Recently I decided that it was time I picked up some flavor of Linux and give it a try. I’ve installed Gentoo in the past, with some difficulty, but never stuck with it for long. I finally got tired of it and put Windows back on the unit. I have since felt that Linux should be part of my knowledge-base, especially with the work-field I’m going into.
The second time around with Gentoo wasn’t as bad as the first. I had very few problems, and had to ask for help only a handful of times. I mainly went along with the Handbook, and the recommended install, as I’m still uncomfortable with Linux. I might go back and do a custom install at a later date when I learn more, but for now the recommended install fit my needs. I was careful this time to pay close attention to everything I did in the install, including the commands used. I’m more of a learn by doing person, so this would be my one chance to really learn a lot of the commands used.
All in all the basic install of Gentoo took me about a good 38 hours. Once the install was finished, it was time to do some emerging.
More Here 
I recently saw the announcement of the ‘fork’ of Gentoo, Exherbo. Its not really a fork, because there isn’t any shared stuff. The package manager used is Paludis, one of the alternatives to Portage in Gentoo. Several of the developers on Exherbo are from Gentoo, and they profess similar goals. I’m a bit wary, though, because their webpage is pretty dickish. Thats fine, Gentoo never claimed to be a everyman’s distro, but I kind of wish they’d waited to announce their project until after they wanted people to start using it.
I shouldn’t be surprised, though, since Gentoo dev and author of Paludis, Ciaran McCreesh, is one of the Exherbo devs. I once tried to use Paludis about a year ago, when portage was in one of its broken states ( one of the reasons I’m moving on, more on that later…) I read the install page for Paludis, got it installed, but couldn’t get it working. I fiddled with it for awhile, read some conflicting documentation on the Paludis website, and finally hopped on the IRC channel to ask for help. I was informed that the documentation was out of date, and when I asked what I needed to do, showing them my error messages and everything, I was told by Mr. McCreesh to just wait a few weeks. That’s a crazy way to treat your users and potential contributors. Maybe I’m just used to the Ruby community, where everyone is helpful and supportive.
And: Gentoo Software that never made it