Gentoo Wiki:FAQ

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This FAQ is a collection of common questions about the Gentoo wiki, the documentation contained within, and editing the wiki, along with their corresponding answers.

See also
There are other FAQs on the wiki: for frequently asked questions relating to Gentoo in general, rather than the documentation and wiki, see the main Gentoo FAQ. See also the Portage FAQ for frequently asked questions about the package manager. There is also a FAQ section in the handbook.
See also
See also the about Gentoo wiki page, and the wiki project page.

Who can edit the wiki and how

Anyone can edit the wiki! Anyone who can see a way to make the wiki better can log-in and make a change, just check out the contributor's guide first on how to get started.

Can I contribute an article in a language other than English?

Not unless there is an English version first. This wiki encourages the localization of pages into different languages through the use of the MediaWiki Translate extension. The extension offers several in-wiki features enabling translation of English originals to localized versions.

  • Since pages can be translated section by section instead of the whole page at once, several translators can share the work.
  • Each translated page shows how complete the translation is as a percent. Also, each untranslated section is displayed in the English original on the not-yet-complete translated page, so no information is lost.
  • Sections needing re-translation to sync them up with the English original are highlighted on the translation tool pages.
  • The language bar shown at the top of translatable articles lists only existing translated pages.

The Gentoo wiki project is well aware that use of this extension places a slight burden on translators (to learn the new translation interface), and that the creation of original pages in languages other than English is not possible (since English is assumed to be the original language of each article). However, they feel that the increase in quality and timeliness of translations outweighs the disadvantages.

If someone really wants to contribute a non-English article that cannot first be translated into English, please request help at Gentoo Wiki:Feedback.

How to contact the wiki admins

In case of issues editing the wiki, creating or connecting to accounts, receiving email, etc., users can get in touch with the wiki admins through one of the contact methods in the InfoBox at the top of the wiki project page.

Contact methods:

  • IRC on the #gentoo-wiki (webchat) channel. Most reactive method, but be patient for responses: the best thing is to stay connected to the channel, waiting at least 24 hours to account for users across time-zones. Don't ask to ask, just send your question to the channel after connecting. Warning: messages to the wiki IRC are public.
  • Email the project: More formal, but replies can take a while. Use this when privacy is important, such as for discussing account issues.

The InfoBox at the top of the wiki project page lists the individual admins (as the project lead and members). If required, to contact a member individually: click on the link to their User page, then either use their talk page, or email them directly from the Tools menu.

The team can also be contacted through the Feedback page. This method is for when the input of the larger wiki community can be useful, and should not be relied on for getting the admin's attention.

For issues regarding general wiki editing, use the talk pages.

"This action has been automatically identified as harmful" error

When trying to save changes to an article, the following error may appear, and will prevent any changes from being committed :

Error: This action has been blocked by the abuse filter. If this block has occurred during a good faith edit, now would be a good time to copy changes to a backup file on a disk or in a cloud.

If it is thought that this action should not have been blocked, please inform an administrator of what was being done when the block was triggered.

The rule which caused the action to be blocked is: Disable writing internal wiki links as external besides required links. If absolutely necessary, use wiki.g.o as a workaround.

This error is the abuse filter triggering when trying to link to an internal wiki page in the style "<pagename>" (to be precise, anything containing "//", with one exception). This is to avoid anyone using absolute links to reference wiki articles, as this does not allow the wiki to track links properly.

Can I copy an article to here from another wiki?

When this wiki was created there were several other Gentoo-related wikis in existence, the most well known being (an invitation was extended to the operators to merge with the Gentoo Wiki project, though after some discussion they declined).

Because of incompatible licenses, "copy-and-paste" of articles from archives of to here is not allowed, unless all authors of an article explicitly re-license their contributions for use here.

If an author has contributed an entire article to another wiki, that same author can recreate their original content here (preferably along with a quick note on the article's associated "Discussion" page explaining the article was moved from there to here). This is sufficient to constitute "re-licensing" of the content.

If some other wiki or website uses the same license as this wiki (CC-BY-SA 4.0), it may be possible to copy or import the article to this wiki in a way that preserves a record of its edit history (necessary for proper licensing). Please post a request at Gentoo Wiki:Feedback to request this.

The wiki is displaying confusing or abnormal information - what to do ?

It seems that there can sometimes be issues with the MediaWiki page generation and caching mechanisms that can result in strange or outdated information being displayed in certain pages. When encountering an issue with no clear cause, or if what is displayed seems confusing, or if an edit is not showing the expected result, try clicking the "Refresh" item in the "More" menu at the top of the affected page.


Backup wiki input text while editing

On occasion, due to server, network, or browser issues, data loss of text being entered into the wiki can occur. There are browser extensions that allow saving forms automatically, that may help avoid issues like this.

One example is Form History Control (II) it can be set to allow saving of lots of large pages, but can get a bit slow with many huge articles.

Sometimes, in case of server or network error, it may be possible to recover information by waiting for the issue to pass, then clicking the refresh or back button. This is only a last ditch effort though, and may well not work.

Gentoo wiki dark mode

Dark Reader ( can work on the Gentoo wiki site.

There is an issue displaying the main site logo currently. There is a bug filed about this on the Dark Reader tracker: .

See bug #676616 about this.

Edit wiki directly from a text editor

There are several plugins for vim and emacs to edit MediaWiki pages directly in an editor. Here are some examples in no particular order, be warned that these have not been tested by the wiki team and could be potentially unstable or unmaintained:

Firenvim allows the use of a local neovim installation inside Firefox or Chrome (other Chromium-based browsers may be supported). This can be coupled with mediawiki-vim for syntax highlighting. Of course the same approach seems possible with emacs.

There used to be at least one project that allowed mounting a MediaWiki wiki as a filesystem, to edit files: fuse-mediawiki. That and any similar projects seem long defunct now. There is a MediaWiki WebDAV extension, though it is currently not installed on the server.

Feedback about any of these methods would be appreciated. Please use the talk page.

See also
There are many methods to use text editors with MediaWiki:

See also