Knowledge Base:Masking a package

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On occasion it is necessary for Portage to not take into account a certain package or a specific version of a certain package. Reasons for such actions could be because the new version fails to work, a major upgrade breaks compatibility with the current system in production, drops a specific, etc.


Any Gentoo installation.


Portage knows how to understand package masks. System administrators can mask any package they do not desire to have on their system. The scope of the package mask is left up to the administrator; a mask can be applied to all versions of a package, specific package versions, and versions of packages from specific ebuild repositories.


Masking a specific package version

To mask versions newer than the version ati-drivers-12.6_beta_pre897:

If it does not already exist, create the /etc/portage/package.mask file:

root #echo ">x11-drivers/ati-drivers-12.6_beta_pre897" >> /etc/portage/package.mask

Alternatively, when organizing masks under a directory of files, create the /etc/portage/package.mask/ directory:

root #mkdir -p /etc/portage/package.mask/

Create a file for the mask operation for Portage to perform:

root #echo ">x11-drivers/ati-drivers-12.6_beta_pre897" > /etc/portage/package.mask/ati-drivers

Masking a specific package from an ebuild repository

Create the package.mask directory has been created:

root #mkdir -p /etc/portage/package.mask/

Create a file to mask packages of the name www-client/firefox from an ebuild repository entitled "larry":

root #echo "www-client/firefox::larry" > /etc/portage/package.mask/firefox

See also

  • /etc/portage/package.mask — a file, or a directory of files, controlled by the system administrator that can be used to prevent certain packages from being installed.