Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Gentoo Portage secrets

Filed under

Gentoo Linux is perhaps the most-used source-based Linux distribution. One secret to its success is the powerful and handy Portage package management system. While Gentoo comes with extensive documentation covering most aspects of using Portage, the techniques described in Gentoo's handbook and other documentation are not always the most effective ones. Here are some insider tips that can greatly increase your productivity.

Search faster

Before you install a package, you usually look for it via Portage's search capabilities. Portage's emerge utility has --search and --searchdesc options, but using them is not enjoyable, because they take a long time to run. That's why we've seen the emergence of third-party search front ends for Portage, such as esearch and eix. Their common idea is to use their own search indexes to speed up searches. When using either utility, you have to rebuild the index after updating the Portage tree, and after installing and uninstalling software.

Of the two, eix works faster and has more capabilities. You can get information on the utility from its man page or by invoking eix --help. To use eix to search for a package whose name contains foo, simply invoke eix foo.

Eix is a very flexible tool. It can give you more information on packages than esearch or emerge -s. It can search through different fields (e.g. package name, category, or description), it can search for regular expressions or wildcard patterns, or do fuzzy searches, and its output can be configured for use in scripts.

Optimizing traffic usage

Full Story.

Great read

I never knew about esearch or eix, but after using them I know they will always be on my system. At least 3x faster than a simple emerge -s.

re: Great read

Yeah it is. I've used some of them before when I saw them mentioned in the forums, but I couldn't remember them too much longer. I still end up using emerge -s. Blushing

I'm gonna make me a cheat sheet this time! Big Grin

You talk the talk, but do you waddle the waddle?

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

The Fabled New User, Bodhi Themes, Tumbleweed's Latest

Bruce Byfield may have hit upon something in his latest rumination on the "imaginary new user." This "new user" has been used as an excuse to over-simplify Linux to the "detriment to other type of users." In Linux news, Bodhi chieftain Jeff Hoogland posted Moksha themes for last minute testing hinting that 4.0 must be very close. Douglas DeMaio posted a brief on the latest Tumbleweed snapshots and night falls on Linux. Read more Also:


  • FSF Blogs: Who in the world is changing it through free software? Nominate them today!
    Nominations for the 19th annual Free Software Awards opened at LibrePlanet 2016, right after the most recent Free Software Awards were presented -- and we need you to nominate more projects by November 6th, 2016 at 23:59 UTC. For details see instructions below. If you know a free software contributor or project that deserves celebration, don't hesitate to nominate them! This is your opportunity to publicly recognize people and projects that have inspired you. Your nominations will be reviewed by our awards committee and the winners will be announced at LibrePlanet 2017.
  • denemo @ Savannah: Version 2.0.14 is imminent, please test
  • Development of a New MetaHTML
    MetaHTML is being ported to modern GNU/Linux systems by a small team of eager contributors. We are happy to announce the new developments in the world of GNU MetaHTML.
  • guile-curl v0.4 released
    I am pleased to announce an small update of guile-curl, which is a library for fetching files by URL from the internet in the GNU Guile dialect of the Scheme programming language. It supports many protocols, such as https, ftp, tftp, and, most importantly, gopher.

Fedora 25 Linux to Offer Better Dual-GPU Integration in the GNOME 3.22 Desktop

GNOME developer Bastien Nocera talks today, October 26, 2016, in a blog post, about the recent dual-GPU improvements brought by the GNOME 3.22 desktop environment release, and coming soon to Fedora 25 Linux. Read more

Exton|OS Light Now Based on Ubuntu 16.10, Ships with Kernel 4.8.1 and Openbox

GNU/Linux developer Arne Exton informs us about the availability of a new build of his Exton|OS Light distribution, now based on the latest Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) operating system. Read more