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(This could be a standard layout for distro entries)

Current Version:
Editions: none
Core: user defined
Package management system: Portage
Price: free (as in beer)


Gentoo is a Linux distribution that is a hairs breadth away from Linux From Scratch in the respect that almost everything you install will be compiled from source specifically for you machine.

With Gentoo all applications are installed using Portage, the Gentoo package management system. Portage removes dependancy hell entirely, it will sort out all the dependancies for any package you with to install.

Gentoo is very internet based. Only a small 65Mb download is required to get the absolute base system installed. From then on all packages are taken from the online Portage tree when required.

This means there are no real versions apart from occasional updates to the download CD image. You choose the makeup of the distro.

User Opinions

I run Gentoo on my main computer and on my Apple iBook, it's so nice and easy to administer and look after with Portage making everything a breeze. The only downside being that the installation is relatively painful and it can take about 3 days of compilation before you get a graphical system up and running. But I'm informed that they are currently writing a graphical installer to make this much easier.