Gentoo Releases New LiveDVD

by Ostatic Staff - Mar. 09, 2011

Gentoo developers have announced the availability of their latest release, Gentoo LiveDVD 11.0. This is their first release in nearly 18 months, so it's cause for celebration. Of course it comes with the newest software and desktops and offers a few new features. But alas, it still doesn't include an installer (that I can find).

Gentoo has a long history of troubles when it comes to providing tradional install media. They tried a couple of releases, but there were issues. So, they abandoned the idea and have provided only live environments ISOs since. Those wishing to install will have to resort to the time-tested Stage 2 install. Nevertheless, the LiveDVD can give one a nice idea what you could end up using and a nice environment from which to perform an install. As a consolation prize, the live system uses AUFS which allows users to install extra software and a persistent /home option will allow saving personal settings and data.

Gentoo 11.0 comes with Linux 2.6.37, Xorg X Server 1.10.0, GCC 4.5.2. Desktop environments include KDE 4.6.0, GNOME 2.32.1, Xfce 4.8, Enlightenment 1.0.7, and Fluxbox 1.3.1. Some of the software included is OpenOffice 3.2.1, Abiword 2.8.6, GnuCash 2.2.9, Scribus 1.9.3, GIMP 2.6.11, Firefox 3.6.13, Opera 11.0, Pidgin 2.7.10, Amarok 2.4, and MPlayer 1.0_rc4. There's actually a whole boatload of applications included.

The LiveDVD comes in two versions: a 64-bit version and a dual 32- and 64-bit version. There are instructions for USB memory sticks as well. The LiveDVD is slow to boot, but performance in the live environment is quite snappy. I was a bit disappointed that the boot splashes and log in screens retained images from version 10, but the desktop seems updated. The background is made of a slideshow of about every Gentoo wallpaper in existence.

I first installed Gentoo back in the days when anyone worth their salt installed from the Stage 1 tarball and used it for years and years, but the prospect of all that work now just didn't appeal to me - even with Stage 2. So back to Sabayon I booted. But it was nice to visit my old Gentoo friend again, even if just for a short while. If you'd like a crash course in the inner workings of Linux or would prefer a system built from source, then Gentoo's the one for you. If you want a quick 15 minute install and go system, then not so much.

Here are just two of the many wallpapers that change out every 2 minutes and 21 seconds: