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why gentoo (was: Re: [vox] Fwd: Re: Ticket [20040115430005953] Licensing)
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why gentoo (was: Re: [vox] Fwd: Re: Ticket [20040115430005953] Licensing)



Robert G. Scofield wrote:
On Thursday 04 March 2004 16:03, Trevor M. Lango wrote:

With that said, I am perfectly willing to donate SuSE
9.0 Professional (box set with cd's, dvd, and books)
to LUGOD. Personally, I have moved on to Gentoo (which
is the best linux experience I have ever had! ;-)

Why is Gentoo better than SuSE 9.0?

Since we haven't had a distribution discussion in awhile, I'll dare to respond :-)

Mainstream binary distributions, like SuSE, Mandrake, and Fedora (previously RedHat), are great for beginners and those who want a good set of programs, user-friendly desktop tools, and minimum hassle when getting security updates. But they are not so easily configurable, and feature updates generally come only with a new full version release.

Gentoo is a "source-only" "metadistribution". You can compile and install any set of linux software in any imaginable configuration. This seems intimidating at first, but it has a superb toolset (portage) to make this very manageable. Portage determines all the dependency required for a program, compiles everything, and installs it with just a single shell command. There are over 6000 programs available in portage, and often the most up-to-date releases too. The default settings are usually correct for the typical desktop user, so there is actually very little custom configuration required for someone like me. Updates can be done at any time to get the latest security and features; you don't have to wait for a new release.

That said, Gentoo is not for true beginners. The installation is command line based, but goes OK if you carefully follow the instructions available on the website. I found it easier than Debian, which I had several bad experiences with.

So check it out! Now is a really good time because gentoo just released a new set of binary disks. This makes installation a little easier and quicker; you won't have to compile many core programs like X, Mozilla, and KDE until you want to updgrade them.

Jonathan
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