LinuxHelp reviewed Gentoo, and in spite of being a lot of work to set up, Gentoo offers something unique few other distributions are able to offer:“One thing I found unique to Gentoo was the knowledge gained by the user in the process of installing it on the hard disk. And if you are an experienced Linux user/administrator, it will be a revision time well spent.”
Review: Gentoo Linux
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2006-01-19 7:50 pmgothicknight
It’s possible to get the package CD.
I just switched to Kororaa (a version of Gentoo which has an installer and installs everything as binaries. You can then upgrade as a normal Gentoo system, but your first setup is very fast).
I’ve used Gentoo before, but annoyed by the long compile times, and lack of some hardware support, I switched to Ubuntu. Well, I switched back, because my hardware is now supported (as well as it is in Ubuntu anyway), and Kororaa made installation very fast.
I use an Epia MII12000 mini-pc. On this machine, every “standard” Linux distro is very, very slow. Things just take a long time to pop up, clicking on something means waiting for a reaction, and heaven forbid you actually try to run something in the background and then, for example, play a DVD.
It’s probably mostly the kernel patches, but what a difference it makes! On Kororaa, I can “emerge” stuff in the background, and play a DVD with no skipping, or interact with the web browser or some other GUI with no little “waits” before menus pop up or buttons click, and it’s more reactive and smoother than any other distro I’ve tried while NOT running anything in the background!
So that’s why I use it.
2006-01-19 8:44 pmdylansmrjones
I can recognize that feeling.
I’ve tried some distributions, with Fedora Core 2 and 3 as my former main linux distro. My experiences with rpm (and a certain developer) drove me away, goofing around FreeBSD, Gentoo Linux. and LFS. And today it’s Gentoo Linux.
What a speed. None of all the sloppiness from FC.
2006-01-19 9:19 pmblixel
I’ve used Gentoo before, but annoyed by the long compile times, and lack of some hardware support, I switched to Ubuntu.
How would Ubuntu support different hardware than Gentoo? They both use the Linux kernel. (At least, if you’re capable of installing and using Gentoo, I can only assume you’re able to upgrade your kernel from one version to the next.)
2006-01-19 9:53 pmAnonymous
I really don’t know what the exact root of the differences are, nevertheless, Ubuntu recognized both of my sound cards and allowed me to switch between them easily, whereas I couldn’t get Gentoo to do the same, even after reading every forum post on the subject, and fiddling with the kernel, alsa, and whatnotelse for hours, and hours, and hours. No doubt you are technically correct, both systems support, fundamentally, the same hardware. But what exactly is involved in getting it to work?
The next problem was Unichrome. In Gentoo, the wiki for my 3d chipset actually had a little script you could download. It would do all the work for you, like downloading the kernel patches. Another little script would patch xorg and update the via driver from cvs. The script itself acted like instructions, so I could fix problems myself if I encountered them.
On Ubuntu, no amount of fiddling (at first) could get it to work. Expert people who had “been around” that chipset and gotten it to work on other distros couldn’t get it to work, after hours of work. They gave up. Finally, months and months later, after some kernel updates put the driver directly into the kernel, and other changes happened in xorg, things started to work. But at the time it wasn’t an option.
So, yes, both are Linux and both support everything Linux can. But if you have to rebuild and reconfigure and rewrite everything to the point where it would have been easier to just do a “Linux from Scratch” install, at that point the distro is offering you nothing and cannot be said to “support” the hardware, Linux aside.
2006-01-20 1:41 amsmitty
Hardware support is generally the same, as long as the kernel versions are equal. Gentoo kernels probably tend to be newer, though, and support more hardware.
What probably matters more to most people is hardware detection and configuration. This varies a LOT from distro to distro.
I suggest a full gentoo stage 1 install for anyone who thinks they might want to be a linux systems administrator just for the experience they will gain.
When I first installed gentoo years ago, I learned a ton about the linux internals and how things fit together. Although I’m not a fan of gentoo for day to day stuff (takes to long to compile everything short of setting up a distcc cluster), it’s a great learning experience. Everyone should try gentoo at least once.
2006-01-19 8:42 pmdylansmrjones
You don’t have to compile everyday
And apart from the initial time it takes to set up a Gentoo Desktop System, nothing takes a long time. You don’t have to do a emerge –sync everyday. Nor emerge –deep –newuse –update world everyday.
Do it once a week or even less often, and stick to upgrading when security fixes are released.
No more constant compiling.
2006-01-19 11:16 pmbedo
even better than that, I use glsa-check and only compile when there’s a security fix.
I only compiles couple times a month; and usually small fixes that take 15 min or so. I don’t always care about getting the latest and greatest. I only do upgrades every few months.
after you screw a few Gentoo installs up.
2006-01-19 8:40 pmdylansmrjones
The same applies for LFS, except that LFS doesn’t have portage (the primary reason for me using Gentoo).
2006-01-20 4:01 amSphinx
I always saw that as a strength of LFS, you only need C and shell /python/perl/php/etc. is not required much less a vital core dependency.
2006-01-20 11:35 amdylansmrjones
That’s true. However perl is generally a dependency in my systems, because I want it so.
But you don’t necessarily need perl. You can easily live without if it is. Perl isn’t really a dependency in LFS – unless you make it so … just to bad that BLFS has such complex dependencies. That’s why I in the end switched to Gentoo.
2006-01-20 5:50 pmSphinx
True, after you slip up 4 or 5 times and have to start over in B/LFS it can sure take the joy right out of it. But like Gentoo, once you get in the glide path and it comes roaring to life you get that so great feeling of real accomplishment that rarely comes with an ISO.
Hardware support in Gentoo should be pretty close to every other distro. Most of the drivers are provided in kernel, so same kernel version, same drivers.
For separate non-kernel packages, usually portage is very up to date and is only marked ~arch since it has been tested enough. Using is as simple as unmasking.
If you really want to learn then install a LFS system.
2006-01-19 10:14 pmdylansmrjones
Which is pretty much a no-brainer if you RTF(aboulous)M.
You will fail the first couple of times though. Until you learn to follow the book, really follow it
2006-01-19 11:22 pmRonald Vos
I tried a Gentoo install once (failed because I didn’t follow instructions ) and learned a LOT. I was an absolute newbie, and much less so after the install. I sure as heck didn’t know about multiple terminals, how to reach them, how mounting worked, etc.
Having to do it while reading excellent documentation is the best way of learning it, *without* losing 7 days (?) doing a LFS.
Gentoo is an ideal mid-way between FC and LFS.
2006-01-20 10:39 amedomaur
I do not agree : I’ve made my first step in understanding how Linux work with Gentoo, and honed that knowledge writting ebuilds and hacking kernel… Ok, after that I worked a year as a LPI teacher, which teached me all the things I missed with Gentoo (sysvinit, rpm, apt)
I like Gentoo not so much for its speed, although it does seem a little snappier than the other distros I’ve tried (Fedora and Ubuntu). Rather, I like it because of the choice that you get when using it. I know that sounds cliche, but Gentoo really doesn’t force a whole lot on you. I didn’t come to Linux to get another Windows. I don’t want ten-thousand services running. I don’t want the package database to get corrupted (which always happened in Fedora). I don’t want somebody else’s themes and program sets and whatnot. I want it my way. And I want to go through as little trouble as possible to get there. Gentoo lets me do that and the other distros tend to make it a little more difficult.
Also, there are no releases with Gentoo, so upgrading is not that big of a deal. Sure, sometimes there are broken ebuilds and packages. I’ve noticed this has decreased significantly of late (back in the summer, it seemed like there were a lot more broken packages and upgrading was a nightmare at times). I can also easily try out very experimental software, even through portage (which is a real plus). It doesn’t always work, but I find it’s easier to deal with the resulting breakage on Gentoo than on other systems.
Finally, the Gentoo community is a good one and many of the folks are knowledgeable. The wiki and the Gentoo documentation provide a lot of useful information. And there have been few things that have not been explained in one of those two places or on the forum.
Watching sh*t scroll by for hours does not make you a Linux expert over night.
Gentoo will not teach you much about Linux. LinuxFromScratch *will*, because you do it all yourself.
2006-01-19 9:27 pmMystilleef
There’s not much difference between LFS and Gentoo. Except that Gentoo has a package manager.
2006-01-19 9:28 pmAnonymous
Um, yes there is. With LFS, you do *all* configuration, compilation, and installation yourself. With Gentoo, you do the preperation, and the configuration, compilation, and installation happen automatically. You do some post-installation config in Gentoo, but that’s about it.
I don’t think you’ve ever actually used both LFS and Gentoo if you say that.
2006-01-19 9:48 pmMystilleef
Like I said, there is not much difference except Gentoo has a package manager. Downloading, compiling and installation are all functions of a package manager. You still need to configure a boat load of stuff with Gentoo. Ever wonder why people clamor about the tedious installation process?
Gentoo = LFS + Portage Utilities
In fact, you’d be better off using Gentoo than trying to figure out LFS, since Gentoo has better docs. Yes, I’ve used LFS.
2006-01-19 10:10 pmdylansmrjones
It depends whether you do a stage1 installation or stage3 installation with recompiling afterwards.
I’ve never touched configuration files so little than I do with Gentoo. But then, I start with stage3 and after finishing off configuration, I recompile (typically around 140 packages. And after that a few houndred to install gnome – and then firefox, thunderbird and openoffice).
LFS however was a completely different matter.
But a Gentoo stage1 and LFS is pretty similar. The changes come with stage 3 versus LFS. It confused me the first times after switching from LFS to Gentoo. Too much was done with out me doing anything
2006-01-20 10:50 amedomaur
Well, I don’t think that writing all config files is really a plus in the unterstanding of Linux. And in my experience, the automation of the configuration in Gentoo is limited so you do have to do some work by yourself. I’ve tried LFS, but you will have to do so much download and dependencies solving by yourself that I do not think it is an option as a working environnement.
What I really like with Gentoo : 15 minutes to setup the new computer to install, start emerge before night, computer ready to work at dawn. The same as with Debian and others, agreed, but sometime, you get mainboards where the drivers are only included in Gentoo kernels, so… (however, I use a Mandriva on my laptop for the very same reason)
The knowledge you get with Gentoo is enough for a start. Then, you will progress.
2006-01-20 12:03 amDigitalAxis
Watching sh*t scroll by for hours does not make you a Linux expert over night.
I’d love to meet the person who apparently keeps going around and saying this. NO, it DOESN’T. For the love of all that’s holy, who honestly thinks that?
Gentoo will not teach you much about Linux. LinuxFromScratch will, because you do it all yourself.
Wait, so if I’d chosen LFS I could be “a Linux expert over night”? Wow! I never realized becoming a God of Computing was as easy as picking a distro!
2006-01-20 1:39 amAnonymous
Certain Gentoo fanboys think they’re Linux experts because they’ve installed Gentoo, but that’s beside the point.
My second paragraph talked about teaching you about Linux — not making you an expert. Nice attempt at putting words in my mouth. 🙂
2006-01-20 2:48 pmJonO
You’re as predictable as the sunrise, LIP.
No Linux artical is safe from your rhetoric regurgitating.
But, just for fun, http://www.funroll-loops.org/
I played around with VidaLinux for awhile…performance was great, but installing apps was a pain.
Stage 3 is fine but I find that even that is too
slow for me. I always use LVM and have 5 different paritions / /usr /home and /var and swap. I keep tarballs of all the paritions. Also I keep a minimal
gentoo installation on a directory on /home/gentoo/amd64 on a server. I nfs export it. I start nfsd and atftp whenever I want to install gentoo on a new machine. I always buy machines that are capable of pxe booting. Once I pxe boot a virign machine from this directory I run a shell script ( 1 100 line script I wrote) that partitions the disks
sets up raid and lvm and extract files from the tarballs.
Of course, there is nothing specific about gentoo
on this. This method unifies backup and restore as well as fresh OS installation into one procedure.
But it’s not for the average joe user.
2006-01-19 10:13 pmdylansmrjones
Neither is Windows, if you’re talking about administrating the system.
But if you’re just talking about using Gentoo (the desktop and applications), then everybody can use it.
My dad (rather hopeless when it comes to computers – he cannot tell the difference between KDE or Gnome or between Mac or Amiga) uses Gentoo Linux with Gnome 2.10.
I did the configuration, and my older brother is the one to administrate it. But my father can use it without problems. Sending mails, printing, watching videos, writing documents and so on.
He doesn’t have to administrate the system. He couldn’t do that with Windows and he cannot do that with Gentoo Linux or any other distribution. Not even LinSpire.
Hell, he couldn’t even administrate Mac OS X.
[Edited: Moved Mac OS X so it wasn’t put together with Linux distributions.]
Edited 2006-01-19 22:21
2006-01-20 1:15 pmcprpop
I did the configuration, and my older brother is the one to administrate it. But my father can use it without problems. Sending mails, printing, watching videos, writing documents and so on.
Well of course he can use it if someone else installs, configures and maintains the system for him!
And you can say the same for any mainstream desktop environment, be it on Linux, Windows or Mac.
2006-01-20 2:09 pmdylansmrjones
Exactly. That’s what I said in my reply to the troll “Joe User”, who wants us to believe a person cannot use Gnome on daily basis without having administrator rights (or “root” for those who prefer that term).
I’m using Arch, a nice compiled distro. While I like gentoo, compiling is getting old.
I’m in the exact same boat. I used Gentoo for over a year, but got tired of all the time it took took to install and upgrade software. I’ve switched to Arch Linux and I like it a lot. You still have to manually configure stuff, but you don’t have to compile almost everything.
2006-01-20 6:52 amabhaysahai
Having used gentoo for 2 years, I was not happy over KDE 3.5 compile time, I was too excited to see the new KDE on my system and it took me too much time. Now I am planning to put xorg 7.0 — wooo this will take days to compile.
I have arch linux on my Thinkpad and KDE 3.5 install was a breeze on it. xorg 7.0 is still not in stable, but works for me. Specially on Thinkpad, I do not have the time and bandwidth to compile large programs like xorg.
Arch=”gentoo – compiling”
All the flexibility and no compile. Well If I want to compile some program myself, then I can so that with Arch build system.
A single command ” makepkg” and an installable package is ready ( compiled as per my directions).
2006-01-20 10:28 amdylansmrjones
Well, actually Xorg 7.0 only takes a couple of hours unless you’re using a rather old system with too little memory.
2006-01-20 8:03 amdylansmrjones
Well, in that case you didn’t grok Gentoo.
You do not have to compile constantly, just because there are updates.
Only update when there are security fixes, or once every three months. That’s enough.
People complaining about long compile times in Gentoo haven’t understood how to use Gentoo properly.
2006-01-20 12:26 pmabhaysahai
Every 3 months update, well If I have to that ancient, then I might as well use the super stable debian.
The beauty of Arch is that it is a cutting edge distribution without effect on stability.
As far as I understand gentoo repositories are also updated much frequently than 3 months.
Just a view at distrowatch reflects that Arch has KDE 3.5.0 in current ( stable) whereas gentoo has KDE 3.4.3.
By this I do not mean, not even in my wildest fantasy, that gentoo is a bad distribution, just that Arch is more updated in stable and provides binary packages at the same time providing all the configurability.
I have not tried compiling xorg 7.0, but KDE 3.5.0 took more that 7 hours on my Netvista (P4, 2.8 GHz, 1 GB RAM ) Desktop. OK, I was running KDE and doing my usual office work (telnet to a remote machine and konqueror) at the time of compiling, well but this is how gentoo is supposed to be used! right ?
2006-01-20 1:57 pmdylansmrjones
Yup, you’re supposed to be capable of doing that.
7 hours for KDE seems reasonable to me. It’s not something you have to do every week or month though. Besides that, Gentoo do come with binary packages if you must have them.
Arch Linux is good too according to my definitions, as is Slackware (those two and Gentoo are usually the recommended distributions for me, when I take one of the more or less useful tests).
I just prefer Gentoo at the moment. Might switch one day, but so far it’s close to perfect for me.
2006-01-20 4:32 pmsmitty
KDE is going to be the most time consuming compilation there is, though, and 7 hours isn’t that bad for it. OOo might be about the same. Supposedly gcc4 speeds up compilation a lot (for heavily templated c++ code like KDE) so when gentoo switches to that it will get a lot better. X should take less than an hour.
I agree, for as bleeding edge as gentoo’s reputation is, the packages in the stable unmasked repositories tend to be somewhat old.
2006-01-20 6:55 pmabhaysahai
I still have my gentoo install CD, though it is 2005.0 but as I install over internet so I get latest version. I hope that one fine day my love for gentoo will revive itself (maybe when KDE 4.0 is released) and I’ll have the gentoo system back, but for now its Bye to gentoo.
2006-01-20 7:22 pmcybrjackle
I’m running gcc-4.0* and built kde-meta yesterday, just a tad over 5 hours on amd64 3200 with 2GB ram
4.1.x is supposed to speed up too.
This is coming from a slackware advocate. I used to be on Slack for many years after trying out different distros and not finding them as down to earth / solid as Slack. However, i noticed Slackware had its disadvantages and limitations (with pat’s helth, 1 leader lockdown, 3rd party packages not that optimised, etc…) (btw.. this is all my oppinion and experience.. don’t hate me_) :p
With gentoo, the user support is excellent, and the distro is rock solid. I’d have to say the trickies part (and a big disadvantage to the distro) is the installation.. It’ is a pain because it’s all command line, and it’s all a DIY from start to finish.. but the documentation is thorough and the support in #gentoo on freenode is beyond perfect! And i heard they’re working on a GUI installer as we speak..
What i like about the OS is,
*) You have the ability to compile everything from scratch. Some think that gentoo’s all about speed and think its pointless because all you gain is 10%? 2%? extra spead than another precompiled distro. Regardless of that’s true or not, IMO it’s not all or mostly about *speed*, but it’s also about *performance*, and *optimisation*. If you have everything compiled to your hardware, i’d think that it will be quite optimised, as comparedy to a binary package distro.
I mean it’s like using LFS, but LFS expect YOU to do everything, while gentoo makes you sit back and have some chocolate while IT does everything for you. I did an LFS last year, and it took ages.. what i hated was going through every section in all the chapters to get all the software installed (also.. lack of a decent package manager was a pain.. slack’s PM worked for a bit). But with gentoo, i liked how if i wanted to install say.. amarok, and i dont even have kde , alsa, or kdelibs installed, it checks everything i need and does all the work for me (starting to get lazy.. hey, i didnt installation! let gentoo pay off it’s debt) :p
Some may think it’s bad to let the machine do everything, but i’ve seen alot of good policies in portage, and i’ve experimented alot, and only a handfull of times when i did some really deep things did it complain or stop..
*) installing software is a piece of cake. In any other distro it can be a challange to compile <insert_complicated_package_here>, or even simple programs like amule, gaim, .. Some require alot of patching, some require alot of prefixes, some alot of effort (way too much effort), and some alot of monotonous steps (xfce from scratch.. ugh). Gentoo’s portage is a lifesaver with just (more or less) 1 command and presto , it downloads the source, downloads all the needed patches, compiles it for you with whatever prefexis you need, and installs it.
Anyway, this is just my experience with this distro so far. I guess it’s been ages since i did a reinstall, and i forgot about the bad/annoying sides of the distro, but I have a powerful laptop that can do the compiling, and in the years upon years of using linux, i’ve never seen it this stable and happy =)
In the end ofcourse, to me, linux is linux, and any distro is better than getting back to XP
Edited 2006-01-20 00:45
yes in lfs you must do all the configuration buy your self. In gentoo you dont haveto unless you want to.
or if your building a cross embedded system or writing you own ebuilds or just want to play with the lates.
i thought doing a stage 1 gentoo install made you a gentoo expert. While gentoo is linux..not all linii are gentoo.. there is a difference.
I’ve used Gentoo for about 2.5 years, and thought I would share my experience with it so far. Like any distro, there are pluses and minuses … I’ll try to articulate what I think those are in an objective way. Maybe somebody will find it useful. This is just my experience.
I started as a Linux n00b using RedHat, but then decided to try Gentoo on a friend’s recommendation. What I liked most about Gentoo was:
* Gentoo is probably one of the most flexible distros there is. There is a reason why it is used in NASA’s Advanced Supercomputing Division see:
* as mentioned in the review, you could build a system using conditional dependencies. For a while, I didn’t have a sound card. So I told portage, the package manager, to build everything without alsa and other things. This dragged in far fewer dependencies, which I would not need anyhow. Less stuff = less to worry about, in terms of security headaches and whatnot.
* since you are usually compiling your stuff, all the development things were right there. No need to install “devel” packages.
* The documentation is superb. Even though there is less hand-holding in Gentoo by way of GUI scripts, the docs usually make up for that.
* The people on the forums are very friendly and knowledgeable. Even when I have trouble with Ubuntu, sometimes I go to the Gentoo forums.
* Gentoo has the sanest “baselayout” I have seen so far.
* Gentoo has some great scripts like “gcc-config” and “binutils-config” which allow you to install multiple versions of gcc and binutils, and easily switch between them. This is a developer feature really – you don’t want to compile your system with different versions of gcc. I used gcc 3.4.4 for my own C++ development, while my system was compiled with gcc 3.3.5, for example. I think there is even a java-config that allows switching between multiple jvm’s.
* Gentoo keeps you on your toes – you *will* learn more about linux by installing and maintaining it. Sometimes it will fritter your time away, but for those who like to understand what is going on, some adversity build character. Plus, I noticed my linux problem-solving skills improve as a result.
* Portage is the one of the most flexible package manager there is. I like it far better than RPM, and slightly better than apt-get. While risky, its easy to fulfill a dependency on your own, if you would like to compile a package yourself and use that instead of the official Gentoo one. (WARNING – if you do decide to do this, don’t bug the devs if things break!) Plus, since you’re compiling stuff anyhow, usually most of the “devel” stuff will be there already.
Gentoo has some minuses as well
* Many people see the distro as “by developers and for developers”. This is one reason why there was some push-back on a graphical installer – it was feared that once Gentoo was easy to install, a whole different type of user (read – noob/high maintenance) crowd would appear.
* Gentoo can be fritterware under certain circumstances. The Gentoo gurus correctly point out that this often occurs when you try to tweak too many things, or wind up inadvertently breaking stuff by doing an “emerge sync && emerge -uD world” incessantly.
* Because Gentoo is in some sense a “meta-distribution”, no two people are likely to have the same exact instantiation of Gentoo at the same time. This can lead to odd behavior that only you will experience. This does not happen all that much tho, and again, the forums are very useful.
* Its very difficult to manage multiple Gentoo boxes. I had a box at home and several at work, and found myself spending too much time keeping them up to date, even though I didn’t emerge often (see note above). These HOWTOs can help tho:
* If you like having the latest and greatest version of Gnome, you may be disappointed. I’m sure plenty will disagree with this, but Gnome is kind of weird. I use it exclusively, but each new version seems to be so much better than the last. Somebody else actually said this – although I can’t remember who. When on gnome 2.10, for example, I think “man ! 2.8 sucked .. this new 2.10 is great”. And when 2.12 comes out, the same thing. I could be wrong, but KDE seems to get more attention. While I write this, Gnome 2.12 seems to still be languishing in the ~x86 branch.
* In some ways, I find Gentoo more difficult to configure with respect to Multimedia.
* While its easy to update Gentoo, and despite your best intentions to “etc-update”, over time entropy seems to rear its ugly head, and you find that it is best just to re-install the whole thing.
* When Gentoo decides to upgrade their compiler to a new one that is not binary compatible with the previous one (thing 3.3 vs 3.4), you may have to recompile everything – and your base system twice or even three times! (base is the very core subset needed – includes things like gcc, and excludes things like X)
* Some have noted, and I have experienced this too, that over the last 8 months or so, more emerges break “in flight”. If this is experienced by many, it would indicate problems with QA.
At the moment I decided to try Ubuntu, because I totally borked my system- but expect to go back to Gentoo once 2006.0 and / or Gnome 2.12 is released.
If you’re looking for a new Distro, you may want to try
I recommend Gentoo to anybody that is a developer and wants to learn more about linux.
Edited 2006-01-20 03:31
2006-01-20 8:06 amdylansmrjones
You don’t have to recompile the whole system when upgrading GCC. It’s the safest path but not at all necessary.
Use this one
While admittable, not as “into it” as LFS, gentoo has been a favorite since I first tried it a year ago, and will not leave my box anytime soon. Has been invaluable in learning how to fix my system instead of “oops, time for another reinstall”. def recomended to anyone who wants to expand on thier knowledge, but doesnt yet wanna go into the step by step by step by step of lfs.
I can definitely attest to the power of the approach. I was always pleased with the results that I was able to get with Gentoo. At times, there was hardware support issues. As a laptop user, hardware issues arose more often than for desktop users, because of the funky items laptop vendors release (read: Dell, use standard parts, ok?!) Updates did at times get a bit problematic, as it might take a while to get the builds done, but give it a day (with a bit of babysitting), and you got a wicked fast system.
Why did I switch off? I got a PowerBook. I needed something that just runs. Apple’s just run. No issues.
Well i bought a amd64 long time ago, and gentoo “OS Linux” supported 64b.
In server’s hardened-sources with SELinux + Grsecurity gentoo is excelent. There are a lot of packages too.
I had gentoo in a compaq proliant dual pentium II 300 with 512 ram and 8gb and worked like a charmed.
For now i use Gentoo in 3 machines.
My laptop, Gentoo amd64
One Email server and webmail, gentoo hardened-sources
One Proxy Server, router, firewall, etc, gentoo hardened-sources.
i have a machine @ home with FBSD 6.0. It’s nice emerge and portsnap are easy to use, and nice I start using BSD to test gentoo/BSD but the experience didn’t work well. so i had installed FSD 6.0
So why i still use gentoo, because i like it, i am no geek or super expert or even expert, i simple like gentoo and other “OS” that have some Philosofy!
I’ve been using Gentoo since the earliest public releases on all sorts of hardware from low-end x86 boxes to multi-processor Opteron servers. Stability has been excellent, even in the early versions.
The most common complaint I’ve heard relates to building packages from source. The common conception is this takes a long time and doesn’t really gain that much in performance over a binary package system such as apt. My response is so what? How often do you add or upgrade new packages to a system? Not very often. There are tools to automate the process to a large degree. Besides, who is stupid enough to sit at a computer and stare at a source build’s messages scrolling across the screen? The last time I checked, Linux was a multitasking system; you can do other things while installing packages.
The ability to fine-tune how applications are built is the real feather in Gentoo’s hat. Want to build Emacs without X support? Simple: ‘USE=”-X” emerge emacs’. The ability to control this to fine levels of granularity is something most other distros don’t have.
Lastly, Gentoo’s use of BSD-style startup scripts is something else I prefer. I’ve never been a fan of the SysV-style scripts used by many other Linux distros.
At least Gnome 2.12 has been marked stable now on x86
Inspite of the fact that it being hard to install, I have read positive reviews of Gentoo all around – including this one. If only they can figure out a way for users without broadband internet connection to install it. If FreeBSD can do it, I wonder what is stopping Gentoo developers.