Being a rolling-release distribution, the release of a “new” Gentoo Linux DVD isn’t as exciting as it is to see a new Ubuntu, Linux Mint, openSUSE and so forth. But the release of 12.0 is still notable because it allows those who have been wanting to test the distro out the ability to do so rather easily.
Prior to the existence of a Gentoo live DVD, to test the distro out you’d need to spend hours installing it via command-line, which isn’t ideal if you just want to give it a quick test. The folks behind Gentoo have never been “for” GUI installers, and while they have existed on Gentoo Live DVDs in the past, there’s no such thing to be found in 12.0. That sounds like a downside, but it’s in fact an upside.
The goal of Gentoo Linux is to be as highly-tuned as possible, and it’s meant to be used by those who either understand the under-pinnings of Linux, or want to. As many devout Linux users can attest even if they are not primary Gentoo users, this is the distro to try if learning Linux well is your goal.
The 12.0 DVD features a robust collection of software, including KDE 4.7.4, GNOME 3.2.1, Xfce 4.8, Xorg 1.10.4, LibreOffice 126.96.36.199, VLC 1.1.13, Chromium 16, Firefox 9, Amarok 2.5, the 3.1.5 Linux kernel and much, much more. I am not sure if this live DVD would be suitable for a specific niche, such as system recovery or things like that, but for those curious about Gentoo, there’s no better option.