rjordan at numb.ca
Thu Nov 18 17:09:32 EST 2004
It would seem Matt R, on Thu, Nov 18, 2004 at 04:46:25PM -0500, wrote:
> IMO, gentoo is a nice OS. The only "special" thing about gentoo is the
> fact that you can build your whole system (except kernel) with your
> own CFLAGS and the like. Which "improves" speed (I haven't noticed any
> difference from what I had with slack9.1). Which adds time to the
> installation (if you go with a stage1). The gentools is a pretty good
> suite, ie etc-update updates the config files for the programs you
> download, but you can chose either to replace or not, the config file.
> There are a couple of other goodies, but like I said, it's main
> attraction is the complete compile of the system. The rest of the
> stuff you can find similar programs in other distros (apt-get,
One of the big benefits to "compile to whole thing from scratch";
is that you get the compile time options that are appropriate for
you (using USE flags). i.e. package X has optional package Y support.
In the binary world, you get
a) package maintainer's choice
b) compile support for everything (bloat!, increased attack surface)
c) Operating system policy choice
b) package defaults
So, Gentoo is really nice for things like alsa vs. oss; using .maildir
vs mbox; vim vs. emacs; console only vs. X support; and in general for
having smaller, faster binaries.
The other thing I like about Gentoo (and this is particularly compared
to Debian): their definition of stable is much saner (at least for me).
With Debian, choose rock solid and old, or new and broken. Gentoo's
stable is reasonably recent and (from my experience) just as stable
(as Debian stable).
Portage also makes it easy to run non-free packages such as java,
vmware, qmail, mplayer and others which can be annoying to setup with
other Linux distros.
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