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What is Gentoo Hosting?

If you are looking for a highly customizable and lightweight operating system to run your web server, Gentoo Linux may be the best choice for you. Like so many Linux distributions, Gentoo is free and open source software, licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2, but some contributions to the distribution are actually released under the Creative Commons License.

Gentoo Linux is a Linux-based operating system (OS) that is built with customization in mind. It is designed in many ways to take you back to the Linux roots as it gives you complete freedom to do what you want to do. To give you an idea at just how close Gentoo is to its Linux roots, Tux the penguin is the official mascot of Linux while Gentoo got its name from the Gentoo species of penguin. The Gentoo is a fast swimmer, and its use is designed to indicate the speed of this particular Linux distribution.

Package Management

Gentoo is built using the package manager Portage. This technology functions as its software distribution system, packing building utility and installation and package updater. By using simple commands, you can take complete control of your operating system or server experience.

Benefits of Gentoo

What makes Gentoo so useful and powerful is the control that you get over your operating system. With Gentoo you are not forced to install any piece of software that you don't want on your computer or server. Each time you install Gentoo, it is compiled and installed just for your machine, allowing you to choose exactly what gets installed on your system and what does not. This allows you to customize Gentoo exactly for your needs while not bloating the system and slowing it down with a bunch of applications that you have no use for and simply don't want.

Ease of Use

However, because of this control, it is not the most user friendly version of Linux out there. Most commands must be done via the command line and something that might seem simple like system updates require user intervention in order to run. This makes the OS more complicated compared to other distributions meaning that it probably isn't the best choice for Linux novices.

Speed

We have already mentioned the speed of Gentoo, but it is worth highlighting again as it is, hands down, one of the fastest Linux distributions you could ever hope to use. This makes it the perfect candidate for the operating system on a web server where speed is a necessity so you can serve out pages to the many visitors that your website receives day in and day out.

The reason that Gentoo is so fast, is simply because of the software that it uses and how it is installed. Nothing that you don't ask for is installed when you build the operating system for your computer and server. So it won't suffer from software bloat that many other systems have as they are forced to process applications that you never even touch.

Support and Community

Like most distributions of Linux, Gentoo has a very large and active community along with a searchable database filled with documents to help you figure out your way through Gentoo. You can easily find chats, forums and much more about Gentoo and you can even ask questions to the community to find the help you need if you run into problems.

Google Uses It

If you take a closer look at Google's Chrome OS, you will find that it also uses the same package manager, Portage, for its flagship operating system that can be found on millions of Chromebooks around the world. Admittedly, Google's Chrome OS has been customized so it isn't much like Gentoo anymore these days, but still the fact that they have chosen to use the same package manager means at the very least Gentoo and Chrome OS are cousins.

Server Hosting

While you don't have a choice of what Linux version your site is hosted on when you use the more affordable shared hosting options, when you graduate to the larger packages that include virtual private servers and even your very own dedicated server, you often have way more control over what is and is not on your server.

Some hosting providers who sell Linux dedicated servers, offer Gentoo as one OS option. Other Linux distributions are more widely available pre-installed with dedicated servers. Due to its adaptability, you probably wouldn't want someone to pre-configure your Gentoo installation anyway. When choosing a dedicated server plan, talk with your hosting provider to ensure Gentoo can be safely installed.

Final Thoughts

Gentoo Linux is one of the most powerful and fastest Linux distributions available today. It is stable, reliable and secure making it the perfect Linux distribution for web or even file server. It is not for the faint of heart, however. It is most definitely more difficult to use compared to many other distributions as it requires you to control everything. Nothing will run on Gentoo Linux unless you want it to, but with this added control comes more responsibility.

If you are looking to purchase your own dedicated server, and are wondering what operating system you should install on it for your web server, consider Gentoo Linux. It will provide you with one of the fastest servers in the data center while providing a secure environment that you are in control of, and not some automated system built into the operating system that will do things for you but slow your system down in the process.

Gentoo Frequently Asked Questions

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