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Xorg is an open source implementation of the X Window System.


There are many ways to get the X server in Gentoo, however a common method is to emerge one of the two packages:

As seen from the descriptions above, those who desire a more minimal X server implementation should choose the first package.

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 global
dmx Build the Distributed Multiheaded X server local
doc Add extra documentation (API, Javadoc, etc). It is recommended to enable per package instead of globally global
glamor Enable Glamor OpenGL 2D acceleration local
ipv6 Add support for IP version 6 global
kdrive Build the kdrive X servers local
libressl Use dev-libs/libressl as SSL provider (might need ssl USE flag), packages should not depend on this USE flag global
minimal Install a very minimal build (disables, for example, plugins, fonts, most drivers, non-critical features) global
selinux !!internal use only!! Security Enhanced Linux support, this must be set by the selinux profile or breakage will occur global
static-libs Build static versions of dynamic libraries as well global
systemd Enable use of systemd-specific libraries and features like socket activation or session tracking global
udev Enable virtual/udev integration (device discovery, power and storage device support, etc) global
unwind Enable libunwind usage for backtraces local
wayland Enable dev-libs/wayland backend global
xcsecurity Build Security extension local
xephyr Build the Xephyr server local
xnest Build the Xnest server local
xorg Build the Xorg X server (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED) local
xvfb Build the Xvfb server local


USE flags for x11-base/xorg-x11 An X11 implementation maintained by the X.Org Foundation (meta package)

This metapackage does not have any USE flags of its own.

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


The full Xorg suite via the meta package:

root #emerge --ask x11-base/xorg-x11
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

See also