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Distribution Watch: Gentoo Linux 1.2: Getting Better Every Day
Back in the Saddle with Gentoo
July 10, 2002
I admit it: I have a soft spot for Gentoo Linux. I'm not sure if it's because it's the shiny new kid on the block, or its focus on a part of the Linux market that was fairly ignored before (distribution-wise). Maybe it's just the excitement and energy that tends to surround any new project. Who knows.
The ratings system gets awkward here as well. Once you've got Gentoo Linux up and running it's wonderfully fast. The installation, however, can take hours and hours with all of the compiling you have to do. I don't mind it, and any developer who chooses this distribution for their work platform probably doesn't mind either, especially since the folks at Gentoo don't try to hide what's involved in the installation process.
I also go easier (ratings-wise) on a newer product. Since Gentoo is early generation I still give them some slack for not having my old lab machine supported. Considering that the other Linux machine, which comes from the same time period, installed without a single problem, I figure that balances out.
As interest in this distribution grows, so does the number of platforms it supports. The last time I reviewed this product it only supported the PC architecture. Today you can install Gentoo Linux not only on a PC, but also on PowerPC machines, Sparc machines, and Sparc 64 boxes. This article focuses on the PC version.
The minimal hardware requirements for the PC realm haven't changed. You still need only a 486 with 64MB of RAM. Even so, the usual rules of faster CPU and more RAM being pretty nice still apply.
So, let's take a look at Gentoo Linux 1.2 and see how far it's come.