Abbreviations, terminology, and jargon

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As with any unique distribution with a history, specific colloquialisms such as "Portage tree", or deprecated terminology such as "Herds" have influenced conversation in the Gentoo community. In order to aid new community members and harden concepts for existing ones, this article aims to serve as a location to collect terms, definitions, acronyms, colloquialisms, expressions, and all other types of jargon known to the Gentoo community.

If possible, entries under each section should list a link or other type of authoritative upstream citation. links are welcome, but only if necessary (example: when citing information from the original site).


Short form Long form Explanation
ABI Application Binary Interface wikipedia:ABI
API Application Programming interface wikipedia:API
AT Arch Testers ...
BGO/bgo/b.g.o Gentoo Bugtracker[1]
CI Continuous Integration wikipedia:CI
CLA Contributor License Agreement wikipedia:CLA
CLI Command Line Interface wikipedia:CLI
CoC Code of Conduct ...
ComRel Community Relations Project:ComRel
EAPI Ebuild API The term ebuild API was invented on the gentoo-dev mailing list.
GGO/ggo/g.g.o Official Gentoo git repositories.
GH GitHub GitHub hosts the official mirror of Gentoo git repositories [1]
GLSA Gentoo Linux Security Advisories GLSA
GLEP Gentoo Linux Enhancement Proposal Project:GLEP
IOMMU Input–output memory management unit wikipedia:IOMMU
LTO Link Time Optimization gcc:LTO, Clang
m-n maintainer needed As in "this package is set to maintainer needed status"[1]
PGO Profile Guided Optimization wikipedia:PGO
PGO/pgo/p.g.o Gentoo Packages
PIC Position-Independent Code wikipedia:PIC
PIE Position-Independent Executables a security hardening technique; wikipedia:PIE
PMASKED package masked (listed in packages.mask) PMASKED in bug tickets[1]
PMS Package Manager Specification Project:Package Manager Specification and latest HTML rendering.
PR Pull Request request to merge a patch (e.g. on GitHub).[1]
p-m Proxy Maintainer Project:Proxy Maintainers
QA Quality assurance Project:Quality Assurance
SLOT slot-dependencies
SOB Signed Off By ...
stablereq Stabilization Request Stable request
VDB /var/db/pkg Database of installed packages[1]
Editors: please focus on the not-so-common abbreviations which are important in the Gentoo universe. Well-known general abbreviations like CPU or SCSI would not fit here.

Terminology and jargon

According to Wikipedia, jargon is the specialized terminology associated with a particular field or area of activity. In Gentoo, this means terms such as Portage tree, ebuild repository, genkernel, Profiles, and other terms these not quickly or easily understood by etymology alone.

A deprecated term used to define a group of developers who shared maintenance responsibility for a specific group of ebuilds. Herds are now known as projects (see the full list).
A tool created by Gentoo used to automate the build process of the kernel and initramfs.
Gentoo ebuild repository
Gentoo repository
Gentoo repo
Gentoo's official, primary ebuild repository containing elements of the EAPI used to install packages via the package manager. The term "Gentoo ebuild repository", or "Gentoo repository" for short, may now be preferred, for consistency.
Gentoo tree
Portage tree
rsync tree
"the tree"
The historic title of the official, primary ebuild repository for Gentoo. Now more of a colloquial reference.
The package management framework for Gentoo. It downloads, unpacks, compiles, and installs packages.
A build bot to identify build and installation issues of Gentoo Linux software packages.
In the context of Gentoo, usually refers to the projects that create and maintain the software that is available through the Gentoo repository. If asked to "report upstream", refers to using the version control software or bug reporting services provided by the people who manage the original project.
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 This abbreviation is not official, but very often used in chats.