We are very pleased to announce the upcoming release of a new OpenVZ Gentoo template with VPSLink’s Gentoo VPS Hosting. This template was prepared by Daniel Robbins, the founder and former Chief Architect of the Gentoo Linux project, and President of the Gentoo Foundation. We believe that Daniel’s efforts promise to provide a stronger working foundation for the many VPSLink customers who see Gentoo as their VPS operating system of choice.

The release of this Gentoo template sheds some light on the Gentoo Foundation’s leadership controversy, which is chronicled throughout Daniel’s blog and spurs incisive comments from Anant Narayanan (a Gentoo contributor) in a blog post on Gentoo Politics.

Daniel describes the foundation he once presided over (and is still president of – on paper) as a disjointed and troubled organization which may have lost its way:

… there is a huge disconnect between Gentoo developers and the rest of the universe – by “universe” I mean Gentoo users, outside Gentoo-based projects, organizations using Gentoo Linux and the Open Source/Free Software community as a whole.

If you ask a typical Gentoo developer and a typical Gentoo user to explain the reason for this disconnect, you may find yourself getting two completely different answers.
The larger Gentoo community tends to view the Gentoo project as a cathedral of sorts. There is a priesthood of developers who control the direction of the project. There is very little communication coming out from the cathedral to inform users about what is going on.

- A tale of two cultures (Tuesday, January 15, 2008)

Daniel’s take on the present gap between the Gentoo development community and the Gentoo user community is reinforced by some of the snide comments which surface in Anant’s post:

To the users: things are beginning to settle down, I believe all the important paperwork has been filed and the foundation will regain its legal status soon (and as a bonus, as if it were never revoked). Things are fine, there’s no need for “drastic changes”. Don’t believe us? Too bad for you then, go use Debian.

- Gentoo Politics (Tuesday, January 22, 2008)

While Anant does not represent the Gentoo development community as a whole, one has to wonder whether or not his views are commonly held. One has less to wonder about upon seeing A Gentoo Developer’s Reply to Daniel’s offer to assist the Gentoo Foundation:

We have quite a number of developers who have been Gentoo developers longer than even you were, please allow those folks to continue to run the distribution. Like it or not, Gentoo keeps running and moving forward without your vision or interference. We’ve gotten by just fine for the past 4 years without you, we’ll be just fine. kthxbuhbye. - A Gentoo Developer

Not quite the level of respect you’d expect from a developer toward a distribution’s founder.

We will have to wait until the dust settles to know whether or not Gentoo’s business entity can live on without Daniel’s assistance. (… and whether or not users will grudgingly make the switch to Debian..?)

In the meantime, we would like to thank Daniel for releasing a new OpenVZ template that the Gentoo community at VPSLink will certainly appreciate. We’re planning to have the template ready for use with our instant provisioning system within a week.

We would like to show our thanks to Daniel Robbins by offering him free (as in “for life”) VPS hosting at VPSLink – we hope he’ll take us up on the offer.

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