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iMacLinux: Review: Gentoo PPC Linux

Apr 23, 2002, 07:00 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Olivier Reisch)

[ Thanks to Marc Bintener for this link. ]

"About a week ago, someone asked me about how good the PPC port of Gentoo was. It was the first time I ever heard of a PPC port of Gentoo, so I was pretty surprised to hear about it. In a well kept effort, 2 PPC developers, Bryon Roche and Pieter Van den Abeele, have ported the grounds of the Gentoo Linux distribution to the PPC platform. Since the announcement of Gentoo Linux for PPC on TuxPPC and PenguinPPC, there has been a real rush to the new distribution and it looks like Gentoo is definately gaining ground with the more experienced PPC Linux users.

"Indeed, Gentoo Linux is rather unique on the PPC platform. You don't get any nifty Install CDs with hundreds of prebuilt software packages. No, Gentoo is a distribution that is mostly built from scratch. They provide you with a boot CD and a very basic set of precompiled packages, just enough to go start building your Gentoo distribution using their great building system called Portage . So why go through that pain? The answer is simple, you get a fully working Linux system built to your needs and preferences. Unlike other distributions, Gentoo only installs what you tell it to and not hundreds and hundreds of programs you will never need. The result is a small and fast, fully customizable PPC distribution.

"On the other hand, you'll have to understand that Gentoo by far is not a "newbie" friendly distribution. While the instructions for installation that are provided are mostly accurate and easy to follow, you still have to know what you are doing or the experience will necessarily fail. For instance during the install process, you will have to compile your own kernel that's fit to your hardware. Also, there is no nifty graphical installer that will setup your hardware, no luxury. It's a minimalist distribution, with a very nice build system..."

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