Funtoo Profiles

Revision as of 19:33, July 16, 2015 by Drobbins (Talk | contribs) (Mix-ins)

This page covers the Funtoo Linux profile system -- how it works, what profiles are available, and how to use epro to set and change profile settings.

What is a profile?

In Gentoo and Funtoo Linux, profiles are used to define base system settings for Portage, and have historically had a lot of untapped potential. In Funtoo Linux, Daniel Robbins 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.

Profile Types

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. Funtoo Linux uses multiple profiles per system. The following profile types are available in Funtoo Linux:

archOne arch profile is enabled, at build time, and is not changed. This defines CPU architecture-specific settings.
subarchOne subarch profile is typically enabled at build time, and defines the CPU optimizations in use.
buildOne 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.
flavorOne flavor is enabled per system, and can be changed by the user. This defines the general use of the system, such as minimal, core, workstation or desktop
mix-insZero 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.


A system can have only one flavor profile enabled at a time. The following flavors are available:

minimalThis flavor defines the most minimal possible flavor. It currently only contains defaults for all Funtoo Linux flavors.
coreThe core flavor is the minimal flavor plus reasonable USE options, and is used for stage3 builds.
serverThe server flavor is intended for servers but at this time just tracks core.
workstationThe workstation flavor is a minimal desktop system. It includes the core flavor plus these mix-ins: X, audio, dvd, media and console-extras.
desktopThe desktop flavor is a full-featured desktop system, minus desktop environment (add KDE, GNOME or XFCE as a mix-in.) It includes the workstation flavor plus printing support.


A system can have any number of mix-ins enabled at a time. The following mix-ins are available:

audioEnables core audio-related settings, currently related to ALSA.
console-extrasEnables things that are nice to have for console-only systems. Currently enabling gpm in USE.
dvdUSE settings related to optical drives -- CDR/DVD-ROM/RW use.
gnomeUSE and package.use settings required to merge GNOME. Designed to be used with desktop or workstation flavor.
hardenedEnables hardened support.
kdeUSE and package.use settings required to merge KDE. Designed to be used with desktop or workstation flavor.
mediaUSE settings related to audio/video media encoding. Can be for desktops or servers.
printEnables printing capability.
vmware-guestSettings related to using Funtoo Linux as a VMWare virtual machine guest.
XSettings related to the X Window System and hardware support.
xfceUSE settings required for merging XFCE.

Media Device Mix-ins

Media device mix-ins have been created to support media devices, including external and portable devices, and associated low-level hardware support and hardware-focused codecs. Media devices have been categorized into audio and video categories, and consumer and professional categories. "Consumer" devices are those devices that regular desktop users might typically use, while "professional" devices are those that professionals, hobbyists or enthusiasts would typically use. Here are the new mix-ins for media devices:

mediadevice-baseCommon, universally-supported media devices, like IEEE-1394 (Firewire), CDDA, CDIO. Other mediadevice mix-ins have this as a parent.
mediadevice-audio-consumerConsumer audio devices, such as personal portable media players (iOS, iPod, etc.)
mediadevice-audio-proPro audio support, such as JACK.
mediadevice-video-consumerConsumer video support, such as DVD, Blu Ray, V4L
mediadevice-video-proPro video support, such as dv, dc1394.

Media Format Mix-ins

Media format mix-ins have been created to support media formats for reading, writing, encoding and decoding images, audio and video. They have been organized into a "common" collection, for popular formats, and an "extra" collection, which is intended to include "everything else". Let's look at the new mix-ins:

mediaformat-video-commonCommon (ie. popular) video formats.
mediaformat-video-extraMore esoteric video formats.
mediaformat-audio-commonCommon (ie. popular) audio formats.
mediaformat-audio-extraMore esoteric audio formats.
mediaformat-gfx-commonCommon (ie. popular) graphics formats.
mediaformat-gfx-extraMore esoteric graphics formats.

How to Use Them

Our existing media mix-in still exists, and is still pulled in by the desktop and workstation flavors automatically. It now includes the following parent mix-ins:

  • mediadevice-audio-consumer
  • mediadevice-video-consumer
  • mediaformat-audio-common
  • mediaformat-gfx-common
  • mediaformat-video-common

In addition, there is a new media-pro mix-in which needs to be enabled manually, which pulls in the following mix-ins:

  • mediadevice-audio-pro
  • mediadevice-video-pro

So typically, you would enable the desktop or workstation flavor, and if you need professional hardware support, you'd also enable the media-pro mix-in. If you needed any additional media formats support, you could enable one or more of the mediaformat-*-extra mix-ins to add the formats you needed. Of course, it's possible to enable only the specific mix-ins you need, and also complement these mix-ins with specific USE variable settings you might require.

Setting Profiles

Funtoo Linux stores its profile settings in the /etc/portage/make.profile/parent file. Typically, users don't need to modify this file, instead using ego and epro to make changes, but it can be handy to take a look at what the contents of the file look like. A simple server might have profile settings as follows:


Profile settings for a desktop might look like this:


History and Origins

This new system is really a completion of the original cascading profile design that was co-designed by Daniel Robbins and Seemant Kulleen 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.

See Custom Profiles for information on how to extend the profile system.