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Why Not Gentoo?


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#1 Doc.Logix

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Posted 16 December 2006 - 01:33 PM

Greetings all,

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.

Happy nixing!

Doc.

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#2 silmaril8n

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Posted 17 December 2006 - 12:41 AM

I find that tit is very professionally put together, easy to work with, of course when you have a good understanding of Linux.


I think that was where it came down to for me. I do consider myself to have a fairly good understanding of Linux, but Gentoo was still out of my ballpark. I've used the easier distros and settled on Slackware for server environments and Zenwalk for desktops. The install process was just too drawn out for me to have the patience, when I knew that I could slap any of a number of other distros together and be up and 99% running in less than an hour. Granted, if I spent some initial time with Gentoo then I bet I could do the same with it, but I'm fairly satisfied as a Slacker. I'm sure I'll give it another shot when I get the "itch" for a distro change again though...

#3 cybormoron

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Posted 17 December 2006 - 11:01 PM

thanks for the plug and the good recommendation, Doc.Logix. i haven't tried gentoo yet. i guess i've always perceived it as being too advanced for my level of experience. not sure where i got that impression but i'm not afraid to give it look. i'm downloading it now and will stick it in the cupholder directly.

i do like to download and test run all the distros. i'm pretty new with linux but i'm teaching myself as i go along. i don't know how to answer any of the questions that get asked around here but it's good to read them and see how others respond. i learn a lot that way. i don't do anything really important such as business. i just surf the web and play pysol, looool.

i have mandriva2006/winxp dual boot for my stable machine. never use xp anymore. haven't booted it almost a year now. i have another box i do my testing on. i currently have 5 distros on that. it's pure linux, i wiped the xp that was on it. i'm trying to figure out how to backup my mbr so that i can change one of those distros. i tried dd but got an error. i don't know if i had the floppy formatted or mounted correctly or what but i'll figure it out.

anyways thanks for the plug and the conversation. i think my download is done. i'm off to check out gentoo.

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Edited by cybormoron, 18 December 2006 - 12:26 AM.

I can no longer sit back and allow Microsoft infiltration, Microsoft indoctrination, Microsoft subversion, and the international Microsoft conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious open source GNU/Linux operating systems. General Jack D. Ripper.

#4 Doc.Logix

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Posted 18 December 2006 - 05:27 PM

Great Cybormoron! Good luck, I think you'll find the installer quite nice, es[ecially if you do a stage3 w/GRP That gets you up and runing quickly. I did find a few quirks with portage on this version, but it works well, just a warning that appears, but the online docs tell you how to correct that, is an overlay system they are using now.

I have a test box also, this is my stable machine which is WinXP and Gentoo 2005.1, my test box is an old Slot "A" Athlon 1000 with 512MB ram and 30GB HD every realease of gentoo I have tried has run beautifully on it. but then so has every other distro I have tried including FreeBSD.

Carry on! Happy nixing!

Doc.

#5 kbk

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Posted 18 December 2006 - 07:27 PM

That's the simple way, for some reason, I like the more complex way better :D. For installing I mean. It was alot of work, but it felt better when it was done.
www.thisisbeyondbelief.com

#6 Joedude

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Posted 19 December 2006 - 04:24 AM

Well, that is the beauty of linux in general. When you get it going and customized exactly how you want it, you get this great sense of accomplishment. that is something a Win distro can never give you. It's automatic, the only customization is optional packages, very few of which actually have anything to do with the OS itself, let alone customizing the kernel.

I haven't tried Gentoo in a while...2004 I think...I got fed up with the time the install was taking and scrapped it. I tried again later on an older box and it took about 27 hoursto get it fully up and running. I couldn't deal with the updates and constant dependency resolution...But, I am impatient when it comes to things like this.

I have an IT friend here who uses Gentoo and he's actually got me thinking about trying it again. The optimization Gentoo offers certainly is among the best as far as OS's go.

I would only recomend Gentoo to a newbie if they had a lot of computer experience or are one of those guys who are a task man and problem solver. It just seems like for a new person, all of that may be a bit much for them to deal with from the start. Having said that, the amount to learn in Gentoo (and especially slackware) will get you linux friendly really quick if your determined.
If someone tells you to su rm -rf /
DON'T DO IT!!!!
Be in the know, Bash smart!

#7 kbk

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Posted 19 December 2006 - 08:40 PM

I'm tempted to try this new installer, but I can't burn cds on this computer any more (hence why I'm getting a new computer). If I really want it I'll have my friend download it I guess.
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