which linux? (not flame bait, thank you)

John Oxley oxo at rucus.ru.ac.za
Tue Nov 4 00:43:47 PST 2003

On Tue 2003-11-04 (00:20), DavidB wrote:
> First I would like to say that FreeBSD rocks, and have been using it for 
>  more than a few years.  I like the ports system, I like compiling from 
> source so I can get the compile time features I want.  Portupgrade 
> really helps with maintaining ports.
> My question is this, I would like to have a little exposure to linux and 
> am wondering which distro to run, I used redhat back at the same time I 
> started with FreeBSD3~ , not sure if I should check them out.
> I had in my list of potentials, slackware, debian, and I was wondering 
> what was thought of gentoo(I read that this was started by a former? 
> freebsd developer)[I hope there is no bad blood there].
> I didn't want to go thru a list, installing and playing with several 
> different ones, don't have time for that, I still have to upgrade the 
> webserver/mailserver/database box and the desktop box to 4.9 [not much 
> to that] or wondering if I should just jump into RELENG_5_1 (I like to 
> keep my server and desktop running with the same versions, so I can swap 
> the desktop in place of the server should the server box fail, call it 
> cheap insurance).
> So is there any particular distro that stands out to freebsd types, so I 
> can check one out, so in a pinch, if I need to setup a linux box for 
> some strange reason I could do so.
> Not here to start a religious war, I hope people have calmed down on 
> that, but just one simple, perhaps, stupid question.
> Thanks,
> Dave

If you like FreeBSD I recommend Gentoo.  It is a source based distro.  the
emerge tool is very similar to portupgrade, in fact easier even.  On the minus
side, it doesn't have the networking power of FreeBSD and is klunkier.
Gentoo's portage needs python, which adds to the base system.  I am trying to
show FreeBSD / Gentoo differences rather than the numerous FreeBSD / Linux

What you might find, as I did when I moved to FreeBSD from Gentoo is that
linux in general seems slightly more bloated.  However for a desktop system, I
do advocate linux, mainly due to its better hardware support and you have
Mandrake/Redhat for Random Joe F-wit.

To sum up, if you like FreeBSD and the way it works, try Gentoo,  if you like
the way windows is (point click, grind, *slowness* :) then go with

My 2c


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