[SciPy-user] Suggested Linux Distribution?

Bill Dandreta wjdandreta at att.net
Mon Jan 16 12:07:58 CST 2006

Rich Shepard wrote:

>   I ran Red Hat for six years, then switched to Slackware about 2.5 years ago
>to get away from the bleeding edge and upgrade dependency hell. It's one of
>the most secure, stable, reliable distributions available. And, you don't
>need to build it all from source. If you want to spend a lot of time doing
>so, then gentoo is probably a good choice. However, if you want a clean, easy
>installation of a distribution that's solid as a rock and more than a decade
>old, take a look at <http://www.slackware.com/>. I call it the "quiet
I used Slackware for several years and liked it very much. One major 
problem is that there is no 64 bit Slackware. I switched to Gentoo over 
a year ago and find it very easy to use. Installation is time consuming 
(it takes a couple of days if you compile everything from source). It 
has the best software administration tool (Portage). One of the biggest 
administration headaches with other distros is that your configuration 
files get clobbered when you upgrade software. Gentoo archives the 
config files so you can roll back to earlier versions if you want to.

If you like to use the latest version of software, Gentoo is very quick 
at releasing stable ebuilds. Most distros run at least 1-2 releases 
behind what is available from developers. Gentoo has stable ebuilds 
available usually within a few days of a new release (I've seen it take 
as long as a month for more complex or obscure software). The latest 
kernel is also made available quickly.

There is a Scientific Gentoo Project 
<http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/desktop/science/index.xml> with its own 
mailing list for questions about scientific software.

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