[R] Linux Distribution Choice

Neil Shephard nshephard at gmail.com
Tue Feb 21 01:35:25 CET 2006

I thought I'd add my vote for Gentoo, which has been my distro of
choice for some time (although Slackware is very good as well, and
teaches you a lot about *NIX in general).

The main advantage of gentoo is that updating is very easy using the
portage system (as pointed out by jon  butchar), but unlike other
distributions which have packages which are compiled for generic x86
architechtures, you get one that is custom compiled to your
architechture and with the options you want compiled in (throught the
USE flags).  This is the point that Alexandre Santos Aguiar was

Its a little more complicated to install the say Ubuntu where you just
drop the disc in the CD-ROM and point and click you way through, but
the documentation is second to none, and is extremly detailed.  In
addition the forums are really useful as well (although you may want
to use Google to search them as the default search engine isn't that

If you were to go with this option then I would recommend writing your
own script for installing packages (again from source).  An example of
one that I have written can be found at

This way all the packages are installed from source and custom compiled as well.


"Religion is the work of the Devil" - Anon

Email - nshephard at gmail.com / neilshep at cyllene.uwa.edu.au

Website - http://slack.ser.man.ac.uk/
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