From Gentoo Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Description The Portage Development Project is devoted to maintaining and updating Portages core functionality and utilities.
IRC Channel #gentoo-portage
No lead election date set
(and inherited members)
Parent Project Gentoo Linux
Project listing

The Portage Development Project works to provide a continuously expanding and developing tool for the management and installation of packages. The developers work on providing a coherent system that is as trouble free as possible (backwards compatible, automated, and simple). Bugs are tracked and fixed from the Gentoo bug tracker and developer-developer correspondence is maintained on the gentoo-portage-dev mailing list. Another communication channel is the #gentoo-portage IRC channel on the Freenode network.

Please use the new Gentoo GitHub repository as a backup. It will become a mirror to
user $git remote add gentoo-hub


The goal of the Portage Development Project stands at providing a seamless integration of developer and user tools to aid the growth and maintenance of the Gentoo Portage Tree.

Contributing to Portage

This project is undergoing some change. Zac Medico has stepped down as "Lead". That brings us to recruit additional members to help fill the productivity gap we have been experiencing. So all interested Gentoo developers, please email the gentoo-portage-dev list stating your interest and any capabilities and desires you wish to bring to Portage's development.

We will hold an election and project meeting for a new lead as soon as we get enough help to make it worthwhile.

While official project membership is restricted to official Gentoo developers. I wish to acknowledge the many contributions from non-Gentoo developers.

Contributing members

Member Nick Role
Arfrever Frehtes Taifersar Arahesis Arfrever member
Sebastian Luther few member

Bug reports

Please report all bugs you encounter on our bug tracking system. Before opening a new bug report please make sure that the bug has not already been reported by another user.

Do not report bugs/requests about anything other than sys-apps/portage in the Portage Development product.

In your bug report please state clearly:

  • How you triggered the bug (commands executed, files edited, ...)
  • What Portage version you used when you found the bug
  • If the bug is reproducible
  • The output of the emerge --info command

Please don't get too impatient if there is no immediate reaction to your bug, sometimes it can take a while before a developer has time to look at it (this also applies to non-Portage bug reports). Often we'll need additional information from you while trying to resolve a bug, please provide it as soon as you can, if we have to wait too long (over a month) we'll likely close the bug as RESOLVED:NEEDINFO, you can however reopen it when you posted the requested information.

Please do not reopen bugs unless you're in one of the following situations:

  • The bug was marked as RESOLVED:FIXED, but you can still reproduce it with the new version that is supposed to contain the fix (the version is generally stated when the bug is closed)
  • The bug was marked as RESOLVED:NEEDINFO and you have provided the requested information
  • The bug was marked as RESOLVED:WONTFIX, RESOLVED:CANTFIX or RESOLVED:LATER and you think we misunderstood you. Do not reopen a bug just because you disagree with our resolution.

Be aware that we will still read comments on bug reports even if the report itself is closed, so you don't have to reopen it just to get our attention.

Every bug report deals with one specific problem, please respect that and don't talk about other not directly related issues on a bug report.

Testing multiple Portage versions

This section only applies to Portage 2.1.2 or later

There are various reasons why you'd want to have multiple versions of Portage available at the same time without having to install them as system default. Examples would be to check which versions are affected by a specific bug, to test new features before deploying a new version or have a git checkout available for testing while keeping a stable release for normal operation.

As of Portage-2.1.2 one can have and use an arbitrary number of Portage installations parallel to each other by adjusting the two environment variables PATH and PYTHONPATH. For example if you have a checkout of the master branch at /checkouts/portage you'd set them like this:

CODE settings to use portage master branch
export PYTHONPATH="/checkouts/portage/pym${PYTHONPATH:+:}${PYTHONPATH}"
export PATH="/checkouts/portage/bin:${PATH}"

With those settings calling tools like emerge, repoman, or ebuild will pickup the correct locations to import libraries. External tools like gentoolkit or porthole may or may not respect those settings. Setting PATH variable is not necessary if the commands are called by their full name (e.g. /checkouts/portage/bin/emerge instead of emerge).

Submitting patches

If you want to submit a patch to sys-apps/portage or a related package, please make sure the patch follows these criteria:

  • Use TABS. Some people like 8 spaces, some people like 4, and some like 2. Tabs are the happy medium. Patches that use spaces and/or a mix of tabs and spaces for indentation will likely be rejected.
  • Generally submit diff files instead of whole files, only when the diff is significantly larger than the file itself or the file didn't exist previously submitting the whole file is acceptable.
  • Diffs have to be in unified form (diff -u, git diff).
  • Always submit a detailed explanation of what the patch does and, if necessary, why you chose the specific implementation you submitted (IOW: what's the benefit of the patch). Also include any problems and/or drawbacks you think the patch has.
  • Always state against which version (for releases) or revision and branch (for git patches) the patch was made.
  • Only submit clean patches. Do not include other patches in a submitted patch. If the code found in a patch does not match the description of the patch, it will be rejected. Also don't add any unrelated code cleanups in your patch
  • Python docstrings should conform to the Portage Docstring Specification.

If the patch is related to a specific bug report, please attach it there as text/plain. If it is not directly related to a bug report (to your knowledge) please send it to the mailing list and tag the subject with '[PATCH]'.

Patches for packages NOT related to sys-apps/portage go on, please do not send them to the gentoo-portage-dev mailing list

Access to Portage git repositories

The Portage source code is maintained within a GIT repository on If you are a dev: The main repository is located at git+ssh://, please note that it is subject to strict access controls, only people listed in the developers section on this page are able to commit to it.

For anonymous access please use or

The repository mirror can be viewed on GitHub at

The repository currently contains the following branches (incomplete list):

  • master: the current main development line
  • prefix: experimental branch with support for prefix installs
  • public_api: a development branch to create a stable public interface to using Portage directly in other applications.
The old SVN repository is no longer available.

See also

Resources offered by the Portage project on the Wiki include:


Documentation project resources

Unless otherwise noted the following resources are maintained by the Documentation Project, but since they are the primary online documentation for Portage they will be listed here:

External resources

This article is based on a document formerly found on our main website
The following people have contributed to the original document: carpaski, genone
They are listed here as the Wiki history does not provide for any attribution. If you edit the Wiki article, please do not add yourself here; your contributions are recorded on the history page.