Andrew Kesterson wrote:
> I've recently begun admining a few gentoo boxes in a distributed
> setting (mainly boxes that my friends asked me to set up for them on a
> personal, at-home basis.) I'm noticing that while portage makes
> updates alot smoother, compiling them takes forever, especially on
> initial installations. OpenOffice installs and updates are
> particularly heinous.
> How do you guys handle this? Do you configure all your systems the
> same, and set up a binary package host on the system somewhere for
> them to fetch binaries from? Or do you just use straight portage?
In a number of instances, you are better off just using the binarys in
portage for a standard desktop user. OpenOffice can take hours to
compile.. or you can just install the binary in 5 mins, and the supposed
loss of optimisation is unnoticable. openoffice-bin, mozilla-firefox-bin
and mozilla-thunderbird-bin are always installed on my machine, and with
the regularity of updates released on them, I'm thankful (and this is on
an Athlon 64 3500.)
There is also azureus-bin, mplayer-bin, crossover-office-bin and a whole
heap of others which could be useful in some places. I am very fond of
use flags etc, but a lot of the time the defaults on these apps work
fine, so its worth while.
If I were doing this, I would probably add things like kde, gnome, and X
to package.mask (?) after installing, to "lock" them to the version
you've installed. Then you can run "emerge -uavD world" jobs and not
worry about it taking 15 hours. All you'd have to do is keep an eye out
for bigger releases on the packages you've masked, and remember to
update them (whether this be directly on Portage, DistCC, or some other
method). It's a waste of time updating something like X just because a
bugfux you're not affected by has been released, so just leave it until
a substantial update comes out. It can also be useful to wait a couple
of days after a release comes out, because you'll be snarling if you
update a huge package on a dozen machines, and then a day later it gets
updated again, or even revoked.
I'd also cron a once-weekly "emerge --quiet --sync && emerge -upvD
world" to be emailed to you from each box. It will automate the syncing,
and help you keep an eye on the updates.
Disclaimer: Most of my idea's relate directly to maintaining a
workstation for someone else who isnt savvy enough to do it themselves,
and therefore wont notice the small things.
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