No More Gentoo

Over the past month I have been getting to grips with using Fedora 14 on my Laptop, Netbook and Desktop. The install replaces the previous Gentoo installs. My primary reason for switching distribution has been updates and time. To keep machines upto date with security patches Gentoo needed to recompile alot of packages in some cases. This for some things could take time to compile and compile errors would sometimes occur. When things didn't compile it sometimes broke the system in such a way that it would be unusable until it was fixed, this could mean waiting a day or so, especially with the compiling errors. So enough was enough, Fedora with its pre-compiled binary packages was the answer.

Fedora by comparison still updates most days but the packages, being pre-compiled, only take as long to update as it is for them to download and install. This can be in 10-15mins rather than hours for Gentoo. This means I can have my system upto date and still be able to get on with an actual task rather than trying to find fixes. Fedora 14 is not without its flaws, currently my laptop which had been running Fedora 13 has lost the ability to dim the LCD, not a big flaw but its nice to have reduced glare with tired eyes. On the desktop the proprietary AMD/ATI still isn't easily installed without possibly breaking the system this means I lack 3D enhancements to the desktop. That said on install it chose a 2D driver, set the screen resolution correctly and otherwise was the easiest install of an operating system I have ever done.

The community side to Fedora is a little alien, having been used to the focused Gentoo community forum and a handful of 3rd party websites. Fedora likes its wikis but they don't seem to contain the information that I need to use. Maybe this is something I can contribute to in the future but for now its a minor annoyance.

On the netbook Fedora has been a real success, no major issues, it just works. Removing the need to do lengthy updates and compiling on the atom processor has made it easier to use more regularly.

Niggles aside, I like Fedora. I miss some aspects of Gentoo but that might be down to having spent so many years using it and having configured it alot myself. So I'm going to give Fedora a good chance, any distro that can setup a fingerprint scanner automatically and tie it into authentication for applications is a winner in my book.

6 Replies to “No More Gentoo”

  1. IMO Gentoo is fast while you compile packages by yourself that perfectly fit your machine. Stability is good too even at start, you still have to configure most of things. Gentoo needs a lot of time spent on compiling, but results are good. I’ve used Ubuntu, needless to say its very basic, all you can do just by clicking. I’m not using Gentoo itself but Calculate Linux Desktop, which is based and compatible with it, I’m impressed and don’t even think on switching. Maybe ArchLinux someday, but not yet. Consider using Sabayon too, also based on Gentoo but has binary precompiled packages too. There are a lot of choices.
    I would never use RPM package based system, maybe Fedora, it is getting a shine back nowadays, but in most RPM based distros package management is poor. Debian (stable) isn’t that bad too. I’m personally using Linux for desktop, but for server I would choose Debian or Gentoo.

  2. Forgot to say, with fglrx driver from Calculate I have 46FPS in World of Warcraft via Wine. On Ubuntu I had like 16FPS on lower details. Gentoo is well optimised. Ubuntu/Mint use Jockey for installing drivers automatically.

  3. I’m looking at trying out Funtoo as I have a spare machine. It’s linked to Gentoo but with a focus on the core packages. Not really looked at Calculate Linux. Arch I’m wary of due to the fact that the packages are not all signed. This means that the integrity of the packages on the mirrors cannot be confirmed. That is my reason for staying away from it.

    Fedora continues to work for me. I miss some aspects of a fully customised install but I can sit at a Fedora machine and have it work most of the time. There are issues around the times of the releases but aside from that it just works for me. Gentoo too worked most of the time but I spent more time waiting for programs to compile before I could use them. Add to that the fact that a package could break and require fixing. I spent more time updating/fixing than using.

    AMD/ATI graphics drivers have always been problematic. I don’t use my system for many games and I have found, especially with Gnome 3 that the open source driver has been more reliable for my 6850.
    On a server I can agree with using Debian or Gentoo. Debian mainly for stability and Gentoo for newer features.

  4. Always https://www.sabayon.org/
    Sabayon is a beginner-friendly Gentoo-based open-source Linux distribution. We aim to deliver the best “out of the box” user experience by providing the latest …

    Gives pebuilt Gentoo packages , bin package manager that rides atop Gentoo Subsystem.. however you can one off a few packages as needed. also with Chef / salt /ansible etc.. jenkins one can watch git repo, is repo updated no….
    if yes build …. else snoze…

    equo up && equo u ,

  5. layman -a sabayon && layman -a sabayon-distro

    emerge equo entropy (rigo if you want the gui)

    equo rescue spmsync (copy world into packagedb. )

    equo up && equo u
    25-30 mins system would have converted over.

    I build that which i need. via emerge , but if its a run of the mill , xfce etc .. i let the build servers do thus such.

  6. There have been many changes since I wrote the original article over 6 years ago. Sabayon has in that time evolved into an alternative option. The underlying reason for my change was compilation time and keeping multiple machines up to date. Fedora has served me well following the change over from Gentoo.

    I have given some thought to giving Gentoo another chance. AMD’s Ryzen processors with the high core/thread count make compiling a system a shorter process. I might give Gentoo another look in a VM at some point.

    Stability and security is what I need for a primary system. Fedora gives me that at present.

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