Ubuntu 9.04 Versus Gentoo

Ubuntu 9.04 is now in beta and I’m tempted to upgrade. I want to help test it. I even started “update-manager-kde -d”, but it warned me that since the new version is not yet fully tested, it could make my computer unstable, release a new strain of computer virus, kill babies, and reinstate Bush Junior as president. So I canceled. Am I chicken?

That situation makes me awfully uncomfortable.  It happens with every binary Linux distribution I have tried.  It never occurs in Gentoo, however, where all upgrades are incremental. Breakage happens, but when it does, I only have to fix or revert a relatively small part, not the whole system. It appears that such incremental upgrades are only manageable with a source-based distribution, but of course a source-based distribution requires more technical skills.

I think I’ll stick with Ubuntu right now because its support for KDE 4 is better than what Gentoo currently offers.  From what I can tell, Gentoo got in a big fight over how to package KDE 4, causing them to fall behind in stabilizing KDE 4.  That fight seems to be over now, so perhaps Gentoo will catch up and lead again. I will seriously consider a switch when Gentoo marks the latest version of KDE 4 as stable.

8 thoughts on “Ubuntu 9.04 Versus Gentoo”

  1. Hi.

    I used to use gentoo – i do still use ubuntu however my main system is now march linux.

    You get a lot of the benefits of gentoo – i.e rolling release , speed, etc, however you also get the latest packages in stable.

    Normally Arch linux will have the latest version of kde in its stable repos the day of its release.

    Today’s arch linux updates (stable) have given me kernel 2.6.29 for instance.

  2. I use both Gentoo and Arch and I like both. I like Ubuntu alot too but have had trouble upgrading/installing it before so never really got back to it. Nothing ever goes stable! This isn’t a jab at Gentoo but I as their development process has evolved over the years I think they realize that there is no perfect package and that newer packages usually usually have the fix. Of course, newer packages = newer features which creates new bugs… I’d have to say a good 95% of ppl in Gentoo use unstable. This is a trend I’ve noticed over the last year as fewer and fewer packages have become stable.

  3. I’ve been using Arch Linux for a couple years now. In the world of Linux for a desktop system it’s near the top of my list. For servers I still prefer FreeBSD over any of the penguin software. I’ve never been able to bring myself to use Gentoo. The idea of compiling everything needed for a desktop system doesn’t rank high on my list of “ToDo” items. I think that is what pushed me towards Arch. Well, that and the amazing wikipage they mantain.

    Recently I’ve been playing with OpenSolaris 2008.11. I haven’t used it enough to have formulated an honest opinion yet. Other than “Gone are the days of “Slowaris”” It seems awfully snappy.

  4. I’m sick of Gentoo. I have used it since 2002, pretty early on… and just like you, I liked portage because it was FreeBSD like.

    Sadly it lacks the stability and updates of FreeBSD–which I can no longer tolerate. I’m currently using Kubuntu 9.04 (slightly unstable KDE) and I am much happier.

    I will be switching my servers back to FreeBSD, which has progressed leaps and bounds, and pretty much solved all the issues that made me leave it (SMP support, file system performance and issues, etc…)

  5. Arch Linux is one of the choice if you want the most bleeding-edge distro in a very fast way. But lack extreme customization like Gentoo has.

  6. Ugh, I don’t really like Arch anymore, Gentoo is the way to go. I also don’t understand why people always want the most “bleeding-edge” software? I don’t update my system so often and I use Gentoo’s stable packages, and everything seems to be working fine. It’s not like Debian which doesn’t come with Open Office 3.

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