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johngalt
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:49 pm    Post subject: [SOLVED] USE Flags question Reply with quote

A little background:

My last foray into Gentoo was back in 2006, migrating from a 'standard' stage 1/3 install of Gentoo on my (then old) Pentium 200 box to a project here called Jackass (no joke - see https://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-378425-highlight-.html )

Since then, I started playing with windows again, and only kept a basic *nix distro running via VMs, first VirtualBox, then with WinX using Hyper-V.

I'm now building a complete Gentoo install on an old laptop I haven't used in quite some time, recycling it for my father (75+) to use daily.

I've been doing a lot of reading in the last couple of weeks to work on this, and started posting back here in the forums a week ago, but with only basic things - mostly it's been going well.

But USE flags - yeah, the bane of my existence. I can compile kernels all I want (it's all relatively straight forward), but USE flags get me.

My understanding is that, from previous experience, memory and what I've read in all the different pages I've researched on them (including the wiki pages here, the handbook, and other pages here and elsewhere, that the ones listed in /etc/portage/make.conf are to be the bare minimum flags necessary to have a working system, correct?

Since I want a graphical system at all times, I need X. In order to use sound on the laptop, I need alsa. For printing, CUPS should suffice. Maybe a few others from the list @ https://www.gentoo.org/support/use-flags/#globalthat I need based upon the X page @ https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Xorg/Guide#make.conf and XFCE pages @ https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Xfce/Guide and https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Xfce#Installation.

Other than that, I should use individual flags per package, as mentioned @ https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Handbook:AMD64/Working/USE#Declaring_USE_flags_for_individual_packages

My question is this - being a laptop, and this particular laptop (Dell Inspiron 3521, https://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/04/product-support/servicetag/h5q00x1/configuration ), in which I've replaced the default 320 GB mechanical Slow PoS with an Intel X23-M (gen 2) 80 GB SSD, which is using an Intel Celeron 1007u CPU (see https://ark.intel.com/products/72061/Intel-Celeron-Processor-1007U-2M-Cache-1_50-GHz ), would I really need anything else as a global flag?

APM, ACPI and Bluetooth, cups, a few others come to mind, but I'm undecided if those can be on a per-pkg basis or global (My thought process is that those three very particularly should be global).

Also, in terms of hardware, support for various types of DVDs, CDs, etc - global or leave it app specific (my thought process here is that there are probably not going to be many apps that need direct access to the optical drive itself, perhaps a music player, video player, and, uh...the dm, maybe? - so they should be app specific....

If I am on the right track, awesome, and if not, please help me figure out where I am going wrongly.
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desultory wrote:
If you want to retain credibility as a functional adult; when you are told that you are acting boorishly, the correct response is to consider that possibility and act accordingly to correct that behavior.


Amen.


Last edited by johngalt on Fri Jun 08, 2018 11:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

johngalt,

You should not need any USE flags in make.conf to get a working system.

Your profile
Code:
eselect profile list
defines at working minimal set of USE flags.
The settings is make.conf add or subtract from the settings in your profile.
Then you may set flags on a per package is /etc/portage/package.use/*
Portage is quite happy with all of that.

For completeness, you can also set USE flags on the command line but don't do that because portage won't remember.

Choose a desktop profile.
Audition the selected profile with
Code:
emerge --info
if your eyes glaze over reading the USE line, run
Code:
emerge -epv @world
to see what flags change on what packages.
Changed flags are in green with an *.

Personally, I tend to use global USE settings apart for a few odds an ends. I think its easier to manage.
I don't really mind if I have a USE flag in make.conf that is only used by one package. Its easy to find.

Choose a profile you like, then fine tune it. If you are a control freak, there is a special USE flag -* which clears all use flags set up to the point it appears.
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Computer users fall into two groups:-
those that do backups
those that have never had a hard drive fail.
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johngalt
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeddySeagoon wrote:
johngalt,

You should not need any USE flags in make.conf to get a working system.

Your profile
Code:
eselect profile list
defines at working minimal set of USE flags.
The settings is make.conf add or subtract from the settings in your profile.
Then you may set flags on a per package is /etc/portage/package.use/*
Portage is quite happy with all of that.

For completeness, you can also set USE flags on the command line but don't do that because portage won't remember.

Choose a desktop profile.
Audition the selected profile with
Code:
emerge --info
if your eyes glaze over reading the USE line, run
Code:
emerge -epv @world
to see what flags change on what packages.
Changed flags are in green with an *.

Personally, I tend to use global USE settings apart for a few odds an ends. I think its easier to manage.
I don't really mind if I have a USE flag in make.conf that is only used by one package. Its easy to find.

Choose a profile you like, then fine tune it. If you are a control freak, there is a special USE flag -* which clears all use flags set up to the point it appears.


Thanks for that. I was partially considering just skipping the USE flags in make.conf and only specifying INPUT_DEVICES="libinput synaptic" and VIDEO_CARDS="intel" (with corresponding kernel needs) and moving on. You've solidified my decision to do so.

I can always change things later on that I need, especially if I need to remove something (which I need to do for at least one particular pkg, per the XFCE instructions) but this way It'll be working the way it needs to be working.

Thanks.
_________________
desultory wrote:
If you want to retain credibility as a functional adult; when you are told that you are acting boorishly, the correct response is to consider that possibility and act accordingly to correct that behavior.


Amen.
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Ant P.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think INPUT_DEVICES=libinput is all you need nowadays - it'll take precedence over synaptics if both are installed anyway.
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johngalt
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ahh. That explains why other sources show it in the list and the main handbook skipped it.

Thanks Ant. I'll make the change right after my current emerge @world completes :p
_________________
desultory wrote:
If you want to retain credibility as a functional adult; when you are told that you are acting boorishly, the correct response is to consider that possibility and act accordingly to correct that behavior.


Amen.
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