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20th of April, 2019



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Gentoo, You Suck

I just spent 4 days and nights, between work-hours, installing Gentoo on my Powerbook. Gentoo is a Linux distribution that requires that you install everything from source. It’s automated, so you don’t have to compile everything by hand, you just have to let its package manager compile it for you.

This is undoubtedly the most useless Linux distribution I’ve ever used. I’ve installed it on a PC before, and had moderate luck there. It’s snappy, for sure. I don’t think it’s because it’s “optimized” for the computer you’re installing it on. I think it’s just missing a lot of the cruft that plagues distros like Redhat and Mandrake.

But you know what? You can’t even boot the thing after installation until it’s spent 24 hours compiling shit you’ve never even heard of. I did that. I sat the machine in the corner overnight, and let it compile KDE, X11, and whatever else it decided was a requirement of those. It took about 16 hours, and once it was done, KDE loaded just as slow as it does on my Mandrake PC.

I want my 4 days back.

The fonts suck under Gentoo. There’s no denying it; I’ve seen it with my own eyes after a default install. I don’t think I should have to muck around with a million different font config files to get it to Win98 quality. I did it anyway, and it DIDN’T WORK. I read every fucking forum there is on that had anything even remotely to do with freetype, PPCLinux, sub-pixel hinting, antialiasing, truetype formats, and whatever whatever whatever. The whole time, I’m getting a headache reading the horrifically rendered pages in firefox and konqueror; and in the back of my mind is the image of Mandrake booting out-of-the-box with the best-rendered fonts I’ve ever seen on a system, OS X included.

In the end, the problem is a symptom of the general Linux mindset. Linux users, myself among them, take criticism terribly. You install Gentoo per instructions, and you get crappy fonts. You complain, and they tell you you did it wrong, that you should edit a million different config-files, and thank them for the pleasure of it all. Linux has the best font-rendering abilities of any operating system, and the Gentoo people can’t get their shit together enough to take advantage of it. Even the dolts at RedHat can offer you a decent X11 build! Nice fonts can be easily acheived, apparently, but the Gentoo boneheads are 10 years behind the other guys. Even Slackware has a jaw-droppingly beatiful default desktop configuration! You guys are uglier than Slackware. That takes work.

So, Gentoo, in case you missed it the first time, you suck. Your compile-time bullshit isn’t worth it. Mandrake is better-configured, more feature-complete, less arrogant, and faster than you. So are Fedora, Yellowdog, Slackware, Knoppix, Debian, MoviX, Linksys’ WRT54G, and the isdn4linux floppy router for that matter. My cell-phone has a better GUI. You are a pox on the Linux landscape. You take a good system like Linux and turn it into a joke, a sad self-parody where productivity takes third place behind teen-angst-style quasi-nonconformity and horribly unnecessary gruntwork. As long as Gentoo exists, every troll in COLA will have the final word.

Project, kill thyself and do us all a favor.



Well I just wasted a few minutes of my life reading it, but I did, so Ill reply as well. The long installation time is there because as you said yourself, it has to compile all the packages from source which does take long.. the point of that was to have a Linux distribution similar to FreeBSD. Once you are done installing you only have the basic core system with nothing installed and every other package is on top, it took that many packages to install KDE because KDE is not just one file.. every other lib, arts, kicker, qt, etc.. are all packages on their own and that is what it was installing. Fonts do not suck under Gentoo, as I said before only the core comes and the rest you have to get yourself, emerge corefonts and which ever other fonts you wanted and there you go with your fonts.

You are a newbie that is failing to see the point of Gentoo and only went to install Gentoo out of popularity without having much clue about Gentoo and Linux itself.



The problem isn't that I'm a newbie, or that I didn't emerge corefonts, or that I installed Gentoo out of a need for popularity, whatever that means. I installed Gentoo because it was the only half-way modern PPC distribution I could get a hold of. I'd installed it before on a PC, so I understood how long it would take to install; I understand dependencies, and why you need Qt, arts, etc. to run KDE. I was prepared to spend a day or two getting everything compiled and running.

The problem was, that once installed step-by-step according to the installation docs, the fonts sucked. I crawled through the gentoo forums for two days for a solution, and eventually was forced to give up. It may well have been due to the switchover to's server, or the fact that I was running on a Powerbook, with its LCD screen. At any rate, I've got Debian unstable installed on it now, and it all works just fine and looks great with minimal tinkering.

I'm an avid Linux user, not a newbie. I started out with Slackware back in '95 or '96, and have been using various distributions as my desktop since the late 90's. I would hope, however, to discourage any casual Linux users from selecting Gentoo as their desktop, as they will no doubt be driven away from Linux altogether.


im running gentoo with nptl, reiser 3.6, ccache, prelinking, and its a bad mofo, just go print out the handbook and actually follow the instructions. its really easy, gentoo is nothing like mandrake or redhat for one, go ahead and use mandrake ok now cd to the /usr/src/ and cd to your kernel name directory then do a make menuconfig look at all the options that are turned on that you dont need in a kernel over 100+ in gentoo u can customize it, i only i have 20-30 options at most on. i say if u dont know linux use gentoo it will teach u gentoo if u cant install gentoo or bash it cause u cant the dont use linux go back to windows. linux isnt easy, learn the command line, hell if u have questions go to irc #gentoo or go read some faqs, portage is awsome, it blows mandrake, redhat and suse away, and compileing from source is BETTER plus if u take avantage of USE and CFLags you could have a very nice system. dont get discouredged, but if ur going to bash it, you might as well bash slackware, Arch, LSF, and debian, because u dont know how to use linux. so go back to windows.


Wow, magus, that's brilliant! Why didn't I think of that? Gentoo sucked on my Powerbook, so I'll just go back to using Windows!

Now, where did I leave that copy of Windows PPC?

You're a real fucking genius, you know that?

james lewis, MCSE

Rube, the use of open source software in a production environment should be avoided whenever possible. Honestly, I'm not at all surprised you had that kind of trouble, seeing as proprietary technologies being developed by established corporations such as Microsoft, Adobe, and Apple are years ahead of anything being pumped out by unemployed programmers writing from their parents' basements. These benefits are offered transparently to the end-user; with hobbyist systems like Linux you'll spend most of your time admiring their witty comments in config files, trying to get the most basic pieces of your computing infrastructure to work, instead of where you want to be: in your apps, getting stuff done and sending out invoices. This is where open source really takes a beating, in terms of TCO. You actually lost 4 days of productivity trying to get something you already had!

Plus, why in the world would anyone waste space on a Powerbook for Linux when it's already got aOS X installed and runnning? That's just crazy talk. grin

Oh, and I think your policy of editing excessively abusive comments which offer nothing to the discussion is right on target.


So so. Do you Gentoo fanboys like sit around googling anti-Gentoo pages all day so you can go there and post your leetness? Because every one of you knuckleheads came here through Google.

ann m.

I just read that: "Gentoo ist was fr Langzeitarbeitslose

Nur die eine Hlfte. Die andere schreibt Kommentare im Heiseticker. ;-)"

And that.


James said: "seeing as proprietary technologies being developed by established corporations such as Microsoft, Adobe, and Apple are years ahead of anything being pumped out by unemployed programmers writing from their parents' basements."

LOL! Apple OSX is a classic example of an Operating System that's benefitted enormously from Open Source/Linux programming. And a lot of Open Source software is sponsored & developed using the same model; ie. by commercial entities for commercial needs. Sun and IBM being the most obvious (the latter famously pumped $$$billions into OS) besides the numerous distro companies. Havoc Pennington at Red Hat is the Gnome Foundation chairman and RH has its own 'Gnome Labs' dept. Or are we to believe they turn up for work in their pyjamas at a big Silicon Valley dorm? Oh James, what a typical MSCE you are. So insecure. So willing to put users of competing products into boxes. And why? Because it sustains the illusion that your MSCE was a worthwhile investment? LOL! I guess your one-track mind suits your one-track skills.


I agree with you completely Rube.

Surely as good distro should be even remotely user friendly? I find the problems with Gentoo also reside in their extremely arrogant user group, who seem to have dillusions of "leetness". I was under the impression a computer is a means to an end, just because leet speaking morons can follow a guide which works on their crappy hardware, it does not mean that they are some kind of demi god. Or, for that matter, even have used a computer properly, to actually achieve something.


Maybe you should have tried using the packages cd. Something like

export PKGBIN=/mnt/cdrom emerge --usepkg xorg-x11 (or kde or some other huge package)

will install prebuilt packages right from the cd, so you'll have a decent system up and running in next to no time. You can always update (from the source) later.

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