Funtoo Linux FAQ

Revision as of 06:30, June 18, 2014 by Drobbins (Talk | contribs) (How do I report a bug?)

Common Misconceptions, Rumors, etc.

Does Funtoo Linux use a Red Hat kernel?

Funtoo Linux users are free to choose their own kernel, and we offer additional kernels from other Linux distributions such as Debian, Red Hat Enterprise Linux and others. These are documented on the Funtoo Linux Kernels page.

Does Funtoo use an overlay?

An overlay is a Portage tree that is added "on top of" an existing Portage tree. Funtoo Linux allows you to use overlays, and we use overlays for development, but we deliver a single Funtoo Portage tree via git. This tree is generated automatically from the Gentoo Portage tree and a number of other overlays, and merged into a single tree. This is the tree that you get when you run emerge --sync.

Can I Turn my Gentoo system into Funtoo Linux by using funtoo-overlay?

We do have a primary development repository called funtoo-overlay, and its name is somewhat of a misnomer. You can't simply use it as an overlay on top of a Gentoo Portage tree to create a Funtoo Linux system.

Using Funtoo Linux, Portage and Git

How do I start using Funtoo Linux?

For information on how to start using Funtoo Linux, see Funtoo Linux Installation.

Is it possible to convert an existing Gentoo Linux install to Funtoo Linux?

Yes, it is possible, but not supported. Some people have done it, but you should not rely on it to always work. It is always best to install Funtoo Linux by following the steps in Funtoo Linux Installation.

What is mini-manifest?

Manifests are files that you will find inside a Portage tree on a Gentoo Linux or Funtoo Linux system, one associated with each package -- for example dev-lang/php will have a single Manifest file for all PHP ebuilds. Traditionally, the Manifest files contain cryptographic hashes of all files in the Portage tree, plus hashes of all downloadable files (distfiles) used to build the package.

A feature introduced by Funtoo Linux, and now integrated upstream into Gentoo's Portage, are mini-Manifests. Because we use git for our Portage tree, which uses cryptographic hashes internally, we don't need Manifests to include hashes for all files in Portage, just files that need to be downloaded from mirrors. This is what mini-Manifests are -- Manifest files that have gone on a diet.

How do I get my initial Portage tree, or update my Portage tree?

This is done by typing:

# emerge --sync

Emerge will use the git pull command to update your tree for you, or will use git clone if one doesn't exist.

I set up my initial git-based Portage tree, but /usr/portage seems to be empty.

You forgot to type:

# cd /usr/portage
# git checkout

Funtoo Linux's portage tree snapshot ships with a mostly empty branch active by default to reduce the size of the resultant snapshot tarball.

What is the status of Funtoo's UTF-8 support?

Funtoo Linux has UTF-8 enabled by default, even for the root user. This allows UTF-8 files to be edited without issue, root GNU screen sessions to display UTF-8 character sets properly, etc. The classic sort order of ls -a has been preserved by setting LC_COLLATE to POSIX. All other locale settings inherit the system default defined in the LANG variable, which is set to en_US.UTF-8.

What if I want to use a non-English locale/language?

I recommend two things. First, it's strongly recommended that you always use a UTF-8-based locale.

The next thing I recommend is to try to avoid changing the global system LANG setting, and instead set the LANG setting on a per-user basis by adding the desired LANG setting to your ~/.bashrc. This will preserve English log output in /var/log and make it easier to search for more common matching English strings on the Internet when you need help.

If you really want to change the default system LANG setting (taking into account the paragraph above,) then it's recommended that you create your own /etc/env.d/02locale file that contains something like this:


You will need to run env-update and source /etc/profile to apply changes immediately to any open shells, and reboot to apply changes fully.

What is different with Funtoo's Ruby?

Funtoo Linux tracks Gentoo's Ruby, but we do have one change for ruby-1.9 and greater - the binary name is changed with /usr/bin/ruby1.9 instead of Gentoo's /usr/bin/ruby19. This makes the versioning consistent with Python binaries and MacOS X. This means that for ruby-1.9 and greater. While the path to the binary has changed, all Portage variables are the same as Gentoo, so you should use "ruby19" for the RUBY_TARGETS setting in /etc/make.conf.

Does Funtoo Linux use an older udev?

Historically, we have, in order to avoid problems introduced with newer udev versions.

We have just recently migrated to eudev, an udev fork, and will be keeping udev up-to-date.

What is the minimum kernel version I can use with Funtoo Linux?

We test and support 2.6.32 and above, and maintain compatiblity with RHEL 6 kernels, which are based on 2.6.32 and heavily patched.

Why is package.mask a directory?

Portage allows /usr/portage/profiles/package.mask to be a directory. We use this to organize our package masks into categories so they are easier to maintain.

Git complains and aborts when I emerge --sync.

It appears that a previous git merge was interrupted or did not complete, leaving your portage tree in an intermediate state. Typically, this can be fixed by typing:

# cd /usr/portage
# git reset --hard

This should restore your portage tree to a consistent state and allow future emerge --sync commands to complete successfully.

If this doesn't work, the simplest way to fix this is to delete your /usr/portage directory and run emerge --sync again. This will download a fresh tree.

How do I tell if a problem I am having originates from Gentoo or Funtoo?

Let us figure this out for you. Report a bug to our bug tracker, and we will determine how to resolve the issue.

How can I see the differences between the Gentoo and Funtoo Portage trees?

In the old days, this was tricky, but now you just look at the funtoo-overlay for a complete repository of all the Funtoo-specific stuff. Everything not in the Funtoo overlay comes from Gentoo, with a few exceptions -- see Portage Tree for details.

Is Paludis compatible with the Funtoo Portage tree?

Paludis does not appear to be compatible with the Funtoo Portage tree, unfortunately. It does not support the package.mask directory without additional hooks, and also does not support merging device nodes. These features are supported by Portage and we use both of these capabilities. I think that both package.mask (and package.keywords, etc.) directories are a good idea, and I also think it's a good idea for the package manager to support device nodes, which is particularly useful for the udev and baselayout ebuilds. Funtoo Linux has separate versions of these packages, and these ebuilds are easier to maintain if device nodes are correctly supported by the package manger, and the package.mask directory is a great help to us as well.

We could maintain a patched version of Paludis that would be useable with the Funtoo Portage tree, but I don't want to get into the business of supporting a non-standard package manager as the upstream project seems not seem very supportive of getting these compatibility issues resolved, and thus this could turn into a maintenance burden for Funtoo. So I'd rather just not support Paludis for now.

What about pkgcore?

Pkgcore is not currently compatible with Funtoo Linux and this isn't something we test.

How do I report a bug?

Please use our bug tracker to report all bugs. If you aren't quite at the stage where you feel you should report a bug, you may want to try using our forums to ask others for help. Or ask on the #funtoo IRC channel.

How do I become a Funtoo developer?

Funtoo is a personal project of mine, so I'm the only real developer. However, I involve everyone on the funtoo-dev mailing list and #funtoo in what I am doing so that patches, feedback, requests, etc. can be shared. My advice is to get involved in the Funtoo community on the mailing list and irc channel.

General Funtoo Stuff

What is is the online home of Daniel Robbins (me) and is a place to put all my stuff.

What kind of stuff?

Well, I have Funtoo Linux, which is a Gentoo Linux variant. Then I have technical articles -- some new, and some updated versions of originals that appeared on IBM developerWorks.

Then I have Metro, an operating system build tool, and I have Keychain, which is a tool to help you manage RSA and DSA keys for ssh.

So Funtoo is not just Funtoo Linux.

What is 'Funtoo' all about? And 'Funtoo Linux'?

Funtoo by itself refers to this site, or the larger Funtoo project run by Daniel Robbins. That's just a fancy way of saying that Funtoo refers to all the stuff I'm doing.

Funtoo Linux refers specifically to my variant of Gentoo Linux.

If you see me use the phrase Funtoo Portage tree or Funtoo ebuild, I'm just talking about our separate (and slightly different) Portage tree, or our version of an ebuild.

What is 'tnufoo'?

tnufoo is funtoo rotated 180 degrees vertically.

How many developers are working on Funtoo Linux?

Funtoo Linux development is led by Daniel Robbins, along with a Core Team that also makes significant contributions to Funtoo Linux development and Funtoo infrastructure.

Is Funtoo Linux a fork of Gentoo Linux?

It depends on your definition of fork. Officially, I am calling Funtoo Linux a Gentoo Linux variant, meaning that it is more like another flavor of Gentoo than a fork.

We share our changes and bug fixes with the Gentoo project, so Gentoo is free to merge in any of our changes at any time. We also merge in Gentoo's changes every 12 hours.

I could officially call Funtoo Linux a fork of Gentoo Linux, but Gentoo could merge most of our changes into Gentoo proper and then what would Funtoo Linux be? It'd be my variant of Gentoo, that's what it'd be. So let's just call it a variant of Gentoo.

What is the best way to interact with the Funtoo community?

I recommend joining the funtoo-dev mailing list and, if desired, hanging out in the #funtoo on freenode.

The funtoo-dev mailing list as well as the #funtoo are unmoderated, open discussion forums for both Funtoo Linux users and developers. In addition, these are also the official lists for discussing other Funtoo projects such as Metro and Keychain.

What Architectures does Funtoo Linux support?

While Funtoo Linux can run on any architecture that Gentoo Linux supports, we are only maintaining Funtoo Linux for x86 and amd64 architectures. Adding support for other architectures may require a little bit of unmasking work in our Portage tree -- or not. We're not testing anything but x86 and amd64, so we don't know :)

How should a developer use package.mask?

We currently have four files in the package.mask directory -- gentoo, funtoo, funtoo-cautionary and sunrise. Gentoo is an almost pristine version of the upstream gentoo package.mask. It differs from gentoo only in that we will remove stuff from it that we no longer want in it, but we don't add masks to this file. So if there is a mask in gentoo, you know it came upstream from Gentoo.

funtoo is where we place our masks. funtoo-cautionary is where we place masks that are designed to shield us from upstream unstable version changes to core packages, since we don't want to simply follow Gentoo unstable -- instead, we want to control when gcc and glibc switch to new versions. sunrise contains a bunch of sunrise and other miscellaneous masks from the mpd overlays. It is currently sort of our "junk drawer" that we'll get around to cleaning up at some point.

Do you use the normal Gentoo system profiles?

I've made some minor changes to the Funtoo Linux profiles/ directory, and I'll continue to make improvements as time goes on. The most recent change I made (as of 17 Jul 2009) was to add net-dns/openresolv to the core system profile. Since Funtoo development focuses primarily on the core system, you can expect our system profiles to be somewhat different from Gentoo's. However, from a user perspective, you use them the same way and we have the same profile names that are in Gentoo.

Is Funtoo Linux More Stable Than Gentoo Linux?

That is a hard question to answer directly, as one person's definition of "stable" may be different than another person's, and I do not know how you intend to use Funtoo Linux. So rather than tackle the question head-on, I can give you some additional information that may help you decide:

  • The goal of Funtoo Linux is to allow me to improve the Gentoo core system and tools. That does mean that I will be periodically changing various parts of Gentoo plumbing from time to time. When I do this, I try to be careful and provide notices of upcoming major changes on the mailing list, Atom feed and on the Web site.
  • Both Funtoo Linux and Gentoo Linux have a stable and unstable (~ - called "current" in Funtoo) tree
  • The Funtoo and Gentoo trees are 99% identical. However, there are signficant differences in certain areas, particularly the core system and Perl, Python and Ruby.
  • Funtoo and Gentoo trees do have some significant differences for core packages, particularly openrc, baselayout, udev and lvm2.
  • If it is important to you, Metro is tested daily to ensure that it can build Funtoo Linux (and Gentoo Linux) successfully. However, these builds are not performed in advance of the changes hitting the public git-based Portage tree.
  • Any Metro Funtoo Linux build failures found are typically fixed in the Funtoo Portage within 0-1 days. Gentoo build failures are only fixed if they are related to an issue with Metro. So there is very fast response in Funtoo to core system build failures. In Gentoo, this process is not as integrated.
  • Funtoo merges in upstream changes from Gentoo Portage every 12 hours.
  • I focus on testing the core, non-GUI/non-X system. Sometimes Funtoo will trail behind in udev revisions that cutting-edge desktop users want to run.
  • Both Funtoo Linux stable and current have OpenRC, dhcpcd-5 and OpenResolv integrated by default.
  • Funtoo Linux current tries to upgrade certain core packages such as udev, gcc and glibc much less frequently and in a more controlled manner than Gentoo unstable. This may or may not be a benefit to you, depending on what you are looking for. Basically, I am trying to offer the package updates of Gentoo Linux unstable without as much of the (too frequent, in my opinion) core system changes that can often cause problems for people.
  • The Funtoo receives Gentoo changes once every 12 hours. In contrast, the Gentoo rsync tree receives updates hourly. This means that the changes in the Funtoo tree are compressed into a single monolithic event, whereas the Gentoo tree undergoes more continual, but less signficant, change every hour.
  • Significant build-related bugs found by Funtoo that also impact Gentoo Linux are sent upstream to

Do you use Gentoo's Guide XML for Documentation?

I originally created Gentoo's Guide XML format (which I originally created for Gentoo) for documentation, and started to transition away from it in favor of ReStructuredText. However, now I am trying to support Guide XML and ReStructuredText as they are both useful for different types of things.

Many articles and documents are maintained in ReStructuredText format. HTML versions of the ReStructuredText documentation are generated by first converting the .rst file to XML using (part of the docutils distribution), and then using XSLT to convert the resultant XML to HTML.

To view the plaintext ReStructuredText version of a document, append /index.rst to any URL. For example, here is the ReStructuredText version of this document

Are you looking for translators?

Many kind people have provided translations of the pages, and the old version of the site used to contain these translations. However, after much consideration, I've decided to not provide translated versions of pages, for several reasons:

  • Translated documents tend to become out-of-date
  • Updating the translated documents is quite a bit of work
  • Most people online seem to have at least a basic grasp of English

For these reasons, I'm going to focus on improving the quantity and quality of English documentation, and not focus on translations for now.

Forking the Portage Tree

I want to fork the Portage tree. How do I do this?

The old way used to involve forking our huge, complete Portage tree. Currently, the best way to do it involves forking the funtoo-overlay, which is much smaller, or creating your own overlay. I have scripts that combine the Funtoo overlay and the Gentoo tree to create a unified Portage tree.

I have forked my own Portage tree. How do I generate metadata for it?

You should only do this if you are creating a unified Portage tree for distribution to users. Otherwise, it is much more efficient to use an overlay for this purpose.

First, add FEATURES="metadata-transfer" to your /etc/make.conf file. Then type the following commands:

# cd /usr/portage
# egencache --update --jobs=4
# cd metadata/cache
# git add .
# git commit -a

egencache is part of Package:Portage (Funtoo) and was kindly integrated by Zack Medico, Portage maintainer.

Where can I learn more about git?

So, you want to learn more about git, do you? A collection of excellent git resources is now available on the Git Guide.