Rich Freeman on 29 Dec 2011 09:59:41 -0800

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Re: [PLUG] Linux distributions without version upgrades

On Thu, Dec 29, 2011 at 12:16 PM, K.S. Bhaskar <> wrote:
> Upgrading to current
> packages had a couple of hiccups, but easily overcome and nothing like the
> dependencies I had to overcome with Gentoo (and perhaps my familiarity with
> Debian package management made it easier).

The best advice I can offer for Gentoo is to follow the installation
handbook.  The install media is never more than a week out of date,
and starts out minimal.

Installing by copying files from a LiveDVD gets you started with a
system that can be a year out of date (Gentoo is just about to release
a new one - which will already be weeks old after it is fully tested),
and depending on how you do it you can end up with a lot of stuff
installed that you probably don't need, which makes upgrading it much
more complex.  Gentoo tends to work best if you update packages often
- if you wait six months you'll end up with these kinds of issues,
though you can usually work them out.

You can use the LiveDVD to boot from, but when it comes time to
actually build your new system, use one of the weekly stage3 files per
the install guide.

Familiarity definitely helps though - I can get from a minimum install
to a working KDE with maybe 15 minutes hands-on time and maybe 6 hours
of compiling (KDE is big).  The key is to keep things simple until you
know what you're doing and follow the official howtos.

Gentoo definitely isn't an install-and-forget distro - if you don't
follow the howtos when installing everything you won't understand what
is happening when you run into snags.  If you upgrade weekly or so
you're unlikely to run into serious dependency issues, but if you get
a year or more out of date you will probably need to get a kind soul
to help you out.

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