Updating to modular xorg-x11 in Gentoo (Howto)

I updated my xorg-x11 installation in my Gentoo machine to version xorg-x11-7.0.0_rc1, which uses the new “modular X.org” architecture. It was mostly painless. Here are the steps:

1. Unmerge the old xorg-x11 (make a binary package in case you want to go back: quickpkg xorg-x11)
2. Copy the whole xorg-x11 section from /usr/portage/profiles/package.mask to /etc/portage/package.unmask
3. emerge -av xorg-x11. It’s about 100 packages, but many of them are very small, so the total time is similar to the old monolithic xorg-x11 ebuild.
5. You have to emerge some drivers and auxiliary programs manually: emege -av xfs xf86-video-ati xf86-video-vesa xf86-input-mouse xf86-input-keyboard xf86-input-evdev xrefresh xvidtune xwininfo xev libXvMC xdpyinfo xvinfo xset xmag
6. (this had me stumped for a few minutes) In xorg.conf, change ModulePath from /usr/X11R6/lib/modules to /usr/lib/xorg/modules
7. /etc/xinit.d/xfs restart; /etc/init.d/xdm restart

That’s it! My xorg.conf worked unmodified, with the ModulePath exception mentioned above. I now seem to have some slight font changes, but I guess I’ll figure it out as I go.

Update: to fix the font problems, you also need to install the bitmapped font packages (by default it only installs truetype fonts): emerge media-fonts/font-adobe-100dpi-0.99.1 media-fonts/font-adobe-75dpi-0.99.1 media-fonts/font-adobe-utopia-100dpi-0.99.1 media-fonts/font-adobe-utopia-75dpi-0.99.1 media-fonts/font-bh-100dpi-0.99.1 media-fonts/font-bh-75dpi-0.99.1 media-fonts/font-bh-lucidatypewriter-100dpi-0.99.1 media-fonts/font-bh-lucidatypewriter-75dpi-0.99.1 media-fonts/font-bitstream-100dpi-0.99.0 media-fonts/font-bitstream-75dpi-0.99.0 media-fonts/font-bitstream-speedo-0.99.1 media-fonts/font-xfree86-type1-0.99.0

With this, my fonts went back to the way they were before.

Update 2: One problem that I noticed later on is that now Ctrl-Alt-+ doesn’t do anything. I am using the radeon driver with MergedFB, and even though the X.org log shows that the MetaModes I have defined are being correctly recognized, Ctrl-Alt-+ does not switch between them as it used to do. Still investigating…

Update 3: The Ctrl-Alt-+ problem is solved by adding Option "XkbDisable" to my /etc/X11/xorg.conf. Now switching resolutions works, but I lose the xkb extensions (keyboard layouts, etc.). Hrm…


4 responses to “Updating to modular xorg-x11 in Gentoo (Howto)

  1. Thanks for the hint on the fonts, that helped me 🙂

    Nice blog by the way.

  2. Thanks! I’m glad it helped 🙂

  3. But, what about performance? Is the modular version in any way faster than the monolithic one (6.9)?


  4. Jordi – it felt a bit snappier, but it’s only my subjective opinion. It’s probably about the same.

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