Gentoo – bash: su: command not found – missing su flag

Upgrading multiple packages may lead to interesting results especially if the queue has not finished yet or the fails with an error! Apparently, there are two main ways to have the basic command SU in the system installed:

  1. sys-apps/shadow
  2. sys-apps/util-linux

At some point, the default inclusion of su flags in the above packages had changed from sys-apps/shadow to sys-apps/util-linux, which may lead to the following interesting error:

user@srv ~ $ su
bash: /bin/su: command not found

Just check, which of the above packages includes the su flag and re-emerge it. At present, sys-apps/util-linux includes it by default and it should work without any explicit activation in portage package use (i.e. /etc/portage/package.use/mybase or /etc/portage/make.conf, for example) file.

At the moment, here is the default:

user@srv ~ # emerge -vp shadow util-linux

These are the packages that would be merged, in order:

Calculating dependencies... done!
[ebuild   R    ] sys-apps/shadow-4.11.1:0/4::gentoo  USE="acl (audit) nls pam (selinux) (split-usr) xattr -bcrypt -cracklib -skey -su" 0 KiB
[ebuild   R    ] sys-apps/util-linux-2.37.2-r3::gentoo  USE="(audit) (caps) cramfs hardlink logger ncurses nls pam python readline (selinux) (split-usr) su suid udev (unicode) -build -cryptsetup -fdformat -kill -magic (-rtas) -slang -static-libs -systemd -test -tty-helpers" ABI_X86="32 (64) (-x32)" PYTHON_TARGETS="python3_8 -python3_9 -python3_10" 0 KiB

Total: 2 packages (2 reinstalls), Size of downloads: 0 KiB

su flag is missing in sys-apps/shadow and is included in sys-apps/util-linux

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