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Xorg is an open source implementation of the X server.


Xorg guide details the installation of Xorg.

USE flags

USE flags for x11-base/xorg-server X.Org X servers

debug Enable extra debug codepaths, like asserts and extra output. If you want to get meaningful backtraces see https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Project:Quality_Assurance/Backtraces
elogind Use elogind to get control over framebuffer when running as regular user
minimal Install a very minimal build (disables, for example, plugins, fonts, most drivers, non-critical features)
selinux !!internal use only!! Security Enhanced Linux support, this must be set by the selinux profile or breakage will occur
suid Enable setuid root program(s)
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)
udev Enable virtual/udev integration (device discovery, power and storage device support, etc)
unwind Enable libunwind usage for backtraces
xcsecurity Build Security extension
xephyr Build the Xephyr server
xnest Build the Xnest server
xorg Build the Xorg X server (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED)
xvfb Build the Xvfb server

The X USE flag

Many packages can be built with optional X11 support by activating the global X USE flag (if not already activated by profile selection).


Just the necessary components:

root #emerge --ask x11-base/xorg-server
Getting a working graphical environment (including popular desktops like KDE and GNOME) requires additional configuration before emerging one of these packages. See the more extensive Xorg Guide for details.


X server starts and dies unexpectedly with no errors

Problem: Running startx will start the X server, however it will immediately die without any errors (searching "EE" in /var/log/Xorg.0.log returns no related results).

Cause: an empty .xinitrc file exists for the user who is running the startx command, so the X server is starting, then stopping because there is nothing left for it to do.

Resolution: Either remove the .xinitrc file or define a window manager inside it.

Reproducible via:

user $touch ~/.xinitrc

Blockers when updating xorg-server with xorg-drivers

When an update is available for xorg-server, it is possible that a normal -up world command will produce blocker messages with xorg drivers. When this happens, rebuilding x11 modules can help proceed with the update Ex:

root #emerge -av1 xorg-server @x11-module-rebuild

See also

  • Non root Xorg — describes how an unprivileged user can run Xorg without using suid.
  • Xorg/Guide — explains what Xorg is, how to install it, and the various configuration options.
  • Xorg/Hardware 3D acceleration guide — a guide to getting 3D acceleration working using the DRM with Xorg in Gentoo.
  • XrandrX protocol extension and its CLI tool xrandr are used to manage screen resolutions, rotation and screens with multiply displays in X
  • Xorg/Using the numeric keyboard keys as mouse — XOrg comes with built-in mouse emulation using the keyboards numeric keypad.
  • X server — the main component of the X Window system which abstracts the hardware and provides the foundation for most graphical user interfaces, like desktop environments or window managers, and their applications.