This package can be used to search for files (or strings) provided by packages that are not yet installed, and optionally installs a little cronjob to update the database on the internet with the information that is available to be queried.
You can install app-portage/pfl with the following command:
emerge --ask app-portage/pfl
USE flags for app-portage/pfl Searchable online file/package database for Gentoo
||Adds a cron job which does a weekly submit of the package database|
The database can be used online to search for files installed by ebuilds. Lets say you want to run glxgears but it isn't installed. Recently the program was removed from mesa itself, so you could search for glxgears online to find the related package: search online
search time comparison with equery
Here just a result of search times compared to equery
time equery b iwlist
* Searching for iwlist ... net-wireless/wireless-tools-30_pre9 (/sbin/iwlist) real 0m8.412s user 0m8.217s sys 0m0.173s
time e-file iwlist
[I] app-shells/bash-completion Available Versions: 2.1 Last Installed Ver: 1.3-r2(Thu 09 May 2013 00:12:25 CEST) Homepage: http://bash-completion.alioth.debian.org/ Description: Programmable Completion for bash Matched Files: /usr/share/bash-completion/iwlist; [I] net-wireless/wireless-tools Available Versions: 27-r0 27 28_pre9-r0 28_pre9 28_pre8-r1 28_pre14-r 28_pre13-r 29-r1 28_pre10-r 30_pre9 28-r0 29 27-r1 30_pre7-r0 30_pre8-r0 29_pre22-r0 29_pre21-r0 29_pre10-r0 29_pre10-r 29-r0 Last Installed Ver: 30_pre9(Wed 05 Dec 2012 22:20:22 CET) Homepage: http://www.hpl.hp.com/personal/Jean_Tourrilhes/Linux/Tools.html Description: A collection of tools to configure IEEE 802.11 wireless LAN cards Matched Files: /usr/sbin/iwlist; /sbin/iwlist; * net-misc/pxes Available Versions: 1.0 Matched Files: /opt/pxes-1.0/stock/extra/wireless/bin/iwlist; real 0m1.172s user 0m1.033s sys 0m0.100s
Pfl is much quicker to search files (even if not installed locally), while equery is more powerful and gives more options to search.