Gentoo is well-known for being a “build it yourself” type of operating system. Everything from the packages, down to the Linux kernel itself must be built, from source, by the user. To some, this is a real advantage, and they love the ability to customize everything. Unfortunately, because Gentoo tends to be difficult for the average user, many users have taken it upon themselves to create “spins” or “derivatives” of the operating system. Since there are so many choices, we’ve decided to make a list of the best Gentoo Linux derivatives to check out!
Funtoo is a Gentoo-based distribution primarily maintained and developed by the founder of the Gentoo project. The main goal of the operating system is to improve upon the core of Gentoo, without taking away with what makes it great. One of the best features that Funtoo has to offer over Gentoo is it is Git-based. Making the distribution use Git improves the speed of downloading software dramatically, compared to Gentoo’s Rsync setup.
The Funtoo operating system has a lot to offer, aside from streamlining the core Gentoo experience. It also makes building the operating system a better experience as a whole and modernizes it by creating pre-configured “sub-arches”, which provides a ready-to-build setup for multiple types of computers. Additionally, it’s “mix-in” feature means that users won’t need to spend countless hours messing with use-flags.
Suffice it to say, if you love the Gentoo experience and how it works, but wish it was a bit more modern go try out Funtoo. Check out our guide on how to install it here!
The core technology of Gentoo is impressive. Trouble is, because of how difficult it is to install, many people who would benefit from it are missing out. That’s where Sabayon Linux comes in. It’s a Linux distribution that makes “Gentoo” easy, by removing the headache of building from scratch. Just because it’s “Gentoo made easy” doesn’t mean it’s a pushover though. Users will still build all programs from source via Portage.
Sabayon does a good job of taking the annoyances out of Gentoo while giving users what they want. If you love the Gentoo way of using Linux, but grow tired of spending days building it, maybe Sabayon is right for you.
3. Redcore Linux
Redcore Linux is a Romanian Linux distribution that, like Sabayon, takes Gentoo and tries to make it more accessible for the average user. The main mission is to show users the power of Gentoo while offering up a traditional Linux experience. Unlike Sabayon, users do not build packages from source. Instead, Redcore Linux users get pre-built binary packages from Redcore themselves.
This operating system is an interesting one, and if you’ve ever wanted to try out Gentoo but know very little about advanced Linux distributions this is your best bet. Be warned though, as Redcore doesn’t have access to what many Gentoo users love like eBuilds, heavy customization, and etc.
4. Gentoo Studio
Gentoo Studio is an audio workstation operating system built with the Gentoo operating system as a base. The main draw to this operating system isn’t that it’s Gentoo. Instead, it’s the fact that it comes packed with dozens of professional audio applications and tools to run a professional recording studio.
Don’t let the “Gentoo” part of Gentoo Studio scare you off. Gentoo studio is very easy to set up and isn’t targeted at Linux masters. It’s not as easy to install as Redcore or Sabayon. That said, there is much less configuration needed, and anyone familiar with computers shouldn’t have any problem The main goal here is to offer up a fully functional audio operating system for free that users can rely on to get work done.
Gentoo Studio has a lot of programs to use out of the box. Most notably, Ardour, MuseScore, Audacity, Cadence, FFMPEG, and Frescobaldi. More information on the included audio programs can be found on the website homepage.
If you’re a Linux user looking to set up a full-featured, professional audio recording studio, do yourself a favor and look into Gentoo Studio.
Pentoo is a Linux distribution created specifically for security auditing and penetration testing on networks. Unlike other Linux distributions on this list, it is not designed to be installed. Instead, Pentoo is meant for USB sticks and CD ROMs. The operating system itself comes with a “hardened kernel” as well as other useful patches, disk encryption support and various cracking and hacking tools.
The Pentoo operating system hasn’t seen an update in quite a while, and some consider it “discontinued”. Still, if you’re a Linux security expert and you’re looking for an alternative to Kali Linux, Pentoo may still be worth checking out.