Not many people know that I run Gentoo (a source-based linux distribution) at home. Largely this is because most people don’t care. But for those who may care, I’ve decided to explain how Gentoo is better, at least for me.
Gentoo is known for taking a lot of time to set up – which is well deserved. Gentoo typically takes 1-3 days to complete a full install, and requires more work in maintenance than most other distros.
However, as I developer, I find that it is quite nice.
I have scripts that perform most day-to-day maintenance, and I receive an email if my scripts can’t handle things (which seems to happen every couple of months). Sometimes packages have problems, due to incomplete ebuild files (the files that manage compilation and installation) or boneheaded misconfiguration on my part.
Despite these problems, I enjoy being able to grab any of the source I want from disk and examine it/modify it without a hassle. Not only that, but I have debug information included throughout my system (using splitdebug).
Some people use Gentoo because they want better performance – and I must admit that that is what brought me to it, along with a desire to know more about linux. However, now that I have a modern system, what I enjoy most about Gentoo is having the source at my fingertips.