RIP Gentoo

Kimball Larsen kimball at kimballlarsen.com
Wed Jan 23 08:58:08 MST 2008


On Jan 23, 2008, at 8:25 AM, Jeff Schroeder wrote:

> Jeff asked:
>
>> Has anyone else had any struggles with choosing (or un-choosing) a
>> distro?
>
> I was a Red Hat user for many years back in the 90's, and one day I  
> woke
> up and felt like they'd become too corporate.  They were all
> about "enterprise this" and "support contract that" and the easygoing
> leading-edge stuff was gone.  Even today, I work with some companies
> who use RHEL and tell me they can't upgrade to, say, PHP 5 because
> it's "too bleeding edge" and the repositories don't support that kind
> of craziness and whatever.  (I realize this isn't entirely true, but
> that's the perception these guys get and I think RHEL pushes
> that "stability and security" thing enough that people feel like they
> can't run recent packages as a result.)
>
> I've experimented with several distros, including Gentoo and even a
> roll-your-own that I built myself based on Linux from Scratch, but for
> the last few years I've been a happy Kubuntu user.  They're bleeding
> edge and have an element of fun about them.
>
> $0.02,
> Jeff
>

I've been around several linux distros as well - I cut my teeth on  
RedHat 5.x back in the day on my parent's 486.  Later, I bought my  
first mac (back in the OS 8.6 days) and slapped yellowdog, then  
mandrake on it.  Both had positive aspects - but then I was  
particularly interested in hardware support for my particular  
machine.  Then one day the sun shined down on me and I was introduced  
to Debian.  Hands down, the reason I loved Debian was the package  
management.  apt saved my bacon more times than I care to remember,  
and I was a hardcore debian user for several years.  Then OS X came  
along and got to where it did not suck much (round about 10.2) and I  
switched back to it full time on my personal machine, but kept debian  
on all the servers I admin.

Then Ubuntu came along, and I again felt like the heavens parted and  
angels sang, etc.  See, my biggest beef with Debian has always been a  
perception that the packages in it are old, outdated, and way too  
conservative.  Now, I realize that it is that way on purpose, but  
sometimes I wanted or needed bleeding edge, and am not much of a fan  
of compiling my own junk outside of apt.  Ubuntu brought the awesome  
package management of Debian plus the bleeding edge I crave.   
Additionally the support that is available on their site is awesome -  
I frequently learn new and interesting ways to do things from their  
user contributed docs.

Ubuntu is all I use on any of the Linux boxen I admin these days, and  
I've been VERY happy with it.

In short, items I look for are:
Recent builds of the items I need
Package Management That Doesn't Suck™
Hardware compatibility

Ubuntu does that for me.

-- Kimball 




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