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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

build !!internal use only!! DO NOT SET THIS FLAG YOURSELF!, used for creating build images and the first half of bootstrapping [make stage1] global
caps build setpriv helper (run programs with diff capabilities) local
cramfs build mkfs/fsck helpers for cramfs filesystems local
fdformat build fdformat (floppy disk format) local
kill build the kill program local
nls Add Native Language Support (using gettext - GNU locale utilities) global
pam build runuser helper local
python Add optional support/bindings for the Python language global
readline Enable support for libreadline, a GNU line-editing library that almost everyone wants global
selinux !!internal use only!! Security Enhanced Linux support, this must be set by the selinux profile or breakage will occur global
slang Add support for the slang text display library (it's like ncurses, but different) global
static-libs Build static versions of dynamic libraries as well global
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 local
tty-helpers install the mesg/wall/write tools for talking to local users local


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 include 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.

For more information see the kill article.


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.


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


Environment variables

  • VAR1
  • VAR2


  • /etc/global_file_example - Global (system wide) configuration file.
  • ~/.local_file_example - Local (per user) configuration file.


(Provide instructions on starting/stopping and enabling/disabling the software's service. This is only really necessary if it if the software includes a daemon for certain tasks.)


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 sys-apps/util-linux

See also

External resources