Yes, I took my time to get back to the blog, but I’ve been really busy. Fortunately 😉
Well, in our previous Chapter we were discussing the idea of these series of blog posts. So, for Chapter 1, we will see how to install Courier-Authlib and Courier-MTA on a Gentoo-Based GNU/Linux server, but we will leave CONFIGURATION details for the next chapter. So, after reading this post, you will go to Courier’s Installation Instructions, read it thoroughly, but without the need of paying lots of attention to the prerequisites, compilation and installation details.
So, your first question probably is «Why Gentoo?». Simple: I like it. Very much. It’s flexible enough to meet both server and desktop needs, the userbase is full of EXCELLENT people that like helping more than flaming (yes, this is a direct comment against a certain GNU/Linux Distribution’s community), and their ebuild maintainers work wonderfully.
So what is an ebuild anyway? It’s Gentoo’s way of naming a «package». But not only that. Gentoo is a source-based distribution where mostly all packages (with some big exceptions, like OpenOffice) must be compiled/installed («emerged» in Gentoo’s jargon) from ground-zero. So, an ebuild is also the recipe of how to cook/compile a program.
There are other source-based distributions, like SourceMage GNU/Linux, where instead of «emerging an ebuild», you «cast a spell from the grimoire».
Since release 2006.0, Gentoo has added a graphical installer to it’s installation livecd, which is both X and ncurses-based (ncurses being the console / text-mode function library used to develop the installer). I really recommend that you give it a try. You will not only learn lots from it, but you’ll also discover a truly powerful gnu/linux distribution.
Well, to tell you the truth, you could also try UTUTO-e GNU/Linux, which was originally based on Gentoo, the only big difference being that all packages are pre-compiled on the installation CD-ROM. It’s the quickest way of installing a Gentoo system, if you lack cpu power.
So, now, go and install your Gentoo based system. Here you have the current installation livecds and the current installation instructions. Once you finish installing and configuring networking, continue to the next chapter of this series.