Project:VDR/Overlay guide

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This document explains how to install software straight from our overlays.

Configuration and usage of the overlays

What is an overlay?

An overlay is simply the place where people put third party ebuilds. These ebuilds undergo extensive testing before they can be put into the Portage tree. Currently there are two overlays available: vdr-testing and vdr-1.5. If you want software around the VDR which is tested to become finally part of the main tree you can use the vdr-testing overlay. If you want the most recent development versions of the VDR you have to use the vdr-1.5 overlay. In the following we use the vdr-testing overlay as example.

Installing and configuring layman

Before we can install packages from an overlay, we need to install app-portage/layman, an overlay manager. For more information, see the app-portage/layman project page .

root #emerge --ask app-portage/layman

Even though we've installed app-portage/layman, we can't install packages just yet. First you will need to tell Portage you want to use a local repository. This can be done with these simple commands:

root #touch /usr/portage/local/layman/make.conf
root #echo "source /usr/portage/local/layman/make.conf" >> /etc/portage/make.conf

Next, we'll have app-portage/layman check out ( git clone ) the repository for /usr/portage/local/layman/vdr-testing/ :

root #layman -a vdr-testing
* Successfully added overlay "vdr-testing".

Installing sources from our overlays

Now you can start using the ebuilds from the VDR overlay. Point your browser to and choose a few packages.

These packages will be masked by an ~arch keyword. Before you can emerge them, you will need to add them to your /etc/portage/package.accept_keywords . Here are a couple of examples:

root #echo "media-tv/vdrseriestimer" >> /etc/portage/package.accept_keywords
root #echo "media-plugins/vdr-burn" >> /etc/portage/package.accept_keywords

Now you can install them with a simple emerge :

root #emerge --ask vdrseriestimer vdr-burn
Packages in the VDR overlays are under rapid development. Packages listed in this guide may not always be available: they may have been moved to the official Portage tree, or they may have been removed from the overlays for technical reasons.

Don't forget to keep your VDR overlays up to date:

root #layman -S


We would like to thank the following authors and editors for their contributions to this guide:

  • Dimitry Bradt
  • Joshua Saddler