Funtoo Linux FAQ

Revision as of 08:09, June 18, 2014 by Drobbins (Talk | contribs) (Do you support systemd?)

Top Questions

Do you support systemd?

Part of the distinctiveness of Funtoo Linux is its dependency-based OpenRC init system, so changing this would make it something other than Funtoo Linux. So we do not support systemd as part of Funtoo Linux.

We are planning to start a distinct separate OS build using the Funtoo Portage tree, called FOAM -- Funtoo Of Another Mother -- which will be a GNOME-based OS with systemd support. GNOME is essentially becoming its own operating system, so this approach works better than messing with Funtoo Linux itself. Many of us like GNOME as a desktop, but don't want our entire Linux experience to be controlled by GNOME developers from PID 1 onwards.

Long-term, we are committed to the success of OpenRC. It works very well.

Do you use GitHub?

Funtoo Linux has core git repositories at, which are automatically synced to GitHub, so all our public repositories are available on GitHub. But we don't use GitHub for pull requests, documentation, or tracking bugs. We have our own infrastructure for that.

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.

Does Funtoo Linux use a Red Hat or Debian 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.

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. We do not have a comprehensive way to do this, but here are some things to start looking at:

  • See the funtoo-overlay for our main repository of Funtoo-specific stuff -- this is our main Funtoo package repository, but not our only one.
  • To get a full view of everything, see our merge script which generates our unified emerge --syncable tree. This describes everything that is part of Funtoo Linux.
  • We have an automated report which is visible at Compared Forked Packages to Gentoo. This report is designed for Funtoo developers, and lists only the "bad" stuff -- areas in which our packages are older than what is in Gentoo Linux. We use this report to identify ebuilds that need to be updated in Funtoo Linux.

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?

First, we want you to be a Funtoo Linux user. Funtoo Linux is a project run by users.

We have different you can get involved:


Staff members help with things like ebuild maintenance, ensuring stages build, wiki documentation, and generally supporting the project by keeping it healthy.


Developers help by working on maintenance of certain ebuilds, or even entire architectures or flavors of Funtoo Linux, like ARM or hardened.


Contributors often work semi-independently, and commit their ebuilds or code to their own repositories. We then 'pull' from these repositories, often using automated tools, so their updates automatically become part of Funtoo Linux.

In Summary

In reality, no one person fits 100% into a single category, and people who are actively involved in Funtoo Linux are doing some level of each of these things.

I suggest hanging out in the #funtoo channel on Freenode and participating in the forums and getting to know everyone in the community, and find an area in Funtoo Linux that you want to improve. If you have skills, and don't know what to improve, then ask in the Forums, and we'll help point you in the right direction.

I always need people who are passionate about documenting technologies. There is so much to be documented. We have lots of bugs on the bug tracker that you can help with. And we are always open to people who want to take an out-of-date ebuild and give it some love. A great way to start doing this is to start filing bugs on our bug tracker and then start fixing these bugs by submitting patches. After a while, we'll get the idea that you are wanting to help, and we'll either start merging in an overlay of yours or find some other way for you to contribute.

Here are some tips for working with us:

  • We have limited time, and don't work on Funtoo Linux full-time. Please be respectful of that.
  • We are a very small project. As of mid-June 2014, we have four staff members (including BDFL) with commit rights Funtoo repositories, and only two (including BDFL) commit regularly.
  • A priority is placed on being friendly and easy-going. If you are irritable or get into arguments often, and think that your technical skills will result in these deficiencies being overlooked, you will be unpleasantly surprised. We're called 'fun'too for a reason.

General Funtoo Stuff

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. We have one development lead, and a couple of other people who commit semi-infrequently. So, currently, about 4 people.

Is Funtoo Linux a fork of Gentoo Linux?

Funtoo Linux is not a full fork of Gentoo Linux, but we do fork some ebuilds.

It's more accurate to refer to Funtoo Linux as 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.

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

There is a list of resources on our Welcome page that is kept up-to-date.

What Architectures does Funtoo Linux support?

Currently, Funtoo Linux is supporting x86-32bit, x86-64bit, including hardened and pure64 (non-multilib), as well as ARM. There has been a Sparc64 build in the past, which could always come back in the future if others come forward to maintain it.

How should a developer use package.mask?

We have various package.mask files in funtoo-overlay:

  • funtoo-cautionary - masks that are in place to protect us from upstream changes in Gentoo Linux, or from ourselves.
  • funtoo-staging - stuff that is masked for testing, and is intended to be unmasked soon.
  • funtoo-toolchain - masks related to our toolchain, which is treated with care (we like to upgrade it in a careful and coordinated fashion.)
  • funtoo-udev - this may disappear soon -- it's one of those mask files that we create for a special purpose -- in this case, stuff related to our eudev migration.

Do you use the normal Gentoo system profiles?

I designed a new profile system for Funtoo which you can read about at Funtoo 1.0 Profile. It has a lot of cool functionality, including flavors, mix-ins and other cool things. Thanks to Ryan Harris (rh1) for the excellent Funtoo eselect implementation for our new profile system.

Is Funtoo Linux More Stable Than Gentoo Linux?

The short answer is that we don't know, but some people think it is, and we strive to make it more reliable than Gentoo, not because we're competitive, but because Funtoo Linux originally started as a version of Gentoo Linux that had several bugs fixed. We like to fix things that we find that aren't working.

Do you use Gentoo's Guide XML for Documentation?

I've made the decision to go with MediaWiki as our official documentation format.

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?

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.

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.

Where can I learn more about the Funtoo Linux philosophy -- what you are about?

See Funtoo Linux Vision.