I started using Gentoo linux for a few reasons:
- To learn the inner workings of linux, as opposed to glossing over them with ubuntu or some other “user-friendly” distro.
- To learn more about the software I use. Gentoo really lets you configure all the various features of the software that I use. Hooray configurability!
- Because it had great documentation, like the Gentoo wiki. I was using OpenSuSE at the time and I kept finding myself reading HOWTOs about Gentoo and applying them to OpenSuSE .
Anyway, now there’s all sorts of ruckus about the Gentoo Foundation being leaderless and maybe I’m just not paying attention, but I haven’t heard anything promising about that situation in a while. Also, the Gentoo wiki had a massive data loss due to an unexpected data center closure, and it hasn’t recovered since (it’s been a while now).
As for the other benefits of Gentoo, well, there are other power-user distros, even some that give you good package management that does its best to stay close to the source. I’m looking at Arch Linux at the moment. Arch Linux also does a ton of bleeding-edge software stuff, which I find myself doing a lot on Gentoo nowadays.
On that note I should mention very subjectively that recently in order to upgrade I’ve had to blindly work around a lot more issues than when I started out. One could argue that it’s something about KDE 4.2, but there’s something else going on here as well. There’s way too much unmasking and way too much manual dependency resolving for the type of basic stuff I’m trying to do, stuff that I’ve seen portage do the equivalent of in the past. And I’m doing it during a major documentation shortage, one that doesn’t seem to be coming to an end.
Well, if I switch, you can be sure I’ll post my whinings about my next distro right here.