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This is a discussion on Gentoo within the Tech Board forums, part of the Community Boards category; haha whatever you bro. Im still switching. Also, I still have yet to receive an answer to the question I ...

  1. #16
    Registered User Annonymous's Avatar
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    haha whatever you bro. Im still switching.

    Also, I still have yet to receive an answer to the question I initionally asked.

  2. #17
    and the hat of wrongness Salem's Avatar
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    > Also, I still have yet to receive an answer to the question I initionally asked.
    You either like gentoo - or you don't.
    Personally, I've never tried it - so I don't know.

    What I did do however was try a few, then stopped looking when I found I liked Ubuntu.

    Luckily, there are plenty of distros to choose from (all with +ve and -ve points I'm sure). It's like buying a pair of shoes; just try some on and see which feel comfortable. When you find them, you stop worrying about the problem and stop looking for more shoes.

    Mostly, asking for someone's opinion on which distro to get is really that - just opinion. You can read several thousand such pages, and still be none the wiser as to which way to go.
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  3. #18
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    I used Red Hat (back when it was still Red Hat), Debian, and Gentoo extensively before settling on Ubuntu. Gentoo gave me the most trouble by far (things don't want to compile, weird flags, etc).

    Last weekend I needed to reinstall my PC, and couldn't access my server to get the Ubuntu image. So I used Debian instead. I don't really notice anything different.

    Linux is Linux, it doesn't really matter. I would only choose distros by their package management system, since that's the only thing really different between them. You don't know how nice APT is if you never tried Portage. So I would say go for it just for the experience.
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  4. #19
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    I tried gentoo about six months ago after a decade of using redhat/fedora or debian spinoffs (inc. ubuntu). I like it a lot better -- it is more flexible, more hands on, and much less geared toward a monolithic vision (that traditionally I have to tear down and replace). Portage took some getting use to, but not that much, and it is text file based, which is what makes the most sense to me. It also meant that for the first time, I did not have to download and build some of my core components because the distro package wasn't configured the way I want, because portage builds from source according to pre-configured directives. Which sounds like six and two threes: isn't that the same as configure->make? Except it's less hassle -- "emerge" is as easy to understand as "apt" or "yum" -- and when I installed on a new system, I didn't have to sit paging thru "configure --help" trying to remember how I did it last time. I just copied the portage "use" and "keyword" files I have from the first system with appropriate tweaks (being able to configure some things globally is nice too; I'd rather have a system that is missing stuff I don't need than a system that has everything everybody wants, most of which I don't use).

    BUT: I would not expect everyone to like it. If you are very new to linux, I think it is going to be somewhat overwhelming and (what I see as) the advantages will probably be irrelevant. I think you have to know clearly what you want with gentoo, whereas most distros make those decisions for you. If you want a system that is ready to go out of the box in an hour with no fuss using one of the big three DE's (gnome, KDE, XFCE), then you don't need gentoo.

    Also, it would have been a real drag on the kind of computers I had 5+ years ago, because building everything from source is time consuming. On a multicore system, it is no big deal when you want something to just let emerge run in a terminal for a minute while you sit and write another forum post or whatever , but on a single core you'd have sip coffee and watch gcc dominate the processor. Back when it took 45+ minutes to build a kernel, you couldn't keep going, whoops, guess I should have ticked that other box. Now it takes <5 you could run something different everyday if you wanted.

    One really nice thing about gentoo is that it is versionless, there is no gentoo rabid rabbit 14.7, etc, there's just gentoo. So, eg, you don't have to move from fedora 14 to fedora 15 because you want gtk3 and the one on 14 is unstable. You just install gtk3. And the things you don't want to upgrade, for whatever reason, can remain the same (I'm actually not interested in gtk3 right now, but I like the 3.0 kernel).

    Quote Originally Posted by cyberfish View Post
    Linux is Linux, it doesn't really matter. I would only choose distros by their package management system, since that's the only thing really different between them.
    That's not quite true. The big one for me is how the init daemon works. Gentoo is no better than anyone else in the sense that there is no choice* -- they use their own thing, openRC, which is not the init daemon itself, but it does structure the process. However, to give them credit, openRC is a lot better documented and user friendly than the tish fedora and debian/ubuntu use (which just changed, again). In general I think the gentoo docs/community/gestalt is less aimed at dumbing down the user and black boxing to the max compared to other distros I've used, and I appreciate that a lot.

    * which is the only thing like that I've noticed, whereas with other distros the system logger, man pager, etc, are also "no choice", despite the fact that there is more than one of both available (I bet a lot of people aren't even aware of that). Those things have subtle differences -- I like the old syslog and the newer man-db, this is the first time I've gotten them both on one system.
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  5. #20
    &TH of undefined behavior Fordy's Avatar
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    I'd certainly agree that the package manager is probably the most important feature - if the packages are up to date and the install tool works well you can change pretty much anything you don't like with minimum effort. It's when the package manager isn't up to scratch and you have to enter "dependency hell" and all the trials of source building that you most miss "apt" or "yum".

    I use the SystemRescueCD a lot as people tend to bring their screwed up computers to me to fix and that uses Gentoo as its base as live cd. The features of working on that are nice and it has some nice bash quirks that I don't have on other linux systems I use.

    Still, for a full blown system I like to keep close to *buntu. I was using xubuntu for a long time, then I wanted a little more "gloss" to my display manager so I went back to ubuntu. One week of unity had me looking for an alternative so I'm now with Linux-Mint. It has a fork of Gnome 2 called Mate and for the moment I can live with that.

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