[PLUG] Gentoo / Arch / other : please advise

Shridhar Daithankar ghodechhap at ghodechhap.net
Sat Jun 2 08:12:48 PDT 2012

On Saturday, June 02, 2012 06:21:00 PM Mayuresh wrote:
> I am looking for a suitable distro for following usage pattern:
> 1. Rolling updates with a small base system. (No huge downloads every 6
> months and hours of upgrade and configuration time. This is where I am
> parting ways with Fedora which I trusted and used for many years. What
> triggers a change is a recent upgrade has broken my system beyond
> imagination.)

Check for arch. Have been running since late 2008 and have survived from 
2.6.28 to current 3.3.7 and kde 3.5.9 to 4.8.3. Nothing that wasn't fix 
shortly or wasn't my stupidity.

Knowing diff and patch is a must since package updates will leave new config 
files as pacnew and your custom configs are preserved. But thats half the 
battle since the new package may not cope well with old config(dovecot is 
notorious for that).

Base system is small around 300MB. so thats a check too.

Reading arch rss feeds is also a must. There is almost always a heads-up where 
manual intervention is required.
> 2. Source as well as binary options for installations.

check for arch.
> 3. Fairly leading edge base and packages. (Unlike conservative BSDs one of
> which I will be anway using or slackware.)

check for arch.
> 4. Stable. I will be using this as a backup or secondary OS, with primary
> OS as NetBSD. I'll be anyway be experimenting, making and breaking things
> on NetBSD. So need the secondary environment to be stable that can be
> easily fallen back to. Also, certain things like printer, scanner etc
> don't as yet work on NetBSD, so do certain applications, for which I want
> to turn to a reliable alternative.

Its my primary OS on two machines where I use it. And my $DAYJOB depends upon 
it. No problem trusting it.

Its rock stable if you follow core/extra/community aka no testing.

> Evaluating Arch and Gentoo. Somewhat confused about what suits better for
> above profile.

can vouch for arch. In my impression, gentoo is a slight more stress on source 
where touching source in arch is *entirely* optional. I haven't needed it in 
5-6 years of stint with it, ever.

And slackware is not a fit here. Its a very nice os of if you want a stable OS 
for next 12 months which stay out of your way all the time. But rolling, it is 
not..  even current is stalled at times, especially immediately after a new 
release. Its expected given the manpower behind it.


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