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jobb
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 11:54 am    Post subject: OLD Hardware - will gentoo work flawlessly ? Reply with quote

Hello,

This is a working PC (I had this PC when I was in college), with Windows 7 on it and surprisingly; it works just fine. I haven't pushed its limit but there is 0 lag in opening a file manager, browsing (tested with 2 tabs), and playing standard quality movie in VLC (all done simultaneously)

I will buy 4 GB (2GB*2) DDR2 RAM in Dual Channel for it.

https://i.ibb.co/80n1sfv/cpu1.png
https://i.ibb.co/TgBFG6y/cpu2.png
https://i.ibb.co/Y3hKd61/cpu3.png
https://i.ibb.co/t41sqKJ/cpu4.png
https://i.ibb.co/309F7H7/cpu5.png

I'd like to make this a gentoo computer.

Question 1 - Would gentoo work flawlessly? Im planning to install LUKS with some encryption, i3, firefox and ranger. I'm not sure if Wayland would even work so Xorg I guess.

Question 2 - How much of a compile time am I looking at ?

Question 3 - How much time will I spend upgrading ? Im okay with some downtime.

Thank you in advance for all your helpful suggestions and comments.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jobb,

Welcome to Gentoo.

Gentoo supports your hardware at least as well as any other distro. It works well on a Raspberry Pi with only 1G RAM.

There are two parts to Gentoo. First is building and installing it. Second is running it.

You don't have to do the build on the same system as you run it. Your current 1G RAM will be a squeeze for build bigger packages but they are mostly available pre compiled.
Things like icedtea for Java, Firefox and libreoffice.

You can get started now, with 1G RAM and upgrade later, or you can build on another system and install on the older one.
That would avoid spending money until you know you need to.

I'm still using a motherboard build with the same AMD chipset that you have.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Question 3 - How much time will I spend upgrading ? Im okay with some downtime.

Why do you want to install Gentoo? Do you really want Gentoo, a source based and 'rolling' distribution? Or do you just want to run Linux on your machine? In the latter case, you may want to take a look at a binary distribution like Debian.

Gentoo is an excellent choice: I love it! But it needs a lot of time. If you want to minimize downtime, a binary distribution might be better.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeddySeagoon wrote:
jobb,

Welcome to Gentoo.

Gentoo supports your hardware at least as well as any other distro. It works well on a Raspberry Pi with only 1G RAM.

There are two parts to Gentoo. First is building and installing it. Second is running it.

You don't have to do the build on the same system as you run it. Your current 1G RAM will be a squeeze for build bigger packages but they are mostly available pre compiled.
Things like icedtea for Java, Firefox and libreoffice.

You can get started now, with 1G RAM and upgrade later, or you can build on another system and install on the older one.
That would avoid spending money until you know you need to.

I'm still using a motherboard build with the same AMD chipset that you have.


Thank you for replying. DDR2 667 MHz RAMs are pretty cheap these days, so upgrading sounds good enough. I wouldn't be running Java on this machine. Uses are pretty specific, as I mentioned before. If I might ask, are you on X or Wayland ? Can I go with wayland ?

mike155 wrote:
Quote:
Question 3 - How much time will I spend upgrading ? Im okay with some downtime.

Why do you want to install Gentoo? Do you really want Gentoo, a source based and 'rolling' distribution? Or do you just want to run Linux on your machine? In the latter case, you may want to take a look at a binary distribution like Debian.

Gentoo is an excellent choice: I love it! But it needs a lot of time. If you want to minimize downtime, a binary distribution might be better.


Gentoo will be my first source based distribution. My main system runs arch (this will be my backup system where I can browse and watch netflix while my main system is busy) so I'm fairly comfortable with the rolling distribution. I think I want Gentoo because I think it will allow me to keep everything lean and clean, without having 40 softwares I'm never going to use. I prefer installing everything by myself. Plus I want to checkout the USE flags. "-gnome" seems like an fun thing to do ! :lol:

I am willing to invest some time for reading and learning. By "some downtime"; I meant that I wouldn't want to be spending more time compiling than actually using the system.

Funny you should mention Debian. I have never even made a live disk of Debian. I have used Ubuntu for like 2-3 months and Mint for like 6 months, but never Debian.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jobb,

Your arch system can help your gentoo system build.
You will need identical versions of gcc on both systems, gentoo set up with distcc and distcc on arch, listening for requests to help.

With 4G RAM, updates should not got in the way of system use. Updates use a default of nice=3, so your interactive user gets priory over builds.

You won't need to set USE=-gnome. Gentoo provides a set of profiles which are starting points, for your install. They include some USE settnigs.
Choose a profile that does not have default settings that include USE=gnome.

Wayland will install but as I don't use it, I'm not sure how mature it is.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jobb wrote:
Can I go with wayland ?

You are in charge! Of course you can :) I used wayland for a while, but it feels incomplete imho possibly due to my lack of understanding.

jobb wrote:
Gentoo will be my first source based distribution. My main system runs arch (this will be my backup system where I can browse and watch netflix while my main system is busy) so I'm fairly comfortable with the rolling distribution. I think I want Gentoo because I think it will allow me to keep everything lean and clean, without having 40 softwares I'm never going to use. I prefer installing everything by myself. Plus I want to checkout the USE flags. "-gnome" seems like an fun thing to do ! :lol:

I am willing to invest some time for reading and learning. By "some downtime"; I meant that I wouldn't want to be spending more time compiling than actually using the system.


You don't need to upgrade your system to run gentoo. If you have another main system with more oomph, you can compile there and install only those compiled binary packages on your older system. That would keep your system even more leaner and cleaner.

Gentoo doesn't need downtime to compile. You can compile in the background while you are actually using the system. The only downtimes needed are perhaps when you reboot, and that shouldn't take too long.

If you are anything like me, you might be spending a lot more time compiling than actually using the system, particularly when you are new to gentoo. I think I still do :lol:
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeddySeagoon wrote:
jobb,

Your arch system can help your gentoo system build.
You will need identical versions of gcc on both systems, gentoo set up with distcc and distcc on arch, listening for requests to help.

With 4G RAM, updates should not got in the way of system use. Updates use a default of nice=3, so your interactive user gets priory over builds.

You won't need to set USE=-gnome. Gentoo provides a set of profiles which are starting points, for your install. They include some USE settnigs.
Choose a profile that does not have default settings that include USE=gnome.

Wayland will install but as I don't use it, I'm not sure how mature it is.


Thank you for the suggestion. I should do that. I guess I have a lot of reading to do.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

josephg wrote:

You are in charge! Of course you can :) I used wayland for a while, but it feels incomplete imho possibly due to my lack of understanding.


I agree. I think I got excited because I don't have anything nvidia in this system. But it being ancient is making me question everything.

josephg wrote:

You don't need to upgrade your system to run gentoo. If you have another main system with more oomph, you can compile there and install only those compiled binary packages on your older system. That would keep your system even more leaner and cleaner.

Gentoo doesn't need downtime to compile. You can compile in the background while you are actually using the system. The only downtimes needed are perhaps when you reboot, and that shouldn't take too long.

If you are anything like me, you might be spending a lot more time compiling than actually using the system, particularly when you are new to gentoo. I think I still do :lol:


I'm getting those RAM sticks for $13 and thus, I really don't mind. But you guys have convinced me that I should start installing it right now. I was planning to do it after the RAM upgrade.

I assume you customise and try a lot. I like customisation too but I think Im a bit impatient too.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1G is pretty tight but feasible. I'd allocate 16G or more swap. I have a 32 bit system with three 256Meg sticks. As I recall, the original emerge -e world took three or four days to run. But Gentoo runs well and it even dual boots with XP so you can probably keep the Win 7 if you wish. It depends on your disk space. Is the drive IDE? Could be a problem getting another IDE drive.
What CPU are you running?

I only have 8G swap, but I don't run a GUI or build build packages:
Code:
k6 ~ # swapon
NAME      TYPE      SIZE USED PRIO
/dev/sda3 partition   4G 2.6M   -1
/swapfile file        4G   0B   -2

As you see, I started with 4G, then added the swap file. If you have disk space, I'd go with 16G all on one partition. That way you can build anything, but it might take days!
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Getting started is a good idea. One thing that's different about Gentoo vs. your typical binary distribution is that you don't have to re-install to dramatically change your setup. I have a machine that hasn't been re-installed since its initial incarnation in 2005. Almost everything is different (new motherboard (twice), new disks (thrice), other new hardware), but I have never needed to start a fresh Handbook install.

The Handbook install gives you a pretty lean starting point for customization. Go for it!

- John
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tony0945 wrote:
1G is pretty tight but feasible. I'd allocate 16G or more swap. I have a 32 bit system with three 256Meg sticks. As I recall, the original emerge -e world took three or four days to run. But Gentoo runs well and it even dual boots with XP so you can probably keep the Win 7 if you wish. It depends on your disk space. Is the drive IDE? Could be a problem getting another IDE drive.
What CPU are you running?

I only have 8G swap, but I don't run a GUI or build build packages:
Code:
k6 ~ # swapon
NAME      TYPE      SIZE USED PRIO
/dev/sda3 partition   4G 2.6M   -1
/swapfile file        4G   0B   -2

As you see, I started with 4G, then added the swap file. If you have disk space, I'd go with 16G all on one partition. That way you can build anything, but it might take days!


This ancient system which I'll use for Gentoo has 250G Seagate Barracuda 7200 RPM HDD on Sata II. 16GB on one partition sounds good to me. I'll have /boot (unencrypted) and /home(encrypted); both ext4. I'll have to use swapfile on /home too. I'm not sure about the encryption/decryption speeds of AES-xts-plain64 on this CPU though.

According to the Tips and Tricks, I think i'll do -c -c too, since I haven't used this disk in around 7+ years.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

John R. Graham wrote:
Getting started is a good idea. One thing that's different about Gentoo vs. your typical binary distribution is that you don't have to re-install to dramatically change your setup. I have a machine that hasn't been re-installed since its initial incarnation in 2005. Almost everything is different (new motherboard (twice), new disks (thrice), other new hardware), but I have never needed to start a fresh Handbook install.

The Handbook install gives you a pretty lean starting point for customization. Go for it!

- John


Thats amazing ! I think that should be the number 1 reason for anyone to use Gentoo.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah! That's plenty of disk space. The system I'm talking about has an 80G drive, WD Caviar 7200 RPM made April 4, 2004!
I assume your CPU is 64-bit. All the more reason to use 16G swap rather than 8G.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tony0945 wrote:
Ah! That's plenty of disk space. The system I'm talking about has an 80G drive, WD Caviar 7200 RPM made April 4, 2004!
I assume your CPU is 64-bit. All the more reason to use 16G swap rather than 8G.


I assume you didn't open my URL links because of some personal reasons. Yes, CPU is 64-bit.Its AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+. Thank you for the suggestion. I will use 16GB Swap file.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i3 will not run on wayland. You would need to use sway, which is still missing a few features but completely functional last I checked. Sway was built as an i3 clone for wayland.

I've been running Gentoo since the norm was 512 mb of ram, and people complain about compile times with their i9k and 32 Gib of ram so "flawlessly" is entirely in the eye of the beholder. ;)
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jobb wrote:
I assume you didn't open my URL links because of some personal reasons.

Actually, I didn't open them because I didn't see them! I need eye surgery and have great difficulty seeing the contrast between the black text and purple link text. I wish I could set the links to red or bright violet. I have the same trouble using nano over putty, ssh isn't a problem because I found out on these forums how to change the default colors.

EDIT:
Ah! Athlon64 X2. Yes, I have one in the basement right now running Win 7 with 2G memory (Crucial or Ballistix, I forget which).
For many years my middle grandson ran Gentoo with Gnome2 on it. I now run Win 7 using it as a TV recorder (https://forums.sagetv.com/forums/) and to run TurboTax since it no longer installs on XP. Open Source Sage is now available and mature on Linux. They really only support Ubuntu on the forums, but I wrote an ebuild that is working fine for me. In fact, I'm planning in the near future to update the box as a Gentoo TV box, since I now run Win 7 in a VM for TurboTax. I will use a later mobo, Athlon II X3 but still with only 2G memory (maxed out). I already have a new 120G cheapie SSD for the system and a new 2TB HDD for video storage. I'll probably put the swap on the HDD although it would be faster on the SSD.

P.S. A side benefit of my eye condition is that I don't care about SD, HD, or 4K video. It all looks the same to me!


Last edited by Tony0945 on Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:25 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jobb wrote:
John R. Graham wrote:
Getting started is a good idea. One thing that's different about Gentoo vs. your typical binary distribution is that you don't have to re-install to dramatically change your setup. I have a machine that hasn't been re-installed since its initial incarnation in 2005. Almost everything is different (new motherboard (twice), new disks (thrice), other new hardware), but I have never needed to start a fresh Handbook install.

The Handbook install gives you a pretty lean starting point for customization. Go for it!

- John


Thats amazing ! I think that should be the number 1 reason for anyone to use Gentoo.
One caveat to my statement. It's technically challenging / possibly not worth it to change between a 32-bit and 64-bit system (or vice versa) without a reinstall. These days, a pure 32-bit install doesn't really make sense on hardware that supports 64-bit unless you're working on an embedded system with extremely limited resources. Choose a stage3 tarball and profile that give you the flexibility to run both (i.e., one that doesn't have "nomultilib" in its name).

- John
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Doctor wrote:
i3 will not run on wayland. You would need to use sway, which is still missing a few features but completely functional last I checked. Sway was built as an i3 clone for wayland.

I've been running Gentoo since the norm was 512 mb of ram, and people complain about compile times with their i9k and 32 Gib of ram so "flawlessly" is entirely in the eye of the beholder. ;)


Thank you for the insight. I must admit I didn't read much (or rather anything) about wayland-weston or sway as soon as I realised that they don't support nVidia drivers. It surely interests me though and I'd like to use i3 with sway.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jobb wrote:
... as I realized that they don't support nVidia drivers. It surely interests me though and I'd like to use i3 with sway.

My board has a perfectly good GeForce 6150SE built-in video that works fine with the standard kernel driver. Perfectly good for me, that is, your eyes are probably better. If you want to add an Nvidia card, don't forget to shut off the built-in in the BIOS. I would start with the in-kernel nouveau driver until the install is complete and updated, then add nvidia-drivers afterword.
My mobo is a Gigabyte M61P-S3 https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/GA-M61P-S3-rev-10#ov
RAM is dirt cheap for this mobo: https://www.crucial.com/usa/en/compatible-upgrade-for/GIGABYTE/ga-m61p-s3#MEMORYFilters
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been running Gentoo on antiquated hardware as well, but nowadays, if you want to compile Firefox(or any modern browser) with the corresponding GUI, anything less than ~1.5GB on i686 and ~3GB on amd64 is probably not worth trying, and both need plenty of swap space. The toolkit and libraries has gotten way too big.

Constant swap thrash is not worth it in my opinion. If the machine can't build without thrashing (more than a couple of blocks swapped every second) I don't bother.

I think the smallest machine I ran a full self-hosting GUI/DE Gentoo on was 256MB over a decade ago. That's no longer possible with modern software.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tony0945 wrote:
jobb wrote:
I assume you didn't open my URL links because of some personal reasons.

Actually, I didn't open them because I didn't see them! I need eye surgery and have great difficulty seeing the contrast between the black text and purple link text. I wish I could set the links to red or bright violet. I have the same trouble using nano over putty, ssh isn't a problem because I found out on these forums how to change the default colors.


Ah alright. I should have written it down too but at that time, I assumed that CPU-Z would give a better picture of my system. I've never used a 100% cli based system(and I think firefox could have helped you with that problem). Not being able to use firefox seems like an "unsaid" deal-breaker for me. In any case, I hope you get that eye surgery done soon, and wish for its success.

John R. Graham wrote:
Choose a stage3 tarball and profile that give you the flexibility to run both (i.e., one that doesn't have "nomultilib" in its name).


About this, I hope someone would have mentioned(in the wiki entry - "Choosing the right installation medium") that I don't have to download Stage 3 tarball just yet and don't have to bother with it just yet and its the 3rd step in the installation process. I should download and use minimal gentoo and during the installation process on the machine, I'll get a chance to download Stage 3 tarball.

(Maybe its clear to everyone else but it took me some time to understand that; especially because I didn't read the steps)
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tony0945 wrote:
My board has a perfectly good GeForce 6150SE built-in video that works fine with the standard kernel driver.


I do a bit of video encoding on my main machine and thus prefer using nVidia drivers there. Arch wiki gave me an impression that using that would be better than the open Nouveau drivers.

eccerr0r wrote:
~3GB on amd64 is probably not worth trying, and both need plenty of swap space.


I think I've read that before somewhere and thus my mention about upgrading it in the original post.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jobb,

The install CD is only a tool to acconplish the install. Use almost any random liveCD you have lying around.
None of its code goes into your install. The embryonic install is provided by the stage3

Arch uses systemd. You don't have a choice.
With Gentoo there are systemd and openrc stage3 tarballs. Life is easier if you start with the right one but conversion is possible too.

If you have an old nvidia card, start with nouveau. It can be a challenge to find a kernel and old nvidia-drivers that work together.
nVidias support of old hardware on Linux is fairly poor. Once your system is up and running, you can try the nvdia-drivers challenge.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2019 2:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tony0945 wrote:
Actually, I didn't open them because I didn't see them! I need eye surgery and have great difficulty seeing the contrast between the black text and purple link text. I wish I could set the links to red or bright violet. I have the same trouble using nano over putty, ssh isn't a problem because I found out on these forums how to change the default colors.
I private-messaged you a longer note about colors when last you mentioned this and never got a response. (Perhaps the poor contrast prevented you from noticing that, too.) Regardless, for the benefit of those who might be interested, I will note that changing link colors is very easy because the forum marks links with a special CSS class.

Quoting from that message, with some light edits to tense:

---

The first rule will turn (most) user-created links red. If someone posts http://www.example.org/ and does not use URL tags, then this rule cannot see it. However, if they post the URL written out like that, you can see the destination even without a color override. If you want to tag even those, that requires a different override, but I think it can be done without rewriting all the forum's control links (View posts since last visit, etc.).
Code:
a.postlink:link{color:red !important;}

All user created links (I think) to pure green:
Code:
.postbody :link{color:#0f0 !important;}

More subtle:
Code:
a.postlink:link::after{
   color:violet !important;
   text-decoration:underline;
   content:"<" attr(href) ">";
   margin-left:0.5em;
   margin-right:0.5em;
}

This tags any user-posted link with its real destination, regardless of whether the user wrote a URL and the forum auto-linked it or if the user used forum markup to assign a link to ordinary text.

Let me know if you want help implementing this, or if the rules do not do quite what you want. Share as you see fit.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2019 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jobb wrote:
Not being able to use firefox seems like an "unsaid" deal-breaker for me. In any case, I hope you get that eye surgery done soon, and wish for its success.
You'll have trouble building firefox, but no trouble installing the firefox-bin binary install. It requires dbus, which is a big deal for me but almost no one else. The binary is the same thing that you would get from say Ubuntu, a generic firefox linux build. You can squeeze out a little more performance by building from scratch using the system-libs use flags, but unless you have an i9 or Ryzen 2700X it's going to be a long painful build.
But it's certainly useable. I use it. I do build [url]Palemoon[/url] and mostly use it because it's like pre-australis Firefox, but some sites demand actual Firefox so I keep firefox-bin for use there. But as long as FF takes less than say 15 hours to build, just start it before you go to bed and when you come home from work tomorrow it will be done. I actually do that with Palemoon, but it only takes 2 hours or so. I build it with -march=k8 and quickpkg it and install the package on my other AMD boxes (my last Intel was my first, 486DX-100)
Hu wrote:
I private-messaged you a longer note about colors when last you mentioned this and never got a response.
Yes, and I appreciate that very much. I haven't done it because I'm ashamed to say that the directions might as well be in Egyptian hieroglyphics because I wouldn't understand them any less. My fault, not yours.
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