[linux-elitists] [pigdog] Verdict on Gentoo (fwd)

Eugen Leitl eugen@leitl.org
Fri Jun 28 05:28:20 PDT 2002

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: 27 Jun 2002 13:12:28 -0700
From: El Snatcher <snatcher@pigdog.org>
Reply-To: pigdog@pighaven.org
To: pigdog@pighaven.org
Subject: [pigdog] Verdict on Gentoo

I'm going to go ahead and give big Beaujolais! for Gentoo Linux.

It takes a million years to compile everything, but the end-result is
worth the wait.  It has the feel of a lean BSD system, but it's all
shiny new Linux stuff.  Everything feels organized and tidy, and on
account of everything being compiled with optimizations for my
hardware, it's lickety-split.

More importantly, everything just works!  It's not necessary to use as
much defensive-pessimism all the time, like you need while bringing up
a Debian system.  That's a nice change of pace for me.

The package manager, Portage, is, as rumored, mucho fantastico.  It
really IS an improvement over BSD ports (and I like ports) -- it
doesn't use stupid make files, for instance, and it has really great
dependency checking and sandboxing.  (I think it needs to be ported to
OS X right away.  Maybe I'll do that...)  Your apps-on-tap are all
compiled, so you spend a lot of time spacing out at your screen
waiting for the prompt to come back, but there's something really a
lot more satisfying about the whole process than having apt-get or RPM
poop out some new binaries all over your machine, that come from
Isabeau knows where!  I just put on some bad electro music, and drink
a few Sierras while I watch gcc messages scroll by.  It's kinda fun.
Kinda like watching the source-code whiz by on the wall at the Mozillur
Dot parties.

Another thing that I really like about Gentoo is the documentation.
Even though Gentoo comes off at first as some sort of a snobby,
"advanced users only," type system, it's really not.  It has excellent
documentation for just about everything.  Following the instructions
is actually a safe thing to do.  They even start you out with this
little goofy editor called Nano, which seems to be a clone of Pico,
the easy to use editor that comes with Pine.  Thus, newbies with no
vi-foo can easily edit configuration files.  In fact, if you don't
want shitty vi on your system at all, you don't have to have it (!!),
because it doesn't get installed by default (no VIM either).  Now THAT
is new and different.  Refreshing, actually!  Gentoo is the Freshmaker
of Linux distributions.


Especially cool are these articles about the history and motivation
for coming up with Gentoo.  The guy who developed it seems like a
pretty normal guy, rather than a conceited, condescending bull-geek.
The whole Gentoo community seems a lot more pleasant to interact with
than the Debian belligerati, in general.

Making the distribution, Part 1
Birth of the Gentoo Linux distribution

Making the distribution, Part 2
>From Enoch to Gentoo, via minor setbacks and corporate run-ins

Making the distribution, Part 3
The author strays from Linux and then returns

So, Beaujolais for Gentoo!



                 .^....^.  "I don't like the feel of
                 ! .\/. !  [the sun] on my skin."
                 (. oo .)            --Christopher Walken

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