Upstart on Gentoo

Michael Biebl mbiebl at
Sat Mar 17 15:01:16 GMT 2007

Hi everyone,

although I'm a Debian Developer and my distro of choice is Debian, I
always like to see beyond one's own nose. One of the things I always
wanted to take a closer look at, was Gentoo's portage system. Having
some spare time this weekend and after reading some docs, I thought  I
bring my newly acquired knowledge to some use and make upstart ready
for Gentoo.

Without further ado, here is a little howto to get upstart running on Gentoo:

1.) check out my upstart overlay:
  # cd /usr/local
  # bzr branch

2.) Make this overlay available to portage. Edit /etc/make.conf and add:

3.) Right now, we have to run upstart in so-called "compat mode". This
basically means, that we are using the sysv initscripts. For this, add
the following use flags to /etc/portage/package.use:
  # echo "sys-apps/sysvinit compat-only" >> /etc/portage/package.use
  # echo "sys-apps/upstart-jobs sysv" >> /etc/portage/package.use
  # echo "sys-apps/upstart sysv" >> /etc/portage/package.use

4.) Now emerge the updated sysvinit package (which installs only some
support binaries), upstart and upstart-jobs
  # emerge -va sysvinit upstart upstart-jobs

That's all. Now you are ready to reboot your system and start
investigating upstart.
Please keep in mind, that as we are running in compat mode, your boot
procedure will exactly be the same as before and neither slower nor

The next major step obviously is, to translate the sysv initscripts to
native upstart jobs.
I will leave this task to more seasoned Gentoo developers though.

I would also appreciate if some more experienced Gentoo Developers
review these ebuilds and push this directly downstream into the Gentoo


Michael Biebl
Debian Developer

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