Now that I’ve got a high speed Internet connection I’ve wasted no time downloading all the different Linux distro’s in ISO format. First I tried RedHat 9, then Fedora, and recently Gentoo linux.
Gentoo linux is different from a lot of Linux distributions because they prefer to compile every program specifically for your machine at the time you are installing. This means that installs can take days. My poor k6-2-450 cranked away for a good 20 hours before I could safely get to a boot prompt to prepare for a couple of days compiling all of X and gnome.
However, if the above doesn’t scare you off there is serious coolness in store. I expected Gentoo to be a very rough looking environment. Boy was I wrong. The gnome setup that you get by default is just gorgous. Once I switched to one of the pre-installed themes that was more to my liking I was in heaven. Everything is nice and snappy considering how old the hardware is that it is running on.
The fonts are beautiful. I was worried they would be the hideous fonts we were all putting up with 5 years ago, but there fonts are just dandy.
I’m sure there will be more follow ups on this article as I determine how stable this new environment is. Looks good so far, though.
Update: After several months of Gentoo use I eventually became frustrated with recompiling so frequently. Especially since on a half dozen occasions a program wouldn’t compile on my architecture. (What is the point of compiling yourself if code won’t build correctly?) So I’ve switched back to Fedora.