Zentoo Linux is an open source and completely free operating system derived from the well known Gentoo Linux distribution and designed from the ground up to be used for transforming old 64-bit computers into highly customized, stable and reliable servers.
Available as pre-build images and source archives
Being based on Gentoo Linux, Zentoo Linux is a source based distribution that is available for download as pre-build images and source archives, including a live package tree. Keep in mind though, that it only supports 64-bit hardware platforms.
It installs in the same way as Gentoo
Just like Gentoo, you’ll have to manually install the operating system on a local drive in order to use it, by combining the pre-build image with the Zentoo stages, which can be downloaded from the project’s website or via Softpedia (see download link above).
Includes a plethora of server-oriented packages and up-to-date software
When compared with Gentoo Linux, we can immediately notice that the distribution reviewed here includes more server-oriented packages, as well as newer versions (read: up-to-date) for the standard packages that are also available on Gentoo’s default software repository, which means that Zentoo Linux is more bleeding-edge.
In addition, we can mention that it features the performance-oriented systemd initialization system, a binary kernel image with built-in modules for Oracle VirtualBox, a Dracut initramfs, as well as a pkg_config action that has been engineered to automatically detect and install the basic packages that are required for booting the operating system.
Summing up, Zentoo Linux is a distribution of Linux for experienced users, especially those of you who managed to install Gentoo before, as it provides the same installation method. We strongly recommend it if you want to deploy a dedicated server machine on your local network, either at home of in a small office.