Michael Bevilacqua on 30 Jun 2009 17:11:50 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] Source-Based Distribution Recommendation

On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 5:02 PM, Jonathan E. Magen <yonkeltron@gmail.com> wrote:
Debian's default settings are wonderful and my machines (server, desktop, laptop and mobile device) rarely suffer from performance issues which could be attributed to poor optimization during compile time. Furthermore, Debian's apt-build tool has matured quite nicely and allows you to compile any package, on demand, with any optimizations you might desire. It downloads the source deb, compiles it and builds a binary deb which you can then install/upgrade as you like.

I agree that more than 90% of the time, Debian fits the bill for the desired server application. And Ubuntu for the desired desktop. It's that other 5-10% where knowing Gentoo is truly useful. Bleeding edge hardware falls into this category. Embedded hardware as well. And as Richard mentioned, the ability to have choice in your base dist when your development application requires it.

Sure, you can trim down Debian/Ubuntu. You can even wait for Debian/Ubuntu to come around to support the new chips. Or you can quickly roll your own custom system from the ground up. In my experiences, rolling your own custom system with Debian/Ubuntu breaks the defaults along the way and doesn't take advantage of Debian/Ubuntu's primary strength; APT.  Also, rolling your own Deb/Ubu system takes installing even more packages than is already necessary for the base dist itself, creating even more unnecessary time and space restraints on your overall project goals.

Being able to use Debian and Ubuntu is great when and where you can. But when you can't, I have yet to find a better alternative solution than Gentoo. At least, in my experiences.

Michael D. Bevilacqua


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