April 20, 2014

Distribution Watch: Gentoo Linux - page 5

Introducing Gentoo Linux 1.1a

  • April 15, 2002
  • By Dee-Ann LeBlanc

Okay, I have a few issues with Gentoo Linux 1.1a. I don't mind having to go through all the commands. After all, this is a distribution for developers and if you want close control over your system you have to give up on some of the flashy widgets, so I expected that. The documentation is even pretty good, though I got to trusting it too much and didn't read the very fine print in the kernel compilation section, causing myself some headaches by not including features that Gentoo requires.

Now, with all that said, one of my biggest beefs is that I had to do a lot of things multiple times even if the install went perfectly right. I have to edit /etc/fstab to set it up manually after I went through the trouble of setting up the filesystem the way I wanted it during the installation, I have to set up the Ethernet card module information in a file after I went through the trouble of activating it manually, and there are a lot of other bits and pieces that really should be a bit better taken care of behind the scenes.

Obviously my biggest problem with Gentoo Linux 1.1a was that it just didn't get along with my test machine. That part's forgivable for such a young distribution, but after spending a good amount of time popping in and out of the rescue state trying to get everything fixed I have to say that I don't think Gentoo is quite there yet. I'll give it another try when the next version comes out.

You might think after losing so much time on this one I'd dislike Gentoo, but actually, I think this distribution is one to watch for the developer community. It's got some bugs to iron out but the Portage tool in and of itself makes adding packages from source pretty simple, when it works! If you're a developer or are just very fond of distributions where you basically roll your own, then you might want to check this one out. Hopefully it will get along better with your hardware than it did with mine.

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