Gentoo advantage? (was: [TriLUG] What distro do you use AT WORK
on your SERVERS.)
oberry at trilug.org
Thu Jan 12 10:10:06 EST 2006
I think in Gentoo the stability of the package depends to a large extent
on the maintainer of the package. Since it is a continuously evolving
distribution, with no releases in the traditional sense, there is no
centralized group testing and releasing packages. Once a maintainer
feels that a new release is ready, out it goes.
I would disagree that Gentoo is notorious for releasing changes that
break things (I've had very few problems), but I would say that you
should be more cautious than with other distros when in a production
environment. When a major release happens for a package, I sometimes
wait for a few days before putting it in. This lets the dust settle
while everyone else sorts out any problems ... with such a configurable
system things are bound to be different amongst users, potentially
causing problems for some.
Also, if you can't afford downtime, I would suggest more than one
system, where you can build, install and test on one system, and then
install on the others. This way you can also build binary packages,
making it easier to revert to the older version, and avoid compiling on
Things I like about Gentoo are it's excellent documentation (I sometimes
refer to it even when working on other distros, if applicable), the
range of packages, the ability to install bleeding edge packages, and
the flexibility. Sometimes Ubuntu tempts me though. :-)
Another thing I like is that CPAN modules can be incorporated into
your portage tree. Instead of having an ebuild for every Perl module on
CPAN, there's a script that does a certain amount of integration between
CPAN and portage, helping keep everything consistent. It drives me crazy
having a mix of RPM's and CPAN on RedHat systems.
On Thu, Jan 12, 2006 at 09:15:47AM -0500, William Sutton wrote:
> I don't think it is a production system. Gentoo is notorious for
> releasing changes without doing thorough testing (google for the apache
> 1.series to apache 2.series breakages), for example.
> On the whole it has a place, and installing a few Gentoo systems is a good
> learning experience...I just wouldn't run one in production.
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