[Gentoo] Configurability of X.Org 7.0 and Portage

Take a look at these screenshots for how you’ll be able to configure X.Org 7.0. Normally you would set VIDEO_CARDS and INPUT_DEVICES in /etc/make.conf. I’m just showing them on the command line to illustrate the configurability and power you’ll get.

Use case 1: You’ve got a keyboard, a mouse, and either one or a couple of video cards, and you hate bloat. You’re a developer, so you want to compile all your X stuff with debugging support.

Use case 2: You use the binary ATi drivers, because you really want to play the latest games (Quake 4 and Doom 3) and no released r300 driver can handle them. You want to try the new evdev driver, a replacement for keyboard and mouse drivers that uses the Linux event interface. You still hate bloat, of course. You want your system to be lightning-fast and optimized.

Use case 3: You want things to just work, and you don’t want to know what sort of video card your computer has. What’s a video card, anyway? You just use X.Org’s autodetection. You do know that you have a keyboard and a mouse though, so you set those up.

Now, I’ll explain the output a little bit. Just before the package name, there’s something like this:
[ebuild N ]

The “N” means it’s a package we haven’t installed before. If it were a “U,” we’d be upgrading. “R” means reinstallation of the same version. The “ebuild” part means we’re compiling from source, not using a binary package.

Take a look at all the USE, INPUT_DEVICES and VIDEO_CARDS flags after the package names. The yellow flags and % symbols mean they’re something new that wasn’t around last time you installed that package. So synaptics, fglrx and nvidia are new options. The green flags with a * after them indicated something you’ve changed yourself since last time you installed the package. The red indicates an active flag — support will be built for it. The blue flag with a minus sign indicates an inactive flag — support won’t be built for that option.