Linked by Steve Husted on Wed 5th Oct 2005 17:53 UTC
Gentoo I've been wanting to try Gentoo for some time, but always had to roll my eyes at the pages and pages of installation instructions. This time, however, I rolled up my sleeves and buckled down. Minutes later, I was on my way.
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Reviewer too stuck in own thinking
by on Wed 5th Oct 2005 22:33 UTC

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Full disclosure: am a gentoo user since Gentoo 1.4, I have installed and used SuSE, Mandrake (pre-Mandriva), and Libranet Linux before switching to Gentoo, and I have yet to find a distro to replace it. I have never fully installed or used Slackware to any degree, so I cannot relate to Slackware users' love of this distro.

I can, however, understand how one can fall in love with a distro (even with all of its quirks) and have a hard time getting their mind around how another distro does its thing. Loyalty can very easily get in the way of objectivity, and I believe this reviewer suffers from this.

Gentoo is a distro that requires commitment. I have installed and re-installed Gentoo about 3 times since v1.4, and each time the installation and subsequent maintenance of the system has been a wonderful learning experience which has enhanced my understanding of how Linux (and, granted, Gentoo) works. Much of what I have learned I believe I could transfer to other distros, but each one has its own way of doing things, and that is their prerogative. I would not recommend Gentoo to anyone who does not have patience or a willingness to learn the 'Gentoo way.' My motivation for using Gentoo was that I am a control and detail freak who loves to be on the semi-bleeding edge. Gentoo's way fits my way, so I'm happy.

Gentoo is not without its problems, though. Sometimes even packages marked as 'stable' break certain things, but a fix is usually only a forums visit away, and the fix usually makes it into portage in short order. The distor is under aggressive development, so those who want production stability should steer clear. That said, I have never had a problem that I could not solve by visiting the Gentoo forums or reading the docs, and in every case I've been glad to learn how things broke so I can know how to fix them should the issue come up again.

I believe what the review highlighted was that those who have built up their loyalty to a particular distro and/or have no patience to learn should not try Gentoo. To each his own (which is the beauty of FOSS). ;-)

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