Epiphany Gentoo start up

I have a highly customized Gentoo desktop machine with Epiphany web browser. I like it, but have a few issues. This one has to do with starting “web” (=epiphany) from command line. I do not have display manager, session manager, .desktop files, etc. I use X server with twm (TheWindowManager) to run gui programs (“apps”).

Issue: if I start it with the command “epiphany” many of the web pages do not render: load but show empty screen.
If I start it with the command “WEBKIT_FORCE_SANDBOX=1 epiphany” then I can do this posting.
Btw, I found this in a web search because printing did not work.
So my question: what is the proper way to do it?

I hope this is the right venue to bring this up and ask for help. Thank you for your attention.

Respectfully submitted,


That doesn’t make any sense, because the sandbox is enabled by default. That environment variable does not change anything.

Yes indeed, and thank you for straightening me out. My confusion was because of the printing problem way back when I first started to use epiphany in my new Gentoo installation. I must have mistakenly “solved” a problem by forcing WEBKIT_FORCE_SANDBOX=0 and printing has worked after that. This was probably a red herring, because recently I did find out that the defaukt is in fact =1, so the statement in my initial posting is meaningless.
Just to make sure I have rebooted the system and started epiphany with the simple command “epiphany” and printing does work. I must have had some other cups issue in the past.

Nevertheless, I still cannot mark this topic solved yet because as I mentionad in my initial post the rendering problm is still there. Specificalym if I try to go to github/GNOME/epiphany then the page loads but shows empty screen.

Does this has to do with the command I start epiphany or this is another red herring, a totally different issue?

One thing I noticed that if I tried to copy and paste the web page into this message (instead of the “proformatted text method” I get more stuff pasted than What I thought I copied.

Sorry, I’m new to this “Discourse” board format.

The bottom line: why is there a blank screen after the page is loaded? Should this be a separate topic and mark this original one as solved?

P.S. there is another issue, but will create it separately, it has to do saving password and a broken pipe (I think therelated).


I have no clue why your rendering is broken. You’re going to need to create a bug report on WebKit Bugzilla, WebKitGTK component. Load webkit://gpu and try copying the contents of that page into the bug. Even if it’s impossible to see the page contents, the text should still be there so you should be able to copy it.

Thanks again.

Sorry for being slow. I did load the webkit:// and attached is the
output printed to pdf.

If I load GitHub - GNOME/epiphany: Read-only mirror of https://gitlab.gnome.org/GNOME/epiphany I get a blank page, but
printed to pdf is attached (xGPU Information.pdf).

Just for curiosity I clicked on the “Toggle Reader Mode” icon, and
BINGO, the screen was populated, see attached yGPU Information.pdf file.

Toggling back the screen is no longer blank.

The funny thing is that x,pdf and y…pdf are different, same size, and
both blank in any pdf opening program.

Please, note that as a “New user” I cannot upload the mentioned 3 pdf files.

Is this rendering issue a bug? Does it have to do with how epiphany is started?
If this is a bug, please guide me how to file the bug report


I restarted epiphany after clearing history, and got to the same blank screen.

Did Ctr-a and Ctr-c, pasted it into a text file, and here it is (the invisible loaded content, not rendered):

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GNOME Web (codename: Epiphany) is a GNOME web browser based on the WebKit rendering engine. The codename means “a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something” (Merriam-Webster).

Epiphany is opinionated.

Download and Install

Epiphany is designed for Linux systems. The recommended way to install Epiphany is via Flatpak. You may:

Download the latest stable version from Flathub (recommended).

Download Epiphany Technology Preview if you are adventurous and want to help test tomorrow’s Epiphany today. It is not stable.

Download Epiphany Canary if you are even more adventurous and want to help test the most recent development versions of WebKitGTK and Epiphany. This flavor of Epiphany is more likely to be very unstable because the code being built comes directly from WebKit’s git main branch and Epiphany’s git master branch.

Epiphany is probably also available via your operating system’s package manager, but such packages are often outdated and insecure. Flatpak is the best application distribution mechanism for Linux.

Building from Source

The Easy Way

The recommended way to build Epiphany locally is using the flatpak-builder manifest with GNOME Builder. After installing Builder and launching it, you’ll see the Select a Project page. Select Open, then select the toplevel Epiphany directory. Builder will detect the org.gnome.Epiphany.json flatpak-builder manifest and you will be able to build the project in Builder. All required dependencies will be provided by the manifest.

Building Manually

Epiphany uses the Meson build system. You can build Epiphany the same way you would any software that uses Meson. For example:

$ mkdir build && cd build
$ meson …
$ ninja
$ sudo ninja install
You will have to install several pkg-config dependencies. If you are missing a dependency, meson will present an error that looks like this:

meson.build:84:0: ERROR: Native dependency ‘hogweed’ not found
In RPM-based distributions, you can install the missing dependencies automatically. For example, in Fedora:

$ sudo dnf install ‘pkgconfig(hogweed)’
In deb-based distributions:

$ sudo apt install $(apt-file search --package-only hogweed)
In other distributions, you must research each dependency to determine which package provides the required pkg-config file.

Rebuilding Dependencies

If you need to rebuild dependencies, the recommended solution is to use JHBuild. See the development page for more information.


A web browser is more than an application: it is a way of thinking, a way of seeing the world. Epiphany’s principles are simplicity, standards compliance, and software freedom.


Feature bloat and user interface clutter is evil.

Epiphany aims to present the simplest interface possible for a browser. Simple does not necessarily mean less-powerful. The commonly-used browsers of today are too big, buggy, and bloated. Epiphany is a small browser designed for the web: not for mail, newsgroups, file management, instant messaging, or coffeemaking. The UNIX philosophy is to design small tools that do one thing and do it well.

Standards Compliance

The introduction of nonstandard features in browsers could make it difficult or impossible to use alternative products like Epiphany if developers embrace them. Alternative standards-complying browsers might not be able to fully access websites making use of these features. The success of nonstandard features can ultimately lead one browser to dominate the market.

Standards compliance ensures the freedom of choice. Epiphany aims to achieve this.

Software Freedom

Epiphany is not just free of cost; more importantly, the source code is made available to you under a license that respects your freedom.

Just as GNOME exists to oppose proprietary desktop software, Epiphany opposes the dominance of the web by proprietary software web browsers. Today’s chief offender is Google Chrome, a browser that purports to be open source, yet actually includes several proprietary components. In contrast, Epiphany is fully free software.

Human Interface

Epiphany follows the GNOME Human Interface Guidelines. Unless there are serious reasons to make an exception, not following the guidelines will be considered a bug.

GNOME Integration

Epiphany’s main goal is to be integrated with GNOME, as well as similar desktops (notably elementary OS). We don’t aim to make Epiphany usable outside these environments.


We are cautious about adding new preferences. Preferences can be added when they make sense, but they should always be carefully-considered. Preferences come with a cost.

Target Audience

We target nontechnical users by design. This happens to be 90% of the user population. Technical details should not be exposed in the interface.

We target web users, not web developers. A few geek-oriented features, like the web inspector, are welcome so long as they are non-obtrusive.


Epiphany has a website, though there is not very much content there.

Contact Us

The recommended way to contact us is via the Epiphany mailing list epiphany-list@gnome.org.

Read-only mirror of GNOME / Epiphany · GitLab

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rest of it is ommitted - jankom

I don’t know.

Please see my earlier instructions: Epiphany Gentoo start up - #4 by mcatanzaro

You’re going to need to copy the contents of webkit://gpu, not the Epiphany GitHub page.

Thanks again. I was preparing to file the bug report, and the first step was to update my system (Gentoo sync). Most of the updates were gtk related, and included webkit update. All of these had to be compiled and took a long time.

The good news is that rendering now works, no need for bugzilla.

The funny thing is that exactly a month ago I also had a complete update. Apparently now the latest gtk and webkit works OK.

Can you please flagthis topic as SOLVED? I could not do it.


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