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Why I Use Gentoo Linux

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I’ll admit it right here: Gentoo is my primary operating system and remains my favorite distribution of Linux. That’s not to say I haven’t experimented with others. Arch, Debian, Fedora and Ubuntu have all been installed on my machines at one point or another. I’ve used Exherbo, and I think it has a lot of promise. Even so, I’ve always ended up back using Gentoo. What keeps drawing me back?

To some extent, I’m sure it’s just inertia. When I finally made the switch to Linux in 2004, Gentoo was the distribution that brought me there. (I’d dabbled with other distributions prior to that, and even made a one-week switch to Debian in 2002, but needed to return to Windows to use some software for university, unfortunately.) That said, I usually enjoy change, and if something came along that was genuinely superior to Gentoo for my purposes, I have little doubt that I’d switch with little hesitation.

It seems, therefore, that there must be other reasons that I’ve chosen to stick with Gentoo. Before I list some of those, it’s worth listing some of the commonly cited reasons to use Gentoo that I don’t personally find compelling:

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