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September 21, 2003

Up to Speed with Gentoo

Over the past week I've rebuilt my first Linux box since deciding that my distro preference was most likely switching from Redhat to Gentoo. It's been a convincing experience.

I had ample time to get the machine rebuilt, and thought that at least the first time I should build from scratch using the stage 1 tarball. It took a long time to bootstrap (let it run overnight), but in the end it felt good to have built everything from source.

Just as rewarding as having complete optimization was getting the os running in such a bare-bones state, knowing exactly what was on the machine. I had to pause for a moment before installing additional applications to enjoy the simplicity of an initial install.

This is my first experience with a ports system, Portage is quite nice. Makes it incredibly easy to get up to date packages with all necessary dependancies. Was disheartened to see that installing emacs involved 35 dependancy packages, there goes the oh-so-clean-and-simple os.

I wonder how people who are using Gentoo for a production environment are managing the updates? Through Portage? Can I be sure it's always doing the right thing?

Gentoo's document makes the install process simple considering the user is doing most things from scratch. Just follow directions. Even if a person decides it's too much work I think it's worth at least one install just to get a good sense of everything that goes into installing and getting Linux running.

Posted by mike at September 21, 2003 11:45 PM