Why I Use Gentoo: Development Environment

“Some of us in the computer world aren’t just users—we’re
developers too. Whether we’re working on personal projects or large
software packages, we find ourselves in need of various programs
and data required for software development, such as compilers and
library headers.

“On most Linux distributions, these extra files are not
installed by default. They take up space, and for most users, they
will be completely useless. I’m not about to chastise any
distribution for making that decision. Nonetheless, for those of us
who do need these tools and data, finding a simple way to install
them is paramount.

“With Debian-derived distributions such as Ubuntu, you can solve
part of this problem by installing the build-essential package,
which ultimately has dependencies on a number of tools useful for
development. However, this still leaves the matter of installing
the library headers and other package-specific development files.
Most distributions address this part of the problem by offering dev
packages, which install the files necessary for developing against
the associated package.”

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