Posted 16 December 2006 - 01:33 PM
I have been a Linux user since Linux wasn't cool. In my work as a self-employed computer tech, I have really grown to appreciate Linux as 99.9% of the service work I do is on MS Windows systems.
I have noticed in this forum in perticular in response to the newbies, there are many very good suggestions put forth on what distro to use, all have there good and bad points, and I have played with most all of them including the SCO and BSD families.
But what I have noticed is no one seems to suggest Gentoo Linux, and was curious as to why that is. Of all the distro's I have used, I have finally settled on Gentoo as my standard. I find that tit is very professionally put together, easy to work with, of course when you have a good understanding of Linux. The documentation for it is nicely availible in abundance, and it is free, unless you wish to order it on cd as opposed to downloading and burning it yourself.
Additionally I know at first it was a difficult distro to install, every thing was very manual like many early distros, and you could sit in front of your PC for just about the whole day stepping through the docs and compiling to make a working system, not ideal for a newbie. This was where a distro like Mandrake had a definate advantage.
However times have changed, Gentoo which has a lot of functionality like the BSD family, is still a very pure and solid Linux, since the 2005 second release, has a live install CD that is nicely equiped with a scripted install that you mearly answer questions and let it do its thing. You can choose to optimise by having the installer do a full compile from stage 1, or get quick and easy by having it do a stage 3 CRP install that will have you up and running with X and your choice of window manager, internet ready, with all the basic toys in not much more time then it takes to install a MS Windows OS. Updates are even nicely managed using a portage system not unlike BSD, that can update individual packages, groups of packages, or the whole system, and if you really want to, can do so automatically on a schedule. I personally like doing updates manually though.
Just wanted to get that in there, and would love to here from others as to what they think of this distro. I have reached a point where I not only use it for personal use, but development, and have built many a sever in my work for clients using this distro.