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Release Engineering
Description Release Engineering ("RelEng") is the official Gentoo project focused on coordinating and improving the creation of official media releases of Gentoo Linux and the associated tools used by the installation process.
Project email
Mailing list (archive)
IRC channel #gentoo-releng (webchat)
Last elected: 2021-05-21
(and inherited member(s))
Parent Project Gentoo
Project listing

Release Engineering ("RelEng") is the official Gentoo project focused on coordinating and improving the creation of official media releases of Gentoo Linux and other Gentoo operating systems. It is also primarily responsible for many of the tools used by the installation process, including Catalyst and genkernel. It was also responsible in the past for the Gentoo Linux Installer (GLI).


The goals of Release Engineering are to continually improve the quality, timeliness and overall procedures for creating official Gentoo Linux releases, as well as acting as the official coordinators for creating new Gentoo Linux release media. This project is very much focused on ensuring that the initial quality of every official release is as high as possible, and that the "from CD" experience is as positive for as many of our users as possible.

Release security and signing

All release media will have its DIGESTS file signed by one of the Gentoo Linux Release Engineering ( PGP keys listed on this page. The keys are available through the keyserver. They can be used to verify that the media is, in fact, the media shipped by Release Engineering and not from a potential attacker. You will find more detailed verification instructions in the handbooks for each release.

New keys and changes to existing keys will be announced to the following Gentoo mailing lists: gentoo-dev-announce, gentoo-announce, gentoo-core.

Releases up to and including 2007.0 had PGP signatures directly on top of the files. This required large quantities of disk IO for generation on the servers, and validation on the client side. As such, as of the 2008.0 release, the DIGESTS file is now signed instead, making verification a two-step process, but overall much quicker.
During 2011, the DIGESTS files were also expanded to contain hashes other than SHA1 and MD5, to provide more secure validation.

Obtaining the public key:

user $gpg --keyserver --recv-keys <key id>

Verify the cryptographic signature:

user $gpg --verify <foo.DIGESTS.asc>

Verify the checksum (at least one of these hashes will exist):

user $sha512sum -c <foo.DIGESTS.asc>
user $sha256sum -c <foo.DIGESTS.asc>
user $sha1sum -c <foo.DIGESTS.asc>


Key ID Key Type Key Fingerprint Key Description Created Expires Revoked Notes
0x825533CBF6CD6C97 4096-bit RSA D2DE 1DBB A0F4 3EBA 341B 97D8 8255 33CB F6CD 6C97 Gentoo-keys Team signing key <> 2014-10-03 2018-12-31 Non-automated.
0xDB6B8C1F96D8BF6D 4096-bit RSA DCD0 5B71 EAB9 4199 527F 44AC DB6B 8C1F 96D8 BF6D Gentoo Portage Snapshot signing Key (Automated signing key) 2011-11-25 2019-01-01
0x9E6438C817072058 1024-bit DSA D99E AC73 79A8 50BC E47D A5F2 9E64 38C8 1707 2058 Gentoo Linux Release Engineering (Gentoo Linux Release signing Key) 2004-07-20 2020-07-01 Non-automated.
0xBB572E0E2D182910 4096-bit RSA 13EB BDBE DE7A 1277 5DFD B1BA BB57 2E0E 2D18 2910 Gentoo Linux Release Engineering (Automated weekly release key) 2009-08-25 2020-01-01
0x0838C26E239C75C4 1024-bit DSA AE54 54F9 67B5 6AB0 9AE1 6064 0838 C26E 239C 75C4 Gentoo Portage Snapshot signing key (Automated Signing Key) 2007-11-25 2012-05-23 2012-05-23 Superceded by 0xDB6B8C1F96D8BF6D
0x6DC226AAD8BA32AA 1024-bit DSA 8861 8228 9048 D40B 3C3B ADDA 6DC2 26AA D8BA 32AA Gentoo Portage Snapshot signing key (Automated signing key) 2004-11-11 2005-11-11 2007-11-25 Revoked for changeover.
0xBB1D301B7DDAD20D 1024-bit DSA 4AC0 D5FE 8F92 96BA 6A06 0A2A BB1D 301B 7DDA D20D Gentoo Portage Snapshot signing key (Automated signing key) 2005-11-23 2007-11-23 2007-11-23 Revoked for changeover.

Latest releases


Check the download page on the main site for a detailed list of downloadable files. The autobuild status page contains information regarding ongoing issues with the autobuilds.


Resources offered by the Release Engineering Project:


  • Release guidelines — covers both the QA and release guidelines for the Gentoo Linux biannual release system.

Meeting summaries

Hall of Honor

Over the eons, many developers have come and gone. The best of them left a lasting impression so we honor them here, in the Gentoo Hall of Honor.

Nickname Remembered for
wolf31o2 One of our early leaders. Even now it is still hard to find code without his name on it.
agaffney Creator of the autobuild process. He will never be forgiven for it.