Gentoo is absurd. I've been at it for over 2 hours and I'm just "downloading the kernel source."
In the name of goodness, what were they thinking?
OK, so I wanted something custom for my old K6-2/500 which has 512MB or RAM and a 40GB hard disk. Slackware 12.2 doesn't boot on it.
As an educational experience, I suppose it's worth it, but, by golly, there are some masochists out there.
It's pretty half-impressive, if you know what I mean. So far it's a masterpiece of not-quite-scripting-things-enough but with obviously some fiendishly clever source configuration in the background.
Maybe in a month of Sundays (if the suspense doesn't kill me) I'll have my very own electronic equivalent of an ancient Citroen Saxo with blacked out windows, lowered shocks, alloys with ultra low-profile tires, pointless spoilers, stick-on neon lights, fluffy dice and 1kW of skull crushing techno handbag disco drum and bass.
Update: Well, after about 4 hours of my time and maybe 3 or 4 compiling, the basic system is up and running with a 2.6.27 kernel. It went completely without a hitch. I wasn't confused at all by the instructions and didn't have to try anything twice. It was fairly tedious, but now it "just works." The box is headless again and on the network. I suppose on a modern multi-core machine with lots of RAM the compilation is pretty trivial, and I suppose I might have saved some work by downloading an install image with the graphical installer, but there wasn't one guaranteed to work with the ancient processor.
Incidentally, running SETI@Home on this box is a bit like spitting into the wind nowadays, but for a laugh I put a new client on. The floating point speed has gone from 189 MFLOPS to 262 MFLOPS. The 64-bit dual-core Athlon 2.6GHz is about 2070 MFLOPS per core. The 1.67GHz Athlon XP is 1287 MFLOPS. The dual PIII/550 is 276 MFLOPS per CPU, whereas the 500MHz UltraSPARC II manages 328 MFLOPS.
I need to get me some CUDA hardware.