Team Murder No Brain No Headache.


I’m Guessing It’s Either Do This Or Die

Gentoo has always been sort of a mess if only because it's a completely moving target. I used it exclusively for a really long time and had a lot of fun both playing and working with it. I run Debian on anything that matters these days because I can't deal with important stuff being broken or inaccessible for months at a time while devs talk a bunch of shit to each other in bug reports. In my own experience, I've watched the instances of holy shit, portage is really broken rise rapidly over the past couple of years while the external interest about the project tanked completely because many of the kool nu Linux kids beat feet to Ubuntu when it rose to a fragment of its current flavor of the month status and a bunch of people being incredibly pissed off at each other isn't the best recruiting tool. Trust me on that. I've advised people who asked about running Gentoo not to bother now because the work done under the banner of the purple G is wildly inconsistent. I've always shied away from really advocating Gentoo because to me it was more of a really fun play/development distribution that could spiral rapidly out of control if you didn't pay attention than a stable point to jump off from.

Gentoo was a helluva lot more organized under drobbins and a fair number of folks seem to be adverse to his offer to take the wheel again before the whole project goes careening off a cliff. Take the offer, really. Gentoo formed an incredible community around it and without the stewardship that Daniel seemed to give the project all of that will disappear or be replaced by disappointed people clinging to the husk of a distribution run on resentment instead of getting shit done. I've yet to see a better answer for reversing the damage.

Later: I realized that this is going to come off very much like a insert item is dying post and I suppose it is of the more personal kind as I've completely lost interest in Gentoo as a user. I have no idea why I feel like to add a snippet of clarification but there it is...

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  1. I still run Gentoo here.

    In reality, stuff has always been intermittently broken with Gentoo. I haven’t myself noticed a change in stability or consistency in the 4 years I’ve been using it. I don’t really care about that because if I wanted a working computer I’d just reinstall OSX on my iBook. It just doesn’t matter that it’s broken.

    Gentoo’s strength is in portage. That sounds stupid, because I just admitted that it was broken, but hear me out. Portage allows semi-competent users (i.e. people who know how to use a terminal, but not something as complex as `ld`) the ability to compile from source and manipulate compile-time options via the USE variable. This allows for a huge flexibility for customizing the install, and it really shines when a new processor architecture comes out (First distro on x86_64 anyone?).

    That’s not why I use Gentoo though. I like it because it doesn’t try to strong arm me into either KDE or Gnome, and I can run a fully-functional system with a ridiculously low number of installed packages.

    So yeah, portage sometimes is broken. On the other hand, it’s the most flexible package management system I’ve ever used, short of ./config’ing everything yourself.

    Oh, almost forgot: GENTOO IS SO NOT DYING BLAAARGH!!

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