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Linux Journal: Gentoo Linux [Review]

Dec 05, 2003, 03:00 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Sean Bossinger)

"Most LJ readers are familiar with the various commercial distributions of Linux available for desktop and server systems. When one thinks of these commercial versions of Linux, one naturally might gravitate toward such names as Red Hat, SuSE or Mandrake. Some may even go so far as to think of UnitedLinux or, dare I go there, SCO Linux. Then, of course, there are your non-commercial community-supported distributions, including Debian and Slackware. When I mentioned to a friend that I was going to install Debian on a system so I could learn more about Linux, he suggested I try the Gentoo distribution.

"According to Gentoo's architects and developers, Gentoo Linux is a 'special flavor of Linux that can be automatically optimized and customized for just about any application or need.' Depending on how deeply customized you want your system to be, this customization can be as simple as selecting only the applications and services you want on the system. On the other end of the spectrum, you could go as complex as instructing the compiler directives to utilize instruction sets that render executable code compiled specifically for your processor. The ease with which this customization occurs is part of what gives Gentoo its strength. Modify one file (/etc/make.conf) with the processor directives you wish to use, and let Gentoo's Portage system build executable files optimized for your exact needs..."

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