Gentoo Linux operating system
Gentoo linux operating system was created by Daniel Robbins, a former Stampede Linux and FreeBSD developer. It was the author's exposure to FreeBSD and its autobuild feature called "ports", which inspired him to incorporate ports into Gentoo under the name of "portage". A detailed account of these beginnings of Gentoo can be found in this three-part series called Making the distribution. Gentoo's first stable release was announced in March 2002.
Gentoo linux operating system is a source-based distribution. While the installation media provide various levels of pre-compiled binary packages to get a basic Linux system up and running, the idea behind Gentoo is to compile all source packages on the user's computer. The main advantage of this is that all software is highly optimised for the computer architecture it is built on. Also, updating the installed software to newer version is a matter of typing a simple command. Many Gentoo linux operating system users enjoy the fact the software packages kept in a central repository are usually kept highly up-to-date and available within days (sometimes even within hours) since their release by the upstream developers. On the other hand, installing Gentoo and turning it into a full-blown distribution with the latest graphical desktops, multimedia and development tools is tedious and long - count on several days even on a computer with a fast processor.
Pros: Painless installation of individual software packages, highly up-to-date, superb documentation, the "geek feeling" of building a distribution tailored to user's needs.
Cons: Long and tedious system installation, occasional instability and risk of breakdown.
Software package management: Portage (SRC)
Free download: Yes