From Gentoo Wiki
Jump to:navigation Jump to:search
This page contains changes which are not marked for translation.
Some of the information in this article may have drifted out of sync with current practices. Please help out by checking over the content (how to get started).
This article has some todo items:

Distcc is a program designed to distribute compiling tasks across a network to participating hosts.

Distcc comprises a server, distccd, and a client program, distcc. Distcc can work transparently with ccache, Portage, and Automake with a small amount of setup.

When planning on using distcc to help bootstrap a Gentoo installation, make sure to read Using distcc to bootstrap.

If using hosts to run distcc that are of a different architecture, or run a different toolchain, see Distcc/Cross-Compiling.

Distcc can introduce compile-time issues, like bug bug #691544, so the first troubleshooting step when encountering such issues should be to disable distcc to see if it solves it.
Using a second, faster, machine to build binary packages and setting up a binary package host can advantageously replace some use cases of distcc. It may be easier to set up and will cover all compilers and build systems.


Before configuring distcc, let's first look into the installation of the sys-devel/distcc package on all hosts.

Requirements across all hosts

In order to use distcc, all of the computers on the network need to have the same GCC versions. For example, mixing 3.3.x (where the x varies) is okay, but mixing 3.3.x with 3.2.x may result in compilation errors or runtime errors.

Verify that all systems use the same version of binutils (eselect binutils list) or many packages will fail linking with various errors like text relocation.

USE flags

USE flags for sys-devel/distcc Distribute compilation of C code across several machines on a network

gssapi Enable support for net-libs/libgssglue
gtk Add support for x11-libs/gtk+ (The GIMP Toolkit)
hardened Activate default security enhancements for toolchain (gcc, glibc, binutils)
ipv6 Add support for IP version 6
selinux !!internal use only!! Security Enhanced Linux support, this must be set by the selinux profile or breakage will occur
xinetd Add support for the xinetd super-server
zeroconf Support for DNS Service Discovery (DNS-SD)

Distcc ships with a graphical monitor to monitor tasks that a computer is sending away for compilation. This monitor is enabled when the gtk USE flag is set.


After configuring the USE setting, install the sys-devel/distcc package:

root #emerge --ask sys-devel/distcc
Remember to install sys-devel/distcc on all of the participating machines.



In order to have distccd started automatically, follow the next set of instructions.


Edit /etc/conf.d/distccd and make sure to set the --allow directive to allow only trusted clients. For added security, use the --listen directive to tell the distccd daemon what IP to listen on (for multi-homed systems). More information on distcc security can be found at Distcc security notes.

Anyone who can connect to the distcc server port can run arbitrary commands on that machine as the distccd user.

The following example allows the distcc clients running at and to connect to the distccd server running locally:

FILE /etc/conf.d/distccdAllowing specific clients to connect to distccd
DISTCCD_OPTS="--port 3632 --log-level notice --log-file /var/log/distccd.log -N 15 --allow --allow"

When logging to a file in /var/log, create the log and give appropriate permissions:

root #touch /var/log/distccd.log
root #chown distcc:root /var/log/distccd.log
It is important to use --allow and --listen. Please read the distccd man page or the above security document for more information.

Now start the distccd daemon on all the participating computers:

root #rc-update add distccd default
root #rc-service distccd start


Edit the /etc/systemd/system/distccd.service.d/00gentoo.conf file to add the allowed clients in CIDR format. Matching the example will add all IP addresses in the 192.168.1.xxx range:

FILE /etc/systemd/system/distccd.service.d/00gentoo.confSetting ALLOWED_SERVERS

Or an example with multiple clients and a manually specified log-level:

FILE /etc/systemd/system/distccd.service.d/00gentoo.confSetting ALLOWED_SERVERS
Environment="ALLOWED_SERVERS= --allow --allow --log-level error"
The variable name ALLOWED_SERVERS here is rather confusing as it refers to the clients that are allowed to connect to the local distccd server. Nevertheless, it is this variable which is used in the distccd service as value for the --allow option – see the /usr/lib/systemd/system/distccd.service file for additional information.
In contrast to OpenRC, environment variables put in /etc/env.d/* will not take effect for systemd users even after running env-update and restarting the distccd service. This is because /etc/environment.d generated by env-update is only sourced by systemd user instance. Whereas, distccd is spawned by systemd system instance.

To set the proper environment variables for distccd, place them into /etc/systemd/system/distccd.service.d/00gentoo.conf, for example:

FILE /etc/systemd/system/distccd.service.d/00gentoo.conf
The Environment= directive in /etc/systemd/system/distccd.service.d/00gentoo.conf file does not support variable expansion. Environment="PATH=/usr/lib/ccache/bin:$PATH" will be treated as is, therefore will not work as intended.

For workaround, edit distccd.service by running the following command:

root #systemctl edit --full distccd.service

This will open up an editor. Change the line with ExecStart= directive to:

CODE Workaround for appending to PATH
ExecStart=/bin/bash -c "PATH=/usr/lib/ccache/bin:$PATH exec /usr/bin/distccd --no-detach --daemon --port 3632 -N 15 --allow $ALLOWED_SERVERS --log-level debug"

Alternatively, it is possible to write a shell script wrapper for /usr/bin/distccd.

Reload the unit files after making such changes:

root #systemctl daemon-reload

Enable auto-starting distccd and then start the service:

root #systemctl enable distccd
root #systemctl start distccd

Specifying participating hosts

Use the distcc-config command on the local clients to set the list of hosts (systems running distccd as a service).

The following is an example list of host definitions. In most cases, variants of lines 1 and 2 suffice. The latter uses the /limit syntax to inform distcc about the maximum amount of jobs to be launched on this node. More information about the syntax used in lines 3 and 4 can be found in the distcc manual page.

CODE Examples of host definitions                                     
@         @

There are many other methods of setting up hosts. See the man page (man distcc) for more details.

If compilations should also occur on the local machine, add localhost in the hosts list. Conversely if the local machine is not to be used to compile, omit it from the hosts list. On a slow machine using localhost may actually slow things down. Make sure to test the settings in order to tune for best performance.

Configure distcc to use the hosts mentioned on the first line in the example:

root #/usr/bin/distcc-config --set-hosts "localhost"

Distcc also supports a pump mode, by invoking the pump command. This may significantly reduce build time when multiple files are compiled in parallel. It caches preprocessed headers on the server side and, as a result, gets rid of repeated uploading and preprocessing of these header files.

To configure a host for pump mode, add the ,cpp,lzo suffix to the hosts definitions. Pump mode requires both cpp and lzo flags (regardless of the files being C or C++):

root #/usr/bin/distcc-config --set-hosts ",cpp,lzo,cpp,lzo,cpp,lzo"

Hosts also need to be in:

FILE /etc/distcc/hostsShould match --set-hosts

Optionally, to set the maximum number of threads used by a host, add a forward slash "/" after each host:

FILE /etc/distcc/hostsSpecify max number of threads

The same applies to the distcc-config command. If the maximum threads number is not specified, it will default to 4.


With Portage

Setting up Portage to use distcc is easy. It is a matter of enabling the distcc feature, and setting a decent value for the number of simultaneous build jobs (as distcc increases the amount of build resources).

Set the MAKEOPTS variable and FEATURES variable as shown below.

A common strategy is to:

  • set the value of N to twice the number of total (local + remote) CPU cores + 1, and
  • set the value of M to the number of local CPU cores

The use of -lM in the MAKEOPTS variable will prevent spawning too many tasks when some of the distcc cluster hosts are unavailable (increasing the amount of simultaneous jobs on the other systems) or when an ebuild is configured to disallow remote builds (such as with gcc). This is accomplished by refusing to start additional jobs when the system load is at or above the value of M.

FILE /etc/portage/make.confSetting MAKEOPTS and FEATURES
# Replace N and M with the right value as calculated previously

For instance, when there are two quad-core host PCs running distccd and the local PC has a dual core CPU, then the MAKEOPTS variable could look like this:

FILE /etc/portage/make.confMAKEOPTS example for 2 quad-core (remote) and one dual core (local) PC
# 2 remote hosts with 4 cores each = 8 cores remote
# 1 local host with 2 cores = 2 cores local
# total number of cores is 10, so N = 2*10+1 and M=2
MAKEOPTS="-j21 -l2"


When editing the make.conf file, take sure that it does not have -march=native in the CFLAGS or CXXFLAGS variables. distccd will not distribute work to other machines if march is set to native. CXXFLAGS should list exact platform including a few extra flags as necessary for the CPU. Something like:

FILE /etc/portage/make.confinlined *FLAGS
# Minimal list of flags is generated with resolve-march-native
COMMON_FLAGS="-march=sandybridge -mtune=sandybridge -maes" # don't use -march=native!

Install app-misc/resolve-march-native to determine what -march=native would resolve into.

See Inlining -march=native for distcc for more information.

With automake

Update the PATH variable to include /usr/lib/distcc/bin/ in front of the directory that contains gcc (/usr/bin/). There is a caveat. If ccache is used, then put the distcc location after the ccache one:

root #export PATH="/usr/lib/ccache/bin:/usr/lib/distcc/bin:${PATH}"

Put this in the user's ~/.bashrc or equivalent file to have the PATH set every time the user logs in, or set it globally through an /etc/env.d/ file.

Instead of calling make alone, add in -jN (where N is an integer). The value of N depends on the network and the types of computers that are used to compile. A heuristic approach to the right value is given earlier in this article.

With ccache

To make Ccache work with distcc, some prerequisites must be fulfilled:

  • Ccache is successfully set up locally
  • Distcc is successfully set up on the desired hosts

The following setup will work as follows:

CODE Flow diagram
[client]                                                      [remote]
'''ccache''' <miss?> → compile it and save cache files,
<hit?>           also distribute other source code → '''distcc''' → '''ccache''' <miss?> → compile it, save cache files, return cache file to client
  ↓                                                           <hit?>
use the local cache file                                        ↓
                                                 return local cache file to client
The following configuration must be done on all desired hosts!

Configure distccd

In order to let the daemon distccd use ccache, it must masquerade the path /usr/bin with /usr/lib/ccache/bin. Furthermore, when it uses ccache, ccache should use the prefix distcc:

FILE /etc/conf.d/distccd

Additionally distccd must be aware of the environment variables DISTCC_DIR and CCACHE_DIR:

These variables must be set somewhere in /etc/env.d/, otherwise ccache tries to put cache files in ${HOME}/.ccache/, which might result in a COMPILE_ERROR, due to insufficient permissions. To pinpoint this, use the testing example mentioned below and export DISTCC_SAVE_TEMPS="1" as mentioned here. This will provide error logs from the remote site in /tmp/ by default. The logs will look like this: distcc_server_stderr_*.txt. Be aware, that these environment variables cannot be set in /etc/conf.d/distccd, since they will not be read from distccd for some reason.
FILE /etc/env.d/03distcc_ccache

Next, update the environment variables:

root #env-update
>>> Regenerating /etc/ld.so.cache...

Finally, restart the daemon distccd to adapt all changes:

root #rc-service distccd restart

Configure ccache

When using distcc with ccache, it is necessary to prepare the cache directories manually, since the daemon distccd only works with the user distcc for some reason and it cannot create directories within /var/cache/ccache/. It is not sufficient to add this user to the group portage. Also be aware, that the variable cache_dir_levels, defined in ccache.conf, specifies how many subdirectories have to be created. The following example uses the default, which is 2.

First, prepare the cache directories:

root #cd "/var/cache/ccache/"
root #mkdir {a..z} {0..9} tmp
root #for first_level_directory in $(find . -maxdepth 1 -type d -not -name "." -and -not -name "tmp"); do pushd "${first_level_directory}" >/dev/null; mkdir {a..z} {0..9}; popd >/dev/null; done

The second command (mkdir) will create the first level directories from a to z, 0 to 9 and tmp. The following for loop will then look for the first level directories (find . -maxdepth 1 -type d), excluding the current directory . and tmp (-not -name "." -and -not -name "tmp"). It then descends into each of them (pushd), creates the second level directories from a to z and 0 to 9 (mkdir) and goes back to the previous directory (popd), which is /var/cache/ccache/.

The current directory . must be excluded with -not -name ".", otherwise the first pushd command will go to the current directory . and then goes back to whatever directory is currently on the stack via popd. It will navigate through the entire stack until it is empty, creating directories, where each pushd command fails. If this happens, one can search for them using find / -type d -name "0" and remove them with rm --recursive [a-z] [0-9]. It is advised to do this manually!

When the preparation is done, every directory - including the directory ccache itself - must be owned by the user distcc:

root #find /var/cache/ccache -type d -exec chown distcc:portage "{}" +

Configure portage

To use emerge with distcc and ccache, make sure, that both features are enabled and that CCACHE_DIR is set in /etc/portage/make.conf:

FILE /etc/portage/make.conf
FEATURES="distcc ccache"

It might be redundant to set CCACHE_DIR here, since it is already defined in /etc/env.d/03distcc_ccache, mentioned here. But to make absolutely sure, configure it like that.

Testing distcc with ccache manually


First enable verbose logging by setting --log-level to debug in /etc/conf.d/distccd:

FILE /etc/conf.d/distccd
DISTCCD_OPTS="${DISTCCD_OPTS} --log-level debug"

After that, restart the daemon to adapt the changes:

root #rc-service distccd restart

Also check, if there are directories in /var/cache/ccache - including the directory ccache itself - which are not owned by the user distcc and correct their owner permissions:

root #chown -R distcc:portage /var/cache/ccache

Make sure, that the following environment variables are present in the current shell:

root #export PATH="/usr/lib/ccache/bin:${PATH}"
root #export CCACHE_DIR="/var/cache/ccache"
root #export DISTCC_DIR="/var/tmp/portage/.distcc"
root #export DISTCC_SAVE_TEMPS="1"
root #export DISTCC_VERBOSE="1"

After that, navigate to a temporary directory within /tmp/ and compile the example mentioned below:

root #cd $(mktemp --directory)
root #distcc gcc -c main.c -o main.o

This will provide a verbose output, while also keeping temporary files receiving from the remote site in /tmp/ by default:

distcc[29466] (dcc_cleanup_tempfiles_inner) skip cleanup of /tmp/distcc_9c42f0a6.i
distcc[29466] (dcc_cleanup_tempfiles_inner) skip cleanup of /tmp/distcc_server_stderr_9cc0f0a6.txt

Any occuring error from the remote site are saved in /tmp/distcc_server_stderr_*.txt.

If the compilation was successful, the following line will be shown:

distcc[29466] compile main.c on completed ok

On the remote site, it will look like this:

distccd[13296] (dcc_check_compiler_masq) /usr/lib/ccache/bin/gcc is a safe symlink to /usr/bin/ccache
distccd[13296] (dcc_job_summary) client: COMPILE_OK exit:0 sig:0 core:0 ret:0 time:20ms gcc main.c

The important part here, is, that any symlink of /usr/lib/ccache/bin/ is a save symlink to /usr/bin/ccache.

Also, on the remote site, there should be the cached file 2beaa22dc2a2873d6869d69411840c-17229.o in /var/cache/ccache/c/0/, assuming, the example with its filename was copied from this wiki article. Generally, one can monitor the ccache size using watch "ccache --show-stats", while compiling.

Testing distcc with ccache using emerge

Check, if necessary environment variables are present for the current shell, see here and that /etc/portage/make.conf was configured properly, see here.

To produce some cached files on the remote site, one can compile small packages like htop and bzip2 on the client:

root #emerge --ask htop bzip2

Future usage

Make sure, that the following environment variables are always set in the desired shell:


To bootstrap

TODO: Todo:

  • Check this section for outdated information. Notably "USE='-*'" and "--nodeps" may no longer be advised. See Discussion page for more informaiton.

Using distcc to bootstrap (i.e. build a working toolchain before installing the remainder of the system) requires some additional steps to take.

Step 1: Configure Portage

Boot the new box with a Gentoo Linux LiveCD and follow the installation instructions, while keeping track of the instructions in the Gentoo FAQ for information about bootstrapping. Then configure Portage to use distcc:

FILE /etc/portage/make.confConfigure Portage to use distcc

Update the PATH variable in the installation session as well:

root #export PATH="/usr/lib/ccache/bin:/usr/lib/distcc/bin:${PATH}"

Step 2: Getting distcc

Install sys-devel/distcc:

root #USE='-*' emerge --nodeps sys-devel/distcc

Step 3: Setting up distcc

Run distcc-config to setup distcc; substitute the host# in the example with the IP addresses or hostnames of the participating nodes.

root #/usr/bin/distcc-config --set-hosts "localhost host1 host2 host3 ..."

Distcc is now set up to bootstrap! Continue with the proper installation instructions and do not forget to run emerge distcc after running emerge @system. This is to make sure that all of the necessary dependencies are installed.

During bootstrap and emerge @system distcc may not appear to be used. This is expected as some ebuilds do not work well with distcc, so they intentionally disable it.


The distcc application has additional features and applications to support working in a distcc environment.

Monitoring utilities

Distcc ships with two monitoring utilities. The text-based monitoring utility is always built and is called distccmon-text. Running it for the first time can be a bit confusing, but it is really quite easy to use. If the program is run with no parameter it will run just once. However, if it is passed a number it will update every N seconds, where N is the argument that was passed.

user $distccmon-text 10

The other monitoring utility is only enabled when the gtk USE flag is set. This one is GTK based, runs in an X environment, and it is quite lovely. For Gentoo, the GUI monitor has been renamed to distccmon-gui to make it less confusing (it is originally called distccmon-gnome).

user $distccmon-gui

To monitor Portage's distcc usage:

root #DISTCC_DIR="/var/tmp/portage/.distcc/" distccmon-text 10
root #DISTCC_DIR="/var/tmp/portage/.distcc/" distccmon-gui
If the distcc directory is elsewhere, change the DISTCC_DIR variable accordingly.

A trick is to set DISTCC_DIR in environment variables:

root #echo 'DISTCC_DIR="/var/tmp/portage/.distcc/"' >> /etc/env.d/03distcc_dir

This creates a file with following content:

FILE /etc/env.d/03distcc_dir
Be aware that DISTCC_DIR must be set somewhere else than /etc/env.d/02distcc, as it gets overwritten everytime, when using distcc-config! distcc-config --set-env DISTCC_DIR <some_path> does not work.

Now update the environment:

root #env-update
root #source /etc/profile

Finally, start the GUI application:

root #distccmon-gui

SSH for communication

Setting up distcc via SSH includes some pitfalls. First, generate an SSH key pair without password setup. Be aware that portage compiles programs as the Portage user (or as root if FEATURES="userpriv" is not set). The home folder of the Portage user is /var/tmp/portage/, which means the keys need to be stored in /var/tmp/portage/.ssh/

Home folder of the Portage user changed in recent versions to /var/lib/portage/home, but this folder cannot be used for distcc via SSH because it is out of the accessible path during compilation. It should be updated:
root #usermod -d /var/tmp/portage portage
root #ssh-keygen -b 2048 -t rsa -f /var/tmp/portage/.ssh/id_rsa

Second, create a section for each host in the SSH configuration file:

FILE /var/tmp/portage/.ssh/configAdd per-host sections
Host test1
    HostName 123.456.789.1
    Port 1234
    User UserName
Host test2
    HostName 123.456.789.2
    Port 1234
    User UserName

Send the public key to each compilation node:

root #ssh-copy-id -i /var/tmp/portage/.ssh/id_rsa.pub UserName@CompilationNode
Because home folder of the distcc user changed in recent versions to /dev/null and login to nologin, you either need to use another UserName or to update distcc account on the host:
root #usermod -d /var/lib/distcc -s /bin/bash distcc

Also make sure that each host is available in the known_hosts file:

root #ssh-keyscan -t rsa <compilation-node-1> <compilation-node-2> [...] > /var/tmp/portage/.ssh/known_hosts

Fix the file ownership as follows:

root #chown -R portage:portage /var/tmp/portage/.ssh/

To set up the hosts test1 and test2, run:

root #/usr/bin/distcc-config --set-hosts "@test1 @test2"

Please note the @ (@ sign), which specifies ssh hosts for distcc.

Finally, tell distcc which SSH binary to use:

FILE /etc/portage/make.conf

It is not necessary to run the distccd initscript on the hosts when distcc communicates via SSH.

Reverse SSH

As an alternative to distcc's built-in SSH solution, a compiling server can connect to the distcc client via SSH, redirecting the client's distcc TCP port to the compiling server. There is no need for password-less SSH keys on the client:

user $ssh -R3632: root@distcc-client

Note that distcc uses localhost as a literal keyword for special purpose so that has to be used instead. For multiple compiling servers each needs its own port redirection on the client (e.g., etc). Assert that IP addresses and ports are listed in /etc/distcc/hosts on the client.


To test distcc, write a simple Hello distcc program and run distcc in verbose mode to see if it communicates properly.

FILE main.c
#include <stdio.h>
int main() {
    printf("Hello distcc!\n");
    return 0;

Next, turn on verbose mode, compile the program using distcc and link the generated object file into an executable:

user $export DISTCC_VERBOSE=1
user $distcc gcc -c main.c -o main.o # or 'pump distcc <...>'
user $gcc main.o -o main
Replace distcc command with pump distcc for use pump mode.

There should be a bunch of output about distcc finding its configuration, selecting the host to connect to, starting to connect to it, and ultimately compile main.c. If the output does not list the desired distcc hosts, check the configuration.

Finally, ensure the compiled program works properly. To test each host, enumerate each compile host in the hosts file.

user $./main
Hello distcc!


If a problem occurs while using distcc, then this section might help in resolving the problem.

ERROR: failed to open /var/log/distccd.log

As of January 22nd, 2015 emerging fails to create the proper distccd.log file in /var/log/. This apparently only effects version 3.1-r8 of distcc. This bug is in the process of being corrected (see bug #477630). It is possible to work around this by manually creating the log file, giving it proper ownership, and restarting the distccd daemon:

root #mkdir -p /var/log/distcc
root #touch /var/log/distcc/distccd.log
root #chown distcc:daemon /var/log/distcc/distccd.log

Next update the /var/log path of the distccd configuration file in /etc/conf.d/distccd to the distcc directory created in the step before:

FILE /etc/conf.d/distccdUpdating log path
DISTCCD_OPTS="--port 3632 --log-level notice --log-file /var/log/distcc/distccd.log -N 15

Finally, restart the distccd service:

root #/etc/init.d/distccd restart

Some packages do not use distcc

As various packages are installed, users will notice that some of them aren't being distributed (and aren't being built in parallel). This may happen because the package' Makefile doesn't support parallel operations, or the maintainer of the ebuild has explicitly disabled parallel operations due to a known problem.

Sometimes distcc might cause a package to fail to compile. If this happens, please report it.

Rust package is known to cause excessive IO utilization as --local-load is ignored and --jobs is usually too high for local build resources. A package.env needs to be provisioned with non-distcc MAKEOPTS values to workaround this behavior.

FILE /etc/portage/env/nodistcc.conf
FILE /etc/portage/package.env/nodistcc
dev-lang/rust           nodistcc.conf
mail-client/thunderbird nodistcc.conf
sys-libs/libcxx         nodistcc.conf
www-client/firefox      nodistcc.conf

Mixed GCC versions

If the environment hosts different GCC versions, there will likely be very weird problems. The solution is to make certain all hosts have the exact same GCC version. Corollary: if you have a weird problem, double-check the compiler invocations (from local and remote logs), and verify equality of versions strings (output of ${CC} --version).

Recent Portage updates have made Portage use ${CHOST}-gcc (minus gcc) instead of gcc. This means that if i686 machines are mixed with other types (i386, i586) then the builds will run into troubles. A workaround for this may be to run:

root #export CC='gcc' CXX='c++'

It is also possible to set the CC and CXX variables in /etc/portage/make.conf to the values list in the command above.

Doing this explicitly redefines some behavior of Portage and may have some weird results in the future. Only do this if mixing CHOSTs is unavoidable.
Having the right version of gcc as a slot on a server isn’t enough. Portage uses distcc as a replacement for the compiler referenced by the CHOST variable (i.e. x86_64-pc-linux-gnu) and distccd invokes it by exactly same name. The right version of gcc should be a default system’s compiler on all involved compilation hosts.


Starting with GCC 4.3.0, the compiler supports the -march=native option which turns on CPU auto-detection and optimizations that are worth being enabled on the processor on which GCC is running. This creates a problem when using distcc because it allows the mixing of code optimized for different processors. For example, running distcc with -march=native on a system that has an AMD Athlon processor and doing the same on another system that has an Intel Pentium processor will mix code compiled on both processors together.

Heed the following warning:

Do not use -march=native or -mtune=native in the CFLAGS or CXXFLAGS variables of make.conf when compiling with distcc.

See the CFLAGS and CXXFLAGS section and Inlining -march=native for distcc for more information. Use of app-misc/resolve-march-native is also an option.

Get more output from emerge logs

It is possible to obtain more logging by enabling verbose mode. This is accomplished by adding DISTCC_VERBOSE to /etc/portage/bashrc:

FILE /etc/portage/bashrcEnabling verbose logging

The verbose logging can then be found in /var/tmp/portage/$CATEGORY/$PF/temp/build.log.

Keep in mind that the first distcc invocation visible in build.log isn’t necessary the first distcc call during a build process. For example a build server can get a one-minute backoff period during the configuration stage when some checks are performed using a compiler (distcc sets a backoff period when compilation on a remote server failed, it doesn’t matter whether it failed on local machine or not).

Dig into the /var/tmp/portage/$CATEGORY/$PF/work/ directory to investigate such situations. Find other logs, or call make explicitly from within the working directory.

Another interesting variable to use is DISTCC_SAVE_TEMPS. When set, it saves the standard output/error from a remote compiler which, for Portage builds, results in files in the /var/tmp/portage/$CATEGORY/$PF/temp/ directory.

FILE /etc/portage/bashrcSaving temporary output

Failed to create directory /dev/null/.cache/ccache/tmp: Not a directory

This error can be discovered from the standard error output file in the server if DISTCC_SAVE_TEMPS is set. It only occurs when using distccd with ccache.

Likely, it is because CCACHE_DIR is not properly set, or not passed correctly to distccd. ccache will then default to $HOME/.cache/ccache as its cache folder. However, ccache is run by distccd under user distcc, which is a non-login account. See systemd section and With ccache section for setting CCACHE_DIR.

Portage build failing with errors that are apparently not connected with distcc at all

When builds are failing with errors that do not seem to be connected to distcc, but the build works with FEATURES="-distcc", it has been reported that builds sometimes fail because of DISTCC_VERBOSE=1. Try the build with DISTCC_VERBOSE=0.

See also

  • Distcc/Cross-Compiling — shows the reader how to set up distcc for cross-compiling across different processor architectures.

External resources

This page is based on a document formerly found on our main website gentoo.org.
The following people contributed to the original document: Lisa Seelye, Mike Gilbert (floppym) , Erwin, Sven Vermeulen (SwifT) , Lars Weiler, Tiemo Kieft, and
They are listed here because wiki history does not allow for any external attribution. If you edit the wiki article, please do not add yourself here; your contributions are recorded on each article's associated history page.