Bringing Gentoo Linux to the masses

With its point-and-click installation, Redcore aims “to be to Gentoo what Manjaro is to Arch Linux.”

Redcore Linux [1] (Figure 1) is a Gentoo [2] derivative designed to give users some of the optimization of Gentoo with an easier install. It is a successor to Kogaion Linux, which in later releases was also based on Gentoo. However, after five years of development, the RogentOS Development Group, Kogaion’s owner, discontinued it in November 2016. In response, Ghiunhan Mamut, a member of RogentOS, created Redcore Linux. With Redcore featured in this month’s download DVD, Mamut agreed to answer our questions.

Mamut discovered free software around the turn of the millennium. Unusually, his high school ran Mandrake Linux, one of the earliest user-friendly distributions, rather than Windows. Later, when he bought his first home computer, he thought it natural to install Linux himself. “Back then,” he recalls, “the free aspect did not matter much. But as time passed, I started learning about the system, and I was exposed to the free software movement. Naturally, I started tinkering with it – not programming but trying different configurations. I broke the system on purpose more times than I can remember, then tried to fix it. I soon found myself helping others fix and configure their systems.” Mamut went on to help found the first Linux User Group in his city and made his first contribution: a patch for the chat client Pidgin. “It felt good,” Mamut says, and he went on to create an installer for an online TV solution and to compile various packages as he hopped between distros.

Then, 10 years ago, Mamut discovered Gentoo Linux. “It was like nothing I ever used before,” Mamut recalls. “It took a very long time to install – and I mean a very, very long time, about two weeks, since computers weren’t that powerful back then. However, at the end of those weeks, I had a system which I built from scratch. I kept tuning it to my liking to eliminate stuff I don’t use, and I guess I really liked the result, because after that I stopped distro-hopping.” Mamut made an exception for Kogaion Linux, attracted by its efforts to make Gentoo easier, but “when I tried it, it felt very rough and unpolished,” he says. “I decided to change that and I got involved in Kogaion’s development. Gradually, we rebased the distribution on Gentoo Linux exclusively and it became a lot better, easy to install and quick to run. However, after just two successful releases, real life commitments got in the way and the team behind it disbanded. Yet I wasn’t ready to give up, so I forked the codebase and Redcore Linux was born.”

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