Tag Archives: gentoo prefix

The Secret to Pidgin on OSX with Gentoo Prefix

OK, there’s no secrets really. It’s just a matter of avoiding potholes and fixing bugs enough so you can work around them.

So, first off, 2.5.7 is the version I use, even though 2.5.8 is out. 2.5.8 has its own set of problems, and if I recall correctly they’re not as easy to work around. Second, I use the following USE flags:

net-im/pidgin prediction perl gtk -ncurses gnutls debug aqua spell
x11-libs/cairo svg
app-text/enchant -hunspell aspell

Pidgin requires cairo with svg, so that’s a no-brainer. Currently ncurses wide-character support is broken, either in Pidgin or ncurses itself, so I avoid that altogether with the “-ncurses” USE flag. Also, if you want a spell-checker, aspell is much more stable than hunspell on Gentoo Prefix right now, and does the same thing. (Besides, other things use aspell more than hunspell, so it’s one less library to install.) That explains the “-hunspell aspell” USE flags.

There’s one USE flag there you may not recognize for Pidgin. It’s “aqua”. This USE flag was put there by me. This is the show-stopper that had be running in circles for quite a while. In order to get proper GTK+ aqua support, you’ll have to patch Pidgin and Pidgin’s ebuild. You can find all the resources you need at the Gentoo bug I made, or in a handily compressed file here, update: or, better yet, in my Gentoo Prefix overlay. With these in your Gentoo overlay, and the proper USE flags above, pidgin will install correctly. Huzzah! Continue reading


The Secret to Unmasking in Gentoo (and Prefix too)

If you ever dip your toes into Gentoo Prefix, the first thing you’ll probably notice is that a lot of your software is either missing or masked. If you’re sharp, or have lots of experience already with Gentoo, you’ll also notice that your profile comes with the ~ unstable keyword by default. You see, Gentoo Prefix is a pretty small project in comparison to Gentoo itself, as far as I can tell, so not as much testing goes into every package, and not every package can be and/or is currently handled by Gentoo Prefix.

Let’s assume, however, that you really don’t care, like me. Let’s assume you want to try things and out and, like every other good citizen of Linux, you plan on tracking down and reporting every bug you find to the Gentoo/Alt bug tracker. You will most certainly try to emerge something that hasn’t been reasonably stabilized yet, like Pidgin. (I will go into more length on Pidgin later. For now, a summary would be “not for the faint of heart”.) If you’re running an x64 Prefix, just about anything you try to emerge will be keyworded or masked. Not discouraged, you’ll start adding the appropriate entries to your package.keywords and package.unmask directories. After your fifteenth entry, or third round of emerge’s, it gets pretty tedious. Continue reading

My MacBook Pro (v5,3) and Gentoo Prefix

As noted in a previous blog post, I am now an owner of the latest (as of this writing) 15″ MacBook Pro, the 2.66GHz model, and, let me tell you, it’s a superb laptop. (I don’t think I’ve gotten this excited since I took home my Wii.) I wanted to go in-depth on each thing I’ve done with it, so instead of covering the same topics twice, I decided to summarize my experience here, and write in-depth in other posts instead.

How has my experience been overall? OSX is not flawless, but it’s brilliant. For example, I’m constantly switching from Ctrl+Tab to Cmd+Tab to Cmd+` to Ctrl+A Ctrl+A depending on the application I’m using. (Ctrl+Tab for tab switching, Cmd+Tab for app switching, Cmd+` for window-in-an-app switching, and Ctrl+A Ctrl+A for terminal screen switching.) Another example is Finder. The fact that the Open dialog looks exactly like, and yet is different from, other Finder dialogs makes me do summersaults in my head when I try to do something in Open that I did in Finder or vice-versa. The library of software for OSX is lacking, but I supplement it with Prefix (more on that later). The hardware is sheer awesome, and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to leave it now. Continue reading