May 1, 2005
In Praise of Gentoo
The biggest pro's with Gentoo are that you can setup what are called USE flags. Basically they're like meta-flags which tell the compiled packages what to build into your system. For example, if I add "mysql" to my USE variable, all packages that have mysql support will be built with mysql enabled. Likewise, there are flags for everything from kde, gnome, and X to the basics like alsa, and ssl. This produces an amazingly targeted and fat-free system that only has what you want it to have. In theory this sounds great, in practice it's absolutely mind-blowing. You want all your packages to suddenly support postgres, just add it to your USE flag, and run 'emerge --newuse world' and any packages that can provide postgres support will be re-built. Wonderful. Absolutely wonderful.