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dictd is a server implementing the DICT protocol, allowing clients to search dictionaries.


USE flags

USE flags for app-text/dictd Dictionary Client/Server for the DICT protocol

dbi Enable dev-db/libdbi (database-independent abstraction layer) support
judy Build Judy-based (dev-libs/judy) plugin implementing fast "exact" and especially "lev" strategies
minimal Don't build server but dict client, dictzip and dictfmt only.
selinux !!internal use only!! Security Enhanced Linux support, this must be set by the selinux profile or breakage will occur
test Enable dependencies and/or preparations necessary to run tests (usually controlled by FEATURES=test but can be toggled independently)


Install app-text/dictd:

root #emerge --ask app-text/dictd


At least one dictd dictionary package must be installed before starting the server. dictd dictionary packages can be found in the app-dicts category with the prefix dictd-. In particular, the WordNet dictionary is available as app-dicts/dictd-wn.

Other dictd dictionary packages are available on GURU. The app-dicts/dictd-meta package installs the following packages:

A thesaurus is also available on GURU: app-dicts/dictd-moby-thesaurus.




Add the service to the default runlevel:

root #rc-update add dictd default

Start the service:

root #rc-service dictd start

If additional dictionaries are added, be sure to restart the service:

root #rc-service dictd restart


The app-text/dictd package provides the dict client, but other clients include app-dicts/gnome-dictionary, xfce-extra/xfce4-dict, and dictionary.el in app-editors/emacs 28 and later.