PowerEL stands for Power Enterprise Linux, it originates from a requirement to have a fully free open source distribution for the IBM POWER platform.
The distribution takes it’s origin from various Enterprise Linux distributions such as Red Hat, CentOS, Oracle Linux, Fedora, SuSE, and others.
PowerEL has been optimized for specific CPU features, such as IBM Power8 or higher and Intel x86 AVX or higher, so it only works on cpu’s with at least this set of features available.
It provides a very convenient way of more packages out of the box.
PowerEL uses the distro tag pel and uses the same ABI as the rhel based systems, so you can use existing binaries on PowerEL.


PowerEL supports specific CPU architectures with specific feature requirements.

  • IBM Power8 (or higher) - Big Endian : ppc64
  • IBM Power8 (or higher) - Little Endian : ppc64le
  • Intel Xeon/i9/i7/i5/i3 with AVX support (or higher) : x86_64


Here are some credits of people who inspired, assisted and helped the project.

  • Trilands bvba Antwerpen
  • Franz Bourlet (IBM Belgium)
  • Rudy Roelandt (IBM Belgium)
  • Robert Keersse (Don Bosco Leren en Werken Wilrijk)

And many other people at IBM.


The PowerEL pengiun, you may notice on the first page is a tasmanian pengiun.
This pengiun belongs to the little blue pengiun species.
It is one of the smallest pengiun species in the world still alive.
More information on Wikipedia.