Gentoo ravings

Dear Gentoo,

Just reading articles like this one I've just found makes strange waves inside me:

The Linux Project: Gentoo revisited

This makes me both nostalgic and alerted. Gentoo was my first *real* Linux system I've used with success for 3+ years. I suppose these were the best times for both of us, me personally and Gentoo as a distribution. Until, of course, drobbins - the Gentoo creator - left the project for a while (for financial reasons). Author of the aforementioned article is totally right in one aspect, there is something ultra-special in the way Gentoo is installed manually. You literally put your hands on the keyboard and *create* the thing, your very own Linux install, from almost nothing. Using only a mere 27MB of a stage1 image and 40MB of a compressed portage tree. I mean, the manual installation really feels like an act of creation, the flashing lines of compiler output makes a unique feeling, especially when the first successful install is made. And a quote of the blinkenlights come to mind very quickly:

This room is fullfilled mit special electronische equippment.
Fingergrabbing and pressing the cnoeppkes from the computers is
allowed for die experts only! So all the "lefthanders" stay away
and do not disturben the brainstorming von here working
intelligencies. Otherwise you will be out thrown and kicked
anderswhere! Also: please keep still and only watchen
astaunished the blinkenlights

Yes, for a long while installing packages in Gentoo is like this: you issue an "emerge" command and watch the things moving in amazement. Yes, it can become tiresome at some point, especially when packages fail to compile, give strange errors, important stuff needs to be upgraded (like gcc, python, portage) and things break in strange ways during the process... At this point you start the famous distro-hopping and wonder how much electricity is being wasted worldwide during repeated Gentoo compilations here and there.

This is the moment when one grows up and the fun is lost. At least partially.

And yet, when the whole project shows the signs of fragility, when the former head of the project makes offer in his blog to return and help, when a trustee reveals the details of healing process, I just stumble upon said article and then I don't really know what to do.

Since I've departed from Gentoo like two years ago I never felt at home. Well, maybe I do to some extent, using Ubuntu (and I love the Code of Conduct, it's a great idea Gentoo should learn from). I've contributed to the Debian and Ubuntu docs and helped to extend/update the installation manual for the debootstrap method. This is almost on par with the manual Gentoo installation method, since several config files need to be created and then the noble and dependable apt-get does the rest. Shortly speaking, the DEB files just rock. And I confess, I hate RPM (this is illogical, I know, since so many distros use it, but it gives me the creeps). To some extent debootstrap is even cleaner, all it needs is several scripts and an empty partition, the rest is downloaded and installed on the fly from a mirror server. Yes, it gives a barebone base system that boots into a command line. But mind you, I admire Debian and have the greatest respect for it, but Gentoo just feels and looks slicker, at least for me personally.

And I say yes, I would like to install it back (and I always have a spare partition where it would fit, I really do), but there is always something. The great schizm/blessing of Paludis (depending on who you ask), an exodus of Gentoo developers, ubiquity of Ubuntu (it works, it's easy and problems are very googleable and my family use it) do not make my decisions any simpler. I have even installed Arch Linux (another great distribution) and it has almost everything I would like to see in Gentoo, but it's just not the same.

Oh, Gentoo, Gentoo. Where are you going? And what should I do?

Answer: Maybe I should read userfriendly.org more often?

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