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Gentoo/Alt is a Gentoo Linux project created to manage porting the Portage framework and other features to other operating systems, such as Mac OS X and the free BSDs. Gentoo/Alt was set up by Pieter Van den Abeele and Daniel Robbins after Pieter Van den Abeele founded Gentoo for Mac OS X.

Gentoo for Mac OS X[edit]

Gentoo for Mac OS X was the first non-Linux project of Gentoo and focused on making the Gentoo experience available on Apple's operating system by introducing the Portage system as a separate entity. This was roughly similar to Fink and MacPorts, but it used Portage instead of a Debian-like or Ports-like system. Later on, Gentoo for Mac OS X was made a subproject of Gentoo/Alt. Currently[when?], the project is no longer active, because its prime assumption of using and not modifying the host OS appeared not to be realistic and eventually broke most packages or made them hardly maintainable. Gentoo for Mac OS X has been superseded by Gentoo Prefix, which is currently what Gentoo offers to Mac OS X users.[1]


Gentoo/*BSD is a subproject which covers ports to BSD-derived operating systems. Currently it consists of three sections: Gentoo/FreeBSD, Gentoo/NetBSD and Gentoo/OpenBSD. The Gentoo/*BSD project is an umbrella to better classify these three subprojects, which often have a lot of similar issues: in practice, most of the decision-making and development is handled in the Gentoo/Alt project or in the subprojects themselves.


Gentoo/FreeBSD logo
OS familyUnix-like (BSD)
Working stateDiscontinued[2]
Source modelOpen source
Package managerPortage
Kernel typeMonolithic (kFreeBSD)[2]
Official websiteGentoo/FreeBSD

Gentoo/FreeBSD is a Unix-like operating system developed by Gentoo Linux developers in order to bring Gentoo Linux design, structure, and tools such as Portage and the Gentoo Linux base layout to the FreeBSD operating system. Gentoo's GNU toolchain is used instead of the original FreeBSD one.

Although the project is no longer maintained by any active Gentoo developers, there are instructions that allow installation of a full Gentoo/FreeBSD system[2]. FreeBSD system ebuilds are integrated into the main portage tree, but this port is far from being complete due to the amount of packages needing to be ported and the lack of a proper Live CD (right now[when?], FreeSBIE's Live CD or FreeBSD setup CD are used during installation).


The current (semi) official logo for Gentoo/FreeBSD is a daemonized "g", derived from original Gentoo Linux logo and inspired by the BSD Daemon. It was designed by Marius Morawski, responding to an unofficial contest launched by Diego Elio Pettenò on his blog.[3]


Gentoo/NetBSD is a project to provide a GNU userland managed by Portage with a NetBSD kernel. The project was started by Damian Florczyk. Currently[when?] only the x86 architecture is targeted and the system as a whole is in an incomplete state.


Gentoo/OpenBSD logo
OS familyUnix-like (BSD)
Source modelOpen source
Latest releaseGentoo Prefix on OpenBSD / April 4, 2011 (2011-04-04)
Package managerPortage
Kernel typeMonolithic (kOpenBSD)
Official websiteGentoo/OpenBSD

Gentoo/OpenBSD is a Gentoo/*BSD subproject to port Gentoo features such as Portage to the OpenBSD operating system. It was originally started by Grant Goodyear and is currently[when?] on development hiatus. An ISO image based on OpenBSD 3.8 is currently maintained by Karol Pasternak and can be downloaded from the project's web site.


Gentoo/DragonFlyBSD is a currently[when?] unofficial port to the DragonFlyBSD kernel. The project is developed by Robert Sebastian Gerus.[4]

Gentoo GNU Hurd[edit]

An unofficial port to GNU Hurd was also being developed,[5] but was abandoned in late 2006.

Gentoo Prefix[edit]

The youngest member of Gentoo/Alt is the Gentoo Prefix project. It emerged from the Gentoo for Mac OS X project, which suffered from multiple practical problems initially. It allows installation on Mac OS X, Solaris, FreeBSD and other Linux distributions. The core principle of Gentoo Prefix is that installation of packages by Portage are done in an offset, thereby leaving the host OS unmodified. As a side effect, administrative privileges are not required.


Led by Benda Xu, "Gentoo RAP for Android Devices" installs a variant of Gentoo called Gentoo RAP in a directory prefix alongside Android.[6] The Linux kernel is used by both Android and Gentoo RAP.[6]


Gentoo/Interix (eprefix) is a port of Gentoo that runs atop the Interix Subsystem for Windows which is also known as Microsoft Windows Services for UNIX (SFU) or Subsystem for Unix-based Applications (SUA).

A result of the Gentoo/Interix project is the ability to install and use the Portage system to emerge native Windows applications (requires Visual Studio, 2008 Express Edition will do too). However, this feature does not support the wide variety of packages supported by other platforms (including Interix).

Mac OS X[edit]

The Prefix project on Mac OS X is tested and supported on Mac OS X Tiger, Leopard and Snow Leopard on PowerPC, IA-32, and x86-64 architectures.[7]


An unofficial port to the Solaris operating system, "Portaris", was announced around 2006, but never got into a public state. It has been superseded by the Gentoo Prefix project.

Plan 9 For Gentoo[edit]

Started in 2011 as a Google Summer of Code project, Plan 9 For Gentoo takes the Gentoo base and overlays a userspace inspired by Plan 9.[8] The stated objectives of the project are to have better hardware support, better software support and to create a "culture shock" for people that have previously used Linux systems.[8] The project is presently[when?] maintained by Robert Seaton.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Groffen, Fabian (2005-12-15). "Gentoo for Mac OS X project targets". Archived from the original on 2008-05-21. Retrieved 2017-07-20.
  2. ^ a b c d "Gentoo FreeBSD". Gentoo Wiki. 2018-08-20. Retrieved 2019-03-06.
  3. ^ Pettenò, Diego Elio (2005-07-16). "Not-so-official Gentoo/FreeBSD artwork contest". Flameeyes's Weblog. Retrieved 2017-07-20.
  4. ^ Goodyear, Grant; Pettenò, Diego Elio (2006-10-19). "Gentoo/*BSD". Archived from the original on 2007-12-28. Retrieved 2017-07-20.
  5. ^ "Gentoo GNU HURD". Archived from the original on 2010-01-09. Retrieved 2017-07-20.
  6. ^ a b "Project:Android - Gentoo Wiki". 2016-01-13. Retrieved 2016-09-24.
  7. ^ Groffen, Fabian (2009-06-01). "Gentoo Prefix Bootstrap Process for Mac OS X". Archived from the original on 2009-07-19. Retrieved 2017-07-20.
  8. ^ a b c Seaton, Robert (2011-08-01). "Plan 9 From Gentoo: Plan 9 Meets Gentoo". Archived from the original on 2012-04-26. Retrieved 2017-07-20.

External links[edit]