Why Gentoo Shouldn't be on Your Server
Over the last year I have run a server using the Linux flavor Gentoo. While most of the servers I deal with these days run FreeBSD (WireLoad's servers included), I was curious about what speed I could get out of old hardware with Gentoo. Gentoo is a system built to make it easy to compile every little piece of software in the system with the biggest and baddest gcc flags imaginable for your particular hardware. In theory this should lead to a faster system.
The experience has been a bit of a mixed bag. There are things I really like about Gentoo: the package management, USE flags and the sophisticated dependencies system. But unfortunately the drawbacks are severe for a server setting.
The system is better than most Linux systems I have seen when it comes to general package management and installation.