Gentoo Wiki


This article is part of the Tips & Tricks series.
Terminals / Shells Network X Window System Portage System Filesystems Kernel Other

This tip will hopefully give a canonical list where all of those configuration files live, and a brief description of what they do. You may not have/need all the files detailed here (depends on the packages you have installed).


System Related

This is a good place to load any misc applications/scripts at boot. Make sure to append '1>&2 > /dev/null' to the end of the program run line.
This is a good place to unload any programs that were started with '/etc/conf.d/local.start'.
Configuration settings for dispatch-conf (an alternative to etc-update with similar configuration parameters).
Configuration settings for etc-update (such as your favorite diff-command, arguments for cp, mv and rm) are stored here.
Controls which users can log in, and from where. Useful to forbid root logins from anywhere but physical console.
Contains many variables for controlling logins, such as password aging and the number of permissible login attempts by a user.
This is probably the most important of all the configuration files - it controls how Gentoo builds new packages you emerge. See the man page for more information.
File which lists the kernel modules to load at boot.
Sets basic system startup options.
Global config file for the Gentoo RC System - for example, preventing hotplug/coldplug from autostarting services.
Config file for sysctl. Sets kernel parameters on startup, such as ip_forward.
Settings for filesystem types that are NOT indexed by updatedb (or slocate -u). If you want an NFS or Samba mount to be indexed, you can remove the appropriate types from the PRUNEFS variable. The types are the same as used in the /etc/fstab file.
Config file for cryptsetup-luks. Sets cryptsetup-luks parameters on startup, such as mounting points.

Network Related

If you are using DISTCCD to speed up compilation on a network, there are some options here. Of particular interest is the DISTCCD_NICE variable.
Basic network card configuration. Contains details of how the IP address is set, as well as the gateway. Both static IP's and DHCP is configured here.
Wireless network card configuration. You need a pretty new baselayout for this though (eg. 1.9.x).
Lists the IP addresses of hosts on a local network. IMPORTANT: the line localhost should always be present!
Lists your DNS servers. If you are using DHCP, this file will be overwritten each time your network interface goes up.
Settings for the SSH server. One important setting is PermitRootLogin which you can set to "no" to disable root logins (you can still ssh as a normal user, and then su to root).

Hardware Related

This is the list of devices that should be mounted at boot time (e.g. hard disks), and also defines mount points for other devices (e.g. CD-ROMs).
If you are using the GRUB bootloader, this is normally where the boot menu config file is.
If you are using the lilo bootloader, an example config is includes at /etc/lilo.conf.example

Sound Related

ALSA audio settings. This file is auto loaded and saved on startup and shutdown. Tune (indirectly) via `alsamixer`
OpenAL per-user settings. This is used by programs that utilize the OpenAL sound library such as Unreal 2003/2004

See Also: ALSA/Install

Video Related

/etc/X11/xorg.conf configuration. If this file does not exist then /etc/X11/XF86Config is used.

See Also: Index:XOrg

Last modified: Tue, 26 Aug 2008 23:28:00 +0000 Hits: 37,544