Gentoo is great, but …
Yes, Gentoo is a unique Linux distribution. The customizability and efficiency are one-of-a-kind. The community is friendly and helpful and never gatekeeping.
But Gentoo Linux is time consuming, really time consuming. My laptop is a modern, powerful machine. Updating still took a few hours.
Plus, updating or installing software is not just waiting. It’s waiting with a really annoying sound of fast spinning fans.
Furthermore, getting stuff to work. Do you want to see the battery percentage of your wireless mouse? Good luck, have fun wasting a few hours and not making progress at all.
I was a Gentoo user from April 2021 untill now. That’s 2 years and 7 months having a (mostly) great time with Gentoo. But I decided to take a different path. I might come back, I might have parted ways with Gentoo. We’ll see.
The question now is which operating system is next.
I don’t like Windows, so it is beyond question. MacOS is great, but buying a new laptop already is just wasteful and I’d rather use an open-source operating system. BSD is cool and all, but not for me.
Thus, Linux it is!
But Linux is not Linux (I know that it’s a kernel and that Linux is in fact Linux, but I’ll just ignore the technical details here). I need to decide on a distribution. There were two shortlisted.
- Debian: stable, good reputation but not bleeding edge software
- Fedora Workstation: stable, good reputation and bleeding edge software
This list is of course simplified and definitely biased. But it’s a good list for me. I chose Fedora.
It was a good decision
There are no regrets choosing Fedora.
I never really liked Flatpak, but I now really like Flatpak. It is fast and provides a fine sandbox.
Yes, it is nothing to use in a high-risk environment, but fine for a desktop system and someone without paranoia.
Battery life and resource usage also surprised me. They are almost exactly the same as on Gentoo.
Like, Gentoo was highly optimized towards my system and everything that wasn’t used daily wasn’t installed. Every bit of software was compiled for my exact processor.
Fedora has just a standard kernel and binaries pre-compiled for every
amd64 system. I installed only
TLP and the TUXEDO drivers, but that’s it from my side. The rest was done by Fedora.
How can it be that there is no significant difference? Really interesting in my opinion.
If you are a Gentoo user thinking of switching, you might want to try it, at least.
But your results can deviate strongly from what I’ve experienced and shared here. I also still really like what Gentoo and the Gentoo project are doing and how they improve Linux 😃