Project:Base/Package notes

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Given base-system@ maintains a lot of critical packages, it makes sense that some of them need special care. This page is to gather some notes on these.

General rules

  • Please avoid generating autotools for our packages because of possible circular dependencies.
  • Please get an acknowledgement ("ACK") from a member of the team before changing a package which is maintained by the project.
  • Avoid using new EAPIs for a period.


This isn't meant to be exhaustive (yet?). Please still speak to the team before touching packages.

This is a general table, while certain package suites/groups may belong in a new table.

Package Primary contacts Notes
sys-apps/less Polynomial-C
  • Counter-intuitive versioning. Not always suitable for stabilisation. Check website for details.
  • Often releases versions as pre-releases first then as production using the same version.
net-misc/openssh chutzpah
  • Contains a few external patchsets which take time to be rebased.
  • Avoid bumping without most/all of these patches given ebuild setup/confusion - although this is sometimes

necessary for security bugs. See e.g. bug #795135#c6, bug #785034#c9 for context.

net-libs/gnutls N/A?
  • Upstream have an unconventional versioning scheme. Right now, 3.7.x is actually an unstable branch. 3.6.x is LTS. This can cause problems e.g. this GNOME bug.
dev-libs/userspace-rcu N/A?
sys-devel/bison N/A?
  • New non-minor versions (e.g. 3.7.x -> 3.8.x) may result in breakages. A tracker bug is fairly likely to be needed.
  • Test at least all installed reverse dependencies by adding this to sets.conf and running emerge -av1 @bison-rebuild:
FILE /etc/portage/sets.conf
class =
command = bash -c 'comm -12 <(EIX_LIMIT=0 eix -I# | sort -u) <(egrep -rsinl "(bison|yacc)" /var/db/repos/gentoo/ --include="*.ebuild" | cut -d/ -f6-7 | sort -u)'


New major versions of autoconf and automake generally need to be masked as they break a large number of reverse dependencies.

Package Primary contacts Notes
sys-devel/autoconf N/A?
  • Very infrequent releases.
  • Carrying a patch in 2.71 for now for a race condition.
  • Gentoo includes a backport to 2.69 of --runstatedir.
  • Perl-based. Nuff said.