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  1. #1

    Gentoo or Linux From Scratch?

    Well, I have been using linux for a few months and am totally amazed by it. After using Windows it feels like heaven to be given a system that allows me so much control. I want to learn every damn thing about this OS. I want to know what makes it so great and better than windows.

    Of course, I understand that knowing "everything" will take a lot of time. I have read the fedora bible (fedora's the distro I am running) and I want to know where to go next. I was thinking if installing Gentoo or building LFS would be a good idea at this stage. Will it teach me the nuts and bolts of Linux?

    I can install applications from the source code and I know a little bit of shell programming, have worked a little in Unix in college. I don't know PERL, can't even understand written code. I know C/C++ though and am learning Python. I am a computer undergrad, who unfortunately hasn't had to much experience with OSes yet.

    So, what do you think? Would it be a good idea to try to install Gentoo or LFS? Or should I wait till I am more experienced? And what should I study or do in the time that I am waiting?

    Thanks for the time.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    arch linux
    Welcome to the forums!

    Gaining additional experience isn't a bad idea, but then again lots of new users have successfully installed Gentoo, and/or Linux From Scratch.

    If you want a distribution that you can use as you learn, go with Gentoo. If you want to dig into the finest of details and don't mind tying your system up for a while to learn, go with LFS.

    Just my own opinion, of course.

  3. #3
    Administrator jayd512's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Depending on how many computers you have access to, you might also want to look into setting up a multi-boot system. That way you'll have access to learning resouces online, like those mentioned here.

    New users, read this first.
    New Member FAQ
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    I do not respond to private messages asking for Linux help. Please keep it on the public boards.

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  5. #4
    Linux Engineer GNU-Fan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Actually, it does not really take _that_ much of knowledge to install Gentoo. The manual is a very fine grained step-by-step instruction but from my POV, Gentoo is more about having control instead of learning. Of course, this implies learning too to a certain extend, but it is not the priority.

    LFS is much more of a teaching system. But in contrary to Gentoo, it needs a very long time until you have a productive system, if ever.
    Debian GNU/Linux -- You know you want it.

  6. #5
    Linux Enthusiast meton_magis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    If your interest is in learning, go with both. Install gentoo first. Then when you are wanting something else, you can then use gentoo to build your LFS system.

    One thing i suggest though, is dont use any hardware that is only minimaly supported. I have a computer that works fine with fedora, but i failed to get gentoo to work on it, and LFS was just a misserable mess (gentoo stopped due to my motherboards raid controller, I have no Idea why LFS failed so badly.) ALSO, an x86_64 LFS system is very hard to do, so if you are going for learning over an optimal system, i'd choose to go 32 bit if you have the choice.

    If this all seems like a bunch of nonsense, i have realy bad insomnia, and am posting after being awake for 30 someodd hours.
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  7. #6
    Thanks to everyone. I have access to two systems so I can spare one for "experimenting" purposes. Going by the messages, I think I'll go with menton_magis and install both. I'll get to downloading Gentoo right away (which will take a long time on my slow connection )

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