Funtoo Linux FAQ

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Top Questions

Why use a Source-Based Linux Distribution like Funtoo Linux?

Using a source-based Linux distribution like Funtoo Linux could be likened to driving an exotic sports car. It's an experience that is appreciated by professionals and technology enthusiasts because it simply offers a more direct, engaging experience with the underlying technology. You can push the technology further. You have more control. It is more satisfying.

If you aren't looking for something "special", there are a number of binary-only Linux distributions to choose from. They will get you from point A to point B. You won't have as much fun or be as connected to what's going on, nor as much control, but maybe that's not what you're looking for.

But if you do appreciate a deeper connection to technology, and pushing technology to its limits, Funtoo Linux may be a life-changing experience for you.

How did Funtoo Linux Begin?

Funtoo Linux was created by Daniel Robbins, the creator and former Chief Architect of Gentoo Linux, in late 2007, as a means to get Gentoo to build reliably (see Funtoo Linux History for an accurate timeline.) This led to the adoption of Metro, an automated build tool also developed by Daniel, to replace Gentoo's catalyst build tool for building Funtoo stages.

Some changes to Gentoo's Portage tree were needed to produce reliable stage3 builds of Gentoo, creating the need for Daniel to create a slight variant of Gentoo's Portage tree to support automated builds. This in turn created the need to maintain a forked Portage tree that also integrated recent upstream Gentoo changes. Daniel adopted git and worked with Zac Medico to integrate support for git-based Portage trees and mini-manifests into Gentoo's emerge command at a time when adoption of git by Gentoo had stalled.

Over time, Funtoo Linux has continued to mature, supporting novel offerings such as debian-sources and debian-sources-lts kernels, multiple system profiles, a wide selection of stages optimized for modern CPUs, support for systemd-less GNOME, and our new kits system.

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 do try to collaborate with Gentoo developers when possible.

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.

Thanks to the work of Dantrell B. and others, we do, however, fully support running GNOME 3.26 without depending on systemd.

We are planning to develop a new OpenRC-style init system, incorporating "next-gen" features, which will be comparable in functionality to systemd.

What Architectures does Funtoo Linux support?

Currently, Funtoo Linux is supports x86-32bit, x86-64bit, including pure64 (non-multilib), as well as ARM 32 and 64-bit.

Do you use the normal Gentoo system profiles?

Funtoo Linux uses a novel multi-profile system which you can read about at Funtoo Profiles. It has a lot of cool functionality, including flavors, mix-ins and other cool things.

Do you have a logo?

We're currently looking for a new logo. I change it periodically and include a question mark to encourage people to submit ideas. You can post ideas to the forums.

Do you use GitHub?

Funtoo Linux uses GitHub, so all our public repositories are available on GitHub. We also accept pull requests from GitHub. See Contributing for more information.

Does Funtoo use an overlay?

Funtoo Linux uses a system called kits, which organizes the Portage tree into logical groupings, such as xorg-kit, gnome-kit, etc. Kits are essentially overlays that are specially designed to work together.

How do I see what overlay a particular ebuild comes from?

http://ports.funtoo.org/packages.xml lists all ebuilds that come from a non-Gentoo overlay, in XML format. You can search this file for the ebuild you are interested in. If you don't find it, then it came from Gentoo.

Does Funtoo Linux use a Red Hat or Debian kernel?

We include a pre-built debian-sources kernel and initramfs in stage3 tarballs by default which is ready for use and offers universal hardware support, and also offer up-to-date debian-sources-lts kernels in our Portage tree. Funtoo Linux users are free to choose their own kernel. These are documented on the Funtoo Linux Kernels page.

What is the License of the content on the wiki?

Unless otherwise noted, the license of the content on the wiki is available for your use under the terms of -- at your option -- the GNU Free Documentation License 1.3, or the Creative Commons CC-BY-SA, 3.0.

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. If you proceed to convert an existing Gentoo system to Funtoo, be aware that it may not work, and we will not officially support you if you get stuck, so you may have to install from scratch anyway. However, there are people on the forums or on IRC who might be willing to help you out.

What is mini-manifest?

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:

# ego sync

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

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:

LANG="fr_CA.UTF-8"

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.

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.

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. See Reporting Bugs.

How do I report a bug?

We have a bug tracker. See Reporting Bugs.

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.

Then, see Contributing.

General Funtoo Stuff

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.

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.

Forking the 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.