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System profile update procedure for 2004.0


1.  Philosophy


Commonly referred to as system profiles, the Portage profiles that are located in /usr/portage/profiles serve as the building block for any Gentoo Linux system. Not only do the profiles specify what CFLAGS and arch KEYWORDS to use, they also lock the specific system to a certain range of package versions. The profile is read by Portage through the /etc/make.profile symlink which is created at stage building time.

There exist two problems with the current profile system. First, the version stamp of 1.4 that marks virtually all of Gentoo's modern profiles is out of date due to the new quarterly release scheme. Secondly, the current profile system does not scale well. The creation of a profile involves a lot of duplication. All profiles share common threads, but there is no current way to abstract or inherit that common data.

The first problem is one that must be implemented before the release of 2004.0. The reason for the deadline is simple - users do not need to be using profiles that are version stamped with the old release scheme of 1.x. The cascading profiles will be something that is implemented post 2004.0 as it is a project that is outside the scope of the 2004.0 deadline.

2.  Procedure

Profile change procedure

The profile fix for 2004.0 can be initiated using the following steps:

Code Listing 2.1: Profile Change Procedure

1. cp -a default-$arch-1.4 default-$arch-2004.0
2. echo "default-$arch-2004.0" > /usr/portage/profiles/default-$arch-1.4/deprecated
3. Tweak your catalyst spec file to use the new profile name.

Step 1 simply copies the old profile to the new naming scheme. Step 2 uses Portage's (>=2.0.50) profile deprecation feature. The deprecated file not only marks the profile as obsolete, but its contents instruct Portage which profile to use in place of the old profile. Step 3 is self explanatory - change the rel_version line in your catalyst spec files from 1.4 to 2004.0.

If you do want to update the profile link without having to build a new stageset, simply chroot into the stages and fix the link by hand. To fix your pre built Portage tarball, unpack it and change out the profiles directory with a fresh one from the mirrors.


Page updated 15 January 2004

Summary: This guide explains both the philosophy and the process behind the 2004.0 profile naming scheme change.

John Davis

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