Careful consideration - To Gentoo or not?
Hi LF-Users, it's been a long time since I last posted here so I must say it feels great to be back.
The main reason I've been away is the absence of Linux installed on my computer due to a lot of re-installations, moving and other stuff happening. However working in Windows is still unpleasant and, most importantly, I want back.
I've so far used Mandrake, Knoppix, Slackware and Gentoo. I might include that I've also seen Debian and Red Hat in action so I'm familiar with those too.
While all had ups and downs, I must say that the one that impressed me the most at the time I used it was Gentoo. Mainly because of two things:
1. Portage - This is what I always wanted my packaging to be. "emerge" with all of its functionality is something I haven't seen an equivalent of so far and I saw this as possibly the MAIN reason to move to Gentoo. Also I've never seen such beautiful handling of the dependencies ever.
2. The Speed - Why everything went faster in comparison to the other OSs mentioned, I don't know. However it did. While I did go for a Stage 1 install, I didn't go for any specific flags at all back then, I assume I just went for the textbook standard. In any case, my computer was blazing fast.
Now why I'm even hesitating to throw myself back into Gentoo is the fact that it's been a long time since I used Gentoo (and Linux for that matter), almost 2 years. Reading opinions on the Internet lately has also given me the impression that Gentoo has lost a bit of what it has always been, because of staff leaving, internal conflicts and bugs. Now that I can't comment because I've both been out of the loop and I wasn't a power user back then either, but it does sound a bit bad anyway.
I recently tried out a Gentoo LiveDVD that i got with LinuxFormat and after some partitioning, setting up and HOURS of manual flag configuration (yes I did so intentionally, I just didn't suppose it would take so long), it finally started to install...only to give me an error about 10 minutes into the installation. Now I know it's extremely lazy and "ambitionless" to leave it right there, but back then installing Gentoo was just a "let's just see what has changed in 2 years"-trip, with no greater intentions of configuring and working the system up (a bit clueless as you've got to do that anyway with Gentoo...). Nonetheless and error for no apparent reason 10 min into the installation does leave a stain in my "set of opinions about Gentoo".
One thing I also wanted from my system was a sleek GUI, eye-candy is something I love and with a powerful computer running a fast OS, I can't be without it. I especially liked Enlightenment and Entrance for the looks and functionality.
With that in mind, I recently found a distro called ELive that (as you may all know) runs a Debian core along with Enlightenment as DeskEnv. While my contact with Debian and ELive has been, in both cases brief, I think ELive pretty much fulfills both point 1 and 2 (maybe to a lesser extent point 1, i like portage a bit more than apt, but i know apt is good too).
The question is, will I be satisfied if I get back to Gentoo, or is there an alternative that fulfills 1, 2 and "sleek GUI" better?
Also if there's a DeskEnv that surpasses Enlightenment when it comes to looks, I'd be grateful if you posted it here too.