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Joined: 31 Jul 2013
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:32 pm    Post subject: optimal minimalistic use flags? Reply with quote

Hi all, as of recent I've become interested in Gentoo. I'm about to do an installation but I'm curious, what would be minimalistic use flags for optimal system performance on a machine with a Radeon 7850 GPU and an Intel i7 processor? I will be using a hardened profile without SELinux.

The machine only needs to be able to run X, evilwm, firefox with SSL support, mplayer2, irssi, urxvt, flash player & ALSA.

Support for things like CUPS, GTK+, qt & other stuff like that is totally unnecessary, unless one of the above applications can not function without.
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Joined: 19 Apr 2002
Posts: 2391
Location: Wisconsin (USA)

PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My advice: Take the approach of leaving things at the defaults for the most part (this will help keep you from hitting weird bugs or limitations you didn't know would be there from turning off something important), but when you install ebuilds, review their use settings visible from "emerge -pv package" first.

Also, try not to make a giant list of USE= with 80 things in it - if it's a use flag only one package uses, keep your make.conf clean and put it in package.use instead. I tend to mostly just put "big" features in USE= that lots of programs use, like X, ogg, vorbis, jpeg, etc. Watch out for use flags that mean different things to different programs, like "minimal".

grep useflagname /usr/portage/profiles/use*

is a nice command to check what portage docs know about some particular useflagname. Be careful for extra results as it's just a dumb text search. But, if you don't know what a use flag does, it's probably better to figure it out before you change it.
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Joined: 10 Oct 2010
Posts: 1413

PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some ebuilds do have a full hundred of flags like ffmpeg, but these flags of that lib are not heavy.
Some other ebuild has one minor flag like "static" - but if enabled you get uresolvable dependencies (as just has been with udev, systemd).

A multimedia player surely is a non minimalistic setup!
A cups installation is non-heavy and will prevent you from catching bugs when using heavy integreated environments like Gnome.
ultra left enrich
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Tux's lil' helper
Tux's lil' helper

Joined: 11 Jun 2007
Posts: 140
Location: Finland

PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I consider my system quite minimal (except chromium. Here are my USE flags:
USE="alsa mmx mmxext sse sse2 ssse3 X xcb xvmc vaapi opengl \
     svg png jpeg gif flac vorbis ogg xvid x264 icu threads bash-completion \
     -iptables -ipv6 -fortran -sendmail -gallium -webgl -xscreensaver \
     -gnome -llvm -joystick -gstreamer -geoloc -introspection -kmod \
     -live -quicktime -real"

# for chromium
dev-libs/libxml2 python
media-libs/mesa gles2
media-video/ffmpeg opus
sys-libs/zlib minizip

x11-wm/dwm savedconfig
www-client/surf savedconfig
x11-terms/st savedconfig
www-client/links -X -deprecated -jpeg
app-admin/conky -X thinkpad wifi
sys-fs/mtools -X
media-fonts/terminus-font -ru-g
www-servers/lighttpd php
dev-lang/php cgi -cli
x11-themes/gtk-engines-murrine -themes
sys-apps/util-linux -suid
net-p2p/transmission gtk
media-sound/mpd id3tag
media-sound/ncmpcpp clock visualizer fftw taglib
x11-terms/rxvt-unicode fading-colors

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The Doctor

Joined: 27 Jul 2010
Posts: 2618

PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree that it depends what you call "minimal". I usually define minimal to mean "does what I want, but no extra" or something like that.

For example, is including udev acceptable? or systemd? (neither of these seems "minimal" to me) Or do you prefer to use mdev or static dev? Are you planning on using a log in manager? etc.

I would recommend that first you get your computer to boot. Aside from a few things in your system profile like udev there is very little there to change. Next, when you are installing you software, consult the documentation. You can always change things to make your setup lighter or add features you need.

EDIT: You should also keep in mind that using the system rescue cd to install is much easer than the minimal iso. There is absolutely no difference in the final install. You just need the tools, nothing on the live media is included in your setup.
First things first, but not necessarily in that order.

Apologies if I take a while to respond. I'm currently working on the dematerialization circuit for my blue box.
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Joined: 28 Jun 2004
Posts: 362
Location: Fargo, ND

PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The system rescue cd is a good suggestion, because you can be logged into your chrooted system and still be able to go online and look up something if you get stuck in the initial stages of setting it up.

Also, if you are wanting firefox, you may want to look into firefox-bin. That's the binary, it may be not completely tailored to your system, but it also wont take a couple of days to compile either.

That's just my 2 cents worth, and granted my machine is smaller than yours, but it's something to consider. Firefox takes a long time to compile.
The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.
-- Mark Twain

If you want proof of that, take a look at windows sometime. :)
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