I discovered Crux Linux exactly when I needed to. I was getting sick of Redhat’s big-endian-ness. Upgrading was always a challenge, and the complexity of the boot scripts made things really confusing. Based on a BSD-like “ports” system, Crux is a built-from-source Linux in the tradition of Gentoo. But it’s far simpler, and for the first time I really feel like I understand how Linux works, from one end to the other. There’s only very weak dependency support (an advantage, in my mind, over having to run rpm with –nodeps three-quarters of the time), and it’s not for newbies (you need to partition your disk by hand, and compile your own kernel), but I’m in love. I was a ports maintainer for several months.