The 40-year-old Porter has previously worked as Arizona's bench coach and third base coach for the Marlins.
This will be Porter's first job as a major league manager, but he has managed in the minor leagues.
"He has an intuitive sense of game strategy," Luhnow said. "The people that have worked with Bo before say that he really has an innate ability to understand the game and understand the moves that need to be made and do the right thing."
After shedding all of their veterans over the last few seasons to restock the depleted farm system, the Astros know that it will take time to get back into contention. But they're hoping the process doesn't take too long.
"One of the reasons we're hiring Bo Porter is that we're not patient," Luhnow said. "We're working as hard as we can to minimize that time and make that time until we get to the playoffs as short as possible from where we are today. I think Bo Porter helps us accelerate that time."
Porter sees potential in Houston, and he also hopes improvement can be made quickly.
"It's a young group, and at the same time it's a very talented group," he said. "The talent pool is very deep and now we just need to roll up our sleeves and go to work."
Porter played football and baseball at Iowa before playing parts of three major league seasons with Texas, the Chicago Cubs and Oakland.