Bye bye Gentoo

05 Nov 2007 • 3 min read

I never thought I would write this, but it's true. I've retired from Gentoo. It's been a fun ride, I've made many new friends and thankfully few enemies. But our views no longer follow the same path. This is not a snap decision, I have been thinking about it in the back of my mind for a few weeks now.Why am I leaving? Well, my view of Gentoo has always been about choice. You know your USE flags? Well, you choose them. Choice. It's a good thing - it makes Gentoo a very powerful distro. I'm leaving because I'm being denied lack of choice with the underpinnings. The current Gentoo mindset is once the tool has been picked, embrace it to the exclusion of all other tools. The current idea is to have the entire GNU toolset available for portage to use. I find this unacceptable after I've strived to make baselayout work with the tools the base OS provides and even other init systems in portage. There is no technical reason why this cannot be done, or even dare I say allowed so we can at least try. But no, we cannot even do that.Speaking of baselayout, I am sorry to leave it behind just when the finishing post for it being unmasked was so close. But I may continue working on it as an external project if the Gentoo Trustees will allow it to be BSD licensed. I'm pretty sure I could do that anyway as I did write 99% of it from scratch, but I'm a nice guy so I asked. Gentoo can then either can on using it or get other devs to take it over or use something else.I have other projects to work on - maybe I'll now have the time to write that IPv6 stack for dhcpcd and actually get it into the various BSDs.I'll probably stop using Gentoo as well move into FreeBSD.I'd like to say a big "Thank you" to everyone who voted for me in the Council, and I'm sorry that I've let you down by leaving but when you're given a big flat out no, it does leave little choice. I'd also like to say thanks to the silent majority who wanted me to stay, but it's a bit late now isn't it? You have a voice, and you should use it more.Finally, a big thank to the users of my software - all the emails I got telling me how much you like my work means a lot to me! You guys make me keep going 😃 Although I'm going somewhere else, I think I've touched Gentoo enough to leave my mark on it for a little while.