Sunday, 13 January 2008

Gentoo appears dead, yet is so alive!

As some of you may know, I use / embrace Open Source. I love the concept of having access to source code, so much that my computer's operating system is Linux - but not just any Linux. I prefer Gentoo Linux.

If you had a look at Gentoo's main website (from the link above), you'd notice it hasn't been updated for a while. The last time (at the time of writing this article) that the Gentoo Weekly News was updated was 15.10.2007. For the casual web surfer, this may be alarming, and may be interpreted as an indication that the distribution is dead. It is far from dead - it's very much alive.

The two major indicators of the health status of this distribution are the mailing lists (with the main one being the gentoo-user list), and the rate at which new packages get made and published. Either one of these two links will show the environment is thriving with discussion and activity. The problem is that for the casual observer, they will perceive the wrong aspects as the major indicators.

And since Gentoo is a "meta-distribution" of Linux, another indicator of little activity would be the lack of installation CD releases. The surprising thing is that you don't even need the installation CD to install Gentoo. You only require a Linux live CD. So, in reality, you could boot up your PC using an Ubuntu Linux CD, and then use it's tools to partition and install Gentoo onto your system.

Not too shabby for something that on the surface appears to be dormant!

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