Linux 64bit Distro Changeup

Everyone know’s I’m a huge redhat fan. I am and probably always will be. The mojority of my servers run redhat’s Fedora Core. I really like fedora for ease of install and management. The rpm based distro is perfect for servers and great on the desktop of people who aren’t linux geeks.

My main desktop computer is a 64 bit custom build box that I built several months ago. I really went all out at the time and built it for Microsoft Flight Simulator. Right down to the SATA drives, RAM (and of course RAM cooling) the system was built exactly like I wanted for that sole purpose of running MS flight sim at full realism, full dynamic scenery and full flight graphics. I have to say, it works great for that purpose. But after the first flight I realized one thing the box was missing. A 64 bit linux distro (or linux at all). 64 bit windoze wasn’t out yet. So I installed Fedora 64 bit on half the drive. I’ve been pretty impressed by it, though I haven’t been impressed enough with the speed. I mean the thing runs great and far better than any other computer I own. But, the OS it’s self isn’t that fast.

It’s currently running Fedora Core 4 x64 and as we know FC5 came out recently. As I started backing up all my files preparing for the upgrade, I got interrupted by having to rebuild one of my routers. I ofcourse used Gentoo due to it’s speed and reliability. For those that don’t know, Gentoo is a source based distro in which everything on your system is custom compiled for your system. I don’t recommend gentoo for use on servers due to compile time on updates but for a router/firewall the distro can’t be beat. I’m always impressed by how fast a gentoo box can rotue packets.

Anyway, It had been a while since I had been to the gentoo site to download anything; due to the nature of soruce based, you don’t download cd’s often. But there it was, a link to the AMD_64 version of the live install cd. At first I was impressed enough that they now had a GUI installer. Though I haven’t seen it yet, the rotuer install had to be done text only from scratch just like the good old days. But I do plan to review the installer.

Anyways, Once I got the router built I returned to the gentoo Torrents page and downloaded the 64bit install disk. Once I finish backing up my files I’m going to wipe Fedora off of my 64 bit machine and try gentoo.

My wife at first wasn’t particularly thrilled about the notion. She uses that computer more than any other. I usually stick to my laptop unless I do something that needs processing power or good graphics. So springing on a new distro wasn’t her ideal of adventure. Though I explained the needed upgrade anyway due to FC5 being out. She’s ok with the distro… Telling her I wanted to go back to Gnome on this install didn’t make her day either.

As if the Distro wars weren’t enough to keep linux people arguing, there is always the KDE vs Gnome debate.

Oddly enough I’m on the side of KDE but last I checked the KDE support for XGL isn’t there yet and I’ve got an nvidea card just dieing for XGL. I guess the XGL support is there, just not the window manager support. Feel free to correct me if you have linkage.

Anyway I’ll start the 64bit gentoo trial after a trip to Walmart for some more CD-Rs.

I’ll give gentoo a couple weeks before a review then I’ll make the decision about going back to Fedora Core 64 desktop or not.

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