Linked by Eugenia Loli on Mon 14th Feb 2005 22:44 UTC, submitted by Editor
Gentoo Read the Gentoo Linux review at Linuxtimes.net.
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Get over it...
by someguy on Mon 14th Feb 2005 22:53 UTC

How many times do we have to hear about this? I mean seriously.

"I spent a week with Gentoo, and here are my subjective opinions!"

"I spent a week with Ubuntu, and here are my subjective opinions!"

"FreeBSD is MY desktop workstation! And you should think that is neat!"

Come on folks, it's free software and it changes every 240 miliseconds. Wait until somebody actually makes a milestone release.

v I hate to be a grammar nazi but..
by badMojo on Mon 14th Feb 2005 22:54 UTC
The kicker for me . . .
by jh on Mon 14th Feb 2005 22:57 UTC

was this sentence:

"I have installed Gentoo in a few hours, but I was still far away from having a system I can actually work with. "

A few hours and still not an actual working install? Why do people insist on putting themselves through the pain? All major distros can be installed in 40 minutes or less. Slack in less than 15 mins (even with gui). Maybe on a slower box the optimizations that Gentoo provides are noticeable, but not on anything over a 1Ghz proc and 512MB RAM.

Just my $0.02

Good overview
by Martin Ferretti on Mon 14th Feb 2005 23:01 UTC

Regardless, it's a pretty good overview of Gentoo. I've done both stage 1 and 2 installs and while it might be more difficult to install than most distros, it's faily straightforward if one follows the instructions on the documentation page. Portage really is a great pkg management system. I wish package maintenance were done automatically though, as Portage leaves lots of stuff behind (but nothing a CRON job wouldn't fix)...i remember how quickly my hard drive began shrinking from not cleaning my system out (OpenOffice was a huge factor).

about right
by GirTheRobot on Mon 14th Feb 2005 23:17 UTC

It DOES take about a week to get a solid usable system with Gentoo. I say this as a longtime Gentoo user myself. But the effort is worth it for a really good, custom desktop system. For others it isn't.

There really isn't much to say about the system other than the installation and package management. The applications are vanilla and devoid of customization. The real advantage of the system is that once it's installed, it JUST WORKS. Applications all install flawlessly via portage.

What the author didn't mention, and probably wasn't aware of, is that you can install Gentoo booting off a Knoppix disk. Sure, a stage 1 install might take 2 days, but you have a fully working desktop all the while. If you adjust the portage niceness, you don't even notice that your system is being compiled and installed in the background. How's that for productivity?

I guess a lot of posters miss that these articles are a source of OPINION with individual observation. I for one appreciate them, grammatically correct, exhaustive, or not.

My $0.02

RE:The kicker for me...
by Jessta on Mon 14th Feb 2005 23:18 UTC

actually, the optimiztions would be more apparent on a fast machine.
What is the point of Intel spenting all that time adding new instruction sets to their new p4 cpus if your going to run software that is compiled to run on a 386.
But really, Gentoo can be installed in 40 minutes.
1. get stage 3 tar.gz
2. partion harddrive
3. untar&ungzip stage3 tar.gz
4. emerge binary packages you want(you can pre-download the packages cd if you want).
5. YAY GENTOO SYSTEM!
<3 Gentoo <3

Package Maintenance
by GirTheRobot on Mon 14th Feb 2005 23:23 UTC

10 minutes (tops) every week isn't bad (I do twice weekly updates myself). I still spend less time on system maintenance than my windows buddies (between windows, antivirus, spyware updates). Clear out /var/tmp/portage every month or so.

Gentoo really isn't for n00bs tho.

RE: Good overview
by aceFruchtsaft on Mon 14th Feb 2005 23:33 UTC

...as Portage leaves lots of stuff behind (but nothing a CRON job wouldn't fix)...i remember how quickly my hard drive began shrinking from not cleaning my system out (OpenOffice was a huge factor).

In case you are referring to the files in PORTAGE_TMPDIR, portage fails to remove them only if the emerge process fails for whatever reason. So with OOo you might end up with some 4 GB of temporary files when something goes wrong.

RE: The kicker for me . . .
by chazwurth on Mon 14th Feb 2005 23:37 UTC

Why do people insist on putting themselves through the pain? All major distros can be installed in 40 minutes or less. Slack in less than 15 mins (even with gui). Maybe on a slower box the optimizations that Gentoo provides are noticeable, but not on anything over a 1Ghz proc and 512MB RAM.

There are several reasons why people insist on 'putting themselves through the pain':

1) There is no pain. The length of the install is, generally speaking, irrelevant. It doesn't need much babysitting. You tell it to compile some software and you come back when it's done. In any case, the claim that software that takes less time to install is superior, is silly. Much more time is spent using the software than installing it. For example, I built the computer on my desk about 7 months ago; it'll have the same OS installation until the CPU or motherboard dies and I junk it for parts. So I once had to leave it compiling overnight. Big whoop.

2) The system you get when the install is finished may have things that other distributions don't have; otherwise, people wouldn't bother.

3) Because 'optimizations' have nothing to do with it. People who use Gentoo because it's (supposedly) faster are missing the point. Gentoo has excellent package management, great administrative tools, an extremely helpful community both on IRC and in web forums, and decent documentation that's getting better all the time.

I'm not going to give that up and use a distribution I dislike because Xorg and GNOME took a night to compile. So, I could have installed distribution X in 15 minutes. Then I could have spent years wishing I were using something else. For those of us who like what Gentoo offers, it just doesn't make sense.

My Take.
by woodstock on Mon 14th Feb 2005 23:38 UTC

My experience with Gentoo was a good one over all. One thing I really didn't like was when I got a new system and a newer drive... I was really turned off with the thought of having to re-install Gentoo. Now I understand that you can just mirror (copy/ghost) all of the files over and duplicate the already install and configured system, but it was again something that I really wasn't looking forward to. Besides the new system is an AMD64 box and well... I wasn't going to waste that by using my athlon-xp compiled system.

It's great, but it takes time. I might take another shot at it this weekend, because as of right now I'm not very pleased with my current distro, which will remain nameless to avoid any kind of flame.

@jh
by Archangel on Mon 14th Feb 2005 23:40 UTC

Why does it matter how long the install takes? One of the best bits of Gentoo is that it only has to be installed once - "emerge sync && emerge -u world" will bring it up to the latest version.

Personally I find it only takes me a day to get a Gentoo base system installed - I kick off the install one night, leave it bootstrapping etc overnight, and finish it off in the morning. Then once it's done it spends the day emerging kde-base, while I'm off doing something better. By the evening it's done and all I have to do is tweak it and install extra apps - which I have to do on any other OS anyway.

And why should optimisations not show up on something over a 1GHz processor? If Gentoo's worth a 10% speedup, then it's worth more on the faster machine - especially since we tend to do more on newer computers.

upgrading
by viniosity on Tue 15th Feb 2005 00:06 UTC

I installed Gentoo once on an AMD 2200+ and loved it. But, after an emerge world I made the wrong decision during an etc-update and screwed something up.. badly. At the time I was too much of a newbie to figure out what happened so I wiped the drive and did a reinstall.

Unfortunately, the reinstall didn't go as smoothly as the initial install. Something may have changed on one of the live cd's (back in 2003). Now, I'm really gunshy about having gentoo as my main machine. While I loved portage, appreciated the speed, and didn't mind the compile times, I grew afraid of of screwing something up while upgrading.

I'm a few years more experienced now so I think I could handle it, (it is for experts..) but I think I'll give Arch a try first.

Just a note to any potential reviewers out there: I think it would be really handy for you to spend more than 1 week with a distro before writing up the experience. I'd rather hear how it's working for you after you've been using it a while: many of the nuances that could make a review useful don't reveal themselves by just doing an install and a few emerges.

Gentoo, just say no
by Jarek Luberek on Tue 15th Feb 2005 00:14 UTC

After using Gentoo a few years I'm pretty fed up with it, I must say. There's allways something that needs to be remerged, removed,resynced. I'm surprised when a "emerge -u world" with more than 10 packages to update actually works without me fixing something. I'm soon buying a new computer. That'll be the last I see of gentoo.

/jarek

I gotta say it...
by Chris on Tue 15th Feb 2005 00:26 UTC

So he just finished getting it installed and he's already writing a review?!

@Jessta
by Chris on Tue 15th Feb 2005 00:31 UTC

Arch - i686
Mandrake - i586
Slackware - i486

All precompiled, and Arch has a portsesque build system as well that's updated with the binary repos.

People install gentoo because they like to play and tweak. It seems to be fun for some, and I can see why. If I had the time I might consider it.

it's worth it
by mieses on Tue 15th Feb 2005 00:34 UTC

if you use an easy installer, then you pay the price down the road when you want to upgrade. gentoo has no versions. this is how it should be. linux software constantly changes. your distro should keep up. if you want "milestones" then use redhat or microsoft, and don't complain about their slowness or failure to release patches. learning gentoo is not as easy as some other systems, but it's not ~that~ hard to use or to fix.

the complaint against long installs and compilation times becomes increasingly irrelevant as cpu's get faster. in this respect, gentoo has a bright future. it won't be long before a stage-1 gentoo install will take less than 15 minutes. will a binary milestone-based linux still make sense then?

My Experience with Gentoo
by Zotnix on Tue 15th Feb 2005 00:57 UTC

First off, I liked Gentoo, I really did. I thought it was awesome as I could get practically any package on the planet and it would compile it and install it for me. I loaded up my USE flags and even changed my CFLAGS to better suit my CPU (though the "speed" never came to me really).

There were things I didn't like. USE flags were nice but sometimes they were a bit annoying too. Sure, I can disable or enable certain features but sometimes a program would compile where I *needed* a USE flag to make it work correctly. One example was emerge xsane. It would grab and compile everything, but I noticed my scanner didn't work still. It was supported but sane just didn't see it. After playing around I found out I needed to add "usb" to my USE flags. I wasn't happy, I think common sense would enable that by default.

Another problem was the install. Despite what the author says, installing Gentoo is a time consuming and hard proccess. I installed Gentoo about 4 times total and have to read the handbook line by line and make sure I do the correct things. Sure, you can get a working Gentoo system in 40 mins, but you still have to emerge all the base apps (that you use, i.e. window manager, programs you want to use, etc) which increases the *total* first install time.

The author perhaps made a silly choice with installing Gentoo on such a slow computer. For a fast computer, sure, go ahead. But for a 600 MHz computer, no way.

Gentoo is good for fast computers and people who like to endlessly tinker. It is not for beginners and people who just simply want a quick install system.

Alas, perhaps I'm biased. I recently switched from Gentoo to Ubuntu which has as many packages without all the compiling and USE flag tweaking.

yeah
by Anonymous on Tue 15th Feb 2005 00:58 UTC

For me it's also very important being able to choose between lilo and grub. I mean, i want to use what i like! And it's not that i wouldn't fiddle with my bootloader every day.

C'mon people! Every sane distro should handle the bootloader in a way that the user doesn't have to bother at all.

Should not mean gentoo is without it's advantages, i just wouldn't use the bootloader as an argument in a review. Are there still distros defaulting to lilo anyways?

RE: it's worth it
by Zotnix on Tue 15th Feb 2005 01:02 UTC

if you use an easy installer, then you pay the price down the road when you want to upgrade. gentoo has no versions. this is how it should be. linux software constantly changes. your distro should keep up.

Not the case. Most distros provide up to date packages, usually in their "unstable" repositories. Gentoo is the same way. This is a common misconception. Gentoo has milestone releases just as much as any other distro.

Also, as far as "slowness" I personally don't see where Gentoo is any faster. In fact, the fastest distro I've used thus far was Mandrake. Most distros also give patches and security updates.

umm...
by none on Tue 15th Feb 2005 02:34 UTC

Why do people who just cant work with a distro feel the need to write(very badly I might add) about how they hate it,how it sucks,how for them it took *****million hours to get right...etc etc???
Whats worse is this place finds them....its bad enough we all have to deal with the whineing on all the forums we belong to.
Reminds me of those threateing to go back to windows in a help thread about linux...lol.

For me,I found to install Gentoo way easier then Debian(my first distro) woody when it came out.The Debian installer was hokey.I didnt find it hard to install Debian....just found I liked the gentoo way much better.Most likely and soley for the documentation and FAQ's associated with Gentoo....it made things move along quite painlessly.I always have done stage 1 installs without useing genkernel.

Im useing debian as my main nix* box now,it just handles dependancies much better imo.

Today debian installers are much better....no stage one installs but all is good.If I feel the need to rebuild the world I can do a simple apt-build world.

Gentoo as said above,for me,was just fun to play with.I love to tweak windows and software so when I found Gentoo i was in heaven;).

RE: it's worth it
by mieses on Tue 15th Feb 2005 03:12 UTC

Gentoo has milestone releases just as much as any other distro.

gentoo's quarterly releases are not the same as versions. they're just snapshots of where gentoo happens to be every 3 months. as soon as you 'emerge sync' and install any packages, your system catches up to the current state.

as far as "slowness" I personally don't see where Gentoo is any faster

Small variations in performance are not that important to most people, but the choice to freedom to optimize it is there. Gentoo can be optimized and tweaked in a more specific way than most other distributions. This is useful for linux clusters or task-specific systems, for example.

The quickness of gentoo is in the pace of updates, and in the simplicity of installing the updates. You will never need to purchase an update, or install an update from cd's (and risk wrecking your old setup). The same is not true for most distibutions.

Most distros provide up to date packages

I have a server running Suse 7.3 How do I install a current apache2 on it? Does Suse offer an unofficial apache2 for 7.3? Is Suse even around? ok, let's ask Novell.. i don't think they do. This is a waste of time. Commercial versioning schemes, rpm packaging, etc are a disaster. Gentoo's packaging scheme is emergent, the updates are seamless. The trademark is held by a non-profit. No one will box it up and change the business model should gentoo "make it big". You can't get that kind of insurance with Suse, Novell or Redhat. Debian is an exception and the only distro worth comparing. I think their name is owned by a non-profit as well.

a 2 year old gentoo box can be updated, remotely, just as easily as a current gentoo box. You can even take an old Redhat box and transition it to gentoo.. remotely.. no cd's required.

Much of these arguments apply to Debian and possibly Ubuntu (I'm not clear on the business motives of Ubuntu). Gentoo is not the only solution. Portage, emerge, etc-update, genkernel, gcc-config, java-config, and webapp-config, etc just make gentoo a pretty damn elegant one.

Gentoo
by Ben on Tue 15th Feb 2005 03:15 UTC

I've had a pretty good experience with Gentoo after having used it as the sole OS on my laptop for the last nine months. I haven't had to reinstall it during that time. The lengthy initial install isn't painful at all, since the steps are clearly spelt out and you don't have to baby-sit it. This is the first distro I've used that I've been comfortable enough to administer and use as my primary OS.

About the only issue I have with Gentoo is the nagging feeling that Portage is leaving a lot of cruft behind. I recently tried to run an all-in-one-cruft-removal script, but it fried my system, and I had to restore (not re-install) my non-home directories from a back-up.

I love gentoo, but its not for everyone, obviously
by ChojinDSL on Tue 15th Feb 2005 08:22 UTC

For me gentoo is great. As with all distros, there are certain quirks.

The installation can take a long time. However there are shortcuts available using binary packages and a stage 3 installation. Even better if you are able to take advantage of distcc as well.
If you really need to get linux up and running fast, there are certainly options for that. You can then choose to recompile whenever you have the time or need, or simply wait until you upgrade to newer package versions.

What makes me choose gentoo in the end, is that stuff works. Portage (when it does what its supposed to) is a dream.
Of course the people that maintain ebuilds and portage are only human, so once in a while something might not work and mess up what was going so smoothly before.
But to be honest, this is something that no Distro or os, which has regular updates is free of.
But thankfully such incidents are few and far between. Well at least they are for me. Your mileage may vary of course.

A lot of people talk about gentoo's speed and cpu optimisation. There dont seem to be many benchmarks the provide some conclusive evidence on that subject. Personally I have noticed that KDE was certainly more responsive than suse on my moms computer. However, this could just as well be due to the fact that there were less unneccesary services running and what not.

This is one of the great benefits of gentoo. You start with next to nothing and select only what you need or want. With the help of use flags you can even control the optional dependencies to a certain extent. Want to run a headless server? Well no need for xorg and all that other stuff then is there? Even if you want to install an app which has an optional gui as part of its core.

Then there is of course the community and the forums. Every single problem I have ever had in Linux which was solveable, I was able to solve with help of the forums.

What makes gentoo great is not any single feature, but rather the whole package. Portage, customisation, community, software availability, etc...
Like I said, its not for everyone, but it works for me.

Arch?
by johnleemk on Tue 15th Feb 2005 08:24 UTC

One nagging question...what about Arch Linux? How does it compare to Gentoo?

Gentoo Benefits
by Chris on Tue 15th Feb 2005 09:26 UTC

(note: this is all just personal opinion!)

I've used a couple of distributions -- Debian (Sarge), RH9.0, Mandrake (8.x IIRC) and Gentoo. I left RH and Mandrake for Debian. I got a bit annoyed by how RH would try to centralise configuration ... I seemed to always find a rats-nest of scripts which bore no resemblance to the actual package's standard documentation. Obviously this was great for RH's GUI tools, but I prefer editing .conf files ;)

I really like Debian. I usually use a Knoppix CD to do the install, then apt-get/update the rest. Debian packages tend to stick quite closely to how the original author intended, with very little conf script munging.

I tried Gentoo out of sheer curiosity. And I believe that's where Gentoo's real benefit (for myself, at least) can be found. It's immensely educational. Not quite as hard-core as Linux From Scratch, but if you're willing to put in the time, the understanding it grants you is fantastic. It might sound like a paradox, but the fact that I build the system bit-by-bit myself means I'm more free to play around -- because I made the changes myself means I know exactly how to undo them.

In short, it's not to everyone's taste. But, like Linux itself, it's a great way to learn -- you wouldn't believe how many Windows Networking problems I've been able to fix at work, simpy because using Samba taught me how the protocol worked in the first place!

@Zotnix
by loki99 on Tue 15th Feb 2005 10:49 UTC

it is definatley not gentoo's fault, when you are not able to understand the way it works!

and your second comment, concerning milestone releases, just proves my point.

cheers!

@Zotnix
by Anonymous on Tue 15th Feb 2005 12:01 UTC

The author perhaps made a silly choice with installing Gentoo on such a slow computer. For a fast computer, sure, go ahead. But for a 600 MHz computer, no way.

eh??? Are you for real!... I installed Gentoo on my Pentium 3 550 and it runs like a dream. Perhaps you need to go read how to use the CFLAGS again instead of spreading complete rubbish. Oh and it took me two days to install a complete Gentoo system with Gnome and some extra packages I wanted, which isn't any different to most other higher end PC's.

Just for your info I also tried Fedora Core 3 before I installed a stage 1 install of Gentoo and believe me Fedora DID run like a dog on this very same PC.... Go figure!

cheers!

@loki99
by Zotnix on Tue 15th Feb 2005 12:18 UTC

Why should I have to learn how every tiny USE flag affects the distro and how it affects the packages I install? I used Gentoo for a good 6 months and I did like it. I think when it comes to repositories and up to date packages no other distro comes close (which is because they don't have to keep making up to date packages).

A small mistake on the "milestone" releases, then. They release a "snapshot" of where Gentoo is currently... as opposed to releasing a milestone release of stable software. How are these two concepts entirely different?

RE: @Zotnix
by Zotnix on Tue 15th Feb 2005 12:26 UTC

eh??? Are you for real!... I installed Gentoo on my Pentium 3 550 and it runs like a dream. Perhaps you need to go read how to use the CFLAGS again instead of spreading complete rubbish.

I don't doubt the software runs fine once installed. The *compiling* is what is insane on slow computers. CFLAGS don't make a huge difference, by the way, when compiling.

Oh and it took me two days to install a complete Gentoo system with Gnome and some extra packages I wanted, which isn't any different to most other higher end PC's.

I can install Gnome in about 20 minutes with any other distro. So? Why would I want to wait 2 days to have a usuable desktop with little speed difference from a stock package Gnome install?

Just for your info I also tried Fedora Core 3 before I installed a stage 1 install of Gentoo and believe me Fedora DID run like a dog on this very same PC.... Go figure!

I didn't mention Fedora Core 3 at all. I simply said, in my experience, Mandrake was the fastest distro I've used on my computer. Also, Fedora enables a lot and has a lot of fluff, thus slowing the computer down for a user who can't turn off extra services they don't need.

Vidalinux
by Sard on Tue 15th Feb 2005 12:59 UTC

If you’re lazy or new to Linux (or both like me) then give Vidalinux http://desktop.vidalinux.com/ a go. It’s based on Gentoo but has a nice GUI installer that gives you a basic system precompiled for Athlon, P4 or 686 depending which ISO you downloaded. You then have the lovely world of Portage at your disposal for easy up to date package installing.

@Zotnix
by loki99 on Tue 15th Feb 2005 13:13 UTC

Why should I have to learn how every tiny USE flag affects the distro .....

every tiny use flag?
eerh!? didn't you talk about usb-support? before you start setting your use flag, you should take a look at this first, as the handbook says, btw.

http://www.gentoo.org/dyn/use-index.xml

and of course, you should know at the beginning, that you are planning to do such odd things, like using usb! gentoo doesn't hold your hand all the time and doesn't make the decision for you. thats one of the main reasons why people use it.

A small mistake on the "milestone" releases, then. They release a "snapshot" of where Gentoo is currently... as opposed to releasing a milestone release of stable software. How are these two concepts entirely different?

the difference is, that i can make a "milestone release" every day if i want to. it is as simple as typing:

emerge sync && emerge -uDv world


@loki99
by Zotnix on Tue 15th Feb 2005 13:29 UTC

Hrm, you are joking, right?

1.) That USE flag list is quite extensive. Again, why should I learn what every single flag does? It is even practical to load your make.conf with so much?

2.) apt-get update && apt-get upgrade. I get up-to-date packages just as you did... how is this different? Did I make a "milestone" release?

gentoo's good
by Anonymous on Tue 15th Feb 2005 13:30 UTC

ive used gentoo for 2 years now but i've heard a lot about freebsd how does it compare?

AMD64
by tobaccofarm on Tue 15th Feb 2005 13:38 UTC

I would love to test Gentoo on a AMD64

I have installed Gentoo on a AMD64 3000+ ASUS K8N 1024 DDR sata raid0,yesterday.It runs like the fire dept when the whole city is on fire :-) As do Fedora,Mandrake and Suse (somewhat).Big drawback and unnecesary harassment from Novell is , the xine sabotage.Unlike other distros who simply don't ship libdvdcss,SuSE took a further step and crippled xinelib and everything related as well.Fedora has a crap package system.

Linux on AMD64 is smooth and fast, CFLAGS is suddenly history.

Gentoo has been a challenge
by emacs on Tue 15th Feb 2005 14:18 UTC

Doing a wireless install of 2004.3 is still ongoing.
I successfully configured it such that it would fail the DNS lookup on the second dependency of an emerge. Possibly a bug in the gentoo-dev-sources-2.6.9-r1/pcmcia/prism54 subsystem, but more likely operator error.
Gentoo is certainly a time *investment*.

gentoo is easy and quick to install... relatively
by khud on Tue 15th Feb 2005 17:06 UTC

"It takes a week to get a running and usable Gentoo system" is what I hear repeatedly. You guys should change that statement to "it took ME" instead of it "takes".

My system was up and running night to morning. I started install at about 8 pm, finished it maybe at about 9pm, stage-3 of course. Went for dinner, came back, typed emerge sync && emerge -uD world && emerge gnome gimp mozilla-firefox-bin gaim etc and went out (Friday night). Came back, slept, woke up and had my gentoo system up and running. It didn't take my time since all was automated, and no compilation failed, so it was a smooth install, not taking any of my time... of course, you will tweak this and that but only minor settings like your desktop environment and other trivial things.

But all you gentoo-haters can keep on with your distribution, no one is forcing you to accept just like nobody is forcing me to install archlinux even being so nice and all. I only beg for a little bit of friendship among different distro users. Why should we troll this and that just because we don't use it or like it? If it's there and the user base is growing, it's because there are people who like it, and it's their fscking life so they should live it their way.

@mieses:
by AdamW on Tue 15th Feb 2005 18:10 UTC

"gentoo's quarterly releases are not the same as versions. they're just snapshots of where gentoo happens to be every 3 months. as soon as you 'emerge sync' and install any packages, your system catches up to the current state."

That's precisely the same way that at least Debian and MDK's release process works; development distro is frozen and released. They actually do some stability testing before the release happens, but hey. Take a stable debian, add sid sources, do an apt update, you've got sid. Take a stable MDK, add Cooker sources, do an urpmi update, you've got Cooker.

Install once and update forever
by Anonymous on Tue 15th Feb 2005 19:09 UTC

There is cost to pay to have the perfect system. I am whiling to pay it. I hate installing a system from scratch this is a waste of my time. Finally a system who gives you 100% control. The second name for Gentoo is freedom.

Gotta say, I love my Gentoo
by Anonymous on Tue 15th Feb 2005 21:30 UTC

Although it did take a while to install, it's a breeze to maintain. (You do NEED to understand your configuration files).

The system is very flexible. I have the packages I want, with the options I want.

For the packages I want the latest bleeding edge stuff, I can have it without having everything bleeding edge.

I've not had to reinstall since my original install (0ver 2 years ago), despite KDE upgrades, Gnome upgrades, kernel upgrades, GCC upgrades, changing from XFree to Xorg.

2 cents
by Adam on Tue 15th Feb 2005 22:10 UTC

I used to use Gentoo on a K6-2 on dial-up.

I did this because I figured I could have a light distribution built on portage that allowed me to upgrade packages easily. Debian had similar functionality, but the install did not function for me. It cited an error on the lines of "package conflicts." And the Debian installer was archaic and non-intuitive, especially with dselect, I prefered Gentoo's lack of an installer over Debian's chaotic one.

As for a FreeBSD vs Gentoo comparison as requested by Anonymous (IP: ---.dialsprint.net. FreeBSD was a great operating system when I used it, though Portage is more powerful than FreeBSD's ports system; atleast at that time.

More...Use Flags
by yk on Tue 15th Feb 2005 22:26 UTC

More... Use Flags.

http://www.gentoo-portage.com/USE

I found it very usefull as it also shows which packages perticular USE flag is used. Thus help be decide what will be the effect of enabling or disabeling a use flag.

It rox. Honestly, I wasted A LOT of time searching the net and the forums, but I wasted more time on Windows in the years before (1995-2004) so I don't mind. The problem is, while you tell Windows to do something and then it either forbids it, does something else or crash, it's really not THAT much about user input. GNU/Linux(/KDE) - it does exactly what you say. It processes your commands. Tell it to do bullshit - it will be doing bullshit. But it is a good software platform, and only if you live on the edge you can expect constant trouble.
I believe this year there will be at least one Gentoo offspring distribution with precompiled packages and GOOD (mighty & easy) graphically installer that uses portage for what it's good for and has it's own community forum so the Gentoo Forumians (really just ordinary guys, most have short here, few smoke weed, about a third from god's own country the united states... <= polls at Off the wall/Chat => lol) don't have too fear a tsunami of b00bZ... ääh.. No0bZ... and all will be good. It will be for free, it will be on the computer magazines, it will work well and kudzuic. I believe in the desktop revolution this year. For that matter, I also believe in the world revolution, but that is another issue and you will soon enough hear about that anyways.
regards f0lks