IN THIS CHAPTER
What's in Gentoo
Several years ago, Gentoo (
www.gentoo.org) was the rising star of Linux distributions among Linux enthusiasts. Of all the popular Linux distributions, this is the first one I'd recommend to a technically oriented friend who wanted to learn Linux, and the last one I'd recommend to my wife ("Just show me what button to click for my e-mail"). That's because to install and maintain Gentoo effectively, you have to care (to an almost unnatural extent) about what is going on with your computer.
Gentoo is named after the gentoo penguin, believed to be the fastest underwater swimmers of all penguin species. So Gentoo Linux gives a nod both to the Linux mascot (a penguin named Tux) and the distribution's own goals to provide tools to create a fast and efficient operating system. (To pronounce Gentoo, use the G sound as you would in the word gentle.)
This chapter describes why you might want to use Gentoo, what the Gentoo community is like, and how to get and install Gentoo Linux.
The Gentoo live/install CD is included on the DVD that comes with this book. You can use this Gentoo CD as described in Appendix A. The Gentoo live/install CD image lets you run, and then install, a solid, basic desktop system. You will need an Internet connection or some medium containing the needed Gentoo packages (CD, DVD, or hard disk) to get additional packages for your Gentoo installation.