RIP Gentoo

blr at blr at
Wed Jan 23 09:26:01 MST 2008

> On Wed, 2008-01-23 at 08:25 -0700, Jeff Schroeder wrote:
> I'm sorry, but this sort of attitude bugs me. Let me guess, you're a
> developer? As a general rule, developers don't seem to understand the
> world of system administrators. I know, I've been both.

Me too.  But for me the distinction is between server and desktop.  I
started out with RedHat 3.03, and I've tried a LOT of distros over the
years.  A few years ago I had an 80GB drive in my desktop machine with 8
partitions for trying out distros.

> If you want to be bleeding edge, Kubuntu is fine. So are Fedora and
> openSUSE.

Exactly.  I still like Fedora because (among other things), package
management with yum is essentially as good as debian.  And as long as you
pick ONE 3rd party repo (freshrpms, livna, atrpms) and stick to it, it's
pretty rare for the average user to need to build anything.

> Red Hat, Novel and Canonical would be crazy to upgrade a previously
> shipped enterprise releases from PHP4 to PHP5. Especially with PHP's
> poor history of backwards compatibility. You the customer are free to
> upgrade your own systems by hand and support it yourself, but unless
> it's a core part of your competitive advantage it's probably a poor
> investment. It's not as simple as compile and forget, you're committing
> yourself to either stay on the upgrade treadmill for years or backport
> fixes by hand. Insane.

So true.  Where I work we pay for RedHat to run our Oracle clusters.  For
lots of other servers we run CentOS because we don't really need any
hand-holding or emergency support.  And those of us who run Linux on their
desktop use Fedora.  The RedHat universe provides the supported corporate
model that makes the suits happy, the free community supported model that
make my administration cheap, easy and reliable, and the bleeding edge
desktop so I can use the latest, GNOME, etc.  With a fair amount of
consistency (even though consistency is frequently overrated).

I like debian on servers, too.  But it's just different enough that some
of my less Linux-familiar bosses who occasionally need to log in to a
server have a  hard time with it.  So in the name of consistency over the
right tool for the job, all our servers are RH or CentOS.  It's easier to
make a lean, mean, minimal server with debian than CentOS, but not by much
any more.


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