Funtoo Beyond Gnome 3.6

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Funtoo Beyond GNOME 3.6

As you may know, Funtoo is still on GNOME 3.6. The main issue with moving forward id the dependency of GNOME 3.8 and greater on systemd and by a lesser extension, logind.

However, through extensive research and testing, I have confirmed the position of the GNOME team dated 2012-11-04 that systemd is not a hard compile time dependency of GNOME itself but rather of what they consider basic functionality. As of GNOME 3.12, this basic functionality includes power management (specifically suspend and hibernation) and viewing the system log. There are ways to work around this, but more on that later.

Important Changes Between GNOME 3.6 and 3.12


  • gnome-fallback was obsoleted in 3.10 in favor of MATE
  • gnome-panel was integrated with gnome-shell as of 3.10
  • gnome-screensaver was integrated with gnome-shell as of 3.8
  • metacity was fully replaced by mutter as of gnome 3.10


  • gnome-games was obsoleted in gnome 3.8 in favor of separate packages


  • alacarate was broken as of gnome 3.12
  • gcalctool was replaced by gnome-calculator as of gnome 3.10
  • gnome-system-log was replaced by gnome-logs as of 3.10
  • menulibre was broken as of gnome 3.12
  • nautilus-open-terminal was integrated with gnome-terminal as of 3.10

Dealing with systemd

Add "-systemd" to your global USE flags in /etc/make.conf or /etc/portage/make.conf

Add "-openrc-force" to /etc/portage/profile/use.mask

Dealing with logind

There are no special actions to perform as ConsoleKit is still supported by GNOME as of 3.12 in the event that systemd is not found, however, be aware that ConsoleKit is no longer actively maintained as the focus has shifted to the development of systemd and consequently, may not always behave as expected.

Special Notes about gdm

gdm 3.4 to 3.6 can still be used with gnome 3.10

gdm 3.8 and 3.10 has a hard dependency on systemd

gdm 3.12 no longer has a hard dependency on systemd

Special Notes about gnome-system-log and gnome-logs

gnome-logs has a hard dependency on systemd since it is now a log view for the systemd journal. If you want the old functionality use gnome-system-log instead however it is recommended you use the live version instead of 3.9.90 as their have been a considerable amount of updates since that release:

Add "=app-admin/gnome-system-log-9999 **" to /etc/portage/package.keywords/gnome-system-log

Adding the GNOME Overlay

Note: Funtoo has removed certain packages that are still in Gentoo (>gtk+-3.8.7 and networkmanager- and in some cases, certain packages that are in both Funtoo and Gentoo fail to build (telepathy-mission-control). The easiest way to presently resolve this, is simply to add the GNOME overlay.
layman -S
layman -a gnome

Unmasking GNOME 3.12 and Lesser

Note: You do not need to unmask gnome 3.12 and lesser if you do not use the gnome mix-in but I have provided the list for your convenience should you wish to do so.

Add the following to /etc/portage/package/unmask/gnome-3.12:


Masking GNOME 3.13 and Greater

Note: You do not need to mask gnome 3.13 and greater if you do not use the gnome overlay but I advise you to do so as a precaution.

Add the following to /etc/portage/package/mask/gnome-3.13:


Masking Problem Packages

Note: You do not need to mask the gentoo version of this package if successfully builds.

Add the following to /etc/portage/package/mask/telepathy-mission-control:

# We want to use the gnome version of this package.

Building Problem Packages

If libical-1.0-r2 fails to build you need to emerge libical-0.48-r2 first (for reference see Gentoo Bug #507974).

emerge -va1 =ibical-0.48-r2
emerge -va1 =ibical-1.0-r2

Preparing for GNOME 3.8

I suggest you skip this version.

Preparing for GNOME 3.10

Warning: In the future be careful about running "emerge --depclean" as it will add gdm to the list of packages to be removed and it must be installed.

Install gdm with "emerge -1 --nodeps =gdm-"

Add "=gdm-" to /etc/portage/profile/package.provided

Preparing for GNOME 3.12

This is the version of GNOME that you want:

1. The gdm trick is no longer required and unlike in gnome 3.10, I can confirm that in gnome 3.12 gdm works 100% for session management (including screen locking).

2. GNOME Classic is better than ever (gnome-shell -r --mode=classic).

3. A minor annoyance with nautilus has been corrected.

Installing GNOME

To pull in everything do:

emerge -vauDN gnome

For a minimal install do:

emerge -vauDN gnome-light

Patching GNOME 3.12 (Suspend and Hibernation)

Warning: Until further notice, this patch should be considered highly experimental
Note: Be aware that once this patch has been confirmed to work correctly, it may added directly to upower instead of remaining in upower-pm-utils.

GNOME 3.12 depends on upower-0.99.0 in which support for pm-utils has been removed (and for good reasons mind you). However I am opinion that leaving the deprecated features in the code harms no one, so I have taken the liberty of reverting those changes.

To use this patch, add the attachment found on FL-1329 to the sys-power directory of your local overlay.

If you do not have a local overlay, create one:

mkdir -p /usr/local/portage/profiles
echo "local" >> /usr/local/portage/profiles/repo_name

chown root:portage /usr/local/portage
chmod g+s /usr/local/portage
chmod 775 /usr/local/portage

echo "PORTDIR_OVERLAY=/usr/local/portage" >> /etc/portage/make.conf

Then, retrieve the tarball:

mkdir -p /usr/local/portage/sys-power/upower-pm-utils
cd /usr/local/portage/sys-power/upower-pm-utils

wget && tar xvjf upower-pm-utils.tar.bz2

rm upower-pm-utils.tar.bz2

Now, install the patched upower:


emerge -vaC upower
emerge -va upower-pm-utils

Finally, add the following to /etc/portage/profile/package.provided


Verify the inode/directory MimeType Handler

In some odd instances, baobab might take priority over nautilus when handling the inode/directory MimeType. If this behavior is not desired, add the following to /home/~/.local/share/applications/mimeapps.list:

[Added Associations]


GNOME 3.10 works without systemd but gdm functionality is wonky (don't count on session management, screen locking, suspend or hibernation support).

GNOME 3.12 without without systemd and gdm is confirmed to work 100% (excluding suspend and hibernation support which must be added through the provided upower patch).