Published on [Permalink]
Reading time: 3 minutes

'My OS: Gentoo, Debian, OSX Tiger'

Update: Noticed some searches coming to this post. If you are looking for Debian tools such as apt-get for OSX then you probably want Fink. If you are looking for Gentoo/portage for OSX then you’ll probably want to take a look at this how-to at the Gentoo Wiki.

Since I’ve reviewed some other things I thought I’d go over the systems I use, not that anyone would care. Here they are anyways with some mini-reviews of each.

My Work OS: Gentoo GNU/Linux

While Gentoo can be a bit more difficult to install that some distros(I believe they are working on an installer), the amount of tweaking and customization it allows is amazing. It’s possible to have the entire system compiled from source so that it is optimized for your hardware. I’m personnally still a newb when it comes to linux and cringe at the idea of compiling something from scratch, but the emerge/portage system makes this so easy I think it’s really a great distro even for a newb. Optimizing and tweaking does require some know-how.

The real winner here is how much documentation they have online. The Online Handbook coupled with the Gentoo Forums is pretty much all you will ever need. I’ve yet to have a question that wasn’t answered somewhere in there. It’s these kind of resources that really make the product and other distros should take note. If you got a spare harddrive or computer then give it a whirl.

As for desktop environments I’m currently using Gnome, though I’ve used KDE in the past. It’s rather easy to switch so I might do so in the future depending on what come’s out. One of the joys of using Linux is choice, though this can be a hinderance to some as they don’t know what to choose.

As a side note I find that CrossOver Office runs pretty much all the Windows applications I’m still stuck using here at work including Office 2000/XP (2003 not yet supported).

My Home Desktop: OSX Tiger

Well I caught the Apple bug after I purchased an iPod back in 2002 and soon purchased an iBook. I’ve been very happy ever since. As far as desktop environments go I don’t think anything comes close to OSX. Gnome and KDE are great and are getting better, but I’m still the happiest with OSX. Yes, there’s unneeded eye candy, like WinXP but unlike WinXP it actually runs decently and I’ve found that each new release actually runs better on the same hardware! The first thing I do when I’m at a WinXP station is turn off all the eyecandy, though I prefer to find a station that still has Win2k on it.

Overall it just works, the applications available are great and if I need a bit more control there are still BSD underpinnings. This comes in handy when you administer linux servers, which brings me to..

My Server OS: Debian GNU/Linux

While Gentoo is great, especially if you want bleeding edge, there’s something about the stability of Debian that keeps me using it. I’ve had my server running for at least 3 or 4 years now without a crash or problem. The only downtime I’ve had is upgrading kernels and the occasional act of god (power outage, powersupply failure, etc). The ease of updating with apt is probably the killer feature. I have to say of the distro’s I’ve tried, the easiest to maintain for servers has to be Debian. If you want to run a small development box or host your website or whatever, I highly recommend giving it a try. I run mine on a old 400Mhz P2 and it hasn’t let me down yet.

Your mileage may vary with the above but they’re the ones I’m sticking with.