Why I choose Gentoo

At the start of the year I was a happy Fedora RC1 user… But now I am a very happy Gentoo user. Here I just hope to document the features that made me change distros.

Previous Distrobutions

Corel Linux 1.0 – My Linux journey started back in 1999 with the release or Corel Linux which has since turned into Xandros. It came as a cover CD to PC User one month and sported an old version of KDE, I really can’t remeber anything else about what packages came with this Distribution. The reason I did install it was that it could be installed onto a Windows, FAT, partition. Which was the only “safe” way for me to install Linux on my parents PII. It took about 2 hours to install and chose to use a boot disk instead of putting LILO in the MBR as so not to upset my mother. However once it was installed I spent maybe 2 hours in Linux total before un-installing it. The reason was that the computer had a WinModem in it; that is a modem that preforms some of it’s functions with the CPU ie. with software. These types of modems rarely work in Linux because the manufactures don’t want to release company secrets so that someone could write the drivers and back in 1999 basically no WinModem would work. So I said goodbye to Linux :(.

Red Hat 7.1 – Then in 1st year Uni I decided to buy a Linux handbook from my local Newsagent it came with Red Hat 7.1, I was really excited and read the whole handbook on the train trip from Bendigo to Melbourne. However when I put it in to boot it up I found that the drivers included for the install for my GeForce 2MX were not included. So I was faced with a text based install not with the nice graphical one. Being a Windows GUI junky I was too scared that I would break my computer to go any further. So RH 7.1 was a complete no go for me.

Mandrake 8.1 – Then finally I got my hands on Mandrake 8.1, which I got from a guy I was living with at the time along with Staroffice 5.2. After partitioning my system with PartitionMagic I got it installed no worries at all. And here I was happy. Here I installed both “KDE”http://www.kde.org/ and Gnome which is where I eventually decieded taht I liked Gnome the best, even though it was 1.4 and slow etc. I just liked it better than KDE and I haven’t had KDE installed since.

Mandrake 8.2 – When Mandrake 8.2 was released I bought a boxed copy from EverythingLinux I was very excited when it arrived I read the hefty book that was included and got it installed. I had a new install and booting interface which looked very nice. It introduced me to Frozen Bubble one of my all time favourite games. But it had one huge flaw, gcc was broken. Which ment I couldn’t compile any program I wanted from source. I didn’t go looking for a patch however I just gave up on Mandrake all together.

Red Hat 7.2-7.3 – I got a copy of Red Hat 7.2 which I installed but not for very long because I went back down to my local newsagent and got RH 7.3 because I couldn’t find it anywhere else. Again I was happy because I stepped away from the Mandrake way of doing things and stepped into the more generic Linux way of doing things, or so I thought.

Red Hat 8.0-9 – Then for me came RH 8.0 which I also bought from EverythingLinux, it came with Gnome 2.0 which further cemeted my love for Gnome. I ended up breaking this when I tried to upgrade XFree86 to version 4.3.0 by source which needed me to upgrade glibc as well which completely broke it, how was I to know that everything was so tightly coupled to this library :roll:. Well I then left it and downloaded RH 9 when it was released a couple of days later and was happy there.

Fedora RC1 – When Red Hat stepped away from their free desktop solution I followed and continued with their next inclanation, Fedora. I was happy here but time finaly came for the change to Gentoo.


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  • Anonymous

    August 9, 2004


  • Duncan

    August 15, 2004

    Ah a fellow Gentoo and WordPress user I see :smile:
    My own path to Gentoo was slightly different, I also started my GNU journey in my first year of varsity. Begining with RH 7.1 then though to SuSE 8.0 then through to RH 9.0. I tried out Gentoo shortly after that and liked it except that sans broadband I was a bit stuck. I then shifted to Slackware 9.1 which agreed with my taste for compiling things so it was with a touch of sadness (which soon passed) that I said goodbye to Slackware for Gentoo when we finaly got connected.

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