I have a set of Thinkpad X-series (x86) for a fresh installation of Linux OS.

I want to ask based on today's trend for mobility, such as android, is Gentoo development catching up with today's popularity, if not what would be equivalent to Gentoo?

Looking at Linux Distro from Wikipedia, the timeline based on initial release over 10 years are Slackware, Debian, FreeBSD, Gentoo. But the Gentoo hasn't been growing in its popularity since then. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_distribution

The equivalent closest to Gentoo I have seen in Wiki page is Chromium OS,

"designed by Google that primarily runs web applications, using Gentoo as its foundation." - Wiki

However, though, nothing seem to have mentioned in particularly about Gentoo OS in Chromium Website. The relatable term I can see is "Portage", which is Gentoo's Package Manager.


My next question is could Chromium OS be the future Gentoo-alike OS based on future key trend of mobility?

  • 1
    As a Gentoo Developer; yes, it is. But whatever someone will claim or even back up with facts and references; what does it matter? Consider to choose based on what you want, instead of popularity. Feb 5, 2014 at 0:42

1 Answer 1


A fairly good way to judge a linux distros popularity (although not always perfectly accurate) is by it's raking on distrowatch.

Currently, Gentoo sits at number 42, which is one of the lowest scores I've seen for it since I started using linux.

From what I recall, people choose Gentoo because they want to tailor software to work best on their particular system. I think you will find the more popular Arch linux to be comparable (except that, as noted by jasonwryan, it's not source based). It's initial install is extremely minimal and it's package manager easy to install from source and configure things if you want to.

Ubuntu / Mint are essentially the opposite of Gentoo, where installs are almost always done from binary, and everything is handled automatically for the user and "just works".

I personally find Debian is a good balance between the two, but also run Mint, and an Arch flavor called Manjaro.

  • 1
    Except Arch is a binary, not source based, distro; so it is not really the "equivalent"...
    – jasonwryan
    Feb 4, 2014 at 7:22
  • @jasonwryan While true, it doesn't feel that way; every time I use yaourt (which is pretty much for every extra program I want to install) it wants me to Edit PKGBUILD, which I assume means I'm installing from source, correct?
    – virtualxtc
    Feb 4, 2014 at 7:30
  • 3
    No. yaourt is not pacman. When you use packages from the AUR, you are building from source. Official Arch packages are shipped as binaries, hence Arch is a binary distro. Also, makepkg (with which you build packages) doesn't have anything like the flexibility of Gentoo's use flags.
    – jasonwryan
    Feb 4, 2014 at 7:40
  • @jasonwryan Thanks for all the info, I think I now better understand the point of your first comment and have edited my answer to be more accurate.
    – virtualxtc
    Feb 4, 2014 at 7:49
  • @virtualxtc got a look at distrowatch. Top few above 1000 H.P.D are relatively new distros for some. Few have been around for years 10 years or more, Slackware, Debian, FreeBSD and Fedora (aft. Redhat has enterprised).
    – Edwin
    Feb 4, 2014 at 8:27

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