Gentoo goes binary! That’s right, the source-based distribution that every hardcore Linux user loves to brag about using now has binary packages available for installation.
This is made possible thanks to the Portage package manager. But until now, every single package installed on Gentoo was done so from source, which meant every time you installed a package it not only took time but also skill.
This doesn’t mean Gentoo is migrating away from its roots. Gentoo is and will always be the most challenging Linux distribution on the planet. But with the help of binary packages, it won’t always be so time-consuming to manage.
One thing to keep in mind, however, is that for most architectures, those binary installations will be limited to the core system and weekly updates.
If, however, you use either amd64 or arm64, there are already over 20 GB of packages that can be installed from their mirrors: LibreOffice, KDE Plasma, GNOME, Docker, and much more.
For those users who have already taken the time to install Gentoo, you can set up your installation to use those packages with the help of the Binary package quickstart guide.
For those diehard Gentoo fans, fear not! This is not the end of your beloved distribution. Anyone who wants to stick with the source-only version of the distribution can do just that.
For those who’d prefer to go the binary route, for faster software installation, that particular route is now an option.
Read more about this change in this official Gentoo post.