We produce Gentoo Linux, a special flavor of Linux that can be automatically optimized and customized for just about any application or need. Extreme configurability, performance and a top-notch user and developer community are all hallmarks of the Gentoo experience.
Thanks to a technology called Portage, Gentoo Linux can become an ideal secure server, development workstation, professional desktop, gaming system, embedded solution or something else -- whatever you need it to be. Because of its near-unlimited adaptability, we call Gentoo Linux a metadistribution.
What is Portage?
Portage is the heart of Gentoo Linux, and performs many key functions. For one, Portage is the software distribution system for Gentoo Linux. To get the latest software for Gentoo Linux, you type one command: emerge --sync. This command tells Portage to update your local "Portage tree" over the Internet. Your local Portage tree contains a complete collection of scripts that can be used by Portage to create and install the latest Gentoo packages. Currently, we have more than 8000 packages in our Portage tree, with new ones being added all the time.
Portage is also a package building and installation system. When you want to install a package, you type emerge packagename, at which point Portage automatically builds a custom version of the package to your exact specifications, optimizing it for your hardware and ensuring that the optional features in the package that you want are enabled -- and those you don't want aren't.
Portage also keeps your system up-to-date. Typing emerge -u world -- one command -- will ensure that all the packages that you want on your system are updated automatically.
Portage will keep your Gentoo Linux system as "up-to-date" as you desire. And because of this, experienced Gentoo users don't pay too much attention to "new versions" of Gentoo Linux -- after all, the latest and greatest version of Gentoo Linux is always available by typing an emerge --sync command. There's no need to wait several months for a "new version" of Gentoo Linux to be released because Gentoo Linux is continually updated and refined and these improvements are immediately made available to you.
Of course, we do roll up official CD releases of Gentoo Linux so that new Gentoo Linux installs are as up-to-date as possible from the start. Here's an overview of what is included in the most recent release of Gentoo Linux:
If the power, flexibility and speed of Gentoo Linux appeals to you, then we encourage you to give it a try. We don't think you'll be disappointed.