Man.... I've just gotta say something. I was originally going to IM this to a good friend of mine (Steve), but decided that it was going to my blog.
I recently (about 10 minutes ago) got a pop3 server going on my home-server on my gentoo box (heh.. all of my boxen are gentoo.... What...? I'm not a zealot! Serious!)
Anyway.. When I finished installing it (took me a day and a half, working about 10 minutes every hour on it), I started wondering why I use gentoo, when people who use other distros can usually achieve the same result in like.... 10 seconds or less.
Here are my reasons:
- Even though it takes a bit longer to install things on gentoo, when I'm done - I know loads more about performing that specific installation than I would have if I had just clicked "Install some junk" on a GUI. Therefore - I'm in a better position to troubleshoot situations that might arise.
- Gentoo has everything in portage. Try installing PHP5 on SLES9. Have fun. Heh... I even found out that doing so voids any support you might receive from Novell, anyway.... That's a bit off-topic, but... this is my blog, so go play in the freeway if it offends you. (Or, if you're having a hard time even understanding my point, then.... Join the crowd. I don't either)
- No dealing with any RPM dependency crud (barring the 1% that happens everywhere you go). No dealing with "Hey... I need javabean support in postgres, but the RPM is compiled without it.... What do I do?" Instead, you just add "USE="javabean" emerge postrges" and you're done. end of story. (Yes. I know javabean support isn't available in postgres. Heck... I don't even know what a javabean is.... In fact... I made it up. Go eat some brocoli, ya leaf-eater.)
- Installation assumes you know what you're doing. This is great because it makes me feel like I know what I'm doing. Nevermind the fact that it took me 3 days to get the BASE installation right while anyone can slap fedora core on their box in a matter of 15.3 seconds. It also assumes you know what you want to install. If ya don't want a GUI, it's not there to begin with. And, instead of sorting through a train-load of RPMS that you DON'T want to install, you simply think "Hey... I want to install some crud!" and then you type "emerge -s some_crud" and find out how to do it. Building ground-up instead of trying to take apart a sky-scraper one particle at a time - hoping no dependencies get broken - seems like a more accepted philosophy to the rest of the world.... Why not in Linux?
- Hardware-based code optimization, baby. Ya got a pentium 4? Optimize your entire OS for it from the ground-up. Ya got an athlon? Same deal. 64-bit? No problem. Pentium-M? Go for it! Complete control.
- I have complete control.
- I doesn't feel as rough coming out, and tastes great going in.
- Did I mention complete control? Why yes... I did.
Anyway... Those are a few reasons from the top of my head of why I love Gentoo. The more I use it, the more I want to hug it and squeeze it and call it George. George is my SGL now. Sorry, Steve.