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pkgcore is an alternative package manager for Gentoo that aims for high performance, extensibility, and a clean design. Written in Python, pkgcore also subsumes most of the functionality of the eix and layman repository management tools.

pkgcore is written and maintained by Gentoo developer Tim Harder (radhermit).

pkgcore support for EAPI 5 is still experimental.



The the emerge command:

root #emerge --ask sys-apps/pkgcore


If there is no specific pkgcore configuration (that is /etc/pkgcore.conf or ~/.pkgcore.conf) it reads the Portage configuration and converts it transparently for use. For a detailed explanation of how the pkgcore specific configuration works see Pkgcore/Configuration.


Updating the system

For synchronizing the local copies of the Portage tree and any overlays the pmaint utility is used. Then pmerge is invoked to update all packages and clean superfluous packages.

root #pmaint sync
root #pmerge --ask --upgrade --deep --newuse
root #pmerge --ask --clean --with-built-deps

Searching and installing a package

To search for a package use the pquery program:

user $pquery -nv <query>

For example to find some audio software for encoding ogg files one may use the following to find media-sound/vorbis-tools.

user $pquery -nv --description ogg 'media-sound/*'
Note the quotes around the extended atom to protect from expansion by the shell.

Then install the new package with pmerge:

root #pmerge --ask --verbose <atoms>

In our example this would be the following:

root #pmerge --ask --verbose media-sound/vorbis-tools


root #emerge --ask --depclean --verbose sys-apps/pkgcore

See also