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/etc/portage/package.use provides a more fine grained per-package control of USE flags than the USE variable in /etc/portage/make.conf.

/etc/portage/package.use can either be a single file or a directory containing per-package files.

With the default USE_ORDER setting, the /etc/portage/package.use file or directory will override individual package settings coming from all locations except for the USE environment variable.


FILE /etc/portage/package.useExample with this location as a single file
# Globally disable the unwanted USE flags which were enabled by the profile
*/* -bluetooth -consolekit -dbus -ldap -libnotify -nls -qt3support -udisks
# enable the offensive USE flag for app-admin/sudo
app-admin/sudo offensive
# disable mysql support for dev-lang/php
dev-lang/php -mysql 
# enable java and set the python interpreter version for libreoffice-5.1
app-office/libreoffice java PYTHON_SINGLE_TARGET: python3_4

For more details see the Handbook.


  • One DEPEND atom per line with space-delimited USE flags (see version specifier for information on DEPEND atom syntax).
  • Comment lines begin with # (hash).

Automatically generated content

emerge has the --autounmask option enabled by default (see man 1 emerge), so it can generate package.use settings as necessary to satisfy dependencies.

External resources