Table of Content

This is a two-parts article. There are few sections here.

Part One
  • Preface: Test Bed
  • Getting Started With Docker
  • Package Management: Portage Frontend, Get Help
  • Updating System: OS Release, webrsync, Update, Manually, More
  • Package IRSI: Install, Confirmation, Ambiguous, Download, Removal, Query Search, Show Info
  • What's Next
Part Two
  • Dependency: Dependency, Reverse Dependency, Pretend, Verify
  • Group: Metapackages, Sets
  • System Wide: emerge, revdep-rebuild, Upgradables, Installed, Recent, Obsolete
  • Package: Building Package, Extract
  • History: The Log File
  • Clean Up
  • What's Next
Part Three
  • Interesting Tools: Equery, Layman, Eix
  • Repository: Adding, Configuration, List Overlays, Removal, Synchronize, List Packages
  • Mirror: Install, Select Mirror, Configuration, Test
  • Hold Package: Example, Before Mask, Configuration, After Mask
  • Conclusion


There are two main topics in dependency, dependency itself, and reverse dependency. Beside these two, there are other topic as well, such as managing conflict that we do not cover here.


Package that required by: such as man need groff and other.

This dependency information can be achieved by -ep man command. This will show required parts of the package.

$ emerge -ep man

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

Calculating dependencies... done!

[ebuild   R    ] dev-libs/iniparser-3.1-r1 
[ebuild   R    ] sys-apps/groff-1.22.2 
[ebuild   R    ] sys-devel/gettext- 

Docker Emerge: EP

Reverse Dependency

Package that require: such as groff needed by man or other.

This reverse dependency require equery depends command.

$ equery depends groff
 * These packages depend on groff:
sys-apps/man-1.6g (>=sys-apps/groff-1.19.2-r1)

Docker Equery: Depends

It can also query all packages including not installed packages. The process take long and need a lot of CPU.

$ equery depends - agroff


Consider pretend to remove the groff package. These commands have the same result.

$ emerge -pv --depclean groff
$ emerge -c --verbose groff 

Calculating dependencies... done!
  sys-apps/groff-1.22.2 pulled in by:
    sys-apps/man-1.6g requires >=sys-apps/groff-1.19.2-r1

>>> No packages selected for removal by depclean
Packages installed:   233
Packages in world:    6
Packages in system:   44
Required packages:    233
Number removed:       0

Docker Emerge: PV Depclean


Gentoo has a tool, to install or repair, missing dependencies.

$ emerge -uDN world
Calculating dependencies... done!
>>> Auto-cleaning packages...

>>> No outdated packages were found on your system.

Docker Emerge: Verify Dependency


There is no group concept in portage.

I have been looking for a concept of [group or pattern or metapackages] in portage. And found something better called sets.


If you insist to use metapackage, you can still use the search feature.

$ emerge -s meta



Awesome Blog

System Wide

System wide information.


There is this emerge --info command to dump the system wide information.

$ emerge --info
Portage 2.3.8 (python 3.4.5-final-0, default/linux/amd64/13.0, gcc-5.4.0, glibc-2.23-r4, 4.9.44-1-lts x86_64)
System uname: Linux-4.9.44-1-lts-x86_64-Intel-R-_Core-TM-2_Duo_CPU_T7300_@_2.00GHz-with-gentoo-2.3
KiB Mem:     1921768 total,    304060 free
KiB Swap:    3431420 total,   3431016 free
Timestamp of repository gentoo: Mon, 18 Sep 2017 00:45:02 +0000
Head commit of repository gentoo: 6bbdcd277441846d6b9c1dd01fd75f1835cbd0cc
Timestamp of repository xwing: Mon, 04 Sep 2017 16:00:05 +0000
sh bash 4.3_p48-r1

Docker Emerge: Info


Verify integrity of package database, such as dependencies.

$ revdep-rebuild
 * This is the new python coded version
 * Please report any bugs found using it.
 * The original revdep-rebuild script is installed as
 * Please file bugs at:
 * Collecting system binaries and libraries
 * Checking dynamic linking consistency

Your system is consistent

Docker Gentoo: revdep-rebuild

Upgradable Packages

There are also this command that show upgradable packages.

$ emerge -uDNp world

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

Calculating dependencies... done!
[ebuild  rR    ] app-arch/bzip2-1.0.6-r8 [1.0.6-r8]
[ebuild     U  ] sys-apps/gentoo-functions-0.12 [0.10]
[ebuild  rR    ] sys-libs/zlib-1.2.11 [1.2.11]
[ebuild     U  ] dev-libs/openssl-1.0.2l [1.0.2k]
[ebuild     U  ] dev-libs/libgcrypt-1.8.1 [1.7.8]
[ebuild     U  ] dev-libs/libtasn1-4.12-r1 [4.10-r2]
[ebuild  rR    ] dev-lang/python-3.4.5 
[ebuild  rR    ] dev-lang/python-2.7.12 
[ebuild     U  ] dev-libs/libxml2-2.9.4-r3 [2.9.4-r1]
[ebuild     U  ] dev-libs/libpcre-8.41 [8.40-r1]
[ebuild  rR    ] net-misc/openssh-7.5_p1-r1 

The following packages are causing rebuilds:

  (sys-libs/zlib-1.2.11:0/1::gentoo, ebuild scheduled for merge) causes rebuilds for:
    (net-misc/openssh-7.5_p1-r1:0/0::gentoo, ebuild scheduled for merge)
    (dev-lang/python-2.7.12:2.7/2.7::gentoo, ebuild scheduled for merge)
    (dev-lang/python-3.4.5:3.4/3.4m::gentoo, ebuild scheduled for merge)
  (app-arch/bzip2-1.0.6-r8:0/1::gentoo, ebuild scheduled for merge) causes rebuilds for:
    (dev-lang/python-2.7.12:2.7/2.7::gentoo, ebuild scheduled for merge)
    (dev-lang/python-3.4.5:3.4/3.4m::gentoo, ebuild scheduled for merge)

Docker Emerge: List Upgradable Packages

You may consider to use --columns for prettier output.

$ emerge --update --deep --newuse --pretend --columns world

Installed Packages

Reinstall target and entire deep dependency tree, as though no packages are currently installed.

$ emerge -ep world

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

Calculating dependencies... done!
[ebuild   R    ] dev-lang/python-exec-2.4.4 
[ebuild   R    ] virtual/libintl-0-r2 
[ebuild   R    ] sys-libs/ncurses-6.0-r1 
[ebuild   R    ] app-arch/bzip2-1.0.6-r8 [1.0.6-r8]
[ebuild   R    ] sys-devel/gnuconfig-20161104 
[ebuild     U  ] sys-apps/gentoo-functions-0.12 [0.10]
[ebuild   R    ] virtual/libiconv-0-r2 

Docker Emerge: Installed Packages

You may consider to use --columns for prettier output.

$ emerge --emptytree --pretend --columns @world

Obsolete Packages

Obsolete packages in current system.

$ eix-test-obsolete
Redundant in /etc/portage/package.mask:

[I] dev-lang/perl (5.24.1-r2@08/03/17): Larry Wall's Practical Extraction and Report Language
[I] sys-apps/openrc (0.28@08/15/17): OpenRC manages the services, startup and shutdown of a host
[I] sys-devel/libtool (2.4.6-r3(2)@08/03/17): A shared library tool for developers
[I] sys-process/procps (3.3.12@08/03/17): standard informational utilities and process-handling tools
Found 4 matches
Installed packages with a version not in the database (or masked):
[?] sys-apps/file (5.31@09/18/17 -> 5.30): identify a file's format by scanning binary data for patterns
[?] sys-apps/portage (2.3.8@09/18/17 -> 2.3.6): Portage is the package management and distribution system for Gentoo
Found 2 matches

Docker Gentoo: eix-test-obsolete

Recent Packages

Packages that has been changed recently in repository.

$ eix-diff
[>]   == app-admin/ansible (^t ->^t): Model-driven deployment, config management, and command execution framework
[>]   == app-admin/logsurfer+ (1.8-r2^d -> 1.8-r3^d): Real Time Log Monitoring and Alerting
[>]   == app-arch/par2cmdline (0.6.12 -> 0.7.3): A PAR-2.0 file verification and repair tool

Docker Gentoo: eix-diff


Building Package

$ quickpkg ncdu
 * Building package for sys-fs/ncdu-1.12 ...                 [ ok ]

 * Packages now in '/usr/portage/packages':
 * sys-fs/ncdu-1.12: 50.8K

Now it is there.

$ ls -l /usr/portage/packages/sys-fs/
total 52
-rw------- 1 root root 52025 Sep 21 06:12 ncdu-1.12.tbz2

Docker Gentoo: quickpkg


$ cd ~
$ tar -jxvf /usr/portage/packages/sys-fs/ncdu-1.12.tbz2
tar -jxvf /usr/portage/packages/sys-fs/ncdu-1.12.tbz2

bzip2: (stdin): trailing garbage after EOF ignored

$ ls -l
total 4
drwxr-xr-x 4 root root 4096 Aug 15 19:31 usr

Docker Gentoo: extract package


The Log File

This is most the forgotten part of package management, although it is not uncommon to notice messages.

$ less /var/log/portage/elog/summary.log
>>> Messages generated by process 282 on 2017-08-22 16:59:40 -00 for
 package sys-process/htop-2.0.2:

WARN: setup
To use lsof features in htop (what processes are accessing
what files), you must have sys-process/lsof installed.
Unable to find kernel sources at /usr/src/linux
Unable to calculate Linux Kernel version for build, attempting to use running version

Most likely you want the tail, latest transaction, at the bottom of the recorded event.

Docker: /var/log/portage/elog/summary.log

Clean Up

Keep your system neat and tidy.


$ emerge --depclean

Calculating dependencies... done!
>>> No packages selected for removal by depclean
>>> To see reverse dependencies, use --verbose
Packages installed:   229
Packages in world:    10
Packages in system:   44
Required packages:    229
Number removed:       0

Docker emerge: depclean


Time after time, your portage source directory, may growing bigger and bigger in size. You can clean these directory.

Package Source

  • /usr/portage/distfiles
$ ls -lR /usr/portage/distfiles

Docker portage: Source

This will only remove package if there are newer version. This command takes long time. Do not do that when you are very tired.

$ eclean distfiles
 * Building file list for distfiles cleaning...
 * Your distfiles directory was already clean.

Docker portage: Clean Dist

This will will keep only installed package.

$ eclean-dist -d
 * Building file list for distfiles cleaning...
 * Cleaning distfiles...
 [    3.3 M ] fish-2.4.0.tar.gz
 [  465.2 K ] htop-2.0.2.tar.gz
 [    3.8 M ] Total space from 2 files were freed in the distfiles directory

Docker portage: Clean Deep

What’s Next

Still no comment. Just like everything else. I still need to dive deeper. Consider finish reading [ Part Three ].

Thank you for reading