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"Gentoo Linux is proud to announce the availability of a new live DVD to celebrate the continued collaboration between Gentoo users and developers. The live DVD features a superb list of packages, such as Linux kernel 3.1.5, X.Org Server 1.10.4, KDE 4.7.4, GNOME 3.2.1, Xfce 4.8, Fluxbox 1.3.2, Firefox 9.0, LibreOffice 126.96.36.199, GIMP 2.6.11, Blender 2.60, Amarok 2.5, VLC 1.1.13, Chromium 16.0 and much more. Special features: writable file systems using Aufs so you can emerge new packages; persistence for $HOME is available. The live DVD is available in two flavors: a hybrid x86/x86_64 edition, and an x86_64 multi-lib edition."
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 9
Complete customization, tailored to your needs, fast
Hard for newbies, lack of modern documentation
I have been using linux exclisivly for about 2 years now, and always had it installed before hand as a "failsafe" incase windows fails. I used Ubuntu for much of that time, followed by Mint after the release of the Unity desktop. Lately I had been getting the itch to experiment with something different, something that didn't try its best to compete with windows and mac osx. So I tried Fedora for a day, Opensuse 12 for a day, and a few others that I just didn't care for. So I found Gentoo and decided to give it a chance.
I had thought that I was experienced enough with linux to just "plug and play" much as the previously mentioned distros tend to work. I didn't realize before burning and testing the live DVD just what it really meant. From start to finish I had a lot of educational fun just trying to install it, from creating a CHROOT environment to compiling the kernel, things that I had never done in other distros. After many frustrations, a few failures, a few start overs, I eventually figured out how it was suppose to work and got it installed (I hope properly). The first successful boot led to the text based login screen probably very familiar to many linux users, but not to me. Yet somehow, this was the most exited I had ever been to see a login screen. It was mine. I compiled it, I made the user, I made his permissions, all from source and emerge. After that, I experienced a very old looking command line web browser to finish the wonderful yet complex installation documentation. Eventually, I was able to install KDE and make my default login manager the KDM. And what did I find after nearly 3 days of trial and error, compiling time, and reading? The smoothest, fastest, least prone to error or glitch distro I have used yet.
So all in all, it does seem a bit daunting to someone who has never done this sort of thing before. But I still highly recommend it. Its a very satisfying, educational experience that results in something very smooth and fast, with the only thing expected of the user is to read and comprehend the text very well. Overall, I would rate it a perfect 10, except the only problem I have is a complete lack of documentation on the most modern elements of the distro. I could find nothing on Linux Kernel 3.x, Gnome 3, Gentoo 12, etc. But then again, I am just a noob :)