[lug] new distro

Randy Arabie rrarabie at arabie.org
Mon Oct 7 21:41:38 MDT 2002

On Mon, 7 Oct 2002, Michael D. Hirsch wrote:

> Peter,
> It sounds like you might like Gentoo.  It is totally free, like Debian, 
> but much more cutting edge.  It tends to have very up to date tools.  
> The "portage" system seems as nice as apt-get to me.
> It is designed to always build from scratch as part of the installation 
> process, so it is not for the faint of heart.

I've used Red Hat, and still have a 7.2 system here at home.  Red Hat was 
my first distro, it did well as an intro.  I got frustrated with the rpm 
system, though.  I felt like it was too difficult to manage the system
and updates.

I've got an OpenBSD and a NetBSD system, too.  I like the *BSD packages 
system, great for managing packages and updating the system.

My experiences with *BSD is what led me to try Gentoo.  I understand the 
developers tried to take the best of the *BSD packages and the Debian apt-get 
systems and build on it.  The Gentoo software management and updating system is
called portage.  It has no GUI interface, commandline only, but a simple

	$ emerge mozilla

will check your system, build a list of dependencies, fetch the source for 
dependencies and the application, compile it, install it, and tell you if 
there are config files that need to be updated in /etc.  

I am very pleased thus far with my Gentoo system.  I have been using it for 
about 6-months.  It has been a very stable system. YMMV, it does have a 
reputation for being a bleeding edge distro, so I'm not going to recommend it 
for a production environment.  Although, it has certainly been much more stable 
than any OS I've seen from M$.

As noted in the documentation, Gentoo was designed as a system for advanced 
users.  It took a lot of RTFM to get my system going.  You won't be downloading 
your ISO's and building a system in less than 8 hours.  I should qualify this
by saying that I didn't have any real trouble, it is just a slow process.  The
installation process was much different than any I had ever undertaken.  I 
learned a tremendous amount in the process, too ;)
Allons Rouler!

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