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Excluding packages and categories

It is possible to selectively update certain categories/packages and ignore the other categories/packages. This can be achieved by having rsync exclude categories/packages during the emerge --sync step.

In order for this method to work, manifest verification must be disabled. This will reduce the security of the repo. To disable the verification, either disable the rsync-verify USE flag on the sys-apps/portage package or set sync-rsync-verify-metamanifest=no (see man 5 portage) in the repos.conf entry of the Gentoo ebuild repository.

Define the name of the file that contains the exclude patterns in the PORTAGE_RSYNC_EXTRA_OPTS variable in /etc/portage/make.conf:

FILE /etc/portage/make.confDefining the exclude file
FILE /etc/portage/rsync_excludesExcluding all games
Excluding parts of ebuild repositories, especially the Gentoo ebuild repo, may lead to dependency issues! New, allowed packages might depend on new but excluded packages. Exclusions are unsupportable, proceed with this risk in mind.

Adding unofficial ebuilds

Creating a custom ebuild repository

Manual creation

It is possible to instruct Portage to use ebuilds that are not officially available through the Gentoo ebuild repository. In order to do so, create a new directory (for instance /var/db/repos/localrepo) in which to store the 3rd party ebuilds. This new repository will require the same directory structure as the official Gentoo repository.

root #mkdir -p /var/db/repos/localrepo/{metadata,profiles}
root #chown -R portage:portage /var/db/repos/localrepo

Next, pick a sensible name for the repository. The next example uses "localrepo" as the name:

root #echo 'localrepo' > /var/db/repos/localrepo/profiles/repo_name

Then define the EAPI used for the profiles within the repository:

root #echo '8' > /var/db/repos/localrepo/profiles/eapi

Tell Portage that the repository master is the main Gentoo ebuild repo, and that the local repository should not be automatically synchronized (as it is not backed by an external source such as an rsync server, git mirror, or other repository type):

FILE /var/db/repos/localrepo/metadata/layout.conf
masters = gentoo
auto-sync = false
thin-manifests = true
sign-manifests = false

Finally, enable the repository on the local system by creating a repository configuration file inside /etc/portage/repos.conf. This will inform Portage of where the custom local repository can be found:

FILE /etc/portage/repos.conf/localrepo.conf
location = /var/db/repos/localrepo

Optional: Creating a repo using eselect repository

Alternatively, a custom ebuild repository can be quickly created using the eselect repository module (from app-eselect/eselect-repository). In the following example, substitute localrepo with a name of choice:

root #eselect repository create localrepo
Adding localrepo to /etc/portage/repos.conf/eselect-repo.conf ...
Repository <ebuild_repository_name> created and added

A bare repository named "localrepo" will be made available at /var/db/repos/localrepo.

Working with multiple repositories

For those desiring to develop several ebuild repos, test packages before they hit the Gentoo repository, or who want to use unofficial ebuilds from various sources, the app-eselect/eselect-repository package also provides tooling to aid in keeping repositories up to date. See also eselect repository article.

Adding a repo using eselect repository

For instance, to enable the GURU repository:

root #eselect repository enable guru
Updating of repositories added with this methods will occur automatically on each sync:
root #emerge --sync

Non-Portage maintained software

Using Portage with self-maintained software

Sometimes users want to configure, install, and maintain software individually without having Portage automate the process, even though Portage can provide the software titles. Known cases are packages like kernel sources and Nvidia drivers. It is possible to configure Portage so it knows that a certain package is manually installed on the system (and thus take this information into account when calculating dependencies). This process is called injecting and is supported by Portage through the /etc/portage/profile/package.provided file.

For instance, to inform Portage about gentoo-sources-6.6.21 which has been installed manually, add the following line to /etc/portage/profile/package.provided:

FILE /etc/portage/profile/package.providedMarking gentoo-sources-6.6.21 as manually installed
This is a file that uses versions without an = operator.