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sys-apps/portage is Gentoo's package manager, and is installed by default as part of the stage3 install. See the Gentoo Handbook for more details.


In addition to the official repository (colloquially known as "portage tree" because of its traditional placement in /usr/portage/), there are additional repositories which in Gentoo are called overlays.

You can search through the ebuilds available in the overlays on by using eix.

Command-line interface: emerge

emerge is the command-line interface to the Portage system. This is how most users will interact with portage. emerge with lots of options. For a complete list see its man page:

user $ man emerge

Below you see an exemplary invocation of emerge. The options (-atv) are shortcuts for --ask, --tree and --verbose. They trigger emerge to ask before proceeding, display the dependency tree and to be verbose. package is a so called atom and refers to a portage package.

# emerge -atv package

These are the packages that would be merged, in reverse order:

Calculating dependencies... done! [ebuild U ] category/package-3.0-r2 [2.0] USE="enabled -disabled toggled* new% (-unavailable)" MAKE_OPTIONS="-disabled" 777 kB [ebuild UD ] category/package-2.0 [3.0] 777 kB [ebuild R ] category/package-1.0 777 kB [ebuild N ] category/package-0.5 777 kB

Total: 4 packages (1 new, 1 reinstall, 1 upgrade, 1 downgrade), Size of downloads: 3108 kB

Would you like to merge these packages? [Yes/No]

See also

Relevant Gentoo Wiki pages

Official docs

Related sections of the Gentoo Handbook

Other official docs