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1.  Project Description

The Gentoo catalyst project develops and supports the catalyst release building tool. The design of catalyst is meant to be easy to use, cutomize, and maintain. It is also used in other Gentoo projects, such as GNAP.

2.  Documentation

The catalyst FAQ attempts to answer commonly asked questions related to catalyst and its usage.

3.  Project Goals

The goal of the catalyst project is to provide a single multi-faceted tool that can reliably build all aspects of a Gentoo Linux release: stage tarballs, GRP package sets, and install CDs.

Our specific development goals for catalyst include the following: ensuring it provides high-quality builds of Gentoo Linux, and for the tool to be easy to use, customize, extend and maintain. The catalyst tool is intended to be used by those who wish to create their own customized versions of Gentoo Linux, or their own customized LiveCDs. Our goal is to make catalyst a powerful tool that's a pleasure to use, and to ensure that the code we write is maintainable and of high-quality.

4.  Developers

Developer Nickname Role
agaffney Lead
jmbsvicetto Member

All developers can be reached by e-mail using

5.  Supported Architectures

Catalyst supports a number of architectures. In catalyst-speak, an "architecture" is a general type of CPU platform.

For each architecture, catalyst supports a number of "sub-architectures." A sub-architecture is a specific variant of the architecture. For example, pentium4 is a sub-architecture of the x86 architecture.

Architecture Sub-architectures
alpha alpha ev4 ev45 ev5 ev56 ev6 ev67 pca56
amd64 amd64 amdfam10 athlon64 athlon64-sse3 athlonfx barcelona core2 k8 k8-sse3 nocona opteron opteron-sse3
arm arm armeb armv4l armv4tl armv5teb armv5tejl armv5tel armv5tl armv6j armv6z armv6zk armv7a armv7a_hardfp
hppa hppa hppa1.1 hppa2.0
ia64 ia64
mips cobalt loongson2e loongson2f mips mips1 mips3 mips32 mips32el mips4 mips64 mips64el mipsel mipsel1 mipsel3 mipsel4
mips64 cobalt_n32 loongson2e_n32 loongson2f_n32 mips3_multilib mips3_n32 mips3_n64 mips4_multilib mips4_n32 mips4_n64 mips64_multilib mips64_n32 mips64_n64 mips64el_multilib mips64el_n32 mips64el_n64 mipsel3_multilib mipsel3_n32 mipsel3_n64 mipsel4_multilib mipsel4_n32 mipsel4_n64
ppc g3 g4 g5 power power-ppc ppc
ppc64 970 cell power3 power4 power5 power6 ppc64
s390 s390
s390x s390x
sh sh sh2 sh2a sh2aeb sh2eb sh3 sh3eb sh4 sh4a sh4aeb sh4eb sheb
sparc sparc
sparc64 sparc64
x86 athlon athlon-4 athlon-mp athlon-tbird athlon-xp i386 i486 i586 i686 k6 k6-2 k6-3 pentium pentium-m pentium-mmx pentium2 pentium3 pentium3m pentium4 pentium4m pentiumpro prescott x86

You'll notice that all architectures have a sub-architecture with the same name as the architecture. This sub-architecture is meant to represent a "generic" build that should work on all systems in that architecture.Each sub-architecture has an associated set of CFLAGS, CXXFLAGS, as well as a CHOST and set of USE variables that are enabled on that sub-architecture. The USE settings are intended to enable any CPU-specific options, such as mmx or altivec.

Note: Catalyst currently also supports the ability to build x86 architecture stages on amd64 systems.


Summary: This project develops the catalyst tool, which is used to build official Gentoo stage tarballs, PackageCD and InstallCD and LiveCD images.

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