Calculate compared to other distributions

Updated 24 April 2018


A rolling-release update approach allows you to always have an advanced system, featuring the latest software versions.

Calculate Linux is a rolling-release distribution. It means that your installed system will always be up-to-date. To update, you will not have to download the next release of Calculate Linux: just use the cl-update tool regularly.

You can choose the version to be installed for almost any application.

Usually, any application provided by Portage is available in multiple versions.

For example, versions 31.8.0, 38.1.0, 38.1.1, 39.0.3 of Firefox were available in Portage at some moment. This is really convenient, as it allows you to test coming changes and, if you wish so, to always have the latest versions of software.

To tune your software functionality, feel free to edit their USE flags and to recompile them then.

Even though Calculate Linux uses binary update packages, you still have all the flexibility of Portage, which allows you to modify the functionality and the dependencies of packages on your computer using USE flags. Once you have edited the USE flags, the package will be recompiled.

Software can be optimized for specific hardware

If you wish, you can optimize the GCC settings, disable binary packages and update as they do in Gentoo - that is, by compiling packages on your computer. In some cases, editing USE flags and recompiling with optimized compilation options can increase productivity.

Many of the software you can install in Calculate come in binary form.

Portage provides numerous packages, and even more are available if you add third-party repositories. The most popular among them are distributed by Calculate as binaries. New binary packages are released steadily.

A win-win proportion between stable and cutting-edge

Is it possible indeed? Generally, either you Calculate seems a fair compromise between stable system packages tested by Gentoo maintainers and the latest versions of user space applications. For instance, we provide the latest Firefox version for functionality reasons, while only a stable LibreOffice, as well as stable system packages are included in Calculate releases.

A skilled community

Calculate Linux is a choice of those who value freedom and want to learn Linux, rather than using their operating system only as an interface that allows them to launch a browser or games. Under the hood, Calculate uses powerful assembly and configuration methods for tuning your system to the utmost. You can choose between PulseAudio and ALSA, OpenRC and PulseAudio, etc. Modifying your kernel configuration is so easy that even a beginner can do it.


Managing dependencies in Calculate Linux gives you flexibility, but it may require more competence

for setting up USE flags for some packages or for unmasking. The package manager will generally try to tell you the reason for the blockage, and in most cases even fix the conflict. You should read the output carefully.

Cl-update users will get localized output (for some languages only, for the time being). To modify this, please edit the /etc/portage/package.use/custom and /etc/portage/package.keywords/custom files. We highly recommend that you read the documentation on this site.

Emerge has actually no GUI on Calculate Linux,

and the classic black-and-white command line may seem somewhat weird, but it only takes little time to get to know how it works and to begin getting the most of the functionality it offers. For example, what could be simpler than typing wgetpaste / etc/fstab and immediately seeing the contents of the file on the site page? To install software, you will also need to type something in the command line. It is less complicated than it sounds: use eix for search (as in eix firefox) and emerge for installation (as inemerge firefox). For Portage syncing, run cl-update -s.

There may be difficulties when upgrading your system after, say, an annual break.

You can install the system once and maintain it indefinitely. Anyway, for the last five years no update required a complete reinstallation of the system. However, if you have not been upgrading the system for a year or if you take an old Calculate Linux release and try to install and then update it, it may end in nothing.

As Calculate has no versioning, maintaining all previous modifications would be rather difficult. The best solution is thus to update regularly. You will be notified about this by the update utility, at an interval you choose.