What is a profile?
In Gentoo and Funtoo Linux, profiles are used to define base system settings, and have historically had a lot of untapped potential. In Funtoo Linux, I wanted to take advantage of some of this potential to allow Funtoo Linux users to easily tailor their system for various types of roles. Enter the new Funtoo profile system.
What It Is
Historically, users have had to add a ton of settings to /etc/make.conf to customize their Gentoo or Funtoo Linux system, which made setup of the operating system more difficult than it should be.
In Gentoo Linux, it is possible to only define one system profile. Think of a system profile as the default settings that Portage uses for building everything on your system.
In Funtoo Linux, multiple profiles can be enabled at the same time. These include:
- arch - one arch profile is enabled, at build time, and is not changed. This defines CPU architecture-specific settings.
- build - one build profile is enabled, at build time, and is generally not changed. It defines the type of build, such as 'current' or 'stable', and associated settings.
- flavor - one flavor is enabled per system, and can be changed by the user. This defines the general use of the system, such as 'minimal', 'core', 'desktop', 'workstation'
- mix-in - zero or more mix-ins can be enabled that enable settings specific to a particular subset of features, such as 'gnome', 'kde', 'media', 'mate', 'X', 'hardened'
See Flavors and Mix-ins for a complete list of all flavors and mix-ins available in Funtoo Linux, along with descriptions of what each one does.
Origins and Benefits
This new system is really a completion of the original cascading profile design that was designed by Daniel Robbins and implemented by Seemant Kulleen as part of Portage. Funtoo Profiles designed to leverage the existing cascading profile system and provide something much more useable and maintainable for users and developers alike. Here are some of its benefits:
- Fewer settings in /etc/make.conf. CHOST and ARCH no longer set in /etc/make.conf.
- Separation of concerns -- arch, build, and flavor-related settings are organized together.
- User flexibility - any number of mix-ins can be enabled to tweak masks or USE settings as needed.
What It Looks Like
Here's a what a list of profiles looks like:
# eselect profile list Currently available arch profiles:  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/arch/x86-32bit  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/arch/x86-64bit Currently available build profiles:  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/build/stable  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/build/current  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/build/experimental Currently available flavor profiles:  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/flavor/minimal  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/flavor/core  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/flavor/desktop  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/flavor/workstation Currently available mix-ins profiles:  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/mix-ins/audio  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/mix-ins/console-extras  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/mix-ins/dvd  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/mix-ins/gnome  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/mix-ins/kde  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/mix-ins/media  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/mix-ins/print  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/mix-ins/python3-only  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/mix-ins/rhel5-compat  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/mix-ins/server-db  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/mix-ins/server-mail  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/mix-ins/server-web  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/mix-ins/X  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/mix-ins/xfce
As you can see, there are multiple types of profiles to choose from. Let's move on to how to start using it.
Switch to the Funtoo 1.0 Profile
The preferred method of adding and removing profiles is to use eselect profile. This ensures that profiles are added correctly and in the proper order. The order is very important for things to work right. For a list of options, run:
# eselect profile help
As stated by the previous command output, let's see the list of what profiles currently defined the option list:
# eselect profile list Currently available arch profiles:  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/arch/x86-64bit * Currently available build profiles:  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/build/stable  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/build/current *  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/build/experimental Currently available flavor profiles:  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/flavor/minimal  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/flavor/core  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/flavor/desktop * Currently available mix-ins profiles:  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/mix-ins/dvd  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/mix-ins/gnome  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/mix-ins/kde  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/mix-ins/media  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/mix-ins/rhel5-compat  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/mix-ins/server-db  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/mix-ins/server-mail  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/mix-ins/server-web  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/mix-ins/workstation  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/mix-ins/workstation-minimal
As in several other Funtoo utilities, a star on the right indicates an active item (your case may differ from the example above). To add, say, the mix-ins dvd, kde and media you have to enter:
# eselect profile add 8 # eselect profile add 10 # eselect profile add 11
Or, in a one-shot:
# eselect profile add 8 10 11
# eselect profile list Currently available arch profiles:  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/arch/x86-64bit * Currently available build profiles:  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/build/stable  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/build/current *  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/build/experimental Currently available flavor profiles:  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/flavor/minimal  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/flavor/core  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/flavor/desktop * Currently available mix-ins profiles:  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/mix-ins/dvd *  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/mix-ins/gnome  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/mix-ins/kde *  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/mix-ins/media *  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/mix-ins/rhel5-compat  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/mix-ins/server-db  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/mix-ins/server-mail  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/mix-ins/server-web  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/mix-ins/workstation  funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/mix-ins/workstation-minimal
You must use the numbers to reference the profiles bits you want.
No magic here, what you add is put by portage in the /etc/portage/make.profile/parent file. In the present case this file contains:
# cat /etc/portage/make.profile/parent gentoo:funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/arch/x86-64bit gentoo:funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/build/current gentoo:funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/flavor/desktop gentoo:funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/mix-ins/dvd gentoo:funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/mix-ins/gnome gentoo:funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/mix-ins/kde gentoo:funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/mix-ins/media
Define the profile sub-sets you will use
So far in Funtoo we have used the exact same profiles as Gentoo thus Funtoo/2008.0 was strictly the same thing as Gentoo/2008.0 or the barely the same 10.0. This (monolithic) profile was set though a symbolic link named /etc/make.profile pointing on a complex directory architecture located somewhere under /usr/portage/profiles. This is no longer valid with the Funtoo 1.0 profiles as they are split in several smaller bricks which are then glued together via the /etc/portage/make.profile/parent file (You do not need to include everything, just use the "bricks" you need). Those bricks belongs to several categories:
1. MANDATORY -- An "arch" profile which defines settings for a particular architecture. You'll want to set this to whatever arch your system is and leave it alone. Setting it to a different arch than your system could severely break it.
2. MANDATORY -- A "build" profile which should match the tree you wish to use. Stable, Current (~arch), or Experimental (use it if you are brave enough and find current too stable).
3. MANDATORY -- A "flavor" profile (what was previously known as profiles is still known as such in Gentoo) which describes the kind of system you want.
- minimal - Be warned, minimal is exactly what it says, the minimal profile stuff you need for a usable system, nothing else. This is really for people who know what they're doing.
- core - This is the core profile. This is for stuff that affects both desktops and servers.
- desktop - Exactly what it says. If you're using a desktop, you should set this as your flavor.
- server - If you're running a server, you should set this as your flavor.
4. OPTIONAL -- One or more "mix-ins" profiles which describe optional add-ons. 'mix-ins' are the heart of the Funtoo 1.0 profiles. Unlike the monolithic profiles which sets a massive amount of use flags and options for you, we've split them into logical add-on profiles. For instance if you want support for gnome, you would add the gnome mix-in to your current profiles. That mix-in sets all the proper use flags and such for gnome. Same with others. Want dvd support? Add that one in. Using a rhel5 kernel which requires special versions of packages such as udev? There's a mix-in for that too. Run a mail server? web server? There's mix-ins for those also. Expect this category to grow in the future as new mix-ins are created.
The contents of /etc/portage/make.profile/parent for a basic setup might look like this:
gentoo:funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/arch/x86-64bit gentoo:funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/build/current gentoo:funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/flavor/core
A more rounded setup for a desktop might look like this:
gentoo:funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/arch/x86-64bit gentoo:funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/build/current gentoo:funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/flavor/desktop gentoo:funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/mix-ins/dvd gentoo:funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/mix-ins/media