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Util-linux is a set of various useful Linux utilities.


USE flags

USE flags for sys-apps/util-linux Various useful Linux utilities

audit Use sys-process/audit to emit audit messages about system changes
build !!internal use only!! DO NOT SET THIS FLAG YOURSELF!, used for creating build images and the first half of bootstrapping [make stage1]
caps build setpriv helper (run programs with diff capabilities)
cramfs build mkfs/fsck helpers for cramfs filesystems
cryptsetup Use sys-fs/cryptsetup to have built-in dm-verity in libmount
fdformat build fdformat (floppy disk format)
hardlink build hardlink program
kill build the kill program
logger build the logger program
ncurses Add ncurses support (console display library)
nls Add Native Language Support (using gettextGNU locale utilities)
pam build runuser helper
python Add optional support/bindings for the Python language
readline Enable support for libreadline, a GNU line-editing library that almost everyone wants
selinux !!internal use only!! Security Enhanced Linux support, this must be set by the selinux profile or breakage will occur
slang Add support for the slang text display library (it's like ncurses, but different)
split-usr Enable behavior to support maintaining /bin, /lib*, /sbin and /usr/sbin separately from /usr/bin and /usr/lib*
static-libs Build static versions of dynamic libraries as well
su build the su program
suid install mount/umount as setuid so non-root users may mount/umount devices, and wall/write as setgid so non-root users can notify other users
systemd Enable use of systemd-specific libraries and features like socket activation or session tracking
test Enable dependencies and/or preparations necessary to run tests (usually controlled by FEATURES=test but can be toggled independently)
tty-helpers install the mesg/wall/write tools for talking to local users
udev Enable virtual/udev integration (device discovery, power and storage device support, etc)
unicode Add support for Unicode


Enabling the kill USE flag will typically creates a conflict between the sys-process/procps and sys-apps/util-linux packages. Both packages include the kill command, and both packages are capable of conditionally building the kill utility by setting the kill USE flag (in fact, sys-apps/coreutils also includes support for a kill command).

Gentoo toolchain developers have decided the sys-process/procps package will be the default provider of the kill utility for the @system set.


The mesg, wall, and write utilities are installed using the tty-helpers USE flag. This can be viewed by scrolling down in USE flags section above.

For security reasons, these utilities are disabled by default.


root #emerge --ask --oneshot sys-apps/util-linux
--oneshot is used in the above command because util-linux is included in the @system set. It is typically not necessary to include it in a @selected set.


There are many utilities included in with the util-linux package...


(Troubleshoot issues in this section. Separate issues by best describing the error with a new section name. Remove if no issues are known.)

Issue 1



Warning: This package is part of the @system set. Removing it will remove an important suite of packages. Proceed at your own risk!

root #emerge --ask --depclean --verbose sys-apps/util-linux

See also

External resources