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The Gentoo Science Project officially maintains the science overlay which holds many ebuilds for scientific and high performance clustering applications. It is used as a sandbox for the main tree scientific packages, as a repository of not widely used scientific software and to allow contributions of non Gentoo developers.

Access to the science overlay

The science overlay repository is maintained with git, maintained on two sites:

We keep them both synchronized. The overlay can be accessed or installed the usual way. In case you find them out of sync, please ping us on IRC or file a bug.

Hosted Projects

We are hosting a few experimental (admittedly forever) projects on the science overlay:

  • alternatives-2: automatic generation of eselect modules, used to handle multiple blas/lapack implementations (non-documented)
  • Empi: handling multiple MPI implementations


We strongly encourage contributions rather than bugs for the science overlay. You can contribute via GitHub interface. Visit our Contributing page for more details.

The Quality Assurance on overlays is not as strictly enforced as on our main tree; however we recommend doing the following minimum on the contributed ebuilds:

  • Use the latest EAPI and use existing eclasses
  • Fill diligently the metadata.xml: adding yourself as maintainer, add a long description and a upstream tag. A typical template can be found on the skel.metadata.xml file.
  • Run repoman full to verify your ebuild, and repoman commit to commit
  • Check more tips from the KDE project.

Reporting issues

  • If pull requests scare you, you can report issues for the science overlay packages on the GitHub tracker.
  • If you insist on reporting bugs through the traditional Gentoo way, the field "Summary" of the bug should be:
[science-overlay] category/package-version: Short description

Note that many of the science overlay contributors do not follow the Gentoo Bugzilla.

Scientific overlays

Here is list of well maintained overlays for scientific users of Gentoo:

  • sage-on-gentoo: install the SAGE notebook on Gentoo (need the science overlay)
  • octave: install octave-forge packages with a Gentoo package manager
  • roverlay: an automatically generated overlay of R packages (available in layman as "roverlay")