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Gentoo user since 2002
enThis user is a native speaker of English.
jersa or jerm

why gentoo? the road behind.

"But wait... how long will it take to compile?"

So asked no one, for once.

They frequently do, though, as if that singular and unpredictable value were some crucial, deciding factor in choosing whether to embark on a Gentoo install — the vision quest of the Linux universe; a demanding exercise in which the hopeful user must both read and execute a series of written instructions in a specified order.

One thought this brings to my mind recently is, that for being such a central characteristic in a source-based distro, as it applies to how long or arduous the installation and upgrade process can be, expending effort aimed at reducing the time it takes to build packages has never really been a priority for the venerable and aggregate Gentoo Authors, at least as far as I know. Nor should it be, and the same goes for those sporadic requests for an "easy" graphical installer.

Users who run successfully Gentoo on their primary systems do so because they clearly understand the benefits it can provide, as well as the pitfalls it might expose. They've invariably used other distros representing different approaches to package management. If anything at all like myself, then along the way, they've also figured out what works (or almost works) for their use cases, and without a doubt, they've seen how those tools break, and have been frustrated by their limitations. So, in my opinion, if you're here, with your Kool-Aid drunk and in possession of an understanding as to why compile time is such a total non-issue, you'll know why and by what course you arrived. When you know, you just know!

If a user is that bothered by the tradeoff between having Portage, with its rare ability to reliably define and maintain a tailor-made system, or the supposed major drag of waiting on packages to build, then they might want to consider why they're choosing Gentoo in the first place. It shouldn't be chosen as a nerdiness status symbol, and it isn't meant for everyone, the same as Arch, Void, Ubuntu or anything else. Gentoo lies — at least for me, as I imagine it does for many who've stuck around — not at some singular place on a map, but instead, at the end of the road.

These paragraphs, at first, were intended simply as one response among others, to another redditor making a little ha-ha funny about a familiar, yet timeless query — the answer to which, at least for some, apparently seems dire enough to rule out any serious use of our beloved distro.

projects, to-do lists

  • Related to the Gentoo wiki
    • Start a wiki page for NSD, the NLnet Labs authoritative DNS server