[gobolinux-users] I'm new; Don't hurt me ;)

Andy Feldman nereusren at gmail.com
Thu Dec 28 02:49:36 UTC 2006

On 12/27/06, Stefan de Konink <skinkie at xs4all.nl> wrote:
> As suggested on IRC... could someone advocate why *I* should switch?

As a casual desktop user of GoboLinux, I'll give a couple reasons why
I like using it.

> I like:
> - Source code building (optimization)

Gobo is certainly a compile-friendly distro, unlike (e.g.) Debian.

> - The fact that a community works for me (/usr/portage)

The community here is not as large as that of Gentoo (obviously), but
the Recipe store has quite a few programs in it and it's easy to

If a program is well-behaved and uses a common build system (autoconf
being the big one) then you don't even *need* anyone to have
contributed it to the Store... but when one person has to figure out a
tricky compile, they can contribute it back to the community in the
form of a "Recipe": essentially, the compile instructions for a given

> - Updating

If you like everything being up to date or cutting edge, you'll enjoy
not having to wait for a new version to appear in the central package
manager database: you can Compile it yourself, and because the
filesystem is the package manager, it won't "fall through the cracks"
and/or be treated as a second-class citizen as far as management and
dependency resolution. I don't know if that's a problem when you
compile apps yourself outside of portage (since I've never used
Gentoo), but it's what drove me away from the Debian family.

For example, say you hear through your RSS feed that Gaim released a
new beta version 10 minutes ago, 3.0. Jump to a terminal (assuming
that's your prefernce) and type "NewVersion gaim 3.0". This will start
with the Recipe for the previous version of Gaim and update the
version numbers accordingly.

Assuming the Gaim devs store the source in the same place on their
site (with just a change in version number on the tarball), you can
just type "Compile gaim" after that, and you'll be on your way with
the new version. No need to wait for someone to contribute it to the

Assuming the compile works fine, you can then contribute the recipe
that NewVersion generated, so that the next time someone types
"Compile gaim" it defaults to the latest version.

> I dislike:
> - Bad management utilities

Who *does* like bad management utilities? :-) You'll have to be a bit
more specific! For example, the gobo system utilities are very
command-line centric. There is a GUI frontend to them, but I find it
to be slightly unreliable and harder to use than the good old CLI. If
you dislike being "forced" to open terminals periodically, you might
consider that a "bad" set of utilities.

> - Slow managment utilities

I can't really comment on this one, since it's a purely comparative
measure and I don't have enough experience with a variety of distros.
Not having a central package database involves some time/space
tradeoffs, but I haven't had a problem with the speed of any of the
System scripts.

GoboLinux 013 is a LiveCD, so you can always just try it out and get a
feel for what it's like to install programs (although it obviously
won't be as fast as running from the HD) and what the filesystem
hierarchy looks like. The LiveCD does have a few quirks and bugs but
it should give you a good idea.


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