A modern, general-purpose non-GNU Linux distribution

Chimera is a general-purpose OS based on the Linux kernel. It aims to be clean and usable while addressing the various shortcomings of an average Linux distribution.

It does so by liberating itself from the common baggage of most Linux-based systems and doing its own thing. Software is sourced from different places and sometimes written from scratch.

Read more for details.

Alternative userland.

Chimera is not a GNU/Linux - its userland tools are based on FreeBSD, LLVM serves as the system toolchain, and musl provides the C library implementation.

Clean and consistent.

Chimera aims to eliminate legacy cruft where possible to deliver a modern, general purpose, fully featured operating system that is simple but complete.

Buildable from source.

While the system uses apk-tools and therefore binary packaging, it aims to be trivially buildable from source using a build system and package collection created from scratch.


You can use Chimera on all kinds of processors, including Intel/AMD, ARM AArch64, POWER and RISC-V. Architecture tiering system ensures optimal support.

The distribution is in heavy development. Right now, it is a relatively complete graphical system with a multimedia stack and a web browser, capable of running Wayland and X11 environments, such as GNOME and Enlightenment. However, the repositories (source and binary) are subject to arbitrary changes and rebuilds, so it is not yet safe for daily use.

Initial bootable media for a variety of devices are now available. Check the Downloads page for links and instructions. Note that these are pre-alpha quality and are provided solely for testing purposes.

It is currently planned that the distribution will stabilize once apk-tools has released a stable 3.x version. Chimera currently relies on a Git snapshot of apk-tools.

Recent news

November 03, 2022

Roadmap for near future

It is November, and so far without a release. While progress is happening and there is pretty much constant flow of improvements, the idea was to get something out faster, and that has unfortunately not happened yet.

So instead here is a rough plan for the near future, with an alpha release at the end (hopefully).

Read more

October 12, 2022

New images available

New images have been released today.

We now support a fairly wide variety of hardware:

  • 64-bit x86 EFI and BIOS computers
  • AArch64 computers capable of UEFI boot
  • RISC-V computers capable of UEFI boot
  • Select U-Boot-based AArch64 devices
  • Select U-Boot-based RISC-V devices
  • POWER architecture computers (POWER8+)
  • Virtual machines for all of those

When provided with an external kernel and/or bootloader, Chimera can be made to work even on other devices of supported architectures.

Specific non-UEFI AArch64 devices that are now supported are the Pinebook Pro, MNT Reform 2 and Raspberry Pi 3/4/400, in addition to virtualized qemu systems.

RISC-V has explicit support for the HiFive Unmatched in addition to virtualized qemu systems (plain or OpenSBI).

The list of devices is subject to further expansion over time.

Read more