Rich Freeman on 21 Aug 2015 11:56:03 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] Gentoo install

On Fri, Aug 21, 2015 at 2:29 PM, Steve Litt <> wrote:
> Some general observations about Gentoo:
> Stuff going wrong is the norm. That's why I recommend somebody save
> time by installing Gentoo two or three times on a Qemu VM, getting used
> to all its quirks, before installing it on metal.


Still, it isn't Ubuntu.  It isn't a bad idea to try it on a VM first.

It really only goes wrong if you don't grok how things work under the
hood.  However, I realize that describes a lot of people who are
relatively new to linux.  That isn't a reason to stay away though, you
can learn a lot by using a distro like Gentoo or Arch.

It isn't what I'd hand to somebody coming from Windows who is curious
about Linux.  However, if somebody wants to /learn/ Linux it is a
great distro (and you will struggle with issues until you really
appreciate how it works).

The thing is, once you understand how to maintain Gentoo or Arch you
can really maintain anything.  Now, I wouldn't say that on its own you
will learn how to maintain things well, since there is more to
maintaining systems professionally than just knowing how things work.
In fact, distros that have more management tools are great places to
learn that side of the business.  I think a really competent linux
admin needs both toolsets in their belt.  They need to understand
configuration management and scripted installs and automatic updates
and all that.  They also need to be able to understand why their
custom software isn't building correctly after some silent OS update
or understand why they might want to set up their service to operate
in a different mount namespace.  Depending on their responsibilities
they might need more of one than the other.

I just like really having a deep understanding of just what that my
system is doing, and running Gentoo helps with that.  It is also a
great tool when you want to do something unusual, like release a new
wifi home automation hub ( ).

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