Gentoo is a source-based, free operating system based on either Linux or FreeBSD 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.
Origin – Home Page: USA – Gentoo
Desktop: None by default. As a source-based operating system, Gentoo gives you the freedom to install – from scratch – any available desktop that you wish to use.
Price: Free and Open Source
CommentsWhat a source-based distro like Gentoo offers is the freedom, assuming you have the time, to install and customize the OS any way you want, and Gentoo makes available some of the most detailed documentation to guide you every step of the way. If you are just looking for a distro that works out-of-the-box, this is not it, but if you love to tinker with stuff, and learn a lot along the way, you will love Gentoo. In addition to the excellent docs, the Gentoo community is very noob-friendly.
Since you will be compiling the Linux kernel (the core of the operating system) during installation you can enable or disable any features, including LVM (Logical Volume Management) and RAID support. If Gentoo sounds like fun, but you do not have the time to install a system for yourself, Sabayon is a desktop-oriented, Gentoo-based distro that you may want to explore.
Download/Buy: Install iso images are made available for download here.
Tutorials/Tips: If you are ready to discover for yourself what it takes to set up a Gentoo system, the Gentoo Handbook is a good place to start.