Gentoo’s Unexpected Twist: Embracing Binary Support with a Little Hitch

Gentoo isn’t just any Linux distribution, it’s the distribution that targets a special faction of the Linux community. Gentoo is the distro for users who want an operating system that’s geared specifically for them. To make that possible, Gentoo is 100% source-based. It means everything is compiled from source code. From the operating system to the apps that run on top of it, it’s all compiled. This means you can make numerous tweaks to the config files before the compilation. On December 29, the Gentoo team announced they were making binary packages available for installation on the OS. That means there’ll be software that can be installed, via the Portage package manager, from a binary installer and those packages will install quickly and easily. If you use any architecture besides amd64 or arm64, you’ll be limited to packages for the core system and weekly updates. If, however, you do use armd64 or arm64 architecture, you’ll enjoy over 20 GB of binary packages available for installation. binary package support is a big step forward for Gentoo but it doesn’t strip away the mantel of “most challenging Linux distribution.” Gentoo still takes some serious skill to install but that same skill doesn’t have to be applied to installing the software you need.