Gentoo-Based Calculate Linux 20 Is Released
The Russians have released another major version of their Gentoo-based GNU/Linux distribution Calculate Linux. It is based on Gentoo Linux 17.1. KDE Plasma, Cinnamon, LXQt, Mate and Xfce flavors are available for desktop users. There's also a server and cloud versions available.
Calculate Linux 20 is a free software operating system based on the source-based Gentoo Linux distribution. It uses OpenRC 0.41.2 instead of systemd for service management and it uses Gentoos portage package management system. It comes with a user-friendly installer (unlike Gentoo which provides nothing beyond a handbook explaining what commands you need to type to install it) and beautiful default configurations for the various desktop environments it can provide.
Calculate Linux 20 is, as its core, just Gentoo Linux with its own packages on top. A close-up inspection of its portage package management systems configuration file
/etc/portage/repos.conf/zz-calculate.conf reveals that it uses Gentoos portage tree with an overlay specific to Calculate Linux on top.
Calculate Linux 20 will, by default, install pre-compiled binary packages when new software is installed. Gentoo Linux will build them from source. That is an option in Calculate Linux but it is not the default. Switching to source-based installation is a simple matter of changing one line in
/etc/portage/make.conf/custom. The same is true for other Calculate Linux specific configuration; the distribution can easily be re-configured to be a regular Gentoo Linux system.
The detailed list of changes in the Calculate Linux 20 release announcement mentions a move to Gentoos 17.1 profile, a system compiled with GCC 9.2, cronie replacing vixie-cron for cron jobs, a new Plymouth bootloader screen, Xfce being updated to 4.14 and several fixes. Support for i686 is being dropped as of this release; only x86-64 images for its various flavors are available (There are no images for ARM or other architectures).
Packages for the various desktops it supports are updated to the latest versions. It has KDE Plasma 5.17.4 in the KDE spin, Cinnamon 4.0.3 in the Cinnamon spin, MATE 1.22 in the MATE spin, LXQt 0.13.0 in the LXQt spin and Xfce 4.14 in the Xfce spin. There are also basic "Scratch" variants available with no desktop environments pre-installed.
The Russian government lists Calculate Linux as official Russian software. The great Russian leader Putin would likely approve even though he personally uses the aging American Windows XP operating system on his home computer.
Torrents with ISO images loaded with KDE, Cinnamon, LXQt, MATE and Xfce can be acquired from wiki.calculate-linux.org/en/desktop and the server and cloud images are available at wiki.calculate-linux.org/en/download.