Friday, June 5, 2009

Software updates and linux distros

Today, I just out of curiosity did a uname -a and gcc -v on th elinux server that cnnects to my hardware. And horror of horrors, what do I find? Gcc 3.4 and kernel 2.6.8. Python v2.3.

Now come on guys. Update your software atleast once a year. I know everyone does not run Gentoo. But still.

Speaking of Gentoo, I must confess that I have been drawn to it. I really need the customizability for some applications/libraries atleast. The usual complaints apply, however. I am told (by some one who is a serious linux pro) that gentoo offers too much choice, such as letting you install a bootloader yourself (aka, not by default).

I am coming around to the view of installing Sabayon and using portage to get my optimization-compilation kick. BTW, IMHO, Sabayon is the coolest looking distribution out there. I have downloaded it's iso, just in case. I'll probably use the lab machine as the guinea pig in this experiment. :)

Honestly though, I think that with a Core i7, compilation would be much less of a problem. I really like hardware multithreading. I think, all new CPU's should have it though. :) Wish AMD will go this route as well.

I have been checking out the portage tree over at and it seems that they have done a really thourough job. I mean, apart from the llvm, vTune and sage, I could find ebuilds for every thing. Even flash, skype, imkl, acml, icc etc. The first two are a mystery, but with sage, I am not surprised. With their philosophy of making a giant static binary (the source tarball is >300M, I think), and bundling all the open source math software ever created (including their shiny python interpreter) into it, I am amazed that somebody managed to get it into Debian. I hope the fedora guys will have some luck as well. But it'll probably will always be way behind on updates.

I'll get the videos done by the weekend hopefully. Promise.

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