Funtoo Linux 1.4 Release Notes

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These release notes are a work in progress and are not yet done. But will be soon!


Upgrading to Funtoo Linux 1.4 from 1.3 should be relatively painless. If upgrading to from 1.2, first follow the Funtoo Linux 1.3 upgrade instructions.

Gentoo Snapshot

The kits in meta-repo are based on a 21 June 2019 snapshot of Gentoo Linux with significant updates to key parts of the system, such as compiler and OpenGL subsystem. Like Funtoo Linux 1.3, all kits are mostly frozen, with security fixes being back-ported, and a select number of important and user-requested updates added after the official release. The goal is to provide a reliable yet capable system that is responsive to the needs of our users. This is a delicate balancing act :) Also please note that Funtoo Linux 1.4 is not a "long-term stable" (LTS) release.

GNOME 3.32

Funtoo Linux 1.4 now offers a well-tested GNOME 3.32 desktop that can be merged as easily as doing:

root # epro flavor desktop
root # epro mix-in +gnome
root # emerge -auDN @world xorg-x11 gnome

New Compiler Toolchain

Funtoo Linux 1.4 features a new compiler toolchain maintained and exhaustively tested by Chris Giorgi (TemptorSent) based around gcc-9.1.1.

New OpenGL Subsystem

Funtoo Linux 1.4 also features an improved OpenGL subsystem, which is made up of many components but a few are worth noting and exploring in further detail:

  • libglvnd
  • new nvidia-drivers
  • mesa 19.1 and vulkan support
  • Container CUDA/OpenCL/GPU acceleration


Here is what every user should know about libglvnd: it is enabled by default under Funtoo Linux 1.4 and if you set up a graphical environment under Funtoo, it will get emerged automatically and provide the official library that OpenGL-using applications will use. When you type eselect opengl list, your current OpenGL implementation will be listed as xorg-x11 even if you are using NVIDIA or other drivers. This is normal and it is no longer necessary to use eselect opengl to swap-out OpenGL implementations the old-fashioned way. libglvnd takes care of all of this for you.

Here is a bit more detail on libglvnd for those who want to know more details:

libglvnd is described by maintainer NVIDIA as a vendor-neutral dispatch layer for arbitrating OpenGL API calls between multiple vendors. It allows multiple drivers from different vendors to coexist on the same filesystem, and determines which vendor to dispatch each API call to at runtime. That is a mouth-full, but basically what libglvnd offers is a solution to the "one OpenGL library for each type of video card" problem that has existed in Linux for over a decade. Gentoo Linux and Funtoo Linux have handled this problem with the creation of eselect opengl, which has allowed Gentoo and Funtoo users to control what vendor's is currently active.

libglvnd does something similar, but uses an arguably better and lower-level solution of providing a "universal" which is installed in /usr/lib, and is smart enough to determine what OpenGL implementations are available and functioning on the system and using the right one automatically. This means that distributions no longer need to carefully manage symbolic links to implementations and other important bits and can instead simply use the installed by libglvnd and let it take care of the magic behind the scenes.

Initial testing hasn't demonstrated any detectable negative performance impact from the use of libglvnd.

New nvidia-drivers

New nvidia-drivers ebuilds have been added to Funtoo Linux -- these are completely new ebuilds that differ from Gentoo Linux. They have a separate ebuild, nvidia-kernel-modules, which is responsible for installing the kernel modules themselves.

New Mesa 19.1.0 ebuild

Funtoo features a new mesa-19.1.0 ebuild. This ebuild offers support for vulkan on systems that support it. Our new Mesa ebuild is "pickier" than the previous in regards to USE settings, in that it will require you to enable specific video card(s) via VIDEO_CARDS in /etc/make.conf before it will let you enable a certain technology. For example, you will need to enable a Vulkan-compatible video card before you can happily enable vulkan in USE.

Container Technologies

  • LXD 3.14 (most recent upstream stable release) has been added along with official Funtoo Documentation.
  • The necessary ebuilds have been created to support GPU acceleration within both Docker and LXD containers, allowing users to run OpenGL applications inside containers, among other things.

Programming Languages

Along with the addition of gcc-9.1.1 come a host of improvements to our language offerings, some of which are listed below:

  • The official version of python3 now supported is python-3.7.3.
  • The latest upstream versions of python are now included (3.7.3 as well as 2.7.15).
  • Ruby has been upgraded to version 2.6.
  • Go has been updated to 1.12.6.
  • Google's Dart 2.3.2 (with 2.4.0 coming soon) has been added as dev-lang/dart. (Funtoo exclusive). This is a very nice language that has its own compiler as well as a Javascript translator, and is the basis for Google's Flutter.
  • Oracle's Java Runtime environment and development kit has been updated to


Database Improvements

Funtoo Linux now offers official Oracle mysql-community 8 ebuilds. The Oracle ebuilds provide a compelling alternative to mariadb for production database deployments.

Desktop Improvements


suid USE is now disabled by default in xorg-server, partially in response to CVE-2018-14665 and to follow upstream recommended best practice. You will likely need to enable suid for X to start correctly if you are not using a display manager like gdm or xdm, and instead starting X directly using xinit or startx. This can be done by adding the following line to /etc/portage/package.use, and re-emerging if necessary:

x11-base/xorg-server suid

Kit Improvements

Shotcut video editor

The following improvements have been made to desktop kits:

  • xorg-kit is now fully forked from Gentoo, and is based around xorg-server 1.20.
  • gnome-kit is fully forked from Gentoo and now offers a reliable GNOME 3.30 experience without systemd. See GNOME First Steps for information on how to set up.
  • Wayland support has been integrated into Funtoo Linux and is available via the wayland mix-in, and is enabled for kde-plasma-5 by default (see below.)
  • kde-kit now delivers an updated KDE Plasma 5 (5.4.13) experience that, like GNOME 3.30, uses elogind but not systemd.
  • xfce-kit now delivers a fully-tested XFCE 4.13.
  • gfxcard-nvidia mix-in created for easy one-step setup of systems with NVIDIA cards for use with proprietary NVIDIA drivers. nvidia-drivers now has uvm is enabled by default.
  • Video editing improvements: media-libs/mlt, media-video/shotcut new media-video/flowblade ebuild added.

It is now possible to enable both gnome and kde-plasma-5 profiles and have a system that runs both systemd-less GNOME and KDE Plasma. The KDE Plasma profile is currently based on the GNOME profile to ensure compatibility so KDE Plasma-only users will (for now) notice quite a bit of GNOME-related USE flags being enabled. This will be addressed in future releases.

Web Site Improvements

  • New Funtoo Linux MediaWiki theme.
  • New even more simplified Installation Guide with a tutorial-style page-by-page navigation style.
  • Addition of the Funtoo CPU Database with real-time search capability.
  • Totally redesigned FAQ section that allows users to submit their own FAQ questions.
  • Upgrades made to bug tracker and forums.

Security fixes

There have been numerous security fixes in Funtoo Linux 1.3, with a few notable fixes mentioned below: