I'm going to begin with a disclaimer:  I know this post will be aggregated on the ubuntu-uk planet.  This is not a swipe at ubuntu - I love ubuntu.  The guys at ubuntu-uk are great, I get on really well with them, and this post doesn't suggest ubuntu is an inferior operating system.

Right, now that's out of the way...

After reading a post by Zeth on commandline.org.uk  I was reignited with enthusiasm for giving Gentoo another run on my main Desktop PC at home.  I first installed Gentoo as my main operating system when I first started learning linux and after grappling with it for a couple of months had to admit defeat after I had done an "emerge -uD --newuse world" command with "ACCEPT_KEYWORDS=~x86_64" in my /etc/make.conf.  Needless to say, I've learnt alot since then (about myself, linux in general, and other distros) and since reading the aforementioned blog, decided to give Gentoo a go again myself.

Fear not, my brown (and blue) friends over at (k)ubuntu - I have now opted to go for a dual-boot setup, so still have access to my very creative ubuntustudio installation.  That's something that deserves it's own review - and I'll be putting one out near the release of the Gutsy Gibbon.  So once I had decided this, I got on with the installation.

I remember using the graphical installer a few months back, for another system - and it failed badly - so this time I did it the 'proper way;'  using the Gentoo Handbook.  It's a really good way to learn exactly how all the bits of linux fit together 'under the hood' as it were.  It'd not something for the casual IT user - but if you're going to do _anything_ in IT - I'd recommend it.  Anyway - you can read the handbook yourself, so I won't go through the installation - it's boring.. and time consuming (and moreso to repeat it verbatim).

The one thing I liked was that I didn't spend hours grappling with X - it loaded right after gnome had been emerged - and to my surprise (due to my own excellent choices of kernel parameters) had nvidia working with hardware acceleration from the off.  Fantastic - a couple of hours later I had the whole system loaded how I liked - with autohinter enabled so my fonts are lovely and smooth - a nice 'stable' version (or as close to stable as possible) of Beryl running my desktop.  All my music library symlinked from my ubuntu partition and hardware detection working a treat.  I just need to enable my subversion repos (two minute job) and then I'm ready for work.  (Oh, and I got vmware-player working so that I can run my WinXP image for commercial support).  Neat.

I wouldn't have dreamed of getting all this done in a day before - fantastic!  I got help along the way in the #gentoo  IRC channel (though beware of staying on-topic).  It's more a case of phrasing your questions so that your blaming gentoo for the problems.  If they feel like you're dissing gentoo - they're more likely to tell you what the real problem is - and from that the solution becomes identifiable.

I'm still using ubuntustudio for play stuff though, and ubuntu on my laptop (and ubuntu on my two servers) so guys - I haven't really left you.  I've just spread my wings to fly again.  I'd read Zeth's post if you really want to comprehend my inspiration... his analogy just fits.