Linked by Eugenia Loli on Tue 7th Mar 2006 01:37 UTC, submitted by Valour
Gentoo "It's been a while since I last reviewed Gentoo Linux because there haven't been too many significant changes in the past few releases. I've been using it as my primary desktop operating system for a year and a half, though, and I've been running my main Web/email/database server on it since October of 2004. There's a reason why I've stayed with it that long, both as a desktop and server OS - and there's also a reason why I'm writing a review of the 2006.0 release after a long hiatus from Gentoo reviews." More here.
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gpierce
Member since:
2005-07-07

Agreed. There is no reason to follow the online bickering about whose linux distro is superior or faster. If you are going to compare distros you really need to do it on exactly the same hardware and my suspicion is that there just won't be that much of a detectable difference between any of them. This isn't the Windows world where OEMs pack so much useless advertising and unwanted services on the desktops of new computers that suck cpu cycles from what you actually want your machine to do.

I have to always remind myself of hardware differences when I get a little annoyed with my older 1.5GHz Dell (used to have Win Me) with a P4 (but without hyperthreading--I think). My IBM T43 with Ubuntu seems much snappier but it's really not comparable.

Compiling all the software on my computer is still fun for me. But it does come with some drawbacks. For example, a great deal of caution has to be used when including global use flags. Just recently, I spent almost a whole week looking for why networking suddenly stopped working after a recompile of my whole system following a compiler upgrade. The misbehaving package was dhcpcd, the default dhcp client on Gentoo. At some point I put in "debug" in global USE flags and dhcpcd would hang at boot...just hang! Not fail! I couldn't even get to the command line. I used the livecd to correct things. I now know how to specify use flags only for certain packages. Anyway, this experience does point out one of the pitfalls in a system like Gentoo where all the controls are handed to the user. There are so many packages that even an experienced Linux user can not reasonably be expected to know when he might be headed for trouble.

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