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#1 2012-12-15 01:12:46

KrunchTime
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Registered: 2012-03-02
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Arch/ArchBang vs Gentoo vs Debian Unstable

I'm going to search the net for this topic as well, but I wanted to get input from CrunchBanger's who have used atleast two of the three mentioned.  Pros and cons for Arch/ArchBang vs Gentoo vs Debian Unstable.  Thanks in advance.

12/14/2012, 22:38:02 edit:  Based on the little bit of research I've done, it seems that Debian unstable should be my choice for a rolling release distro.

Last edited by KrunchTime (2012-12-15 17:31:35)


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#2 2012-12-15 05:24:02

merelyjim
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Re: Arch/ArchBang vs Gentoo vs Debian Unstable

I've only set Debian-based distro's to stable or testing, myself - otherwise spend too much time keeeping things running.
You might look at Sabayon, though. Based on Gentoo, it seemed very well done, and it's a rolling-release.
http://www.sabayon.org/


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#3 2012-12-15 06:55:31

intoCB
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Re: Arch/ArchBang vs Gentoo vs Debian Unstable

Arch is difficult compared with Debian, simply because there is less done for you. It's still relatively complete in the sense that there is a full package management system and everything is essentially a variation on mounting partitions and downloading packages. Ok, AUR is a wee bit more complex than your regular Debian experience but still.

Gentoo on the other hand appears to take it a step further and you have to compile everything, including your own kernel for example. However, there is not only an additional layer of complexity involved, people who run Gentoo say compiling (especially a large program like the kernel) can take an exceptionally long time.

Things that would motivate you to move to Gentoo would be:

  • Arch is too easy and you're keen for an additional level of complexity.

  • You're paranoid and you want to compile your own kernel just to make sure no one's put any funny stuff in it.


At the end of the day, all the software is going to be the same i.e. GIMP, VLC, LibreOffice etc.

Personally, my long term aim is to run Ututo, an FSF-approved absolutely free version of Gentoo, and sit in a cave with a tin-foil hat on my head.

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#4 2012-12-15 07:05:37

intoCB
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Re: Arch/ArchBang vs Gentoo vs Debian Unstable

Also, SID is described as bleeding edge but once when I looked, there was a more recent version of LibreOffice in Fedora, so I kind of lost interest after that.

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#5 2012-12-15 08:19:54

gutterslob
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Re: Arch/ArchBang vs Gentoo vs Debian Unstable

Debian Sid:
I like to think I'm rolling bleeding edge, but I'm really not.
I just like seeing Xorg and my proprietary graphics drivers in a constant state of disagreement.
I still vote for Thatcher.

Arch:
I think I'm way cooler than everyone else, and go to great lengths to make sure people hear me saying so.
I am not very conscious of my surroundings, hence I haven't realized that "minimalism" has become a self-contradicting dirty word.
I also like listening to that that old band with a penchant for black and white face-paint.

Gentoo:
I see myself as some modern-day Aristotle, hence I constantly fap to my own "philosophies".
I have a life goal to create my own hybrid-pico-mono-quasimodo kernel that people can install in a dead gnat.
I also enjoy tuning washing machines and putting gaudy aftermarket body panels on my boring saloon.

Last edited by gutterslob (2012-12-15 08:33:14)


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#6 2012-12-15 09:45:16

fatmac
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Re: Arch/ArchBang vs Gentoo vs Debian Unstable

I had a look at Arch, couldn't see what was so special about it.
I used Gentoo just to try it out but it didn't feel comfortable.
Long time Debian user so I may be a bit biased. smile


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#7 2012-12-15 10:58:55

mynis01
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Re: Arch/ArchBang vs Gentoo vs Debian Unstable

Archbang is kinda pointless IMO. If you want something that works "out of the box," then use crunchbang. Gentoo is cool if you want to optimize a system as much as it can possibly be optimized, but you're spending like 10x as much time to configure a system in order to make it run 0.01% faster, because you're just going to be waiting for stuff to compile all the time.

Having used arch for over a year now, I have to say it's completely and utterly awesome. You get the best of both of the worlds that gentoo and debian offer, having both pre-configured binary and source packages offered to you on a silver platter. People like gutterslob make stereotypes about arch users claiming we say things like "I think I'm way cooler than everyone else, and go to great lengths to make sure people hear me saying so." In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. There's helpers like packer that build source packages from the AUR for you. Things that take a great deal of effort to configure in debian are effortless in arch thanks to the AUR. I don't go to great lengths to configure my arch system. I set it up once over a year ago and now I can barely remember what it entailed.

I used to be really active on this forum because I was able to help people with the problems that they experienced. But since I switched to arch, I upgrade my packages on a daily basis and never have any issues, because scripts in the AUR sort that out for me. I don't know how to fix people's linux problems anymore, because I never suffer from them. Arch has enabled a profound degree of laziness that I could never achieve with any iteration of debian or .rpm distro. You might have to do a bit of extra post-install configuration in arch, but in the long term, you end up doing a lot less maintenance. If a package breaks something, it's not a big deal because arch's package manager, pacman, archives older versions of packages for you in a well compressed manner. If you want something like steam, rutorrent, systemd, mixxx, nginx, zfs, sun java, flash plugins, or just a newer version of something than what is in the repos, you just use a tool like packer, issue a single command, and the system builds a package from source for you. Everything's at your fingertips and within a single command, and if something breaks, you just revert to the older version stored on your hard drive. AUR packages will even effortlessly sync a piece of software to the git repo it comes from if you want. The downside to arch: you might have to install X11 and xorg packages yourself, and add yourself to the wheel and audio groups, and then someone like gutterslob might paint you as some kind of elitist afterwards.

TL;DR: Since I installed arch on my machines a year from last October, I've updated every time I log in and have never had any issues. I run a openbox+tint2+conky environment just like the default in #!, and it works great. When I want to install something like mixxx or rutorrent that was never in the debian repos, it just takes a single line like "packer -S mixxx" instead of having to install a billion randomdebianarchive-lib packages just so I can attempt to compile something and then have it fail after an hour just because I was missing a package. I actually have saved myself a shit ton of time by switching to arch, but if everything you will ever use in your lifetime is in binary format in the debian repos, then bon appetit.

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#8 2012-12-15 11:48:01

Unia
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Re: Arch/ArchBang vs Gentoo vs Debian Unstable

^ Exactly what he said  wink

Gutterslob's post makes sense too, kind off describing the different attitudes. Even though we (mynis and me) can't relate to the "I'm using Arch so I'm cooler", there's a lot of people you can apply that on...


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#9 2012-12-15 17:24:10

KrunchTime
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Re: Arch/ArchBang vs Gentoo vs Debian Unstable

SimonHoare wrote:

Personally, my long term aim is to run Ututo, an FSF-approved absolutely free version of Gentoo, and sit in a cave with a tin-foil hat on my head.

lol


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#10 2012-12-15 17:27:46

KrunchTime
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Re: Arch/ArchBang vs Gentoo vs Debian Unstable

@mynis01 and Unia

I read something on one site that causes me not to want to try/use Arch.  I'll attempt to find the site and provide a link later.  Thanks mynis01 for the detailed response regarding Arch.

Edit - 12/16/2012 - 01:10:xx EST:  Here's the link; http://igurublog.wordpress.com/2011/03/ … o-aptosid/

Last edited by KrunchTime (2012-12-16 06:10:14)


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#11 2012-12-15 17:29:55

KrunchTime
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Re: Arch/ArchBang vs Gentoo vs Debian Unstable

SimonHoare wrote:

Also, SID is described as bleeding edge but once when I looked, there was a more recent version of LibreOffice in Fedora, so I kind of lost interest after that.

Yeah, you're right about that.  I kind of forgot about that.  I've ran across other packages/apps that weren't that up-to-date as well.

Aptosid has caught my interest.  It's specifically geared to run Debian Unstable with some of their own tweaks.  I ran a live version briefly from a thumb drive last night.

Last edited by KrunchTime (2012-12-15 17:35:05)


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#12 2012-12-15 17:34:11

jotapesse
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Re: Arch/ArchBang vs Gentoo vs Debian Unstable

I think the best answer is: try and see which one suits you better.

All of them have goods and bads and they can be relative to different persons. Having that said I'm on Debian Sid/Unstable and enjoying it very much although not as bleeding edge as I would like but the friendly easy factor, rolling release and fast security patches are nice. For bleeding edge I just download and build what I need, like Xfce 4.10 and Thunar 1.6.0 for example. smile

Last edited by jotapesse (2012-12-15 17:36:43)


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#13 2012-12-15 17:38:04

KrunchTime
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Re: Arch/ArchBang vs Gentoo vs Debian Unstable

jotapesse wrote:

I think the best answer is: try and see which one suits you better

All of them have goods and bads and they can be relative to different persons. Having that said I'm on Debian Sid/Unstable and enjoying it very much although not as bleeding edge as I would like but the friendly easy factor, rolling release and fast security patches are nice.

Agree.  Yeah, I played around with LinuxBBQ Escargot this week and it was nice having more up-to-date apps.  I got spoiled with Chromium v22.

Last edited by KrunchTime (2012-12-15 18:01:14)


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#14 2012-12-15 17:42:10

jotapesse
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From: Algarve, Portugal
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Re: Arch/ArchBang vs Gentoo vs Debian Unstable

KrunchTime wrote:

Agree.  Yeah, I played around with LinuxBBQ Escargot this week and it was nice having more up-to-date apps.  I got spoiled with Chromium v18.

Well that's a non issue for me, we can always download and build bleeding edge software. Regarding chromium, v22 is currently available from Debian Sid.


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#15 2012-12-15 17:48:04

KrunchTime
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Re: Arch/ArchBang vs Gentoo vs Debian Unstable

mynis01 wrote:

Archbang is kinda pointless IMO. If you want something that works "out of the box," then use crunchbang.

I like CrunchBang, but I dislike some of the out-of-date software, even with backports.  This is one of my dislikes about Linux.  IMO, I shouldn't have to compile, or run what is considered a bleeding edge distro, just so I can use up-to-date software.

Last edited by KrunchTime (2012-12-15 18:00:20)


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#16 2012-12-15 18:02:38

KrunchTime
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Re: Arch/ArchBang vs Gentoo vs Debian Unstable

jotapesse wrote:
KrunchTime wrote:

Agree.  Yeah, I played around with LinuxBBQ Escargot this week and it was nice having more up-to-date apps.  I got spoiled with Chromium v18.

Well that's a non issue for me, we can always download and build bleeding edge software. Regarding chromium, v22 is currently available from Debian Sid.

You're correct.  I edited my post.

Last edited by KrunchTime (2012-12-15 18:03:06)


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#17 2012-12-15 18:39:26

mynis01
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Re: Arch/ArchBang vs Gentoo vs Debian Unstable

KrunchTime wrote:

IMO, I shouldn't have to compile, or run what is considered a bleeding edge distro, just so I can use up-to-date software.

Well, with arch you won't have to compile, because as soon as something is considered stable by its upstream dev it gets added in binary format to the arch repos. If having the newest stable versions of software in the repos makes it "bleeding edge" and thus not desirable for you, then I'm afraid no one can help you. You want something that has packages that are older than the latest stable versions but are still "up to date?" I don't really follow.

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#18 2012-12-15 18:50:15

lcafiero
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Re: Arch/ArchBang vs Gentoo vs Debian Unstable

gutterslob wrote:

I also like listening to that that old band with a penchant for black and white face-paint.

You drive us wild, we'll drive you crazy . . . . big_smile

Meanwhile, back on topic: I tried Arch once, and it was fine. In six years of using Linux/FOSS, I've never gotten Gentoo to run -- ever (operator error, I gladly admit). I have tried Debian Unstable but really prefer "stable" because I'm a coward. So of the three, the only one I've run for any significant length of time it Arch and it was OK -- nothing to do backflips or breathe fire about.


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#19 2012-12-15 18:55:31

mynis01
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Re: Arch/ArchBang vs Gentoo vs Debian Unstable

I'd have to say one of the major weaknesses of arch is memory usage. They use vanilla packages straight from upstream with no modifications, where as debian for example patches xorg to use less memory. If you don't have at least a gig of memory I wouldn't even bother trying to use it.

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#20 2012-12-15 21:43:09

snowpine
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Registered: 2008-11-24
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Re: Arch/ArchBang vs Gentoo vs Debian Unstable

gutterslob wrote:

Arch:
I also like listening to that that old band with a penchant for black and white face-paint.

lol


/hugged

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#21 2012-12-16 06:18:03

KrunchTime
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Re: Arch/ArchBang vs Gentoo vs Debian Unstable

mynis01 wrote:
KrunchTime wrote:

IMO, I shouldn't have to compile, or run what is considered a bleeding edge distro, just so I can use up-to-date software.

Well, with arch you won't have to compile, because as soon as something is considered stable by its upstream dev it gets added in binary format to the arch repos. If having the newest stable versions of software in the repos makes it "bleeding edge" and thus not desirable for you, then I'm afraid no one can help you. You want something that has packages that are older than the latest stable versions but are still "up to date?" I don't really follow.

For example, in Debian Stable, the latest version of Chromium is v6.  However, Chromium v22 is available in the Debian Unstable/Sid repos.  So, if I want to run the more up-to-date version of Chromium (v22), then I need to compile if running Debian Stable (and even that's not a guarantee that you'll be able to run it), or I run Debian Unstable/Sid, which is considered bleeding edge.  Actually, Chromium v22 isn't the most up-to-date either.  I'm currently running Chromium v25 under Windows.


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#22 2012-12-16 06:19:15

KrunchTime
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Re: Arch/ArchBang vs Gentoo vs Debian Unstable

mynis01 wrote:

I'd have to say one of the major weaknesses of arch is memory usage. They use vanilla packages straight from upstream with no modifications, where as debian for example patches xorg to use less memory. If you don't have at least a gig of memory I wouldn't even bother trying to use it.

Wow, that's good to know.


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#23 2012-12-16 06:34:50

VastOne
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Re: Arch/ArchBang vs Gentoo vs Debian Unstable

^ I was surprised by the high memory usage in my latest exploration of Arch and got back to debian quickly.


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#24 2012-12-16 10:24:21

Iranon
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Re: Arch/ArchBang vs Gentoo vs Debian Unstable

Arch makes concessions to simplicity - the infrastructure is basic, things come mostly vanilla, with little patching and configuration done for you.
Since people elsewhere might have a decent reason for changing things, the lack of out-of-the-box optimisation shouldn't be surprising.
The simplicity combined with good documentation has its advantages though. Don't like something about your system? You'll usually find a quick and expedient way or three to fix/optimise whatever was unsatisfactory.


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#25 2012-12-24 03:35:25

bklive
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Re: Arch/ArchBang vs Gentoo vs Debian Unstable

debian sid is broken a lot and the package management isn't really helpful unless you're familiar

arch is nice and i used it for a long while, but the dependency trap can sometimes be quite large and, again, unless you are familiar with pacman is difficult to avoid

gentoo is really fun to tinker with, and use flags are brilliantly executed (and break your system a bunch), and compiling your own everything seems really neat. takes forever to get things how you want them, and then constantly fiddling with your ACTUAL work computer

final verdict: if you REALLY need rolling release (you probably don't), then just use arch. imho. in the quest for the latest and greatest i often find myself back with a more stable choice with certain packages that meet my "bleeding" criteria.


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