In addition to the official repository (colloquially known as "portage tree" because of its traditional placement in /usr/portage/), there are additional repositories which in Gentoo are called overlays.
Command-line interface: emerge
emerge is the command-line interface to the Portage system. This is how most users will interact with Portage. The
emerge command has many possible options. For a complete list of all options see its man page:
Below you see an exemplary invocation of
emerge. The options (
-atv) are shortcuts for
--verbose. They trigger
emerge to ask before proceeding, display the dependency tree of packages to be installed, and to be verbose with its output. While in the context of Portage, the term "package" can also be referred to as an "atom." Don't be confused if you see the term "atom" used instead of the term "package."
These are the packages that would be merged, in reverse order:
Calculating dependencies... done! [ebuild ] category/package- - [2.0] USE="enabled -disabled toggled new (-unavailable)" MAKE_OPTIONS="-disabled" 777 kB [ebuild U ] -2.0[3.0] 777 kB [ebuild ] category/package-1.0 777 kB [ebuild ] category/package-0.5 777 kB
Total: 4 packages (1 new, 1 reinstall, 1 upgrade, 1 downgrade), Size of downloads: 3108 kBWould you like to merge these packages? [Yes/No]
There are a few GUI interfaces that exist for Portage, although some of them have become unmaintained.
app-portage/porthole: A GTK+-based frontend to Portage.
app-portage/kuroo4: Graphical Portage frontend based on KDE4/Qt4.
Alternatives to Portage
sys-apps/paludis: An alternative package manager written expressly for Gentoo-based systems.
Relevant Gentoo Wiki pages
- GCC optimization
- Useful portage tools
- Binary package guide
- Portage tips
- /etc/portage configuration files
- Repository format
- PMS (Package Manager Specification)
Related sections of the Gentoo Handbook
- A Portage Introduction
- USE flags
- Portage Features
- Files and Directories
- Configuring through Variables
- Mixing Software Branches
- Additional Portage Tools