Home > Gentoo > Gentoo 2004.0-20040204 Development Release Gentoo 2004.0-20040204 Development Release Eugenia Loli 2004-02-05 Gentoo 51 Comments DistroWatch reports that a new development set of Gentoo Linux live CDs and stage tarballs has been released to mirrors for testing. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 51 Comments 2004-02-05 7:25 am I just love Gentoo. I think it is portage really. I’ve tried Slackware, Redhat, Fedora, Mandrake, VectorLinux, but I just always go back to Gentoo. It is so little work to maintain. I hope this new work continues to be as successful. 2004-02-05 7:34 am I’m about to do a reinstall of my desktop, but I think I’ll just use the 1.4 livecd for now.. 2004-02-05 8:50 am I’ve been a huge slackware fanboy for the last year or so (well, and i still am), but i’m beggining to install gentoo more and more on my machine. The main reason for this is, obviously, the package management — i, unlike persons like Eugenia (who are entitled to their opinion, of course) like to install only the bare minimum for my system to work; by doing this on slackware, i usually run into trouble when i wan’t to install some new piece of software from source. Having said this, i think that in a perfect world, there would be some kind of point in the middle between gentoo and slackware — something as simple (look at the bootscripts, slackware owns there!) as slackware, and with a system like portage. (i know i know, it’s called FreeBSD!) 2004-02-05 9:00 am Yeah, so little work to maintain, but try to keep your system up to date for about, let’s say 6 months and then you’ll see that gentoo is eating your hard drive space… I guess everything comes out at a cost, it’s really easy to install software with portage, the hard part comes when you want to uninstall or update… 2004-02-05 9:14 am Lately i found swaret (tgz slackware package can be found on slackware-current/extra) for keeping my system up to date and checkinstall (slackware-current/extra) to build my custom slackware packages. 2004-02-05 9:16 am Having said this, i think that in a perfect world, there would be some kind of point in the middle between gentoo and slackware — something as simple (look at the bootscripts, slackware owns there!) as slackware, and with a system like portage. (i know i know, it’s called FreeBSD!) Any *BSD is unfortunately much more a server than a desktop system that could compete with Linux. But have you tried Arch Linux http://www.archlinux.org/? It has the simplicity of Slackware combined with simple but intelligent binary (pacman) and source package (ABS) management. Also, I haven’t tried Lunar Linux or Source Mage, but people using them, tend to say that they consider those source-based distros more usable, stable and simple than Gentoo. I have nothing against Gentoo though, and I think it deserves its fame, but personally I find some things in it a bit too complicated and of too much trouble. For example, what I’ve read of the installation of SourceMage and Lunar, makes me only hope that Gentoo would follow their example. I just feel that some things are still needlessly complicated in Gentoo. 2004-02-05 9:17 am I have been running Gentoo for about 1 year. Updating is fine, I have had no problems uninstalling (I have autoclean set in /etc/make.conf), now about the hard disk space. I think you must be referring to all the files you download being stored in /usr/portage/distfiles. When you update, you will download the newer version. This will mean you could have many many .tar.*z files in this directory. This will help there though: http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic.php?t=3011&highlight=cleaning+di… 2004-02-05 9:43 am anybody knows when the user-friendly installation edition of gentoo release? the 1.4 is way too time-consuming to install for me 🙁 and it seems that gentoo people insist that it is better to keep it that way!! 2004-02-05 9:44 am I just love Gentoo, must be using it for about 2 years now.. but try to keep an up2date system without a fast internet access.. no chance 2004-02-05 10:14 am I did this for the last year over a 56k modem, didn’t have too much trouble at all. It is a little slower of course, but unless you are highly strung I don’t see too much problem in waiting 15 minutes (I now have broadband and it takes about 2 minutes). The install is quite long, when you have to download the packages to start with. As to user-friendly installation?, I don’t think it is not user-friendly, just not point and click. I admit it is at a much lower level, but the instructions are perfect and if you follow them you do not have any problems. It is just typing commands rather than clicking buttons. 2004-02-05 10:18 am Yeah, so little work to maintain, but try to keep your system up to date for about, let’s say 6 months and then you’ll see that gentoo is eating your hard drive space… I guess everything comes out at a cost, it’s really easy to install software with portage, the hard part comes when you want to uninstall or update… [/i] FUD. Complete FUD. I’ve had Gentoo set up for nearly 2 years. Hard disk space is easy to free up – just remove some distfiles and clear /var/tmp. 2004-02-05 11:35 am At our university (University of Pretoria, South Africa, http://www.up.ac.za) there are more and more systems switching from traditional distros to Gentoo. Almost all our computer science department’s servers run Gentoo, as do many of the computer labs. The fact that the entire system can be updated by a mere “emerge sync; emerge -Du world” really rocks. Once we have a lab set up with Gentoo, we never have to install a “new version of the distro” again, like with traditional binary distro’s – we just keep updating them. And of course, the custom optimizations does wonders and help us squeeze the last little bit of performance out of old machines. People are always complaining about how long it takes to get Gentoo up-n-running and that it’s so much more difficult. If all you want is a quick-to-install distro and if watching source code compile gives you the willies, then rather use something like Mandrake or Lindows. Gentoo requires some more effort, but it is definitely worth it. 2004-02-05 11:47 am People say Gentoo is hard and I believe that is just not true. It only required me to think a little differently and understand what I was doing. I know, you shouldn’t have to know how to fix a transmission to know how to drive a car… I agree. But, the way I see it, Gentoo isn’t going after the soccer moms and minivan crowd. This is going to require you to be a little more tech savy than point and click. If you can handle that, then this disto may be for *you*. Read their site, find out what they are about, and make the choice yourself.. you have *choices*. On the releases.. I’ll admit I have my desktop on the bleeding edge. But, some of the boxes in the server room I want to be more stable and predictable. I believe the new release plan is going to help convince more people to move Gentoo into the server room. Truthfully, once you install Gentoo (and keep it updated) you always have the latest version. 2004-02-05 11:53 am What about all the junk that remains on the system after a “successful” unmerge ? All those /etc config files, init.d startup scripts, .so files and man pages… That’s what i’m talking about… 2004-02-05 12:03 pm Metic, I had been a Gentoo user for quite a while but this week I have switched to Arch. The system feels more solid and the init scripts are much easier to manage. I prefer it’s package management to any other. I’ve already made two PKGBUILDs since I started using Arch (never wrote an ebuild) for Boa Webserver and Filelight (planning to release soon, need to do some testing/verification). With Gentoo often I didn’t care much about compiling, so it just wasted my time. Also the large repository had its disadvantages – I was tempted to download stuff all the time! I hope Arch catches up on this though. Gentoo fans out there, here is the command to update everything: pacman -Syu ABS (Arch Build System) is an alternative if you do want to build something yourself (for trimming down the kernel, etc.) 2004-02-05 12:18 pm And in binary too. Easy updates. Security updates. It’s all there. Don’t dare complain about how for desktops people commonly run the unstable branch. Gentoo is the most bleeding edge distro. And I save a lot of time. 2004-02-05 12:27 pm I am also an ex-Gentoo, ex-Slackware user who has switched to Arch. I still have Gentoo on a partition and I use it to try out new software because portage seems to have the latest and greatest of just about anything. Before there was a module-init-tools package in the Arch repository, I just took the tgz file I had in Gentoo and installed it in the Arch partition. Fixed a few links and I was ready for the 2.6 kernel, which was also from Gentoo. I like Gentoo but I much prefer the simplicity of Arch or Slack. 2004-02-05 12:54 pm I just got done spending 2 days trying to get Gentoo installed on my laptop. For some reason after the install my cpu was pegged at 100%. Couldn’t figure out why, so now its back to Fedora. 2004-02-05 1:50 pm This is what I am really looking forward. Regarding the config files not removed when a package is unmerged, I think, beside thecnical difficulties, that it is the right way to proceed. You can always clean them later. That I remember, even in the Windowsland, when removing a program, certain files could remain. And I really love Gentoo’s approach with ebuilds, and learning how to write them is in my to-do list for quite sometime now Regards 2004-02-05 1:55 pm >I like Gentoo but I much prefer the simplicity of Arch or >Slack. I’m curious, why has ark or slack more simplicity then Gentoo after you have installed it? So I’m not talking about the installing process, because that is not the reason you switched according your post. I find something very contradicting too you post. First you switch too Ark because its simplicity (in use?) but then you point too what you had too do too switch too 2.6, I never had too jump thrue such hoops under Gentoo. What is difficult too Gentoo in you opinion? 2004-02-05 2:07 pm when gentoo stepped into my life I was sick of redhat because of the dependencies hell you always got there after some time. For whatever reasion I could never fall in love with debian, it was alwas so outdated, I thought at that time. So then Gentoo came. Oh slick, oh cool, oh rock, so up2date, so new, everything so bleading edge, and so easy, dependencies fulfilled, easy update … but … but you have to compile all and it doesn’t get faster. Actually my KDE at office is crawling like always, and for that I compiled like three days? So then I installed debian at home, I gave it another try, after a friend pointed out I should try to install it through knoppix (via debootstrap, very similar to gentoo install) and I used unstable and … WOW, my system is actually more up2date than gentoo (except Xfree, because it doesn’t compile in all archs). Sure debian is a bit sucky if it comes to “not so free as in beer” like qmail, pine, etc. But there are a lot of resources. Once you have them, no problem, I have everything running here and it runs at least as fast as with gentoo (PIII 650Mhz, ~650MB RAM, Matrox G400). And update. Its even more easier. apt-get update; apt-get upgrade. done. dependencies are resolved. voila. And if I read “oh we installed gentoo because it is so easy to update” then I ask myself if those people really know what they do to themselves. greetings, an almost ex-gentoo user. 2004-02-05 2:21 pm Debian is a really good distro, no trolling here, really. But I frequently need to include some support into apps that can only be specified at compile time. So, binary distros save you a lot of time installing, but it has the disadvantage of offering binaries that do not support features you actually want. 2004-02-05 2:23 pm I spent weeks rebuilding Gentoo trying to find the “magic” compiler switches that would let all my packages build. OpenOffice forced me to dumb down my entire system to the point where I may as well be running a non-optimized OS. Gentoo also almost killed my laptops HD. Arch Linux installs in 10 minutes instead of 10 hours. System updates take 1 minute. The “pacman” package manager is very similar to “emerge”. A bare install takes 250MBs of HD space, I added XFree86 and XFCE4, now its up to 650MBs. The install ISO is 100MB. It boots in about 15 seconds. If you ever get tired of rebuilding all your Gentoo code, and you yearn for what Slackware use to be, try Arch Linux. 2004-02-05 3:30 pm If you ever get tired of rebuilding all your Gentoo code, and you yearn for what Slackware use to be, try Arch Linux. Nah. Never had to rebuild Gentoo except when I got a new computer. Compiling in the background works great, especially with the 2.6 kernel. Even with very large projects like XFree and Gnome/KDE, the compliling will finish before it is availabe to anyone else in binary form. Portage-ng is only going to make things better and Hardened Gentoo is coming along nicely. I also love being able to have my own portage tree that my other computers can sync off of. I don’t really need to compile anything for them anyway because I can use a binary that I built on the network using distcc. I do have one question though. I have seen a few people say the init scripts were better and easier to manage in other distos…how so? I didn’t think it could get much easier than Gentoo. They have never given me a problem so I don’t think it will lead me to switch to anything else but I would love to know what is easier than rc-update. 2004-02-05 3:35 pm I second that. Victor. 2004-02-05 4:08 pm “For some reason after the install my cpu was pegged at 100%. Couldn’t figure out why, so now its back to Fedora.” Yeah, no need to run a “ps” on Fedora. On 99% of all cases it’s a mad rpm process eating all your cpu power. 😉 2004-02-05 4:33 pm Why is everyone so concerned about harddrive space? A distro that takes up only 650MB of space is not one that I’d be using as I like to do a little more with my pc than surf the web and use email. 2004-02-05 4:47 pm Is something known that there will be a new LiveCD for Apple PPC supporting the new iBook G4 with ATI Radeon 9200 ? 2004-02-05 4:49 pm yes, and it’s impossible to uninstall programm well. I uninstalled KDE, because I don’t use it anymore (my computer is slow, I prefer windowsmaker/fluxbox). but now my harddrive is full with library i don’t need, and I don’t know which one to uninsall ! arts, qt, libxml, mysql, xft … and much much more. uninstalling is reall bad under gentoo (but otherwise the system is really rock solid! ) 2004-02-05 5:13 pm “Why is everyone so concerned about harddrive space?” I am not and am more concerned about time needed to administrate the system. HD space is cheap, my time not (even for a home system I spend my time rather programming or reading a good book than fixing system issues). And after two years of Gentoo usage and bugfixing I must say that in comparision to SuSE and Debian the balance is not in favour for Gentoo. 2004-02-05 5:15 pm This mentioned uninstall issue was already reported at bugs.gentoo.org years ago. Just have some patience. Portage-ng will fix it when it’s released early in 2006. 😉 2004-02-05 5:20 pm Arch Linux installs in 10 minutes instead of 10 hours. System updates take 1 minute. Well, I guess it depends on the speed of your computer. I can compile a full system from scratch in about 5 hours… XFree and GNOME2-light included. It’s not that bad. You start the compilation before going to sleep, you go to sleep and voilà! A freshly compiled system the next morning. I prefer source distros not because of the alledged speed increase (something I didn’t noticed) but rather because it uses the sources from the author(s). I believe that doing this is more in the spirit of free open-source software. Anyway, I’d like to see binary packages for Gentoo. I personally think portage is currently the best package management system (except for uninstallation) and have one of the best init system (I really hate Debian’s one… Well, in fact, I hate everything of Debian o_O). Compiling Gentoo on my another system (a K6-2) just took forever. 2004-02-05 5:44 pm > Anyway, I’d like to see binary packages for Gentoo. If it supports USE flags, then I’m all for it. 2004-02-05 6:02 pm If you’re a regular computer user, why not just use Knoppix with HD install? It’s what I use at home now. VERY easy to install, with the benefit of Apt-Get + Synaptic. Super easy to install + use. 2004-02-05 6:04 pm I’d have to agree about the relative merits of Arch and Gentoo. For about a year I ran Gentoo as the principal distro on my network but a month ago a routine emerge -u world took out my window manager and some associated programs. At the time I think I was about 50 configuration files and 20 use flags behind. Happily, I’d installed Arch last Summer and had it in abeyance. Gentoo and all of its unproductive complexity is now gone and in its place a built from source gem, Arch Linux. John Lowell 2004-02-05 6:06 pm I like Gentoo’s package managment, I think sort of it’s like FreeBSD. I have FreeBSD and Slackware running – went back to Slackware, again. Anyway, it’s a free country, use what you want. Peace man, Jim 2004-02-05 6:31 pm I am running 1.4 with the 2.6 kernel in a headless mode (no X windows) and it is great, I just do a emerge rsync once in awhile and then a emerge -u system and I am done. It really does not take that long to install a base system with no X windows. 2004-02-05 6:37 pm By default Gentoo “protects” certain directories from unmerge and updates. I can just imagine all the “unmerge/update broke Gentoo!” complaints if portage didn’t provide protection. Protection CAN be turned off for those willing (all this stuff is documented, so there shouldn’t realy be any need for me pointing this out). Take a look at the output from `emerge –help config`. 2004-02-05 6:59 pm More of a workaround than anything – but I had the same problem and hadn’t discovered it till after I got KDE going. Ran Kde System Guard and discovered the culprit was none other than nano. A quick killall nano and now using vim for all my configuration needs. No more 100% spikes, but heck if I know why. Should probably check the forums *doobie doobie doo* Btw – that’s what *really* makes this distro for me. The forums & the people in it. I used to want to install something and have to go through he!! to get it working. In debian I’d have apt bug out on me left and right for whatever reason – broken packages, no package to resolve dependancies, packages that require old libraries (and thus require me to uninstall half my system to run). Apt is great, but it’s not terribly perfect. Running gentoo I can run anything I want and optimize it however I like. If it doesn’t work – there’s a massive forum I can go to where any problem is already solved. I can also go to the forums to find good optimization flags for certain programs to get the best performance out of them (did wonders for kde), and they’re friendly. Also the step by step instruction guides are great and not too complicated (The new installation guide is fantastic gentoo isn’t very complicated to install from knoppix at all:)) It does take a certain kind of person to run Gentoo and like it… but I’m one of them. Compile times don’t bother me – and having the world as my oyster and having total freedom and control over my system (or feeling like it(!)) is great. I really enjoy this system. 2004-02-05 7:19 pm Maybe someone would like to put up an ideal system for linux to run on? I just can’t get it to work with all my hardware.Always a problem with one distro or another.!!! 2004-02-05 7:35 pm Has anyone timed it? Load Gentoo (and a week later) open openoffice.org writer and time it. Than, on the same machine, install mandrake (and 30-minutes later) open openoffice.org writer and time it. what’s the difference? 1-second? 3-seconds? Is it worth it? 2004-02-05 8:09 pm Has anyone timed it? Load Gentoo (and a week later) open openoffice.org writer and time it. Than, on the same machine, install mandrake (and 30-minutes later) open openoffice.org writer and time it. what’s the difference? 1-second? 3-seconds? Is it worth it? I think the main difference in load times in Gentoo is due to prelinking. If load times don’t matter to you then NO, the difference doesn’t matter but it does matter to some people. It doesn’t make a difference to me but I still use and love Gentoo. It doesn’t take a week to install, more like a day on average hardware. The administration is simple. I never have to worry about borking the system by updating from one point release to another like most binary distros. The init scripts actually make sense and I can build binaries for other systems on my network. Distcc makes the compile times a lot faster too. Portage-ng is going to fix the uninstallation issue so no need to worry there. I guess I’m just not a “need it now” type of person that is all too common nowadays. The compiling really doesn’t bother me at all. I’ve tried several binary distributions and none of them were what I was looking for. I think the community is really what makes Gentoo great. The people are helpful and they drive the development of Gentoo. Often the ideas of the community turn into discussions and debates that later influence the direction of Gentoo. A distro truly for the user. 2004-02-05 9:40 pm Gentoo is the best distro I’ve used period. My experience with binary based distro lead to my conclusion that they all suck. So I’m left with source based distros. I was so close from switching over from Linux to BSD when I found Gentoo. I installed it once about 2 years ago. Ever since, I have never had to reinstall it again. I don’t remember any Linux distro that I didn’t have to burn new installation disks for every 2 months just to update my system, well except debian. Portage is just a meal from heaven. It should become the source based standard package manager. It has the second largest linux repository, second only to debian. It has the most up to date packages. It has the easiest administrative flexibility. Performance wise, Gentoo is clearly the leader. My binary executables are smaller, hence my memory and hard disk space very small compared to all other distros I’ve used. And it’s just fast. Contrary to FUD, optimizations do improve performance, at least with my experimentations. I update my system every a month and in situations where packages fail to compile there’s always a solution to problem at bugs.gentoo.org. You could also see what people have to say about packages at http://www.gentoo-portage.com. It’s support forums and utilities like this that make Gentoo great. I feel I’m within a community of friends with a single goal. And that is to the Gentoo experience the best Linux experience there is. I never try to shove gentoo down other peoples throat. It is not for everyone. I’d rather people discover gentoo themselves, much like the way I did. I still think Gentoo remains Linux’ hidden treasure, there’s none like it, especially it’s community. Gentoo isn’t flawless, but which distro is? It just sucks less than all the other distros I’ve used and don’t let me start with them. 2004-02-05 11:14 pm > Gentoo is the best distro I’ve used period. My experience with binary based > distro lead to my conclusion that they all suck. My experience with source based distros is that they all suck. > So I’m left with source based distros. I was so close from switching over > from Linux to BSD when I found Gentoo. I installed it once about 2 years > ago. Ever since, I have never had to reinstall it again. So your installation experience is about as limited as it can be, and still be a Gentoo user. > I don’t remember any Linux distro that I didn’t have to burn new > installation disks for every 2 months just to update my system, well except > debian. Which could be explained by inexperience or forgetfulness. > Portage is just a meal from heaven. It should become the source based > standard package manager. It has the second largest linux repository, second > only to debian. It has the most up to date packages. It has the easiest > administrative flexibility. Portage is nice. > Performance wise, Gentoo is clearly the leader. My binary executables are > smaller, hence my memory and hard disk space very small compared to all > other distros I’ve used. And it’s just fast. Contrary to FUD, optimizations > do improve performance, at least with my experimentations. Your anti-FUD experimentations are just more FUD. Recent benchmarks disprove Gentoo’s performance claims. > I update my system every a month and in situations where packages fail to > compile there’s always a solution to problem at bugs.gentoo.org. You could > also see what people have to say about packages at http://www.gentoo-portage.com. > It’s support forums and utilities like this that make Gentoo great. I feel > I’m within a community of friends with a single goal. And that is to the > Gentoo experience the best Linux experience there is. Gentoo has very friendly people in their forums. > I never try to shove gentoo down other peoples throat. It is not for > everyone. I’d rather people discover gentoo themselves, much like the way I > did. I still think Gentoo remains Linux’ hidden treasure, there’s none like > it, especially it’s community. Earlier you said you wanted Portage to become the standard, now you say you want people to discover it themselves. > Gentoo isn’t flawless, but which distro is? It just sucks less than all the > other distros I’ve used and don’t let me start with them. The best version of linux I ever seen is Peanut Linux, give it a try! http://www.ibiblio.org/peanut/ 2004-02-05 11:19 pm Debian is a really good distro, no trolling here, really. But I frequently need to include some support into apps that can only be specified at compile time. So, binary distros save you a lot of time installing, but it has the disadvantage of offering binaries that do not support features you actually want. apt-get source $packagename && apt-get build-dep $packagename, then just edit the debian/rules file to your liking, and build and install the package manually (which is a grand total of two commands). if you really want an automated (but somewhat less flexible) solution, install the apt-build package. 2004-02-06 2:03 am I just also noticed how outdated Peanut Linux is. Kernel-2.4.20, Mozilla-1.3b, KDE-3.1??? No, thanks I’ll pass. 2004-02-06 6:05 am Portage is a pretty nice package management system. You just need to thing ahead though. “I’m going to need this program in a week so I should start compiling now.” And yes having a custom compiled OS might lead to speed improvements. But is it worth it? All distros have their place. Gentoo is basically for the absolute most bleeding edge users who are very willing to push the envelope to break their system. I prefer Arch, just wish their were a little more packages available. 2004-02-06 6:26 am you can build and install binary packages with portage. this is how things work with the GRP livecds… you download two ISO images, with binaries for most commonly used software. this includes kde, gnome, openoffice, etc. want to build a package? emerge –buildpkg (name of software you want to install) want to install a package? emerge –usepkg (name of software you want to install) you can also set portage up to download binaries from an ftp/http server. the only thing that isn’t available at the moment is a central repository of binary packages, like in debian. so… who wants to add a gui installer to gentoo and set up a central repository of packages? right. not much demand there. the best part of gentoo is the USE settings, not speed or easy updates. you can, for example, add nas to your USE settings, and everything that can will have support for the network audio server. add ipv6 to your USE and everything that can will be built with ipv6 support. add “-cups” and everything that can be built with common unix printing system support /wont/ (note the -). it’s all about control, which you cant get with a binary distribution. 2004-02-06 12:06 pm >But I frequently need to include some support into apps that can only be specified at compile time. seriously, if you need that, you should compile them by hand anyway. because eg PHP I control exactly what I want and only if I compile it by hand I know how it works and can recompile it easily. in gentoo I am not sure if I might have removed a make flag inbetween or something else happend. 2004-02-07 1:34 am I recently switched from Gentoo to Arch Linux because I couldn’t handle the compile times anymore. I too used the ‘USE’ flags to throw compile time things into packages, and found that it can be as easily done in Arch as it can in Gentoo. The Arch abs system allows you to edit the config file for most of its packages, rebuild them and install the new binaries as part of the package system. So basically it’s like Gentoo only you only have to compile stuff when you really need it. 2004-02-07 10:00 pm seriously, if you need that, you should compile them by hand anyway. because eg PHP I control exactly what I want and only if I compile it by hand I know how it works and can recompile it easily. in gentoo I am not sure if I might have removed a make flag inbetween or something else happend. When I compile PHP or (more likely) some other package with lots of configure-options, I also control exactly what gets built in and what does not. The difference might be that I get a native package, seemlessly integrated with the package management tools of my OS, that contains exactly the functionality that I need, whith all the good stuff like listing package contents and verifying them against a database of md5dsums, trivial deinstallation and upgrading, dependency handling, you name it. I use FreeBSD, where you can set Makefile parameters on a per-port basis, and easily override things like CONFIGURE_ARGS; without having used it I assume Gentoo allows similar things. The only hassle with the FreeBSD ports system is that you may have to take care of which files are actually installed, if your custom configuration causes more or fewer files to end up in /usr/local than the port maintainer could imagine, you’ll get (detailed, easy to fix) complaints on deinstallation – and that is only when you have to do really dirty things, which I only had to do once, for two weeks or so until my proposed changes were merged as a new supported option in the official ports. I am extremely happy with FreeBSD, and hence can relate to the Gentoo people, even if they sometimes can be a litte overly zealous. My experience with OSes, including C64/C128 basic, AmigaOS, DOS, GEM, Win3.1/95/98/2000/XP, OS/2, SuSE, Debian, RedHat, Solaris, Free-, Open and NetBSD and AIX taught me that 1) operating systems developed by a for-profit company (all other than the BSDs and Debian in my list) tend to be less user-friendly (which in my case mostly means hacker- and admin-friendly, but not just that) than the community-developed ones – it seems to be a good idea if the actual users are the ones to decide how to evolve an OS, not a marketing department, and 2) installing binary libraries leads to bloat, incompatibilities, vulnerabilities, or any combination of them. The time it takes to compile from sources is well spent, IMHO, especially because noone forces you to stop doing productive work in parallel.