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Why I love Gentoo Linux

2015-07-20 21:15:57
People who know me might think I'm a total nerd, hacking around and stuff. After all, I'm just simplifying things. And that is the reason why I love Gentoo Linux.
I have told this story many times but never published it like this:

I got started with Linux back when I was in 11th grade I think. A school mate told me to try it out, and that was when Fedora Core 1 was just released in a beta-ish stage. It was pretty horrible, because I was presented with a GUI without proper resolution nor hardware acceleration. I played around with it and couldn't get it to work nicely. So I tossed it away after a while.
Years later I got myself a NAS (Network Attached Storage), a Buffalo LinkStation. I could gain shell access and do some stuff with it, but I didn't know what I was really doing mostly. When the NAS died (stupid thing - the cause might have been the improper firmware I was using or other random circumstancea), it's been another couple of years until I heard about Linux again.

This time it was a fellow student at university who is now a good friend of mine. He recommended me to go with Ubuntu first and see how it works. And to be honest, that was a big, big disaster once again. I was facing an even more complicated GUI than I had ever seen (named Unity), and after trying to install the software I actually wanted (that is, Sage for some courses where we used it to break crypto), I was unsatisfied again. It took me only a short amount of time to break the system by mixing a mere dozen repos. In summary: I hate distros that are based on hundreds of binary repos and don't officially feature what you actually need. That is true for about every rpm- or deb-based distro out there.

My friend then said that Gentoo Linux ( https://gentoo.org ) would be real hardcore, tough work and hard to get through maybe, but highly customizable. Hell, bullocks. It's the simplest, most convenient, most stable system I've ever seen in my entire life! I just write some stupid, simple text files (KISS), and the system builds an entire world of software packages for me (that's the terminology). And it has never, ever failed or broken anything. Isn't that amazing? Portage, the ports/package manager behind the scenes, is such awesome in resolving dependencies, and the Gentoo folks are writing insanely great ebuilds (package descriptions) so that I can just lie back and have my machine build a bunch of like >500 packages for me without trouble, just like today. I'm now upgrading my system after about a month break. It works like a charm!

On my laptops I am using Arch Linux nowadays because it has binary repos (very few but rich ones though!) and is similarly convenient when building packages locally. I say: CoC to me means "Convenience over Complication"!

I've written some few package descriptions for both Arch and Gentoo. You can find them on GitHub ( https://github.com/cyrevolt ) or even in the AUR, the Arch User Repository.