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Gentoo 1.4
Reviews Views Date of last review
23 120693 08-30-2005
Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
78% of reviewers None indicated 8.4

Description: A distribution with a difference, all compiled from source code designed to optimize every single program for your system. Also uses a comprehensive package management system, Portage, to automatically download and install a vast amount of source packages from the net.
Keywords: source optimized portage emerge sync advanced

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Old 06-10-2003, 02:36 PM   #1
Registered: Jun 2001
Distribution: Gentoo, RHEL, Fedora, Centos
Posts: 43,417

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 10

Pros: Fast, flexible and extremely intouch with its users
Cons: Portage is slightly unstable in places, Broadband net connection a must

Gentoo is fairly new on the scene compared to Suse, Redhat et al, but is growing extremely fast. The idea that you have a system totally and utterly compiled from scratch (a la LFS) while being very easy to install and use (not a la LFS) makes a really interesting and attractive idea. Portage, the package management system allows you to continually update your package list to online resources changing by the minute means you can always have the very latest versions of software on your system without having to wait for the next sluggish release from Redhat. It is still in it's early days and isn't that polished in all areas, but stick to the officially stable ebuilds and you'll be fine.

There is no installation guide, as it's really not needed. the online documentation for the install takes you through each step stupidly clearly and concisely and you know what you're doing every step of the way. All areas of installing from source, e.g. compiling your kernel are foolproof as it comes with a number of preconfigured kernel setups you don't need to fiddle with at all (but where's the fun in that?). You also get to chose a host of things on install that you'd not expect, e.g. your choice of kernel logger (Did Mandrake ever bother asking you?)

Because Gentoo is continually being updated they don't really release official versions much, as it just doesn't make sense really. if you installed 1.2 last year and have been "emerge -u wolrld"ing every so often, then you will be running the same system as if you installed 1.4 now. The install does take a while though. I heard a fair few horror stories about the install taking three days 1 for base, 2 for X and 3 for kde, however Installed everything over night on an athlon 1.2 with a 512kbps broadband connection. These long times are all one-of's though. and once it's installed you'll be glad you waited a little longer.

It would probably suck a bit without broadband, however you can still get by easily with a semi precompiled gentoo image which comes with the base libraries (about 150mb compiled) so you can save a lot of time there...

One of the best aspects i've found about Gentoo is the community. The developers ARE the users, and people aer very welcome to help maintain and develop the ebuilds for the system. The online forums are also used to a scary extent. For example, the weekly Gentoo newsletter always contains a handful on interesting threads from the previous weeks.

Check it out. it's cool.
Old 06-14-2003, 02:26 PM   #2
Registered: Oct 2002
Distribution: Ubuntu Dapper and Edgy
Posts: 23

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 10

Pros: the way linux is supposed to be like
Cons: umm.. well.. horrible setup times; if you don't have broadband then its not gonna work straight away

redhat and all those distros were makin me sick. sluggish system.. horrible package management system (mix RPMs with a source compile, and you'll know) and havin no control over my own OS was pretty upsetting. Gentoo changed all that. Yes, it is a huge undertakin when you start buliding it (whether stage 1,2 or 3). It took me around 5-6 days to get as far as GNOME 2.2. Took a while to get Mozilla up n runnin too. But .. as I would say always, if you are a tinkerer, you are gonna love this distro. The forums fantastic. I loved the recommended reiserfs filesystem. As I said, it takes a long time to setup, but once you're done, you dont need to 'upgrade' the way other distros would require you to do. I use a P4 1.7 at work with a fairly decent broadband, so it was easy for me to set it up there. If you don't have internet at home, there is still a way to get gentoo up n runnin, and in a pretty decent shape too. That's what I did at home, in my AthlonXP 1600+. I love to play around my linux box, and like to cook my software myself rather than having it served.

So go ahead and try it. Won't be a disappointment.
Old 06-16-2003, 12:02 AM   #3
Registered: May 2003
Distribution: Gentoo Linux
Posts: 42

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 10

Pros: clean, good documentation, great forum with friendly people, always latest build, compiled for your system
Cons: it's no click and wait install (if that can be called a con)

I'm just using Linux for 3 months now, had no knowledge of it whatsoever. The first week of my Linux adventure I installed RedHat, simply because I knew no other distribution. 8 days later, after 3 nights of messing around with ldconfig and rpm's to make even simple things work, a friend told me about Gentoo. One weekend later it was already installed and running with no probs. Being a newbie to Linux, I loved the 'cleanness' of it all, RedHat was just too confusing for me, too many scripts, files and configurations spread over all my harddisk. RedHat was also very slow and memory consuming, I ran Gnome with 512Mb and never had more then 100Mb free, with Gentoo and Fluxbox, I never have more than 100Mb in use :) (with no additional load from other programs that is) Along with the good user docs and the forum of Gentoo I can say I'm not a total newbie anymore, I'm totally converted to Linux thanks to Gentoo now. I'm doing all my development (mainly Java) in Gentoo as well as using it for daily use (mp3, movie, mail, etc etc). I'd say, if you go Linux, go Gentoo!

As a sidestory: those horrid tales from people compiling THREE days.... a friend of mine runs Gentoo on a Pentium 100, took him ONE MONTH to compile and install the whole system :)
Old 06-16-2003, 10:09 AM   #4
Registered: Dec 1969
Posts: 0

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 10

Pros: Completely free, helpful folk in irc, forums etc, just works as you would expect.
Cons: errmmmm... ..none really distro specific unless you only have a slowmo modem.

I have been using GNU/Linux ( mainly Suse ) as my fulltime os at home for about 3 years now. Gentoo is the first distro that i have installed where all the latest software just works. The online installation instructions are the best written i have seen, plus I felt that I had actually learned something new about my computer and its' os construction.

The idea that I can totaly upgrade my Gentoo system online instead of having to buy a new distro every year for the latest tool is a big plus. I know that this is the way Debian does it, but unless you run the unstable branch the software is too old for my workstation. The awesome Debian is my first choice as a server os though, but that is another review.

The source is compiled from scratch on your box using the excellent portage system ,which shrink wraps the software for your architecture and gives optimum performance for your personal hardware setup

In the #gentoo irc channel and the forums, I have seen that the user/developer community is friendly and a great help in pointing you in the right direction. Not that i have needed any personal help yet ( due to the excellent docs ).

Gentoo has a big thumbs up and has impressed me enough that it will stay as my main workstation distro and I will make an effort to contribute by buying a mug , t shirt and donating what i would have spent on a new distro every year to the efforts of the developers and not the usual cardboard box, manuals and cd/dvd that it would normally go to.

Gentoo makes me :-D
Old 06-16-2003, 11:08 AM   #5
Registered: May 2002
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 136

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 8

Pros: clean, transparent configuration methodology; generally very helpful forums and usenet group
Cons: never quite stable for installs that are out of ordinary - fortunately you are working at a level where you can figure things out.

I've been running SuSE on multiple machines for about two years, and Redhat awhile before that. While, both those products work out of the box very well, I would always eventually run into problems. Enlightenment, for example, was missing from one, and old and buggy in the other. Installing it from source was a nightmare because of version conflicts with other libraries. Some apps I never could install because I didn't want to go through the hassle and risk screwing up a working machine. Yast(2) is a kind of "Mr Wizard" which seems pretty cool, but it insulates you from what's behind the curtain. I never did learn the details of setting up drivers and configuring them and when yast eventually broke on one machine, I was helpless. (I'm not kidding - I have a small server w/o X with a base SuSE system on which yast stopped working and reloading it didn't fix it. I'm currently installing my fifth Gentoo system on another box to replace it.)

The beauty of Gentoo is that the curtain is gone and you have to be the wizard yourself. There's a short, steep learning curve, but at the end of it you find yourself configuring /etc/X11/XF86Config yourself and actually preferring it. You find that you can turn on and tweak features in your video and sound card you didn't even know about. And the process of recompiling a kernel to enable or disable some driver or feature becomes a triviality. The problem with autoconfiguring anything is that you never learn anything. The beauty of running a distribution where you have to do it yourself is not only that you learn how, but due to the sheer number of users and developers doing it, the process evolves and becomes simplier.

Gentoo is a great distribution.
Old 06-19-2003, 10:20 AM   #6
Registered: Feb 2003
Distribution: suse 8.2
Posts: 78

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 10

Pros: very good ducumentation, optimizations, portage, dont get what you dont want
Cons: none really

i am not a linux genius, installing gentoo was a real stretch for me,but i learned quite a bit getting it done. i use my gentoo for my "desktop"
system-email,websurfing,light duty word and spreadsheet processing.
i like how gentoo can be optimized for my system, i like how easy it is for a newb to grab just the software one wants. i like the portage update/package install system. i used the gentoo forum to post a number of really dumb newbie install questions, and was generally answered politely and pointed towards previously posted answers, or given good help.
i cant really think of anything negative to say about gentoo.
Old 06-19-2003, 08:31 PM   #7
Registered: May 2003
Distribution: Red Hat Linux 9.0
Posts: 12

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 10

Pros: it's cool, it's fast, it's stable, it's ultra-configurable, it's easy to update, it's easy to maintain, it's just genius
Cons: it takes long to install, but once you've done that, it's great

gentoo is the perfect distribution for you when you're either an experienced linux user who wants to have full control over everything, or when - like me - you're a linux newbie who wants to know how everything works.

the special thing about gentoo is that unlike other distributions like mandrake, redhat etc. you build up your own "distribution". this means, you have full control over what programs are being installed, how everything is configured and so on. with gentoo, every program is compiled from it's sourcecode. this way you can always be sure to have up-to-date programs, and you can invoke more or less agressive optimizations, resulting in faster programs.

when you download gentoo, you just download a small bootable CD image with only a minimalistic system, giving you the abillity to boot from CD, setup your harddisk partitions, create filesystems, create an internet connection and so on. after that you have to go trough a "bootstrap" process which actually builds the C compiler which is needed to compile all other programs. when finished with that, you have to do an "emerge system" which downloads the newest versions of all important system-related programs, compiles and installs them. after building your own kernel, which you can optimize and configure specifically for your hardware, you can boot into your new gentoo installation and "emerge" (install) all the other programs you want.

this whole process sounds complex, and it actually is a complex thing, but it's so well documentated that everybody who follows the instructions shouldn't run in any trouble. the bad thing with compiling everything for yourself is that this can take really long, even on a fast machine. the whole bootstrap, emerge system, compiling the kernel and installing X11, kde, openoffice, mozilla took me 2 nights. but once you've compiled all this "big" stuff it's not a big thing anymore, most other programs are not too big and only take a few minutes to compile. also, once you've gnome, kde or whatever running, you can just open up a console window and compile a new program while you're still working with your computer.

the so-called "portage system" is the "heart" of gentoo. it manages a "portage tree" which is basically a list of thousands of programs that are available for gentoo linux. you can search for any program in this portage tree by typing "emerge -s <progname>" (or by browsing /usr/portage) and install it with "emerge <progname>". so, installing mozilla is reduced to a simple "emerge mozilla". portage then downloads the newest available mozilla (or whatever) plus all necessary dependencies and compiles it with your optimizations. it is also possible to tell portage to install a specific version of a program, or to install unstable "beta" builds. if you don't like a program, "unmerging" it is just as simple as "emerging" it. updating programs or even your entire system is just as simple: type "emerge -u mozilla" to update mozilla only, or type "emerge -u world" to update your whole gentoo system.

the big advantage of this self-compiling-procedure is that gentoo is really, really fast. i've been used to the speed of mandrake for a few weeks, and believe me, gentoo is much faster. portage is also highly configurable, thanks to the "USE" variable. on other distributions, all programs are usually compiled with everything in it. on gentoo, YOU can decided how a program is compiled and what you want to have compiled into it. for example, if a program has KDE and GNOME support, but you're not using gnome at all, there's no need to compile this gnome support into it. on gentoo, this would mean you would set a USE varible like USE="-gnome". this tells portage to not compile any gnome-related things into your programs. this makes your programs smaller, faster and more stable+secure (code that's not there can't cause crashes or vulnerabilities).

maintaining your gentoo is also very easy. a really useful script is "rc-update". it's used to add or remove scripts to the runlevels. for example, if you want to have "webmin" being started at boot time, you would just type "rc-update add webmin default". this would add the webmin script to the default runlevel. if you don't want to have it started at boottime anymore, just type "rc-update del webmin default". this way it's really easy to manage your runlevel configuration.

well, as i said, i can recommend gentoo to all newbies who are willing to learn more about their computer and linux, and to experienced linux users. you need a few days to install it, but once it's up and running, it's easy to update and easy to maintain. it's really fast, very stable, and it's just cool and fun to use. another big "plus": you don't have to wait for new releases of gentoo, the whole system is just being updated continuosly, just do an "emerge -u world" every few days and you're OK.

if you need help with gentoo, has a really very good documentation in many languages, and the gentoo forums are always crowded with helpfull and polite people.

Old 06-26-2003, 10:42 AM   #8
Registered: Jul 2002
Distribution: Debian, Kubuntu, Arch
Posts: 116

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Would you recommend the product? no | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 6

Pros: Optimized install with very up to date applications. Very helpful community. Lots of online documentation.
Cons: Compiles everything, install takes forever even with broadband. Package system can be unstable.

I decided to try Gentoo after reading all the glowing comments by users. The general idea behind Gentoo is very admirable but the reality falls a little short. Compiling everthing from scratch offers the ultimate optimization and you install only what you want. Even if you have a new box with broadband the install will take many hours. Once I got it working it was a very nice and current system. After a month or so I did a distribution wide update and all my init scripts got completely hosed! This is a very promising distribution that should get better with time but right now it's not for me. I have a life and don't want to spend endless hours installing packages. Maybe when 6ghz processors are available I'll try it again :)
Old 06-27-2003, 12:24 PM   #9
Registered: Apr 2003
Distribution: Diff
Posts: 440

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10

Pros: Its great and emerge is the best thing ever
Cons: do not work any time i install it

I dont use gentoo but i installed slack base with stage1 gentoo 1.4_rc4 and emerge
works perfectly.
the reason that i dont use gentoo but love it is that every time there is somthing wrong
but my Sentoo 1.0 is working great so im going to use it for a while
but after that maybe i give gentoo another try


Old 07-25-2003, 04:04 AM   #10
Registered: Jun 2001
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 569

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Would you recommend the product? no | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 6

Pros: up-to-date
Cons: incoherent, lacks infrastructure, gets ahead of itself

Gentoo seems to be a distribution selling things to people who don't realize that the things that they are buying can be had in other, much smarter and more mature ways. It touts customization and optimization as well as being one of the most up to date distributions. It does do these things quite well, but at a cost. That cost is that (realistically speaking) you have to compile everything. Yes, there is a smattering of support for binary packages, but have fun finding mirrors for binary packages of all of the latest and greatest software. Let's take a look at what goes wrong with each of the selling points and/or why they aren't unique to Gentoo or why they are poorly done in Gentoo.

Customization - you can choose compile time options, build architecture, etc. for all software that you install.
Okay, first of all, compile-time options should be used sparingly. Software (well, well-written software) these days is written with plugin architectures mainly, and you simply need to load whatever module you want for whatever support you need. Poorly-done software does this hackishly through compile-time options, but that's the Wrong Way(tm) to do it in 99% of cases. The better solution is to just have a baseline binary package with all the separate plugins in separate packages for granular control. This makes effective "feature removal" easy, easier in fact, than if you do things via compile-time options. Build architecture actuall falls more into the next category...

Optimization - specify compiler flags to your liking, etc.
What most Gentoo users fail to recognize (in my experience) is that an overwhelming majority of the programs that they use daily are not at all CPU-bound. If it weren't for the constant compiling that Gentoo users do, I'd say that in all likelihood that their CPU is probably practically idle 98% of the time. So, the 2% of the time you ARE cramming instructions through the CPU, sure the optimizations probably do help. Maybe even as much as a 10% increase (though I wouldn't bet on it). The real solution to this problem? Profile and optimize. Every good programmer should know this. Premature optimization is awful in programming, as it should be considered in building packages. If you find that a certain package spends a lot of time on CPU-intensive tasks, optimize that one. The rest ... just use precompiled binaries from elsewhere targeted at your architecture's baseline instruction set.

Up-to-date - ebuilds are often updated day-of or mere days after a product release is made
This is generally (but not always) true. The biggest problem with this is that the Gentoo ebuilds go through little to no QA process whatsoever. There's no guarantee that an ebuild that hits the Gentoo mirror is even syntactically correct. They have no test automation for ebuild checking in place. And since one of the selling points is the up-to-date nature of the distribution, developers seem to want to hit it so bad that sometimes ebuilds get rushed out the door and simply don't work. While this problem can never be completely solved, at least several automated tests can be done first to verify that at least the ebuild is syntactically correct, and that it builds correctly.

Source distributions in general are pretty hokey and offer no real advantages that can't be had in a binary distribution that supports customization of binary packages via source downloads and patches (and then rebuilding of the package).
Old 09-23-2003, 01:37 AM   #11
Registered: Sep 2003
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 3

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 10

Pros: Fast, easy to use.
Cons: Broadband connection required.

I have been using UNIX and Linux for many years now. I have used Mandrake, SuSe, Redhat all of which have pros and cons. I particularly like Yast2 from SuSe for installation of the system. But I was introduced to gentoo about a year ago and haven't looked back since. The first time I installed the distribution was a little unstable during installation and took me 3 days to install. I now run gentoo on several machine (Dual MP 2000, Celeron 900, Thunderbird 900, various Pentium Class machines from I to IV).
A typical server with NFS, Samba, Apache, NIS, takes a couple of hour to install now (the complile time is not included, I leave the compliation alone overnight).
I have convinced a good many friends to install gentoo. I have installed a private gentoo rsync mirror so that I and my friends can install Gentoo from my server without downloading everything from the net each time.

I did some performance tests.
Dual MP 2000, 1GB DDR266, IBM ATA100 40GB Disk.

SuSe 8.1 Pro Power on to KDE Login 3 mins 47 seconds
Gentoo 1.4rcX Power on to KDE Login 59 seconds

Ok SuSe does a Hardware scan which accounts for nearly 60 seconds but even so!!

On my server and main machines I use the stable packages (ACCEPT_KEYWORDS="x86") but on the MP2000 machine I use the latest packages (ACCEPT_KEYWORDS="~x86"),

Use the latest packages can sometimes lead to problems such as it doesn't compile, it doesn't work, but thats the fun of Linux, finding the bugs and submitting the fixes.

I hope you see the Gentoo Light and convert, it's the best decision I have made with regards to a distribution. :)

Old 10-09-2003, 10:31 PM   #12
Registered: Jul 2003
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 282

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 10

Pros: Total control of the operating system, very easy to stay up-to-date
Cons: heeemmm

I started using Linux with RedHat 7.x, but I got tired of so many troubles to intall a single program, so I tried SuSE which worked pretty good. One day a teacher of mine at the university where I studiy, mentioned me about gentoo. I tried to install it following the x86 installation guide, it worked out great. I just love it, it's very easy to upgrade, you only need to tell what program you want and the emerge command installs the program and dependencies. You only install what you need. I learned many impostant things about linux just by installing gentoo.
Great Distro
Old 11-29-2003, 07:02 PM   #13
Registered: Feb 2003
Distribution: PCLinuxOS
Posts: 485

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 8

Pros: FAST!!!!!
Cons: Steep initial learning curve -- initial install can be difficult -- you need either a fast connection or a mate with a DVD writer and a fast connection!

I had been using Mandrake for just under a year, and had upgraded from 9.0 to 9.1 in that time. I connect to the internet using NTL cable connected via ethernet. My mobo is an Asus A7N266VM which means that I use nForce drivers. As soon as I added the nForce drivers to Mandrake 9.1 I had problems, I don't know why this was I could never find anyone on the net with the same problem. Using the latest nForce driver or one of the official Mandrake kernel upgrades caused the system to go into staccato mode, playing back sound or a motion game like pinball was impossible! From other people's experiences, the problem was not my mobo, Mandrake or nVidia, I think the problem was the combined effect of all three. I thought I would create a spare partition and install another Linux. From what I read everywhere, Gentoo seemed the most attractive prospect.

Man was I in for a shock! In the first week I had to recompile the kernel (first time), copy XF86Config from Mandrake and adjust it, consult the Gentoo forum over and again, (the initial KDE build neglected to include 'libpcre' needed amongst other things for Konqueror to render HTML pages,) change my USE flags and recompile programs (DVD support is not a "standard" user flag) learn all sorts of things that Mandrake did for me, but by the end of week two, I had a running system. I had to build my own "/etc/fstab" and find out how to allow a root terminal to access a user's GUI. And loads more.

Hard bit over, all I have to do now is open a terminal as root and type "emerge programname" to download a new program. There is an effort to build a GUI version of this called "kportage" which sadly does not work at this time, however it does give you a "tree" list of what's available and I find it useful for that purpose. Between "emerge" and "kportage", Mandrake's Software Update system is covered, but nothing like as slick!

Gentoo, despite being US based, are less shy about including "certain" packages than Mandrake. For example, if you include the DVD flag in your build, programs that need "libdvdcss" will automatically include it as a dependency and it will be downloaded and built. So all the great extra stuff I got from PLF and Texstar under Mandrake I get direct from Gentoo. And more.

The problems I had with media programs like sound players, plus Kino and Cinelerra, which struggled to operate under Mandrake, are absent in Gentoo, they all work well. Open Office 1.1 loads in 15 seconds cold, or 5 seconds if it has been run during the session already.

Despite certain negative comments in other reviews, I am not forever compiling and recompiling, though if that was what gave me pleasure, I could. I have also "nicked" a few icons, wallpapers, fonts and cursors from Mandrake that were absent from Gentoo builds. But now I have a beautifully running system, it looks just like my beloved Mandrake setup, but it is faster and more stable.

The reason I mark Gentoo as "Great" and not "Excellent" is that it is difficult to set up, and had I not gained a lot of knowledge with Mandrake, I could never have done it.

Mandrake is "Linux for the Masses" and is a great distro in its own right. I can see it developing into a real replacement for Windows as the code and programs available mature. Gentoo is faster, leaner, more stable, and, provided you are able to make it work for you, it is better. It is now the one for me, however, I don't think it is for everyone.

If you are making the switch from Windows, you can load Windows but not really mess about with the setup, stick to Mandrake you won't go far wrong. If you can get under the skin of your old OS, and make it work for you, then Gentoo is the one for you.

Old 12-19-2003, 09:14 PM   #14
Registered: Aug 2001
Distribution: Gentoo 1.4+
Posts: 195

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 10

Pros: Fast and Optimized. Portage makes it easy to install and update your system
Cons: Compiling takes a long time on slower systems. It is not designed to be user friendly.

First I would like to say I love gentoo. Having said that gentoo is definitly not for everyone. I would not recommend gentoo to anyone who is not an intermediate linux user at least. Before gentoo I have been switch back and forth between Mandrake and Redhat for a couple of years. I even tried SUSE but really never gave it a chance. The reason I decided to go with gentoo is I hated to have to always to fresh installs (or upgrades) every time a new version of mandrake or redhat came out. As long as you emerge sync && emerge -u world every so often then your upto date. The second reason why I chose gentoo was because if you install the wrong set of packages you can really destroy your system with redhat and mandrake. With gentoo I made some big errors with installing some wrong packages but it was so much easier to fix than with Mandrake and Redhat which hide about half of the configuration scripts. So far my system runs about twice as fast as with Mandrake and four times as fast with redhat. I have really been happy with this distro.

If your not a patient person willing to read a ton of documentation then this distro is not for you, but if you don't mind the steep learning curve at the begging the rewards are well worth the trouble. Also I would definitly recommend looking into distcc if your going to compile stuff on an old computer, it really speeds up the installs.
Old 01-04-2004, 01:58 AM   #15
Registered: Dec 1969
Posts: 0

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Would you recommend the product? no | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 4

Pros: Did not use it long enough to get to those.
Cons: Lots of effort to figure out how to get your stuff like sound, opengl, x server configurations etc to work.

I am a Suse Linux user since last few months and have been a linux user off and on.

I decided to try this as I had a 2 week X'Mas break and a pal of mine said Gentoo was great. Well I have a Dell Dimension and I could not get :
1. KDE to have the right colours (after messing a whole day with this
2. Trouble compling OpenGL code.
3. Sound still does not work (I have a Soundblaster Card).
4. The documentation is not that great if you beat off the trodden path.

Basically, it might be nice to slug it out with Gentoo if you have all the time but my new sem start 2 days from now and I need something that I know will work.I dont want to be fighting my OS and the assignments at the same time ! So I guess I'll give Mandrake a shot and try Gentoo later maybe. It's nice and is used all over our campus.

Overall, I would say try Gentoo when you have time.
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