[Tfug] distro suggestions

Phil Simpson pgsimpso at gmail.com
Sat Oct 30 20:49:59 MST 2010

Check out Arch.  It comes with the version of Ruby you want in the official
packages and it somewhat like Gentoo sans having to compile everything.  I
started using Arch for everything about a year ago and haven't regretted
it.  Arch also has a really good community.
On Oct 30, 2010 1:00 PM, "Ammon Lauritzen" <allaryin at gmail.com> wrote:
> Brief:
> I need help choosing a distro. It needs to be linux. It needs to be
> relatively lightweight. It needs to either provide ruby 1.9.2 via
> pushbutton package management or needs to get the heck out of my way
> so I can compile it by hand without breaking its ecology. Bonus points
> if it has good options for configuration as a firewall.
> Verbose:
> Last night, I fell out of love with Gentoo, again. I've only used it 3
> or 4 times in the past, but it always treated me nice for what I
> consider its primary application: squeezing life/performance out of
> cruddy old hardware that doesn't mind taking all night when it's time
> update.
> In this case, the cruddy old hardware in question is a dual 750mhz p3
> with 512mb ram and 27gb of disk. It is running dhcp, bind, sshd, and
> tinyproxy for my home lan. It is also currently the only dedicated
> unix box in my house right now.
> I would like to use it for a ruby project I'm working on, but Gentoo
> is dead set against providing me with ruby 1.9 - largely because they
> are paranoid after having pushed python 3 on people too soon and wish
> to avoid repeating their mistakes. While I admire their intentions,
> this is unacceptable. I should be able to force install an "unstable"
> package and be done with it. I spent an hour last night and three more
> this morning trying to untangle the deeper darkness of their
> package/flag masking garbage and came away with a very sour taste -
> after getting it to almost deign to fetch and build my package for me.
> So, I am left with 3 options:
> 1 - Suck it up and build it by hand, resenting the system that taunted
> me by almost handling it elegantly.
> 2 - Seek a sponsor and become initiated into the Gentoo cabal.
> 3 - Rebuild the machine with something less cumbersome.
> I'm going with #3.
> I need to be able to build this machine in an afternoon without having
> to learn another language.
> My wishlist in a distro:
> - Linux with modern kernel
> - Current packages for core system that "just work".
> - Option for lightweight install (ie, no x, cups, bluetooth, audio...)
> - Ruby 1.9.2 package capable of coexisting with 1.8
> OR
> - Sufficiently minimal package management to allow me to build by
> hand w/o fear of strange conflicts
> Bonus points:
> - Good firewall management
> - Friendly Java install options
> I built a similar home server/firewall for my dad last week and wound
> up using CentOS for the task because Ubuntu was strangely
> uncooperative at the time. This is my backup plan unless anyone else
> has any good ideas.
> Thoughts? Suggestions?
> --
> Ammon Lauritzen
> _______________________________________________
> Tucson Free Unix Group - tfug at tfug.org
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