger King
    onion rings previously spat on by Eminem).

    But, you are totally right.

    KDE and the full Gnome - both of those have inconceivable amounts of bloat
    under the hood that just seem to grow with every new release. Countless
    complex subsystems all talking to each other - like driving from Auckland
    to Coromandel via Bluff. (I can imagine the developers thinking 'f*** the
    end user, I just wanna get my rocks off writing another 7000 lines of
    code!')

    IMO, Linux app writers need to follow a simple rule - use the lightest,
    simplest graphical toolkit which fulfils their requirements. There are way
    too many apps written for GTK++ or QT which could just as comfortably run
    (and much faster/smaller too) under FLTK, Fox or Tk.

    EB
    Evil Bastard, Nov 11, 2003
    #7
  8. steve

    Enkidu Guest

    On Tue, 11 Nov 2003 12:17:31 +1300, Evil Bastard
    <postmaster@127.0.0.1> wrote:
    >
    >Gentoo is an extreme, beaten only by the 'Linux From Scratch' crew.
    >Powerful appeal for the 'get under the bonnet, get ya hands dirty'
    >mind-set.
    >

    No. Debian is the mot flexible. You can start from a couple of
    floppies and grow it from there. It avoids the 2 - 4 days compile that
    LFS and gentoo require.

    If I wanted to compile everything I'd go the BSD route.

    Cheers,

    Cliff
    --

    The complete lack of evidence is the surest sign
    that the conspiracy is working.
    Enkidu, Nov 11, 2003
    #8
  9. steve

    harry Guest

    "Evil Bastard" <postmaster@127.0.0.1> wrote in message
    news:pan.2003.11.11.04.37.44.989950@127.0.0.1...
    > On Tue, 11 Nov 2003 13:59:40 +1300, steve wrote:
    >
    > > Debian always seems to have trouble with my hardware...and "woody" is a

    bot
    > > long in the tooth...being roughly 18 months old.

    >
    > There's one good place for woody - in your server farm, collecting dust,
    > clocking up 3 and 4-figure uptimes.
    >
    > In all other situations, most everyone runs 'unstable' (which is actually
    > far more stable than most linux distros).
    >


    I don't, I run mostly testing with Default-Release set in apt.conf, and just
    get the packages I want from unstable.
    Otherwise apt-get update takes too long.
    The packages that don't matter to me can keep changing in unstable till they
    qualify for testing.
    harry, Nov 11, 2003
    #9
  10. steve

    AD. Guest

    On Tue, 11 Nov 2003 20:09:28 +1300, harry wrote:

    > I don't, I run mostly testing with Default-Release set in apt.conf, and
    > just get the packages I want from unstable. Otherwise apt-get update takes
    > too long.


    Hehe that's my favourite thing about having a Citylink/WIX connection at
    work :)

    Free transfers at 500-900kB/s (yes that's kBytes) to the local Debian
    mirror depending on how busy their server is. There's a Gentoo mirror
    there too.

    The installing of debs usually takes far far longer than the downloading
    of them. It makes tracking Sid bearable, and reduces the need to set up a
    local cache.

    Cheers
    Anton
    AD., Nov 11, 2003
    #10
  11. steve

    steve Guest

    Re: Linux WM bloatage

    Evil Bastard allegedly said:

    > On Tue, 11 Nov 2003 13:59:40 +1300, steve wrote:
    >
    >> I like that. Many of the Linux window managers make WinXP look like the
    >> fat lady eating 5 Big Macs at McDonalds.

    >
    > I just SOOO needed that image in my mind... NOT! (reminds me of that bit
    > in the Slim Shady music vid where an obese woman eats the Burger King
    > onion rings previously spat on by Eminem).


    Thanks for returning the favour.......EEeeewwwww.

    > But, you are totally right.
    >
    > KDE and the full Gnome - both of those have inconceivable amounts of bloat
    > under the hood that just seem to grow with every new release. Countless
    > complex subsystems all talking to each other - like driving from Auckland
    > to Coromandel via Bluff. (I can imagine the developers thinking 'f*** the
    > end user, I just wanna get my rocks off writing another 7000 lines of
    > code!')


    :)

    Yet they run well and add lots of function. Nautilus, to me, doesn't offer
    enough function for the resources it takes up. Linux has better file
    managers than Nautilus...I've used them.

    Instead, I've starting using MC in an Xterm. But then I used DOS for years
    before Windows came out, so I'm happy with a command line and text-based
    apps. They are often faster and easier to use than many GUI apps.

    > IMO, Linux app writers need to follow a simple rule - use the lightest,
    > simplest graphical toolkit which fulfils their requirements. There are way
    > too many apps written for GTK++ or QT which could just as comfortably run
    > (and much faster/smaller too) under FLTK, Fox or Tk.
    >
    > EB


    Good to know.

    --
    defenestrate: The act of throwing Windows out the window and replacing it on
    your PC with some other operating system.
    steve, Nov 11, 2003
    #11
  12. steve

    Murray Symon Guest

    Re: Linux WM bloatage

    On Tue, 11 Nov 2003 17:47:29 +1300, Evil Bastard wrote:

    > On Tue, 11 Nov 2003 13:59:40 +1300, steve wrote:


    [snip]

    > IMO, Linux app writers need to follow a simple rule - use the lightest,
    > simplest graphical toolkit which fulfils their requirements. There are way
    > too many apps written for GTK++ or QT which could just as comfortably run
    > (and much faster/smaller too) under FLTK, Fox or Tk.
    >
    > EB


    Agreed.
    A good example that I use all the time is "X File Explorer" (Xfe) which
    is a lightweight fully-functional GUI file manager based on Fox.
    Also, Fluxbox is a great lightweight window manager. Interestingly,
    Sylpheed is GTK-based but is still very quick to load and run on my
    ageing K6-2.

    Murray
    Murray Symon, Nov 11, 2003
    #12
  13. steve

    Fran Guest

    Re: Linux WM bloatage

    steve wrote:

    > Evil Bastard allegedly said:
    >
    >> On Tue, 11 Nov 2003 13:59:40 +1300, steve wrote:
    >>
    >>> I like that. Many of the Linux window managers make WinXP look like the
    >>> fat lady eating 5 Big Macs at McDonalds.

    >>
    >> I just SOOO needed that image in my mind... NOT! (reminds me of that bit
    >> in the Slim Shady music vid where an obese woman eats the Burger King
    >> onion rings previously spat on by Eminem).

    >
    > Thanks for returning the favour.......EEeeewwwww.
    >
    >> But, you are totally right.
    >>
    >> KDE and the full Gnome - both of those have inconceivable amounts of
    >> bloat under the hood that just seem to grow with every new release.
    >> Countless complex subsystems all talking to each other - like driving
    >> from Auckland to Coromandel via Bluff. (I can imagine the developers
    >> thinking 'f*** the end user, I just wanna get my rocks off writing
    >> another 7000 lines of code!')

    >
    > :)
    >
    > Yet they run well and add lots of function. Nautilus, to me, doesn't offer
    > enough function for the resources it takes up. Linux has better file
    > managers than Nautilus...I've used them.
    >
    > Instead, I've starting using MC in an Xterm. But then I used DOS for years
    > before Windows came out, so I'm happy with a command line and text-based
    > apps. They are often faster and easier to use than many GUI apps.
    >
    >> IMO, Linux app writers need to follow a simple rule - use the lightest,
    >> simplest graphical toolkit which fulfils their requirements. There are
    >> way too many apps written for GTK++ or QT which could just as comfortably
    >> run (and much faster/smaller too) under FLTK, Fox or Tk.
    >>
    >> EB

    >
    > Good to know.
    >


    And yet KDE seems to get faster with every release.

    KDE on my desktop and BlackBox on the laptop.

    Faster? Tk?
    Interpereted faster than compiled...
    Tk isn't used because it's faster.

    It's used because it's the best scripting language/toolkit out there but
    that's another argument entirely :)

    Fran
    :):):)
    Fran, Nov 11, 2003
    #13
  14. steve

    RecylerMan Guest

    Re: Linux WM bloatage

    steve wrote:
    > Evil Bastard allegedly said:
    >
    >
    >>On Tue, 11 Nov 2003 13:59:40 +1300, steve wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>>I like that. Many of the Linux window managers make WinXP look like the
    >>>fat lady eating 5 Big Macs at McDonalds.

    >>
    >>I just SOOO needed that image in my mind... NOT! (reminds me of that bit
    >>in the Slim Shady music vid where an obese woman eats the Burger King
    >>onion rings previously spat on by Eminem).

    >
    >
    > Thanks for returning the favour.......EEeeewwwww.
    >
    >
    >>But, you are totally right.
    >>
    >>KDE and the full Gnome - both of those have inconceivable amounts of bloat
    >>under the hood that just seem to grow with every new release. Countless
    >>complex subsystems all talking to each other - like driving from Auckland
    >>to Coromandel via Bluff. (I can imagine the developers thinking 'f*** the
    >>end user, I just wanna get my rocks off writing another 7000 lines of
    >>code!')

    >
    >
    > :)
    >
    > Yet they run well and add lots of function. Nautilus, to me, doesn't offer
    > enough function for the resources it takes up. Linux has better file
    > managers than Nautilus...I've used them.
    >
    > Instead, I've starting using MC in an Xterm. But then I used DOS for years
    > before Windows came out, so I'm happy with a command line and text-based
    > apps. They are often faster and easier to use than many GUI apps.
    >
    >


    mc under xterm or tty or a ssh makes me actualy know what I am doing I
    have been toying arround with my server (mintell sme ... E-Smith) using
    SSH over my network to do all of my "hacks" the only time I have moneter
    and key bord attached is to get the thing going from cleen instal or
    when I want to see a boot...

    login as: root
    Sent username "root"
    root@192.168.2.1's password:
    Last login: Mon Nov 10 11:21:19 2003 from pc-00010
    Welcome to the Mitel Networks SME Server.
    upt[root@mongo4 root]# uptime
    7:12am up 60 days, 9:02, 1 user, load average: 0.04, 0.02, 0.00


    as you can see the last time was about 60 days ago it's web interface is
    used mostly to control the modem but the party trick is to conect up to
    it from sombodys elces home over ssh set them up with an account and
    sends them a e-mail fro it...

    just been having fun with slimp3 and damsmalllinux 0.4.10 I have found
    streaming its mp3's much less strain on its resurces than having a
    player on a remote machine reading it's files and playing said files.

    >>IMO, Linux app writers need to follow a simple rule - use the lightest,
    >>simplest graphical toolkit which fulfils their requirements. There are way
    >>too many apps written for GTK++ or QT which could just as comfortably run
    >>(and much faster/smaller too) under FLTK, Fox or Tk.
    >>
    >>EB

    >
    >
    > Good to know.
    >



    --
    RecylerMan ICQ 22245595
    Mail to :- l i n u x u s r AT i h u g DOT c o DOT n z
    The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse always gets the cheese
    RecylerMan, Nov 11, 2003
    #14
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