I've already read the differences between Gentoo and Mage, the reason why I'm considering it over Gentoo is because of local configs vs global configs, I don't want to link some packages to a package I need and more or less a useless dependency no doubt and that's why I prefer local.
And because packages install similarly to FreeBSD's ports well on the outside anyway.
There's also Lunar Linux as well and I've never truly gave slackware a go but gentoo is getting pretty bloated and that's just when you chroot into your system for the first time, let's not forget what goes on top like nvidia-drivers and xorg-server.
But this is also a gray area as source mage looks to be a liveDVD that allows you to install now I'm actually just downloading it now so I can't comment if it's a stage 3 or a stage1-3.
Once upon a time I used Source Mage quite heavily and I liked it a lot but nowadays I see no point in compiling my own software and therefore moved away from it. I still like a complete control over my box though so I use Slackware.
There's still benefits for compiling your own software, but almost every package these days or at least a majority are compiled for x86_64, the kde team at least a few devs compile using an i7 and an i5.
Performance wise.. unless you have crazy hardware (up to 64GB and a 6 core) I see no difference between binary(using arch as an example) or source based(gentoo as an example)
For server's I would use a distro like Gentoo but for my own personal desktop I see no reason anymore, as back in the old days it made a lot of sense to compile as it optimizes for your hardware and still true today but the performance gains are minimal when your PC has crazy specs.
That's why I'm also looking at slack, main reason looking at source mage was because of the install times, I probably won't see speed increases between sorcery or portage compiling the packages though but the 30 minute install intrigued me.
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