Gentoo 2008.0 beta2 – Even Better


    Last month I posted an article on my frustration with Gentoo. After I posted the article, I realized that the Compiz Fusion install was actually the culprit in breaking my last Gentoo system. During the install, I edited xorg.conf to enable Compiz but forgot to revert back to the old configurations when I decided not to use it.

    Since I was frustrated at the time, I thus decided to use PC-BSD but later switched to Linux Mint 4.0 KDE. With each of these two distros, I had the same problem with xorg-X11. With LM KDE, I had to change my driver from nvidia to nv to get back into KDE. Now I am confident this problem was not anyway Gentoo related, I decided to give Gentoo another try on my Desktop.

    Last night I decided to give Gentoo 2008.0 beta2 a try. All I got to say is wow! It installed much easier than Gentoo 2008.0 beta1 and is probably one of my fastest Gentoo installs ever. I selected the Minimal CD/Install CD and started a stage 3 build with Daniel Robbin’s stage3 tarbells. In just three hours, I had installed a base Gentoo system with xorg-X11. By the time I woke up this morning, KDE 3.5.9 was already compiled (In the US, I could have done this in a shorter time since the bandwidth there is higher than here in Vietnam).

    I really did not have to do much configuring this time around. I manually compiled my kernel and was a bit surprised that it compiled easily the first time around. I was worried about grub-install, this is where I usually made my mistake when installing Gentoo. This time around, I made it through the install successfully. The only real configurations I ended up doing dealt with ALSA. That was not really major since I just had to compile the ALSA modules into the kernel (which I should have down in the beginning). After I unmuted my soundcard, I got sound in ALL 5 of my speakers 🙂

    Surprisingly, I did not have to configure xorg-X11 to get my nvidia card to work properly. It did that automatically during the install. Direct rendering was even enabled!

    Overall, the Gentoo 2008 beta2 install was probably one of the easiest Gentoo installs for me. All the bugs from Gentoo 2008 beta1 have been dealt with. I think it is ready for the mainstream now but that is for the Gentoo Developers to decide. Gentoo 2008.0 stable should be around the corner.


    1. I have been waiting for gentoo 2007.1, now 2008.0. I’m frustrated waiting for this one now!! I’m thinking to give beta 2 a try. I tried Fedora 9, but since 7.4 is still in development there aren’t any nvidia driver (propriety one) that can be installed w/o hack. Does gentoo 2008 beta 2 uses xorg-server 1.5 or 1.4? And how stable is it?

    2. @Vivek: Currently I have xorg-server version 1.3. If you want to try to newer versions, you can unmask it. That is the strength of Gentoo but I prefer to use the stable versions until the Developers unmask the newer versions. is still 7.3 as well but nvidia works.

      You do not need to wait for the stable releases of Gentoo. If you want, you can start with a minimal CD like I did and select Daniel Robbin’s stage tarbells for the most stable packages.

      I see Gentoo now is focusing more on stability than bleeding edge. That is a good thing if you want to keep your system from breaking. All the bleeding edge appss, such as Compiz Fusion, have to be unmasked and next thing you now, your system is broken.

      I like to see Gentoo continue focusing on stability similar to Debian and let other distros, such as Sabayon, focus on bleeding edge. Then I think Gentoo can finally grow.

    3. I started off with Daniel Robins stage3 tarballs and completed installing kernel and basic configurations without problem. Tonight I’ll set off the X11 compilation. Speaking of the eye candy stuff I generally don’t bother installing them, as you rightly said they tend to be unstable.

    4. @Vivek: X11 went well for me. I always keep a copy of my xorg.conf from another distro which works like a charm in Gentoo (Linux Mint to be exact).

      Last time when I borked up my Gentoo system, instead of just installing another distro out of frustration, I should have just changed the driver from nvidia to nv and that would have fixed things. As of now I am using nvidia and have had no problems. I just will not touch Compiz Fusion, which I have noticed I keep repeating 🙂

      I will probably install Linux Mint 5 back on my Thinkpad when it is released. It is good to show off to my students and a way to encourage them to try Linux.

      Best of Luck.

    5. Congrats! Oddly enough, it is faster for me to get a stable running system with Gentoo than with Linux Mint. It has to do with bandwidth for me, there is a fast Gentoo mirror in Japan. The Ubuntu mirrors that LM uses are slow which is odd since one of the mirrors is located on my server in country 🙂

      Good luck. Will you make the move to KDE4 or wait like the rest of us? I was not impressed with KDE4 in Kubuntu, I think they still have a lot of work to do.

    6. I agree. Gentoo _is_ the fastest Linux I’ve ever used. For me there are many Gentoo servers around NY (and US in general) that give pretty good download speeds 😉

      The reason I was waiting for gentoo 2008 was KDE4. I played with Fedora9 for some time and I think I can wait till 4.1 comes out. Some of my favorite apps (amarok, k3b..) are still in alpha stages if I’m not wrong and it will take a while (months or year?) before we actually start using kde4 systems. In the mean time I’ll keep an eye on the KDE4 developments. Cheers!

    7. If you can’t to try out KDE4, I think then you should take a look at openSUSE 11 when it is released in less than a month. If there are any developers that can get KDE4 working with a distro, it’s the openSUSE developers. I will test openSUSE out since it is one of the few distros that works very well on my Thinkpad T60 but in the end, I will go with Gnome 2.22 that will be realeased with Linux Mint 5 on my notebook.

      Lucky you on the servers. I miss the high bandwidth in the US. Here in Vietnam, the bandwidth is so unstable, somedays it is good, others it is bad. This is odd since nearly 3 years ago, the bandwidth was much faster.

      Have a good week.

    Comments are closed.