Distribution of the Week: Gentoo Linux

This is another of the Linux distributions that is doing very well for itself and has a considerably large community. The name basically comes from a different species of penguin called Gentoo, as we all know Tux the Penguin is the self imposed mascot of the Linux world and this is basically where the name is also derived from. Now Gentoo is not a distribution for the average user. I’m not talking about the environment, the package manager, or the customization processes. I’m talking about its installation. Gentoo is not an easy system to install and takes a user that has been in the Linux world for a little while to be able to set it up. Gentoo did simplify the Live CD install process by adding a GTK based installer to the process. Still, this does not simplify things for an average user. One usually has to consult the Gentoo Handbook to go through this process.

Gentoo, like all Linux distributions, has a very sleek looking interface and is easily usable by the average user. This system, like Ubuntu, has many different flavors. Each comprising of a different desktop environment and usability. The system, although Debian based, does not use APT for its package managing. It uses a program called Portage, which like what the system is based on, compiles things from source code. Although this grants more power to the user over their packages, it is a slower process when installing packages and updates to the system. This is one of the major criticisms that is given to Gentoo, the fact that the installation processes take a lot longer than they should.

Again, although a great distribution, the system lacks a greater amount of speed during package installation that other distributions have perfected (so to speak). The system does offer a greater speed when using and implementing applications. The only that I believe that is affecting its rating as a distribution is its install phase.

Gentoo Project Website


~ by masterjs on January 30, 2008.

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