Farewell, Gentoo?

Story: Gentoo 2007.1 Cancelled, Foundation & Newsletter discussedTotal Replies: 2
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Jan 15, 2008
11:30 PM EDT
I certainly hope not. I guess I would qualify as an early adopter, having switched in 2002 from Mandrake 9 to Gentoo 1.4. I never looked back. But the folks at Gentoo seem rudderless lately, and the last few releases, in my opinion, have been less than stellar. After the novelty of editing my own xorg.conf file wore off (I actually fried a monitor, which was the last straw), I really wanted the best of both worlds, e.g. a Gentoo distro with a graphical installation. Gentoo provided that...except the graphical installer was so buggy it rarely worked, even after its third release. And so the only real gem left in gentoo was portage, and the freedom I felt it provided. But then portage started to show its age, too.

I'm starting to wonder if I'm one those guys...you know, the guys who absolutely loved ArchLinux, or Mac OS 7, or Windows 3.1, and just can't conceive of anything better, despite obvious alternatives.

I don't use Gentoo for the geeky reasons that a lot of people use it for. I don't care about the benefits of code compiled specifically for your machine. I honestly don't notice a huge difference. The 'prelink' application was initially an eye-opener in terms of speed....in 2002; but now every distro prelinks everything. I used Gentoo because I could tailor my system exactly as I wanted it, and it was WAY less complicated than LFS. An intermediate/newbie could, with some effort, install Gentoo.

For the record, I've already sort of moved on. I've been using Sabayon (a gentoo derivative) for about six months now, and I'm more than happy. It uses the Anaconda graphical installer, comes preconfigured with CompizFusion, and it *just works*. It's the kind of distro that makes me say "why didn't the gentoo guys do this in the first place?" But I don't know how great Sabayon's future is without the Gentoo codebase.

I hope Gentoo rebounds from this leadership crisis that they've been going through for quite a while now, and that they continue to remain relevant.

Jan 16, 2008
1:51 PM EDT
Quoting:An intermediate/newbie could, with some effort, install Gentoo.

I did it as a newbie, and as long as you can read the installation documents and take / have the time for it, any newbie could do probably do it.

Quoting:The 'prelink' application was initially an eye-opener in terms of speed....in 2002; but now every distro prelinks everything.

Indeed, Gentoo used to be cutting edge, but today it's considered conservative. The packages-section of the website going down and not finding in the Gentoo newsletter what the reasons for those decision were, because there was no newsletter, made me decide I should try another distro as well, just to be safe in the future. Tired of compiling, I'll also stop using it.

Portage once was innovative, but right now everybody knows the concept it seems, and it is bloated as well. Everyone having read through the USE-flags recently will agree probably, and the portage code is so complex / is such a mess it is almost impossible to reliably add new features or change code in general.

Portage's problems and an alternative to portage are discussed here:


I'd hope the ones not wishing to argue are gathering together and throw out the ones who only argue, and otherwise just fork the project, because it's really sad to see it nearly came to a halt. The recent popularity of Sabayon shows Gentoo has a future.

Any experiences with Entropy yet? Haven't tried it.

Jan 16, 2008
8:40 PM EDT
No, I've been a complete chickensh*t in regards to Entropy. But I'm going to give it a try soon, because they have binary packages for KDE 3.5.8 and some other things that Gentoo still hasn't gotten around to marking stable yet.

I'd be interested in trying Paludis, too, but I have to admit that I'm weary of trying alternative packaging systems for Gentoo because the support isn't there. Any time I had an issue with portage, the Gentoo forums were extremely quick to provide help.

That's the one thing I'll miss about Gentoo the most. I've never encountered a more knowledgable userbase. It really shows on the forums.

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